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Skybourne #1 3of2 Shenanigans or betrayal?5694

COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
This is what really happens to the “limited to X” variants.

Only two are supposed to exist (9.9 1of1 and 9.8 1of1). Yet here is a third bought at a random comic shop while traveling on business. CGC refuses to grade it (since when is CGC in the graded comic book population control business?) Maybe I’m wrong but the whole thing just reeks of shenanigans. Either that or they were told all copies destroyed (after they sifted through to find that 9.9), but then betrayed. Idk.

These were given to me from a friend (Wayne) to post. They are not mine but I do not doubt their authenticity.

Your thoughts? Any additional info appreciated, still lots of holes/questions in this story.

I advised him to accept their offer of encapsulating it as a signature yellow without grade, then send it to CBCS for grading as they will honor the yellow.







PS idk why he blacked out the name, not like anyone cant find out easily 🤷🏼‍♂️
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Collector KatKomics private msg quote post Address this user
Yep...shenanigans!!
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Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
@shrewbeer interesting
Post 3 IP   flag post
Collector CopperAgeKids private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrewbeer
This is what really happens to the “limited to X” variants.

Only two are supposed to exist (9.9 1of1 and 9.8 1of1). Yet here is a third bought at a random comic shop while traveling on business. CGC refuses to grade it (since when is CGC in the graded comic book population control business?) Maybe I’m wrong but the whole thing just reeks of shenanigans. Either that or they were told all copies destroyed (after they sifted through to find that 9.9), but then betrayed. Idk.

These were given to me from a friend (Wayne) to post. They are not mine but I do not doubt their authenticity.

Your thoughts? Any additional info appreciated, still lots of holes/questions in this story.

I advised him to accept their offer of encapsulating it as a signature yellow without grade, then send it to CBCS for grading as they will honor the yellow.







PS idk why he blacked out the name, not like anyone cant find out easily 🤷🏼‍♂️


CGC is refusing to grade it because they cannot be sure it is not a reproduction.

I would look at where this book was purchased , the "random comic shop" first, regarding possible sheninagans on the comic shop's part.
Post 4 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by CopperAgeKids
CGC is refusing to grade it because they cannot be sure it is not a reproduction


What makes you claim that, did you read the entire post?

Both emails clearly state otherwise; “we cannot grade the comic unless we get authorization from BOOM” and “we cannot grade this book due to this special program you had with the print run”

If you have any evidence, much appreciated if you would post it to back your claim
Post 5 IP   flag post
Collector CopperAgeKids private msg quote post Address this user
Easy, tiger.

I read it all.

CGC is stating that unless they are told by BOOM that BOOM printed the book, CGC will not grade the book.

CGC is not grading the book.

They are encapsulating the book, as a courtesy.

The label will not read the same as the other 2 books. (either of the 2 legit copies that CGC graded.)

As BOOM apparently printed 2 copies of this book, which have already been graded by CGC...it stands to reason that BOOM did not print the book purchased at the "random comic shop".
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COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
If boom only printed 2 copies with the intent on getting a 9.8 1of1 and a 9.9 1of1, the odds of actually getting those grades on a 2-book run are worse than hitting the powerball. Unless CGC agreed to grade them 9.9 and 9.8 before even seeing them; and in that case they become worse than PGX. The more plausible conclusion is that a thousand or so were printed, sifted through, and subsequently destroyed once the 9.9 was found.

You are reading it wrong. They are not looking to boom for verification; they are looking, and have been denied permission (“authorization”) to grade it due to the deal they made.
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Collector CopperAgeKids private msg quote post Address this user
I don't see anything in the posted emails indicating CGC guaranteed a grade of 9.9 and 9.8, between 2 copies.

You really have to post a link to the original sale listing for these 2 books.

That would make things much more clear.
Post 8 IP   flag post
Collector Wraith private msg quote post Address this user
Would love to see the original listing also

How many books would be needed to get a 9.9??? Must have been loads, which would be darn pricey to make up cost on only 2 books!
Post 9 IP   flag post
Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith
How many books would be needed to get a 9.9???


A couple dozen or so.

It only needs to look good enough.

Or do people think that CGC is grading to some sacred set of standards, and only "the best of the best" can actually be graded 9.9?

Grading is subjective. Especially at that level. It's easy to pick from a brand new swath of books and find a book that most folks would be ok graded at 9.9. It's not that difficult. Sure, it sounds cynical, but it's not.

