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Probably my all-time favorite Alex Schomburg cover is All Select Comics #1, Fall 1943 published by Martin Goodman's Timely (Marvel) Comics. And he did a bunch of great cover designs bursting with raw energy. Goodman first met Alex Schomburg as well as Frank R Paul when Goodman was learning publishing business from Hugo Gernsback who was then publishing seminal mag for most ALL comics creators who began in the 30s 40s, Science and Invention.
I first met Alex Schomburg at the 1977 Portland All American Comicon which also included guests Harvey Kurtzman and Sergio Aragones. Alex told me that he first met Goodman in and around Hugo Gernsback's operation beginning in the late 1920s.
My first All Select Comics #1 I scored from Biljo White (Batmania) in 1969 via his ad in Gordon Love's seminal RBCC adzine which at one time for a decent stretch there mid 60s thru early 70s was the center of the then known comics collecting universe.
Biljo White's set of All Select 1-11 along with Blonde Phantom 12 thru 22 set me back a whoppin $65. He was selling out, GAFIA (Getting Away From It All) from a fandom he was seminal in founding. Seeing these All Selects in a run was my basic intro - especially #1 - that, hey, I really want to collect this guy's covers. Inside stuff of greatest became secondary building both my Schomburg as well as LB Cole covers whom I also "discovered" in my consciousness in 1968 at the Dallas comicon.
My second copy came inside the Tom Reilly collection in May 1973 when we scored this superb "pedigree" collection comprising some 4000 NM/M white paper comic books. Later lost soul self-declared delusional "experts" like Matt Nelson, West Stephens, think they know more about the Reilly collection than me. Such arrogance from whippersnappers.
[Steve Borock should school West Stephens and Steve Geppi should allow me to tell the proper history of the Tom Reilly collection inside OPG #49.]
By the time I got to talk with Alex, interviewing asking questions for a couple hours at his first ever comicon appearance I was already immersed collecting his work where ever I could find it.
I and a couple others got such time back in 76 in Portland cuz most then did not know who this creative genius was still back then. Not until Kurtzman and Aragones got up from their end of the dealer's room and made a parade happen over to where Alex was sitting behind a table.
Listening to Harvey berate in a good natured teaching mode way to the younger collectors, "Don't you know who this is???...."
They all knew once Harvey and Sergio asked Alex for his autograph and sign a few things and a sketch like I had gotten earlier.
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Schomburg is great...being a child of the 70's the early works are out of my price range but he did come back and do a few covers i think of the Invaders that i have been able to grab!
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Originally Posted by BLBcomics
Much valuable information can be gleaned from Bob's experience over the years. While I would concur with about 80% of Bob's assertions based on my own contemporaneous experience, historical research and familiarization with the provenance of various collections, I'm resistant to the notion that Matt Nelson and West Stephan are merely "whippersnappers" given the depth of their experience in comics as long term collectors and experts in third party grading. Being forthright is commendable, but to have gravitas assertions must also have supportable evidence.
I can't recall West ever making a declaration of having expertise in absolute terms, nor Matt for that matter, and I know both gentlemen fairly well. This isn't meant to suggest that I agree with their perspectives in every instance, but I'm persuaded that they both have sound business ethics. I've known Bob for decades by both reputation and through socializing at conventions. Furthermore, I respect his candor and passion, even in those instances where our opinions diverge.
Both Bob and I were involved in fandom's early days and can bear witness to the growth of the hobby from it's embryonic state of back issue classified ads in comics into the high stakes game that exists today. Essentially, this evolution has been nothing short of a quantum shift in the hobby. Collecting once relied upon journeyman comic dealers, small to mid-sized conventions and first generation comic shops. Today it has morphed into an investment culture dependent upon third party grading and internet auction sites.
Everything stated above is to provide context. The informed opinions of elder statesmen of the hobby deserve a hearing, but should also be vetted for accuracy. Neither Bob nor I know everything about comics nor should we be expected to know facts with absolute certainty when the evidence is either sketchy, conflated or contestable.
PS: ALL SELECT #1 may not be my favorite Alex Schomburg cover, but it's pretty darn good and I'd be hard pressed to debate Bob on that point.
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|Over in the CGC cesspool the two mentioned plus others constantly to this day think they know more than me re the Tom Reilly collection.
This is ALL I am bringing up here re "whipper snapper" comment.
Yes, indeed, the hobby has turned big biz, the rules & regs for playing in the sand box have morphed. I humbly submit I know a lot of the comics business world history due to 50+ years since placing my first ad in RBCC #47 but no one (even me )will ever know it all,
.....but what I do know very well having been researching this most wonderful collection since April 1973 is the Tom Reilly collection.
From having lived it, and talked as the main buyer with all three batches of relatives who ended up with it. They clearly told me Tom Reilly was killed out in the Pacific in a kamikaze attack during the mid summer of World War Two.
Ron Pussell went on to the CGC boards last month after having been dealing with a liver transplant, and I was subsequently informed of same, that utter fools jumped in to the thread saying (paraphrased) that Ron could set the record straight regarding the Tom Reilly collection based on only the concept that Ron told Bob Overstreet to name it San Francisco
Ron and I talked on the phone then a couple times sort of laughing at what these lost souls think re utter lack of knowing what they are doing. Ron was buying Reilly copies from me as early as 1974.
MOST as in well over 97% of the Tom Reilly books never had the anchor stamp and/or Gilboy "G" pencil marks on the front cover.
I was actually down-grading Reilly copies back then as having markings on them
That said, the NM Whiz 2 (#1), Detective Comics #27, Mystery Men #1 and so many others were in that batch have never been "certified" by any of these "experts" who have denigrated my rep integrity saying there is only a few hundred comics in the Reilly collection which remains ludicrous
As does still calling them "San Francisco" copies considering the comics were never in SF. I personally sold some 7/9s of the Reilly collection of upwards of 4000 comics of which there was some duplication.
That all said, there are many other Alex Schomburg covers I absolutely love. I think All Select #1 remains my fave is because I got my first copy - the Biljo White NM high grade - back in 1969 when I was all of 18 - so it remains a soft spot in my heart
And I mis-typed above. I first met Schomburg at the 1977 Portland comicon.
Lastly, the proceeds and publicity from the huge Tom Reilly collection enabled fast growth. We opened Comics & Comix store #1 Aug 1972, hosted Berkeleycon April 1973 on the UC-Berkeley campus, the Reilly collection came in 3 batches April, then May, then June 1973, then by end of summer we opened 3 more stores.
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