The Pulse of COMC – Superheroes

Welcome to ‘The Pulse of COMC’ , a monthly blog series where we give members of the COMC Team a platform to be heard on topics ranging from trading cards and sports  to pop culture and everything in between! In our last blog, we talked sports and asked our team their thoughts on our beloved local Seattle Mariners. This time around we’re turning our focus to pop culture. With Avengers: Endgame setting all kinds of records last month, we figured now is the perfect time to ask our team members about their favorite Superheroes and movies!

Who is your favorite superhero of all time? Why?

“I’m going with The Joker for my favorite super hero. Come on, man! No one tops the Joker! Exclamation point.”Joseph H.

“The Dark Knight himself, Batman. Bruce’s my favorite because with the exception for his intellect and martial arts training, he’s an average Joe Everyman. Anyone could’ve taken up the cape and cowl and cleaned up their city and I love that optimism.”Stephan L.

The Punisher. A man dedicated to his convictions, refuses to give up and always protects the people. While his methods are unconventional, he always looks out for innocents and ends the problem. While he doesn’t boast any “super” powers, he still dedicates his life to fighting against tyrants, evil-doers and the lowly street level criminals.” – Paul D.

Spider-Man” – Verne. S.

Viscous Verne SiebertJames G. (You should watch the three links to see why!)

“My favorite superhero of all time is Captain Planet. Why? Because he’s going to bring pollution down to zero.” – Chad T.

“I only have two heroes in life, and one of them is Scott Summers, AKA: Cyclops, leader of the X-Men, Ruler of Utopia, and Savior of Mutantkind. Ok, that last one may have been pushing it, but he deserves it after the 20 years of hatchet jobs and character assassination that FOX has pulled.  In the comics Scott has become an incredibly militant and badass leader that has sacrificed everything just to keep the mutant population alive and safe. 

Considering everything he has been through, its amazing hes turned out so well. The death of his parents, legit brain damage, years of abuse in an orphanage, being forced to murder his sketchy father figure, the deaths of two wives *though to be fair i guess it was kind of the same wife twice…*, and being hated by the general population during most of his life. He is a true hero and someone every mutant should look up to and every human should fear..uhm…respect. CYCLOPS WAS RIGHT!”  – Jason M.

“Reading Marvel comics as a kid – and I’ve always preferred Marvel over DC — my favorites were always Fantastic Four and Spider-Man. Watching Marvel movies as an adult, I really enjoy the classic good-guy stoicism of Captain America, even if he never gets the funniest lines. Having said that, however, my most common recurring thought after any Avengers movie is always “I wish there had been more Black Widow.”  So she’s probably my current favorite.”Steve W.

Do you have a favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe or Superhero movie? Why is it better than the rest?

The Hulk directed by Ang Lee is my favorite movie. Reasons? Being the first foray into a CGI Hulk as his own presence, Ang brought a unique and passionate vision to the project. I have been watching and waiting since I was a wee lad reading comics and watching their live action counterparts on TV since the seventies and that movie finally gave me what, to that point, I had only been able to picture (poorly) in my mind. Extremely well-acted by the entire cast and with CGI innovations in “real motion” motion capture it is still top dog for me!”Joseph H.

“As a huge history buff, and a military brat – I’m a huge fan of Captain America and thus my favorite so far has been Captain America Civil War. It’s a great continuation of Winter Soldier, and really propelled what’s come since while not being as cookie-cutter as some others in the MCU.” – Stephan L.

“Avengers: Infinity War is my favorite, as I am a big fan of Thanos in the comics and the original Infinity Gauntlet story arc. It’s comforting to think the heroes will always win and exciting when they finally meet someone who can put an end to that. Without danger there is no bravery. I am hoping that Endgame will give me a new favorite!”Paul D.

Thor: Ragnarok”Verne S.
 
“Unpopular but spicy take:  I’m not a fan of any of the MCU films, with the Deadpool movies as the only exception. I have not watched all 20 some odd films in the saga, but after watching about a half dozen, I just couldn’t keep going on watching some of my beloved comic book and video game characters of the 90’s placed into seemingly generic albeit high budget action films. 
 
That being said, my favorite superhero movie(s) of all time is The Dark Knight trilogy. Batman was never my favorite superhero growing up, but these three films, especially the first Dark Knight, really opened my imagination. Christopher Nolan did an incredible job creating an immersive story told with a much different tone than Batman films in the past. – James G.  
 