The reason there aren't MORE 9.9s...and the statistics bear this out...is because of the artificial "ceiling" of 9.8 that was established long ago, so that grading would be taken seriously. Think about it...there are over a million...that's MILLION...9.8s on the census. In fact, there are 1.35 million. 9.8s account for over 1/3rd of ALL the grades given out by CGC, throughout their entire history (as recorded by the census.)

By contrast, there are a mere 14,026 9.9s on the census. A tiny 1% of the total number of 9.8s, and an infinitesimal .3%...that's POINT 3%...of the total number graded.

That is a statistical impossibility, UNLESS there was some active suppression of higher grades going on. The difference between a "typical" 9.9 and a nice 9.8 is barely noticeable even by professionals.

So what's the story...? The active suppression of 9.9s and 10s being handed out, to aid in appearing legitimate to the comic buying public.

I have books sitting in 9.8 slabs that few would hesitate to call 9.9s. Not hundreds, but at least a dozen or two. We're talking books whose bindery flaws measure in the 64ths of inches, with perfect wrap around at the tips of the spines, an unbroken semi-circle front to back, with four razor sharp corners, and no surface flaws. They aren't in 9.9 slabs because there's a, I'm sure wholly subconscious at this point, "block" on 9.9s and 10s.

And I have a 9.9 with a 1/4" split at the top of the spine. A classic 9.6.

And...I hope this isn't the case, but I have no way of knowing...it's certainly possible, because these are human beings we're dealing with, that certain people are "capped" because of criticism they've leveled. No way to know if that's the case. Hope desperately that it's not. But experience tells me that it's possible, and even likely, to a degree. When one can submit hundreds and hundreds of books, and have an 80% or better 9.8 return, and no 9.9s or 10s, there's something happening. I just had two invoices, 50 books, and 48 of them were 9.8s...with one dud in each invoice. No 9.9s.

And I'm not suggesting it's some sort of evil conspiracy...it's just a business decision that has, unfortunately, echoed down through the years to today.

But don't believe for a second that a "9.9 quality book" can't be picked out of a stack of 30 or so brand new books right out of a case. It can.
Post 10 IP   flag post
Collector CopperAgeKids private msg quote post Address this user
Doc,

You make good points but it should be noted that the bulk of books that CGC grades are moderns.

I have no way of easily quantifying this but WRT modern subs, we all know that a 9.6 brings on average about 50% the price of a 9.8.In most cases, 40% is the figure.

Collectors also cherish 9.8's over 9.6's. Not all of them but the majority do. Hell, 9.6's are often viewed with some degree of disdain by modern collectors. Especially registry set owners.

If a modern is selling for $50-$75 in 9.8, getting a 9.6 will lose the submitter money....amount of loss varies on a few things.

So, before most intelligent/successful dealers sub moderns; they factor in 3 things...After deciding if the book is worth slabbing via fast tracked grading i.e. can I easily get a minimum of $60 (excluding shipping) for this slab in 9.8 via a BIN sale....or should I just sell it raw at $××.××.××

1)
Pre-screening for 9.8's.

2)
Pressing before subbing.


Next up is picking either one,or both, of the above.

That explains quite a bit of just why the number of 9.8's seems a bit high/note worthy.

I know that you are intimately aware of all of these things, thst is why you only had "2 duds" out of 50 books.

I think that others who may stumble onto this thread, are not as informed as yourself.

Btw, just the very fact that you referred to the 2 books , out of 50, that came back at 9.6 and not 9.8, as duds.....eh, that pretty much nails my point home.
Post 11 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
that is a statistical impossibility, UNLESS there was some active suppression of higher grades going on. The difference between a "typical" 9.9 and a nice 9.8 is barely noticeable even by professionals.


According to the folks at CBCS, the difference is obvious if one knows what to look for. If only there were a CBCS census, we could compare the data to better understand. Statistically Improbable yes, but likely not impossibility.

It would be very bad for CGC business if it came out that the print run to find that 9.9 was very small.
Post 12 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by CopperAgeKids
You really have to post a link to the original sale listing for these 2 books.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraith
Would love to see the original listing also


@CopperAgeKids I’m unsure where you get the idea that there was a sale listing?

BOOM studios ordered these two books. We dont yet have any reason to believe they sold them.
Post 13 IP   flag post
Collector Watcher private msg quote post Address this user
I like what the Doc said...I think he's spot on. this stuff happens all the time in every field at every level. Once in a while, someone's hand gets caught in the cookie jar and there's a backlash. But one thing is for sure, it always "goes away" and is forgotten about (as will this).

