Retrospective on PGX, conversion to CGC, and specific grades recently received by each
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I have not posted much on the CGC forums, but I often have read CGC forum posts over the years. One thing I disagreed about in the past is that when it comes to more modern comics, there was much of a difference in grading between PGX and CGC. Of course, I was aware of some more personal accusations against PGX, but frequent criticisms of PGX concerning their grading outcomes about which I was aware included: (1) PGX often would miss restoration on older comics that CGC would detect; (2) PGX was fairly accurate in grading comics 8.0 or higher but became less reliable in the mid-range of grading; and (3) PGX had a tendency to grade too much at the upper end of the high range (9.9 and 10). Given that these issues did not adversely affect the grading of the comics I was getting graded, and with not wanting to go through a CGC-affiliated shop/member to get comics graded, from around 2004-2019 I occasionally got some of my collection graded with PGX, for a total of a dozen orders over the years. The large majority of these comics were quite recent, having been printed within a decade or less before getting them graded, with none older than Bronze Age, and all of them estimated at 9.0 or higher. Also, I prided myself in being a conservative grader, with the Overstreet guidelines being what I followed most closely. In the context of all I said above, of the dozen orders I sent to PGX, the first 11 orders (from 2004-2017) were satisfactory in terms of grading, with comics often receiving the grade I had estimated and rarely being more than .2 from my personal estimate. Thus, for years I was overall satisfied with PGX grading and their shipping times/practices, although I disliked finding particles stuck in the cases a bit too often and disliked not having a good resale value for graded comics relative to CGC.

Now cut to January of this year (2019), when I got my most recent (and last) order of comics graded with PGX: First, they were several weeks late on their shipping time than the estimate they provided (supposedly due to waiting on new cases to arrive), and when they finally got to grading my comics, they seemed rushed in grading. Second, there were particles stuck in the cases in about half of the order (approximately half of the 26 submitted), and to make matters worse, several of them contributed to obscuring the view of the encased comic. But third, and worst of all, their grading was often off in relation to my grading estimates; sure, their grading matched mine with some comics as it had in the past, but there were just far too many comics that were undergraded in relation to my comic grading. And that was the straw that broke the camel's back. It was bad enough that PGX-graded comics generally did not get nearly as much as CGC-graded comics at the same grade in terms of resale value, but now you (PGX) are going to send me a bunch of undergraded comics? After this happened, I was so irritated that I looked more into CBCS and CGC and realized that CGC actually was quite reasonable now in terms of its lowest level of membership open to individuals, and together with the crossover grading deal they were providing, I decided to become a CGC associate member and strictly use CGC for comic grading.

I know some people don't like long posts, but I've tried to keep it short as possible; and hopefully you've made it this far. Having shared my retrospective on PGX and conversion to CGC, I now want to share three things below: the grades that I personally estimated for 6 comics, the grades that the same 6 comics received from PGX, and the grades that the same 6 comics were given by CGC this year.

1) Lady Mechanika: La Belle Dame Sans Merci #2 Metal Edition--personal estimate: 9.8; PGX grade: 9.8; CGC grade: 9.8

2) Alita: Battle Angel #1 (First American Alita appearance)--personal estimate: 9.6; PGX grade: 9.4; CGC grade: 9.6

3) Michael Turner's Soulfire v5 #2 Aspenstore.com Edition ("Boxing Day" variant)--personal estimate: 9.8; PGX grade 9.6; CGC grade: 9.8

4) The Tenth: Evil's Child #1 "Semi-Nude" Edition--personal estimate: 9.8; PGX grade: 9.6; CGC grade: 9.8

5) The Tenth: Evil's Child #1 "Nude" Edition--personal estimate: 9.6; PGX grade: 9.6; CGC grade: 9.4 (stated in grader notes "light indent full center of back cover")

6) The Tenth: Evil's Child #1 "Nude" Edition Wizard Authentic A.U. variant--personal estimate: 9.4; PGX grade: 9.2; CGC grade: 9.8

