Wednesday, June 11, 2014 6:36:40 PM
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Joined: 6/18/2007 | Posts: 2,795 | Points: 26,106
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Paper quality/color can be a tricky aspect to take into account, and as others have already mentioned, the original quality and color of the news print type paper many comics were originally printed on, was never white to begin with. So, if the paper was greyish or off-white to begin with, straight from production, then that's just how it was and should not affect the grade.
I started collecting/reading comics in 1982, and remember straight off the newstand wildly different types of paper in terms of quality and color. Some would be raggy news print type paper and greyish or off-white, while others were printed on better quality paper which was bright white in color. Different publishers, or even different titles from the same publisher, would often have different paper quality.
I think the take away point now is; has there been a change in paper quality of a given book due to it's aging over time? And, how negatively does that affect the quality of the comic overall.
Paper quality can be affected by a lot of different factors; original acidity, how they are stored, heat, humidity, chemicals, ciggarette smoke, carbon monoxide from being stored in a garage with vehicles, foxing, etc, can all negatively affect the book in varying ways.
According to Overtreet, NM (9.4) books can have pages with off-white to cream color. NM+ (9.6) can have off-white pages. Of course they have to still meet the criteria everywhere else to meet the grade.
If it were me, I would not worry about it on lower value books (less then $10?), as long as they appear strictly graded in all the other categories, and don't smell like ciggarettes, or have any other strong abnormal odors. On higher value books I would be concerned if expecting NM or better, and the paper quality/color was tan or yellowing or browning or has foxing. Off-white pages should still be ok for NM (9.4).