I'm ok with grading but horrible at detecting trimming. Any thoughts on this one?
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19 posts in this topic

I'm not sure if this is a badly cut book or trimmed...

 

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tos63.jpg

tos63bk.jpg

Edited by Hibou
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Agreed

2 hours ago, Galen130 said:

Looks miswrapped/misaligned...IMO.

 

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3 hours ago, The Lions Den said:

One thing to look for is whether the flaws on the edges of the cover mimic the flaws on the edges of the pages...  :gossip:

Would that indicate manufacturing?

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9 hours ago, Hibou said:

Would that indicate manufacturing?

If the flaws on the edges of the cover and pages both exhibit the same distinct pattern, it's initial evidence that the cover and the pages haven't been trimmed. Many Marvels from this time period have this kind of a pattern---rough edges with tiny peaks and valleys. Most trimmers just chop the book so it appears neat and uniform---they either don't know or don't care about manufacturing anomalies...

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Trimming is really tough to call without the book in hand, but this doesn't raise red flags for me. There are several imperfection patterns that look to be carried through multiple pages, or through multiple pages and a cover. My initial impression is that this was a fairly miswrapped book, and that the cutting blades also could have done with a sharpening (from this period? shocking!). It is possible to fake that sort of micro-deckled look to the pages, but the vast majority of chop shops wouldn't bother, and I don't really suspect foul play here either.

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2 hours ago, Qalyar said:

Trimming is really tough to call without the book in hand, but this doesn't raise red flags for me. There are several imperfection patterns that look to be carried through multiple pages, or through multiple pages and a cover. My initial impression is that this was a fairly miswrapped book, and that the cutting blades also could have done with a sharpening (from this period? shocking!). It is possible to fake that sort of micro-deckled look to the pages, but the vast majority of chop shops wouldn't bother, and I don't really suspect foul play here either.

As you said, there are ways to imitate certain characteristics that only the real pros would try, but thankfully this seems to be the exception rather than the rule...  (tsk)

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If the cover has NO OVERHANG and thus is approx equal to the pages on all the edges or even just the top or bottom, it was trimmed.  If it does not have an overhang just on the outside edge but has a big overhang on the back cover or vice versa with front, to make up for it, that is likely due to mis wrap/rolled spine etc and does not indicate trimming.   Are all the edges artificially sharp on an old comic when the resto of the comic shows some wear to make you think that the edges should have at least some wear, then its probably trimmed.  No old comic with moderate wear will have perfect sharp edges all the way around.

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Is measuring the width of the book by comparing it to what you know is an untrimmed comic from the same time period (i.e. 2 Silver Age Comics) an accurate way of detecting possible trimming? What I"m thinking is if it's trimmed, it's gotta' be narrower, no?

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9 hours ago, ninanina said:

Is measuring the width of the book by comparing it to what you know is an untrimmed comic from the same time period (i.e. 2 Silver Age Comics) an accurate way of detecting possible trimming? What I"m thinking is if it's trimmed, it's gotta' be narrower, no?

Not guaranteed. We're used to modern (here, broader than Modern) comics produced with enough quality control that all copies start out the same size. But for GA into early SA (and perhaps later for smaller publishers) that isn't a certainty. The blades used to cut comics to size were not always aligned correctly, and didn't always stay aligned. As a result, you can sometimes find books narrower or wider than expected, or even crazy looking things like trapezoid cuts (where the right side of the book isn't parallel to the spine).

So, basically, mis-sized books are a cause for caution but not a conclusive red flag in and of themselves.

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On 3/27/2021 at 2:09 PM, ninanina said:

Is measuring the width of the book by comparing it to what you know is an untrimmed comic from the same time period (i.e. 2 Silver Age Comics) an accurate way of detecting possible trimming? What I"m thinking is if it's trimmed, it's gotta' be narrower, no?

While there may be a reason to address short or narrow dimensions for a closer look than one would if the size didn't stand out, as production varies due to lax tolerances, size alone is not a deciding factor of trim. The edges themselves are. 

This TOS 63 is a prime example of that, as the left to right dimension is shorter than average and yet the right edge has definitely not been trimmed, and the characteristics consistent with books all cut by the same mechanism when published.

Edited by James J Johnson
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Great, I was sure I had a couple trimmed because they were narrower...now there's at least some hope they aren't. When a book is trimmed, do they just trim the cover or do they usually trim the entire side...including the pages. Sorry for the dumb question, but with all my years in this hobby, I always wondered about that but never asked. 

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1 hour ago, ninanina said:

Great, I was sure I had a couple trimmed because they were narrower...now there's at least some hope they aren't. When a book is trimmed, do they just trim the cover or do they usually trim the entire side...including the pages. Sorry for the dumb question, but with all my years in this hobby, I always wondered about that but never asked. 

It's a great question, because it's actually not an uncommon occurrence with vintage books. I've seen many examples where just the cover was trimmed. To me, that usually indicates a bit more cunning than just a straight up "chop job" where the entire book is trimmed. Depending upon the trimmer and the tools they use, it can be very difficult to detect cover trimming...

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