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Grading a Comic Book

duffysbazaar01
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Grading a Comic Book
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Grading Your Own

If you decide to grade your own comic books take a good look at it. Then decide from the following list of grading terms what you think best represents its condition:

 

Go to the page with the description of that term and ask yourself, “Is my comic better or worse that this?” Go up the list if it’s better, down if it isn’t. Find the description that best matches your comic.

Definition

Mint

(CGC: 10-9.8)
(Overstreet: 100-98)
(Abbreviated as MT)

This grade is the most misused of all the comic book grades. Many people want their comic book to be better than it is, but few attain this high of a mark. Those comics that do, especially CGC graded books, can attain the highest possible market value that is out there. This will only happen if there is a market for your comic though. Most copies of Youngblood, West Coast Avengers, and X will never do as well as a highly sought after Spider-Man, Batman, or other mainstream comic book.

For a comic book to be considered, “Mint” it needs to meet the following criteria:

 

Outside

The Cover
There should be no creases.
The cover should have no fading and look like new.
The comic should lie flat and not roll or have curves.

The Spine
The Spine should be straight with no rolling.
Staples should be like new and not rusted.

Inside

The Pages
There should be no tears or cuts.
The color should be bright with no discoloration, or fading.
There should be no stains or marks.
Autographs are acceptable.

Overall:

The Comic should look as if it came fresh from the store.

 

Definition:

Near Mint

(CGC: 9.8-9.0)
(Overstreet: 97-90)
(Abbreviated as NM)
Most new comic books will fall into this category. When buying new comics, be sure to go through them and pick out the best one. That crease will turn a Mint comic into a Near Mint.

For a comic book to be considered, “Near Mint” it needs to meet the following criteria:

Outside:

The Cover
There should be no creases.
The cover should have no fading.
The comic should lie flat and not roll or have curves.
The cover may be slightly off center.

The Spine
The Spine should be straight with no rolling.
Staples should be like new and not rusted.
Minor bindery tears are acceptable no more than 1/16th of an inch.

Inside:

The Pages
Only minor fading is allowed.
There should be no stains or marks.
There should be no tears or cuts.

Overall:

The comic should look like new.

 

Definition:

Very Fine

(CGC: 9.0-7.0)
(Overstreet: 89-75)
(Abbreviated as VF)
Beware if any older comic book is graded above this mark. Due to the nature of paper, discoloration is expected over time. Even then, for an older comic to be in the “Very Fine” category it needs to be pretty exceptional. Buyer beware.

For a comic book to be considered, “Very Fine” it needs to meet the following criteria:

Outside:

The Cover
The cover should be mostly flat but may have some wear.
The colors of the cover may be slightly faded.
Corners may be slightly creased.

The Spine
May have slight wear.
The spine should be flat, but some lines may be visible.

Inside:

The Pages
May have minor printing and binding defects.
The pages may be yellowish in color.
There should be no stains or major discoloration.

Overall:

The comic should still look good with only minor imperfections.

 

Definition:

Fine

(CGC: 7.0-5.0)
(Overstreet: 74-55)
(Abbreviated as FN)
The above average comic book. This might be a C or C+ comic book. Comics that have a lower grade than this are starting to show major signs of wear and tear.

For a comic book to be considered, “Fine” it needs to meet the following criteria:

 

Outside:

The Cover
There will probably be minor wear.
Minor creasing is acceptable.
The corners may be blunted.

The Spine
The staples may have some discoloration.
Minor creases are OK.
The spine may have a roll to it.

Inside:

The Pages
There may be minor tears on the edges.
Discoloration is OK as long as it is not major.
The pages may be tan or brown in color.
Minor stains are allowed.

Overall:

This is a comic book that is above average in appearance

 

Definition:

Very Good

(CGC: 5.0-3.0)
(Overstreet: 54-35)
(Abbreviated as VG)
This is the top of the bottom. Comics in this grade and lower will start to see more and more wear.

For a comic book to be considered, “Very Good” it needs to meet the following criteria:

Outside:

The Cover
My have a large amount of wear including creases, fading, and discoloration.
A better copy with a piece of the cover missing will fall into this category.
The cover may have a price sticker or date sticker.

The Spine
The spine may be rolled.
The staples may have rust.

Inside:

The Pages
The pages may be brown in color.
A finer copy with a tear repaired with tape.
May have minor printing defects.

Overall:

A very average used comic book.

 

Definition:

Good

(CGC: 3.0-1.5)
(Overstreet 14-5)
(Abbreviated as GD)
A below average comic book. For a comic book to be in this grade it may have major defects, but must still be readable. Most new comics in this condition will have little to no value.

For a comic book to be considered, “Good” it needs to meet the following criteria:

 

Outside:

The Cover
A detached cover is acceptable.
Creases, fading and major discoloration available.
Minor tears and folds.
Coupons may be cut from the cover.

The Spine
The staples may discolored, rusted, or even absent.
Creases and minor tears permitted.

Inside:

The Pages
May have some obvious types of repair such as tape.
The color of the pages may be brown.
The pages should not be brittle.
There may be small bits of the comic missing.
There may be stains and other defects of the pages.

Overall:

A below average comic book.

 

Definition:

Fair

(CGC: 1.5-1.0)
(Overstreet 14-5)
(Abbreviated as FR)
For a comic book to be considered, “Fair” it needs to meet the following criteria:

 

Outside:

The Cover
The cover may be detached from the comic.
There may large amounts of wear including fading, discoloration, and stains.
Coupons may be cut from the cover.
Less than 1/12 of the cover missing is accepted.

The Spine
Major wear accepted.
Staples may be missing.
The spine may be split up to 2/3rds of the cover.

Inside:

The Pages
The pages are often faded, discolored, torn, or stained, but must still be readable.
Most of the page should not be brittle.

Overall:

Near the bottom of the barrel. Comics in this condition are still readable. Pages missing from the comic are not acceptable.

 

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