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When a Comic Book Drops in Grade... posted by Tnerb

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Is describing the grading industry as an art form simply a respectful way of saying they don't know what they are doing?

 

With additional grading companies, it is imperative for CGC to get it right. In the early days skeptics sent a book in, had it graded, cracked it and sent it back in again. Would they get the same grade? Did it drop? Did it soar? I am sure the same people decided to try out CBCS and do the same. I know I did. But this is more about sending the same book in to the same company after a signing.

 

I cracked many of my New Mutants books graded a 9.8. Many of them returned retaining the same grade, but a few dropped. Between Bagofleas and I, four out of five of our New Mutants Annual number one's dropped to A 9.6, and I can accept this. It is when a book drops or raises (without a press) more than a single grade that I have a problem with. On a side note my own personal annual went from a 9.2 to an 8. This was the greatest change in grade I had ever personally experience. One I never expected to happen again. It did.

 

The case in question is a book I had graded by CGC in January of 2015. It received a 9.2. I wrestled with the dilemma of getting this holy grail signed and after passing on opportunity after opportunity I decided, why not? And then after I did it, I asked Why?

 

Thanks for Reading

 

Tnerb

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Is describing the grading industry as an art form simply a respectful way of saying they don't know what they are doing?

 

With additional grading companies, it is imperative for CGC to get it right. In the early days skeptics sent a book in, had it graded, cracked it and sent it back in again. Would they get the same grade? Did it drop? Did it soar? I am sure the same people decided to try out CBCS and do the same. I know I did. But this is more about sending the same book in to the same company after a signing.

 

I cracked many of my New Mutants books graded a 9.8. Many of them returned retaining the same grade, but a few dropped. Between Bagofleas and I, four out of five of our New Mutants Annual number one's dropped to A 9.6, and I can accept this. It is when a book drops or raises (without a press) more than a single grade that I have a problem with. On a side note my own personal annual went from a 9.2 to an 8. This was the greatest change in grade I had ever personally experience. One I never expected to happen again. It did.

 

The case in question is a book I had graded by CGC in January of 2015. It received a 9.2. I wrestled with the dilemma of getting this holy grail signed and after passing on opportunity after opportunity I decided, why not? And then after I did it, I asked Why?

 

Thanks for Reading

 

Tnerb

16992.jpeg

 

See more journals by Tnerb

It's shocking to get a 9.2 reduced to 8.0. According to GPA a Universal Iron Man #55 may be worth about $1250 while 8.0 SS may sell for something like $700 - 1k. Unless the book was manhandled when being signed, it's difficult to understand the difference - besides the human factor and possible different grading standards hm Just imagine if someone got an Action Comics #1 CGC 9.2 back as 8.0 :fear: The 8.0 SS was graded October 1 2015, the 9.2 Universal January 29 2014, so it's not like having a 2001 CGC book regraded after many years (of course I do not know how much the book has travelled or has been dropped in that period, so probably hard to say for sure if the book was in exactly the same condition when being graded 9.2 and 8.0 hm - That would take an experiment where the book never left the CGC but just got graded by different graders - CGC should publish inter-rater agreements, kappa values :idea: ) .Have you contacted CGC about this? That would be the first thing I would do... - and did you send in the old book label? (Seems like 1136837002 is now a live ghost in the Census :gossip: )
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what were the graders' notes on the IM 55? What defects did you see on it? Did it seem to be a strong or a weak 9.2? I suggest you pay and get the graders notes for both serial numbers and compare.

 

If the decision was made to make the book more valuable, then it did not turn out successfully. Lesson learned. Either inconsistent grading or perhaps subsequent handing damage caused the reduction in grade.

 

If the decision was to made to get a nice signature for your collection, then you accomplished that.

 

Sorry that it dropped,. That is painful.

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Good journal, and it brings up something I've always wondered -- how careful is CGC when the books get encapsulated? What if your book grades out a 9.8, but a subsequent mishap dings a corner before the book is finally sealed up in all its 9.8 glory and shipped back to you?

 

I know from my own experience that there are several Universal 9.8s in my collection that I would never dare risk breaking out for a signature for the sole reason that I see some flaw in the book that leads me to believe there's no way it would ever retain a 9.8. I've found this especially prevalent with subtle spine stress on Wolverine books from the 2003 series. And coincidentally (or not), that series just so happens to be where I've suffered the most downgrades.

 

My $0.02.

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I know from my own experience that there are several Universal 9.8s in my collection that I would never dare risk breaking out for a signature for the sole reason that I see some flaw in the book that leads me to believe there's no way it would ever retain a 9.8.

 

I agree completely. While it's too bad about the grade going down here, I think ultimately grading is subjective. Sometimes books are overgraded by cgc, sometimes undergraded. When you submit again things might get corrected. It's like regrading a test. I don't think other grading companies will do any better, provided they are also using humans to grade. And the problem with other companies -- at least at the moment -- is they do not command the market up-tick of CGC. That's pretty apparent from the recent clink and cconnect auctions. Just my opinion. Interesting topic for discussion, thanks

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I know you and Bagofleas often crack (and recrack) books for sigs and additional sigs. It is a risky practice because of the additional handling. As mentioned above, it all depends on your goal.

 

Still a nice book to have.

 

See you at a future con!

James

 

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Yeah, that bites. Sorry my friend. As others have said, even with all the standards in place, grading is still very subjective. We do all we can by picking up the best looking books we can find and afford, getting them pressed if we're so inclined, and then sending them off to CGC...from there it's all in the hands of the graders.

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