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Waiting For Tommy 8
Last week I saw Dynamic Forces boss Nick Barrucci in action, pimping himself and Dynamic Forces product on the UK shopping channel QVC. It was scary, embarrassing and horribly addictive.

I managed not to buy anything, through sheer luck of everything being vastly overpriced - the recent reprint of Amazing Fantasy 15, signed by Stan Lee, going for over one hundred pounds (or, over one hundred and fifty dollars/euros?). Listen, anyone going to California is going to bump into Stan Lee, he's part of the scenery there. Hollywood, the beaches, Stan Lee… I've worked out that over 50% of the planet have met Stan Lee in person, and the other half have a sibling who has. And Stan Lee is not a hard man to get to sign a comic - there are less unsigned copies of Ravage 2099 that signed ones - reflected in the eBay prices. Hang on, diverted again, where was I? Ah yes, Nick on QVC and those signed reprint Amazing Fantasies.

Nevertheless fifteen minutes into watching the show, interspersed with bits of Never Mind The Buzzcocks, a British music panel show currently co-hosted by two comic book geeks, Phil Jupitus who is never out of Comic Showcase, and Bill Bailey. Bill Bailey is the only person in the world known to still be wearing a T-shirt from the British small press comic, Bastard Bunny, for the simple reason that the shirt consists of the letters BB in close proximity together, also standing for Bill Bailey. Ed Burns, Irish stand up comedian, is also often seen wandering around Soho with a Sandman T-shirt. Comedian Lenny Henry was behind Neil Gaiman's move into TV with Neverwhere. Comic presenter Jonathan Ross owns two Amazing Fantasy 15s, a crappy one for show in case it gets nicked, and a mint copy in his vault which only Jonathan is allowed to see. Jonathan Ross used to own a comic shop in Soho with Paul Gambacinni, a radio DJ, who once made a pass at a colleague of mine after inviting him to his place to see his newly acquired mint collection of EC Comics.

Hang on, I've diverted again haven't I? Let me think, EC Comic, Gambacinni, Ross, Henry, Byrne, T-shirt, Bailey, Jupitus, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, QVC, ah yes, that's right. Fifteen minutes into watching the show, all their hundred quid and more Stan Lee signed Amazing Fantasy 15 reprints had gone. To someone.

Who?

Seriously who? Because, you know, I bet I could call around, get some folks to sign a comic or two, and sell them to you for only fifty quid. Hell, let's call it twenty. Ten. Five. I mean it, let's do a deal here. Okay, I know this is actually on the Dynamic Forces website, and this is technically competing with their business, but if you don't say anything they'll never know. Look, I can forge Stan Lee's signature like that, it's not hard. He's an old man, he can't hold a pen properly anymore anyway, no one will ever know. Certificate of Authenticity? I can knock one up in Microsoft Word, no problem. Look, how about you sell them on and we'll split the profits?

It can't be that hard. Hell Nick Barrucci does it. Okay, not forge the signatures, but you know, get things organised, sell signed comics, distribute them, shill them all over the place. Anyway I've worked out that after costs, distribution, retailer cut, marketing, a deal with a TV station, and a cut for both of us to make it worth our while, I reckon we could sell forged Stan Lee signature comics for about one hundred and twenty quid each.

Damn and blast it, Dynamic Forces have undercut me again.

Looks like I'll have to go back to sending out those Nigerian money scam e-mails. And next week a photo of Jack Kirby gyrating with a bellydancer.

Until then, talk about this column here

 

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