Excerpts from The Official CGC Guide to Grading Comics

Grader Notes

Introduction

During the grading process, CGC records the presence of some or all the defects on a comic book, called “grader notes”, which mirror the terms in this section and can be obtained free online for many comics that have been CGC certified.

Grader notes sometimes contain the degree and location of a defect on the comic book as well. Other times multiple defects are condensed into one note for conciseness or to convey the combined effect of the defects.

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Table of Contents

Crease

This category contains defects that involve a folding or bending of the paper of a comic book, and usually occurs on the cover, although creasing is sometimes evident on interior pages as well.

Bend | Crease | Crunch | Dent | Finger Bends | Finger Creases | Indent | Polybag Crease | Reader Crease | Reverse Spine Roll | Spine Roll | Stacking Bend | Staple Impression | Stress Lines | Subscription Crease | Vein | Writing Indent

Distortion

The category of distortion encompasses the broadest range of defects among the seven classifications, involving both aesthetic and structural effects.

Blade Pulls | Butterfly | Canvassing | Cockling | Crushed Spine | Fade | Ink Distortion | Ink Smear | Miscut | Miswrap | Off-Register | Pebbling | Printer Crease | Rippling | Shadow | Siamese Pages | Signature Smudged | Staple Altered | Staple Extra (manufacturing) | Warping

Stain

This category involves blemishes on the comic that affect the appearance of the paper, ink and gloss, making them aesthetic defects.

Foxing | Mold/Mildew | Odor | Rust Stains | Smoke Damage | Stain | Tape Stain | Transfer Stain

Substance

This category involves foreign objects becoming affixed to the surface of a comic, usually the cover.

Color Copy | Distribution Ink | Fingerprints | Ink Transfer | Lamination | Married Wrong | Name Written on Cover | Soiling | Stamp | Staple Extra (after manufacting) | Staple Rust | Sticker | Substance | Tape | Tape Reattachment | Tape Residue | Writing

Tanning

The smallest category of the seven, tanning involves the darkening of comic paper through exposure to the elements.

Tanning

Tear

Defects in this category involve the separation of paper anywhere on the book and is also considered a structural defect.

Bindery Tear | Brittleness Splitting | Detached Cover | Detached Insert | Detached Page | Detached Piece | Detached Wrap | Marvel Tears | Slice | Spine Split | Staple Detached | Staple Poking Through Cover | Staple Recessed | Staple Tears | Tear

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Introduction (cont'd)

During the grading process, CGC records the presence of some or all the defects on a comic book, called “grader notes”, which mirror the terms in this section and can be obtained free online for many comics that have been CGC certified.

Grader notes sometimes contain the degree and location of a defect on the comic book as well. Other times multiple defects are condensed into one note for conciseness or to convey the combined effect of the defects.

The presence of certain defects has been disclosed on CGC’s label over the years, including tape, staples added after manufacturing, full detachments, missing parts, stickers, color copies, wrong parts and unverified signatures. This section of the guide breaks down each of the 109 defects, showing how they are defined and identified, what effect they have on a comic book’s grade and pictures illustrating what they look like.

The 109 different defects CGC identifies on a comic book are grouped into seven general classifications below: crease, missing part, tear, distortion, substance, stain, and tanning. A description is provided for each defect, and if applicable, a general grade range that a comic book may fall into when exhibiting that defect, depending on the defect’s severity.

For more detailed information about each of these defects, you can purchase “The Official CGC Guide to Grading Comics,” by CGC President Matt Nelson, in the CGC Store.

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