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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Comic Collectors Tools Pt. 2

By: Gerry D

Certified Guaranty Company (CGC)

I'm pretty sure that everyone who reads this blog knows what CGC is. If you don't, it's a third party grading service that professionally grades comic books and puts them into a clear plastic case, or slabbed, to be preserved in that condition forever. Or, at least, until the sun envelops the Earth.

There are a couple of reasons I like this site, other than the obvious one. The Census and the Certification Lookup. The Census lets you see how many copies of a certain has been graded and the break down of all their grades. Say you're looking at a graded comic to buy and you want to see how many have been graded at a 9.6, you can easily look it up. It might seem unimportant but there's no such thing as too much research when it comes to comic investing.

I also use the Certification Lookup. If I'm looking to buy a CGC'd comic online, especially from auction sites like eBay, I like to know it's not a fake. I use this little tool to make sure what I'm buying is the real deal. Just type in the serial number and presto, up pops all the information about eh CGC'd comic.

PGX Comic Grading Services

PGX is an alternative to using CGC to have your comics professionally graded. There some key differences between having your comics graded by CGC or PGX.

1. Submitting your books - usually, you can only submit your comics to CGC at a convention or from certain comic shops. In order to submit directly, you have to sign up to one of their premium services. PGX doesn't require you to pay for a premium service to submit your comics to them.

2. Price - submitting to CGC can get expensive. Just ask Vic. It can run upwards of $60 or more to submit silver age books. That's not including return shipping and insurance costs. PGX offers much cheaper services. Their Modern Age service (1978-present) is $13 and Standard service (pre 1978 books) is only $20. These prices don't include shipping or insurance.

3. Turn around times - CGC's turnaround times can be very long. I submitted a book to them, and it took almost three months to get it back, even though it was estimated at 30 business days. I was going out of my mind. I haven't had any experience with PGX, but their estimated turnaround time for any book is 20 business days.

There is some debate on whether CGC or PGX is better. CGC is definitely more popular, but I don't know if they're better or not.


Collectorz is an organization and database software. They have software for movies, music, and game libraries, but for this, I will focus on the comic book software.

With most organizers, they only offer a template. You basically have to create your own database by entering all of the information from your comics into your computer. With Collectorz, they have an online database. When you enter one of your comics into your library, it automatically downloads the cover picture and information like artist, writer, penciller, inker, colorist, etc., and it even gives a plot summary. You can add personal information like grades, the price you paid for the comic, its current value and more. It's a fairly easy gragram to start using right away.

There is a limited free trial to see if you like the software. If you do and decide to upgrade to either the Standard or Pro editions, enter the coup code CLZDEAL to get $5 off.


CLZ is basically the mobile verson of the Collectorz software. It connects to the same database to retrieve all of your books' information, and you can add your own personal information just like the desktop version. I like the fact that you can scan the UPC of your books, if they have one, to enter them into your library using your phone's camera. It seems like it makes the process a bit easier.

It's available for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod. I haven't tried this one yet, because I'm hesitant about spending $14.99 for it. To the best of my knowledge, you can't use the Collectorz coupon code for this app.
Comics Inventory

Comics Inventory is just that, a place to keep an inventory of your comics. Like most websites of this kind, they have cover photos, you can add the grades of your books and label them if they're CGC or PGX, add the price you paid, their values, ect. However, not all cover photos are in their database yet, but you can help them out by submitting cover scans to add to it.

What sets this site apart from others is the fact that you can submit photos of your own copies and add them to your personal library. Not just cover photos either, but also back cover, spine and interior page photos. it's like looking at your comics without the risk of damaging them.

It's free to try but you're limited to adding 900 books to your library, which is a lot if you ask me, but you can only add 15 image uploads. If you'd like to add more, you can upgrade for a small fee of $2 a month and get unlimited uploads and add your entire collection to your library.


  1. Thanks again Gerry for writing this up. I do have to comment that PGX comics sell for less than most CGC graded comics because they aren't as trusted. There's been a scandal about PGX for the past couple years concerning their grading. Whether or not this is true, it has greatly affected their ability to command the same or close to the same prices for a lot of the same graded comics as their CGC counterparts in auctions. Always grateful when you write up great stuff for Total Comic Mayhem!

    1. A new comic book grading company has arrived,
      Comic-Pros is an affordable solution for comic book grading. Grade any comic book for only $15, with standard 25 day turnaround. Submit your books on the 1st, and get them back on the 25th. Please welcome, to the grading community!