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HOW TO GRADE COMIC BOOKS? Options
IMJ
Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:19:47 PM

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4saken1 wrote:
Thanks, guys!

By 'break color', do you mean that they cause a loss of ink, or that they span from one color to the next?


Books can have creases that are visible, yet the ink on the book is still there within the crease. Other creases or lines break the color in the printing which as you stated causes a loss of ink within the line. The first is the lesser of the defects.

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dunleavy75
Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:27:28 PM

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i dont know a whole lot about grading myself but i do know that AlphaComics, Comicscastle and CuriousGoods and Comics do!Winking





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Army30th
Posted: Monday, June 29, 2009 10:36:25 PM

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firstgeer wrote:
[quote=shark]MINT ( M or MT : 125% ~ 150% ; Overstreet 100-98 )

Near perfect in every way. Only the most subtle bindery or printing
defects are allowed. Cover is flat with no surface wear. Cover inks
are bright with high reflectivity and minimal fading. Corners are cut
square and sharp. Staples are generally centered and clean with no
rust. Cover is generally centered and firmly secured to interior pages.
Paper is supple and fresh. Spine is tight and flat. Yes, comics in
this grade do exist, but they are extremely rare for one simple reason
- this is the most subjective of all the grades. What qualifies as
Mint to one person may have a small, almost unnoticeable flaw that
downgrades it to Near Mint for someone else. Your typical comic in
the pull file or on the newsstand is _not_ in mint condition, but is
instead in near mint condition because of these extremely minor flaws.

(cut for space)




I think there is a very inherrent flaw in grading comics by this scale, and this particular grade parameter shows it. There is no such thing as a MINT comic book. It just doesn't happen. Follow. How does it get out of the printer? How does it get to the bindery? How does it arrive in the store, in the bag, in your collection?????

It had to be touched by someone, something, somewhere. No longer MINT. The most you could pray for is NEAR MINT, but even then, that's a stretch.
I would say that most comics are no better than VERY FINE, regardless of what one might want or wish. That guy/gal at the LCS is only getting minimum wage; don't think they really care if you get MINT books, not for that price anyway.

The third party graders probably have their place in the market, but to what end? Artificially inflating the value of paper? Paper, which by the way, they touch (probably gloved), open, peruse, flip pages, etc. Is that comic MINT, NEAR MINT, or the more likely candidate, VERY FINE?

Bottom line is this: Grading is subjective to the person doing the grading, whether it is us or a third party. A true book's value is not determined by the grader, but by how much someone is willing to lay out for that book.


William Vanderburg
Disney Collector & Marvel Fan
Jim
Posted: Monday, June 29, 2009 10:46:13 PM

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If we stop thinking MINT doesn't exist and actually call a book with no flaws MINT, and a book with very, very few flaws NEAR MINT, and a book with a few more flaws VERY FINE then it becomes less subjective.

There are good grading guides out there, I just think people need to be re-educated in the fine art of grading and standardize on a single grading system. If Overstreet, CGC, PGX, and everyone else would standardize then there wouldn't be such ambiguity because a seller might be grading using one system but a buyer might be expecting the book based on grades from another.

Subjective is a very, very bad term to use when grading a book. It immediately throws up a red flag to seasoned buyers and frustrates new ones. I've seen that word get more sellers into trouble than not. The best thing that I've learned is to either stand by your grading and have ample evidence to back up your claim or concede to the buyers complaint.

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bovard
Posted: Monday, June 29, 2009 10:59:36 PM

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Army30th wrote:


Bottom line is this: Grading is subjective to the person doing the grading, whether it is us or a third party. A true book's value is not determined by the grader, but by how much someone is willing to lay out for that book.


IMO Mint comics do exist, however they are extremely rare. Just because a book has been handled, does not automatically mean that it is no longer mint, but probably.

I agree that the Printing/Bindery process alone will almost always create some flaw that prevents a comic from reaching this category, and then as you mention, shipping handling, etc., you're lucky if it's still NM.

But, that's not absolute. If you look at the terminology alone, it's not quite right; comics are not from a "Mint."
Coins are. That's where the term is borrowed from. And, what it means is a coin that is in the exact same condition as when it was "minted," (nothing stating that it can never have been held, or shipped) (and of course no production flaws).

Comics are printed and bound, so perhaps a "Mint" comic should really be referred to as "Print," (as in the exact condition as when printed), but again does not mean it could not have been held, or shipped) But here presents an entirely new set of problems with the terminology. We all know how rare it is for a comic not to have some kind Printing/Bindery flaw, no matter how small, that ultimately prevents it from being "Mint."