There isn't enough unity with the masses to direct behavior and outcome and most people are generally left of the bell curve (well, half basically).

These companies have found a formula that works and that everyone can live with. It makes them money and they tweak as needed. You'll find flaws in every corner of corporate if you look (HMO's, banking, dealerships, wall street,cell phone companies, etc). I'm not saying the 1% rule the world as the masses are manipulated...I just think if it works for the most part and you can live with a few bumps in the road, you accept it's never going to be perfect and you take your piece of the pie and keep moving on.

Would I love to see exactly how every book is graded and why so I can call someone out when it looks questionable? sure. Would i love to see how a seemingly flawless book goes in and comes back with bends that clearly weren't there when they were boxed? absolutely. But it's not a conspiracy, it's just human interaction combined with a controlled population like Doc said. A percentage of books will be graded differently through individual "perception" and Judgement, a few books will be mishandled and dinged and a few books will fall into the old "college diversity" hierarchy (for lack of a better phrase) to maintain numbers suitable to controlling market flow.
Post 14 IP   flag post
Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by CopperAgeKids
Doc,

You make good points but it should be noted that the bulk of books that CGC grades are moderns.

I have no way of easily quantifying this but WRT modern subs, we all know that a 9.6 brings on average about 50% the price of a 9.8.In most cases, 40% is the figure.

Collectors also cherish 9.8's over 9.6's. Not all of them but the majority do. Hell, 9.6's are often viewed with some degree of disdain by modern collectors. Especially registry set owners.

If a modern is selling for $50-$75 in 9.8, getting a 9.6 will lose the submitter money....amount of loss varies on a few things.

So, before most intelligent/successful dealers sub moderns; they factor in 3 things...After deciding if the book is worth slabbing via fast tracked grading i.e. can I easily get a minimum of $60 (excluding shipping) for this slab in 9.8 via a BIN sale....or should I just sell it raw at $××.××.××

1)
Pre-screening for 9.8's.

2)
Pressing before subbing.


Next up is picking either one,or both, of the above.

That explains quite a bit of just why the number of 9.8's seems a bit high/note worthy.

I know that you are intimately aware of all of these things, thst is why you only had "2 duds" out of 50 books.

I think that others who may stumble onto this thread, are not as informed as yourself.

Btw, just the very fact that you referred to the 2 books , out of 50, that came back at 9.6 and not 9.8, as duds.....eh, that pretty much nails my point home.


CAK, while what you're saying here is generally true, it doesn't have anything to do with what I posted. My argument has nothing to do with why 9.8s are represented in such large numbers, but how that number relates to the numbers above and below it, statistically. The issue isn't what is being graded, but how and why they are getting those grades, and how that compares to populations in other grades.

It's absolutely true that the reason there are a high number of 9.8s is because the vast majority of the books CGC grades are modern (though that's not relevant in an absolute sense; if a book is a 9.8, it's a 9.8, whether it was published in 2013 or 1943; it's just that, as time progressed, more people took better care, resulting in a larger pool of higher grade books), and that a chunk (an unknowable chunk) of those are the result of pre-screening, and that pre-screening has a tendency, over time, to skew the census a BIT. No question about it.

But that doesn't change the facts that:

1. There are a colossal number of 9.8s compared to every other grade, which means there are a naturally high pool of submissions at the very upper end of the grading scale;

2. The high number of 9.8s, and their proximity to 9.9 in terms of physical condition, statistically suggests there should be a relatively high number of 9.9s on the census, but there isn't;

3. 9.9s and 10s aren't excluded from pre-screens. That is, if you pre-screen for 9.8, they don't reject books they'd grade at 9.9 or 10. They just grade them 9.9 or 10.

After all, a book still has to pass to be "certified" 9.8, even though there's also a tendency in the pre-screen over time to let books pass at 9.8 that wouldn't normally grade 9.8. So, while yes, the bulk of 9.8s are moderns, it's not necessary to note that here.

How many 9.6s are there on the census?

616,669.

That's nearly half of the amount of 9.8s on the census (45% to be accurate.)

Even taking into account pre-screening and its tendency to skew census results a bit, that's a pretty steady rate of decline as you go down the scale. And 9.4s are a predictable 392,843. Again, that's accounting for the bulk of all submissions (perhaps half) being composed of books printed since 1980.