In the 1st case, my personal grading estimate, the grade received from PGX, and the grade received from CGC were all the same; however, I resubmitted this comic to CGC not because I disagreed with PGX's grade but because it annoyingly had particles stuck in the case that obscured the view of the comic. In the next three cases (#2-4), PGX undergraded the comic relative to my grading estimate, whereas CGC graded the comic the same as I had graded the comic. In the 5th case, PGX graded the comic the same as my estimate (but again annoyingly had particles stuck in the case obscuring the view of the comic), whereas CGC graded the comic slightly lower than my estimate, although CGC provided grader notes indicating why the comic received the grade it did ("light indent full center of back cover"), which I can understand given that I think different reasonable graders would penalize the comic somewhat differently for that particular flaw. In the 6th case, PGX undergraded the comic relative to my grading estimate (as with #2-4), whereas CGC graded the comic quite higher than my grading estimate, which I will admit shocked me (but hey, I didn't assign the grade). What I cannot argue with, however, is the following: I was dissatisfied with my most recent PGX order because it seemed rushed and resulted in too many particles stuck in the cases and (most importantly) because I felt they too often undergraded my comics, so I decided to stop using PGX and start using only CGC for comic grading; and in 4 of 6 cases thus far, the comic received the same grade from CGC as I had estimated (which in three cases was an improved, higher grade), with one comic grading higher than my grading estimate and one grading slightly lower. Not only was there was barely a blemish on any of the CGC cases, but in terms of potential resale value, this has been a definite win for me. Don't get me wrong; I do keep some of the comics I get graded for my personal collection. But whether I sell my comics sooner or later, my recent conversion to CGC has been positive.

Edited by comicdiablo

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1 hour ago, comicdiablo said:

Don't get me wrong; I do keep some of the comics I get graded for my personal collection. But whether I sell my comics sooner or later, my recent conversion to CGC has been positive.

Rinse and repeat with key and semi-key Silver age books from 6 different grade ranges, low to high, and see if your conversion goes as well. :whistle:

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On 12/14/2019 at 12:05 PM, James J Johnson said:

Rinse and repeat with key and semi-key Silver age books from 6 different grade ranges, low to high, and see if your conversion goes as well. :whistle:

I appreciate your comment, and you are right in the essence of your point: My experience is based only on one set of more modern comics being graded by CGC thus far. I am not a shop owner or big-time collector who very often gets comics graded; however, I can share more of my CGC grading experiences in the future as they occur. I will not be able to speak specifically to Silver Age books though because all of the SA comics I own are CGC-graded, but I do have many Bronze Age comics I could get graded in the future. As stated in my original post, I have read that PGX often has missed restoration on older comics, including restoration that CGC has detected when the comics were resubmitted to CGC. At the same time though, I have read of an instance where the same Journey into Mystery #83 was graded 6.0 unrestored, 7.0 restored, and then 6.0 unrestored again when it was submitted to CGC on three separate occasions (https://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/04/04/when-a-cgcd-comic-goes-from-unrestores-to-restored-and-back-again/), and others have shared similar experiences in this CGC thread from 2014 (https://www.cgccomics.com/boards/topic/318506-cgc-issue-resolved/page/37/?tab=comments#comment-7372492). Thus, while I can accept that CGC is generally superior to PGX in detecting restoration, on some occasions CGC also has missed restoration.

 

Edited by comicdiablo
To add information and sources and increase accuracy

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As you can see from reading my eBay community post from over 5 years ago (see link below), my opinion of PGX vs. CGC has changed over time, consistent with my original post. The only thing I misremembered is that at one time, I had a number of Bronze Age comics from my collection graded with PGX that were graded in the range of 6.0 to 8.5 (e.g., BA Batman, Man-Thing), about which I disagreed on the grade to a considerable degree in at least one instance. In my original post above, I stated that all of the comics I had gotten graded by PGX were "estimated at 9.0 or higher." Please excuse me for not having perfect memory about that one detail from when I sold most of my comic collection at the time in 2005-2008 when I was in a doctoral program.

https://community.ebay.com/t5/Comics/Does-PGX-Rating-Bring-Down-The-Value-Of-A-Comic/m-p/22693609/highlight/true#M18519

