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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Color of Pages Concerning Graded Comics

I was recently e-mailed and asked to write up a post on the subject of page color concerning graded comic books. It's a great question and a topic that's pretty much discussed in the realm of graded comic collectors and those investing in comics. I haven't yet tackled the subject in terms of comic investing, so here goes.

Yes, it's true that one can see from a few graded CGC comics I've shared on here that I have a mish-mash of CGC comics that are labeled Off-White, Off-White-to-White, Cream, and a variety of other page colors. I'm not too particular when it comes to this comic investing aspect for certain graded comics.

When it comes to Overstreet Grading guidelines, page color does play a slight affect on grading. For instance, a 9.9 and 10 Gem Mint only allow White Pages. However, a 9.8 allows Off-White through White Pages, which also includes Off-White-to-White. A 9.6 also allows Off-White through White Pages, but a 9.4 allows Cream Pages.

Image taken from eBay
But with CGC graded comics, I've yet to see any hard core evidence that page color plays a major significance on actual value of a certain grade for those comics. For instance, I'm going to take the example of the Incredible Hulk #181 CGC 8.0 I just recently snagged. The page color is Off-White on the CGC label for my copy, but there is another copy at the same grade with White Pages that sold for the exact same price of $1,299.99 on February 14th. Also another copy at the same grade with the same page color sold for only $1,200 just one day before that one. 

Lucky bastard! That's not my actual copy pictured above.

Okay, let's look at a comic I don't have. I'm getting tired of talking about Hulk #181, and you're probably tired reading about it as well.

Image taken from eBay
So let's look at X-Men #94 CGC 8.5. A copy has Cream to Off-White Pages and sold for $500 bucks back in February 15th of this year on the mighty eBay. Yet a same grade copy with Off-White to White Pages sold for the exact same price on the same day. 

A White Pages CGC 8.5 did sell for $600 on December 28th, 2013, but I can't conclusively say that it sold higher because it had White Pages rather than the comic market demand for that month, since it's the only one that sold in December.

However, a CGC 9.0 for that particular X-Men issue with Off-White-to-White Pages did sell higher than a CGC 9.0 with White Pages. The White Pages copy was bought January 31st of this year for $849.99, and the OW/W copy sold on February 6th for $895.50.

I do know that there are those out there who prefer White Pages, and I do as well for certain comics. If I'm getting a copper age or modern age comic (there are actually some moderns on my want list...very few, though), then I'd prefer White Pages over Off White-to-White. 

It's not exactly a requirement for me, however. If I can get a way better deal on an Off-White-to-White CGC 9.8, you can bet your ass I'm snagging that one for sure. That's highly unlikely, though. Most high grade copper and modern CGC comics in the 9.8 range will be labeled White Pages anyway.

I do have to admit White Pages are more desirable, and they are a requirement for some comic investing buffs out there. They prefer WP, but from what I researched, this seems to be more of a preference than an actual market value determination.

If that did have an effect on the actual price of a CGC graded comic, I'd definitely be more wary about page color. I guess, it's really up to you to decide if you want to be particular about page color for graded comics.

Thank you for the e-mail and the request for this post. Great subject that definitely should be brought up and addressed.

If you missed my other comic investing post, click the link to see a list of articles all about investing in comics. Thanks for reading and those who are commenting and sharing. Stay tuned for more comic goodness coming soon.


  1. This is a very good point to be honest i dont think it matters with dark covers, but with white covers it's means a hell of lot . Its just to do with the fact the pages show through and dis-colour the cover for example.
    I ave got justice league #181 that is a 9.8 and has white pages. Its whiter than snow and look's beautiful. But on the other hand i had FF # 88 come from america yesterday i was buzzing it was a 9.4 with off-white pages. but with the off-white pages it looks horrible it's more of a cream cover.
    so when it comes to white covers i'll try keep to white pages from now on.

    1. I see what you're saying. White cover and black cover comics are especially a pain in the ass. I can't stand them. Every little defect just really pops out with those covers. Both are truly awesome if there are very, very minor defects, and are almost perfect, though.

      They are both the hardest covers to really find in beautiful grades and to keep in beautiful grades as well. Thanks for your insights and I am sure that there are many who agree with you on that call.

  2. I pay more for white pages. More life left in the comic