Comic grading in simple terms

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  • For those of you who are confused with the grading of comics, here is an easy and simple explanation on the terms used.

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    MINT: Describes near perfection in the comic. This includes complete flatness, bright colours, glossy covers, sharply cut corners, no rust on staples and supple, white paper. There are some schools of thought that say that because of its perfect nature, a comic in mint condition is impossible to find.

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  • NEAR-MINT: The same schools of thought that believe Mint comic books are impossible to find hold that the highest quality of comics one can find in the market are Near-Mint. NM comics have only minor imperfections, that are very subtle and just less “eye-appealing” than Mint comic books.

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  • VERY-FINE: VF comic books have exceptional eye-appeal and allow for off-white paper and barely noticeable (less than ¼ inch) stress line on the spine.

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  • FINE: Allows for minor wear but no serious defects; it should be still flat and clean but perhaps less bright in cover colour than VF comics.

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  • VERY GOOD: Described as an “average-used comic book”, a VG comic looks like it’s been read more than a few times but still has eye appeal. Characteristic of VG comics is discolouration, brown (but not brittle) paper, one loose staple (cover must be still intact) and minor tears in the inside.

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  • GOOD: This is the lowest grade acceptable by collectors; cover gloss is low or non existent, paper is brown but not brittle, creased and has minor tears, can have water stains, but in all cases completely intact and readable.

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  • FAIR: Comics in this category still have a cover and all pages, is completely readable but has missing sections like the centre fold and cut sections. Low paper quality and a slight brittleness is usual. Corners are slightly rounded, and the spine is up to 2/3 damaged.

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  • POOR: Comics of this grade are so brittle that they tend to fall apart upon touch. This grade of comics have prevalent tears and stains, heavy discolouration on the cover and inside. There may be pages missing in such comics.

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