Grading Guide

Comic Book Grading Guide

Comic Book 25 Point Grading Scale

Gem Mint (10)

Mint (9.9)

Near Mint / Mint (9.8)

Near Mint + (9.6)

Near Mint (9.4)

Near Mint - (9.2)

Very Fine / Near Mint (9.0)

Very Fine + (8.5)

Very Fine (8.0)

Very Fine - (7.5)

Fine / Very Fine (7.0)

Fine + (6.5)

Fine (6.0)

Fine - (5.5)

Very Good / Fine (5.0)

Very Good + (4.5)

Very Good (4.0)

Very Good - (3.5)

Good / Very Good (3.0)

Good + (2.5)

Good (2.0)

Good - (1.8)

Fair / Good (1.5)

Fair (1.0)

Poor (0.5)

 

GEM MINT (10)

Allowable Defects: 0

Exceptional example of a given book and the best ever seen. The slightest bindery defects and printing flaws may be seen upon close inspection. The overall look is as if it has never been handled or released for distributiion.
ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Only the slightest, most unnoticeable defects. Firmly secure.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Sharp and square withno creasing. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Bright with high reflectivity. None allowed.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Flat with no wear. Well centered and secure. None allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
None allowed. None allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
White, supple and fresh. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
None allowed. None allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
None allowed. None allowed.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Original, clean and well centered. None allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
None allowed.  
 
  • Only the slightes binding or priniting defects are allowed. The would be mostly unnoticeable on first viewing. Check carefully.
  • Flat cover with no surface wear. Inks are bright with high reflectivity. Corners are cut square and sharp. Well centered and firmly secured to interior pagees. No creases.
  • Paper is white, supple and freshNor interior autographs or own names. Centerfold is secure. No interior tears.
  • Tight and flat spine. No stress or ticking. No spine roll or splits allowed.
  • Staples must be original, centered and clean with no rust. No tear or stress lines.

 

MINT (9.9)

Allowable Defects: 1

Almost perfect. The overall look is as if it were just purchased.
ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Only subtle defects with no bindery tears. Firmly secure.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Sharp and square with no creasing. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Bright with high reflectivity. None allowed.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Flat with no wear. Well centered and secure. Small unnoticeable dates or initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
None allowed. None allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
White, supple and fresh. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
None allowed. None allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
None allowed. None allowed.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Original, clean and generally centered. None allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
None allowed.  
 
  • The best possible existing condition of a comic book. A near perfect book. An extremely exceptional comic with only very minute printing or bindery defects.
  • The books cover is flat and without surface wear. No autographs or writing is allowed on either the cover or interior pages.
  • Cover inks are exceptionally bright with high gloss. The books corners are perfectly square and sharp.
  • Interior pages must be white in color and supple to the touch.

 

NEAR MINT/MINT (9.8)

Allowable Defects: 1-2

Nearly perfect with only minor imperfections. The overall look is as if it were just purchased.
ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Only subtle defects with no bindary tears. Firmly secure.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Sharp, square with no creasing. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Bright with high reflectivity. None allowed.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Flat with no wear and well centered.. Small, unnoticeable dates and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Slightest tears allowed. None allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
White to off-white, supple and fresh. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
None allowed. None allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Tight and flat with no roll. None allowed.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Original, clean and generally centered. None allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
None allowed.  
 
  • This comic book will have at most a few very, very minor flaws. Perhaps a slightly blunted corner, a spine corner showing a tiny hint of wear or a very tiny spine stress mark.
  • Subtle bindery or printing flaws, such as slightly off-center registration, are allowed.
  • Corners are sharp and square, cover inks are bright and reflective, spine is tight and flat, staples are centered, pages are white and supple.
  • No cover soiling, creasing, tearing, or pieces missing.

 

NEAR MINT + (9.6)

Allowable Defects: 2-3

Nearly perfect with a minor additional virtue that keep it above Near Mint. The overall look is as if it were just purchased and read once or twice.
ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Subtle with no tears on Silver Age or later. 1/8 tear on Golden Age. Firmly secure.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Sharp and square with no creasing. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Bright with high reflectivity. Almost unnoticeable indentations are allowed.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Flat with no wear and well centered. Small, unnoticeable dates and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Only the slightest tears are allowed. None allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Off-white, supple and fresh. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
None allowed. None allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Tight and flat with no roll. None allowed.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Original with slight discoloration and generally centered. None allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
None allowed.  

