Grading Your Books

Dealers and other graders may disagree with some grading classifications. Grading of comics is very subjective. The definitions provided below are simply guidelines for what you should look for when purchasing comics.

Some grading companies have actually devised a numeric or scale grading system (see table below) that ranges from 10.0 (mint) to 0.5 (poor). The advantages of such a system allow for variation in each grade and even allow for grade overlaps. For example, you can now have a grade called VERY GOOD/FINE. As stated earlier, the definitions below are simple guidelines to help you with purchases. For more detailed grading, you may wish to utilize a third party grading company.


Perfect, pristine, devoid of any trace of wear or printing or handling flaws. Covers must be fully lustrous with sharply pointed corners. No color fading or inking flaws. Cover and pages must be centered and even cut. Many “rack” comics are not mint even when new.

Near Mint

Almost Perfect with virtually no wear. No significant printing flaws. Covers must be essentially lustrous with sharp corners. Spine is tight as new. In older comics, minimal color fading is acceptable, as is slight aging of the paper.

Very Fine

Well preserved, still pleasing in appearance. There are small signs of wear, most particularly around the staples of the spine. Most luster is readily visible. Corners may no longer be sharp but are not rounded. Typical of a comic read only a few times and then properly stored (these are what most comics are that you find in boxes at your local comic shop).


Clean, presentable, with noticeable signs of wear. Some white may show through around the staples and moderate rounding of the corners. No tape or writing damage. Book still lies flat.

Very Good

A well worn reading copy with some minor damage, such as creasing, small tears, or cover flaking. Some discoloration may be evident, with obvious wear around the staples. Little luster remains and some rolling of the spine may be seen when the comic is laid flat on a table.


A fully intact comic with very heavy wear. Tears, cover creases, flaking and rolled spine will be evident. No tape repairs are present.


A comic that has definitely seen better days. Comic may be soiled and damaged on the cover and interior. Entire comic is completely intact.


Generally unsuitable for collecting or even reading because they range from damaged to unrecognizable. Interior or exterior pages may have cut-outs or writing. The cover may be missing. Missing or tape repaired pages may be present.

Overstreet Grading Scale

CGC Grade Symbol Number
Mint MT 9.9 - 10.0
Near Mint/Mint NM/M 9.8
Near Mint NM 9.2 - 9.7
Very Fine/Near Mint VF/NM 9
Very Fine VF 7.5 - 8.5
Fine/Very Fine FN/VF 7
Fine FN 5.5 - 6.5
Very Good/Fine VG/FN 5
Very Good VG 3.5 - 4.5
Good/Very Good GD/VG 3
Good GD 1.8 - 2.5
Fair/Good FR/GD 1.5
Fair FR 1
Poor PR 0.5
*Grading Scale provided by
the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.
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