Chess and Checchetto

I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, does anyone?” – Gordie Lachance as told by Richard Dreyfuss

Greetings from the desert fellow CBSI friends. In life, we can all use items at a steadfast pace that provide brain food to boost our intelligence and more importantly take away key learnings that enhances us more than we were the previous day. Funny, I picked up Chess again for the 1st time in a while over the Holiday weekend sandwiched between the feasts, football, and fatigue. Who here plays? It is ironic how analogous chess and comics are with each other. I will start with a bit of info that is a very cool piece of History. The first two books ever printed in English were, of course, The Bible and a lesser known title named The Recuell and The Historyes of Troye which was a French romance. However, the third book ever printed in the English language was titled The Game of Chess in the year 1477 and was translated from the French by William Caxton. In addition, it has the distinction of being the first book ever to be reprinted – Ah, we all know a little about reprints right?! That’s some historical data you can drop to your friends while having discussions late at night around the campfire. Remember good ole Gordie’s question in the movie Stand by Me – “Alright, alright, Mickey’s a mouse, Donald’s a duck, Pluto’s a dog. What’s Goofy?” Or how about the conversation the guys have about Annette’s “A” and “E” letters on her Mickey Mouse shirt that are bending around the sides due to her **** getting bigger! If you have not seen this 1986 Rob Reiner classic, I encourage you do to so soon. It’s a great watch for many reasons. Hell, the Podcasts mimic this movie in terms of guys just sitting around talking about their interests having fun in conversation long before the dawn of the internet.

Alright, I digressed a bit, but that movie has a profound affect on many kids across different generations. Here are a few correlations of interest. Chess and Comics have their own vernaculars in which the outside think we are speaking something foreign. For all the slabs, raws, CGCs, HTFs, NMs, VFs, Ghosts, etc try this off your tongue – Skittles, Cheapo, Luft, Rook move, and my personal favorite Zugzwang. Furthermore, how about they both share these facts in no specific order: Learn to spot patterns, don’t get stuck in a formula, simplify, cut your losses, have a Plan B, and a Plan C, look beyond the obvious, and finally something we have all been guilty of from time time NOT implementing – have fun! These few skills just tell a small story of many more similarities. Many of these can be applied to life too right? This all comes full circle to what I started at… Making ourselves better everyday. Whether it’s Chess, Rosetta Stone, or underwater chainsaw throwing, step out of your norm and try something different! In closing, I know there are many competitive, strong minded individuals that frequent the family of CBSI channels online. If any of you are looking for something else to sink your skills into, give Chess a bit of your time. There are some great sites on the web you can play regardless of skill level. Also, if you want to get a clear, easy guide on the game check out Logical Chess Move By Move written by Irving Chernev. This is highly regarded as the blue chip book to own.

Ok, on to comics from a year ago. The book of the week once again comes from a variant that is a Top 25 of personal favorites. Covers need to evoke some sort of emotion to stay real, or relevant beyond the Wednesday Warriors and Hater Wave. Think about it, using Tinsel Town as a comparable medium. How many movies do you remember long after you seen them? Or what flicks truly punch you in the gut and you can feel yourself sweating during viewing? Those are rare and a true gem, as is iconic covers. The winner of this for the last week of November 2016 goes to Marco Checchetto’s brilliant Thunderbolts #7 1:25. Each time you look at this cover there is something new that shines. The background, lightning, implication of violence, and facial expressions all add up to an amazing piece of art.

Here is the breakdown:

  • #145 via Comichron month of November
  • Total print – 17.3K
  • Total approx. 1:25s – 692
  • Current slabbed on eBay – 2 (9.8 CBCS @ $233 / 9.6 CGC @ $199.99)
  • Current raw copies on eBay – 4 (Ranging from $74.99 – $79.99)

In closing this has less than 700 copies with a beautiful cover by a undervalued artist.

ROI Scale: 

Let’s expand our library of Mr. Checchetto for further knowledge:

Superior Carnage 2016 #1 1:25

  • Total print – 48K
  • Total approx. 1:25s – 1920
  • A few of both slabbed and raw on EBay ranging from $100+ to $300+
  • Great art, under 2K run – find this out there and it will make you money!

ROI Scale: 

Gamora 2017 #1 1:25

  • Total print – 65K
  • Total approx. 1:25s -2600
  • A few both slabbed and raw on EBay ranging from $40 to $200
  • Yes there were many store variants of this issue. However, this is a sold buy if found reasonable

ROI Scale: 

There are many other covers from this talented artist from Star Wars to Kingpin and beyond to look for out there… Good Hunting!

Honorable Mentions:

Here are a few notable books to look back on as well from a year ago that are worth a look:

Dark Horse

  • Art of Metal Gear V HC (Limited Edition) – Good luck finding this at cost


  • Batman Annual #1
  • Superman Annual #1
  • Suicide Squad #7 – Lee Bermejo Cover


  • Seven to Eternity #1 3rd print
  • Seven to Eternity #2 2nd print


  • Doctor Strange and the Sorcerer’s Supreme #1 2nd print
  • Ghost Rider #1 TV Variant Cover

Alright, citizens of Castle Rock, time to bring this week’s words to a close. There was a lot covered – I hope you continue to interact, enjoy, or pull out the Castro oil and raw eggs in protest like Lard Ass did in Stand by Me if needed. Pie eating contest anyone? It’s always interesting to reminisce on the year that was, and where we succeeded, or could have done a little better.

All of our lives have accelerated and blown thru the smaller bubble we lived in as kids. Ironically, for some of us those years and time with friends help shaped who we are today. Interesting, CBSI is doing some of the same kind of things now huh? Bringing people together for a common interest, including laughs, good discussions, and memories. Just food for thought.

RIP River Phoenix… The Viper Room was none too kind that night

Talk soon,


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