 

 
  • Nearly perfect with only minor imperfections. Overall look is as if it had just been purchased from the newsstand and probably not even read.
  • Subtle bindery or printing flaws allowed, including a 1/16" bindery tear.
  • Corners are sharp and either square or with ever-so-slight blunting, cover inks are bright and reflective, spine is tight and flat, staples are generally centered, pages are at worst off-white and supple
  • No cover soiling, creasing, tearing, pieces missing, or wear.

 

NEAR MINT (9.4)

Allowable Defects: 2-3

Nearly perfect with only minor imperfections. Minor feathering that does not distract from the beauty of an otherwise higher grade copy is acceptable. The overall look is as if it were just purchased and read once or twice.
ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None Allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Subtle, tears up to 1/16" on Silver Age-current, 1/4" on Golden Age. Secure.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Ever so slight blunting with no creasing. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Bright with high reflectivity. 1/16" bend with no color break is allowed.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Flat with no wear. Generally centered and secure. Small, unnoticeable dates and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Only the slightest tears are allowed. None allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Off-white to cream, supple and fresh. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
None allowed. Only slight foxing allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Tight and flat with no roll. None allowed.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Slight discoloration and generally centered. None allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Almost no lines.  
 
  • A nearly perfect copy that looks brand new with only a few very subtle/minor defects. Acceptable minor defects on a NM copy include: A very small amount of spine stresses without color breaks, very minor instances of denting (two or three at most), slight corner blunting, and minor (less than 1/8") bends without color breaks.
  • Cover is fairly well centered and firmly secured to interior pages. The cover is flat with no surface wear. Inks are bright with high reflectivity and very little fading. Some of the color may have chipped or flaked off of the cover.
  • Corners are cut square and sharp with very slight blunting permitted.
  • Spine is tight and flat. A slight stress line by the staples. The staples themselves are generally centered clean with no rust. All stress marks should be almost invisible and bindery tears must be less than 1/16 inch
  • Only the most subtle binding and/or printing defects allowed. Unobtrusive date stamps or arrival dates in pencil or ink are acceptable and paper is supple and like new.
  • On the ten-point grading scale, a lower grade like 9.2 (below) will allow these defects in a greater quantity and degree than a higher grade like 9.8, which sometimes may have no discernible defects at all. In some cases it is possible for a comic shipped brand new from the publisher, or purchased new from a comic store's shelves, to already be in less than near mint condition due to the way the comic was produced, shipped, stored, or handled prior to purchase.

 

NEAR MINT - (9.2)

Allowable Defects: 3-4

Almost perfect with only minor defects that keeps it from the next higher grade. The overall look is as if it were just purchased and read once or twice.
ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Limited number of minor defects. Secure.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Ever so slight blunting with no creasing. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Bright with the slightest dimming of reflectivity. 1/16"-1/8" bend with no color break.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Flat with no wear. Generally centered and secure. Small, unnoticeable dates and initials allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Only the slightest tears are allowed. None allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Off-white to cream, supple and fresh. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
None allowed. None allowed except for slight foxing.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Tight and flat with no roll. None allowed.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Some discoloration. None allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Very minor accumulation of nearly unnoticeable lines.  
 
  • The cover is relatively flat with almost no surface wear and the cover inks are generally bright with medium to high reflectivity. One minor crease is allowed in this grade.
  • The spine is almost completely flat but may have a couple of very small stress lines at the most 1/4 inch the surface color around the line must not be noticeably broken.
  • Cover inks are bright and reflective, spine is tight and flat, staples are generally centered. 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 to white, but can be creamy or slightly yellowish.
 