Also as stated in my original post, I had been periodically using PGX to get comics graded for around 13 years (2004-2017). One detail I left out though (which I mentioned above) was that when I was in a doctoral program in 2005-2008, I sold nearly my entire comic collection at the time to help finance graduate school, which is consistent with my previous CGC forum post introducing myself in April of this year (see link below). It was at that time that I got the most comics graded with PGX within a short period in large orders; back then, auction-style listings on eBay were more common and sold for higher on average than they do now compared to guide value, including in regard to PGX-graded comics. Over the past decade though, comic selling on eBay has been transformed into largely consisting of revolving 30-day Buy-It-Now items. Again, I apologize for not being able to provide before and after photos of my crossover comic grades this time, but if I do so again in the future, I will make sure to take before and after photos before making such a post here.

https://www.cgccomics.com/boards/topic/307260-welcome-to-the-boards-new-members-please-introduce-yourselves-here/page/82/?tab=comments#comment-10636000

Edited by comicdiablo

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26 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

Even Charles Dickens...? He's the rare one on Action #1.

Yes! Winston Churchill was my facilitator. I also got George Reeves, Julie Schwartz, Neal Adams, Christopher Reeve, the cast of Monty Python and MORE. In fact, so many that the signatures spilled over to my 10.0 Detective Comics #27! 

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Just now, Chazgee said:

Yes! Winston Churchill was my facilitator. I also got George Reeves, Julie Schwartz, Neal Adams, Christopher Reeve, the cast of Monty Python and MORE. In fact, so many that the signatures spilled over to my 10.0 Detective Comics #27! 

The Ultra-Rare DOUBLE CGC case???

I thought those only existed in legends! :whatthe:

PS. Thank you for getting George and Chris' names right. :D

 

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Just now, RockMyAmadeus said:

PS. Thank you for getting George and Chris' names right. :D

Of course my friend. I'm old enough to remember when . . . (thumbsu

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9 minutes ago, Chazgee said:

Of course my friend. I'm old enough to remember when . . . (thumbsu

I don't know why, but it's quite literally like fingernails on the chalkboard to hear someone say "Christopher Reeves."

I guess cuz I was 6 when Superman came out, and I believed a man could fly....

Same with Dave Sim. It's not "Sims." Why do people feel the need to add an "S"...? It's not Johnsons or Smiths or Jolies.

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2 minutes ago, RockMyAmadeus said:

I don't know why, but it's quite literally like fingernails on the chalkboard to hear someone say "Christopher Reeves."

I guess cuz I was 6 when Superman came out, and I believed a man could fly....

Same with Dave Sim. It's not "Sims." Why do people feel the need to add an "S"...? It's not Johnsons or Smiths or Jolies.

I was 12 and had spent my early years watching the George Reeves reruns (not to mention his special I Love Lucy appearance). My friends and I were very serious about learning about this "new Superman" and why his name was SO similar to the Classic 50's actor. Think about it, while there were various serial shorts that were done, really no one else embodied the character in the mind of the general population as much as George Reeves did. And now there's a feature length film starring someone with such a similar name. Lots of rumours. It was more than a little mind blowing, at the time.

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As I stated in my original post, I sent my last submission of comics to be graded by PGX in January of this year. They were delayed in their shipping time in part due to waiting on new cases to arrive (but also due to snow in Eugene, OR). My order was received in January 11, and I was given an estimated shipping date of February 22. I was later told that because of the multiple delays, the new ETA on my order was March 11 or March 12, two months after my order had been received. Then on March 21 after receiving my order, I sent an email to PGX complaining about particles stuck in many of the cases (again, as stated in my original post). After realizing that many of the comics were also undergraded relative to my own grading estimates, that's when I decided I had enough of PGX and began to look into CBCS and CGC. Soon after that on April 2, I decided to become an Associate Member of CGC, which is the same day I made my first two CGC forum posts.

1.thumb.jpg.5f97f286c4506af075b2e0cdf2d83267.jpg

2.thumb.jpg.ae23c706708b0c59121c72cebdc69b14.jpg

1592608033_Membership_CGC.thumb.jpg.93eb807df34421b0cebfca0699b629b2.jpg

Edited by comicdiablo

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One of the comics I mentioned in my original post that I got graded by PGX and then CGC this year was:

"1) Lady Mechanika: La Belle Dame Sans Merci #2 Metal Edition--personal estimate: 9.8; PGX grade: 9.8; CGC grade: 9.8"

I sold this comic on eBay in late June after getting it graded with CGC in May (soon after I joined CGC in April), so I am unable to provide a photo of even the CGC-graded comic. However, here is the CGC certification page for the comic:

https://www.cgccomics.com/grading/verify-cgc-comic.aspx?cgc-comic-cert=2036785001

And here is an image of my seller feedback on eBay showing that I sold the comic during the past 6 months:

eBay.thumb.jpg.e1544b2085e05800ac252a14ae1c5c53.jpg

Edited by comicdiablo

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Another one of the comics I mentioned in my original post that I got graded by PGX and then CGC this year was:

"6) The Tenth: Evil's Child #1 "Nude" Edition Wizard Authentic A.U. variant--personal estimate: 9.4; PGX grade: 9.2; CGC grade: 9.8"

I received this comic back from CGC earlier this week. Below is the link to the CGC certification page for the comic and a photo of the comic.

https://www.cgccomics.com/grading/verify-cgc-comic.aspx?cgc-comic-cert=2080833005

1535018323_TheTenthEC1WizardAUvariantCGC9.8.thumb.jpg.4455bd9310878dc0d47bd13e0d924001.jpg

Edited by comicdiablo

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I am still waiting for the other 4 comics I mentioned in my original post that I got graded by PGX and then CGC this year to arrive in the mail sometime next week. I only know about the CGC grades that those other 4 comics received because of checking the assigned grades online as of this past Friday (12/13).

Edited by comicdiablo

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Very interesting. I could see people picking up PGX 9.6's in hopes to possibly get CGC 9.8's at a fraction of the cost. If this data is representative as whole, there are quite a few money making opportunities to be found.

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2 hours ago, HuddyBee said:

Very interesting. I could see people picking up PGX 9.6's in hopes to possibly get CGC 9.8's at a fraction of the cost. If this data is representative as whole, there are quite a few money making opportunities to be found.

I do not mean to imply based on this one previous order from PGX that doing such would reliably result in higher grades from CGC, and I want to emphasize that my last PGX order was an anomaly in terms of suspecting a lot of comic undergrading. Though I've heard some say that PGX tends to be strict in its grading of newer, upper-end comics (which in the past was my personal experience), I'm sure that PGX and CGC both have examples in which many collectors would feel overgrading occurred. And not to leave anyone out, I've seen what I considered to be a clear example of overgrading with CBCS once: a comic graded 9.8 with such a prominent color-breaking stress line that it irked me to the point of selling the comic and replacing it with a CGC 9.6 on eBay.

Edited by comicdiablo

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2 minutes ago, comicdiablo said:

definitely do not want to imply based on this one previous order from PGX that doing such would reliably result in higher grades from CGC, and I want to emphasize that my last PGX order was an anomaly in terms of suspecting a lot of comic undergrading.

For sure, nowhere am I saying its a guarantee. Just thought it might be worth the risk for anyone trying to make a few bucks.

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18 minutes ago, HuddyBee said:

For sure, nowhere am I saying its a guarantee. Just thought it might be worth the risk for anyone trying to make a few bucks.

Somewhat in line with your idea, I will say this: I've seen CGC 9.4 copies of certain comics sell for nearly as much as PGX 9.6 copies on eBay, and CGC 9.6 copies (and of course 9.8 copies) do sell for substantially more than PGX 9.6 copies. So if someone were to take a chance on a PGX 9.6 comic to be regraded by CGC as you suggested, I think a profit would be possible as long as the comic grades at least as high as it originally did with PGX (assuming it's a high-demand comic). To grade slightly lower (by .2) at the upper end with CGC probably would not be profitable, but I wouldn't say it would be a huge loss in terms of resale value either. Again, I am speaking of more modern comics in this regard.

Edited by comicdiablo

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