|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 08/02/2018 : 10:42:57
I hope I'm not posting this in the wrong forum. If so, please point me in the right direction. I'm new to the art of grading comics, so I could use some help. First, a little background.
My wife has a great collection of about 1200-1400 comics from the mid '70s through the early '90s, including many sought-after issues (ASM #297-300; Tomb of Dracula #10, New Mutants Annual #2, Wolverine limited series, etc.) that are in really good shape.
She bought the vast majority when they first came out, put them in the appropriate bags with cardboard backers, then put them in comic book boxes, in a closet in an air conditioned room. So they were well taken care of for the last 30 or so years.
We recently decided to sell the collection, but we wanted to get some idea of what it was worth. So I've been reading up on how to evaluate the value of a comic, including this article: http://artfulinvestments.com/comic-book-grading/. Eventually, we'll have CGC evaluate the most valuable issues, but first we have to determine which of them are worth paying $37 apiece to grade. Obviously, a 9.4 ASM #300 is worth grading, but maybe a 7.0 isn't.
For the most part, it's fairly clear what to look for and to a lesser extent how much to knock off due to flaws. But there's one flaw that has me scratching my head: paper color.
Many of the comics in my wife's collection are at first glance in near-mint or near-mint+ condition, with maybe a few barely visible stress marks or similar on the cover, or it's slightly off-center. But the pages inside have yellowed somewhat. I now this is a negative, and when combined with other flaws can knock the value down considerably.
According to the article above, for a comic to be in the VF-NM/8.0-9.0 range, "The pages can be off-white to even slightly yellow but should still be attractive and should still feel nice." But in addition to numerous small and possibly one or two major defects, to qualify as a F/VF/7.0 "The pages may no longer be off-white – they be yellowish or light tan but still not showing too much age."
From this it sounds like the highest level a comic can reach with yellowed pages--along with numerous flaws--is 7.0. But what about a comic that has virtually no flaws, just cream-colored pages? Is that still a 7.0 or 7.5, maybe, or could it be an 8.5, a 9.0, or a 9.2? It's really hard to value a comic collection if you don't know whether a comic is a 7 or a 9. :)
Also, how off-white is off-white (or cream, or tan)? I haven't found any pictures that show examples of each shade of color. Again, it's had to value a comic if you aren't sure whether it's off-white or cream.
Also, I remember that the cheap paper they used in the '70s wasn't really all that white to begin with. More of a pale gray to slightly yellowish. So it seems silly to expect them to be snow white 40 years later. The same with comics from the '80s. It makes sense to expect that from more modern comics, but not the older ones (especially those from before the '70s).
So I'm stuck at the moment. I'm sure if I keep digging I can find the answers on my own, but I was hoping the experts here could point me toward a book, or website (or several) that are good resources for those trying to value a comic or collection. I have of other questions I need to find answers to.
Thanks for your help!i
|6 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 08/02/2018 : 12:44:13
Gotcha, Brain. It shouldn't be a problem, though, because going by the Overstreet OWL card in the first link, I don't think we have any that are lower than mid off-white, and "Off-white" (line 3) goes up to 9.9 (In the absence of significant flaws, of course) ion the chart you referenced. At worst "Light tan to off-white" (line 5) goes to 9.2.
I doubt we have all that many higher than 9.6 (a large number are probably in the 8.5-9.2 range), but at least now I know they aren't all <9.0 simply because of the paper color. It looks like the vast majority will be in the "off-white to white" category with the rest in "White". :)
Thanks so much for your help!
||Posted - 08/02/2018 : 12:21:48
The second link should take you to a chart that somebody put together regarding page color and CGC value for CGC slabs that they had actually come across first hand.
It should give you a sense as to the usual upper limit for a book with a certain paper color. (For example, there are no "tan to off-white" books graded higher than 8.5)
||Posted - 08/02/2018 : 12:20:50
So how about some terminology questions (for anyone, not necessarily comicsatemybrain)? I checked the ComicBase FAQs and Help, but didn't see any definitions for the following terms.
1) In ComicBase, the grading wizardasks a number of questions about the condition of the book. One of them refers to spine roll. I presume that means the cover and spine have rolled over slightly, so that the cover extends past the edge of the interior pages slightly on either the front or the back and the staples point up (or down), rather than sideways, away from the spine. And the rolled spine is raised above the height of the rest of the cover, so that it's no longer flat.
But I have a few comics that apparently were printed in such a way that the comic is in perfect condition (flat, glossy, unsoiled, etc), with the cover shifted to the right (but cut so it perfectly matches the right edge of the interior pages) and the staples facing upward, rather than to the left. It's clearly a publishing defect, not damage due to wear/handling.
So I'm not sure whether to call that roll or not. The book isn't damaged; that's just how it came out of the printing press. But it's not just that the cover is printed off-center. The staples are off-center, too.
If it's not roll damage, then what is it called? And how is that treated in terms of valuation? Major defect, minor defect, or no defect at all?
2) Similarly, I tend to think of a "crease" as a fold that has been straightened out and flattened (possibly with color loss,in the case of a comic). Does that term also include faint depressions in the cover? (Ones presumably caused by something heavy and hard being placed on it that caused a slight dent in the paper, but with no loss of color or tearing. Just a dent.) They are usually only noticeable when held at an angle to the light. If not a creasei, what's the correct term for that?
3) Am I correct in thinking that "stress marks": refers to the tiny horizontal wrinkles or puckering that are caused by flexing the spine?
4) I have some comics where one edge is slightly puckered or crimped (sort of corrugated in appearance). What's the correct terminology for that? Included under "creasing", perhaps?
||Posted - 08/02/2018 : 11:40:13
Okay, so I checked out those links. The second one looked interesting, but I don't know what to do with it. All of the sample pictures are of covers, not the interior pages. So that doesn't really help me with grading. (It might prove helpful in determining how nice a cover needs to be to qualify as a 9.4 vs. a 9.2, however.)
The first one, however was VERY helpful. It leads to a photo of the Overstreet Whiteness Level sample card. Although they apparently don't use a Cream color in their scale, I can see that nothing in our collection is worse than off-white, anyway. So that makes a huge difference in the value of the comics. (I've been calling most of them Cream, which is lower than off-white in ComicBase.)
Thanks a lot for your help, Brain!
||Posted - 08/02/2018 : 11:20:30
Originally posted by comicsatemybrain
Cool. Thanks, Brain. I'll check those out.
||Posted - 08/02/2018 : 11:17:01
Hi Mark --
Not sure that I can answer your questions in any sort of definitive way, but these two links might be useful for you: