CGC and Collecting

According to one of Chris’ comic buddies CGC has ruined it for the collectors. Walt of course disagrees. Tune in to hear what the fellas have to say about CGC and comic book collecting.

Please let us know what you thought of this weeks show and feel free to add a comment in the comments field below. All we ask is that you keep it civil.

We know CGC has changed the way many of us collect but has it been for the better or the worse?

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Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

Articles: 1690


  1. CGC has not ruined comics…but..I have some comments.

    Third party grading is important, when selling top end comics, but it is not perfect all the time, nothing really is, though.

    I can remember buying a latter day Quality – Police Comics which has Jack Cole’s Plastic Man and a Spirit story. I open it and the Spirit story was neatly torn out, the tear mark was the same colour as the paper. This was 1981. Slabbing would have saved me grief, return postage and general waste of time.

    I have also seen early Avengers comics slabbed in 9.+ that I would call VF8.0 but what do I know?

    I have Detective 359, ASM 300 (newsstand), Daredevil V2 9, all in nm+, raw. Would you a) believe me and buy them at market value?, b) ask to review them?, or c) ask for them to be slabbed? Third party required!

    I note that in 2015-2017 that CGC outsold similar CBCS, but I don’t necessarily see that any more.

    When we talk about how accurate slabbing is then perhaps we should talk Superman 1, which has a second state and a third state copy (advertisement difference) but not noted when flipping the pages and slabbing. CGC will tell you there is a Pin-up on the back cover. Once slabbed the ad is hidden and only the original owner knows and he will not likely talk if it is a third state.

    Or the more obvious Marvel Comics 1, which has the original October copy and the November black dot copy. Obvious difference…. noted? A 2018 slabbed sale of an October copy on Heritage notes it as 11/39. Confusion should not be part of slabbing when there is this much money at play.

    It is possible to buy all the highest graded comics (ever, now) for about $150,000,000. I see comics going to many multiples of current value in the next ten years. Slabbing can help this happen but CGC needs to raise their game, beyond colour choice for pedigree comics (very nice) or marketing gimmicks.

    And all these slabbed comics that only get re-slabbed and go up in grade. Should we fear the reverse? But, who would bring their slabbed 9.6 in to tell CGC you made a mistake, I think it needs a lesser grade.

    If you have a VGFN copy, or less, I would not get it slabbed to sell. Un-slabbed outsells slabbed in auctions at this grade more times than not.

    It would be nice if we had CCGC (Canadian Comic Guarantee Company) situated somewhere north of Stoney Creek, Ontario. I’m in if this ever happens.

  2. Kinda like dating… You can “shop” for your soul mate using a dating app or hit the bar scene armed with your wit and charm. This is, of course, the same argument of analog vs digital, old think vs new think.

  3. ‘higher end peasants’…

    ‘The peasants can have a 9.4 or 9.6 let them eat cake!’…

    Tsar Durajlija 2021

  4. CGC has grown from a useful tool to protect aging #1 and key issues of value to a foolish industry of grading everything at all grades. Now you have millions of slabs, most that have no business being graded. 6 month wait times, and numerous grading inconsistencies. A cgc grade from 2002 isn’t the same as a graded CGC today.
    Chris is a collector. He is right.
    Walt is a seller. He also is right.
    Both things can be true, as their respective interests are not the same.
    I hate CGC and graded comics. But I can also agree that they are great for some collectors and sellers.
    Its fun to duckduckgo counterfeit CGC, CGC , PGX et al scams and complaints. A lot of complaints and video out there.

  5. Dave: Your first sentence said it all so perfectly.

    CGC was great when people wanted a medium they could use to buy and sell questionable older comics, using a disinterested third party to act as a fair intermediary.

    What I dislike are people who crack open a box of new comics, and send them all to CGC to see if any of them are 9.8s, 9.9s or 10s. This is probably what ties up CGC the most.

    Alex: a Canadian CGC is long what I’ve advocated for, as I no longer trust my valuable comics going to the U.S., what with tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, fire, traffic problems and delivery truck drivers tossing hundreds of parcels into ravines.

  6. Thanks Klaus. Id be scared to send my books for all those reasons. The last book I sent was a Spiderman 6, a tightly graded 8, but likely to grade higher. I didnt have a cell phone in the early 2000s , so I sent it through Paradise comics, no picture taken. ( None of this was Paradise’s fault)
    A few months later, my cgc comic was returned, graded a cgc 4.5. It was no longer the book Id submitted. Someones big mitts had torn a big thumb print out of the back cover while removing the book from its bag and board, CGC wouldn’t admit this. Id no pictures , no proof. The guys at Paradise couldn’t recall the books condition, they were sending 100s down for people, It was the same book, but had been damaged by CGC. Obviously CGC, they didn’t step forward . No grading lout is gonna admit he damaged the copy. ( If he did, he’d no longer be a grading lout, but most likely unemployed.) 😀
    Demoralized, I sold the book to Walt, and he sold the slab. (Thanks Walt) It was the most beautiful 4.5 in history, if you could ignore the Thumb print sized tear on the back cover.

