My Two Cents on Grading
Mint: (MT) 10.0: An anomaly with nothing wrong, perfect cut, perfect paper, Perfect
Mint-: (MT-) 9.9: An anomaly with virtually nothing wrong, perfect cut, perfect
paper, Perfect color. For example off center staple placement.
Near Mint/Mint: (NM/MT) 9.8: Perfect in every way except the smallest single bindery
Near Mint +: (NM+) 9.6: Perfect in every way except two to three of the smallest
Near Mint: (NM) 9.4: a near perfect book that can have a few, very minor bindery
defects, and no more than one none bindery defect, a hairline crease, or color blemish,
a slight dimple. Paper can be white to off-white, highest grade that non-white paper
Near Mint -: (NM-) 9.2: a very near perfect book that can have a very minor bindery
defects, and minor wear/age defects, hairline crease's, very minor color blemish's,
slight dimple's, highest grade that a professionally placed stamp or pen mark should
be allowed. Paper can be off-white.
Very Fine/Near Mint: (VF/NM) 9.0: a book that looks perfect at first glance but
on close examination it reveals no more than one small defect such a dirty back
cover, or a slight edge dimple due to string used in delivery or several small cover
dimples not noticeable unless examined at angle in bright light or slight rounding
on no more than 1 corner or very light stress lines around the staples showing that
the book was read or very slight stress lines (two or less) on spine. It must have
a perfectly straight spine and straight edges, no chipping is allowed. No dents
are allowed on spine. A slight amount of bindery off cut is allowed.
Very Fine +: (VF +) 8.5: a book that looks near perfect at first glance but it has
one noticeable but still slight defect and maybe a less noticeable defect such a
dirty back cover, a slight edge dimple, small cover dimples, slight rounding on
no more than 2 corner, very light stress lines around the staples and spine. It
must have a perfect spine and straight edges, no chipping is allowed. A slight amount
of bindery off cut is allowed. Cover must be glossy unless done on a matte surface.
Very Fine: (VF) 8.0: a book that looks very nice but can have a few very minor defects,
it can have any defects allowed for a higher grade book but can also include minor
spine dings and dents, multiple slight edge dimple's, minor rounding on no more
than 2 corner's, several very light stress lines around the staples and spine. It
must have a nearly perfect spine and edges, very minor chipping is allowed. Slight
Bindery off cut is allowed. This is the highest grade that will allow cover creases
that are minor and do not break the color. Edge inking is allowed in this book as
long as it has not bleed to cover. Paper can begin to show edge tanning. This is
the lowest of the high-grade group of books.
Very Fine-: (VF-) -7.5-: similar in appearance to VF but can have one defect that
is more obvious than the others, including a light crease on the back cover. Edge
inking is allowed can minor bleed over. Interior page can have minor bindery tears.
Beginning of the middle grade group of books. Very minor dust shadow is allowed
but only on back cover.
Fine/Very Fine: (FN/VF) -7.0-: a nice book in every way except for one obvious but
minor problem or a multiple of minor defects that affect higher grades. Highest
grade that can have a small but noticeable color fleck or paper can be slightly
tan or very slight spine roll or light corner crease or light edge tear on cover
or poorly placed date stamp. Edge inking can have some bleed over. Interior page
can have multiple minor bindery tears. Very minor dust shadow is allowed on front
Fine+: (FN+) -6.5-: a book that overall is Very Fine or better except it has one
defect that is not allowed above Fine.
Fine: (FN) -6.0-: the standard of middle grade books, you should be able to hold
a Fine at arms length and not see any defects at first glance. Longer creasing (up
to 3") is allowed as long as it does not break the color for more than a quarter
of the length or a small multi -line crease barely breaking the color is allowed
in the upper or lower corner. A few small (less then 1/4") edge tears are allowed.
Small nicely written name can be on cover if located in logo area. Spine is generally
tight and edges are straight, comers can be slightly rounded. Interior page can
have a few minor dog-eared pages or can have a small edge tear or two. Paper can
be lightly tan. Can have a moderate sized dust shadow. Highest grade that allows
archival tape over a small tear or small spine split. A light dust shadow can run
from edge to edge of front cover or up to 1/3 of back cover.
