After letting some friends know one of my sons and I were on our way to the Phoenix Comicon over the Memorial Day weekend (because Stan Lee was going to be there for a special signing event), we were told that in addition to his numerous cameo appearances in motion pictures, Stan Lee also is a really big deal on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory television series. Some funny excerpts on YouTube here, here, and here.
Stan Lee is clearly a powerful personal brand guaranteed to enhance the value of any comic book having his signature on it, assuming you can really establish it was "StanLee’d." But, if you’re like Penny and need more information on this cultural icon, see Stan Lee’s Wikipedia page, his POW! Entertainment website, this fan site, or any of the many social media tools he has embraced, i.e., his Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace pages.
What we learned pretty quickly is that a pannapictagraphist really needs to be on his or her toes to keep all the trademark acronyms straight in the world of comic book collecting. Tough for us newbies. CPG, ComicsPriceGuide.com, is an excellent online comic book collecting resource and community, where you can actually follow and measure the value of your collection over time. Not to be confused with CGC, the premier third-party comic book certification, grading, and encapsulation service. Not to mention, GCD, the Grand Comic Database, CBC, ComicBookCollecting.net, or CBG, Comics Buyer’s Guide. GCG’s main competitor appears to have broken the mold on three letter acronyms beginning with the letter C, instead opting for the somewhat more distinctive PGX, short for the otherwise highly descriptive name Professional Grading eXperts.
We heard many times during the convention discussions about whether to get your signed comic CGC’d (meaning certified, graded, and encapsulated by CGC), which of course, triggered for me, thoughts about the growing trend toward the verbing of brands and trademarks. After visiting the CGC website, it is clear to me that CGC is encouraging the use of its brand name as a verb with the tagline "Get CGC’d!" I’m not sure, however, whether the verbing was initiated by the brand owner Comics Guaranty, or whether it was embraced after the fact of public verbing. Either way, it seems like the verbing is single source driven and understood. For example, no one seems to talk about getting "CGC’d" with PGX. In addition, no one seems to be talking about getting PGX’d either.
What struck me the most about briefly meeting and observing Stan Lee is how much he seems to love life and his interactions with people. His personal brand appears well-deserved and to be one that is only growing in strength and power at his youthful age of 87.
He certainly made our day, when presenting these three comics for Stan Lee’s signature, he remarked: "These are some of my favorite books, I really like your taste":
We can’t take all the credit, we had some helpful advice and counsel on what to bring, from Marco and Eric at Pop Culture Paradise in Tempe, Arizona. Thanks guys.
Have you had any comics Stan Lee’d or CGC’d?