“The best superhero movie ever is Superman 2. Why? It brings a very human element to Kal-El, his growing feelings for Lois Lane and his willingness to remove what makes him special for her. Meanwhile, Earth faces its greatest threat to date in the form of General Zod, Ursa, and Non, hardened criminals who gain the same powers Superman possesses. The fight in Metropolis, to this day, still holds up due to the emphasis on realistic character concerns and reactions to situations. Superman realizes he can’t continue endangering the city in his quest to defeat the villains and makes sure his adopted home is protected by moving the battle to his Fortress of Solitude, where he uses his mind to win the day. Superman 2 shows that even the strongest force in the universe ultimately needs knowledge to reign supreme.” – Chad T.
 
“The best MCU films in order:

1. Winter Soldier
2+3. Guardians 1 + 2 *cant pick between them*
4. Doctor Strange
5. Black Panther or Ragnarok”Jason M.

“Although there are several MCU movies that I could rave about, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is still my favorite.  The chemistry between Cap, Black Widow, and The Falcon is pitch perfect, and the 70’s-era political thriller vibe is an inspired setting for this story. After the over-the-top intergalactic Battle of New York in the first Avengers movie, it was almost a relief to see Marvel scale things back and give us just a great human-based action movie.  (That elevator fight scene still wows me every time I see it.)”Steve W.

The Pulse of COMC – How will the Seattle Mariners Do in 2019?

Welcome to ‘The Pulse of COMC’ , a new monthly blog series where we give our team members a chance to be heard on topics ranging from sports to pop culture and everything in between! For our inaugural flight, we’re turning our attention to our local beloved Seattle Mariners baseball team.

Following another failed attempt at earning a playoff spot in 2018, the Seattle Mariners made some drastic off season roster changes, parting ways with established superstars and key players while in return replenishing their farm system with younger talent expected to make an impact in 2020 and beyond.  The Mariners have stated that their plan is to be competitive in the future, leaving a lot of question marks for what could be a ‘results may vary’ 2019.
 
With that in mind, we asked our team to answer the following questions:
 
How many games will the Mariners win in 2019?
 
“I think the Mariners have enough upside to be a .500 team. A lot key veterans were traded away, but I don’t think this will be the 100-loss disaster a lot of people are foreseeing. I’ll put my win/loss prediction at 79-83. It’s tricky because Edwin Encarnacion and Jay Bruce add pop to the lineup, but could be traded if they perform well enough and will make it tougher to reach the .500 plateau with their absence.”  – Dieter V.
 
 
“The Seattle Mariners certainly had an overhaul of sorts, with a projected six new starters in the lineup, and do not quite have the look of a contender. However, how much did they really lose? Looking at the numbers shows you that the losses weren’t extreme. Going out was a combined 90 HR, 322 RBI, 33 SB, and a combined slash line of .263/.331/.421. The one caveat to these numbers is the fact that Robinson Cano only appeared in 80 games due to suspension and his overall production will be the toughest to replace. All in all these numbers are not hard to replace and they brought in a lot of power over the off-season with Edwin Encarnacion, Domingo Santana, and Jay Bruce while pairing that with athleticism in guys like Mallex Smith, J.P. Crawford, and Shed Long. The pitching staff remains largely the same with the exception of Yusei Kikuchi taking over for the departed James Paxton.
 
Overall I would be hard pressed to say that this team is worse, on paper, in 2019 compared to 2018 however they still have the look and feel of a rebuilding team. If they finish above .500 I would call it an over-achievement so I will make my proclamation that they finished the season with a 80-82 record.” – Kyle S.
 
“Even though the team lost a lot of fan-favorites and key producers, I look at our projected roster and I see a group of guys with plenty of high upside, but more importantly, plenty of heart and desire to play the game at a high level. I think we took a step backwards, but it won’t be as miserable as most expect. 77 wins sounds about right.” James G.
 
“Not as many as my beloved Yankees and more than my hometown Texas Rangers. Probably around 76-77″Rich K.
 
“70”Sam P.
 
“65”Darren F.
 
“Some; I mean statistically, they have to, right?”Joseph H.
 
How do you feel about the off season changes the team made?
 
“Domingo Santana was a sneaky pickup who has a few years of team control and already has a 30 HR season under his belt at the MLB level. If Kyle Seager and/or Dee Gordon return to form, the Mariners offense could be above average. Pitching is where there are some issues. King Felix has lost his crown, Mike Leake and Wade LeBlanc are #3 or #4 starters at best. Marco Gonzales is not a true ace, and Yusei Kikuchi is a #2 or #3. With no dominant starter and a patchwork bullpen, we could see a lot of runs allowed.
 
