Lyle's Comics for CGC grading
My own Spawn #1 and Spider-Man #1 issues by Todd McFarlane

Back in December, I took the plunge and invested a little heavier in my hobby of collecting comics than usual. As with any investment, there is risk. It cost me right at $200 for these two gem issues of Spawn #1 and Spider-Man #1 to be signed, graded, and slabbed at CGC. On the surface, that’s overpriced for their current sales value, but I didn’t pay that to turn a profit. I paid that because I’m a fan, and now I have two of my favorite Todd McFarlane works signed by the man, himself.

Spawn and Spider-Man: What came back in the mail?

Spawn #1 signed and graded by CGC
Spawn #1, graded 9.6 and signed by Todd McFarlane

Read our original CGC / Todd McFarlane Signing Event article here!

Spider-Man #1 Silver Edition signed and graded by CGC
Spider-Man #1-Silver Edition, graded 9.6 and signed by Todd McFarlane

These issues are Modern-age, so mass production keeps the raw value in check. Older comics had lower print runs and usually get the grade/slab treatment, but these two particular issues shaped the how-and-what I collect in the comics world. They’re special to me. Read on to find out why

CGC – To Slab, Or Not To Slab?

In the comic collector world, there are raw comics and graded comics. Raw comics are un-slabbed, likely kept in a poly-sleeve and hopefully with an acid-free cardboard backer (that’s how mine are). Millions of collectors keep their books this way. Every now and then, when a special issue or series comes around, it’s worth going a step further.

CGC Grading

One CGC forum comment laid out a pretty good formula for when you should consider getting a comic graded/slabbed:

  1. What is the age of the book? Not just in years, but in comics age, too. Is it Bronze Age? Golden? Silver? Modern? Usually, the older, the better.
  2. What is the condition? While modern books need to be mint or near-mint to retain decent value, older comics can still be valuable even if they have a few dings.
  3. Does the book have historical comics significance? Is it a special cover? First appearance? Important story line? (also called key issues)

If you have a book that meets at least two of these criteria, it’s probably worth investigating the cost and effort to slab and grade it. These two are my first foray into graded books, and likely won’t be my last.

Final Thoughts…

I was really hoping for the 9.8 rating, as it does add to the final value but I’ll settle for the 9.6. I still feel the investment in these was worth it. Not just for the money, but for the inspiration. When you are a creative-type, it’s good to surround yourself with things that inspire you and expand your imagination. These comics do that for me, and I’m positive I’m not the only one.

“It’s a small price to pay, but investing a little extra effort into the life you choose will move you from average — where all the competition is — to the top.”

Richie Norton, business and investment author

Hey Hashtaggers! Stick with That Hashtag Show for all your geek pop-culture news and reviews. On a personal note, thanks for reading us. We love what we do and we love to hear from other fans. Check out CGC’s site here for more information, and give us your thoughts on comics grading and collecting!