However...when you get to 9.9 and 10, you see a startling dropoff that is not accounted for by straight grading. Remember: 9.6s stand at nearly 1/2 the 9.8 count. 9.4s stand at roughly 1/3.

9.9? 1/100th.

When you combine that with what we know about grading and how it works, that number becomes a statistical impossibility...not improbability, impossibility...UNLESS there was some external factor involved that artificially suppresses that number and the one above it, and I am quite sure there is.

The physical differences between a "typical" 9.8 and a "typical" 9.9 are virtually indistinguishable by even most comic buyers. So just going by probability, and the distribution of grades BELOW it, it's fair to say that for every 10 9.8s, a book SHOULD fall on the 9.9 side. Maybe for every 15.

But that's not even remotely the case. The real number is, for every 100 9.8s, only A SINGLE 9.9 is awarded. And "awarded" isn't too far off; remember, grading is subjective.

Don't forget, this is from a pool of books that already grade 9.8 that we're talking about here, not a pool of ALL random submissions. If we look at ALL submissions, the number of 9.9s is a tiny .3%, or one 9.9 for every 264 books submitted (whereas 9.8 accounts for nearly 1 out of every 3 books submitted.) If I had 1,000 9.8 slabs in front of me, I bet I could reasonably cull 50 or 100 that "the market" would find acceptable graded as 9.9s, without the "are you kidding me? They graded it WHAT??"

(Total aside: Interestingly enough, where you would expect to see a smaller gap between SS and non-SS for 9.6, because of the lack of a "safety net" for SS, it's actually larger, as a percentage, than 9.8s. That tells us there's a tendency that pre-screening probably doesn't account for as big a number of submissions as might be expected. And, of course, there's a whole universe of data...rejects...that are unknowable, and NEVER knowable.)
Post 15 IP   flag post
Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrewbeer
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
that is a statistical impossibility, UNLESS there was some active suppression of higher grades going on. The difference between a "typical" 9.9 and a nice 9.8 is barely noticeable even by professionals.


According to the folks at CBCS, the difference is obvious if one knows what to look for.


And that's where the folks at CBCS are on very thin ice. Grading not only IS subjective, it must be subjective, or it exposes the one doing the grading to liability.

If CBCS...or anyone...states that, unequivocally, there's a "method" to separating this grade from that grade, that is knowable and applicable in all cases (as that was the claim that was made, remember), then at some point, they may be held to that standard.

That's why in industry there's the concept of "tolerance"...so long as the product is between X measurement and Y measurement, it has met the specifications, and is a saleable product. That's subjectivity.

Consider the Overstreet Grading Guide, second edition. On page 145, you see a Hulk #38 graded "9.9"...and the reason given for why it's not a 10 is because of an "ink blotch" behind Hulk's neck. They call it a "printing defect." But...CGC doesn't, generally, consider ink blotches to be defects that count against the grade. AND...to make matters more complicated...there are some graders at CGC who DO, and some who DON'T. I don't have enough information to tell what CBCS would do with this specific book, but I DO have enough information to know that a post 1980 book better have excellent quality of production (centering and the like), or it's not going to grade 9.8 or better.

Then look at page 151, with a Daredevil #1 (1998) in 9.8. The only defects they found were "color flecks" along the gatefold. But the paper used during that period was AWFUL, and those "flecks" are on every single copy printed. By the OGG's interpretation, an otherwise perfect book will, because of these totally unavoidable production flaws, never, ever be graded higher than 9.8. And that is THEIR interpretation. And, it is clearly CGC's interpretation as well, because there are no copies higher than 9.8, even though...statistically...there should be at least 1. I suspect there will never be a 9.9 or 10, which is fine, but this is a function of interpretation, rather than a measurable set of "standards."

Consider Marvels from 1989-1991. It is ULTRA COMMON to find them with about an inch long "crease" on the back cover, in the middle. That's a production flaw, and is found on many books from the era, including New Mutants #98. Now, someone who is aware of that flaw will not discount for it, because it is a common production flaw. And by common, I mean it's found on perhaps 1/4 or more of all copies of books found with that flaw.

But I had a Silver Surfer #34 that someone at CGC graded a 9.2...it's easily a 9.6-9.8...with the notes including "crunch center of back cover." That's someone who didn't know what they were looking at.

