Hamilton Comic Con 2016

Hamilton Comic Con – October 1st and 2nd, 2016

Just one week after the London Comic Con was the Hamilton Comic Con. Is there really no time to rest? Lol

For this year’s event, they changed the location to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. At first, I was very concerned about the location. For previous years, it was right downtown and very accessible for the attendees. With it being downtown, buses are running all the time and it’s a nice, central location. I figured that there’d be a significant drop in attendance this year, with the show being outside of town, right near the airport. I was wrong. The promoter had arranged shuttle buses from downtown, to the show and also back again. That was a big help.
Also, I felt that the people that did take the effort to attend this show did so with the intention of buying stuff.

Now, having the convention in one side of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum actually was really, really cool. For admission to the show, you were also allowed admission to the museum. For me, as a “young” grown up man, seeing the old planes was just amazing. I can only imagine how the kids that attended felt. I’m sure it was an incredible experience for many of them.

Some of this year’s celebrities included David Prowse (Darth Vader), Corey Feldman (do I need to tell you who he is?), George Wendt (Cheers), Catherine Bach (Dukes of Hazzard), Amanda Bearse (Married…With Children), Denise Crosby (Star Trek TNG), Pat Mastroianni (Degrassi Junior High), and a number of wrestling stars, Koko B. Ware, Lanny Poffo, Bret Hart, and Mick Foley.

I had a decent show, sales-wise. Some notable sales for graded books include:

  • Amazing Spider-Man #15 6.5
  • Magnus Robot Fighter #1 4.0
  • Tales To Astonish #27 5.5
  • More Fun #60 5.0
  • Doom Patrol #99 7.0
  • X-Men #95 8.5
  • ASM #671 Signed by Stan Lee 9.6
  • ASM #299 signed by Stan Lee 9.2
  • X-Men #14 6.5
  • Molly O’Day #1 7.0
  • Strange Adventures #2 7.0.

I also sold a whack of trade paperbacks, kids comics and sets.

All in all, it was a very successful show. I’m very excited about next year’s event and now hoping it’s held at the same location.

London Comic Con 2016

London Comic Con – September 23-25, 2016

Last month, I set up at the London Comic Con, here in London, Ontario, Canada. This is the second time that these promoters have held the show at the Western Fair. While the venue is nice and spread out, the challenge still remains to fill the show up with venders and attractions. This year’s show was a definite improvement upon last year’s, but as with anything that we do, we should always strive to make it better.

When you’re away on the road at a show out of town, you’re away from your family. This can be tough, especially when you have around 10 shows a year to do. So, these local shows are always very nice, as there is barely any drive involved and no hotel rooms to pay for. If I’ve forgotten anything, it’s no trouble to run back to my shop to pick it up. Most importantly, though, I’m minutes away from my family.

This year’s show was well attended. The promoters did a good job in inviting a number of special guests. A few of the celebrities that did show up were Levar Burton (Star Trek TNG’s Geordi La Forge), Kevin Sorbo (Hercules), Kevin Nash (WWE Legend), Mark Boone Junior (Sons of Anarchy), Lori Petty (A League Of Their Own, Point Break, Tank Girl), Pat Mastroianni (Degrassi Junior High), and Emily Kinney (Beth from The Walking Dead).


These big comic shows are getting further and further away from comics and more towards anything pop culture related and having the chance to meet one of your favourite celebrities. For me, I chatted with Pat Mastroianni (Joey Jerimiah from Degrassi) for a while. As younger kids, my sister and I would always watch this show. It’s so great to see, and finally meet, someone that you have known for so many years, albeit only through a TV set. Great guy!

For sales, this year was better than last – by far! Notable sales for CGC or CBCS graded comics include:

  • Fantastic Four #2 5.0
  • Star Trek #1 5.0
  • All American Comics #18 6.0
  • All-Star #33 8.0
  • Batman #47 8.0
  • Walking Dead #1 9.4
  • Strange Tales #110 5.5
  • Avengers #1 4.0 and 5.0
  • Four Color #26 9.2
  • Little Max #1 9.2
  • Horrific #7 4.0
  • Amazing Spider-Man #13 4.0
  • Marvel Premiere #1 7.5
  • Wolverine Mini-Series #1 9.6
  • I also sold over 25,000 cheap comics to another dealer. It was nice to haul those to his truck, just one last time. That’s a lot of work that I no longer have to do.
    All in all, it was a successful show. I’m looking forward to the progressive changes made for next year’s London Comic Con.

