Market Report

Fall '06

Note: old forum left here as discussions are not that much out of date and of interest to many collectors.

Everyone is asking me questions about CGC comix everyday. I'll be posting my thoughts and excerpts from customer e-mails here. Please send in your CGC questions and I'll answer it here and in your e-mail.

The biggest question for many is, "Are CGC comics here to stay or just another fad?" My feeling is... click for more.

2006 RJTC latest news

may-Jan 2004 Forum NEWS :



Brief Sept. report on modern comics





December 21st Comic Buyer's Guide reported the below chart which indicates that older comics in upper grades often obtain higher prices than more recent 90's comics. We note the 9.8 and 9.9 grades are much higher for the pre-90 ....CLICK FOR COMPLETE REPORT

Talk on the Web

Here's the mail report from my secret reporter, Bruce. Pretty grim feelings expressed here. Make sure your feet are firmly on the floor and your life insurance is fully paid before going any further.

It's my hope that Gene, Paul, and Bruce will keep sending in their thoughts as they have an uncanny pulse on the marketplace. Rather than read about events a month or two after "It's too late!" tune in here for fast happening action. 

Bruce Coller's colorful February report includes eBay and PAYPAL tips and Bruce's experience with his latest CGC submissions.

Fraud report from Paul Ference/ red alert to all! 

I was the high bidder on an X-men 94 CGC 9.4 with white pages (supposedly). What I received was a book that was 7.0 at best inserted into a cracked CGC case. The lower corners were both cracked although to the inexperienced buyer, they may not have noticed. The top CGC label was also doctored and was created on a color copier or printer. The CGC serial number did not match the book in CGC's database when I called them to see the notes on the book. (I knew CGC tends to be a little lenient on the older books but there was no way it was a 9.4 but I wanted to see) It ended up being an ASM 65 or something like that. Well, fortunately I paid via CC through Paypal and charged back the amount. I shipped the book back and am waiting for it to disappear off my charge card. that's about it.


Thanks for this report Paul. Seller is from Selden, NY.

Collecting can be an integral part of one's life. Read this touching true very short  story written by RJ "Ben"   click here

Hi RJ,

It’s been awhile since I wrote, but I’ve been following your always-entertaining “Monthly Forum” from the back of the room so to speak. I enjoyed
Gene ...Click to continue

GENE'S MARCH ANALYSIS " Don't get left holding the bag!"

hI rj,

I've noticed that certified comics from you look "sharper" than books from other sources. Others seem dull , not crisp and new looking like yours. Friends of mine say the same thing. Any thoughts on this?  Mary G.  Pa.

RJ: I hear this all the time and new comers always say the comics are under graded. Simply read the various articles around the site which will give you an insight as to why I always claim that books here are "Best in the World."

Letter from good friend, Dan who visits and shops here. GI Joe discussion.

Hello and Happy New Year!! 
     Hope this email finds you doing well. It is always a pleasure to see your auctions on ebay and I enjoy looking over your web page still....Click for more

Most recent info posted first.

Dear Reynold,

I think you should be a pedigree collection just like Mile High and the others who make a big deal about the  great condition of their comics. Now that CGC has leveled the playing field it is apparent that these promoted collections are mostly hype. Now that data is available, it is apparent that your collection has the most older MINT books ever. The plain facts have blown away the competition. Keep up the good work.


 Thanks for the idea! I'll need to think about this as individual collectors have written to me to indicate that they planned to provide  a certificate to pass along to buyers. Many of these comics are setting world records daily and certainly a certificate of origin would help out. No definite plans now, however this could happen in the near future.   RJ    Update: Certificates of Origin now given out with CGC issues priced over $50.

>Dear Reynold,

I received your books today. I can't thank you enough for the
extra book and material. I will definitely try to learn from you. Which
brings me to a question. I've got numerous copies of CGC books, but have
never sent any in to be graded.

 I'm going to get my White Spidey's graded, my Wolvie 1982 mini-series and a few
more to help cover cost, roughly 1200 -1400 bucks. Do you have any
suggestions? My comics are in Excellent condition, even my old Spidey
100,101 and 102. Should I be wary of anything? How much should I expect to
pay? I know that's a hard one because I haven't fully decided which ones to
send in. And when I get them back, will I have the heart to sell them. I
guess I should get used to this if I'm to run a business in the future, but
I'm very sentimental about stuff like this. Anyway, God Bless and my son
Matt and I which you a Happy Holiday to celebrate the birth of our Lord.
Take care, Arnie  
Dear Arnie,
     Look your books over carefully and pay close attention to the corners. Re-check for bumps and bruises. Look for printer's wrinkle on the covers and don't send in any that has a wrinkle or stray ink mark. When everything looks perfect , wrap in bundles of 25-35 comics  with newspaper. Place an extra backing board on the top comic. Place extra cardboard on the bottom of box. Select a roomy box and use lots of packing. Try to imagine that the box will be mis-treated and pack accordingly. CGC will grade a book, even if it is damaged in shipment! Send UPS for better treatment of the package.
CGC has a  payment chart  and you can fill out an invoice while at eBay/ services/safe harbor/ authentification / comics. Directions and address of CGC is right there.
You may not be ready to sell them. It's likely the longer you hold on to them, the more they will be worth. If you like having the  comics around to enjoy, you might consider just keeping many of them and let them become a part of your inheritance. Selling one's most cherished possessions could be heart breaking. I have tons of stuff that I will never sell. The comics could be placed into your estate and passed along to a family member who would cherish them too. If they are not in your will, the comics will very likely be sold off by the estate planner for a tiny fraction of their worth. God Bless.

