Comic Grading Guidelines

Astral Comics & Games Grading Definitions for Comic Books
Please note that Astral Comics and Games does not grade or consider any type of numbered grading scale when determining a comic book’s condition. As a result, we do not guarantee that any specific book will come back as a certain number grade should any customer choose to grade comics ordered from Astral. 

NEAR MINT: It looks great, may not be gem, but may be close.

Covers as pristine as possible, with allowances for paper stock, printing errors, binding, and the handling process. Subtle dings ’n’ dents, including some spine stress, are possible, but kept to a realistic minimum at the discretion of our eyes.

VERY FINE: It was close, but not close enough.

Covers are shiny and smooth beyond a very modest number of dings ’n’ dents -- which should be confined to peripheral areas away from the central image or the logo, e.g., near the spine or edges. No creases or folds should be present anywhere on the comer or pages. Page color consistent and even, with minimal evidence of encroaching fade or change.

FINE: The common average condition of most back issues, and stuff you find in your attic or garage.

Cover gloss and colors should be intact, with only the subtlest of spine rolls or corner creases present. Blemishes, dings, dents, and other impact/usage disfigurements can be present, but should be minimal on the area of the central image of the book’s cover: a big dent on a character’s face is going to stand out more negatively than one on his foot, or in the background. Creases, dents, and imprints of materials added to the inside of the comic (trading cards, etc.) may be present. Pages are reasonably close to their original color.

VERY GOOD: Relative wear and tear due to age and handling.

Cover features reasonable amount of dings n' dents that come from handling/storing a comic, with the location of these blemishes less relevant than higher grades. Slight loss of shine or color possible. The spine may be slightly rolled. Minor creases and corner folds possible, edges of cover show some wear. An uncertified creator signature may be present. Interior pages are intact, with reasonable amount of discoloration from age or exposure.

GOOD: Basically, a reader’s copy.

The cover is intact, but may be folded, feature tears, creases, wrinkles, and peripheral pen/pencil marks. Books that are older or in high demand could have a small portion of cover missing, or a puncture or hole that does not affect the central image or interior of the book. The spine may be detached from one staple. Minor water damage may be present in/on the book; pages can be naturally discolored, but largely intact. Nothing about the condition should affect the readability of the book. This is a complete reading copy.

Damaged: Yep, it’s dead.

Ripped off covers. Soaked pages. Mold looking to infect humanity. We typically do not look to sell or buy books in this condition.