VERY FINE/NEAR MINT (9.0)

Allowable Defects: 4-6

Almost perfect with great eye appeal. The overall look is as if it were just purchased and read maybe a few times.
ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
A limited number of defects. Secure.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
No creasing. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Bright with slightly diminished reflectivity. 1/8" bend with no color break.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Almost flat, unnoticeable wear. Several dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Very minor tears allowed. None allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Off-white to cream, supple. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
None Allowed. Very minor foxing.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Tight and flat with no roll. None allowed.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Some discoloration. Only the slightest allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Very minor accumulation of nearly unnoticeable lines.  

 

 
  • Outstanding with excellent eye appeal. Overall look is as if it had been read a few times and carefully handled.
  • Very minor cover soiling or foxing is allowed. No tearing or pieces missing. Cover may have minimal surface wear with a possible 1/4" or smaller bend that doesn't break color.
  • Limited number of bindery or printing flaws allowed. Corners may have very minor wear and cover inks are bright and moderate to highly reflective.
  • Spine is almost completely flat with a possible minor color break, staples may have slight discoloration.
  • Pages can be at worst cream but still supple.

 

VERY FINE + (8.5)

Allowable Defects: 4-7

An almost near perfect book with outstanding appeal. Sharp, bright and clean with supple pages. A comic in this grade looks to have been carefully handled.
ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Very limited accumulation of minor defects. Mostly secure.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
No creasing. Very minute wear allowed. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Generally bright with moderate to high reflectivity. 1/8"-1/4" bend with no color break.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Almost flat with minimal wear. Accumulation of several dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Very minor tears in margin are allowed. None Allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Cream, supple. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
None Allowed. Very minor foxing.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Almost completely flat with no roll. Very minor color break allowed.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Some discoloration. Only the slightest allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Accumulation of very minor lines allowed.  
 
  • Outstanding with excellent eye appeal. Overall look is as if it had been read a few times and carefully handled.
  • Limited number of bindery or printing flaws allowed. Corners may have minute wear, cover inks are bright and moderate to highly reflective.
  • Very minor cover soiling allowed. A small tear is allowed, but no pieces missing. Cover may have minimal surface wear with a possible 1/4" or smaller bend and color break.
  • Spine is almost completely flat with a possible minor color break, staples may have slight discoloration.
  • Pages may be cream to light tan and supple.

 

VERY FINE (8.0)

Allowable Defects: 5-7

An excellent book with outstanding appeal. Sharp, bright and clean with supple page. A comic that has been handled carefully.
ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Limited accumulation of minor defects. Mostly secure.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Minor blunting, no crease, minute wear allowed. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Generally bright with moderate to high reflectivity. 1/4" bend with no color break.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Relatively flat with minimal wear. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Minor tears in margin allowed. None Allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Cream to tan, supple. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
None Allowed. Minor foxing.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Almost completely flat. Minor color break allowed.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Some decoloration. Very slight tearing allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Very minor to minor lines allowed.  

 

 

 
  • A VF copy has minor defects, but is in overall excellent condition. Most well-kept modern comics fall into this grade.
  • Some of the above defects (VF+) along with a small fold or crease in the cover. A few small chips on the cover. The cover has some slight surface wear but still has its original gloss and there is nothing major wrong with it. There may be minor corner wear.
  • A light accumulation of spine stress that may include color-break, a light accumulation of dents, and bends or folds less than 1/4" (note that on a VF copy, some color-break is allowed in a bend/fold).
  • Very few stress marks on spine. Overall an exceptional, still very collectible. This grade still has excellent eye appeal.

 

VERY FINE - (7.5)

Allowable Defects: 5.8

 
ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Limited accumulation of minor defects. Mostly secure
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Slight wear, blunting or abrasions are allowed. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Generally bright with slight to moderate reflectivity. 1/4"-1/2" bend with a very slight color break.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Mostly flat, yellowing or tanning, with minimal wear. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Minor tears in margin are allowed. None allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Cream to tan, supple. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Slight migration allowed. Minor foxing.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Nearly flat. Minor to moderate color break is allowed.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Some discoloration. Accumulation of slight tears allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
A few minor lines are allowed.  
 
