[ May 2019 UPDATE: the June 2018 post below discusses a 2018 labeling improvement, but readers should know that CGC announced that as of May 6, 2019, they will label as “Canadian Price Variant” going forward 🙂]
By Benjamin Nobel, June 22, 2018
Angelo recently shared a discovery, finding a CGC-graded 75¢ cover price copy of Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #1 which CGC had labeled with the words “75¢ cover price” at the right-hand side of the label. When Angelo shared this, I happened at the time to have five Type 1A variants in at CGC for grading, some with 75¢ cover prices and some with 95¢ cover prices, and I went ahead and requested they apply the same treatment that Angelo’s book had gotten, i.e. adding “75¢ cover price” / “95¢ cover price” accordingly, at the right-hand side of the labels, for each of the five books in my submission. Because hey, pointing out the variant cover price on the label would be a heck of a lot better than not pointing out the variant cover price on the label, right?! Good news: as you can see by the pictures at right, there are now five more CGC-graded Type 1A cover price variants where CGC points out the variant cover price on the label.
I’ll take an incremental improvement over no improvement; but we are still a long way from the ideal. Currently there is an unfortunate situation where for all of the 1980’s comics where Type 1A newsstand Canadian cover price variants exist, CGC pretends there are two types for each issue instead of recognizing all three types, by ignoring the newsstand vs. direct edition difference: instead of differentiating between direct edition and newsstand, CGC “lumps together” both types by cover price and then dubs the higher cover price newsstand copies as “Canadian Edition” when breaking them out on census with their own variant census entry [I talk about this in depth in the following post: “Canadian Edition” vs. “Canadian Cover Price Variant”].
Unfortunately I think CGC is facing not just an intellectual question but a business question when it comes to this subject — when I previously asked about changing the variant name itself, it was explained to me that such an undertaking would be very costly in terms of the man hours necessary to make the changes. Apparently it isn’t (currently) as easy as a “find/replace” but rather would be an issue-by-issue ordeal. By contrast, copy/pasting “75¢ cover price” a few times into their Key Comments database in response to a customer request, on a piecemeal basis, is apparently no problem!
So next time you submit Type 1A’s to be graded by CGC, include a special request that the cover price be inputted into the Key Comments notes (if it is not already there). Having the variant cover price pointed out on the label is an incremental step better than not having it pointed out, by drawing attention to the fact that the cover price on the comic is not the standard cover price. One of the hallmarks of these Type 1A variants is that if you didn’t know in advance what the cover price is supposed to be for a given issue, you could easily mistake a Type 1A variant for a regular newsstand copy, because they are 100% identical beyond that price box difference. If you were to snip the price box out with scissors (don’t!), your rare cover price variant would be rendered indistinguishable from a regular copy. So for CGC to point out the variant cover price on the label is very helpful because it is a prompt for someone looking at the slab to realize “hey, wait, that’s a higher cover price than the regular ones!” Would it be better if the variant cover price was actually part of the census variant name itself? Yes. But this is still an incremental improvement, one I’m pleased to share with you today — and I wouldn’t be making this post at all if Angelo hadn’t shared his discovery so big thanks to Angelo! 🙂
Happy Collecting! 🙂
– Ben p.s. You probably already figured out some of the five books in my CGC submission from their label notes but I’ll list all five now: Flash #348 (95¢ cover price), New Mutants #1 (75¢ cover price; Origin of Karma; 2nd appearance of the New Mutants), Web of Spider-Man #15 (95¢ cover price; 1st appearance of Chance [Nicholas Powell]; Black Fox appearance), Amazing Spider-Man #267 (75¢ cover price; Spider-Man in the suburbs; Human Torch & Matt Murdock appearance), and Amazing Spider-Man #263 (75¢ cover price; Birth of Norman “Normie” Osborn; Spider-Kid and Black Cat appearance)
p.p.s. Here’s Angelo’s Further Adventures of Indiana Jones #1:
p.p.p.s. 7/16/2018 — Another reader sent me pictures of their freshly graded Type 1A variant copy of Batman #386, with 95¢ cover price pointed out at the right side of the label:
p.p.p.p.s. 7/17/2018 — Another example, courtesy of Mr. Cover Price Variant, who came across the below Type 1A variant copy of Batman #423, with $1.00 cover price pointed out at the right side of the label: