CGC Now Recognizes Newsstand Editions and Multi-Packs on CGC Label
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CGC Now Recognizes Newsstand Editions and Multi-Packs on CGC Label

Posted on 9/26/2022

Because of increasing demand, CGC will recognize newsstands and multipacks beginning September 26, 2022.

Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®) is proud to announce the identification of newsstand editions and multi-packs, beginning Monday, September 26, 2022. Because of their rarity, newsstand editions and multi-packs have been increasingly sought out by comic collectors in recent years, making the recognition of this attribute an important component of certification.

 

ASm252_newsstand_innerwell20220922170444 ASm252_newsstand_back20220922170607641.p
Click images to enlarge.

 

 

What are newsstand editions?

 

Newsstand editions are comic books that were distributed to the public through traditional channels like newsstands, grocery stores and drug stores. This was the only way comics were distributed during the first 45 years of the industry. Once comic collecting took hold and comic book shops began springing up across the country, direct distribution was established in the late 1970s to cater directly to those shops. Unlike newsstand editions, direct editions could not be returned for credit, but comic shops were able to get their new comics sooner than newsstands, and at a deeper discount, a fair trade-off.

As the 1980s progressed, more and more collectors purchased their new comics from local comic shops, while newsstand sales diminished. In the face of shrinking demand, publishers ultimately discontinued newsstand sales altogether by the 2010s.

 

What is the difference between a newsstand and a direct edition?

 

To enforce their no return policy for direct editions, comic publishers made subtle alterations to comic covers to differentiate newsstand editions from those directly distributed to comic book shops. Newsstand versions exhibited a UPC code on the cover, whereas most direct editions did not. From the beginning of direct distribution in 1979 until the mid 1990s, most direct editions displayed different attributes in place of the UPC code, including a blank box, a box with art or text, or a UPC code with a line through it.

 

newsstand%20220220922104343334.jfif newsstand%20120220922104303885.jfif
UPC Code (Newsstand) Strikethrough (Direct)

 

 

newsstand%20420220922104551547.jpg newsstand%20320220922104506371.jpg
UPC Code (Newsstand) Art Box (Direct)

 

By the mid 1990s both versions were printed with a UPC code on the cover, but direct editions contained the words “direct edition” next to the UPC code to distinguish them from newsstand editions.

 

newsstand%20620220922105312378.jpg newsstand%20520220922105228106.jpg
UPC Code (Newsstand 1994) UPC Code (Direct 1994)

 

 

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UPC Code (Newsstand 2006) UPC Code (Direct 2006)

 

 

Why are newsstand editions desirable?

 

As newsstand editions diminished throughout the 1980s, their survival rate diminished as well. This was exacerbated by the fact that most newsstand buyers were casual readers who did not preserve their comics, and in most cases threw them away after they were read. By the 2000s, the number of newsstand editions within a print run was miniscule, making them true rarities compared to their direct edition counterparts.

 

When does CGC identify a newsstand edition?

 

Even though almost every comic book sold prior to 1979 was technically a newsstand edition, CGC will only identify a newsstand copy if a direct market edition also exists. Several publishers began to distribute both newsstand and direct editions throughout the 1980s, starting with Marvel in 1979, DC in 1980, Harvey in 1986 and Archie in 1988. Others began in the 1990s, including Dark Horse, Ultraverse, Valiant and Topps. These publishers ceased newsstand distribution at various time as well, starting in the 1990s. Marvel ended newsstand versions in 2013, and DC followed suit in 2017.

A few titles break the rules, containing some issues that were distributed through direct market only, and yet exhibit a UPC code with no “direct edition” comment. Because of this, the presence of a UPC code is not a definitive indicator that an issue is a newsstand edition. CGC has extensively researched titles and issues from every company to accurately determine which issues contain both newsstand editions and direct market editions within their print run.

 

Marvel multi-pack editions

 

Between 1977 and 1979, just prior to Marvel’s move to direct distribution, numerous issues from several Marvel titles were printed with altered covers and distributed in pre-sealed multi-packs. The main alteration consisted of placing the price and issue number within a diamond, rather than the traditional square box. These variants have sometimes been referred to as “Whitman variants” in the community, but some multi-packs were released by other distributors as well.

 

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Marvel Regular Edition (1978) Marvel Multi-Pack Edition (1978)

 

 

DC multi-pack editions

 

DC also released their version of multi-packs in the 1990s, specifically containing issues of Zero Hour and DC Universe (DCU). Zero Hour issues are identified by the Zero Hour symbol placed inside the UPC/art box, and DCU issues by the DCU title placed inside the UPC/art box. In addition to acknowledging newsstand editions, CGC will also identify both Marvel and DC multi-pack copies with a notation of “Multi-Pack Edition” on the label.

 

dc%20logo%20120220922105943618.jpg dc%20logo%20220220922110008046.jpg
DC Direct (1993) DC Multi-Pack (1993)

 

 

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DC Newsstand (1993)

 

 

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Zero Hour Direct (1994) Zero Hour Multi-Pack (1994)

 

 

How do I get my comic reholdered for a newsstand/multi-pack notation?