So there will eventually be a body of 9.8s, 9.9s, 10s, etc from CBCS, and someone will be able to gather them up, and objectively demonstrate how a certain portion of 9.9s are in WORSE condition than a certain portion of 9.8s...and if CBCS or anyone says "no, the differences are obvious"...that is, establishing a standard...then they stand a very good chance of being held to that standard, and it won't be pretty, because there will be no excuse for why that weak 9.9 is clearly in worse condition than that really nice 9.8.

But if grading is subjective...as it must be...then the defense is simple: "that's what that/those grader/s at that point in time adjudicated that book to be."

The End. No fuss, no muss.

So grading must be subjective, and there cannot be "differences are obvious if one knows what to look for", because that's the only way to account for interpretation and human variance. Fred needs to be able to say "mmm..I think it's this" and be free to change his mind, and disagree with Bob, who thinks it's that. To suggest that, in all cases, all of the time, the difference between a 9.8 and a 9.9 is "obvious if one knows what to look for"...and ostensibly, if you're grading for CBCS, you know what to look for...then there can never be any variance from that, everyone grading the book must agree all the time, and for all time, and you can see why such a policy would never work.

I would bet $10,000 on it. If I gathered 50 or 100 9.9s and 10s...CBCS OR CGC...and resubbed them, most of them would be graded 9.8. And that's perfectly ok, so long as everyone is giving their honest, educated evaluation.
Post 16 IP   flag post
Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watcher
I like what the Doc said...I think he's spot on. this stuff happens all the time in every field at every level. Once in a while, someone's hand gets caught in the cookie jar and there's a backlash. But one thing is for sure, it always "goes away" and is forgotten about (as will this).

There isn't enough unity with the masses to direct behavior and outcome and most people are generally left of the bell curve (well, half basically).

These companies have found a formula that works and that everyone can live with. It makes them money and they tweak as needed. You'll find flaws in every corner of corporate if you look (HMO's, banking, dealerships, wall street,cell phone companies, etc). I'm not saying the 1% rule the world as the masses are manipulated...I just think if it works for the most part and you can live with a few bumps in the road, you accept it's never going to be perfect and you take your piece of the pie and keep moving on.

Would I love to see exactly how every book is graded and why so I can call someone out when it looks questionable? sure. Would i love to see how a seemingly flawless book goes in and comes back with bends that clearly weren't there when they were boxed? absolutely. But it's not a conspiracy, it's just human interaction combined with a controlled population like Doc said. A percentage of books will be graded differently through individual "perception" and Judgement, a few books will be mishandled and dinged and a few books will fall into the old "college diversity" hierarchy (for lack of a better phrase) to maintain numbers suitable to controlling market flow.


Yeah, I think that sums it up quite nicely.

I wish it were better, because the time and effort and cost I spent in the early 90's, spending hours every new comics day poring over 20-30 copies to pick out the absolute best isn't rewarded...and in a better system, it would be...but that's the way it is for now. A good chunk of my 9.8s are gorgeous...perfect copies, cherrypicked the day they were placed on sale...but they're still "9.8", and "no better" (to the market) than the guy with a couple of NCB spine dimples, or a slightly blunted corner, or a 1/16th" bindery tear.

So, my best books don't get graded, because there's no pre-screen for 9.9.
Post 17 IP   flag post
Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
I would like more info on this Skybourne variant, though...what it is, how it was released, why only 2 were graded, what sort of "deal" was made (which sounds very bizarre.)
Post 18 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
So, my best books don't get graded, because there's no pre-screen for 9.9.


This is the part of the argument I can get behind. Logically, IF it were true that there is a clear difference in a 9.8 vs 9.9 “if you know what you are looking for”, then why is there no prescreen for 9.9?

Especially given that if enough books fail the screen you still get charged $4/per book. Thats a moneymaker right there, especially if folks were sending in piles on 9.9 screens.
Post 19 IP   flag post
Collector Watcher private msg quote post Address this user
I would do a 9.9 screen all day long...I just spent a couple hours finding 3 of my best books (out of maybe 4000) that have absolutely zero flaws. They are no name no money books, but I sent them in just to see if I could get a 9.9 out of one. Its my own little case study.