  7. Please Alex start writing a periodic column, and please CBD give him the space. I love reading his thoughts – probably because independently I’ve already had half of them. The “don’t grade VG/F” comics is one column right there. I don’t buy this one but I bet I would have second thoughts if I heard Alex’s arguments.

    Walt knows what he’s talking about and Chris and Shecky (and the commentors who agree with them) are full of [email protected] Such nonsense. Let’s screw up most people so the prices remain low. Come on. Walt’s point is spot on – most people will lose out to unscrupulous and delusional sellers here and there, and that makes people unhappy and weakens the hobby. Kill demand so price goes down – that’s basically the argument against CGC. I’d rather be able to buy a reliably-graded book from across the country, and if demand is way up because this is available, so be it.

    You want a raw She-Hulk #1? Buy a slabbed one and break it out. There you go. You want it to be cheaper? Boo-hoo. Me too. Too bad. I’d like a 1960 Ferrari for $10k – can’t get that either. Wake up.

    I have had more thrills finding/winning CGC books online than I ever had buying books at cons. Don’t tell me CGC took the fun out of collecting. For me it put tremendous fun back in. Walt had the right word – “fetish” – for somebody who can only be happy if they dig a book out of a bin in person.

    And Chris, your contention that CGC didn’t add “one iota” to reading is also nonsense. Growing the hobby leads to more readers. I am more of a reader now than I was ten years ago, and that is because I am back in the hobby because of CGC.

    CGC is far, far from perfect, but the concept of graded comics and the execution of this concept by CGC have been an enormous boon to the hobby. What’s not a boon to the hobby is the grouchy complaining whiners who want to say the hobby has gone to hell simply because they have been priced out of the market for the old books they want. How about you guys instead broaden your view and support the hobby? I just went to a con and brought back more than a short box full of fantastic modern comics for a few hundred dollars. There is more fun than ever to be had in the dollar bins – and at the same time there is more fun than ever at the very high end, because of CGC.

  8. Hey Chris, glad your CGC experience is great. No ones taking that from you.
    But at some point ,the CGC merry go round will stop, and people will be left with 1000’s of overvalued slaps. At least they can crack them open, read them for the first time, and get some value from that.
    The markets support that more people are in the hobby, ie the Marvel DC cinematic Universes, but also that fewer and fewer people read the content. The monthly comic business, as it was, is dying.
    Again anything graded over 9.2 and of a certain value, I understand grading, speculating on. The rest is frivolous.
    I hope Im wrong on all of this. I grew up reading comics. That was the thing. Not comics turned into slabbed baseball cards.

  9. Hey Chris, how about we lay off expressions like “full of crap” and “grouchy complaining whiners?” I personally have also had enough of of Charlie Kim accusing me of having “narrow” interests and needing “pictures to help with comprehension.” Can we not have a civilized conversation with differing viewpoints without some people resorting to insults? Enough is enough. I’m seriously thinking of just dropping out of the whole discussion. It’s funny how, when I came to Walt’s defense a while back, I was the one who was accused of being belligerent!!!

  10. Mel, don’t take me too seriously, I’m just pulling some chains. I’m not trying to hurt anybody’s feelings. I don’t think comic collecting is a serious subject, so I don’t take my language too seriously. Maybe Charlie can post a picture that will help you understand my approach. And you do have to admit that some folks who I won’t name by name but whose initials are Chris Owen and Dave Mackay do sound like grouchy complaining whiners…

  11. Hey Mel, I’m realizing that you’re not belligerent after all and since we’re all special in our own way, I wouldn’t want to discourage you from contributing. I do act like a buddhist sometimes, Chuckie is a derivative of my name, there’s nothing wrong with being gay and Starkist is delicious, so I apologize if I misinterpreted your comments. I also agree that Jack Kirby was prolific and the pictures are there to help tell the story for everyone… That’s what we all like about comics. If comments are the true content on a blog, and you’ve made some great observations in the past… the conversations would feel empty without your perspective from your depth of experience. So don’t drop out on my account as you’re one of the few who bring colour to the many great discussions. We all have a love/hate relationship with CGC so I’d love to know what you think… I read all you comments, so carry on my friend.

  12. Hey Mel, don’t go mate!!!…and I just want you to know you were well supported!!! I emailed Walt straight away and defended your position (and the quality of their output) regarding your commentary/defence.