  • It looks like is as if it had been read a few times and carefully handled. Limited number of bindery or printing flaws allowed.
  • Corners may have some wear, cover inks are moderate to highly reflective, spine is almost completely flat with possible minor color breaks.
  • Some cover soiling or minor tearing. Still no pieces missing. Covers may have minor surface wear with possible minor creasing. Staples may have slight discoloration.
  • Pages are cream to light tan and still fairly supple.

 

FINE/VERY FINE (7.0)

Allowable Defects: 6-10

 
ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Limited accumulation of minor defects. Mostly secure
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Slight wear, blunting or abrasions are allowed. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Generally bright with slight to moderate reflectivity. 1/4"-1/2" bend with a very slight color break.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Mostly flat, yellowing or tanning, with minimal wear. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Minor tears in margin are allowed. None allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Cream to tan, supple. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Slight migration allowed. Minor foxing.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Nearly flat. Minor to moderate color break is allowed.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Some discoloration. Accumulation of slight tears allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
A few minor lines are allowed.  

 

  • Above-average copy that shows minor wear but is flat and clean with good eye appeal. Looks like it has read a few times and handled with moderate care.
  • Minor cover soiling and staple tears are allowed. No pieces missing. Cover may have minor surface wear with minor to moderate cover creases. Corners may have some blunting. cover inks may be less bright or have reduced reflectivity.
  • Some accumulation of bindery or printing flaws allowed. Spine may have a minor roll with a possible 1/4" split or color break. Staples may have minor discoloration.
  • Pages can be tannish but fairly supple.

 

 

FINE + (6.5)

Allowable Defects: 6-10

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Small to moderate accumulation of minor defects. May be slightly loose.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunting and abrsions are allowed. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Moderate to major reduction in reflectivity. Minor accumulation of creases.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Almost flat, minimal wear. Dates, stamps, and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Minor tears in margin are allowed. None allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Cream to tan. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Slight to minor migration Slight discoloration, foxing and staining are allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Slight minor roll is allowed. Up to 1/8" split or severe color break.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Some discoloration. Slight to minor tearing.
   
STRESS LINES  
Accumulation of very minor lines.  

 

  • Above-average copy that shows minor wear but is fairly flat and clean with good eye appeal. It looks like it has been read a few times and handled with moderate care.
  • Minor cover soiling and small staple tears allowed. A very tiny piece may be missing. Cover may have minor surface wear with minor to moderate creases. Corners may have blunting and cover inks may be less bright or have reduced reflectivity. Minor cover soiling and a very tiny piece may be missing.
  • Small staple tears allowed and may have minor discoloration. Some accumulation of bindery or printing flaws allowed. Spine may have minor Rolling with a possible 1/4" split and minor color breaks.
  • Pages can be tannish but fairly supple.

 

 

FINE (6.0)

Allowable Defects: 7-12

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Some accumulation of minor defects. Loose but not detached.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunted and abrasions are more common. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Major reduction in reflectivity. Minor to moderate creases.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Minor cover wear. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Minor tears in margin are allowed. None allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Tan to brown, supple. Not brittle. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Minor migration allowed Minor discoloration, staining and foxing are allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Minor roll is allowed. Up to 1/4" split or severe color break.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Minor discoloration. Minor tearing is allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Accumulation of minor lines are allowed.  

 

  • A comic in Fine condition is considered "above average" but still displays some wear. In general, the eye appeal is somewhat reduced due to either an accumulation of minor defects or one or two moderate defects.
  • Acceptable defects on a Fine copy include: Slight spine roll, a moderate accumulation of spine stresses that may break color, a spine split of less than 1/2", minor water spotting or residue (less than the size of a dime), an impacted corner, and moderate foxing.
  • It may have one major defect like a larger piece out of the cover (1/4 inch to 1/8 inch) or a one-inch plus tear as long as the rest of the comic has no other noticeable damage or defects. Basically, if the comic has has a tear yet otherwise looks to be in Very Fine/Near Mint condition then it may be placed in this grade. If it has a tear among any other noticeable defects then it should be dropped down to a lower, correct grade depending on the size of tear and other defects involved.
  • The cover and/or inside pages could have minor tears and/or folds. It can be loose from one staple, but cover cannot be completely detached from interior. Some discoloration, fading in colors and even minor soiling is allowed.
  • It has stress lines around the staples and creases from the opening and closing of the cover. It may have a reading or subscription crease or a rolled spine, but is not damaged enough to reduce eye appeal dramatically.
  • The whiteness of the pages has been changed to off-white to yellowish color.