I should've taken pics because when they come back with light finger-bends and a 9.8...I'm going to be...well...I'm going to be something
Post 20 IP   flag post
Collector Homer private msg quote post Address this user
The grading companies leak out 9.9's and 10.0 every so often, protecting the value of previously graded copies. I'm referring to books from the 1980's and 1990's. I don't get involved with current moderns. However there are many current moderns from smaller publishers and those Lenticular covers with tight firm covers where 9.9 to 10.0 are more common.
Post 21 IP   flag post
Collector CopperAgeKids private msg quote post Address this user
Doc, I know my points were not directly related to what you said.

I was just trying to illustrate another side of the coin, if that makes any sense.

Not sure about 9.9 and 10's being held back and essentially down graded into 9.8's, but it is certainly possible.

The motive on both CGC and CBCS's part to "award" 1% of "9.8 to 10.0" books, paraphrased from your qouted figures at either 9.9 or 10, is certainly there.

That motive would be that 9.9 and 10's are "Mint", and if the percentage of 9.9's and 10's increased to where they should be, in terms of "straight grading"....which I think is not quite how I would think about this, I think it is more of not only "straight grading" but that and the combination of the tiny difference between a really nice 9.8 and 9.9....digression aside, CGC and CBCS's motive on supressing 9.9 and 10's is fairly simple. If there are a higher degree of 9.9/10's out there, corresponding to straight math (which is a term that I prefer over straight grading) than market confidence in CGC and CBCS graded books would take a hit.

Not to appear as if I'm rallying with the pom pom's for CGC and CBCS, but a strong confounding variable to what you brought up as a statistical impossibility....and if you can overlook the fact that this is just my observation and I am not posting up a validated breakdown on the percentage of books that fetch 9.9 and 10 consists of...

But, from eBay listings...virtually all of the 9.9 and 10's are moderns with cover stock that is not what is mormally used on moderns i.e. lenticular covers,cardstock covers, chromium covers etc.

Those are the books in 9.9 slabs. There aren't enough 10's on eBay to break it down like this butif we were able to pull up all of the CGC 9.9 and 10's, as well as all of the CBCS 9.9 and 10's, from a 6 month period, I am sure they would consist mostly of books that used non-traditional cover stock.

A typical modern book with commonly used tissue paper like cover stock, which is what virtually every modern is printed with (to one degree or another) can catch a spine tick or two even if handled carefully.

Books like lenticular, card stock and chromium covers are usually the modern books that you will see in 9.9 and 10 slabs.

I recently had a Locke & Key # 1 CGC 9.9....which also had exceptionally resilient cover stock. That is another modern that has a more than 1 9.9 on the census. There may be a 10 on the census, can't remember.

The reason being the paper stock used in production of the book acted as somewhat of a reliable safe gaurd.

That is the only 9.9 slab I have owned and/or looked at closely, in hand.
Post 22 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer
However there are many current moderns from smaller publishers and those Lenticular covers with tight firm covers where 9.9 to 10.0 are more common.


Good point here, and this helps the other side of the argument, that there IS a clear difference “if you know what you are looking for”.

I wish CBCS would release the census already. Having two sets of data from two different companies that are not in "cahoots" is invaluable. There is sooo much we could learn.. if only, #soon
Post 23 IP   flag post
Collector Homer private msg quote post Address this user
A few years ago I bought 8 CGC 9.9's that were copper age books, I evaluated them very closely. They were not superior to many of the nicer 9.8's. No way in smokey hell would they of regraded 9.9.
Post 24 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer
A few years ago I bought 8 CGC 9.9's that were copper age books, I evaluated them very closely. They were not superior to many of the nicer 9.8's. No way in smokey hell would they of regraded 9.9.


The quote I keep quoting is from CBCS. I'm no stranger to bitching about CGC in the higher grades, and perhaps they are different (I certainly believe so in 9.8) from CBCS when it comes to 9.9s as well.

Need. more. data. starving... lol
Post 25 IP   flag post
Collector CopperAgeKids private msg quote post Address this user
Oh and WRT Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrewbeer
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
that is a statistical impossibility, UNLESS there was some active suppression of higher grades going on. The difference between a "typical" 9.9 and a nice 9.8 is barely noticeable even by professionals.


According to the folks at CBCS, the difference is obvious if one knows what to look for.


And that's where the folks at CBCS are on very thin ice. Grading not only IS subjective, it must be subjective, or it exposes the one doing the grading to liability.

If CBCS...or anyone...states that, unequivocally, there's a "method" to separating this grade from that grade, that is knowable and applicable in all cases (as that was the claim that was made, remember), then at some point, they may be held to that standard.

