Beginner’s Guide to Comic Book Grading : One of the most important aspects of collecting comic books is being able to accurately grade their condition. There is a standardized grading scale for comics. Accurately grading your books will help you get the most out of your books, keep your buyers happy, and improve your credibility.

Comic Book Common terms for book conditions are poor, fair, good, very good, fine, very fine, near mint and mint. Books are graded on a 10.0 scale. The higher the grade of the book the more valuable it is. Very high grades are significantly more valuable and very poor grades can be almost valueless.


Practically have no collectible value. Probably incomplete, could be missing pages, torn pages, or detached cover. May have writing on cover and pages. Corners may be completely rounded or non-existent. Books will feel brittle. Not aesthetically pleasing.


These books will show heavy wear but should be at least readable. They may be missing chunks from front or back cover. May have spine splits or even missing staples. There may be creases or tears but books should be mostly complete. They could have stains or acidic odor. Pages are discolored, look brown, and feel brittle. Covers have no reflectivity.


These are nicknamed readers. These are worn but readable. They may have small chunks missing from front or back cover. Covers have some reflectivity. Covers can be detached. They may have rounded corners, missing staples, or even some tape. Spine could be rolled. Pages will be brown but not brittle.

Very Good

An above average copy. Minor creases are allowed. May have up to a ½” spine split. Cover should still have some reflectivity. Cover may be loose but not detached. Corners may be blunted. Minor staining allowed. Pages should be tannish – maybe brown. They should not feel brittle.


These books are above average and retain eye appeal. They should be mostly flat. The inks should still be somewhat bright. Corners may be blunt and may have small creases. Centerfold should feel secure. Pages will be cream to tan.

Very Fine

Very nice copies with a lot of eye appeal. Covers should be bright and only 1/4″ creases are allowed. May only have very few stress lines. Centerfold should be secure. Pages should be cream to tan and supple.

Near Mint Condition

These books are nearly perfect. Only the most minor of defects are allowed. They are flat with a tight spine. No surface wear. Books have sharp corners. Pages should be off-white to cream and feel fresh and supple.


Books are practically perfect. Much like Near Mint but pages should be white, not off-white.

Gem Mint

Books are exceptional.

Once you have familiarized yourself with the attributes of each grade you will want to collect some materials to grade your books. You will need gloves, a ruler, bags and boards, and a price guide. Use your tools and knowledge of the scale to carefully examine your books and access their grade.