    Ancient Roman Coins

    While many collectors routinely visit us for Canadian, American, and British coins, we do have customers coming to see us for coins from around the world. What you may not know is that we also carry several ancient Roman coins, which can be traced back to some of Rome’s most historic figures, and are tied to some very interesting stories:


    Crispus

    There is debate as to Crispus’ early life; specifically when he was born, and the exact relationship between his mother, and his father Constantine. It is known that he rose to power, was promoted to the rank of Caesar by his father, and was victorious in several military campaigns.

    His life ended abruptly in 326 A.D. after Constantine ordered his trial and execution. Soon after, Crispus’ step mother, Fausta, met a similar fate. Historians still debate to this day why Constantine carried out these actions against his own family.


    Elagabalus


    Also know as Heliogabalus, he was Roman Emperor from 218-222. After the assassination of Emperor Caracalla in 217, Elagabalus’ aunt led a revolt which resulted in the then 14-year old becomining emperor – a reign that would be full of scandals and religious controversies.

    Elagabalus showed a strong disregard for traditional Roman religion, forced his government to participate in religious rites which worshipped their new deity Elagabalus (of which he was the high-preist), instead of Jupiter.

    His behaviour estranger those around him and his people, and at the age of 18, he was assassinated and replaced by his cousin Severus Alexander.


    Postumus

    Little is know about his early life. Postumus was a Roman commander who would assume the title and power of emperor in the procinces of Gual, Hispania, Germania and Britannia (and founding what scholars now call the Gallic Empire).

    Through some of his coins, Postumus presented himself as Restitutor Galliarum (The restorer of Gaul) and Salus Provinciarum (one who would bring security to the provinces).

    After a reign of 9 years, he would be assassinated by his troops.

    Commodus


    He was born Lucius Aurelius Commodus, and at the time of his death was known as Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus. Commodus was Roman Emperor from 180-192 AD. Commodus also ruled as co-emperor with his father, Marcus Aurelius, from 177 AD, until his father’s death in 180 AD.

    His accession as emperor marked the first time a son had succeeded his biological father since Titus succeeded Vespasian in 79. He was also the first emperor to have both a father and grandfather (who had adopted his father) as the two preceding emperors. Commodus was the first (and until 337, the only) emperor “born in the purple”, i.e., during his father’s reign.

    Commodus was assassinated in 192, succeeded by Pertinax whose reign did not last long during the tumultuous Year of the Five Emperors.

    Marcus Aurelius


    Marcus Aurelius was Roman Emperor from 161-180 AD. He ruled with Lucius Verus as co-emperor from 161-169 AD (until Verus’ death). The last of the so-called Five Good Emperors, he practiced Stoicism, and his untitled writing, commonly known as the Meditations, is the most significant source of the modern understanding of ancient Stoic philosophy.

    During his reign, the Empire defeated a revitalized Parthian Empire in the East: Aurelius’ general Avidius Cassius sacked the capital Ctesiphon in 164. In central Europe, Aurelius fought the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmatians with success during the Marcomannic Wars, although the threat of the Germanic tribes began to represent a troubling reality for the Empire. A revolt in the East led by Avidius Cassius failed to gain momentum and was suppressed immediately.

    Aurelius’ Meditations, written in Greek while on campaign between 170 and 180, is still revered as a literary monument to a philosophy of service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict by following nature as a source of guidance and inspiration.

    He was portrayed in the blockbuster film Gladiator by Richard Harris.

    Faustina I


    Annia Galeria Faustina, sometimes referred to as Faustina I was born on February 16 around 100 AD and died in October or November of 140 AD, was a Roman empress and wife of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius. She died early in the principate of Antoninus Pius, but continued to be prominently commemorated as a diva, posthumously playing a prominent symbolic role in Antoninus Pius’ régime.




    Various Ancient Roman Coins

    An assortment of Roman Coins that we have in stock.

    Phillip II


    In 244 this young son of Philip the Arabian was named Caesar by his father in order to try to insure a dynasty for the elder Philip and his noble wife Marcia Otacilia Severa. At age 11 he was elevated to Augustus in AD 247. The young lad joined his father battling Trajan Decius at Verona in 249. Both he and his father were killed during a long, bloody battle and succeded by Jotapian and Trajan Decius all within a single year.

    Gordian III


    M. Antonius Gordianus Pius was third in a series of Gordians. Born in AD 225, he was named Caesar at age 13 and Augustus the same year. A very mild mannered and un-gifted emperor, he never chose or wished his duties. After a series of unsuccessful campaigns in Mesopotamia, his rule was undermined by his praefect Philipus and although he had no disposition to rule or stop Philip, he was murdered in 244 at the ripe old age of nineteen.