That's why in industry there's the concept of "tolerance"...so long as the product is between X measurement and Y measurement, it has met the specifications, and is a saleable product. That's subjectivity.

Consider the Overstreet Grading Guide, second edition. On page 145, you see a Hulk #38 graded "9.9"...and the reason given for why it's not a 10 is because of an "ink blotch" behind Hulk's neck. They call it a "printing defect." But...CGC doesn't, generally, consider ink blotches to be defects that count against the grade. AND...to make matters more complicated...there are some graders at CGC who DO, and some who DON'T. I don't have enough information to tell what CBCS would do with this specific book, but I DO have enough information to know that a post 1980 book better have excellent quality of production (centering and the like), or it's not going to grade 9.8 or better.

Then look at page 151, with a Daredevil #1 (1998) in 9.8. The only defects they found were "color flecks" along the gatefold. But the paper used during that period was AWFUL, and those "flecks" are on every single copy printed. By the OGG's interpretation, an otherwise perfect book will, because of these totally unavoidable production flaws, never, ever be graded higher than 9.8. And that is THEIR interpretation. And, it is clearly CGC's interpretation as well, because there are no copies higher than 9.8, even though...statistically...there should be at least 1. I suspect there will never be a 9.9 or 10, which is fine, but this is a function of interpretation, rather than a measurable set of "standards."

Consider Marvels from 1989-1991. It is ULTRA COMMON to find them with about an inch long "crease" on the back cover, in the middle. That's a production flaw, and is found on many books from the era, including New Mutants #98. Now, someone who is aware of that flaw will not discount for it, because it is a common production flaw. And by common, I mean it's found on perhaps 1/4 or more of all copies of books found with that flaw.

But I had a Silver Surfer #34 that someone at CGC graded a 9.2...it's easily a 9.6-9.8...with the notes including "crunch center of back cover." That's someone who didn't know what they were looking at.

So there will eventually be a body of 9.8s, 9.9s, 10s, etc from CBCS, and someone will be able to gather them up, and objectively demonstrate how a certain portion of 9.9s are in WORSE condition than a certain portion of 9.8s...and if CBCS or anyone says "no, the differences are obvious"...that is, establishing a standard...then they stand a very good chance of being held to that standard, and it won't be pretty, because there will be no excuse for why that weak 9.9 is clearly in worse condition than that really nice 9.8.

But if grading is subjective...as it must be...then the defense is simple: "that's what that/those grader/s at that point in time adjudicated that book to be."

The End. No fuss, no muss.

So grading must be subjective, and there cannot be "differences are obvious if one knows what to look for", because that's the only way to account for interpretation and human variance. Fred needs to be able to say "mmm..I think it's this" and be free to change his mind, and disagree with Bob, who thinks it's that. To suggest that, in all cases, all of the time, the difference between a 9.8 and a 9.9 is "obvious if one knows what to look for"...and ostensibly, if you're grading for CBCS, you know what to look for...then there can never be any variance from that, everyone grading the book must agree all the time, and for all time, and you can see why such a policy would never work.

I would bet $10,000 on it. If I gathered 50 or 100 9.9s and 10s...CBCS OR CGC...and resubbed them, most of them would be graded 9.8. And that's perfectly ok, so long as everyone is giving their honest, educated evaluation.


Agreed 110% WRT the thin ice bit.

I understand CBCS's stance on stating their grading guidelines, acceptable defects and so on, which they did from the start.

It is pretty clear to see that this is a marketing ploy on CBCS's part to show they are transparent in their grading and CGC is not quite as transparent.

So yeah, I understand why CBCS takes this stance, as far as a measure to up competitiveness with CGC.

I am not in agreement with CBCS on this though, for the reason you cited and the fact that grading is considerably more nuanced than CBCS's guidelines would indicate.

Such as an issue of a book with a chunk out of the back cover...or a detached cover on a early silver age DC that has OW or OW/W pages and would otherwise anywhere from a 6.0 to a 9.4...CBCS would cap the grade at a certain grade, that published grade in CBCS's grading guide is the highest grade a book with a detached cover can get per CBCS's grading guidelines.

Am I saying that the CBCS graders do not know that grading is nuanced and ultimately subjective?

No, I'm not saying or suggesting that. Not at all.CBCS graders know exactly what they are doing, as much as any human being can, when it comes to grading books.

