The winds of change are blowing through the hallways of the COMC headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Over the next few weeks we’ll say farewell to two vital and standout members of our team as they move forward in their journey and pursuit of their passions.
Brandon LeCompte joined COMC in the Summer of 2016 as a member of our Identification Team. Having used COMC for many years prior, he quickly became acclimated to not only our ID Team’s internal tools and workflow, but also the company culture.
“My favorite memories at COMC were the sports related contests and season long fantasy leagues we played. They were a healthy crossroads between competition & trash talk, building comradery with people across departments over the course of many weeks.”
Brandon made such an impact that he was asked to represent COMC and the work our booth at the 2017 & 2018 National Sports Collectors Conventions. Perhaps no one can attest to the impact he made better than our ID Team Manager Charles Hodder:
“Brandon is one of the most amiable people I have ever had the pleasure to work with, much less manage. His knowledge, passion for the hobby and his unparalleled work ethic made him an indispensable part of the ID team. He also stood out from the crowd when interacting with the collecting public at large at several National Conventions on behalf of COMC. I have never heard anything but praise from anyone who has had any interaction with him.
We are better for having had him for the time we did. He has great things ahead of him and he will be sorely missed.”
You may remember Brandon from our ‘Who is COMC?‘ video where he told the story of packing all of his things into his car and moving from Texas to Washington to join COMC. So where is Brandon heading now?
For over a decade, Heather Hollander has been an integral part of our evolution from a tiny garage startup to the four-location company we are today. Heather was featured in our ‘COMC Origins’ video released last year, where the first four members of our team took a stroll down memory lane back at the original birthplace of COMC.
Her Manager Jim Osborn spoke highly to what Heather has meant for to our team:
“Over the 11 years Heather has been part of the COMC family, she’s processed literally millions of cards. Starting as a 17 year-old high school student working part time, she joined the company full time after graduation. Since then, she’s become an indispensable member of the Processing Department and worked her way into a Lead role within the department.
She truly wrote the book on her area of processing and with her personal standards being very high, she’s raised the bar for all who follow. Her attention to detail as well as the accuracy and efficiency with which she handles cards is second to none.
She’s resigning her full-time roll at COMC in order to pursue a lifelong dream to work with animals (no snide remarks about the employees of COMC). We know she’ll embrace this new opportunity with the passion and commitment she brought to her position here. Bon chance, Heather!”
While she’s certainly put in the time, effort and tenure, she confesses that some of her fondest moments at COMC are participating in holiday activities and company picnics with the rest of the team. One of Heather’s final contributions to COMC was the idea of having a ‘snowball fight’ (dodge ball) during our annual White Elephant Gift Exchange get together. Going forward, the snowball fight will be a yearly tradition appropriately named the “Heather Hollander Winter Invitational Snowball Fight” .
The COMC Team certainly has an abundance of pet owners, perhaps no one is more passionate about animals than Heather. Several times over the years she’s cared for small birds that flew into our office windows until they were able to fly on their own again. That’s why we know she is going to be amazing in her new role as a Assistant Groomer and Dog Bather at a local PetSmart Salon.
“I’d like to thank Tim and Julia for hiring me, and also my dad (Steve Hollander) for recommending me to them in the first place. I want to thank my manager Jim Osborn for all of his trust and encouragement. Whenever I was having a bad day, Steve Walker always had my back and would go out of his way to make my day better. I am so grateful to COMC for all of the opportunity and support you’ve given me over the past 11 years. While I am eager to pursue this new opportunity, I think I will always consider myself as part of the COMC family.”
On behalf of all of us here at COMC, we want to offer our very best to Heather and Brandon as they move forward on their journeys. For their hard work, persistence and contributions over the years, they will forever be a part of COMC. Thank you so very much for making us better. .
Hello, COMC Nation!
The first destination in our itinerary for 2019 will be Los Angeles, California for the Upper Deck 2019 Certified Diamond Dealer Conference at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. If you own a hobby shop and are an Upper Deck Certified Diamond Dealer then be sure to join us January 8th-10th for what is sure to be another great Conference hosted by Upper Deck!
COMC will be in attendance with our own booth set up for the duration of the conference. We will be available to meet with hobby shop owners to discuss how COMC can help their shops become more successful. We’ll also be available to help shop owners set up and manage their accounts, offer demonstrations of our service, and answer any and all questions they may have about our service.
If you will be in attendance at the event and would like to drop off consignment submissions, we will be accepting submissions at our booth throughout the conference. We look forward to seeing you there!
