To avoid confusion, we want to clearly state here that most of the pictures shown with our products are given as an example and that the actual state of the comic may differ from the picture. This means that we use so called stock images. When it concerns an expensive, old or special comic, we do use a picture or scan of the actual comic. This can be identified by the product id present in the products' title. The actual state of the comic is also mentioned in the title of the product and/or in the extra information under the header 'Grade'. Would you like to have a photograph of the actual comic, please feel free to contact us. If there is no grade in the title this means that the grade is somewhere between a F.VF (7.0) and NM (9.4).
When grading comics we use several sources, among these are the CBCS Grading Guide Lines (found below) and the industry standard 'The Overstreet Guide to Grading'. For most comics we will use six different grades, namely Fair (FR), Good (GD), Very Good (VG), Fine (FN), Very Fine (VF) en Near Mint (NM). When grading old or special comics, we will make use of the entire grading scale from 0.1 till 10.0. We spend a lot of care and atention to the grading of comics and take this very serious. Although we do a detailed grading of our products, grading will remain a subjective exersize. To be sure that the comic is in the state that you as a customer feel comfortable with, feel free to ask for a photograph and/or extra information about the defects of the comic in question.
CBCS Grading Guide Lines
Mint 10 to 9.9
The best possible existing condition of that comic book. An extremely exceptional comic.
Only very minute printing and bindery defects or the most barely noticeable handling defects present. It is very rare, especially in older vintage comic books, to discover a comic in these grades as they are virtually non-existent.
Cover inks are exceptionally bright with high gloss.
Interior pages must be white in color and supple to the touch.
Nearmint+ / Mint 9.8
This is close to mint with few minor defects
Interior pages are almost always off-white/white or better
This is close to mint with some minor defects. Even though some defects are allowed in 9.6 certain defects, such as tape, are never allowed in this grade range.
Slight stress on the spine.
The staples themselves are generally centered clean with no discernible rust.
Maybe some minor color has chipped or flaked off the cover.
The cover is flat with no surface wear. Inks are bright with high reflectivity and very little fading. Square and sharp corners with ever so slight blunting permitted.
You can tell that this comic has been stored properly and looks almost as new as the day it was printed.
The smallest amount of creasing.
All bindery tears are small.
Only some binding and/or printing defects allowed.
Cover is fairly well centered and firmly secured to interior pages.
Paper is supple and like new.
Spine is tight and flat.
Unobtrusive date stamps or arrival dates in pencil or ink are acceptable.
Many pedigree collection comics have a notation on the cover or the interior of the comic and are considered a bonus to collectors as they help prove the provenance of the comic
Nearmint to Nearmint- 9.4-9.2
This book is an excellent copy with great eye appeal.
It is vibrant with supple pages.
The spine may have a couple of very small stress lines that break color.
The spine is almost completely flat.
The cover is relatively flat with almost minimal surface war and the cover inks are generally bright with medium to high reflectivity.
The staples may show some discoloration, but it's not too noticeable on first glance.
The inside pages and covers usually will be off-white/white, but can be cream/off-white with the absence of other defects.
Very Fine / Nearmint 9.0 to 7.5
9.0 - Very Fine / Nearmint +
8.5 - Very Fine +
8.0 - Very Fine
7.5 - Very Fine-
A VERY FINE comic book appears to have been read a few times and has been handled with care. These grades allow for some more defects than higher grades. Overall an above average copy and still very collectible.
Some of the above defects along with a small fold or crease in the cover that breaks color.
Some stress marks on spine.
The cover has some slight surface wear but still has much of its original gloss and there is nothing major wrong with it.
Sun shadows, dust shadows and tanning can be darker and have more of a visual impact than those in higher grades
Fine 7.0 to 5.5
7.0 - Fine / Very Fine
6.5 - Fine+
6.0 - Fine
5.5 - Fine-
This comic is definitely a read copy with handling wear, but can still be a very desirable copy.
It has stress lines on the spine and creases from the opening and closing of the cover.
This could have a light reading or subscription crease or a rolled spine, but is not damaged enough to reduce the eye appeal dramatically
Some cover discoloration, fading in colors and soiling is allowed.
The cover and/or inside pages could have some tears and/or folds.
With the absence of any other defect, the cover can be detached from one staple, but cover cannot be completely detached from interior.
Books with slightly brittle pages cannot grade higher than 6.5 and generally are even lower in grade.
Pages and inside covers could be brownish but not brittle.
Depending on the look of the comic, very small amounts of tape could be acceptable in this grade.
Very Good 5.0 to 3.5
5.0 - Very-Good / Fine
4.5 - Very-Good+
4.0 - Very-Good
3.5 - Very-Good-
These books are complete, but can have major creases and a spine roll.
Cover gloss can be very low or sometimes no gloss at all.
The inside paper quality can be low and small pieces of the pages may be missing.
Books with brittle pages cannot grade higher than 3.5 and generally are even lower in grade.
Books in this grade are almost always creased, scuffed, abraded and soiled, but readable.
A larager amount of tape is also allowed in this grade.
Good 3.0 to 1.8
3.0 - Good / Very Good
2.5 - Good+
2.0 - Good
1.8 - Good-
Good is really a misnomer, but describes a comic that is still readable with numerous defects.
All the defects of a VG comic with more significant wear.
The inside paper quality might not be good and pieces of the pages may be missing.
Books in this grade are almost always creased, scuffed, abraded and soiled, but readeable.
Large pieces can be missing from the cover.
Long or many spine splits are possible.
The cover and pages maybe detached but not missing and is still in a "collectible" grade.
A significant amount of tape may have been applied to cover and pages.
Book may be fragile.
Fair 1.5 to 1.0
1.5 - Fair / Good
1.0 - Fair
This book has seen much better days and tends to be heavily worn and tattered.
A copy of a comic in this grade has all pages and most of the cover.
A book in this condition is worn, ragged and unattractive.
Heavy creases and folds are prevalent.
Paper quality can be very low.
The spine and/or cover may be completely split.
Staples may be missing.
Coupons cut from cover and or inside pages. Panels can be clipped out.
Parts of the front cover may be missing.
Soiling, staining, tears, markings or chunks missing will interfere with reading.
Brittleness may be factor.
Extensive amounts of tape are acceptable on the comic in these grades.
It has major defects to the point that there is almost no collector value.
Copies in this grade typically will have pages and/or the front cover or back cover may be missing.
They may have severe strains or heavy cover abrasions to the point where cover inks are gone.
Heavy defacing with paints, varnishes, glues, oil, indelible markers or dyes, etc.
The inside pages can have extreme brittleness.
Incomplete 0.3 to 0.1
(Cover / Coverless / Single Wraps or Pages)
Thes designations are only used for the purpose of authntication. Numerous collectors and comic fans will purchase coverless comics to either read or to obtain a filler copy of a book for their collection.
Books that are coverless, but are oterwise complete, will recieve a grade of 0.3 as will covers missing their interiors.
Coverless copies that have incomplete interiors, wraps or single pages will receive a grade of 0.1 as will just front covers or just back covers.
Copies in this designation typically will in most cases be beyond collectability to the majority of the hobby.
Rare key comics and incomplete pages i.e. centerfolds are considered to be valuable by the collecting community for either restoration purposes or for individuals who just wish to own a piece of comic history.