The CBCS graders would account for the fact that most DC books from that period have subpar page quality and the spine integrity on those books is often weakened, corresponding to the oxidized paper stock.

But that amount of nuance cannot be explained in an online published grading guideline, as CBCS has put forth. That is just one example of what a grader has to consider when grading a book.

It is pretty much impossible, or at least very impractical, to relate the metric eff ton of variables that goes into grading a book, to the average consumer/collector.

My hat is off to CBCS for publishing their grading guidelines and so on....but grading books is really too subjective to relate to the "comic book layman", IMO.
Post 26 IP   flag post
Collector 1243782365 private msg quote post Address this user
I don't understand how someone can look at those CGC emails and say that CGC can't determine if the books are real.

There are several books CGC will not grade, here is just one example and I am pretty sure this is what happens with the OP's book.

- The Hero Initiative Walking Dead Blanks - the extra blanks - will not be graded by CGC or CBCS. Why will CGC and CBCS not grade these? Is it because they're fake? No - its because the charity they were made didn't get any money from the sale of the additional blank books.
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Collector poka private msg quote post Address this user
@DocBrown you are back!

Quick question - I believe you are collecting coins as well. Would the thesis hold for coins as well for 68, 69 and 70?
Post 28 IP   flag post
Collector Oxbladder private msg quote post Address this user
I'm not sure what the problem is beside there being an extra copy of a book. CGC clearly had some sort of deal about grading just two of these books. The problem, I believe, is that there is another copy floating around out there not whether or not it is a "authentic" copy.

As for CBCS saying there is a clear difference between a 9.9 and a 9.8. I don't think it is so much them walking a fine line as it is stating that their graders know and can recognize a 9.9 when they have one in their hands. Do actually expect them to say. "you're right _____ it is just luck of the draw that we recognize a 9.9 or 10.0." That sure as heck isn't a good business decision. Now could they make a mistake and grade a 9.8 higher? I would say yes but I would say that the more likely scenario is that most 9.9/9.8 debate in house are resolved by "playing it safe" and grading it lower. Or it could just be the end result of grading books on a sliding scale like the grading companies do. This is the problem you have when you don't have true standards and are left with and abundance of subjectivity.

Standards in much of my business are solid concrete things. Yes there are tolerance limits as Doc mentions but it is not a subjective thing it is decided by testing by many sources and mathematically setting the tolerances. Once the certified value and limits are set there is no deviation allowed. You either meet that range or you fail. If you keep failing then you have to investigate why it is happening. It may not be the product. It could be the method, it could be other variables, but your standard tells you whether or not you have a problem. It is not subjective in the slightest.

The grades that our professional graders have are more guideline than anything else. The industry has input, and other variables have input and values and ranges are set but there are all sorts of things that move those limits all over the map. yes they do set up a system to try and enforce consistency but the fact remains that these "standards" are affected by all sorts of outside influence, even market value. The goal is to be fair to the book and not to the integrity of the "standards". Real standards are managed apart from what they regulate and it is the duty of the businesses using them to abide by them. System standards like ISO aren't set by the businesses that use them that would compromise the standards.
Post 29 IP   flag post
Collector CopperAgeKids private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1243782365
I don't understand how someone can look at those CGC emails and say that CGC can't determine if the books are real.

There are several books CGC will not grade, here is just one example and I am pretty sure this is what happens with the OP's book.

- The Hero Initiative Walking Dead Blanks - the extra blanks - will not be graded by CGC or CBCS. Why will CGC and CBCS not grade these? Is it because they're fake? No - its because the charity they were made didn't get any money from the sale of the additional blank books.


Define your usage of the words; "real" and "fake".

How do you know that the third book is not a reproduction or bootleg?

Seems that there is plenty of motive to make a bootleg of this book, If o my 2 copies were printed.

Bootlegger sells the repro copy to a shop, or the shop is the bootlegger themselves.

All a shop owner would have to do is say some dude came in off the street and brought books in to sell them to the shop.

Shop owner would have plausible deniability.

That is just one possibility.

What you are overlooking, is that CGC cannot risk certifying any book that they are not certain is not a counterfeit copy or was obtained thru questionable means.

I may be wrong but based off the limited info in this thread, that is the only logical conclusion I see.

I also see nothing stated WRT the print run of this variant.

All I see is that CGC had some sort of contract in which they certified/graded 2 copies.

A third was subbed to CGC and CGC denied the submitter's request for certification, as they should have.
Post 30 IP   flag post
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