Trimmed Cover Issue
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Need a quick opinion if this is considerred trimmed (purple label)or a production error (blue).

The seller states: "the cover has been trimmed (apparently the seller worked at a recycling plant in the 70's and kept the damaged comics caused by printing errors) "

* note the date inconsistency...already inquired.

 

Thanks!

56806599_10220047173516640_637739571861258240_n.jpg

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I've never seen a copy of this book before that had a "printing error" that resulted in the book being trimmed...  hm

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Except for a few underground comics, i'm unaware of any "print variants" that were hand trimmed at the printers.   The book you have pictured above probably had over a quarter of a million copies printed at World Color Press in Sparta, Illinois .   No one was taking the time at the factory to hand trim a book to make it look right. The printer nor the publisher much cared if the book "looked great".  if it had enough staples to keep it from falling apart and all the pages were there, it was good enough to ship out and sell for 12 cents. 

Having said that, the actual final size of vintage newsprint comics can vary a fair amount in a print run. But they were machine folded and cut, not done by hand.   Because the physical size, alignment and cut of old comics can vary - even on the same issue/print run, I find it really hard to detect trimming. But the issue pictured looks like a kid took a pair of scissors to the cover.  

As you note, the seller says he worked at a recycling center in the 70's. This book was printed early 1963.  So it did not arrive at the recycling center in 1963 because World Color Press thought it was too low quality to sell. It arrived at the recycling center years later when someone decided to get rid of "all those old comic books" in the closet or drawer.  And some kid decided to test  his new school scissors on the book back in the day. 

So yes... Purple label from CGC

Edited by Tony S

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On 4/8/2019 at 11:51 PM, Tony S said:

Except for a few underground comics, i'm unaware of any "print variants" that were hand trimmed at the printers.   The book you have pictured above probably had over a quarter of a million copies printed at World Color Press in Sparta, Illinois .   No one was taking the time at the factory to hand trim a book to make it look right. The printer nor the publisher much cared if the book "looked great".  if it had enough staples to keep it from falling apart and all the pages were there, it was good enough to ship out and sell for 12 cents. 

Having said that, the actual final size of vintage newsprint comics can vary a fair amount in a print run. But they were machine folded and cut, not done by hand.   Because the physical size, alignment and cut of old comics can vary - even on the same issue/print run, I find it really hard to detect trimming. But the issue pictured looks like a kid took a pair of scissors to the cover.  

As you note, the seller says he worked at a recycling center in the 70's. This book was printed early 1963.  So it did not arrive at the recycling center in 1963 because World Color Press thought it was too low quality to sell. It arrived at the recycling center years later when someone decided to get rid of "all those old comic books" in the closet or drawer.  And some kid decided to test  his new school scissors on the book back in the day. 

So yes... Purple label from CGC

This. Absolutely.  

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On 4/8/2019 at 6:36 PM, Ozonetv said:

Need a quick opinion if this is considerred trimmed (purple label)or a production error (blue).

The seller states: "the cover has been trimmed (apparently the seller worked at a recycling plant in the 70's and kept the damaged comics caused by printing errors) "

* note the date inconsistency...already inquired.

 

Thanks!

56806599_10220047173516640_637739571861258240_n.jpg

It's a shame, because this looks like a pretty nice copy...

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On ‎4‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 7:56 PM, The Lions Den said:

It's a shame, because this looks like a pretty nice copy...

What I'm at odds with is the final result of the trimmed or mis-trimmed, or mis-cut right edge. Even on their worst day of days, even All_Things_Comics, who consistently produces the deepest and most horribly executed trims I've ever seen, hasn't mis-trimmed a book as badly as this appears to be from the pics.

Now, here's the question. A trim here, did absolutely nothing to improve the appearance, in fact, it probably made it worse, even if chipped beforehand. And one step further, maybe a child was cutting on the edge of it with a scissors? Or maybe it was horriby produced like this by the printer/binder. If any of these scenarios may be deemed by CGC to be the likely culprit, and it's not the case of a "normal" trim attempt, does it still get a purple label designation? Or is it a case like if a kid randomly puts ink on a cover it's not resto, and if the same kid made an attempt to disguise creases with his ink, and in that case it is resto?

