Back Issue Comix has a unique place in the market place as it is one of few organizations that can offer three decade old un-circulated comics that were purchased at the time of publication, stored in optimum frozen storage conditions, and then sold to first time customers. Customers of these gems are offered certificates of origin in order to identify these comics for themselves and trading purposes. In response to the success of the TIME CAPSULES, BIC is now offering a new up-graded TIME CAPSULE which will help identify and protect the comics purchased from this collection. These will be identified as RJTC ( Reynold Jay's Time Capsule) in the market place. "RJTC" will be listed in all the headings at eBay so collector's can quickly find and identify the current offerings.
Back Issue Comix is now offering in-house graded comics in transparent frames similar to other 3rd party grading companies. The enclosures take up around half the storage space and can be housed in silver-age comic size boxes. Frames are made from 16 gauge vinyl and 3/8" rigid plastic frame. Frames are permanently sealed and tamper-proof.
Three grades will be offered initially by Back Issue Comics. An "Un-Circulated" grade is given to average condition, non-defective comics. These are copies which would contain tiny defects inherent to many 9.2-9.4 graded comics. It' not an official Overstreet grade , however describes the inherent condition of the comic. "9.6 NM +" and "9.8 Mint/Near Mint" are reserved for the very finest copies. No MINT grades will be offered at this time.
The RJTC should appeal to collectors who are on a budget and to those who collect certified comics. For the budget collector who is somewhere between purchasing common place comics and wanting to participate in certified comics, this could be the answer.
Those already involved with certified comics will find they will want RJTC to fill in their collections. For example, various issues with inherent built in defects will never be available in 9.8. Rather than fill the gap with a glaring 9.2 or 9.4 on the label, an un-circulated , and very best copy available can be placed into the collection to fill the gap at an affordable price. Another use might be to collect an entire secondary series in RJTC that might otherwise be a bit expensive for an all out third party graded collection. For example, a collector might reason that spending quite a bit for 9.8 Conan is the main interest and that Red Sonja or King Conan, just a bit less interesting, could be collected RJTC in Un-Circulated as a secondary and inexpensive alternative to 9.8.
Each comic is accompanied with a signed Certificate of Origin. This certificate outlines all of the info contained here.
Anyone making a first time purchase of RJTC may return the comic at their own expense within 3 days for a full refund. Limit of one return. No reason need be given.
Are these certified comics?
Yes. Comics are certified by by RJ . Thousands of RJ's comics comics have been certified by CGC and CGG ( now PGX) and nearly all were returned with anticipated grades. Comics not reaching anticipated grades provided a learning experience for RJ such that he feels he can now pro-grade ultra-grade comics.
Is this third party grading?
No. This is "In-house" grading. RJ will grade comics from this collection only. Third party grading for others will not be offered.
Will the grading be accurate?
It will right on target. No easy grades and no tough grades. It will also be consistent with Overstreet standards adhered to for all comics. Customers will see no "Hot" and "Cold" periods.
Can you tell me more about the frames other than they are smaller?
Each measures 7 1/2" x 11" X 3/8" considerably smaller than the third party frames that are so popular. While the frame is rigid, the vinyl front and back has a bit of flexibility to it, however not enough to endanger the comic in any way. The frames can be dropped on the floor, stepped on etc. ( not recommended) and are a lot tougher than the larger frames that often crack when mishandled. We expect much less damage in shipment They are more like plastic plumbing than glass.
What about investment value as compared to third party grading?
It should be no different and perhaps better than third party grading as RJ has a reputation as good as any of the third party graders. The superior condition of the comics is likely to become legendary when nearly all others begin to deteriorate while the RJ comics continue to exhibit white pages. Although we issue certificates with the third party frames it's possible the comic and the certificate would become separated and then there would be no way to determine if it came from this collection. By sealing it in our own RJTC , it will always be clear where the comic originated. This could be an important distinction years from now when comics from this collection outlast all others. It's possible that the law of supply and demand will make RJTC the most collectible 70- 80's comics of all time.
Could you discuss the "Un-circulated" grade?
