a - Story art
a(i) - Story art inks.
a(p) - Story art pencils.
a(r) - Story art reprints.
Abraded Corner - Grinding of corner area caused by improper handling or storage.
Abraded Staple Hole - See "Staple Hole."
Adult Material - Contains story and/or art for mature audiences.
Adzine - A magazine primarily devoted to the advertising of comic books and collectibles as its first publishing priority as opposed to written articles.
Allentown Collection - A collection discovered in 1987-88 just outside Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Allentown collection consisted of 135 Golden Age comics, characterized by high grade and superior paper quality.
Aniline - A poisonous oily liquid, colorless when pure, obtained from coal tar and especially from nitro benzene, used in making inks, dyes and perfumes, in certain medicines, in plastics, resins, etc. (See Quinone).
Annual - (1) A book that is published yearly. (2) Some squarebound comics.
Arrival Date - The date written or stamped on the cover of comics by either the local wholesaler or the retailer. The date precedes the cover date by approximately 15 to 75 days and may vary considerably from one locale to another, or from one year to another.
Ashcan - A publisher's inhouse facsimile of a proposed new title. Most ashcans have black and white covers stapled to an existing coverless comic on the inside. Other ashcans are totally black and white.
Average Fine - A term used by some to describe the condtion "fine minus."
b&w - Abbreviation for "Black and White."
Backup Feature - A story or character not usually featured on the cover nor as the first story in the comic.
Bad Girl Art - Term coined in 1993 to describe an attitude as well as a style that portrays women in a sexually implicit way.
Baxter Paper - A high quality, white, heavy paper used in the printing of some comics.
bbc - Abbreviation for "Bottom of Back Cover."
bc - Abbreviation for "Back Cover."
Bi-monthly - Published every two months.
Binder - The person that oversees the bindery process.
Binder Holes - Either two or three holes punched into the spine of comics so as to fit them into a two or three ring binder.
Binder Perfs - See "Perforations."
Bindery - The location where comic books are assembled, trimmed, and stapled and/or glued.
Bindery Corner - Small, triangular spine corner tears that occur during binding.
Bindery Defect - Defects associated with the binding process, including mistrimming, miswrapping, inaccurate stapling, etc.
Bindery Trimming Defect Taxonomy - Comic is not cut/trimmed correctly at the bindery.

Type I - Cover cut squarely:

  • la. - Cover square--rectangular part of back cover shows along spine or right edge of front cover.
  • lb. - Cover square--triangular part of back cover shows along spine or right edge of front cover.
  • lc. - Cover square--white unprinted rectangular strip at either top or bottom of front cover indicating that cover travelled before trimming.
  • ld. - Cover square--white unprinted triangular strip at either top or bottom of front cover indicating that cover travelled before trimming.
  • le. - Same as la but applies to back cover.
  • lf. - Same as lb but applies to back cover.
  • lg. - Same as lc but applies to back cover.
  • lh. - Same as ld but applies to back cover.
Type 2 - Cover not cut squarely:
  • 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 2f, 2g, 2h. - Cover not square/otherwise same as la, lb, lc, 1d, le, lf, lg, lh.
  • 2i. - Cover not square/no other defects.

