Knowing your comic book’s condition is very useful. It’s necessary to determine an accurate appraisal value. It’s necessary to know if the way you’re storing it is appropriate.

Determining a comic book’s condition is very subjective and more of an art than a science. Here are some tips and guidelines to help you through the process:

Analyze The Edges

When comics are first printed, the edges are crisp and the corners are sharp. Over time they naturally wear away. Storing your comic books correctly can significantly slow down the normal wear-and-tear process. But knowing the condition of the edges helps determine the overall condition of the comic book.

Analyze The Color

Like edges and corners, colors fade over time. This is natural (but also preventable with proper storage). Analyzing the color without reference is tough, so it’s best to make this comparison next to another comic book — ideally the same comic book but usually that’s not possible, so any newer comic book will do.

Note Any Other Wear And Tear

Aside from the usual edges, corners and colors, is there any other wear on the comic book? Are there any creases? Is the binding coming apart or loosening a bit? These are very minor details but are important to identify and note when determining a comic book’s condition.

Compare To The Standard Comic Book Grades

There are some generally accepted grades for comic books, which helps standardize the grading system. They are subjective, but are as followed:

NM Near Mint
VF Very Fine
FN Fine
VG Very Good
GD Good
FR Fair
PR Poor

To get more specific, you can add pluses (+) and minuses (-), as well as overlap between conditions. This looks like the following:

GM Gem Mint
M Mint
NM/M Near Mint/Mint
NM+ Near Mint+
NM Near Mint
NM- Near Mint-
VF/NM Very Fine/Near Mint
VF+ Very Fine+
VF Very Fine
VF- Very Fine-
FN/VF Fine/Very Fine
FN+ Fine+
FN Fine
FN- Fine-
VG/FN Very Good/Fine
VG+ Very Good+
VG Very Good
VG- Very Good-
GD/VG Good/Very Good
GD+ Good+
GD Good
GD- Good-
FR/GD Fair/Good
FR Fair
PR Poor

Or Get A Professional Appraisal With Sparkle City Comics

If this is a lot to take in, a lot to do, or if you just want professional help or a second opinion, it’s never a bad idea to get a professional appraisal of a comic book, which we can provide here at Sparkle City Comics!

If you ever have questions or are interested in selling your comics to us, please give us a call at at 800-743-9205!

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