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12 minutes ago, James J Johnson said:

What I'm at odds with is the final result of the trimmed or mis-trimmed, or mis-cut right edge. Even on their worst day of days, even All_Things_Comics, who consistently produces the deepest and most horribly executed trims I've ever seen, hasn't mis-trimmed a book as badly as this appears to be from the pics.

Now, here's the question. A trim here, did absolutely nothing to improve the appearance, in fact, it probably made it worse, even if chipped beforehand. And one step further, maybe a child was cutting on the edge of it with a scissors? Or maybe it was horriby produced like this by the printer/binder. If any of these scenarios may be deemed by CGC to be the likely culprit, and it's not the case of a "normal" trim attempt, does it still get a purple label designation? Or is it a case like if a kid randomly puts ink on a cover it's not resto, and if the same kid made an attempt to disguise creases with his ink, and in that case it is resto?

This is a valid question, JJ. Since it's been previously pointed out that trimming is defined as alteration instead of restoration, this book would undoubtedly fall under those guidelines. CGC would not attempt to differentiate between "amateur" or "professional" trimming, since in most cases it's impossible to tell, and in their eyes, trimmed is trimmed. The only thing they would attempt to determine is the extent of the trimming (is it just the right edge of the cover?) In the "ink on cover" scenario, if they determined that an attempt had been made to disguise the creasing with ink, even if it had obviously been performed by someone with limited artistic ability, CGC would also award the painfully undesirable PLOD...  :preach:

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, The Lions Den said:

This is a valid question, JJ. Since it's been previously pointed out that trimming is defined as alteration instead of restoration, this book would undoubtedly fall under those guidelines. CGC would not attempt to differentiate between "amateur" or "professional" trimming, since in most cases it's impossible to tell, and in their eyes, trimmed is trimmed. The only thing they would attempt to determine is the extent of the trimming (is it just the right edge of the cover?) In the "ink on cover" scenario, if they determined that an attempt had been made to disguise the creasing with ink, even if it had obviously been performed by someone with limited artistic ability, CGC would also award the painfully undesirable PLOD...  :preach:

I don't know either way, only because of the duality of color touch. If ink is present on a book that does not look like it was put there as an attempt to mollify defects, like spine stresses, it's not likely to generate a purple label. This can also be said of a kid trimming off the edges of his comics with a scissors, no obvious care taken to do so in a way that indicates an attempt at improving defect, so that they all fit in a shoebox.

Does that get a trimmed designation, or be absolved of trim, and have that "trim" simply factored as a devastating defect, the same as dots of color randomly spat on a cover by a kid, none of which even approach the stresses, would not get a purple label?

Edited by James J Johnson

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, The Lions Den said:

This is a valid question, JJ. Since it's been previously pointed out that trimming is defined as alteration instead of restoration, this book would undoubtedly fall under those guidelines. CGC would not attempt to differentiate between "amateur" or "professional" trimming, since in most cases it's impossible to tell, and in their eyes, trimmed is trimmed. The only thing they would attempt to determine is the extent of the trimming (is it just the right edge of the cover?) In the "ink on cover" scenario, if they determined that an attempt had been made to disguise the creasing with ink, even if it had obviously been performed by someone with limited artistic ability, CGC would also award the painfully undesirable PLOD...  :preach:

Let's go one step further than my, "If a kid scissors off the right edges of his comics so they fit in his shoebox, is it trimmed by purple label standards"?  Let's say that before he has a chance to be scissoring off the right edge of a comic to fit in his shoebox, his little sister takes the scissors and cuts one of his comics into a paper doll. Trimming off paper from around the shape she chose, cover to cover, that looks like a snow-angel. Is that now "trimmed" by purple label standards? Or again, devastating defect a 0.5 blue label? Or gradable at all, with half the comic missing?

Has anyone else ever asked these questions? Or are there examples of something of this nature or along these lines? Damage from cutting, mis-cutting, etc., vs. trim as a restorative thing (even though trim is not restoration? It can go many different ways here. Just curious as to if there's precedent.

Edited by James J Johnson

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2 hours ago, James J Johnson said:

Let's go one step further than my, "If a kid scissors off the right edges of his comics so they fit in his shoebox, is it trimmed by purple label standards"?  Let's say that before he has a chance to be scissoring off the right edge of a comic to fit in his shoebox, his little sister takes the scissors and cuts one of his comics into a paper doll. Trimming off paper from around the shape she chose, cover to cover, that looks like a snow-angel. Is that now "trimmed" by purple label standards? Or again, devastating defect a 0.5 blue label? Or gradable at all, with half the comic missing?

