To crack or not to crack, that is the question
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Theres very few things in the comic book collecting world that are more stunning to look at than a nice run of high grade raw books stored in mylites. But, i have found as I search for certain books to complete a run or series, that they just aren't readily available raw. At what point would you guys consider buying slabbed books and cracking it to include in the raw run? The higher the grade, the more un easy I feel about doing so. What do you guys prefer to do?

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I keep my slabbed Avengers away from my raw ones. To me ,it is not a big deal but I know some folks are much more obsessive than me. 

I'd display a reprint or a photocopy before I started cracking slabs.  I'm sure others will post with variant opinions.

Edited by shadroch
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On 11/6/2021 at 12:49 PM, shadroch said:

I keep my slabbed Avengers away from my raw ones. To me ,it is not a big deal but I know some folks are much more obsessive than me. 

I'd display a reprint or a photocopy before I started cracking slabs.  I'm sure others will post with variant opinions.

Thanks. Don't get me wrong. If I have a key, it will stay slabbed, but if I already have a run of 20-30 books raw in VF/NM then cracking an 8.5 or 9.0 of a non key so it will fit the rest of my collection isn't such a big deal is it?

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On 11/6/2021 at 10:49 AM, shadroch said:

I keep my slabbed Avengers away from my raw ones. To me ,it is not a big deal but I know some folks are much more obsessive than me. 

I'd display a reprint or a photocopy before I started cracking slabs.  I'm sure others will post with variant opinions.

Actually I'm in agreement with you. It will come down to personal preference but I would never crack a slabbed book. I have a complete run of Submariner that about 2/3 are slabbed with ranges from 4's to 9's with the rest raw. I know I have a complete collection and that's good for me. 

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Generally I wouldn't buy a slabbed book with the intention of cracking it out.  I would never buy a slabbed book with the itention of cracking it to include it in a raw run.

may buy a slabbed book with the intention of cracking for pressing or for a signing.

Edited by Fisionbomb
Yup
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On 11/6/2021 at 3:48 PM, Mr.Fantastic said:

Thanks. Don't get me wrong. If I have a key, it will stay slabbed, but if I already have a run of 20-30 books raw in VF/NM then cracking an 8.5 or 9.0 of a non key so it will fit the rest of my collection isn't such a big deal is it?

I don't see anything wrong with cracking your books, as long as it doesnt involve breaking out PLODs and not disclosing it to prospective buyers.  If you think they look better in mylars, break them out. Just be aware it is an expensive habit.

 

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I haven't cracked a book out with the intention of putting them in Mylar to complete a run, but I don't see anything wrong with that. 

I've actually done the opposite. Gotten "lower value" books slabbed in order to go in a run. 

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I don't take anything out of a slab unless it makes me more money doing so. But I believe life to be short and I enjoy it so do what makes you happy. Besides if the book isn't tan faded written on or has printing defects or like a 9.8 9.6 you can sell it for just as much raw if you choose to do so. 

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On 11/6/2021 at 9:57 PM, Thisisrequired said:

I don't take anything out of a slab unless it makes me more money doing so. But I believe life to be short and I enjoy it so do what makes you happy. Besides if the book isn't tan faded written on or has printing defects or like a 9.8 9.6 you can sell it for just as much raw if you choose to do so. 

Yep. This kinda sums it up for me. I’m not cracking out 9.8s and the like, and I bought a slabbed book for the same price as I could have gotten it from my favorite online shop. So, instead of the book residing in a different box than my other 20-30 books. I cracked it, took a big wiff, and put in mylar to reside with others were it and I are both happy.

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The original intention of the slab was to preserve the grade, right? A book could then exchange hands with a buyer confident in their purchase and the agreed upon condition. You could do what you want with it then.

Over the past 20 years the slab has become the star. Many collectors like the look of an issue entombed in plastic. Others like to hold a book in their hands and read it. Those same collectors know an issue will look just as good, if not better, in Mylite2. And there's no label distracting from the book itself.

I've owned 15 slabs. 6 have been cracked. I can imagine one day cracking all but 3 which are duplicates and suited for display. 

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I prefer to look at a raw book than a slabbed one, to minimize distractions, but slabs look fine, too.   Despite having had lots of expensive raws, I always slab them if a theorietical sale today would be optimized in a slab vs raw (net of expense to slab).  And that is so despite the fact that I rarely sell my books and have no plans to sell for the foreseeable future.  I like the physical protection via slabs, but also prefer leaving slabs for my wife and son for easy classification/valuation in the event I go down the rabbit hole permanently.  I was a somewhat competitive cyclist a few years back, and after a bit of a hiatus, find myself increasing my time on the road again.  A bit morbid, but I worry about those things, and slabs make me feel better about that.  As for visual preference, easy enough.  I take high-res scans and enjoy my books via cropped scans (leaving just the book), while being free to hold my slabs (and talk to them?) every few weeks if need be.  In short, not only would I never crack out a book, I would try to slab every book for which it makes cents.  (thumbsu   All that said, I have had an unsual number of slab-worthy raws the past year, but that's b/c I have been hesitant to send anything to CGC with all the current delays.  

Edited by Pantodude
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I'm in the "to each his own" camp on this question.  I personally prefer raw books, and own only about a dozen slabs.  I like to read books, especially books I've purchased recently that fill holes in my collection.  I'm a lot more comfortable with slabbed copies that are upgrades of raw books I already have.  I would agree there's an element of frustration - as a reader - with having stories I haven't read permanently out of reach, but that's not enough motivation to crack them out.  For the time being, I can always pick up a low-grade reader on the cheap.

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On 11/7/2021 at 12:11 PM, grendelbo said:

Others like to hold a book in their hands and read it.

Ah, yes.  You can still hold a slab, but the whiff potential is gone, and that's a bummer (although if you really, really, try, you can still whiff that marverlous pulp even through a slab).  As for reading it, in the case of my once-raw books, I addressed that by scanning front to back before sending to CGC.  I wouldn't want to read the raw anyway due to risk of damaging the book.  As for books I obtained as slabs well there's the rub.  Thankfully, for some of those keys, I had dupes or variants that I was able to scan.  For the rest, if need be, digital versions might be available, or, in the case of many GA goodies, scanned versions have been made available by boardies in the GA forum (god bless!).    

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On 11/6/2021 at 12:49 PM, shadroch said:

I keep my slabbed Avengers away from my raw ones.

I am the same way. I keep my slabs in boxes that are specifically designed to hold approximately 30 slabs. I have Fantastic Four #1 - #100, Spider-Man #1 - #100, and Daredevil #1 - #50 in mylar bags with acid-free backing boards. Only the books I don't have slabbed fall into this category.

I am speaking to what I feel. First, I like the way my books look in a slab, and second, it will make it easier for my heirs to sell my books when I pass away. I know others feel differently, but different strokes for different folks. I don't feel that it is my place to tell someone else what to do with their collection. If someone asks my advice, I will gladly give it to them, but I don't feel dropping a thread and insisting that doing things my way is appropriate.

If I was going to be buried, I thought about asking to be buried with my copy of Amazing Fantasy #15. Since I am going to be cremated, I guess that is still an option, albeit a very stupid option. lol

Edited by Math Teacher
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