As far as subjectivity: Yes, certain aspects of grading are subjective. BUT, there are rules too. And there is what is generally accepted as a certain grade between experienced colectors. So, some subjectivity is always going to be there, but too many collectors use it as an excuse not to learn how to properly grade, or overgrade.


Jim
Posted: Monday, June 29, 2009 11:03:39 PM

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Thats a great point Bovard, and one I hadn't considered. The idea of a book being "Print" is not a bad one really. It's sounds a little funny at first but when you think about it, it makes sense.

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Jim
Posted: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 9:09:38 PM

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Quick question for Bovard and ComicsCastle. In a book that would otherwise be classified as Very Good can this also include a detached centerfold? Please see Fantastic Four #72 in my collection.
http://www.comiccollectorlive.com/LiveData/Seller.aspx?id=c7b7df08-1776-4f38-90a9-384baeeccddd





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bovard
Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 12:10:50 AM

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According to the Overstreet Grading Guide, for the grade (4.0) Very Good, "Centerfold may be loose or detached at one staple."

However, it also states (for the same grade) "Only minor unobtrusive tape and other amateur repair allowed."

Your book definately looks VG, it's just a matter of the centerfold. I think you cover you your bases by mentioning in your listing, "this is a VG book, but the centerfold is detached from both staples."

Overstreet is not the end all of grading, they are a GUIDE, and can't encompass every sitution. Sure, general rules are great, but sometimes there are circimstances.

Anyway, in this case, it might be possible to reatach the centerfold - and not affect the grade at all - possibly improve it. Personally, I like comics that are all together, even if that means some very minor repair. Usually it's a very last resort, imo, and on lower grade books, where it's considered acceptable for the grade.

I would also be interested to here Pat's opinion, and anyone else who has an idea about this type of situation. hope that helps. Happy


Jim
Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 12:47:30 AM

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Awesome thanks Miles. I put a note in the details about the detached centerfold as you suggested. I looked to see if I could put it back by slightly bending the staples outward but it doesn't look like I'll be able to. There is a tiny slit between the holds in the paper that prevents it. It's too bad really because if it weren't for the fading on the cover and the centerfold problem it could almost grade as a Fine book. (almost)

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thomas4d4
Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 1:18:44 PM

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In a case like this it is possible to use a small piece of archival tape to fix it in an almost invisible manor. put it on the part that will be hidden inside the book, not the centerfold. And use archival tape because it is made not to brown with age. I got mine at an art supply store. It's been very useful to me over the years sprucing up my old books. Often you can't raise the grade of books because the repairs are often visible but you do make the books easy to handle again (which I like) and much more presentable. In this case you might get away with actually raising the grade. I would lower the grade .5 points from the grade of an unrestored book just to be fair.


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NEXTLVL
Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 1:37:56 PM

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thats a 4 maybe 4.5 you could even get lucky and get a 5 . those staple tears hurt a lot . keep the book frame it or trade it to me . any instant awesome book

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Jim
Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 2:42:52 PM

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NEXTLVL wrote:
thats a 4 maybe 4.5 you could even get lucky and get a 5 . those staple tears hurt a lot . keep the book frame it or trade it to me . any instant awesome book

I'll trade it to you for $7 to $9 Smug

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NEXTLVL
Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 2:51:25 PM

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really

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I DO CUSTOM FIGURES/STATUES EITHER CUSTOM OR I MAKE IT FROM SCRATCH . ASK FOR INFO


bovard
Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 4:03:20 PM

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thomas4d4 wrote:
In a case like this it is possible to use a small piece of archival tape to fix it in an almost invisible manor. put it on the part that will be hidden inside the book, not the centerfold. And use archival tape because it is made not to brown with age. I got mine at an art supply store. It's been very useful to me over the years sprucing up my old books. Often you can't raise the grade of books because the repairs are often visible but you do make the books easy to handle again (which I like) and much more presentable. In this case you might get away with actually raising the grade. I would lower the grade .5 points from the grade of an unrestored book just to be fair.


This is the type of repair I was thinking of. As far as potentially raising the grade, it would be if your book was GD, or GD/VG, you could potentially raise it to VG, if it's otherwise nice enough.

But, it's more for reading, you don't have to worry about the centfold falling out, or getting separated from the book. Happy



Jim
Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 4:37:31 PM

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Cool ok. I think I'll go get some of that tape tonite and repair it.

