Comic book grading is the single number one item you need to learn about when it comes to buying and selling comic books. Grading is the one thing that will dictate the price of any comic at any time. Following is a list of items to look for but issues are not limited to just this list.
- Spine Stress
- Spine Tears
- Spine Split
- Staples for rust and tightness
- Detached covers or pages
- Missing cover or back cover
- Missing pages
- Cover or page tears
- Rounded corners
- Torn corners
- Liquid spills
- Page color (White, Cream, Off white,etc)
- Writing on or in book
- Removed ads
- Removed Marvel Stamps
- Any type of Restoration.
I have found that the two most common restorations are color touch ups to the cover and trimming books to make the corners sharp again. Most of this type of work is done on Golden and Silver aged books. There are valuable Bronze age books that you may also find this work done on.
We will discuss professionally graded books and the companies that do this in a later writing. Today is just to acquaint you with the basics and the knowledge of what to expect. Look at the photos above for a few examples of what I am listing here.
Also, in the photos you will find a card called an OWL Grading card. Now these cards are sort of out of date on page colors and other items. But can still be of great use to the new collector. You can compare corner sharpness, the ruler will let you measure tears, creases, and missing pieces, the page colors can still get you close. A good investment for the beginner.
Grading is a huge part of comic collecting and I have just started touching on it. There will be a lot more to come. Make sure you return in the coming weeks as we will continue to discuss grading. At that time we will also discuss the difference between Raw and Graded books.