Consider sending  comics to A-1 Comics for prep work needed by almost every comic in order to receive the grade it deserves. Write to Pat  More on prep: See "Services" in left pane. 


Hi RJ -

Took a long time reading your CGC forum - I enjoy it always. Maybe I can
make a few comments worth considering.

Tip of the Month - Although I agree that one should always check their
comics in a well-lit area for cover flaws and such before submission, I know
that it is possible to score greater than a 9.4 even with a cover ding,
nick, or nearly invisible warp. I have plenty of 9.6's and 9.8's that attest
to this. Best example that everyone can see is an Origin 1 CGC 9.8 with the
cover flaw that is evident on most copies and the "printer error" a.k.a.
"packing error" a.k.a. "slightly visible, only when held at an obtuse angle
to a light source, uplifting on the right edge of the book - error" is not
mentioned in the label notes. When people cannot guess as to why CGC grades
the way they do, it is best practice to seek out the grader's notes which
are cataloged under the bar code number...Click for conclusion of  fab letter.

Good morning RJ,

I read with interest your comments on the mystery grades that come out of CGC. Are all those individuals who send in Millennium Edition and Killing Jokes stupid? Are they sending in damaged copies to be certified? I  don't think so. It's simply one of life's mysteries how one perfect copy can get a 9.4 and the very next one  a 10.0.

I sent in a few Venom #1's that all were perfect issues a few months back. One came back a 10.0 and the rest received a 9.9. According to CGC a ten is reserved for an issue that is better than mint. It's just a blessed comic I guess. 9.9 is mint which has absolutely no flaws of any kind. The value of Venom plummeted as it soon became the most certified comic ever.

I sent in a few more Venom 1's  recently from the same collection , more for curiosity than greed  and they all came back with trashed grades. I agree with Bruce that grading fluctuates wildly  at CGC and that many mint comics are given lower grades for no apparent reason.

Matt S.

RJ Responds :

I like your 10.0 grade reference as a "Blessing." I suppose if graders at CGC are experiencing a good day , any 9.9 crossing the desk could  receive the magic grade.                                           

Bronze Age Certified Comics

This article updated 1-1-2004

Over 300,000 comics have been certified and around  two hundred have hit the 10.0 perfect grade. Only 10 comics have achieved this grade before the 90's decade. Of 80,000 silver-age comics only one has achieved this grade. It's likely that Thor 156  will stand alone as most upper grade comics have been dusted off and marched off to Parsippany and Sarasota. 

Here is a listing of the eight  pre-nineties comics that were blessed with a perfect grade by CGC.

1. 1968   Thor  156 ( sold for $5000.04/ Oldest non-key issue)
2. 1975   Captain Canuck  #1 ( obtained in March 2002)  (Oldest Key  Issue/ Origin and 1st Appearance)                
3. 1979 Battlestar Galactica #5
4. 1982 Wolverine Limited Series 1  
5. 1984 Vanguard Illustrated # 2
6. 1984 Daredevil 236
7. 1984 X-Factor 14
8  1988 Dr Strange , Sorcerer Supreme #1 

9. 1988 Batman: The Killing Joke
10.  1989 Amazing Spider-Man 321

    Another 25 issues or so  reach the 10.0 grade from 1990 -1995. Venom, Lethal Protector #1 and X-Men Prime #1 with 6 each account for nearly half of the high grades.

    Add in a copy of X-Men Alpha  and 3 X-Men Omegas ,  and it becomes quite clear that the quality of the print job is the reason for the upper grades. Virtually all of these are very upper-end productions with paper and printing several notches above the standards of most run-of -the-mill comics. Going back to 1988, Batman: The Killing  Joke was a high class act that has 97 submissions to CGC. It's a mystery as to why all 97 didn't hit the 10.0 mark  Anyone who possessed an undamaged copy must have sent it in believing that it must be a "Sure Thing!"

The other 70 or so 10.0's sag with Wizard, Dynamic Forces, and Holofoil material from 1996 to present. These are comics made for the collector's market with high-grade printing. 

Back Issue Comix notes that its submissions from our vault, Captain Canuck #1,  Galactica #5 and Vanguard #2, and Dr Strange #1,Daredvil 236 and X-Factor 14  represent 6 of the 10 oldest 10.0 grades ever given. We feel that in time we will be adding to that list and will eventually have submitted 90% of all pre-ninety 10.0 graded issues. Of course, these issues will hold their values while 90's comics with 10.0 grades will become commonplace with much lower values.