I love the acquisition of Jarred Kelenic in the trade with the Mets. He could be the future face of the franchise. If he builds on how he performed as an 18 year old, he’ll be a top 25 prospect in all of MLB heading into 2020. Kyle Lewis is finally healthy and having a strong showing this Spring. The future of the M’s outfield looks very promising.”Dieter V.
 
“How do I feel? This team robbed me of my ability to feel, long ago. Rebuilding isn’t necessarily a bad thing… but the timing and implementation of these moves… doesn’t make a ton of sense.
 
First off: Hunter Strickland is not a closer. Hunter Strickland is a moron.Secondly, How did we not trade Nelson Cruz at the deadline last year? And instead let him walk… for nothing? How much more was Cano worth after his 2017 season? Why trade Mallex Smith the first time? We ended up paying more for literally the same player we already had.I think Edwin Diaz and Mike Zunino were a larger part of the M’s 2018 “success” than most people realize. I actually like Jay Bruce and Edwin Encarnacion – it’s too bad they aren’t going to be in our lineup past June.
 
Lastly, I think it was disrespectful to Felix Hernandez and his career in Seattle, not to go for the playoffs, in the final year of his contract.  Whatever you think of King Felix… this franchise owed it to him, to try and contend… TWO front office extensions were tenured on the assumption that we were fielding a competitive team. What impact player did Dipoto acquire mid-season? Oh yeah, Cameron Maybin. To me, these off-season moves were nearly all front-office justification — for their inability to field a contender… or even, a wildcard team. It’s a lot easier to fail if you don’t give fans the expectation that you’ll succeed.” – Sam P
 
“Having been a die-hard M’s fan in the 90’s and 2000’s, it pains me to say that for almost a decade now I haven’t cared nearly as much. I used to go to a few games a season and yet I’ve only been to a couple the past few seasons. So even though five big names are gone from last season’s epic fade job, I never grew attached to them and don’t plan on doing so with this new crop of supposed high-level talent.”Darren F.
 
“The changes made were a necessary evil. The core they had proved unfit to get the team to the playoffs and being a middle-of-the-road franchise has been growing tiresome for the team and the fan-base. They needed to blow up the team and start as fresh as they could and they did that. In my eyes the off season was successful in the now but the player development department will need to work overtime to ensure it is successful in the future. Bringing in top prospects in Jarred Kelenic, Justus Sheffield, Justin Dunn, Erik Swanson, and Shed Long really stocked up a very depleted farm system that at the time only had Evan White and Kyle Lewis to hang their hats on. The front office says they built this team to compete by 2020 and I think these off season changes help the team outlook more for the 2021 season and beyond. They still lack starting pitching and bullpen arms to build on which is why I think the rebuild takes a year longer than they projected. However I am still happy with the way the off season went and feel refreshed that this team actually has a farm system to be excited about.”Kyle S.
 

“I question if we could have gotten more value out of James Paxton and especially Edwin Diaz, such as getting both Peter Alonso and Jarred Kelenic from the Mets. I think a lot of fans will be skeptical of that deal if Justus struggles out of the gate, and he probably will given the amount of run support he’ll receive during his first season at the MLB level. The Shed Long deal was the best move they made, and although I love me some Ben Gamel, I think the swap for Domingo Santana could go down as a Jay Buhner-esque level deal. Signing Yusei Kikuchi was smart, as is the flexible deal he signed, but feels like something of a consolation prize for missing out on Shohei Ohtani a year ago.
 
It physically pains me to suggest this, but if the team was truly committed to a building a winner in 2020 and beyond, they need to make a very tough decision on Mitch Haniger, because his value will never be higher. They need to buy out his arbitration years and extend him, building the offense around him as their superstar, or they need to ship him out for a multiple top prospect package that would give us the top farm system in the majors. Haniger is my favorite Mariner since Griffey, but it would be hard to feel terribly upset about a deal with a team like the Braves if it brought over Austin Riley, Cristian Pache, and Ian Anderson.” – James G.
 
“Thank you for James Paxton. We’ll take him even for 25 starts in NY”Rich K.
 
What do you think they could have done differently, or should do in order to bring a championship to the city of Seattle?

“Could the M’s have made some moves to compete for the division this year? Probably. But with an aging roster and falling just short of the playoffs the past couple years, hitting the reset button was appropriate to try and build sustained success with talented youth rather than go all-in with an older foundation that was nearing its end anyway.”  – Dieter V.
 
“Going into last season – they should have snagged a capable center fielder and at least 2 more, starting pitchers via free agency or trade. Guys like Scott Kazmir, Nathan Eovaldi, and Gerrit Cole – come to mind. Otherwise… they called have invented time travel, called Pete Caroll, and told him to run the ball… because that’s still a more likely way to bring a championship to Seattle… than this front office – winning a world series.
 
