An inside look at the Key Collector Comics mobile app, one of the most innovative tools to be introduced for comic fans, collectors, retailers, and industry professionals, to-date! Founder, Nick Coglianese, gives us a peek inside, plus details regarding the recent partnership with Valiant Comics, and the confirmation of partnership with Coffin Comics and the biggest update yet!
‘The Origin of a Better Comic Book Collecting Experience Starts Here!’
Key Collector Comics hosts over 7,000 key issue comic books extracted from the Golden Age of the 1930’s to today. The Key Collector Comics Database© is a concise and comprehensive resource that isolates issues of significance from the clutter of uneventful comics.
Additionally, the Key Collector Comics mobile app is equipped with a simplified price guide to help you make informed purchases without being an expert in grading the condition of a comic.
Having the ability to catalog the issues you own and create a wish list of the issues you want makes the Key Collector Comics app the only thing you need to build a legendary collection.
‘The Man Behind Key Collector Comics, LLC, Founder – Nick Coglianese’
This is how the Key Collector Comics app is described on the Key Collector Comics website, and due to my personal experience with the application, easily locating key issues, such as the first appearances of Moon Knight and Gwenom, for example, I found the Key Collector app extremely useful.
I decided to seek out the man behind the application and found myself speaking with its founder, Nick Coglianese, and after using Key Collector, being totally blown away by its functionality, and ease of use, I knew I had stumbled upon something that added value to my life, my collection, and it is totally free! I thought it selfish to keep it to myself, thus finding it necessary to share our conversations with comic fans and industry professionals!
I asked Nick to tell me about himself and what led to the mobile app, and what follows is the story behind Key Collector Comics.
Nick: “I’ve been collecting comics since 1989. Like all kids, I’d imagine superheroes appealed to me, but it was when Tim Burton’s Batman came out in 1989, when I got really hooked. It’s probably the same thing happening today to hundreds of thousands of kids which is why Key Collector Comics is so important, to give them a guide through 80+ years of comic book history. I remember having the novel adaptation of the movie and reading through it two or three times. Actually, it was before the movie even came out. The trailer and commercials resonated so deeply with me, I didn’t even need to see the film, although I did, and loved it as much as I thought I would. From there, I remember getting two graphic novels, Batman Greatest Stories Ever Told and Joker Greatest Stories Ever Told, and it never abated. I still have the same hobby as a 39 year old man that I did as an 11 year old boy.”
Nick continues, “Unfortunately, I haven’t picked up a comic for the past two years, ever since I began building the database. Funny thing is, I thought the database would take about 3 months and I’d be finished…here I am two years later and I’m still adding to it. I don’t mean I worked on it here and there, over a two year period, I mean, not only have I not picked up a comic, but I haven’t turned on a television, or watched a movie! People think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. I’d like to start hunting down books again but in the meantime, it’s really great to connect with people on social media and see what they’ve found with the app. Honestly, it’s like collecting vicariously. I truly get a lot of joy from seeing what my app is doing for collectors.”
‘The Conception of Key Collector Comics!’
CW: Nick spent two years completing the initial Key Collector Comics app, but it’s constantly growing, which means it is never really ‘complete’, as you are constantly updating the application with new key issues, but where did this idea come from?
Nick: “I was always on the hunt for comics: antique stores, flea markets, garage sales. One day, I stopped into a used book store in downtown Milwaukee I had never been to before. I didn’t even know if they sold comics, but the first thing that caught my eye was X-Men #221, 1ST appearance of Mr. Sinister for $1.00! After returning a few more times and seeing fresh inventory, I asked if he had a decent amount of stock in the backroom. He did not, actually he had an entire basement filled with 30,000 comics at an off-site warehouse!”
“So I did what any comic collector would do and begged this stranger to bring me to this off-site warehouse, lead me into the basement, and request that he not kill me at any point during the process.”
“Truthfully it took a lot of time, going into the store, hanging out and establishing trust. Turns out, we got along really well. He’s a good and honest person and I find it easy to relate to people like that. After a few months, we came to an agreement on how to split the profits of key issues I found, post to eBay, and sell. He didn’t know much about which comics were worth selling, so I became valuable to him.”
“BUT, as much as I thought I knew, there was A LOT I didn’t know: Sally Forth #4 – $100?! Scud #1?! I had never heard of those books before, but discovered they were valuable based on a hunch, so I knew there had to be more gems that I couldn’t distinguish from the rocks. I spent most of my free time, over an entire summer, down in that basement, which got tiresome after awhile, but I had an agreement with the owner and wanted to make sure that the trust this guy, who was now my friend, put into me, had a good result. I found myself wishing there was a book, some resource that had JUST the key issues, ONLY the valuable stuff, without the clutter of hundreds of entries. I hated searching each issue individually. I just wanted to FLIP and SCROLL. The whole situation got more mundane and I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore. I figured I couldn’t be the only person who was in the same situation and might be turned off to collecting because of it. So it just kind of hit me one day to create the database and put it on an app for total convenience.”