Collectors who wish to collect older issues in 9.9 ( simply a mint comic without a CGC 10.0 blessing)  and 9.8 will be shopping here in order to fill their world-class collections. Further analysis of the 9.9 market indicates that we have submitted 62% of all pre-ninety and 87% of all bronze age comics. Consider that we have only submitted around 2,000 comics, ( less than 2% of the total)  these numbers are pretty remarkable. 



Hi RJ,

  I had a dozen or so Killing Jokes un-circulated mint on hand and sent in two copies. Imagine my amazement  in receiving a lowly 9.4 and 9.8. Comics are perfect inside and out and there was no reason not to give either issue the 10.0. based upon condition. I imagine that the other 97 submissions were similar to mine and someone decided it was not prudent to have 97 perfect issues floating around. "One perfect issue is just fine. Thankyou for your payment."



Any of these high quality print jobs are an easy 10.0. Send in enough copies and eventually they'll give you a 10.0 .  The covers are much thicker and made of a very durable glossy paper very often with a  thick high gloss surface. These are made to be collectibles and aren't really comics in the everyday sense. In fact, nearly every comic  is more of a collectible than it is a "comic."

For example, The Millennium Edition: Crisis on Infinite Earths , a 10.0 issue, has a chromium cover that is somewhat indestructible. It' almost rubbery. You could bend it this way and that, like  Flubber,  and it will just bounce right back to its original shape. It's difficult to imagine any undamaged issue not receiving a perfect 10.0.



I just read an article in CBG that was discussing the nicked edges in Origin #1. According to CGC represenatative, Borock, "Unless the printer's error is such that it impedes the enjoyment of the comic book, CGC doesn't necessarily grade an issue down. "  I wonder if this means they will receive the green label used to qualify comics that would otherwise receive a fairly low grade.

 I had a green label comic  because a staple was missing. When I tried to to sell it  I couldn't get a decent offer, so decided to keep it. Borock also said " More and more Origin #1's are arriving everyday. " As nearly all will contain the printer's error, one can only wonder if all of these will be un-saleable.

BJ in Arizona

RJ response:

 If large numbers of green label Origin 1's become available, it's likely that most won't cover the cost of having them slabbed. I've noticed that  un-slabbed issues sold on eBay simply describe the the comic as being NM and make no mention of the nick. Our #2's have a scratch on the cover and we consider them to be non CGC items as a result.

This is a major change in policy for CGC as the bronze age comics we send in are perfect except for the printer's errors. We had been under the impression that they  grade all our comics according to the printer's errors they contain.

CGC's brochure mentions things to look for that will lower the grade." Are there any...printing errors?" it asks as that will lower the grade. Brochure must now be out of date.

If this is a new policy that affects all the submissions, you can look forward to many 9.9's and 10.0 coming from BIC later this month as virtually every issue we submit does circles around the nicked Origins.  It's more likely that they are making an exception for  Origin #1 as they want the business. We know any bronze comic submitted with a major nick like Origin #1 would be lucky to hit 8.0.

If they send customers thousands of green labeled grades, most will feel like the scammed "mark" left holding the empty bag outside the bank. Borock does say the nick will be mentioned on the label. He doesn't mention that it will be the qualified green label. We'll know in a few weeks how this turns out.   

Green labeled comics are like a the flu. Nobody wants to get near it.

Hi RJ,

Someone told me about your company freezing comics. Is this true? It seems a bit strange!

Larry G / Minn.

RJ response             

    Yes it is true. We advertised our "Frozen Comics " for many years when we called ourselves THE COMIC MINT. We make use of the cold Michigan weather to keep the heat and humidity from aging the books. During the winter our Michigan weather does this naturally. I don't advise everyone to do this as you could actually damage your comics.( Lots of details surround the de-freezing process) . The lower temperatures keep the paper from aging dramatically. This is how we can still advertise that are books are "Like stepping into a time machine.". In the winter, we simply turn off the heat. At this very moment, books are stored at -4 degrees, a typical Michigan temperature for winter evenings!

Received Nov 11, 2001/ Carl De La Cruz

Happy Friday, brother! Imagine my surprise when I received your CGC items that you shipped just this past Tuesday! Makes for a great weekend! Thanks again and they all look great, well-packed and arrived hand delivered by UPS guy.
I enjoyed reading your enclosed articles and am in awe of how big you've turned that CGC to work for you. When we first dealt over the Star Wars # 1-7 set 2 years ago, I specifically recall ... CONTINUED / CLICK

October 05  RJ reports:

2001 I sent 1st copies of What If? ( 1977 series) to CGC and they rejected 9.6 and 9.8 and I decided it was hopeless. The series was experimental with both staple and glued spine and the result was not a great print job. They knew this at Marvel, however they wanted to keep costs down and the comics continued for several years.

Then I saw that 9.6 grades were being sold in the marketplace in 2003, so I re-submitted my What If? comics and was pleasantly happy to see most all were now 9.6 and 9.8. I can only imagine that CGC received lots of complaints from customers and they decided to grade the best books 9.8 although the spines could not compare to 9.8 with other regular spine books. Grades on these are subjective with the built in spine problems. 

Guide to CGC collecting / HOW TO PRICE A $6 COMIC