    The lack of direct reply (or even quotation) in WordPress is a very strange omission that I suspect can cause a break in communication

  13. Well, thank you for that gentlemen. My main concern is that I don’t want CBD to end up like the House of Commons. I suppose too that I might be a bit more touchy lately because just over a month ago I had to put my wife of 44 years into long term care because of her Alzheimer’s. CBD is one of my favourite distractions from the sad realities of life. And thanks Spider for that previous support. Walt did Email me to tell me you had jumped to my defense, and I truly appreciate that.

    As for my thoughts on CGC? I realize it may be an essential tool for high-end buyers and sellers, but, after watching one of their graders brutally and carelessly flipping through a copy of Superman #1 on Youtube, I could never in good conscience recommend the “service.” Their “qualified grades” are a bad joke. And, ultimately, as a lover of first rate stories and fine art, encapsulation just doesn’t make sense for me. Having said that, I do have a nice copy of Canadian Heroes from the ’40s that is a CGC 9.0 which three of the guys who wrote the first price guide for WECA books begged me not to crack. They only convinced me when Ivan Kocmarek promised to send me interior scans so I could actually read it! I also collect rare books, and it would be insane to never be able to open them up and read them. What is the point of having them if you can’t enjoy them? Anyroad, you’ve probably heard me rattle on about CGC already many times over (every time the subject comes up pretty much), so I’ll leave it there for now.

    Thanks again guys. Civility rules!

    cheers, mel

  14. Hi Mel. Im so sorry about your challenges. Chin up , hug and a chuck in the shoulder. I think we all need escapism and joy from comics.
    And Chris Meli , Ive been grouchy and whiny ever since I bought a large lot of Sgt Fury’s from Walt at 2 times guide. I blame Walter. 😉
    Mind you ,too much Dum Dum Dugan is a good thing.
    I never understood why his character was never more developed by Marvel

  15. Thanks Dave. Fortunately my super power is being able to turn into a six-year-old every Wednesday, and that has made all the difference. I am afraid I may have to liquidate my entire collection to afford the proper care Kim needs, and that will be a very sad day indeed. I had intended my Canadian collection to go to a deserving archive one day. Now, maybe not. Wish me luck. And, I too have been a huge fan of Timothy Aloysius Cadwallader Dugan for a long time. I remember back in the ’60s being the only kid I knew who knew his whole name, and could actually spell Aloysius and pronounce it properly. Funny what sticks in your memory!

    cheers, mel

  16. Awesome Dum Dun Dugan knowledge Mel. Thank you.

    Thanks for being a good guy and looking after your loved one too ! An inspiration.

    Mel, Grandma Mclaughlin gave us dozen of comics to quieten four of us children in the 1960s.



    Grandma of the year. Decade maybe

    I bet we all have similar memories of parent, relative ,friend, who got us , and gave us comics

  17. Charlie is right, the comments make the blog and our site is leading the way with dynamic and diverse view points, no echo chamber here.

    Chris Meli is right too, we need to read through those comments we don’t agree with, give them a chance to swim in our head, I too am convinced that comments from the like of Alex can change minds, I was schooled a couple of weeks back with his data shushing my preconceived notion of where DC was relative to Marvel in the marketplace.

    Mel is right too because he always speaks his truth, hang in there Mel and please keep adding your voice.

  18. CGC is a joke. I was in your office once Walt, and saw a Werewolf by Night 32 graded a 9.4 by CGC. You didn’t even need to do a close inspection to see it was at best an 8.5
    One crease on the bottom right corner that broke colour. Three dents along the spine that also broke colour. There was another defect on the back. We were both shaking our heads.
    Look at this auction from 2014 ( Anyone want to tell me that’s an actual 9.4? with several large dings on the spine ?
    I don’t trust them one bit.

  19. Thanks guys, and Walt’s right too. We can all continue speaking our truths, and just agree to disagree when necessary. We all have strong opinions about various aspects of this wonderful hobby, and different perspectives on all sides. I think that can make for some pretty interesting discussion. Wouldn’t it be a boring world if we all thought exactly alike and agreed on everything?

    Anyroad, I won’t be toddling off into the sunset anytime soon, and I will keep adding my voice for sure.

    so long for now, mel

    P.S. Grandma Mclaughlin sounds like a peach! My folks never discouraged me from reading comics, but they sure as hell didn’t encourage it!

  20. Dave (Mackay),

    Sorry to hear about your overpayment on the Sgt Fury…I’m with you on Dugan, surely that bowler hat is one of the best costume additions ever!

    You may have been taken a little bit by Smooth Walt however it could have been much worse: he did try and sell off the Smurf issues 1-3 onto Chris Owen…and there’s definitely no Dum Dum in those books….only the one who buys them!

  21. Ha Ha Ha!!! Spider! So true! Good ol’ buddy Walt trying to sell Smurfs.. Telling me they are going to be big one day! Sigh..

  22. Well, everybody knows that Smurfs will never be big. They are, after all, no more than “three apples tall.”

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