Fine-: (FN-) -5.5-: a slightly larger accumulation or heaver amount of defects than
fine would cause the Fine- grade. Typically fits fine in every respect but will
have one small crease that breaks the color or a little too tan to pass for fine.
Creases can lightly break color.
Very Good/Fine: (VG/FN) -5.0-: this is a nice book that would be fine except for
one small but obvious defect, typically one long crease that breaks the color or
dog-eared pages throughout the book. It can have one heavy dent that breaks the
color or one longer edge tear up to 1/2". It may have multiple edge dimples or pronounced
Very Good+: (VG+) -4.5-: a book that overall is Fine or better except it has one
defect that is not allowed above Very Good.
Very Good: (VG) -4.0-: the lowest of the middle grade book group. The highest possible
grade that will allow any type of non-archival tape, but only in the smallest of
quantities, and to a book that would grade Fine or better otherwise. Only the tiniest
(1/8") of spine splitting is allowed at top or bottom but not both. Color can be
slightly diminished but not faded. This is the highest grade that would allow a
top to bottom subscription crease that runs throughout entire book. Book can have
a slight waviness due to being stored by moisture but cannot be water damaged. Centerfold
can be loose at one staple. No pieces can be missing from a book in this grade.
A book in this grade can have multiple edge creasing along the spine but must be
otherwise Fine or better. A light water stain is allowed but it should not affect
paper quality. A light amount of rusting on the staples is allowed.
Very Good-: (VG-) -3.5-: a book that would be Very Good except for a tiny (3/16")
piece missing from a corner or a small sliver (1/8") from the edge or slightly worse
spine splitting than Very Good allows.
Good/Very Good: (GVG) -3.0-: The standard for the low-grade collector. Book can
have small (up to 3/4") spine splitting on top or bottom. One but not both staples
can be loose or centerfold can be loose. There can be a marking or writing in the
artwork area of cover but it cannot deface the artwork. A couple of small pieces
of tape can be found on the book but they cannot have caused the paper to discolor.
There can be several color breaking creases but the artwork should not be overly
impacted by the. There can be heavy fading if the book is otherwise a fine or better.
Good+: (G+) -2.5-: a book that overall is Very Good or better except it has one
defect that is not allowed above Good.
Good: (G) -2.0-: a copy in this condition is called good but leaves much to be desired.
A good comic is usually an accumulation of many defects but is still complete and
the cover is attached at least on one staple. Small pieces can be missing from the
spine or the corners but no chunks. There can be tape on spine but it cannot be
affecting paper below. There is usually a lot of creases or a noticeable water stain.
There can be a small tape pull. There can be a lot of writing on cover but artwork
should not be defaced. Pieced can be missing from interior edges as long as story
is not affected. Paper can be browning.
Good-: (G+) -1.8-: this grade is has extreme cases of the good grade but not further.
Example would be cover loose on both staples or tape is affecting paper but only
Fair/Good: (FA/G) -1.5-: cover is loose but not completely split. Or there is writing
that defaces the artwork. Can have lots of tape but not heavy tape stains, there
can be lots of tears but most of book is intact. A panel can be cut out if it does
not affect stories. Can have writing inside but stories should be readable. A slight
bit of localized brittle ness such as one corner is allowed. As long as the rest
of the paper is stable.
Fair: (FA) -1.0-: overall readable but has major defects. A chunk can be missing
from cover if cover is attached larger pieces can be missing from the back cover.
Cover is lose and has small pieces out, heavy tape with lots of stains or logo cut
but art work intact or ad piece is out of a otherwise good or better book or center
fold out of multistory book and it does not affect the main character or other significant
story. Back cover can be missing if front cover is complete. Can have localized
minor brittleness on edges as long as the rest of the book is ok.
Poor: (PR) -0.5-: a book with major defects, rendering part or all of the book unreadable,
often large chunks are missing from interior pages or up to two thirds of the front
cover. Can have heavy water damage or be brittle or have major color flecking. Book
may be moldy or chewed by rats or bugs. Might have major staining from paint or
Incomplete: (Inc) -0.1-: missing cover or pages or both. Key books with nice paper
and no cover can bring up to the good price if people are looking for parts. A book
with multiple complete stories worth most while a good centerfold is second best.
Missing cover and centerfold is worse and so on.