Bi-weekly - Published every two weeks.
Black Cover - Covers with a predominate use of black ink. The black ink has a tendency to show defects more readily than other ink colors. Because of this, high grade comics with black covers are highly prized by collectors.
Blunted Corner - See "Corner Blunting."
Bondage Cover - Usually denotes a female in bondage.
Bound Copy - A copy that has been bound into abook. The process requires that the spine be trimmed off and sometimes sewn into a book-like binding.
Bound Short - See "Siamese Page."
British Issue - Printed for distribution in Great Britain. These copies sometimes have the price in pence instead of cents.
Brittleness - A severe condition of paper deterioration where paper loses its flexibility and thus chips and/or flakes easily.
Bronze Age - (1) Non-specific term not in general acceptance by collectors at this writing which denotes comics published from approximately 1970 through 1980. (2) Term which describes the "Age" of comic books after the Silver Age.
Browning - (1) The aging of paper characterized by the ever- increasing level of oxidation characterized by darkening. (2) The level of paper deterioration one step more severe than tanning and one-step before brittleness.
Cameo - The brief appearance of one character in the strip of another.
Candian Issue - Printed for distribution in Canada. These copies sometimes have no advertising.
CCA - Abbreviation for "The Comics Code Authority."
CCA Seal - Emblem that was placed on the cover of all CCA approved comics beginning in April-May 1955.
Center Crease - See "Subscription Crease."
Centerfold - The two folded pages in the center of a comic book at the terminal end of the staples.
Center Spread - See "Center Fold."
cfo - Abbreviation for "Center Fold Out."
Chip Cut - Missing piece smaller than I square millimeter.
Circulation Copy - Subscription copy.
Circulation Fold - Subscription fold.
Classic Cover - A cover considered by collectors to be highly desirable because of its subject matter, artwork, historical importance, etc.
Cleaning - A process in which dirt and dust is removed.
Color Flake - The color layer has been lost, making the white paper substrata visible. Color flakes are larger than one square millimeter and smaller than two square millimeters.
Color Fleck - The color layer has been lost, making the white paper substrata visible. Color flecks are no larger than one square millimeter.
Color Touch - A restoration process by which colored ink is used to hide color flecks, color flakes, and larger areas of missing color. Short for "color touch-up."
Colorist - Artist that applies color to the black and white pen & ink art.
Comic Book Dealer - (1) A seller of comic books. (2) One who makes a living buying and selling comic books.
Comic Book Repair - When a tear, loose staple or centerfold has been mended without changing or adding to the original finish of the book. Repair may involve tape, glue or nylon gossamer and is easily detected. It is considered a defect.
Comic Book Restoration - Any attempt, whether professional or amateur, to enhance the appearance of a comic book. These procedures may include anyor all of the following techniques: Recoloring, adding missing paper, stain, ink, dirt or tape removal, whitening, pressing out wrinkles, staple replacement, trimming, re-glossing, etc. Note: Unprofessional work can lower the value of a book.
Comics Code Authority - The Comics Magazine Association of America. An organization formed in 1954 to review (and possibly censor) comic books before they were printed and distributed. The emblem of the CCA is a white stamp in the upper right hand corner of comics dated after February, 1955. The term "post code" refers to the time after this practice started, or approximately 1955 to the present.
Complete Run - All issues of a given title.
Con - A convention or public gathering of fans.
Condition - The state of preservation of a comic book.
Corner - See "Abraded Comer."
Corner Blunting - Compression folds at approximately 45 degrees to the ends and sides of the comic, as if the corner of the comic were dropped against a hard surface.
Corner Crease - Permanent crease located within 1" of a corner. Usually the upper right hand corner or the lower right hand corner.
Corner Fold - A linear dent indicating folding within 1" of the corner. Usually the upper right hand corner or the lower right hand corner.
Cosmic Aeroplane Collection - A collection from Salt Lake City, Utah characterized by the moderate to high grade copies with pencil check marks in the margins of inside pages. It is thought that these comics were kept by a commercial illustration school and the check marks were placed beside panels that instructors wanted students to draw.
Costumed Hero - A costumed crime fighter with "developed" human powers instead of "super" powers.
Coupon Cut - Coupon has been neatly removed with scissors or razor blade.
Coupon Missing - See "Coupon Cut."
Cover Gloss - The reflective quality of the cover ink.
Cover Loose - (1) Cover has become completely detached from the staples. (2) Cover moves around on the staples but is not completely detached from the staples.
Cover Missing - See "No Cover."
Cover Off - Cover is completely detached from the staples.
Cover Reattached - Cover has been repaired/restored to hold staples and reattached to comic interior.
Cover Trimmed - Cover has been reduced in size by neatly cutting away rough or damaged edges.
Crease - A fold which causes ink removal usually resulting in a white line. See "Corner Crease" and "Reading Crease."
Crossover - A story where one character appears prominently in the story of another character (also called "x-over").
cvr - Abbreviation for "cover."
Date Stamp - Arrival or other date printed in ink somewhere in or on the comic by use of a stamp and stamp pad.
Dealer - See "Comic Book Dealer."
Deacidification - Several different processes which reduce acidity in paper.
Debut - The first time that a character appears anywhere.
Defect - Any fault or flaw that detracts from perfection.
Defectives - Comics which, through flaws, are imperfect.
Deformed Staple - Staple that has not penetrated all the pages properly or is bent and/or misshapen. See "Shallow Staple."
Dent - An indentation, usually on the cover, that does not penetrate the paper nor remove any material or gloss.
Denver Collection - A collection consisting primarily of early high grade number one issues bought at auction in Pennsylvania by a Denver, Colorado dealer.
Die-Cut Cover - When areas of a cover are precut by a printer to a special shape or to create a desired effect.
Dimle - A surface indentation on the cover. Usually caused by excessive thumb/finger pressure at the edge of the cover.
Dirty - Inorganic and organic substances that can be removed from paper by cleaning.
Distributor Painted Stripes - See "Distributor Stripes."
Distributor Stripes - Color brushed or sprayed on the edges of comic book stacks by the distributor/wholesaler to code them for expedient exchange at the sales racks. Typical colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Distributor Stripes are not a defect.
Double - A duplicate copy of the same comic book,
Double Cover - Bindery "defect" where two covers are stapled to the comic interior instead of the usual one. Exterior cover often protects interior cover from wear and damage. Considered a desirable situation by some collectors and may increase collec- tor value. Also see "Multiple covers."
Drug Propaganda Story - A comic makes an editorial stand about drug use.
Drug Use Story - Shows the actual use of drugs: shooting, taking a trip, harmful effects, etc.
Dry Press - Machine used to flatten out comics with rolled spine and folds.
Duotone - Printed with black and one other color of ink. This process was common in comics printed in the 1930s.
Dust Shadow - Darker, usually linear area at the edge of some comics stored in stacks. Some portion of the cover was not covered by the comic immediately above it and was exposed to settling dust particles. Also see "Oxidation Shadow" and "Sun Shadow."

  1. Abraded Corner -to- Dust Shadow
  2. Edgar Church -to- Mylar
  3. Name Stamp -to- Rusty Staples
  4. Saddle Stitch -to- Zine