Welcome back to final installment of our series, “The Faces Behind COMC”. Over the course of this series, we’ve highlighted the faces and personalities of our hardworking team members who’s day-to-day efforts help ensure that our customers have the satisfactory experience they know and love in using COMC. To close our 2018 we are featuring members of our Identification Team. Among other responsibilities, this team is primarily responsible for ensuring that all incoming items are properly cataloged into their correct set, that all attributes (such as RC, auto, etc) are applied, and that all items with incorrect data are correct.
What do you say about the man who’s been well known in the trading card industry for over 40 years? Rich was working with trading card databases and price guides long before COMC was even a concept, let alone a website! Rich is now a valuable resource and asset for the ID Team as COMC’s Catalog Maintenance Expert, having now been a member of the team for nearly two years.
Born in Hackensack, NJ, he currently resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He can be found regularly writing about the hobby in his own blog series on this very blog, as well as GoGTS, and previously for Sports Collectors Daily among others. He enjoys chatting with collectors and dealers all across the hobby on a regular basis.
When not on the clock, his hobbies include reading, listening to pop music (1955-1991 or so), and relaxing with his wife and a wonderful chihuahua named Tater Tot. He maintains a large personal collection, but prefers pre-1970’s cards. He also collects autographed books. He is passionate about a DFW-area card show put on to support his local Adat Chaverim Brotherhood (Men’s Club) that was intended to be a one-off show six years, but has since blossomed into a twice-a-year function. We’ll let him tell you more about that in 2019…
Favorite sport(s): Baseball
Favorite player(s): From my youth: Jim Wynn, Cesar Cedeno and Thurman Munson
Favorite Food: A Good Steak
Favorite Musical Artist(s): Harry Chapin, Jim Croce, Donna Summer
Favorite Movie / TV Show /etc: A League of Their Own, Mary Tyler Moore Show
Having previously worked at COMC in the past, Darren rejoined the COMC Team in 2014 as a member of our Processing Team, but has since transitioned to the Identification Team. Born relatively close to COMC in Everett, WA, he’s lived all around Washington State, and is a huge supporter of his Washington State University Alumni.
He collects both a mix of vintage and modern basketball and football cards, and has recently taken to up picking up vinyl records at local garage sales and flea markets. He stays busy away from COMC with biking, reading, and spending time with his wife checking out new cheap eats (there is no shortage in Washington!), watching movies, and spending time at the dog park with their 9-year-old Shiba Inu/Beagle Mix. They also have a SIXTEEN POUND long-haired Tabby named Georgi!
Prior to joining COMC, Darren was a freelance basketball and football writer who reported primarily on various levels (preps, college, & WNBA). His work was published in the likes of The Seattle Times, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Associated Press, and Lindy’s Sports Annuals.
Favorite sport(s): Basketball, Football
Favorite player(s): Klay Thompson, Russell Wilson, Steve Gleason
Favorite Food: Thai
Favorite Musical Artist(s): The Dave Matthews Band, Mumford & Sons, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Favorite Movie / TV Show /etc: The Shawshank Redemption, Good Will Hunting, Breaking Bad, SportsCenter With Scott Van Pelt
Favorite card in your collection: 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan RC
Charles (Ava3081 on COMC)
Our ID Team Manager Charles is one of the most well traveled members of the team, having previously lived in Northern California, South Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, and even Germany. He joined our team nearly seven years ago, and is one of the team’s go-to sources for all things minor league and oddball.
Charles is our resident Will Clark collector and lover of all things related to the San Francisco Giants. When we say all things, we mean all things, as he has a substantial collection of minor league affiliate cards and Tokyo Yomiuri Giants as well. He also collects NFL Europe and World League American Football cards, as well as ex-USSR transit tokens, vinyl, minor league team photos, cat knick knacks, kitsch and folk art, and original artwork from friends (both good and bad!).
Away from COMC he enjoys drawing, music, and composing inappropriate limericks. He has one cat and some fish, and wanted everyone to know that he has webbed toes. He is currently singing in a band called Tolt, and he also wrote the ex-USSR section in the latest Smith’s Catalog of World Transportation Tokens (except North America).
Favorite sport(s): Baseball, curling
Favorite player(s): Will Clark, Buster Posey, Willie Mays, Lefty O’Doul, Sadaharu Oh, Shigeo Nagashima, Tetsuharu Kawakami, Satchel Paige, Ken Griffey Jr.
