Comic Book Collecting Key Terms
Bindery Chip or Tear - A small chip or tear on the top or bottom spine edge that is caused when the comic book is cut down to size at the printer - typically the result of a dull cutting blade. This is most prevalent on books printed prior to 1970.
Bondage Cover - Someone tied up or otherwise restrained on cover. Typically associated with images of women restrained and in peril.
Color Touch (CT) - Color applied to the book post printing for the purpose of repairing color loss. Often seen along the spine to hide color-breaking creases, but can be anywhere on a book. This is considered a form of restoration.
Comic Code Authority (CCA) - A self-regulating body charged with policing the content of comic books. Came about because of the publication of SOTI to avoid congressional regulation. The CCA provided a stamp to all comics that were approved. The CCA operated from 1954 - 2011.
Detached Cover – The cover is completely detached at all staples.
Dust shadow - A darkened area on a comic, which is usually on the edge or corner of the front or back cover. This is caused by a portion of the comic being exposed to the air and dust, while the rest of the comic remains protected. An example would be part of a comic in a stack is sticking out beyond the rest of the books. The containments in the air will stain the exposed portion over time.
File Copy – A book that has been stored in the publisher’s archives for reference. Often, File Copies are high grade examples because they were stored immediately after publishing.
Good Girl Art (GGA) – Refers to pinup style art that features attractive women in swimsuits, low cut tops, etc.
Incomplete (INC) – a book that is missing pages
Married Cover - When a cover from one comic book is attached to another comic book. This is considered a form of restoration.
Original Owner (OO) – The original purchaser who obtained the book from the original point of sale.
Popped Staple – When a staple is no longer attached at the cover. This can result from rough handling, or in some cases, the staple may have shot cleanly through the cover when the book was initially assembled at the printer. If all staples are popped and the cover is no longer attached, it is a Detached Cover.
Pre-Code or Pre-Code Horror - an unregulated era from the late 1940s to the early 1950s before the industry was forced to self-censor with the Comics Code Authority.
Pressing - A process that usually includes heat, humidity and pressure to remove certain flaws for the purpose of enhancing the appearance of a comic. Typically, a dry mount press and/or tacking irons are used to apply the heat and pressure. If done correctly, non color-breaking creases, folds, bends and spine roll can be corrected with little or no residual effects. If done incorrectly, a book can be unnaturally flattened, staples popped loose and/or scorched. The long-term effect this has on the paper is yet to be determined. While CGC does not consider this process to be restoration, some collectors and dealers consider it to be a form of restoration.
Qualified – A book that presents high grade, however it has one outstanding defect that would technically lower the grade substantially. For example, a high grade book with a single popped staple or a coupon cut out.
Seduction Of The Innocent (SOTI) - A book written by Frederic Wertham in 1954 warning of the negative impact comic books have on the youth.
Subscription Bend - A book length vertical bend that is the result of the comic being folded in half. A bend should not break color on the cover.
Subscription Crease - A book length vertical color-breaking crease that is the result of the comic being folded in half.
Trimming - A process where part of the outer edge of the comic is trimmed off to create an appearance of sharper, cleaner edges and corners. This is considered a form of restoration and is highly frowned upon in the comic collecting field.