Has anyone else ever asked these questions? Or are there examples of something of this nature or along these lines? Damage from cutting, mis-cutting, etc., vs. trim as a restorative thing (even though trim is not restoration? It can go many different ways here. Just curious as to if there's precedent.

Excellent questions, JJ. My sense of it is that since trimming is usually confined to the edges of a comic, if someone made a paper doll out of the book it wouldn't be considered trimmed (unless that took place as well). But it would likely result in the .5 grade you alluded to. I've seen some examples of this, but most of the time it's because a coupon was cut out of the cover or a rodent ate part of the book. I've never seen anyone try to submit a comic that was cut in half or disfigured so badly it couldn't be graded, but I've seen a few books that were serious contenders for the coveted "Frankenbook" award (which could become a whole new area of collecting, if anyone's interested). Moreover, since trimming is usually done as an attempt to improve the look of the book, it's uncommon to see a book that's been cut up and trimmed at the same time...but of course in the comic world, anything is possible...

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1 hour ago, The Lions Den said:

Excellent questions, JJ. My sense of it is that since trimming is usually confined to the edges of a comic, if someone made a paper doll out of the book it wouldn't be considered trimmed (unless that took place as well). But it would likely result in the .5 grade you alluded to. I've seen some examples of this, but most of the time it's because a coupon was cut out of the cover or a rodent ate part of the book. I've never seen anyone try to submit a comic that was cut in half or disfigured so badly it couldn't be graded, but I've seen a few books that were serious contenders for the coveted "Frankenbook" award (which could become a whole new area of collecting, if anyone's interested). Moreover, since trimming is usually done as an attempt to improve the look of the book, it's uncommon to see a book that's been cut up and trimmed at the same time...but of course in the comic world, anything is possible...

It's a matter of extremes. Exploring the limits. Even something like this FF 52 that I saw close on ebay last night. The top edge has been so deeply trimmed, cutting into the lettering and code at the top, that it looks like the comic was decapitated. Now of course, this has been trimmed. And likely, in an effort to improve it's appearance. But does the depth of the trim reach a point that a grading service won't grade it? How much can be missing from the book as published and still be graded? And regardless of the defects that were on the top edge of this book, no matter how bad they were that someone felt decapitating the book was the only solution to improve its appearance, whatever defect that was there had to have looked better than the way it looks post trim?  It's trimmed to such an extent that the first impression is that the image has been cropped. It hasn't been cropped.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fantastic-Four-52-Vol-1-Near-Perfect-High-Grade-1st-Appearance-of-Black-Panther-/253730411954?_trksid=p2047675.m43663.l10137&nordt=true&rt=nc&orig_cvip=true

 

ATCFF52trim.jpg

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8 hours ago, James J Johnson said:

It's a matter of extremes. Exploring the limits. Even something like this FF 52 that I saw close on ebay last night. The top edge has been so deeply trimmed, cutting into the lettering and code at the top, that it looks like the comic was decapitated. Now of course, this has been trimmed. And likely, in an effort to improve it's appearance. But does the depth of the trim reach a point that a grading service won't grade it? How much can be missing from the book as published and still be graded? And regardless of the defects that were on the top edge of this book, no matter how bad they were that someone felt decapitating the book was the only solution to improve its appearance, whatever defect that was there had to have looked better than the way it looks post trim?  It's trimmed to such an extent that the first impression is that the image has been cropped. It hasn't been cropped.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fantastic-Four-52-Vol-1-Near-Perfect-High-Grade-1st-Appearance-of-Black-Panther-/253730411954?_trksid=p2047675.m43663.l10137&nordt=true&rt=nc&orig_cvip=true

 

ATCFF52trim.jpg

Wow. Yes, I see what you mean. But of course CGC would still grade and encapsulate it, since most of the book is still there. I'm not sure at what point they'd decide it's not worth grading...perhaps when the entire logo is missing..?  (shrug)

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My gut feeling is that it was neither trimmed at a recycling center or by a kid. Right edge chipping is very common on Hulk #6. Looks to me like somebody tried to trim the chipping off to purposely improve the book's appearance.