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comicscastle
Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 4:43:03 PM

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bovard wrote:
According to the Overstreet Grading Guide, for the grade (4.0) Very Good, "Centerfold may be loose or detached at one staple."

However, it also states (for the same grade) "Only minor unobtrusive tape and other amateur repair allowed."

Your book definately looks VG, it's just a matter of the centerfold. I think you cover you your bases by mentioning in your listing, "this is a VG book, but the centerfold is detached from both staples."

Overstreet is not the end all of grading, they are a GUIDE, and can't encompass every sitution. Sure, general rules are great, but sometimes there are circimstances.

Anyway, in this case, it might be possible to reatach the centerfold - and not affect the grade at all - possibly improve it. Personally, I like comics that are all together, even if that means some very minor repair. Usually it's a very last resort, imo, and on lower grade books, where it's considered acceptable for the grade.

I would also be interested to here Pat's opinion, and anyone else who has an idea about this type of situation. hope that helps. Happy

Sorry to be so late answering this Jim, but you could just about copy everything bovard said and attribute it to me. If it was going in your collection I would suggest repairing it just for the practice, but since you're selling it just leave it as is, make the note in the Market Notes, and let the buyer decide if he wants to repair it or not.



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Jim
Posted: Wednesday, September 02, 2009 5:58:17 PM

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comicscastle wrote:
bovard wrote:
According to the Overstreet Grading Guide, for the grade (4.0) Very Good, "Centerfold may be loose or detached at one staple."

However, it also states (for the same grade) "Only minor unobtrusive tape and other amateur repair allowed."

Your book definately looks VG, it's just a matter of the centerfold. I think you cover you your bases by mentioning in your listing, "this is a VG book, but the centerfold is detached from both staples."

Overstreet is not the end all of grading, they are a GUIDE, and can't encompass every sitution. Sure, general rules are great, but sometimes there are circimstances.

Anyway, in this case, it might be possible to reatach the centerfold - and not affect the grade at all - possibly improve it. Personally, I like comics that are all together, even if that means some very minor repair. Usually it's a very last resort, imo, and on lower grade books, where it's considered acceptable for the grade.

I would also be interested to here Pat's opinion, and anyone else who has an idea about this type of situation. hope that helps. Happy

Sorry to be so late answering this Jim, but you could just about copy everything bovard said and attribute it to me. If it was going in your collection I would suggest repairing it just for the practice, but since you're selling it just leave it as is, make the note in the Market Notes, and let the buyer decide if he wants to repair it or not.


Oh ok cool. I wasn't sure if I should or not. I guess I'll leave it as-is then since I don't plan on keeping it.

Thanks alot guys. You've been a huge help!


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thomas4d4
Posted: Wednesday, September 16, 2009 8:29:15 PM

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ErrantEntertainment wrote:
Comicnutz and I were talking about this just the other day.

I think it really depends on how noticeable the lines are.

If they don't break the color but can be seen without tilting the book into a glare, and the book would be NM otherwise, I see it as no higher than a VF book.

If the indentation is barely noticeable and must be tilted into a glare to see, and the book is otherwise NM, then I see it as being no higher than NM-.

That said, you must also take into consideration other defects and grade accordingly.


This is where common sense comes in. A NM book with a pen indentation (no ink) is no longer NM, but it definitely doesn't qualify as F/VF. I would give it a VF or VF+ grade. It all depends on how it compares to other books of similar grade.

For me this is the whole point, compare different graded books to the one you want to grade and find out where you think it fits. Start with a NM book and then get your F book (one that is complete and in intact, is well worn but has no major rips, tears, or creases) and fit the books in accordingly.

I use the CBPG to judge the lower grades (size of tears, staple tears, pieces missing, coverless).


Come check out the new story line in
The BRILLIANT BELLA
as BELLA meets the legendary GOLEM and finds herself with
"FEET OF CLAY".
Written by Thomas Morrison and drawn by Tiina Birgitta Räisänen.
dkorf911
Posted: Saturday, November 07, 2009 11:09:33 PM

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I give it a once over to get a general idea of the grade. I then use the grading wizard from Comicbase software. It has drop down menus to get your grade. Other than that, there's e-bigs.net.
iSteve
Posted: Monday, November 16, 2009 7:14:11 PM

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When my partner and I started West End Comics two-and-a-half years ago on eBay, we wanted to grade a comic as well as we could, so we bought Overstreet Grading Guide - it was incredibly helpful. We still use it to guide our work on making the best grading decisions possible on all our comics.

That's my two-cents worth.

Steve

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