"Un-circulated" is the average condition of many of our warehouse copies. The primary reason for these grades is the art work and the type of cover stock used. If a dark color ink runs all the way to the spine, it will have a high chance of ink breaking up along the spine. Comics with ads on the back cover that have art all the way to the spine almost always causes a problem. Ghost Rider volume 2 is best example of a series that exhibits all of these characteristics through the entire run and the result is that we've been sitting on these because 9.6 and 9.8 grades are not going to happen.
We discovered early that slightly mis-cut issues will obtain the 9.6 and 9.8 grades and the properly cut copies exhibited the defects that resulted in lower grades. Remember that even the slightest hint of a color break automatically makes an issue a "Un-circulated" copy.
"Un-circulated" is not a grade to be ashamed of for many series, as they are very often the best grades that can be attained. It means that it was one of the properly cut issues in most instances. If you look at our offerings and see no 9.6 or 9.8, you can figure that the series is a "problem" series and that the purchase of an "Un-circulated" comic could very well represent the best that will ever exist. With this in mind, we felt the "Un-Circulated" grade better represented the comic than trying to figure out if it was 9.2 or 9.4.
What about page color?
There is no notation about page color, or anything else. No data base is kept, although each is given an inventory number so that some basics about the comic can be retained. Around 95% are white and the other 5% are off-white to white. The difference is too tiny to spend time making the notation. One could make a good guess by checking the third party certified comics on stock. For example, if you see "white" notations consistently when viewing the Iron Man listings, you can make a good guess that the RJTC Iron Man will be similarly white. With little exception anything after 1980 is white page.
"Comics are frozen until ready for sale. Studies indicate the low temperature exponentially slows the aging process dramatically. See early Overstreet Price Guide for research on this. This is one reason why RJ has more 70's and 80's comics in "white page" condition than any other source. "
Many questions have been arriving since we have been advertising that our comics have been frozen for the last 25 years. The original article that inspired this process has been found in the 1981 12th Overstreet guide authored by Ernest W. Gerber P.E. and Richard D. Smith PhD, P.E. There is a lot of scientific discussion about PH , acidity, humidity and alkaline buffers, etc. and is the reason for the following statements.
" Keep Cool. The rate at which paper deteriorates doubles each time the temperature increases 10 degrees F . For example , the rate of deterioration at 85 degrees is 8 times faster than the rate at 55 degrees F."
This meant that leaving comics in an unheated warehouse in a Michigan climate would be better than storing them inside at 70 degree temps. The average temp in our situation is 20 degrees F. It varies greatly like any climate, however our storage in summer temps is always 10-20 degrees colder than outside temps. If summer temps begin to climb we often move items to air conditioned environment.
Most collectors store comics in their homes at 70 degrees F. all year round. Compare this to 20 degrees F. average and the difference is our comics will have aged 32 times slower.
A dramatic graph in the article shows that average storage conditions result in yellowing to begin in 15 years, brown in 35 years and brittle in 40 years. Storage in Mylar improves the process with yellowing in 55 years and brittle in 100 years. There was no study or information in the graph to indicate dramatic lowering of temps and the use of Mylar, however one could presume that this would greatly extend the life of paper. Without studies and assuming the "AVERAGE STORAGE CONDITIONS" were 70 degrees F. it would not be out of line to say that our collection of comics would have 32 times the life expectancy of normal, or yellow in 1,760 and brittle in 3,200 years.
Since we pull these comics and sell'm after 20-25 years, the optimum storage conditions end and average deterioration begins. Comics are simply going to last 20-25 years longer than nearly all other comics. In 100 years nearly all 70's comics will be brown brittle and nearly dust while our comics will stand out as survivors in the yellow stage. In the event that collectors continued our cold storage program , comics would continue to survive for many generations well up to the year 5203. If estimated temps were adjusted to frige temps , of 40 degrees F. not 20 degrees, comics would begin to disintegrate in 2828 surviving a mere 725 years beyond all others.
When you make a purchase, should you store these in the frige? R.J. thinks so if you really want your surviving great great grand children to reap the benefits. One can only ask, "What will the value of a handful of surviving collectibles be in the year 2525? "
Other thoughts come to mind here too. If one were to purchase collections of 30 year old comics from bankrupt comic book stores, would you be better to make the purchase in Florida or Alaska? IF you had a summer cottage, would you be better off storing your comics there or at your own home. Attic or basement with dehumidifier?