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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Amazing Thing About Amazing Spider-Man

A lot of people tell us that we are perfectionists. Almost to a tee. Almost Too Much! Which is why we went about this site differently from the old one. (Boy, THAT's an understatement!)
Anyway, so the thing we wanted to do was add Amazing Spider-man. Now that ought to be easy, right? Not quite.
The saga started with determining what we had as a transfer from the old system. It seemed straightforward. We had all the books listed, so there should have been no trouble, especially since we also had all the graphics. All of 'em. Yep. Just sittin' there. Riiiight. Go get 'em big boys. Easy as pie.
So off we went and uploaded all the data with the proper references to the graphics and PRESTO! No graphics. None, nada, gournisht, zip, zilch. But that was impossible. They were right there!
So in panic mode already we went and started to scan covers while a frantic search for the missing graphics ensued.
Three quarters of the way through the scanning we determined that some genius had separately moved the graphics for that one title. Why? Of course....because the plan was to move them from a separate file since the title was being done in one shot. Shazzbot we thought. All that scanning for naught. Ah well, we did scan some items that had not yet been done in the normal course of not maintaining the old site the way we might have wanted.
OK, so we'll just process and upload everything all at once. Ha ha ha.
First off when we ran to scan (there's a good rhyme) we forgot to retitle the scans. So now we had a bunch of untitled scans to look through and determine which were which for processing. All 100+ of the ones we needed. Then once that was done we got the necessary ones scanned (or so we thought), and uploaded them to the new servers. Or so we thought.
Trouble was that the servers were being finicky that night and didn't like to update the graphic references. That's why if you actually logged on to the site the other day and sat on Amazing Spider-man as a title you would have seen covers disappear and then appear and then get moved and then get to the wrong book and then find themselves missing and then, finally, see TWO copies of many of them on the correct book. You would have been entertained for at least three hours or perhaps more. If you could stand it. We almost couldn't stand it.
Anyway as of this writing we're still missing some variant cover scans and good old #388 regular version, but those will come in a day or so. We think. We pray?

So the most amazing thing about all this? We got it done! That's amazing! and then we realized that we forgot the Annuals AND we still have the other three major Spidey titles as well as the hundreds of auxiliary ones to do.....AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!

Which brings up a couple of subjects:

1.)You will see some pretty expensive books sitting there and you'll say to yourself, "Self, what kind of condition are these in? These guys list them as "new" and I'm not sure what that means."
What it means is that they are fresh from the publisher in the case of more recent books (our definition of more recent is for 1974 and up pretty much) because of how we've stockpiled them for years directly from the source. For older, they are copies that were acquired from collectors over time and have been lovingly cared for and are in as good a condition as you could possibly expect from someone who carefully made sure their books were as perfect as possible.

2.) This begets the second point: we did not turn on any books below #100 for the time being. This is because we will turn them on as we introduce the concept of varying grades for the older stuff that will be listed in Silver Age and Golden Age categories as they come up. We are tough graders. We don't slab books at this time although a lot of the books we have will be fine slab prospects for some lucky recipient. Good for you whoever you are. More power to you. More on the philosophy of slabbing in a later blog, but we digress.....
We are thinking of using a five-grade scale, starting with G, then VG, Fn, VFN, and finally NM-M. That last one is a bit wide, but we refuse to send out bad stuff without telling you that it was bad to begin with. In fact, we don't even want to LIST bad stuff.
So that's a little bit about what you can expect in terms of condition.

Please let us know your thoughts on the subject. And definitely give us feedback on your impressions of our grading when you get your books.

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