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4 hours ago, Pontoon said:

My gut feeling is that it was neither trimmed at a recycling center or by a kid. Right edge chipping is very common on Hulk #6. Looks to me like somebody tried to trim the chipping off to purposely improve the book's appearance.

A child with a safety scissors, if at all mechanically inclined and moderately manually dexterous, could have done a better job on that Hulk. :eek:

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, The Lions Den said:

Wow. Yes, I see what you mean. But of course CGC would still grade and encapsulate it, since most of the book is still there. I'm not sure at what point they'd decide it's not worth grading...perhaps when the entire logo is missing..?  (shrug)

Books without logos; without covers, are encapsulated, as they should be, but I seriously wonder where the cut off point is as far as total area cut off altogether (not just the cover, but like this FF 52, the entire book, cover and pages) for a book to be accepted for pro grading.

The FF 52 isn't only trimmed on top, the right edge is sliced off too. It's just not as noticeable as the top edge because although art is missing on the right edge that should be there, the book folded as it is, the top edge has part of the text missing, so is very apparent.

With the top of the entire book extensively trimmed off, and the right edge of the entire book moderately trimmed off, I'd figure that at least 5%, maybe more, of the entire book, as published, is missing. I wonder if the percentage of a book being missing at some point affects it being accepted for grading, and what that point is. .

Edited by James J Johnson

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9 minutes ago, James J Johnson said:

A child with a safety scissors, if at all mechanically inclined and moderately manually dexterous, could have done a better job on that Hulk. :eek:

Not if that child had been drinking...

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1 minute ago, Randall Dowling said:

Not if that child had been drinking...

Depends upon his genetic predisposition to alcohol intoxication.

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9 minutes ago, James J Johnson said:

Books without logos; without covers, are encapsulated, as they should be, but I seriously wonder where the cut off point is as far as total area cut off altogether (not just the cover, but like this FF 52, the entire book, cover and pages) for a book to be accepted for pro grading.

The FF 52 isn't only trimmed on top, the right edge is sliced off too. It's just not as noticeable as the top edge because although art is missing on the right edge that should be there, the book folded as it is, the top edge has part of the text missing, so is very apparent.

With the top of the entire book extensively trimmed off, and the right edge of the entire book moderately trimmed off, I'd figure that at least 5%, maybe more, of the entire book, as published, is missing. I wonder if the percentage of a book being missing at some point affects it being accepted for grading, and what that point is. .

My apologies for not being more specific, JJ. I was actually referring to a book missing the logo and the pages...let's say 1/4 of the entire book missing. I can't say I've ever actually witnessed that, although I've seen some Poor examples which have numerous large pieces missing from the cover and interior...

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, The Lions Den said:

My apologies for not being more specific, JJ. I was actually referring to a book missing the logo and the pages...let's say 1/4 of the entire book missing. I can't say I've ever actually witnessed that, although I've seen some Poor examples which have numerous large pieces missing from the cover and interior...

I've never seen that graded either, a logo sized top 1/4 to 1/8th of the entire book missing cover to cover. Now of course CGC will slab individual pages, which technically is only approx. 3% or so of the entire book as published, but those pages are as published. I don't recall seeing any slabbed individual pages that were trimmed down, and there too, if so, I wonder where the line is drawn between slabbing and not slabbing from their standpoint. All interesting food for thought.

And further, does the text on the back of the label affixed to a slab with a single page of a comic still refer to the item slabbed within as "This comic book....", and their guarantees. I can't recall ever looking closely at a slab with a single page housed within.

I imagine that Going to the Heritage auction archives and studying those images of slabbed single pages will give me that answer.

Edited by James J Johnson

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, James J Johnson said:

I've never seen that graded either, a logo sized top 1/4 to 1/8th of the entire book missing cover to cover. Now of course CGC will slab individual pages, which technically is only approx. 3% or so of the entire book as published, but those pages are as published. I don't recall seeing any slabbed individual pages that were trimmed down, and there too, if so, I wonder where the line is drawn between slabbing and not slabbing from their standpoint. All interesting food for thought.

And further, does the text on the back of the label affixed to a slab with a single page of a comic still refer to the item slabbed within as "This comic book....", and their guarantees. I can't recall ever looking closely at a slab with a single page housed within.

It looks like the new label just directs you to this website, so I suppose a single page would still fall under the same guidelines...

Edited by The Lions Den

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