In all seriousness;  Going forward – we’re going to need  franchise caliber players at 1st base and center field, more than anything. IMO those are the positions to build championships around, and we aren’t going to compete or even crack the playoffs with trader Jerry’s flip-floppy decision making. Justus Sheffield becoming a James Paxton level ace is pretty much a necessity in this fantasy scenario”.Sam P.
 
“I think having a real plan and sticking to said plan would make a difference. Whether that is going all in or tanking to get better draft picks; in today’s world you either have to be aggressive and overpay/go for it or just start all over again. They are in that horrible middle realm.
 
And in all seriousness, they are heavily screwed by their location and they have to travel more than any other teams.  Not that this would make a ton of difference but a team either in Vancouver or in Portland is almost mandatory so their travel can be somewhat reduced. This puts the Mariners at a very large disadvantage every season.”Rich K.
 
“They need to bring in a world-class manager who’s actually won in the post-season. I miss Lou Piniella, and his balance between fiery accountability and down-home persona. People forget that in this franchise’s 40-plus years of existence, only one manager has led them to the playoffs (1995, 97, 2000-01). I’m not sure that Scott Servais is the man to lead them to the promised land in 2021 when this ‘Step Back’ era comes to fruition. Ironically, that would mark the 20TH anniversary of their last post-season appearance.” – Darren F.
 
“Commit. Commit. Commit. What are we doing here? Are we tearing it all down, as the off season moves suggested, or are we ‘re-imagining’ the roster as Jerry Dipoto recently suggested to dodge the tough questions? Commit to the tear down, grind through a couple of bad seasons of big league ball, and when the timing is right, move all-in and sign or trade for the guys needed to push the team into October.
 
Stop giving up on guys so early. Give Daniel Vogelbach 400-500 AB’s in 2019 to prove if he is a AAAA player, or a major league hitter capable of manning the DH role for years to come. Say farewell to Felix and Kyle Seager gracefully, or eat their contracts if they become too much of a detriment to the team. Continuing developing Marco Gonzales and Yusei Kikuchi into your top of the rotation pitchers, because Mike Leake, Wade Leblanc, and Felix Hernadez do not have a future in Seattle. And above all else, since we’re making wholesale changes, Aaron Goldsmith needs to take over for Dave Sims in the booth.”James G.
 
“They are going to have to follow the mold of the Houston Astros to find success and bring a championship to Seattle. The Astros developed an amazing offense and a couple starting pitchers and then went out and acquired two big time starters in Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. The Mariners need to do the exact same thing by getting Jarred Kelenic, Kyle Lewis, Evan White, Shed Long, and J.P. Crawford developed into above-average big league hitters and then add to a starting staff that should already include Yusei Kikuchi, Justis Sheffield, and possibly Justin Dunn or Logan Gilbert. The prospects they have are not only projected out to be excellent hitters but they possess above-average athleticism which will play a huge role playing at T-Mobile Park.
 
It is going to be a fine line between bust or success with these prospects but if they hit on a few of them they can certainly build on that and finish the team out through free agency. I could see a championship coming to Seattle by the year 2023 as I think it will take at least two years of seasoning for some of our top end prospects before they reach the majors.” – Kyle S.

We Survived the Great 2019 Snowpocalypse!

If you weren’t aware, much of the Pacific Northwest was largely caught off guard with record amounts of snowfall over the last two weeks. Several storm systems rolled through our area, dumping snow, causing power outages, and making roads impassable with snow as deep as two feet near our Redmond and Auburn locations. Three days after the snow stopped falling in our area, there were still many neighborhoods that could only be reached by high clearance truck and SUV’s with four-by-four capabilities.

The bad weather wreaked havoc for our team members, many whom were unable to safely make their way to work for several days during the last two weeks. As a result, we’ve fallen a little bit behind in a few of our core areas. Our Shipping, Processing, and Customer Service Teams are doing their best to get caught up, with minimal impact felt by our customers as a result of the downtime. Thank you to all our customers for your continued patience as we get back up and running at full speed!

We would also like to thank the members of our team who were able to brave the elements and poor road conditions to make their way to our offices. Those members of our team who did make it in really went the extra distance by putting in long hours, and/or assisting in weather-related tasks such as shoveling snow off sidewalks, plowing parking lots, and even helping our local couriers get unstuck during the height of the storms. It took a team effort to literally ‘dig us out’ of all of the snow, and our team came together like never before during the worst storm system in COMC’s existence!

