Our founder, Jeff, recently spoke with Steve from CBCS about some upcoming plans, population reports, and the Hero Initiative. See what Steve has to say about all the things CBCS has going on and a possible collaboration with GoCollect!
Comic Book Certification Service (CBCS) was started by professional comic book hobbyists with the intent of protecting their fellow hobbyists when buying and selling comic books. For years, they’ve been grading comics and producing quality work.
What’s up, collectors? I’m Jeff, founder of GoCollect, and I’m here today with founder, President, & Head Grader/Finalizer from CBCS, Steve Borok to chat through some of the amazing things they have going on over there.
Tell me about CBCS and what you guys are up to?
CBCS is a third-party, independent comic book grading service that inserts books into a crystal clear holder with a label and a grade. Any pertinent information that belongs to the book is on the label. We’ve been doing this for about 5 years. We’re working 6-7 days a week; we’re so busy. It’s incredible.
Everybody seems to be inundated with slow turnaround times on grading. How is CBCS doing?
We’re doing really well, actually. Everyone is putting in extra time. We’re at twelve weeks for the lowest tiers, but the regular tiers are two day, one day, rapid is five days, and so on.
That’s great to hear; that doesn’t seem to be the case all the time.
It’s incredible. I don’t know what happened in the last year. People have been stuck at home with extra money from the government. Everything’s blown up. Certification in ALL collectibles has really taken off. It makes buying and selling easier and it just keeps growing and growing. When certification first came around we had to convince people to use it, and now here we are.
It’s definitely appreciated by the collector community.
That’s what we’re hearing. Our grading is constant, the turnaround time is good, the holder is great. We just launched the census as well.
Can you tell me about anything you have going behind the scenes right now?
We have the magazine holder we’re working on right now and should have a prototype this month. If everything goes well, we can launch it this summer. We’re excited to have an expert on staff who knows the horror magazines, Creepy, Marvel magazines. It’s very cool.
Any restrictions on what you will or won’t grade?
I think we’ll start with comic book magazines and move on from there. At CBCS, we’re really hobby-friendly. We also do want to stay rooted in comics; we don’t want to branch out and dilute too much. CBCS wants to make sure that this is the best possible grading and service that you can get.
We don’t throw bodies at books, either. Our employees train for 6-9 months. It’s not “here’s a comic book, go grade it.” They have to learn our standards and what the industry expects. We wouldn’t hire someone right off the street who doesn’t know comics.
I’d love to go through your CBCS training sometime, that sounds awesome. What else do you want collectors to know about?
There are a lot of features that we offer that other companies don’t offer. We have a verified signature program. If you have a book that was signed that wasn’t witnessed by anyone, you can send it in. We work with BAS hand in hand. They’re experts. They have hundreds of signatures on file. For example, they have Jack Kirby signatures from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s. They even have his wife, Roz’s signature on file because she was signing for him at the end. Any verifiable signature can be submitted.
One thing that sets CBCS apart is your graders’ notes. How did you get there?
Graders’ notes are meant to be passed along from grader to grader. The pre-grader will count the pages and list some defects, then the second grader will check those defects and add or take away. They then get to the finalizer, who makes sure the notes are correct. People wanted to know how the books were graded. My competition charges quite a bit for those notes. I always felt it was silly not to share them with people. If I brought my car to a mechanic and he asked for $600 for fixing it but charged another $50 to tell me what he fixed, it just wouldn’t sit right with me. The free graders’ notes are important.
We also put a QR code on the back of the label so that if you’re at a convention and want to know information about the book or why it was graded what it was graded, you can just put your phone up to it, and BOOM. The graders’ notes pop up for you at no cost whatsoever.
The Hero Initiative is a great charity very near and dear to my heart. It gives back to everybody who helped give us all these great comic books. Now, they might be having financial issues for various reasons. We spend the money we raise helping older creators who came before us. It’s a great thing. The website is heroinitiative.org. If everyone in our hobby donated a dollar, that would be an astronomical amount of money.
That’s awesome! Do you guys do auctions?
We do! Anyone can donate. You can even list your own items on eBay and denote that they’re for the Hero Initiative and then just donate that money after the sale. You can buy cool swag to support the effort as well. We get a lot of art from artists and a lot of comic books from dealers who want to help out. It’s really been fantastic. Our community is so great. For the most part, the people that I meet are amazing. They’re real hobbyists. They love reading, they love collecting. My life in this hobby has been a joy. I’ve been very blessed.
The hobby has been lucky to have you; you’ve done a lot of amazing work. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about?
People don’t always know that we have a “frequent-flyer” points program. You get points for every submission you send in. That adds up and you get free grading later.
We also have Matt Edwards, my signature director, and he’s been setting up a lot of signature opportunities for people to send in their books. We send the books to the artists or the creator, get them back, certify them, and send them back out. It’s been working really well. You can go to CBCScomics.com and check the signature page to see who’s signing, who’s coming up, and who we’ve featured before.
I was overjoyed when you guys released your population! The same day, my email was blowing up with people wondering if GoCollect was going to feature the info. Will you guys be able to do some integrations?
Yes. I believe we’ll be doing integrations with certain people. I really like GoCollect and I think GoCollect can help CBCS. Two great companies will always work well together.
It’ll be a smash hit, Thank you, Steve, it was great talking to you. I look forward to hearing about what happens next!
Thank you very much for having me!
For everyone else out there, be sure to check out CBCS and learn all that you can. This company is doing a lot of amazing things!
If you want to watch the full interview with lots more talk, check it out here!