Favorite Food: Jägersnitzel, sushi, Persian chicken kebabs
Favorite Musical Artist(s): Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Secret Chiefs 3, Iceburn, Into Another, Einstürzende Neubauten, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, 16 Horsepower, Oingo Boingo, Neurosis, Nuclear Assault, Ævangelist, Mitochondrion
Favorite Movie / TV Show /etc: Mystery Science Theater 3000, Rifftrax, Cinematic Titanic
Favorite card in your collection: 1988 ProCards Iowa Cubs – Cubbie Bear
Dylan (DylanJenkins on COMC)
Dylan is one of the newest members of the ID Team, having joined the COMC Team last fall. He also does freelance work in live sports production (on-air graphics and overlays) for various teams throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the Seattle Mariners. Born in Washington, he spent five years in Queens, NY while attending St. John’s University.
When not working, Dylan enjoys shooting hoops, going to the beach, sport related PC and video games, and of course opening and sorting cards. He collects Topps Heritage Baseball on an annual basis, as well as Seattle Mariners and several other niche collections (such as St. John’s alumnus, and players born in Washington State). During his senior year of high school, he competed at the state level in twp non-sports competitions – We The People, and The Knowledge Bowl.
Dylan lives in Seattle with his wife, where they enjoy watching Jeopardy and attending sports events. He admits that it’s tough to figure out how to find time to have a social life with both of them working and commuting, but that doesn’t appear to be stopping them from potentially fostering a bulldog in the future!
Favorite sport(s): Baseball, basketball, soccer
Favorite player(s): Mark McLemore, Joey Cora, D’Angelo Harrison, Matisse Thybulle, Daniel Vogelbach
Favorite Food: Chicken Parmesan, Cinnamon Rolls, basically any sweets & treats or cakes & bakes
Favorite Musical Artist(s): Bob Dylan, Iron & Wine, Death Cab for Cutie, Bon Iver
Sam is our resident gaming card identification specialist, having spent many years (decades?) prior to working at COMC collecting and playing a variety of collectible trading card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, Magic, and VS System. He also collects Seattle sports swag, Mariners bobble head and pop culture memorabilia.
After over six years at COMC, he’s generally revered by his COMC colleagues as fierce competition in fantasy sports leagues year round, and is always a catalyst for striking up discussions and arguments over happenings around the landscapes of the MLB and NFL.
Away from the halls of COMC, he can be found enjoying the local music and festival scene, as well as watching sports in dive bars. You’ll never catch him with a cup or Starbucks or an umbrella in his hand. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, disc golf, chess and video games. Can you throw both a baseball and Frisbee at the same time? Sam can!
Favorite sport(s): Baseball
Favorite player(s): Felix Hernandez, Randy Johnson, and Edgar Martinez.
Favorite Food: Steak and Potatoes, Pho
Favorite Musical Artist(s): Gorillaz, Odesza, The Blue Scholars, Jimi Hendrix, & Led Zeppelin
Favorite Movie / TV Show /etc:
Movies: The Hateful Eight, True Grit, City of God, The Departed, & Spirited Away
TV: Breaking Bad, Daredevil, King of the Hill, One Piece, & 30 Rock.
Books: Battle Royale, The Phantom Tollbooth, Ender’s Game/Shadow, The Hobbit, & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Favorite card in your collection:
Legend of Blue Eyes: 1st Edition – Swords of Revealing Light
Angela (Burgandypug on COMC)
Born in Pocatello, ID (get out your map!), Angela has lived all around Washington before setting close to COMC. She enjoys collecting Ken Griffey Jr., John L. Sullivan, John Locke, and Impractical Jokers memorabilia cards. One of the most unique pieces of her collection is a newly acquired brick from the house that Babe Ruth grew up in. She also collects Funko Pops and baseball hats.
She admits that life away from COMC is very hectic and exhausting, as she’s an Adherent for the Salvation Army, leads a Girls Scout Troop and is a registered Girl Scout herself, and also volunteers with her Son’s high school golf team and marching band. All of that, and she also takes care of one obese cat, one infuriating dog, and as she put it, “an incredibly stupid and inept frog.”
February 2019 will mark seven years that Angela has been a member of the Identification Team. She currently also serves as a specialist on the COMC Weekly Review and as a member of our Family Friendly Committee. If you’ve been following our Faces Behind COMC series, you’ll know that she is also married to COMC Sorting Team Member Chad!