Below are a few pictures that were captured by members of our team who were able to make their way into the office earlier last week:

Hat Trick! Three Stuck vehicles all needing to be dug out of our parking lot.

Our team helping shovel compacted snow and ice to help a USPS truck out of our parking lot.

Even SUV’s weren’t immune to the harsh conditions of our parking lot during the height of the storm system.

Tires spinning and going nowhere!

Snowpacolypse 2k19 in a nutshell.

This photo shows the amount of accumulation our area received over the weekend.

This photo was taken a few miles from our Redmond Headquarters.

The History of the Adat Chaverim Plano Card Show & 2019 Schedule

By Rich Klein
Sometimes we’re lucky in life to be able to work in our chosen field. The other day I was talking to my wife and mentioned that I had spent 28 out of the last 35 years working in a sports or sports card related field. That truly makes me feel blessed.

A few years ago we were in an Adat Chaverim Brotherhood (Men’s Club) meeting and having our typical discussion about how to raise money. I mentioned, as I had a few times in the past, that I would run a card show and raise $500 for the brotherhood. My instincts said that if I could not sell 20 tables at $25 then I needed to get into a new field.

Within an hour, I had permission to use our social hall and we were off and running. At the time I was writing for Sports Collectors Daily, and through the genesis of how a show comes together, we were off and running for show promotion. We were blessed that we received help from many people, and the first show was such a success that we immediately decided to do two shows a year.

The first show is always the first Sunday of the Plano (Texas) Independent School District’s spring break, and the second show is now Sunday/Monday of Labor Day weekend. These dates were selected so we could use the social hall and not interfere with Adat business.
Image may contain: 2 people, people sitting and table

Ever since the first show, we’ve always met the goal of $500 per show, and usually exceed that figure. One of the great joys was how we turned what could have been lemons into lemonade. For the first few shows, we were running 10-12 door prizes a show, which was fairly easy for me to manage. We were informed that Texas state law prohibits non-profits from running more than two lotteries per year. Yes, each door prizes counted as a lottery. So, the Brotherhood President remembered a former card dealer named Myron who would wheel in a TV to all the big shows and then sell grab bags with that as his big prize. Luckily,. giving away bags with a prize slip inside is legal since collectors are already receiving an item of value for their money. Of course that meant that were were always in need of cards. This led to having to move in nearly 200k cards to my office the Monday after Thanksgiving 2017.

But as I mentioned, we have several wonderful advantages at this show, including  the great cooperation of the Brotherhood members. This is an “in-action” photo of Brotherhood members stuffing bags for a recent show. That was one of three tables we used that day for stuffing purposes:
Image may contain: 8 people, including Ben Silver, Rich Klein and Jerry Retsky, people smiling, people sitting and table

I always stress that although I sometimes tend to use the “I” word for this show, there is no way I could run this show without Brotherhood members and some hobby friends.  We’ve been very lucky as we approach our sixth year of this year to have raised over $15,000 for our charitable causes. We also have no administrative costs, so whatever we take in goes right back to the community. In addition, we’ve probably given out more than a half-million cards as well as countless prizes. One of our most popular prizes are from the “Island of Misfit Toys”. When I thought of that name it must have come from my subconscious mind with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.  We always seed the “Island” with some surprises, so collectors who enjoy digging can find items they really enjoy.

But no matter how much work we do, we can always use more cards and prizes! We can provide all needed documentation, so that you can write off not only the donation, but also the postage to ship it our way.  While hard work, it’s been a blessing to run this show, and the best part is running this show such is a perfect adjunct to my COMC work. You can always reach me at RichKlein@comc.com if you are interested in donating cards or prizes to our cause which helps the Dallas-Fort Worth Community,.

Our 2019 shows at Adat Chaverim, which is located at 6300 Independence Parkway in Plano, TX (Northeast Corner of Spring Creek and Independence In the shopping center) are scheduled for:

Sunday; March 10 from 10 AM to 4 PM
Sunday; September 1 from 10AM to 4PM
Monday September 2 from 11AM to 3 PM

COMC Says Farewell to Two Standout Members of Our Team

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?

“My relentless entrepreneurial spirit has led me to move in with my significant other in Florida and pursue a career in the fashion industry. I have enjoyed my two and a half years in Seattle exploring, hiking, and appreciating the Pacific Northwest. I even got to meet Gary Payton last month!”

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 placeI 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. .

COMC @ The Upper Deck 2019 Certified Diamond Dealer Conference

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!

The Faces Behind COMC #6 – Getting to Know our Identification Team

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. 


Rich Klein

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


Darren

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

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

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