Suspense Comics 3 on Heritage Signature Auction might have a married cover that isn't disclosed?
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55 posts in this topic

On 11/16/2022 at 2:09 PM, 10centcomics said:

I was tempted to bid on the low grade (CGC 1.0) Suspense Comics 3 coming up in this week's Heritage Signature Auction. As I was poking around for historical prices paid for the book, I noticed that the same book (in a different holder by a competitor grading company) was sold by HA in 2017. Back then, the book was marked as incomplete, missing the final 4 pages. There is no such mention of missing pages in the 2020 grader notes (https://www.cgccomics.com/certlookup/2139877002/) for the recent listing.

Link to 2022 Signature Auction: https://comics.ha.com/itm/golden-age-1938-1955-/suspense-comics-3-continental-magazines-1944-cgc-fr-10-light-tan-to-off-white-pages/a/7283-93084.s?ic4=GalleryView-Thumbnail-071515

Link to 2017 Sale: https://comics.ha.com/itm/golden-age-1938-1955-/suspense-comics-3-incomplete-continental-magazines-1944-cbcs-pr-05-cream-to-off-white-pages/a/7158-91111.s?ic4=GalleryView-Thumbnail-071515

What's going on here? I don't think it was originally mistakenly graded by the other company. Nor do I think one of the owners magically stumbled upon the 4 missing pages and added them back to the book. It's possible the most current grading missed married pages but that seems unlikely based on how easy it is to identify married pages (misaligned staples, in consistent tanning, different cuts of paper, etc.) I took a closer look at the high-res scans and I think it's obvious the cover is the same based on the major chipping, the "a" pencil mark, and the ink stain on the top right corner. However, if you look at what's visible of the the interior pages from the cover scan, this does not appear to be the same interior book. The tanning of the pages are different but that could just be the scanner. More telling is the top right page corners: for the 2017 listing, those corners are flaked off whereas they look sharp in the 2022 listing. The center staple also appears to be positioned differently.

It seems the cover from the 2017 book was married to a different coverless (but otherwise complete) copy and this went undetected. I could see how a married split cover would be harder to detect than a married page, especially given all the chipping defects and spine damage. If I understand correctly, CGC doesn't use green qualified labels for low-grade books. But if the cover is indeed married, shouldn't this be disclosed in the grader notes and does it still belong in a blue holder? 

Would love to get thoughts and comments from the community here. Thanks!

OMG.  Those are the same cover beyond a doubt.  I think both Heritage and CGC should be alerted.

Your forensic abilities are to be commended

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Obviously the same cover. Despite being rated lt. tan to ow the page quality looks superior to the incomplete copy which clearly had some brittleness the other grading company chose to ignore.

I would prefer a complete copy, even if married, and considering the the grade is so low (arguably still a PR given the raggedness of the cover), I wouldn't give any consideration as to whether the cover was married or not. 

Some people love the blue label, even on total beaters, but if we are going to straight with our appraisal, the book has way bigger issues than being a married copy, and if a chipped up totally split cover is acceptable (due to rarity or financial considerations) then it really shouldn't matter if it's married or not. Obviously it should be disclosed if known, and the book belongs with a qualified label if CGC is going to be consistent, but I certainly wouldn't be dissuaded from buying it if it has a blue label. I'd value it the same either way.

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Agree with @GreatCaesarsGhost on your great forensic abilities!

Obviously you're very interested in this copy, and your concerns are merited. Like @rjpb explains, we all have different comfort levels on book defects and damage. I think the colors on this copy are amazing - better than my 1.0 copy. 

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I'm thinking a coverless copy is being used to complete a copy just my guess.The cover was detached anyway on the .5 but one would think the graders would catch that but who knows.The price will most likely be far from what it is now and i will be watching this one :whatthe:

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Good sleuthing!  I'd say what's going on is someone got a decent bump on a marriage and a slip on the graders part. 

Not in the same league by any stretch, but I once sold a married Cindy #37 (I clearly disclosed it was married).  I've seen it for sale subsequently (2x I think) in a slab with blue label. So mistakes do happen.  But for a book of this caliber, I'd hope it was the ole' measure twice and label once.

I sort of agree the grade kinda covers it and maybe value/price work out in the end - but regardless the intent of the label is to disclose such things, so this is clearly a miss.  Unfortunately no process, not even banks, hospitals or airlines is 100%.

On a different note, I'm not going to lie - I'd would have been giddy when this came back from the slabinator... and I can understand not even noting it in the submission...lets be honest, that submission is always a bit of a roll of the dice - more than a few times I've been stung the other way with an unpleasant surprise (which again, is really the reason behind slabbing at least as much as the grade itself imo). 

But if its one thing I've observed about this hobby - stuff's going to come out.  No point in trying to slip a fast one by. 

Edited by path4play
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Suspense 3 has always been a tricky page count with some copies printed without the CF and them having to glue the CF back in. It is a 56 page book (60 counting the covers), and not a standard 64 page (68 with covers) golden age book.  So, the question might be which third party grading company may have miscounted the pages? :p

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On 11/16/2022 at 4:15 PM, Primetime said:

Suspense 3 has always been a tricky page count with some copies printed without the CF and them having to glue the CF back in. It is a 56 page book (60 counting the covers), and not a standard 64 page (68 with covers) golden age book.  So, the question might be which third party grading company may have miscounted the pages? :p

The description says "last 4 pages missing" on the .5 description, so it would seem this is not a matter of missing the centerfold.

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On 11/16/2022 at 4:21 PM, rjpb said:

The description says "last 4 pages missing" on the .5 description, so it would seem this is not a matter of missing the centerfold.

yup, I was just making a comment regarding the CF - I was not implying that was the problem with this particular copy :preach:

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On 11/17/2022 at 1:29 AM, KCOComics said:

Look at the back cover scans. It's a totally different interior. The upper left corner of the 2017 one has rat chew.

The current listing has none of that. 

I'm guessing the .5 was bought for the cover. And because the cover has big missing pieces in key areas, it was harder for CGC to identify the marriage. 

For example lots of missing paper right at the center staple, so it's tough to see how the  staple would have aligned.  

Great job catching this.  The marriage should be disclosed to Heritage by the seller and communicated during the auction. 

 

that's an excellent, observation - married but complete. 

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Nice detective work .Real nice.  One minor thing I noticed too was on the first letter S , just to the right of the spear, there was a little black dot on the not cgc photo but not there on the cgc scan. Also a little white dot on the black border of the second S is gone, and a little white dot on the black border of the first E as well. But that could just be debris on or inside the not cgc holder. 

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