 

FINE - (5.5)

Allowable Defects: 7-13

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
None allowed.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Moderate accumulation of defects. Loose but not detached.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunted and abrasions are more common. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Major reduction in reflectivity. Minor to moderate creases with slight dimpling.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Minor cover wear with heightened yellowing or tanning. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Minor tears are allowed. None allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Tan to brown, supple. Not brittle. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Minor migration allowed Minor discoloration, minor staining and foxing are allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Minor roll is allowed. Up to 1/4" - 1/2" split or severe color break.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Minor discoloration. Minor tearing is allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Accumulation of minor lines are allowed.  

 

  • Above-average copy that shows minor wear but is fairly flat and clean with decent eye appeal. Looks like it has been read several times and handled with moderate care.
  • Accumulation of bindery or printing flaws are allowed. Corners typically have blunting, cover inks may be less bright or have reduced reflectivity. A very small piece may be missing. Cover may have minor surface wear with minor to moderate cover creases. Minor cover soiling and staple tears allowed.
  • Spine may have a minor roll with a possible 3/4" split and minor color breaks, staples may have minor discoloration.
  • Pages can have tannish and are somewhat supple.

 

 

VERY GOOD/FINE (5.0)

Allowable Defects: 8-13

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
May have faint odor.

None allowed.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Accumulation of defects. Loose but not detached.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunted and abrasions are increasingly common. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Major to extreme reduction in reflectivity. Minor to moderate creases with dimpling.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Minor to moderate cover wear with heightened yellowing or tanning. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Minor tears are allowed. None allowed.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Tan to brown, supple. Not brittle. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Minor migration allowed Minor to moderate discoloration, minor staining, foxing are allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Minor to moderate roll is allowed. Up to 1/2" split.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Some discoloration. Minor tearing is allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Accumulation of minor lines are allowed.  

 

  • An average used copy with moderate wear. Overall look is as if read many times and handled with some care. Corners may have blunting, cover may have low reflectivity.
  • Cover soiling and minor to moderate staple tears allowed. Up to 1/4" triangle may be missing on corner or edge. Cover may have moderate to significant surface wear with moderate cover creases. Cover and centerfold may be loose, but may not be detached.
  • Spine may have a moderate roll or up to a 1" split. Staples may have discoloration.
  • Pages can be tan but not brittle.

 

 

VERY GOOD + (4.5)

Allowable Defects: 9-14

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
May have minor odor.

Very minor repairs on otherwise high grade.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Accumulation of defects. Loose or detached at one staple.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunted and abrasions are common. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Major to extreme reduction in reflectivity. Minor to moderate accumulations of creases and dimpling.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Moderate cover wear. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Minor tears are allowed. 1/8" triangle, 1/16" square.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Tan to brown, supple. Not brittle. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Minor to moderate migration allowed. Minor to moderate discoloration, minor staining, soiling and foxing are allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Minor to moderate roll is allowed. 1/2" to 1" split.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Minor to major discoloration. Accumulation of minor tearing is allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Accumulation of minor lines are allowed.  

 

  • Average used copy with significant moderate wear. Overall look is as if read many times. Corners may be blunted and worn, cover may have low reflectivity.
  • Cover soiling and minor to moderate staple tears allowed. Up to 1/4" triangle may be missing on corner or edge and may have moderate to significant surface wear with moderate cover creases. Cover may have a full-length subscription crease. Small piece of tape allowed. Cover and centerfold may be loose, but may not be detached.
  • Spine may have a moderate roll or up to a 1" split and staples may have discoloration.
  • Pages can be tan but not brittle.

 

 

VERY GOOD (4.0)

Allowable Defects: 10-15

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
May have minor odor.

