In the small world of collectible comic books, this is big news. Congratulations to Steve Borock on his new post at Heritage.

Here is the press release.

Heritage Auction Galleries has added Steve Borock to its staff of comic experts, the Dallas-based firm announced today, Jan. 29 ,2009.

“Steve is one of the best-known and most respected figures in the vintage comic hobby, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have him on board,” said Ed Jaster, Vice-President of Heritage. “Steve’s expertise is only going to further cement our status as the leading auctioneer of vintage comics and original comic art. Steve will help us with major collections and private clients, and will help us take our ComicMarket for third-party sellers at HA.com to the next level.”

Borock was a key figure in introducing third-party certification to the comic book hobby. He was hired by Comics Guaranty Corporation as its Primary Grader when the firm started up in 1999 due to his knowledge of vintage comic books and, especially, the trust he enjoyed among both sellers and buyers. He was promoted to President of CGC soon thereafter, a post he held until late 2008.

During his tenure at CGC, he had the final word on every grade that CGC assigned, and his reputation for fairness, honesty and impartiality was a key component in CGC’s gaining acceptance among the community of collectors and dealers. It was Borock, along with colleague Mark Haspel, who established the grading standards used by CGC and — these days — most of the collecting community as well. In the 36th edition of his annual Comic Book Price Guide, Bob Overstreet stated: “…. probably the most important event (in our hobby) to date was the arrival of comic book certification with CGC.”

Prior to his time at CGC, Borock was a high-end collector who has owned, bought, or sold many of the most sought-after high grade and “pedigree” comic books in the hobby. He is known for taking new collectors “under his wing” and teaching them the subtleties of collecting to ensure a safer and friendlier hobby. Borock had also graded for Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses in the days before the founding of CGC, when auction firms would use panels of experts to determine accurate grades.

During his time at CGC, to ensure neutrality, he decided to withdraw from buying and selling vintage comics and began to collect original comic art, an area in which he’s also extremely knowledgeable. As a lifelong comic fan, however, he never stopped buying the latest new comic books at his local comic shop, and he avidly reads and enjoys them to this day.

Borock takes particular pride in being on the board of the comic hobby’s greatest charity, The Hero Initiative, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need.

“I believe that if we all enjoy comic books, we should help those in need that brought us such joy to our lives,” he says.

Hero creates a financial safety net for yesterdays’ comic creators who may need emergency medical aid, financial support for essentials of life, and an avenue back into paying work.

“I am really looking forward to my next journey in the comics field at Heritage,” Borock says. “They’ve been innovators in our hobby for the last nine years, bringing live and Internet auctions to an entire new level while setting record prices. Not only that, but the transparency that Heritage offers to the collecting community, especially with their on-line archives, makes me feel secure in the fact that I am in the correct place to help our hobby grow in the right direction. Comic books and the friends I have made in this hobby are very important to me, and I have to be somewhere I know will be beneficial to all of us.”

“Steve is a real ‘comic book ambassador’ who knows just about everyone in the hobby, and incidentally he’s also one of the nicest guys in the hobby,” said Heritage Co-Chairman of the Board Jim Halperin. “He was a major factor in CGC’s success, and we expect him to have an equally strong impact at Heritage.”

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