In case you are new to comic collecting or just not familiar with the term ‘Key Issue‘, the description per Key Collector Comics is:
What is a Key?
First appearances, early appearances, origin stories, iconic cover art, classic stories and many other categories could be considered a “key issue”. The truth is, it is up to each individual collector to determine what a key comic book is based on their own preferences. Key Collector Comics mobile app offers a variety of different categories of key issues in order to be an effective sidekick for every collector.
‘The Functionality of the mobile Key Collector Comics App’
CW: This sounds like a dream come true, but I had to ask Nick to elaborate on how exactly the Key Collector App works?
Nick: “The app has 3 main search functions: Search by Title – while you’re flipping through a series of multiple issues and if something on the screen matches something in the box, you found yourself a key issue. For example, between the Amazing Spider-Man #316 (1st cover appearance of Venom) and #344 (1st cameo of Cletus Kasady who becomes Carnage), there are no issues listed because not much happens that we still see the repercussions of today, therefore the app will not have any issues listed. Collectors can assume that these are $1 books and consider that in the valuation of a collection. Some people like to catalog every single book they own but it’s time consuming, so why not just catalog the comics that matter?”
“Search by Character – reveals the history of any of the thousands of characters in the database, from 1st appearance, to where they are today and the milestones that happened in-between, to define who they are. For example, Wolverine, with Key Collector Comics, you’ll know when his berserker rage was first introduced to the mythos, when he was first called Logan, his first fight with Sabretooth, and the first time the words “I’m the best there is at what I do” appeared on the page.”
“Finally, Browse by Category – is really more for fun than anything, but also for the newest users who want to find a recommended classic story-line or want to see 100 Iconic Superhero Covers. There are currently 75 or so categories to browse by. Admittedly, I’ve been so overwhelmed by the response to the app that I haven’t been able to give that browse option the attention it deserves, but I will very soon. For now, in that section, you can also see what new keys are added on a weekly, sometimes even a daily basis.”
“Collectors can also catalog the issues they own and assign a grade to it and also build a wish list for what they want which is hugely important because if you’re like me, anytime I go to a convention or walk into my LCS, I go brain-dead. [This resonates so much with me, as when I come upon a treasure trove of comics, all of the sudden, I can’t think of anything I’m looking for and the Key Collector app has saved me in these situations!] The wish list will provide a reminder for the issues fans will want to seek out specifically before they browse. The beauty of it all is that its all bundled together in one app. In the past, you’d open your notes app to look at your wishlist, then you might check eBay pricing, or maybe you’d google a character to find out their 1st appearance, and then you’d catalog whatever you may have purchased. That’s 4 apps you have to open, and now, you open Key Collector Comics and everything you need is available to you, in an intuitive interface that requires zero learning curve.”
‘Key Collector Comics Partners With Valiant Entertainment’
CW: On December 13th, Valiant Comics announced a partnership with Key Collector Comics, how did this happen?
Nick: “I was able to secure a table at the NYCC last minute. Someone had dropped out, and I dropped in. I barely had anything as far as promotional materials go. A couple computer screens on a loop and some fliers. Needless to say, getting people’s attention was a struggle, but Dinesh*, being the kind-of-guy he is, inquisitive, passionate about the industry, humble – walked the aisles, shopped for comics and eventually came across my booth. Again it was bare-bones and I didn’t fault anyone for whizzing by me, but Dinesh asked ‘What do you have here?’ I gave him the extended explanation, just like you’re getting, and he immediately grasped the concept, knew what the intention was, and wanted to see it succeed, because as he perfectly stated, ‘This is really good for the industry!’. I was thrilled, he said exactly what I was thinking, validating what my intention was for building the app and being at the NYCC.”
“We had a few conversations in the weeks that followed. I presented the Valiant Key Issue portal that connects fans directly into the dynamic universe of Valiant (which I can honestly say has the most creative stories, the diverse universe and incredibly beautiful art of any books that are on the market) and Dinesh accepted. They help me with exposure and credibility while I familiarize the growing legion of Key Collector Comics members with the Valiant books in a non-invasive way.”
*Dinesh Shamdasani is the current CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Valiant Entertainment, and one of the most creative, ingenious marketing and creative minds in the comic industry.
According to Valiant Comics Media release,
Valiant Entertainment is proud to announce that it has joined forces with Key Collector Comics – currently available for iOS and Android – for their first official publisher partnership! The free-to-download mobile app aims to make collecting the most seminal single issues from across the renowned publisher’s 25-year history easier than ever before with a complete list of Valiant’s biggest and most sought-after milestones!
Using the dedicated first-of-its-kind “Valiant Keys” button on the homepage of the mobile app, fans and collectors can access an extensive database full of information and pricing data for more than 100+ significant comic book issues published by Valiant, including first appearances, origin stories, gold issues, iconic cover art, rare variants, and more:
- Harbinger #0 (1992) Pink Variant – a highly sought-after mailaway issue revealing the origin of the Renegades!