Minor repairs on otherwise high grade.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Accumulation of defects. Loose or detached at one staple.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunting and abrasions. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Major to extreme reduction in reflectivity. Minor to moderate accumulations of creases and dimpling.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Moderate to significate cover wear. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Minor to moderate tears are allowed. 1/4" triangle, 1/8" square.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Brown but not brittle. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Moderate migration allowed. Moderate discoloration, minor staining, soiling and foxing are allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Moderate roll is allowed. 1" split is allowed.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Major discoloration is allowed. Minor to moderate tearing is allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Minor to moderate lines are allowed.  

 

  • A Very Good copy may have an accumulation of minor defects or one or two major ones. Acceptable defects on a VG copy include: Spine roll, 1/2" to 1" spine splits or other tears, a cover or centerfold that is detached at one staple, discoloration due to oxidation, and a moderate accumulation of water damage or staining. Book is complete, but with major creases and or a spine roll.
  • There is almost low cover gloss or at most times none at all. If there is a piece missing from the cover, it should be no larger than a 1/2" to 1/4" of an inch.
  • The inside paper quality is not good and yellow and small pieces of them may be missing.
  • Books in this grade are almost always creased, scuffed, abraded and soiled, but completely readable. Tape on the comic is considered a defect in this grade.

 

 

VERY GOOD - (3.5)

Allowable Defects: 10-16

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
May have minor odor.

Minor repairs on otherwise high grade.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Accumulation of defects. Loose or detached at one staple.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunting and abrasions. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Major to extreme reduction in reflectivity. Moderate accumulations of creases and dimpling.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Significate wear. May be loose or detached at one staple. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Minor to moderate tears are allowed. 1/4" triangle, 1/8" square.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Brown but not brittle. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Moderate migration allowed. Accumulation of discoloration, minor staining, soiling and foxing are allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Moderate roll is allowed. 1" split is allowed. May have color breaking.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Discoloration is allowed. Minor to moderate tearing is allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Minor to moderate lines are allowed.  

 

  • An average used copy with significant moderate wear and looks is as if it had been read many times. Corners are probably blunted and worn. Cover may have low reflectivity. Up to 5/8" triangle may be missing on corner or edge. Cover may have moderate to significant surface wear with moderate cover creases and may be loose, and centerfold may be detached. It may also have soiling.
  • Spine may have a moderate roll or up to a 1 1/2" split and staples may have discoloration. Minor to moderate staple tears allowed.
  • Pages can be tan but not brittle.

 

 

GOOD/VERY GOOD (3.0)

Allowable Defects: 11-17

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
May have minor to moderate odor.

May be present.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Accumulation of defects. Loose or detached at one staple.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunting, abrasions and slightly rounded corners are allowed. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Very low reflectivity. Book length crease or accumulation of minor creases and minor dimpling.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Significate wear. May be loose or detached at one staple. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Minor to moderate tears are allowed. Up to 1/2" triangle, 1/4" square.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Brown but not brittle. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Some migration allowed. Accumulation of discoloration, minor staining, fading, soiling and foxing are allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Moderate roll is allowed. 1" split is allowed. May have color breaking.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Discoloration is allowed. Minor to moderate tearing is allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Minor to moderate lines are allowed.  

 

  • A used copy with substantial wear. It looks as if it has been read many times. Corners may have rounding, cover may have low or no reflectivity. Moderate cover soiling and moderate staple tears allowed. Up to 1/2" piece may be missing on corner or edge. Cover may have significant surface wear with book-length cover creases. Cover may be detached at one staple.
  • Centerfold may be completely detached. Spine may have a roll or up to a 2" split. Staples may have discoloration or some rust.
  • Pages can be tan but not brittle.

 

 

GOOD + (2.5)

Allowable Defects: 12-18

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
May have minor to moderate odor.

May be present.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Accumulation of defects. Loose or detached.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunting, abrasions and slightly rounded corners are allowed. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Very low to no reflectivity. Book length crease or accumulation of minor creases and minor dimpling.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Significate wear. May be loose or detached at one staple. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Moderate tears are allowed. Up to 1/2" triangle, 1/4" square.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Brown but not brittle. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Some migration allowed. Accumulation of discoloration, minor staining, fading, moderate soiling, foxing are allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Moderate roll is allowed. 1" 1/2" split is allowed. May have accumulation of color breaks.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Discoloration, rusted and replaced staples are allowed. Moderate tearing is allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Moderate lines are allowed.  