    Remembrance Day 2016

    With Remembrance Day soon approaching, we would like to take some time to reflect on how we have been able to help honour the efforts of our veterans through the Ivan Greenham Medal Department at Forest City Coins.  Since 1969, the Ivan Greenham Medal Department has served veterans from countless cities across all of Canada as well as many American & British Veterans from abroad.  Through mounting, repairing, and miniatures of medals, we have the experience to help preserve these important memories, like in this showcase below:

    16x12x18 inch display case, showcasing miniatures surrounded by full size medals. (Upper left: original medals, swing mounted; Upper Right: swing mount copies; Lower Left: copies, special mounted; Lower Right: originals, court mounted.)
    12×18 inch display case, showcasing miniatures surrounded by full size medals. (Upper left: original medals, swing mounted; Upper Right: swing mount copies; Lower Left: copies, special mounted; Lower Right: originals, court mounted.)

    Here are further examples of our past work:

    Full size swing-mounted set of 7 medals.
    Full size swing-mounted set of 7 medals.
    10-swing-mounted-miniatures-at-top-court-mounted-miniatures-at-bottom
    (Top Row: Swing Mounted Miniatures. Bottom Row: Court Mounted miniatures)

    Our clients come to us for a variety of reasons, which typically include:

     

    1. Mounting: This term refers to putting medals together on a bar.  It allows you to proudly display your medals, either through wearing or putting in a case.

    2. Miniature Medals: Sometimes, a veteran may not want to be “bogged down” with the weight of his or her large size medals.  That’s where miniatures come in.  They represent the same medals that the veteran was awarded, except they are much smaller and lighter.  Another option to consider is giving these to family members.  Sometimes, there are a number of children or even grandchildren, and obviously they cannot all get the original set of medals. Miniatures and full size-copies are ideal in this case.

    3. Full-Size Copies: Again, just like miniatures, these are perfect for family members that want to have a set of their loved one’s medals.  Also, throughout a number of different scenarios, a veteran may have lost his medals over time.  In this case, he or she can buy a set of replacements and then be all set to proudly wear them again.

    4. Cleaning, plating, and replacement of ribbons: Over the years, medals could become tarnished or require new ribbons. The Ivan Greenham Medal Department specializes in getting your medals looking like new, with a quick turn around at very competitive rates.

    This month of November, if you are looking for a special way to celebrate a veteran in your life, give us a call and see what we can do for you.

    1-519-434-3355

     

    Fan Expo Toronto 2016 Report

    Fan Expo Canada – Sept 1-4, 2016

    Ah, the Fan Expo Canad.  Held in Toronto every year, Fan Expo always strives to be Canada’s best and biggest comic show.  They always do a great job in bringing in the top celebrities, artists, and creators. And 2016 was no exception as they pulled out all the stops!

    img_0484

    The list of superstars in attendance was phenomenal. Take a look a just some of the names below:
    Actors:

    • Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
    • William Shatner, George Takei & Brent Spiner (Star Trek)
    • Kevin Smith & Jason Mewes (Jay & Silent Bob)
    • Gillian Anderson (X-Files)
    • Charlie Cox & Elden Hensen (Daredevil-TV)
    • Adam West & Burt Ward (Batman-TV)
    • Sonequa Martin-Green, Michael Cudlitz & Scott Wilson (Walking Dead), and more and more and more…

    Comic Book Artists:

    • Stan Lee (in his very last Canadian appearance!),
    • Frank Miller, Joe Quesada, Andy Kubert, Brian Azzarello, Margaret Atwood, Klaus Janson, Greg Capullo, David & Meredith Finch, Dan Slott, Tim Sale, Greg Land, John Tyler Christopher, and many more…

    When you have this kind of line-up, the fans will come out in droves. This year, they came out in droves. I believe the total number of attendees passed the 124,000 mark.  That’s a big crowd!  Sure, it’s spread out over 4 days, but there are times when you will likely feel a bit claustrophobic.  There are pockets throughout the floor that don’t have a ton of people, but there are lots of other spots that are so congested that it can take a long, long time to get to where you’re going.  If you can deal with the crowds, you’re going to have a great time!