 

There are newsstand and multi-pack editions that have been CGC certified without identification over the last 23 years. To ease the process of reholdering these certified copies to obtain the “newsstand” and “multi-pack edition” attribute on the label, a newsstand button has been added to the “Reholder” option on CGC’s online form. Choosing this option will ensure your comic(s) will be evaluated and confirmed as a newsstand or multi-pack edition, and the notation added to the CGC label prior to reholdering. It is important to choose the newsstand option on the online form; otherwise your comic(s) will not be evaluated for newsstand or multi-pack recognition before reholdering.

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On 9/29/2022 at 5:33 PM, paqart said:

In reference to CGC's "extensive research", is there a way to determine if a specific comic has a newsstand edition? I am particularly curious about Catwoman (2002) #1 and #3. 

I will check.  Most likely, I won't have an answer until Monday.

Mike

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On 9/29/2022 at 5:33 PM, paqart said:

In reference to CGC's "extensive research", is there a way to determine if a specific comic has a newsstand edition? I am particularly curious about Catwoman (2002) #1 and #3. 

According to our research there is only a direct edition #1, but there appears to be a newsstand #3 in addition to the direct edition. 

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On 10/1/2022 at 9:19 AM, cgcsketcherz said:

Will this count for books already at CGC that arrived before the announcement? Does it automatically get applied to all books going forward, or do you need to put it on the paperwork somewhere?  @CGC Mike

I will check to be sure.

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On 10/1/2022 at 6:07 PM, CGC Mike said:

According to our research there is only a direct edition #1, but there appears to be a newsstand #3 in addition to the direct edition. 

Thank you. Will this research be made available to collectors online? It would be very handy to know, even if not definitively, that CGC has or has not found found NS versions of certain comics. For instance, the 3 Darwyn Cooke cover Jonah Hex issues (#33, 50, and 56), Gotham City Sirens #1-24, or Catwoman #43-83. Also, my impression is that Marvel was more consistent than DC at printing newsstand editions of every comic that had a direct edition (except Sensational She-Hulk #1. Does CGC's research corroborate this?

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On 10/1/2022 at 9:19 AM, cgcsketcherz said:

Will this count for books already at CGC that arrived before the announcement? Does it automatically get applied to all books going forward, or do you need to put it on the paperwork somewhere?  @CGC Mike

We started applying them to books hitting the grading room Monday. These books had already been at CGC a few days. You don’t have to put it on the form but that certainly doesn’t hurt either. 

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I had a copy of New Mutants 98 that was removed from a pack that also included #99 #100 and xforce 1. The bar codes or section isnt any different than the original books will these be a candidate for the notation? I was told by a administrator here that i could open it and send it in. But there was no notation on the label at the time. 

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I did a submission yesterday and there is not a place to add a note for newsstand. I tried to write it at the end of my book listing and the form refused to recognize it. If it won’t show up in the drop down, which may take too much hassle, could there be a check box?

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On 10/8/2022 at 9:14 AM, mysterio said:

I did a submission yesterday and there is not a place to add a note for newsstand. I tried to write it at the end of my book listing and the form refused to recognize it. If it won’t show up in the drop down, which may take too much hassle, could there be a check box?

Here's what was posted earlier in the thread.

On 10/3/2022 at 7:48 AM, CGC Mike said:
On 10/1/2022 at 9:19 AM, cgcsketcherz said:

Will this count for books already at CGC that arrived before the announcement? Does it automatically get applied to all books going forward, or do you need to put it on the paperwork somewhere?  @CGC Mike

We started applying them to books hitting the grading room Monday. These books had already been at CGC a few days. You don’t have to put it on the form but that certainly doesn’t hurt either. 

You could write it on the packing slip.

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@CGC Mike I know you've already been pinged to the discussion of this in the Modern section, but in the interests of wider attention... Books that have been broken out this way appear to have the NS edition entered as a Pedigree rather than a Variant, which means they aren't showing up separately in the Census (among other things).

Is this intended? It certainly doesn't seem to be what was advertised regarding the policy change.

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On 10/14/2022 at 12:55 PM, Qalyar said:

@CGC Mike I know you've already been pinged to the discussion of this in the Modern section, but in the interests of wider attention... Books that have been broken out this way appear to have the NS edition entered as a Pedigree rather than a Variant, which means they aren't showing up separately in the Census (among other things).

Is this intended? It certainly doesn't seem to be what was advertised regarding the policy change.

I'm checking into this.

Mike

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On 10/2/2022 at 10:38 AM, paqart said:

my impression is that Marvel was more consistent than DC at printing newsstand editions of every comic that had a direct edition (except Sensational She-Hulk #1

Nope. Both had Direct-only titles. Both began and ended Newsstands in the middle of runs. However, DC never inexplicably created Newsstands for random issues in the middle of Direct-only runs.

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On 10/14/2022 at 3:10 PM, Lazyboy said:

Nope. Both had Direct-only titles. Both began and ended Newsstands in the middle of runs. However, DC never inexplicably created Newsstands for random issues in the middle of Direct-only runs.

The choice of issues that got the DC Universe treatment, on the other hand...

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@CGC Mike Any update on this? I've seen a couple other recent newsstand-labeled slabs, but they all have the same problem. The serial lookup shows the newsstand designation was entered as a Pedigree instead of a Variant, which makes them sort incorrectly in the census (and the registry, which inherits categorization from the census).

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