Favorite sport(s): Baseball, Soccer, Football, Combat Juggling and Chess Boxing
Favorite player(s): Ken Griffey Jr – no other players exist
Favorite Food: Butter Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken, Panang Curry, Gino’s Philly Steak Sandwiches, cheesecake from the Carnegie Deli in New York, and hamburgers from the Vanderbilt Hotel in Puerto Rico
Favorite Musical Artist(s): Queen, The Killers, Johnny Cash, Lionel Richie, Pearl Jam, Young the Giant, Soundgarden, and Boyz II Men
Favorite Movie / TV Show /etc: TV: 9-1-1, Grey’s Anatomy, Big Bang Theory, Impractical Jokers, and Jeopardy; Movies: MST3000, Mac and Me, Rear Window, All Tom Hanks Movies (Even Man with One Red Shoe, which understandably sucks, but it’s Tom so it gets a pass…we’ve all made mistakes).
Favorite card in your collection: Magic Unhinged: City of Ass #134 because it reminds me of Pocatello, Idaho
Brian has been a member of the COMC ID Team for coming up on five years. Although he was born in upstate New York, he has spent his time living all around Western Washington.
When not working, you can likely find Brian enjoying the nightlife, as he’s COMC’s king of karaoke. When he doesn’t have a microphone in hand, he enjoys a more mellow lifestyle of poker, video games and movies. Although he doesn’t have any pets of his own, his roommates two dogs are basically family to him at this point.
Brian had to part with a large portion of his baseball card collection several years ago, which included a Tools of the Trade Jumbo Babe Ruth Jersey among other high-end pieces. He still loves to build sets these days, especially ones that include tough short prints. He also collects movies, bobble heads and action figures.
Favorite sport(s): Cross up between Baseball and Football but I also enjoy WWE
Favorite player(s): Too many of them, but Ken Griffey Jr. is way up there
Favorite Food: Chicken
Favorite Musical Artist(s): Chris Cornell, Linkin Park and just about anything 80s/90s.
Favorite Movie / TV Show /etc: Star Wars series, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Seinfeld (and just about all sitcoms)
Favorite card in your collection: It will always be my 1989 Upper deck Griffey Rookie
As we enter 2019, we wanted to take the month of December to highlight some of our favorite blog posts of 2018. In this blog post, our two resident Topps Living Set experts weigh in on their favorite 10 cards from the first 100 in the set. This blog was originally published on 11/05/2018 and is presented in it’s entirety in this blog as well
This year Topps released a very unique and welcomed product named ‘The Living Set‘. Each week, three new cards are released into the set, which should theoretically never end. Each particular week’s cards are only available for that week and then never reprinted again. Current players can only have one card in the set unless they change teams. All cards are stylized after 1953 Topps, can feature current or retired players, and are created around the artwork of legendary sports card artist Mayumi Seto. Card #100-102 (week 34) were released last week, with #100 reserved for Babe Ruth.
From the moment this set was unveiled, two of COMC’s employees were hooked on the concept, design, and the execution. Our Communications Manager James Good and Senior Business Analyst Grant Wescott each own a complete set up to this point in time and plan to continue to collecting the set as new cards are released each week. We asked them to choose their favorite 10 of the first 100 cards released in the set and give a reason why those cards resonated with them.
“I’d wished for years Topps would produce an on-demand baseball set with the same, consistent design year after year, featuring only one player to a card, no parallels, and a checklist to eternity. The day Topps Living Set was announced was probably the best of my collecting life. Not only did they check all the boxes – that consistent design? None other than the most beautiful Topps set of all time: 1953. All meticulously hand painted by the talented Mayumi Seto. “
“In an industry that tries to consistently innovate by making cards flashier and more complex, the basic card stock and classic design of Living Set, as well as the focus on artwork, is a welcomed breath of fresh air. While I would prefer that Topps would let me pay for Living Set as yearly subscription service, as opposed to buying each week individually, there is a certain charm to the current format that plays well to my nostalgia for simpler times in the hobby. Just like opening a pack as a kid, there is that rush of excitement that comes with heading to Topps website each Wednesday to see who this week’s subjects are. I thought that sense of satisfaction was long gone in our day and age. Bravo Topps.”
What are some of your favorite cards in Topps Living Set so far? Who would you like to see featured in the next 100 cards? Do you have a set of your own? Let us know what you think about The Living Set in the comments below!
We had a fantastic time last weekend at the 2018 Legends Weekend 1st annual Western Canada Hockey Expo at the Langley Event Centre! Thanks to all who stopped by our booth to chat, play our dice game, or drop off consignment submissions. And thank you very much to Bossa Productions for bringing this show back! Here’s hoping for many more great years to come!
