Monthly Archives: November 2013

Comic Book Grading – part 1

Comic Grading – Part 1 a bit of history

Back in the day, that is B.O. (Before Overstreet), we collectors had a simple way of grading our comic books. Let’s call it the 4 point system and here they are in a nutshell:

  • “That comic looks brand new!”
  • “That comic is in fantastic condition”
  • “That comic is in good condition”
  • “That comic is in lousy condition”

Pretty simple…right? Grading comic book conditions are most subjective in nature. Whenever there is a human being involved in judging something, all sorts of biases creep into the equation. Most of them are not on purpose; they are simply built into our brains. Things like favorite colors and desirable color combinations. Is the cover artist one of your favorites? Does the date when you first saw or read this comic remind you of a good time in your life or maybe a time you’d rather forget? Do you prefer a matt finish or a glossy one? How were the conditions of the last 10 comics you just looked at? This is, but a short list. With all of these biases, it’s no wonder that two individuals usually will grade a comic differently. So it’s important to keep the grading system simple, isn’t it?

So, the 4 point system seemed to work pretty well until the autumn of 1970 when the first Overstreet Price Guide was issued. Actually the first ever comic price guide issued was  “The Argosy Price Guide” which was published in 1965, specifically for the Argosy Book Store in California. But Overstreet had much bigger territory to conquer and his book established a new grading scale.

In 1970, Mr Overstreet introduced us to a new way of grading comics. Let’s call it the 7 point system and here they are in a nutshell:

  • Mint (M)
  • Near Mint (NM)
  • Fine (F)
  • Very Good (VG)
  • Good (G)
  • Fair (F)
  • Poor (P)

So let’s equate the 7 point comic grading system with the 4 point that went before:

  • “That comic looks brand new” = Mint or Near Mint
  • “That comic is in fantastic condition” = Fine or Very Good”
  • “The comic is in good condition” = Good
  • “That comic is in lousy condition” = Fair or Poor

Pretty consistent between the 4 point and 7 point system, and you know even for the experienced collector, this increase to the number of possible ratings was subjective to the point where the 7 point system began to spawn regular differences of opinion how one collector saw a comic versus the other. Hint…often the owner of the comic in question, usually saw it in a higher grade than the prospective buyer. Kind of like negotiating a contract…

This was the early evolution of the comic grading system. If you go back to the original unofficial grading system (the 4 pointer), there was little quibbling about relative conditions.

End of part 1.

Stay tuned for next week as we continue to explore the evolution of the comic book grading system.

Comic book pairings

Ok, so check the title…what was I thinking?

Well we all know about pairings of “things”, well maybe we’d like to know more about pairings. You know, when you are about to leave the house and you receive that odd look from your significant other or the neighbor or perhaps the letter carrier. What they are really trying to say is; who dressed you today and didn’t you know that shirt doesn’t go with those pants?

Besides the daily challenge of pairing clothes there are other things that pair naturally and some things that don’t. A definite no-no pairing is scrambled eggs and McDonalds orange juice. If you haven’t experienced this, just feed the combo to your five year-old and then take them for a drive. But, I digress…

Pairing the right food items on your dinner plate has long been the domain of chefs and wanna-be chefs. Wine sommeliers have that claim to fame for wine and food, and craft brewmaster dinner pairings are all the rage now. Which reminds me, I’m off to a craft brewmaster dinner tomorrow! Just what does this have to do with comics you might ask? Well, I had to build up a little suspense…

Now we have beer and comic pairings! This does prompt a 9.0 “what were they thinking”? Someone has decided their 5 minutes of fame, actually more like 9 minutes and 32 seconds, will be to pair beer with comic characters. So enter a 4 pack from Wychwood Brewery called “Beers of Character” and with brew names like Hobgoblin and Scarecrow, well you can guess the rest. check it out at

Oh and by the way, I wouldn’t let this guy handle my comics…

About Cyber Comics and Toys

Cyber Comics and Toys has been operating since 1996 on a small scale. With the launch of the new we now have a fully searchable database of comic related items.

As of today, 9,500 unique items are in the database. You can search by:

  • Character
  • title
  • writer
  • artist

New items are added at a minimum of once per week and often 2-3 times per week. Cyber Comics and Toys has over 50,000 items in inventory and the goal is to list them all. The focus is certainly on comics and the characters appearing in the various comics universes (e.g. DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, etc). Action figures of comic characters are fully searchable as well.

Shipping: We will ship anywhere in the world. North America is our largest market but in the past items have been shipped to over 60 countries. Items for delivery to the USA are shipped from Washington State. For buyers from Canada, items are shipped from Canada. So no Customs hassles for you!

Most of all, we hope you enjoy browsing the site and all of it’s images of some great products. There are items you will want to purchase…trust me!