- Eternal Warrior #4 (1994) – featuring the first cameo appearance by Bloodshot!
- Quantum & Woody #3 (1997) – featuring the first appearance of Vincent Van Goat (aka “The Goat”)!
- X-O Manowar#1 (2017) Brushed Metal Variant – Valiant’s first brushed metal variant cover printed via a special process on an actual brushed aluminum metal sheet!
- Eternity #1 (2017) Massafera Variant – a rare 1:40 wraparound variant cover introducing the complete cast of the visionary new series by Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine, featuring fully painted cover art by Felipe Massafera!
- Plus dozens more!
The Key Collector Comics app is a concise and comprehensive resource that isolates issues of significance from the clutter of uneventful comics. It features information regarding over 7,000 key issue comic books, as well as a simplified price guide, robust search filters, and a cataloging system to determine the value of your own collection.
CW: You mentioned a new partnership with Coffin Comics along with a new update to the Key Collector app? How did this come about?
Nick: “My brother-in-law is in a band called The Rosedales. They’re like a Rockabilly Monster band like the Monkees meet the Munsters. The bassist and lead vocalist in the band is friends with Brian* out in Arizona. That was sort of the connection that allowed me to be heard by a very busy, very savvy individual in the comic book industry. Brian, like Dinesh, has been very gracious with his time and helped me understand things about the app and about the business that would’ve taken me years to come upon. Also, both creators see the value in the app and what it means to the future of the comic book industry. Embracing new collectors and innovation, technologically and new concepts, are the lifeblood of any business that seeks to have a place for itself in the future. Comics are no different, but the secondary market collectible arena has been static with advancements, which is why the app is garnering the praise and attention it deserves.”
*Brian Pulido, is the former president of Chaos! Comics, announcing in late 2014, upon reaching an agreement with Avatar Press, he would be to taking sole ownership of the character, Lady Death, former publishing home of Pulido’s Lady Death since 2005. Concurrently, Brian launched a new publishing entity, Coffin Comics, for all future Lady Death titles, as well as a new supernatural universe, in which Lady Death will play a major role going forward in 2015.
A note to readers, I was unaware that I had the first appearance of Lady Death, who first appeared in Evil Ernie #1 in December 1991, until I used the Key Collector app!
‘The Key Collector Comics Update’
CW: The Key Collector app update you mentioned, can you tell readers what they can expect?
Nick: “With the next update, Key Collector Comics’ biggest update since launching October 2017 at the NYCC, I’m giving fans what they asked for!”:
- Full expansion of the grading scale!
- The ability to designate if your comic is slabbed or not, signed or restored!
- Collectors can enter notes and take photos of the comics they own!
- They can enter the price they paid for the comic and see what the current net worth is for their full collection and each issue individually!
- There will also be an option to collapse the cover images, for quicker scrolling through a title if, let’s say, someone might be trying to flip through a lot of books at once!
- Collectors can also enter their own value for the book they are entering into their inventory!
“As always there will be more key issues added to the database as they come out on the market. The beauty of the app is that you don’t have to update it to download these new issues. The changes are instantaneously retrieved from the server on the next query from the app. In other words, I plug the comic into the database and its available to be seen, so that no collector will be in the dark about what’s new and hot.”
‘The Future of Key Collector Comics’
CW: What’s next for Key Collector Comics? Can you mention any future plans for the app going forward?
Nick: I have so many ideas that I would love to discuss, but to keep things exciting, I have to reveal them the closer I get. There will be a Variant Cover portal added shortly that will allow access to a database specific to those books. Since there are so many variant covers and so few in distribution, I want to maintain the initial concept of the app, which is to help identify keys quickly and efficiently. Keys that are more likely available to be found. Yet, I understand the importance and desire of variants to be included. Also, a Creator search option has been in the plans since day one, so that functionality will be built out shortly. Beyond that, I can sum it all up like so: the Key Collector Comics mobile app is built by a collector, for collectors, therefore my intention is to make it the only resource necessary to obtain the comics collectors are passionate about owning. I will maintain the integrity of the app in the way I would want it to exist as an end user, which means – no invasive ads and no freemium charges to unlock promised or already given features. My Golden Rule in every decision I make regarding the app is asking myself, “would I be happy with this if I were on the other end?” If the answer is no, I do what needs to be done to make it “yes”!
I would like to first, tell Nick “thank you” for taking the time out of his busy schedule to discuss the Key Collector Comics app with Comic-Watch, and I would invite him to keep us posted as updates are made to the app going forward! As an avid comic collector myself, I find the Key Collector Comic app absolutely amazing, and I recommend it to everyone I come across on social media and at my local comic shop! Please Download the app and share this article with as many as possible, as this gem, the Key Collector Comics app, is just waiting to make your comic collecting experience easier, more enjoyable, and provide you with a resource that meets all your needs, all in one place!
You can download Key Collector Comics mobile app at Key Collector Comics!
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