Welcome CGC to the world of pulps" CGC will be grading them.
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Yes,

There is trimming on the second. 
I cannot really tell by the first picture but it looks like there’s a little bit of an overhang on the bottom of the pulp.

The bottom of the second picture looks like it’s razor sharp as well as the top.  The right side has definitely been trimmed as well on the second one.

If you look carefully , you can see on the right side there is a little bit of cover tearing or paper fraying (white).

**That is a tell tale sign that some trimming has occurred.**

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last 20 years dealing with thousands of pulps (many in nice shape),  trying to identify the exact tell-tale signs of trimming,

This includes comparing many issues of the same copy to each other, as well as carefully examining them under the Loop, which does help.  However it’s not an exact science, especially with slight trimming.

As Tim mentioned, you have people that trim all sides of the pulp, or just trim the top and bottom of the front cover (to fit on a shelf) Sometimes they post-trim them, after being  jammed into a shelf, the overhangs are tattered, so they trim them off. 

I have seen the right side trimmed on the front cover only, but this would be done primarily to improve the appearance or the overhang as it could be tattered.

Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason, they just decide to do some trimming, Some of it being done very well and some of it being a hack job and cut with the scissors

Really I’ve seen many different types of trimming, and learning to identify some of the telltale signs of slate trimming is a key.  Obvious trimming on all sizes pretty simple to see, It’s the Slight Trimming that’s well done it’s tougher to identify.

Dwight

Edited by detective35
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Here are two consecutive issues of Startling.  BOTH have been trimmed.  The one on the left has the typical trimmed overhang, rather crudely done with scissors (note right edge).  The other copy has been trimmed using an Industrial Meat-Cleaver (see early Warner Bros. cartoons for model specifics).  

 

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On 7/22/2021 at 11:40 AM, Robot Man said:

Who is going to know or determine if they were factory trimmed or not? There are so many variations even in the same title. 

I am afraid if they give the “green light” to trimming in a blue label, so many cool and rare pulps will be ruined in the name of the almighty dollar. 

Look what happed to comics when tape was allowed? 

I could be wrong, but I don't think it's the same situation with pulps.  Comics were trimmed to deceive, especially with micro-trimming.  The idea was to make a comic look like it's brand new without wear.  Trimming a pulp doesn't make it look brand new.  It makes it look damaged.  Sure, it may fool newbie collectors at first.  But seasoned pulp collectors know that certain pulps are supposed to have overhang.  In fact, I think the opposite it more likely.  Specific pulps that just happened to come off the press with little or no overhang will likely be punished as being trimmed when they aren't.  I don't see anyone saying it shouldn't be down-graded for being trimmed, however.  But calling a trimmed pulp "restored" just isn't accurate.  No experienced pulp collector is going to be fooled into thinking a pulp is high-grade because it's missing over-hang.  It is crucial that trimming be listed on the label, however, as it may not always be able to be ascertained if the overhang is present once it's inside a slab.

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On 7/22/2021 at 12:25 PM, Bookery said:

I could be wrong, but I don't think it's the same situation with pulps.  Comics were trimmed to deceive, especially with micro-trimming.  The idea was to make a comic look like it's brand new without wear.  Trimming a pulp doesn't make it look brand new.  It makes it look damaged.  Sure, it may fool newbie collectors at first.  But seasoned pulp collectors know that certain pulps are supposed to have overhang.  In fact, I think the opposite it more likely.  Specific pulps that just happened to come off the press with little or no overhang will likely be punished as being trimmed when they aren't.  I don't see anyone saying it shouldn't be down-graded for being trimmed, however.  But calling a trimmed pulp "restored" just isn't accurate.  No experienced pulp collector is going to be fooled into thinking a pulp is high-grade because it's missing over-hang.  It is crucial that trimming be listed on the label, however, as it may not always be able to be ascertained if the overhang is present once it's inside a slab.

CGC sometimes erroneously determine that a comic has been trimmed, and I've wondered if the Ewert situation may have caused them to err on the side of caution. It wouldn't bother me if the phrase "possible trimming" was used, rather than to flag something in error, which is just as bad as missing it altogether. GOD BLESS...

-jimbo(a friend of jesus)(thumbsu

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Tim and I agree on many things and I also agree with the points that Buttock and Robot man made.
 

In a perfect world I would like all trimmed pulps to be out into a purple label holder.  I understand why CGC wants to “Blue label” trimming, unless the trimming is egregious.

Purple labelling a ton of books at the beginning of pulp certification would not be good PR for the certification process of pulps

It is a pet peeve of mine but I can live with it if it’s detailed and explained on the label with something like “hand trimmed” or “non-manufactured trimmed”, the level trimming stated, and the grade adjusted accordingly to a maximum grade that a book could get if it was trimmed.

Dwight

 

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On 7/22/2021 at 9:41 PM, detective35 said:

Tim and I agree on many things and I also agree with the points that Buttock and Robot man made.
 

In a perfect world I would like all trimmed pulps to be out into a purple label holder.  I understand why CGC wants to “Blue label” trimming, unless the trimming is egregious.

Purple labelling a ton of books at the beginning of pulp certification would not be good PR for the certification process of pulps

It is a pet peeve of mine but I can live with it if it’s detailed and explained on the label with something like “hand trimmed” or “non-manufactured trimmed”, the level trimming stated, and the grade adjusted accordingly to a maximum grade that a book could get if it was trimmed.