2018 Legends Weekend 1st Annual Hockey Expo Dice Game Results:
(Roll a 3, 4, or 5) – 2017-18 Upper Deck #247 Brock Boeser RC – nucksfan167
(Roll a 6 or 7) – 2016-17 Upper Deck #201 Nico Hischier RC – MikeDempsey
(Roll a 8) – 2013-14 National Treasures #110 Joe Cannata Autographed RC #55/99 – trex604
(Roll a 9) – 2015-16 MVP #280 Nikolay Goldobin RC – ezccollectables
(Roll a 10) – 2017 Upper Deck National Convention Prominent Cuts VIP #VIP-2 Connor McDavid – sandbagger
(Roll an 11) – 2015-16 Trilogy Rookie Premieres #160 Nikolay Goldobin Level 2 Auto #417/499 – Aldamji007
(Roll a 12) – 2015-16 MVP #281 Jake Virtanen RC – sgillis
(Roll a 13) – 2016-17 MVP Rinkleaders Achievement #RL-0 Wayne Gretzky – CanucksFan58
(Roll a 14 or 15) – 2017-18 Upper Deck A Piece of History #PC-HS Henrik Sedin – micerule934
(Roll a 16, 17, or 18) – 2015-16 The Cup Gold Spectrum Foil Autograph #183 Jake Virtanen #32/36 – scottym912
To claim your prize, you must contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and username before January 18, 2019 @ 23:59:59 PST.
On behalf of the COMC team at the Toronto Expo (Boo-Barry, Geoff “Don’t call me Steve” Holland, and “Steven King” Hollander), we would like to thank everyone who stopped by to chat with us. Visiting the GTA twice a year, it’s beginning to feel like we’ve formed and established some really great relationships with our customers in the area. We look forward to continuing to build upon that foundation in 2019!
We would normally announce this as our final show of the year, but the COMC Canada team will be in attendance at the 2018 Legends Weekend from November 16-18 at the Langley Event Centre. There will be more giveaways and prizes to be had! We will also be accepting your consignment submissions all throughout the show. For more details visit their page at: http://www.bossashows.com/2018-legends-weekend
Without further adieu, here are the winners of the 2018 Fall Expo Spin-to-Win contest.
A-S – 2016-17 Upper Deck #468 Mitch Marner RC – kariyas_cuz
A-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck MVP #368 Auston Matthews – will411
2-S – 2015 Leaf Executive Collection Cut Signatures Walter Payton – jdawg1414
2-H – 2017-18 Upper Deck UD Game Jersey Patch #GJ- DB Dustin Byfuglien #/15- dabumko
3-S – 2016-17 Upper Deck MVP #367 Brayden Point – ZKORPYONEX
3-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck Compendium Blue #900 Auston Matthews – thishan
4-S – 2017 Upper Deck Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial Autographs #MLM-GV Garry Valk –thecampbell
4-H – 2015-16 Fleer Showcase Metal Universe Precious Metals Gems Blue #MU-12 Mikko Rantanen #/50 – knighttt
5-S – 2016-17 Upper Deck Ice Frozen Fabrics Red #ff-JQ #/20 Jonathan Quick – mbutt75
5-H – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #7 Auston Matthews – 28STABWOUNDS
6-S – 2017-18 MVP Bright Futures #BF-51 Auston Matthews Achievement #BF-51 Auston Matthews Achievement – PaulGohn316
6-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck Overtime Optimum Performance #OP-20 Wayne Gretzky – Crazy8ights
7-S – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #3 Nico Hischier – surferdudevw133
7-H – 2016-17 Upper Deck NHL Firsts #NF-23 Auston Matthews Achievement – Darrenwilliams
8-S – 2016-17 Upper Deck Instant Impressions #II-21 Auston Matthews Achievement – rft5480
8-H – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #1 Connor McDavid – NewYork
9-S – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #47 Connor McDavid – slopitchfanatic
9-H – 2013-14 Upper Deck Black Diamond Star Rubies #230 Morgan Rielly #/150 – mattg504
10-S – 2016-17 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Rainbow Color Wheel #155 William Nylander – bennett88
10-H – 2017-18 Upper Deck Game Dated Moments #32 Brock Boeser – Djssj
Don’t forget that in order to claim your prize, you must contact email@example.com with your name and username before January 11, 2019 @ 23:59:59 PST. Due to the Canada Post rotating strike, the prizes will not be available to process into winner’s accounts until the middle of next week at the earliest. Submissions received at the Expo are also delayed with the strike taking place in Mississauga at the time of our drop-off at Canada Post.
Coming next Monday, we’ll be announcing the details of our upcoming Black Friday – Cyber Monday Sales Event. Stay tuned!