Comic condition terminology

Some information for those new to collecting comics. Comic books are truly a business unto themselves as we all know. The goal at Back in Time is to offer a few that meet our collecting interests and/or crossover into realms that we just plain enjoy. The information below is a condensed version of what can be found in an Official Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.

Gem Mint

An exceptional example! Possibly the best ever seen. No flaw. No creases. Bright colors. Sharp corners. An untouched copy that came off the press in perfect condition. A very rare find as even binding issues of some kind are seen on almost every comic, even brand new ones.


A perfect and/or pristine comic book. Covers must retain all original luster and corners must be super sharp. No color fading or inking flaws. Cover and pages must be centered and cuts should be even.

Near Mint

A comic book that is almost perfect. No significant printing flaws. Covers must be mostly lustrous with sharp corners. The spine on a Near Mint comic is tight as new. A bit of fading is acceptable in older comics. Toning to interior pages is acceptable in older comics as well.

Very Fine

Small signs of wear can be visible. The wear would generally be around the staples of the spine. Most of the luster to the covers remains. Corners can show a bit of wear, but are not rounded. This is the typical condition of a comic that you generally find in a comic shop.


A clean comic with noticeable signs of wear. The wear can be at the corners and/or the staples on the spine. A Fine condition comic would still have no tape or writing damage.

Very Good

A well worn copy with minor damage. A VG comic may have some light creasing and obvious wear around the staples. Little or no true luster remains on the covers.


A comic that is 100% complete, but has heavy wear. There may be creases, slight tears, rolling to the spine etc...


A comic book that has seen better days! A fair condition comic may be soiled and damaged on the cover, spine and interior. The entire comic would still be present though. Typical of the comics that my cousin Keith had as a kid. He read them one too many times...


Unsuitable for collecting. Damaged badly. Pages and/or covers may be cut, torn etc... The cover may even be missing. A comic with a tape repair of any kind is generally poor in condition.

Overstreet Grading Scale

CGC GradeSymbolNumber
Mint MT 9.9 - 10.0
Near Mint/Mint NM/M 9.8
Near Mint NM 9.2 - 9.7
Very Fine/Near Mint VF/NM 9
Very Fine VF 7.5 - 8.5
Fine/Very Fine FN/VF 7
Fine FN 5.5 - 6.5
Very Good/Fine VG/FN 5
Very Good VG 3.5 - 4.5
Good/Very Good GD/VG 3
Good GD 1.8 - 2.5
Fair/Good FR/GD 1.5
Fair FR 1
Poor PR 0.5
*Grading Scale provided by the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide.