Shaken Comic Syndrome - Warn Buyers
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By pure chance I discovered Shaken Comic Syndrome in the CGC forums a few months ago (original post early 2019).

It's been at least a year but I'm not sure when exactly I started noticing high grade books (9.4 and higher) with defects seemingly incompatible with the assigned grade. Initially I assumed the damage was factored into the grade (but avoided those books regardless!). Obviously the forum comments were a real eye-opener (thanks everyone!)! I'm still going through my books looking for anything I may have missed: detached staples, folded corners, and other defects typical of this "syndrome".

I thought it would be cool to have a thread dedicated to identifying SCS books; a place where buyers and enthusiasts in general can weigh in on damage (is the grade compatible with the damage or is it post encapsulation damage) and warn buyers of damaged books in auctions/sales that are live and in progress right now.

Below are two recent ones I came across. What do you think? Shaken Syndrome? Has anyone spotted any books in upcoming auctions / for sale bins?

1. On eBay last week (April 3, 2020): X-Men 141 graded at 9.6. Check the bottom right corner of the front cover.

2. On ComicLink February 2020 auction: Iron Fist 14 at 9.4. Again, bottom right corner of front cover.

X-Men141-ShakenSyndrome.jpg

IronFist14Shaken.jpg

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From the pictures I saw for the X-Men #141, it does appear as if the front cover has a slight overhang, which is a common contributing factor when it comes to damage like this. I'm not saying it's not SCS, but this kind of thing can also happen during the encapsulation process, too. 

As far as the Iron Fist #14 goes, this type of damage could have happened before the book was encapsulated or during the encapsulation process. Again, I'm not saying it's not SCS, but it's really tough for me to say without knowing all the details...

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Yes I have seen corners get bent after being graded similar to your pictures, where the book slid in the holder.  

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Thanks for your input.

Has anyone come across any other books?

I found this copy of Iron Fist 14 9.4 CBCS  in ComicConnect's auction which opens in two weeks (April 27, 2020).

Two spots, both around the bottom right of the front cover. First the bottom right corner, is it folder? And about an inch higher along the right side edge, a rounded indentation. What's your take. Still a 9.4? SCS?

 

 

IronFist14ShakenCopy2.jpg

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On 5/26/2020 at 5:56 PM, Leopold Butters said:

okay, how on earth can this possibly be a 9.8. Auction ends tomorrow and the bid is currently at $10,800. Scandalous.

https://www.comiclink.com/auctions/item.asp?id=1394426&itemType=0

 

giantsize2.JPG

giantsize1.JPG

I had a 9.0 that looked like that, slabbed WAY back in 2002. Cover overhang. Looked so much like my old book that I had to check the CGC number to make sure it wasn't mine. LOL

Maybe they look at that as a printing error. Which kills me... otherwise, the book was flawless... I should have cracked the book, pressed and regraded! doh!

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This one was the most recent comics I bought, and it was not obvious by the pictures online. It's not a big issue in this case since the comic was cheap, and already 'low' grade for what it was, but I'm sure that if it was re-graded it would not come back as 7.5 again. 

20200528_113236.jpg.57fb7ad9fb030d8c559cd92562481b81.jpg

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To the OP, shaken comic syndrome is an artifact of poor case design by CGC and has existed for as long as CGC has been in business.  There are, unfortunately, thousands of books that have suffered from this, the most notorious of which is the 9.8 Hulk 181 which has pretty tough SCS damage.  FYI.

 

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Thanks Randall, for the frank (and depressing) assessment of graded comics. Do you see this as a problem associated exclusively with CGC encapsulation or with CBCS, PGX, etc. as well? I was unaware of the instance of Hulk 181, jeez, that's right up there with the GSX-Men example I posted above. Wretched!

In any case, it's high time that all on-line venues started posting super high def photos, FRONT AND BACK, for all books. ComicLink, for example, never posts back-cover images for their auctions. Makes you wonder ...

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On 5/26/2020 at 5:56 PM, Leopold Butters said:

okay, how on earth can this possibly be a 9.8. Auction ends tomorrow and the bid is currently at $10,800. Scandalous.

https://www.comiclink.com/auctions/item.asp?id=1394426&itemType=0

 

giantsize2.JPG

giantsize1.JPG

What was the final hammer price for this nightmare?

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Here's another one.

GSXM1 CGC 9.0

LINK

Pre-Shipment

p1kYxIC.jpg?1

Post Shipment Damage (Right Edge & Corners)

n1ZUjUl.jpg?1

PMmJwdV.jpg

BKWTFuq.jpg

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On 7/2/2020 at 3:28 AM, Leopold Butters said:

I just came across another GSX-Men listing. It's part of ComicLink's upcoming auction in August, 2020. Why does this problem seem to be so frequent with this particular comic?

As I recall, this book often has an overhang to the cover, especially the right edge of the cover. This would explain why it would be more prone to damage if it had to endure the rigors of shipping. The added weight of the book would also contribute to this problem. A different size inner well or the addition of a wedge or two could possibly remedy this unfortunate situation...

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On 7/1/2020 at 6:08 AM, Leopold Butters said:

Thanks Randall, for the frank (and depressing) assessment of graded comics. Do you see this as a problem associated exclusively with CGC encapsulation or with CBCS, PGX, etc. as well? I was unaware of the instance of Hulk 181, jeez, that's right up there with the GSX-Men example I posted above. Wretched!

In any case, it's high time that all on-line venues started posting super high def photos, FRONT AND BACK, for all books. ComicLink, for example, never posts back-cover images for their auctions. Makes you wonder ...

I think it's common to all encapsulation, although, I haven't looked for it in others and haven't seen any examples of SCS from other companies.  Still, to me it's just basic physics.  If you have an object inside another object with space to move, the interior object will experience acceleration and deceleration/impact every time it get's moved during shipping.  I think books shipped in bags (or mylars) fair better because there isn't a hard edge to run into (although I'm sure it can happen to those if the circumstances are wrong).

In general, if you have a very high grade book, don't submit it to the rigors of shipping without taking this into account.  Better to get it slabbed in person at a convention or (better yet) if you're not going to sell it anytime soon, don't get it slabbed at all.  Put it in a mylite with a full-back and call it a day.  2c

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1 hour ago, Randall Dowling said:

I think it's common to all encapsulation, although, I haven't looked for it in others and haven't seen any examples of SCS from other companies.  Still, to me it's just basic physics.  If you have an object inside another object with space to move, the interior object will experience acceleration and deceleration/impact every time it get's moved during shipping.  I think books shipped in bags (or mylars) fair better because there isn't a hard edge to run into (although I'm sure it can happen to those if the circumstances are wrong).

In general, if you have a very high grade book, don't submit it to the rigors of shipping without taking this into account.  Better to get it slabbed in person at a convention or (better yet) if you're not going to sell it anytime soon, don't get it slabbed at all.  Put it in a mylite with a full-back and call it a day.  2c

Words of wisdom...   (thumbsu

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