 

  • A used copy with substantial wear. It looks as if it has been read many times but is still complete. Corners are likely rounded and worn, cover may have low or no reflectivity. Moderate cover soiling and significant staple tears allowed. Up to 1/2" piece may be missing on corner or edge. Cover may have significant surface wear with book-length cover creases and may be detached at one staple.
  • Spine may have a roll or up to a 2" split. 1.5"-2" spine split. Staples may have discoloration or some rust.
  • Pages can be tan but not brittle.

 

 

GOOD (2.0)

Allowable Defects: 13-19

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
May have moderate odor.

May be present.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Accumulation of defects. Loose or detached.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunting, abrasions and rounded corners are allowed. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Very low to no reflectivity. Book length crease or accumulation of minor creases and minor to moderate dimpling.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Significate wear. May be loose or detached at one staple. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Moderate tears are allowed. Up to 1/2" triangle, 1/4" square.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Brown but not brittle. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Migration allowed. Accumulation of discoloration, moderate staining, fading, moderate soiling, foxing are allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Moderate to major roll is allowed. 2" split is allowed. May have accumulation of color breaks.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Discoloration, degraded, rusted and replaced staples are allowed. Moderate tearing is allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Lines are common.  

 

  • A Good copy has major defects, but is still complete and readable and will have a significant amount of damage, usually an accumulation of smaller defects punctuated with some major defects. Acceptable defects on a Good copy include: A vertical book-length crease on the cover, major tears, heavy discoloration/brittleness due to oxidation, heavy amounts of staining, residue, and water damage. There is almost low cover gloss or most times none at all. If there is a piece missing from the cover, it should be no larger than a 1/2" to 1/4".
  • There may be up to a 1.5"-2" spine split and centerfold may be completely detached. Staples may have discoloration or some rust.
  • The inside paper quality is not good and yellow and small pieces of them may be missing.
  • Books in this grade are almost always creased, scuffed, abraded and soiled, but completely readable.

 

 

GOOD - (1.8)

Allowable Defects: 13-21

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
May have moderate odor.

May be present.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Accumulation of defects. Loose or detached.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunting, abrasions and rounded corners are allowed. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Very low to no reflectivity. Creases, tears, and folds, major dimpling.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Significate wear. May be detached at staples. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Moderate tears are allowed. Up to 1/2" triangle, 1/4" square.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Brown but not brittle. Preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Migration allowed. Significant decoloration, fading, stains, foxing, and soiling are allowed.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Major roll is allowed. 2" split is allowed. May have major color breaks.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Degraded, replaced or missing. Moderate tearing is allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Lines are common.  

 

  • The overall look is very rough, but is still complete. Corners may be very worn. Cover may have low or no reflectivity and have heavy soiling. Up to 3/4" triangle may be missing on corner, edge, or interior page. Cover may have significant surface wear with book-length cover creases.
  • Spine may have a roll or up to a 3" split. Staples may have discoloration or some rust. Staple tears are allowed. Centerfold may be loose or detached.
  • Pages can be tan or brown but not brittle and the inside paper quality is not. Pieces of the pages may be missing.

 

 

FAIR/GOOD (1.5)

Allowable Defects: 14-23

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
May have moderate to major odor.

May be present.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Accumulation of defects. Loose or detached.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunting, abrasions and rounded corners are allowed. None allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
Very low to no reflectivity. Creases, tears, and folds, major dimpling.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Considerable wear. May be detached at staples. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Tears are common. 1/2" triangle, 1/4" square, up to 1/10 of back cover missing.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Brown and edges may be brittle. Generaly preserved.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Migration allowed. Generally present.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Roll is common. 2" split is allowed. May have major color breaks.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Degraded, replaced or missing. Tearing is allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Lines are common.  