    Aside from the special guests, the show offers large set ups by some big companies. Lego, Ubisoft, DC, Hasbro, and EB Games all had impressive displays, some of them quite extravagant.

    img_0495

    Last, but not least, were the vendors.  The small guys (like us!). We make up a huge portion of the floor space, but we are no longer the main attraction. Nevertheless, year after year, we set up and take these 4 days as a chance to sell as much as we can of our treasured collectibles.  This show is usually right up there among my most successful.  I always bring a ton of good material for sale, and the comic fans know to seek me out.  Forest City Coins is known for setting up with killer books at decent prices, and always willing to listen to offers.  With this in mind, the show is always a good one.  Listed below are some notable sales from this weekend.
    CGC and CBCS graded comics:

    • Amazing Spider-Man #129 (9.4)
    • Werewolf By Night #32 (9.2)
    • Flash Comics #7 (4.5)
    • World’s Finest #30 (7.5)
    • Wolverine #4 (9.6)
    • Incredible Hulk #181 (7.0)
    • Batman #1 9.8
    • Batman #1 Variant Cover (9.6)
    • New Mutants #98 (9.6)
    • Amazing Spider-Man #23 (7.5)
    • Amazing Spider-Man #361 (9.4)
    • Y the Last Man #1 (9.6)
    • Daredevil #168 (9.6)
    • Avengers #57 (9.2)
    • Avengers #24 (9.2)
    • Avengers #12 (9.0)
    • Hero For Hire #1 (7.5)
    • Sub-Mariner #1 (9.2)
    • Star Wars #1 Action Figure Sketch Variant (9.6)
    • X-Men #50 (9.2)
    • Incredible Hulk #271 (9.0)
    • Avengers #4 (5.0)
    • Green Lantern #1 (1.0)
    • Avengers #1 (6.0)
    • Detective Comics #441 (8.0)
    • Funnies #64 (3.0)
    • Forever People #1 (9.2)
    • Invincible Iron Man #7 (9.8)
    • Mystic Comics V2 #1 (7.0)
    • Fantastic Comics #5 (1.0)
    • Action Comics #1 – reprint (9.6)
    • Annie Oakley #2 (8.5)
    • Strange Tales #110 (8.0)

     

    I also sold a lot of trades, kids comics and a few higher end raw books. I actually did really well with WW2 Canadian helmets, believe it or not!  We sold 24 of them over the course of four days!

    Again, this is a show that I enjoy very much, and I always look forward to it every year. This year was no exception, it was a success.  I look forward to seeing you at Fan Expo 2017!

    img_0493

    Star Wars Action Figure Variant Covers (Marvel)

    Most comic book collectors out there have some nostalgic memory of Star Wars. It could have been being around to see A New Hope in theatres in 1977, or memories of the prequel trilogy.  For those that remember Star Wars the first time around (like me!) then you probably hounded your parents for those Kenner figures that many of us still fondly remember.  I can still picture how excited I was when I got the Luke Skywalker figure with a slide out lightsaber built into his arm.  This little bit of my childhood is why I got so excited about Marvel’s variant covers for their Star Wars launch.  The classic look of the figure packaging has been re-purposed for some very cool, retro looking books, like the ones below:

    Star Wars #1 – Luke Skywalker Variants

    It started with Star Wars #1, which of course need a Luke Skywalker variant. This is a nice book for any serious Star Wars collector.  For those that really want to complete their collection, we have the ultra rare black and white version which was handed out to comic book store owners who attended the Diamond Breakfast at the 2015 C2E2 Comic con in Chicago, with copies limited to one per store.  You can purchase the regular variant from our online shop or give us a call about the black and white variant .

    img_1315

    These covers were a huge success, with other number 1s for Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Lando, Han Solo, and new The Force Awakens character Poe Dameron, as well as other iconic characters like Chewbacca and Obi-wan Kenobi.

    img_1320img_1321

    Marvel continued the trend, with more variants for issues #2-16 as well with an assortment of lesser known, but still very interesting, and very collectible characters.

    img_1322

    For those that can’t get enough of Darth Vader, there is also the Star Wars: Vader Down back cover variant, and the exclusive three pack mail away.

    img_1318

    We have a huge selection of  other exclusives, such as the John Tyler Christopher Star Wars #4 Boba Fett. Star Wars #7 Black and White Boba Fett, Poe Dameron #1 Black and White, and a Han Solo #1: Bespin.
    img_1324
    Until the end of November we are running specials with variant covers starting at $10 and CGC/CBCS graded books starting under $100! Come by today and have a look at one of the best Star Wars variant cover selections in London!

    San Diego Comic Con 2016 Report

    5 years ago, my family and I visited San Diego for the first time.  Our intentions were to see some friends and also experience the largest comic book convention in the world, the San Diego Comic Con.  We had a really great time and every year since then I’ve been trying to arrange to go back. As it turned out, 2016 was my year!