Dwight

 

The problem over time is with the term "restored".  Restored should by strict definition mean an item brought back, through artificial enhancements, to appear as it was originally issued.  Obviously, trimming can never be considered true "restoration".  And it certainly isn't conservation.  I wouldn't have thought about it back in the day either, but in retrospect perhaps the purple label should have stood for "altered".  Or a label should read "Altered - Enhanced" as for a tear seal or color touch, and "Altered - Damaged" for trimming, tape, etc.  (shrug)

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On 7/23/2021 at 6:41 AM, Bookery said:

They are NOT trimmed. 

This is fascinating, I never realized the discrepancy from year to year and just assumed the one of the right was trimmed. 

Is there a source of precise/accurate measurements of untrimmed pulps somewhere? Isfdb.org gives categorical measurements and classifies both issues you posted as "Bedsheet - 8.25" by 11.25" magazines" which won't help a grader much. But a source of measurements could be a good way to both assess level of trimming (X inches/mm of trim) and accelerate how quickly graders can identify a trimmed copy in the wild west of pulps. 

Sounds like a terrifying undertaking, but the second best time to plant a tree is today...Maybe these measurements make it into @Bookery Guide for the Pulps - Third Edition....:)

-Matt

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On 7/23/2021 at 1:29 PM, RedFury said:

At Matt's request, I took measurements of Weird Tales from 1923 to about 1933.  I discovered something really interesting...the change from untrimmed to factory trimmed did not happen in one month, but was a transition that took several months.  

  • Jan 1927 to Jul 1930 - Weird Tales size was consistent at 9 3/8" high by 6" wide.  These all have overhangs and the right edges are rough cut.
  • Aug 1930 - transition begins, and the pulp is widened to 6 3/8".  Still has overhang, and the right edge of the pages are still rough cut.
  • Sep 1930 - pulp enlarged again, to 9 7/8" high by 6 3/4" wide.  Still has overhang, but right edge is now smooth cut.  1st smooth cut pages.
  • Oct 1930 - I measured it at 9 3/4" high, but that a really minor change, if it is a change at all.  Otherwise it's exactly the same as Sep 1930.  Last issue with overhang.
  • Nov 1930 - 1st factory trimmed issue.  No overhang.  Right edge smooth cut.  Size 9 7/8" high by 6 3/4" wide.  Note that the right edge on factory trimmed issue will line up exactly with the pages, but the top and bottom edges may have slight (1/8" or less) overhang.  This small overhang is much smaller than the old overhangs.
  • Dec 1930 - Size decreases slightly to 9 5/8" high by 6 3/4" wide.
  • Jan 1931 - Beginning of new standard size of 9 3/4" high by 6 5/8" wide.  I haven't checked how far this size goes, but it's at least several years.

Sounds like a nightmare for the graders. And no one has even mentioned page counts yet... 

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Here's a disaster for slabbing, and I've seen quite a few others like it. I guess since it's one of the earlier, skinnier ones, it could possibly go into the wider well of the later issues, but it's gonna be dicey, no matter how you slice it, so to speak....

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On 7/28/2021 at 12:43 PM, Bookery said:

If CGC offers a pressing service for comics, maybe they could offer a trimming service for pulps... :wink:   

(smelling salts needed for Dwight, stat!)

I would very much expect this if trimmed books end up in blue labels.  I understand the arguments both ways and frankly have mixed feelings about it myself.  I have pulps that aren't trimmed and it irritates me how much the overhang gets beaten up.  And I have pulps that are trimmed and present very well... but I know they were trimmed and I tend to prefer the untampered over the tampered, all other things being equal.  

But I think it's worth noting that if CGC decides to blue label trimmed books, a lot of pulps are going to get trimmed in the future.  I don't have any idea how to have an apples to apples comparison between a book with overhang that has a few creases but no chips and one that has 3 sides trimmed.  Does anyone else?  You can say that you hammer the grade on the trimmed book but if you have an overhang that looks like a nightmare, how does that get graded higher than a trimmed book?  

These are tough questions and, as with anything, letting the perfect be the mortal enemy of the good is counterproductive.  Still, I don't see any easy answers to a lot of these questions.

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On 7/28/2021 at 9:43 PM, Randall Dowling said:

 You can say that you hammer the grade on the trimmed book but if you have an overhang that looks like a nightmare, how does that get graded higher than a trimmed book?  

A very good question.  The first idea that comes to mind is to treat overhang beyond a certain amount as irrelevant to the grade, up to a certain grade.  Similar to how double covers only count the grade of the innermost cover for the total grade of the book, only hitting a cap somewhere.  Just to throw out a couple numbers to start the discussion, let's say overhang beyond 1/4 inch doesn't impact the grade until the book hits 7.0, after which the overhang has to be considered for a higher grade.  Then say a trimmed book can never grade higher than 6.0.  That would eliminate any incentive to trim, while not disproportionately dropping the grade on a huge overhang on an otherwise nice copy.

At leasr, that's my first thought.  

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On 7/29/2021 at 12:43 AM, Randall Dowling said:

These are tough questions and, as with anything, letting the perfect be the mortal enemy of the good is counterproductive.  Still, I don't see any easy answers to a lot of these questions.

"Confusion...will be my epitaph..."   :ohnoez:

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