 

  • A used copy with heavy wear. It looks is as if it has been read many times with little care, but is still complete. Corners are likely very worn and cover may have no reflectivity. Small pieces of front or back cover or interior pages may be missing, but nothing is affecting the story. Cover may have considerable surface wear with book-length cover creases, significant tears, folds and may have soiling.
  • Spine may have a roll or up to 2/3rds split. Staple tears are allowed and may have discoloration or rust. Centerfold may be loose or detached.
  • Pages can be tan or brown, and edges may show some brittleness.

 

 

FAIR (1.0)

Allowable Defects: 15-24

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
Major odor may be present.

May be present.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Accumulation of defects. Loose or detached.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunting, abrasions and rounded corners are allowed. Corners may even be torn/missing. One coupon cut is allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
No reflectivity. Creases, tears, and folds, major dimpling.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Considerable wear. May be detached at staples. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Accumulation of tears. 1/2" triangle, 1/4" square, up to 1/10 of back cover missing.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Brown and edges may be brittle. Generaly preserved to difficulty.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Migration allowed. Present.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Roll is more common. 2/3 of book split is allowed. Major color breaking.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Degraded, replaced or missing. Accumulation of tears are allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Accumulation of lines are allowed.  

 

  • Fair is the lowest grade a comic book can receive as long as the story and art are complete and the copy will have virtually no eye appeal and will display major damage. A comic book in Fair condition may have non-story elements such as coupons, ad pages, or Marvel Value Stamps cut or torn out of the book. Types of damage that place a comic in Fair range include: rounded corners, a missing back cover provided the front cover is still attached, severe water damage or residue damage, mold, and paper deterioration due to oxidation. Extensive amounts of tape and heavy creases and folds on the cover and pages are prevalent. Parts of the front cover may even be missing. Soiling, staining, tears, markings or chunks missing will interfere with reading.
  • A spine split of up to 2/3 the length of the book is allowed and may be completely spit. Staple tears are allowed and may have discoloration or rust. Centerfold may be loose or detached. Staples may even be missing.
  • The quality of the paper may be low, brown, and brittle.
  • A comic in this grade has all pages and cover may be worn, ragged and unattractive.

 

POOR (0.5)

Allowable Defects: 16-25

ACID ODOR AMATEUR REPAIRS
Odor may be present.

May be present.

   
BINDARY/PRINTING CENERTFOLD
Accumulation of defects. Loose or detached. May even be missing.
   
CORNERS COUPON CUT
Blunting, abrasions and rounded corners are allowed. Corners may even be torn/missing. Coupon cuts are allowed.
   
COVER INKS/GLOSS COVER CREASES
No reflectivity. Extreme creases, tears, and folds, major dimpling. May have ragged edges.
   
COVER WEAR DATES/STAMPS
Considerable wear. May be detached at staples. May have chunks missing. Dates, stamps and initials are allowed.
   
INTERIOR TEARS MISSING PIECES
Extensive tearing is allowed. Large chunks of front, back, and/or interior.
   
PAPER QUALITY READABILITY
Brown and moderate to severe brittleness. Generaly preserved to difficulty.
   
RUST MIGRATION SOILING/STAINING
Extreme migration allowed. Extreme soiling, staining. and discoloration.
   
SPINE ROLL SPINE SPLIT
Extreme rolling is allowed. Extremely ragged or completely split.
   
STAPLES STAPLE TEAR
Extremely rusted, replaced or missing. Extensive tears are allowed.
   
STRESS LINES  
Many lines are allowed.  

 

  • Comic books in Poor condition may be missing up to 4 pages (two spreads) of story pages or display severe damage that affects the readability of the book. Copies in this grade typically will have pages and/or around 1/3 or more of the front cover missing and may have severe strains, mildew or heavy cover abrasion to the point where cover inks are gone.
  • Comic books in Poor condition may be missing up to 4 pages (two spreads) of story pages or display severe damage that affects the readability of the book. Copies in this grade typically will have pages and/or around 1/3 or more of the front cover missing and may have severe strains, mildew or heavy cover abrasion to the point where cover inks are gone.
  • At this point the spine and staples just do not matter.
  • The inside pages can be extreme brittleness and have heavy defacing with paints, varnishes, glues, oil, indelible markers or dyes, etc.