GRADING DEFINITIONS for COMICS - The Very Finers

 

And so we met many collectors who came to us fuming, and demanding an answer why is his book graded only an 8 when we listed it as Very Fine. Comics grading is....as unpredictable as the lovely ladies. You may have gotten a seemingly Near Mint copy, but after 4 to 5 times in and out of the mylite bags, some may find that it loses its shine somehow. But, will the content change? No. Will the colour run? No, but unless you have a very serious case of sweaty palms. Will it still give you the same amount of satisfaction reading it? Well...maybe not as exciting as the first, but it still tickles you deep inside and stick with you to the end of the world.

 

8.5

Very Fine+ (VF+)

 

Fits the criteria for Very Fine but with an additional virtue or small accumulation of virtues that improves the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.

8.0

Very Fine (VF)

 

An excellent copy with outstanding eye appeal. Sharp, bright and clean with supple pages. A comic book is this grade has the appearance of having been carefully handled. A limited accumulation of minor bindery/printing defects is allowed. Cover is relatively flat with minimal surface wear beginning to show, possibly including some minute wear at corners. Inks are generally bright with moderate to high reflectivity. An unnoticeable 1/4" crease is acceptable if color is not broken. Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present. No obvious soiling, staining or other discoloration except for minor foxing. Spine is almost flat with no roll. Possible minor color break is allowed. Staples may show some discoloration. Very slight staple tears and a few almost very minor to minor stress lines may be present. No rust migration. In rare cases, a comic was not stapled at the bindery and therefore has a missing staple; this is not considered a defect. Any staple can be replaced on books up to Fine, but only vintage staples can be used on books from Very Fine to Near Mint. Mint books must have original staples. Paper is (no worse than) tan to cream and supple. No hint of acidity in the odor of the newsprint. Centerfold is mostly secure. Minor interior tears at the margin may be present.

7.5

Very Fine- (VF-)

 

Fits the criteria for Very Fine but with an additional defect or small accumulation of defects that detracts from the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.

7.0

Fine/ Very Fine (FVF)

 

An above-average copy that shows minor wear but is still relatively flat and clean with outstanding eye appeal. A small accumulation of minor bindery/printing defects is allowed. Minor cover wear beginning to show, with interior yellowing or tanning allowed, possibly including minor creases. Corners may be blunted or abraded. Inks are generally bright with a moderate reduction in reflectivity. Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present. No obvious soiling, staining or other discoloration except for minor foxing. The slightest spine roll may be present, as well as a possible moderate color break. Staples may show some discoloration. Slight staple tears and a slight accumulation of light stress lines may be present. Slight rust migration. In rare cases, a comic was not stapled at the bindery and therefore has a missing staple; this is not considered a defect. Any staple can be replaced on books up to Fine, but only vintage staples can be used on books from Very Fine to Near Mint. Mint books must have original staples. Paper is (no worse than) tan to cream, but not brown. No hint of acidity in the odor of the newsprint. Centerfold is mostly secure. Minor interior tears at the margin may be present.

6.5

Fine+ (F+)

 

Fits the criteria for Fine but with an additional virtue or small accumulation of virtues that improves the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount

6.0

Fine (F)

 

An above-average copy that shows minor wear but is still relatively flat and clean with no significant creasing or other serious defects. Eye appeal is somewhat reduced because of slight surface wear and the accumulation of small defects, especially on the spine and edges. A FINE condition comic book appears to have been read a few times and has been handled with moderate care. Some accumulation of minor bindery defects is allowed. Minor cover wear apparent, with minor to moderate creases. Inks show a significant reduction in reflectivity. Blunted corners are more common, as is minor staining, soiling, discoloration, and/or foxing. Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present. A minor spine roll is allowed. There can also be a 1/4" spine split or severe color break. Staples may show minor discoloration. Minor staple tears and a few slight stress lines may be present, as well as minor rust migration. In rare cases, a comic was not stapled at the bindery and therefore has a missing staple; this is not considered a defect. Any staple can be replaced on books up to Fine, but only vintage staples can be used on books from Very Fine to Near Mint. Mint books must have original staples. Paper is (no worse than) brown to tan and fairly supple with no signs of brittleness. No hint of acidity in the odor of the newsprint. Minor interior tears at the margin may be present. Centerfold may be loose but not detached.

5.5

Fine- (F-)

 

Fits the criteria for Fine but with an additional defect or small accumulation of defects that detracts from the book’s appearance by a perceptible amount.

5.0

Very Good/ Fine (VG/ F)

 

An above-average but well-used comic book. A comic in this grade shows some moderate wear; eye appeal is somewhat reduced due to the accumulation of defects. Still a desirable copy that has been handled with some care. An accumulation of bindery defects is allowed. Minor to moderate cover wear apparent, with minor to moderate creases and/or dimples. Inks have major to extreme reduction in reflectivity. Blunted corners are increasingly common, as is minor to moderate staining, discoloration, and/or foxing. Stamped or inked arrival dates may be present. A minor to moderate spine roll is allowed. A spine split of up to 1/2" may be present. Staples may show minor discoloration. A slight accumulation of minor staple tears and an accumulation of minor stress lines may also be present, as well as minor rust migration. In rare cases, a comic was not stapled at the bindery and therefore has a missing staple; this is not considered a defect. Any staple can be replaced on books up to Fine, but only vintage staples can be used on books from Very Fine to Near Mint. Mint books must have original staples. Paper is (no worse than) brown to tan with no signs of brittleness. May have the faintest trace of an acidic odor. Centerfold may be loose but not detached. Minor tears may also be present.