    This time, for speed and cost reasons, I went by myself and was only there for a short while.  I flew into San Diego on the Wednesday afternoon, and I flew out on Friday night. For me, this trip was meant to be a buying trip, so I traveled very lightly.

    img_0214 img_0222 img_0228
    For those who have never gone, but have heard great things about the SDCC, let me tell you, the show did not disappoint.  The venue is massive; the crowds of attendees were seemingly never-ending.  The show is so heavily attended that there is even a tickets lottery to get in, and another one for parking spaces at the venue!  Once inside, there were aisles and aisles of vendors selling their toys, statues, plush dolls, pillows, t-shirts, costumes, tons of other collectibles, and of course, comic books.  The corporate displays were immense and so very well planned and organized.  It is the comic book show of all shows. If you have ever considered going to experience this show, I would highly recommend it.  There’s nothing like it anywhere else.
    Comic books have become a very small part of this show.  With the attention now mostly on the celebrities, movies, toys and miscellaneous items for sale, comics are getting harder and harder to find at this “comic convention”.  Now, for the ones that were there selling comics, they sure brought the good stuff!  If you had the money, you could have bought 5 copies of Batman #1.  For me, the buying trip was successful.  I bought a number of CGC and CBCS graded comics for my shop, and a few Richie Rich comics for my personal collection.

    img_1319
    The highlight for me was getting to meet legendary comic book artist Russ Heath. He is 90 years old now and still very sharp.  Growing up as a huge fan of DC war comics, I was very familiar with Russ’ fantastic work and attention to detail. Being able to meet him in person was unbelievable.  I attended a war comics banquet and Russ was the guest of honour.  That was a great opportunity to have a very casual conversation with him.  The next day, he was signing comics for fans at the show.  I brought a few of my favourites and asked Russ to sign them. He was very humble and signed happily.  I even got to hang out with him poolside for a little over an hour.  What a chance of a lifetime!

    img_0201 img_1317

    Niagara Falls Comic Con 2016 Report

    2016 marked the third year of Forest City Coins participating in the Niagara Falls Comic Con – a show that I always look forward to.  Comic books aside, I mean, who doesn’t like to go to Niagara Falls?  The amusements, entertainment and attractions don’t do as much for me now as they used to when I was a kid, but I still greatly enjoy the magnificence of The Falls, itself.

    img_0228
    It’s a decent sized show, held in a very nice venue, the Scotia Bank Convention Centre.  It was very well attended this year, with many showing up to see the great lineup of celebrities that the organizer put together.  Just a few of the notable celebrities that come to mind are Vern Troyer (Mini Me), Henry Winkler (The Fonz), Lou Ferrigno, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob), and Peter Davison (Dr Who).  Also present, were wrestling legends Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Hillbilly Jim, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Shawn Michaels. And of course, there was lots of great cosplayers!

    img_4325 img_4324 img_4296
    A 3-day show usually equates to a 4-day show, when you take into account an extra day to drive there and set up.  After a two-hour drive and a busy morning/afternoon of setting up our booth, I was very pleased. I am mostly a comic book seller, but sometimes I will cart with me some miscellaneous items that I’d like to let someone else have a turn to own.  It’s not uncommon to see me selling toys, statues, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, as well as vintage comics.  At this show, I had also brought celebrity 8×10 photos, in case someone wanted to meet one of the guests, and also the sleeves and top loaders that these 8x10s slide into, for protection.
    The sales were pretty good, and overall it was another very successful show. Some of my notable sales were as follows:
    Graded:

    • Marvel Tales #96 CBCS 5.0
    • Witchcraft #3 CGC 7.5
    • Unseen #10 CGC 7.5
    • Iron Man #282 CGC 9.8
    • Iron Man #282 CGC 9.2
    • Strange Adventures #180 CGC 5.5
    • Superman #52 CBCS 4.0
    • Venom/Deadpool What If? #1 CGC 9.8.

    img_4247

    Raw:

    • Reid Flemming #1
    • Marvel Spotlight #32
    • Marvel Spotlight #5
    • Swamp Thing #37
    • Batman Adventures #12
    • Devil Dinosaur #1
    • Incredible Hulk #271
    • Watchmen #1
    • Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134
    • Batman #227
    • X-Factor #5
    • Amazing Adult Fantasy #12
    • Many Deadpool books
    • Many (many!) Star Wars action figure variants
    • Canadian edition comics
    • and of course our awesome solution of dollar books!

    To be honest, the 8×10 photos didn’t sell that great for me this time, but I sold a record number of sleeves and top loaders to the people walking around with photos, but no holders.

    img_4258
    Again, it was a fun and successful show, and I’m already looking forward to next year!