S.A. - See "Silver Age."
Saddle Stitch - The staple binding of magazines and comic books.
S&K - Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (artists).
Scarce - (1) Not enough copies available to meet demand. (2) When referring to out-of-print/older comics: 20-100 copies.
Sci-fi - Short for "Science Fiction."
Scraped Staple - Staple which has had rust or other discoloration removed by scraping the surface. This condition is readily identifiable under a hand lens.
Scuff (or) "paper scuff." Light paper abrasion.
Seduction of the Innocent - Book about the censorship of comics published in 1953.
Semi-monthly - Published twice a month.
Set - (1) Complete run of a given title. (2) A grouping of comics for sate.
Sewn Spine - A comic with many spine perforations where binders thread held it into a bound volume. A defect.
sf - Abbreviation for "Science Fiction."
Shallow Staple - Staple that has not penetrated all of the pages and is not visible at the centerfold. (See "Deformed Staple").
Siamese Pages - Bindery defect in which pages are "trimmed long" and are not separated at right hand corner(s) or along right edge. (See "Joined Pages").
sig - Short for "signature."
Signature Duplicated - A rare bindery defect in which a group of pages (signature) is inadvertently duplicated. This may also displace and/or replace an adjacent signature. (See "Signatures").
Signature Out Of Order - A rare bindery defect in which signatures of pages are bound in the wrong sequence. For example; a 32 page comic book with this defect usually has pages in the following order: 9-16, 1-8, 25-32, 17-24.
Signature Reversed - A rare bindery defect in which the orientation of one of the signatures is reversed and appears upside down and backwards. (See "Signatures").
Sigs - See "Signatures."
Signatures - A large sheet of paper printed with four or a multiple of four pages. When folded it becomes a section of one comic book.
Silver Age - (1) The period of time in comic book history (late 1950s and early 1960s) characterized by the re-birth of 1940s comic book heroes. (2) Sept-Oct 1956 (Showcase #4) through 1969. (3) 1955 through 1969.
Silver Proof - B&W actual size print on thick glossy paper hand painted by an artist to indicate colors to engraver.
Sizing - The glaze applied to newsprint at the end of the manufacturing process.
Slick Cover - Any cover that is made from clay coated paper stock.
Smoke Damage - Grey or black discoloration caused by smoke. Considered a defect.
Soiling - Organic and inorganic substances and residues on the surface of the paper. Different than stains, smudges, and mildew.
SOTI - Abbreviation for the book SEDUCTION OF THE INNOCENT.
Spine - The left-hand edge of the comic that will not open.
Spine Chip - A small piece missing from the area of the spine.
Spine Roll - See "Rolled Spine" and "Progressive Rolled Spine."
Spine Split - Even separation at the spine fold, commonly above or below the staple.
Spine Stress - A small fold, usually less than 1/4 inch long perpendicular to the spine.
Splash - See "Splash Panel."
Splash Page - A splash panel.that takes up the entire page. See "Splash Panel."
Splash Panel - (1) The first panel of a comic book story, usually larger than other panels and usually containing the title of the story. The splash panel may also contain artist and writer credits and the name of the feature. (2) An oversized interior panel.
Split Spine - See "Spine Split."
Square Back - See "Perfect Binding."
Square Bound - See "Perfect Binding."
Stains - Discoloration caused by a foreign substance.
Stamp Page - Page devoted to the sale and discussion of stamp collecting. Common in comics of the 1930s.
Staple - See "Deformed Staple" and "Recessed Staple."
Staple Extenders - The portion of the staple that actually penetrates the paper and can be seen at the centerfold. The portion of the staple that is bent either upwards or downwards towards center of staple.
Staple Hole - A punched out area in cover and interior pages caused by staple extender. This hole becomes enlarged (abraded) when staples are removed and replaced several times.
Staple Lateral Bar - The portion of the staple that does not penetrate the paper and lies on top of the cover parallel to the spine. The part of the staple visible on the outside of the comic.
Staple Page - Term used by early collectors to describe the centerfold.
Staple Reinforced - (1) To strengthen with additional materials the cover paper at the site of staple contact. (2) To strengthen with additional materials the centerfold and/or other pages at the points of staple contact.
Staple Rust Migration - Rust stains have moved from the staple to the paper.
Staple Tear - Most often indicates paper separation at the staple.
Staple Popped - Staple tear. Staple has "popped" loose from the cover.
Sticker on Cover - Price or other sticker adhered to cover.
Store Stamp - Store name (and sometimes address and telephone number) stamped in ink via rubber stamp and stamp pad.
Stress Lines - Light, tiny wrinkles occuring along the spine, projecting from the staples or appearing anywhere on the covers of a comic book.
Stress Split - Any clean paper separation caused by pressure. Most common at the spine.
Subscription Center Crease - See "Subscription Copy."
Subscription Copy - A comic sent through the mail direct from the publisher or publisher's agent. Most are folded in half causing a subscription crease or fold running down the center of the comic from top to bottom.
Subscription Fold - See "Subscription Copy." Differs from "Subscription Crease" in that no ink is missing as a result of the folding.
Sun 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 the sun. (Also see "Dust Shadow" and "Oxidation Shadow").
Super-Hero - A costumed crime fighter with powers beyond those of mortal man.
Super-Villain - A costumed criminal with powers beyond those of mortal man. The antithesis of Super-Hero.
Supple - The condition of paper with little or no deterioration. Bendable, pliant, and limber. The opposite of "Brittle."
Swipe - A panel, sequence, or story obviously borrowed from previously published material.
Tanning Line - A brownish stain line of tannin that occurs when wet comic book paper drys.
Tape Residue - Adhesive substance from cellophane tape which has penetrated paper fibers.
Tape Stain - See "Tape Residue."
Tear - An irregular separation of the paper. Different from a split or cut.
Tear at Staple - See "Staple Tear."
Tear Sealed - A tear that has been glued together.
Text Illo - A drawing or small panel in a text story that almost never has a dialogue balloon.
Text Page - A page with no panels or drawings.
Text Story - A story with few if any illustrations commonly used as filler material during the first three decades of comics.
3-D Comic - Comic art that is drawn and printed in two-color layers, producing a true 3-D effect when viewed through special glasses.
3-D Effect Comic - Comic art that is drawn to appear in 3-D, but isn't.
Three Fourths Cover - See "Remainders."
Title - The name of the comic book.
Title Page - First page of a story showing the title of the story.
tobc - Abbreviation for "Top of Back Cover."
tofc - Abbreviation for "Top of Front Cover."
tos - Abbreviation for "tape on spine."
TOS - Abbreviation for "Tales of Suspense."
Transfer Stain - Ink from the first page rubs off onto the inside front cover causing certain portions to appear yellowed. Often mistaken for deterioration. Can also occur on inside back cover.
Transparent Cover - The printing on the inside front cover is visible (to varying degrees) from the front cover. Not always considered a defect. See "Print Through."
Trimmed - (1) A bindery process which separates top, right, and bottom of pages and cuts comic books to the proper size. (2) A repair process in which defects along the edges of a comic book are removed with the use of scissors, razor blades, and/or paper cutters. Comic books which have been repaired in this fashion are considered defectives.
TTA - Abbreviation for "Tales to Astonish."
Two Thirds Cover - See "Remainders."
ulbc - Abbreviation for "Upper Left Corner of Back Cover."
ulfc - Abbreviation for "Upper Left Corner of Front Cover."
Under Guide - When a comic book is priced at a value less than guide.
Upgrade - To obtain another copy of the same comic book in a higher grade.
urbc - Abbreviation for "Upper Right Corner of Back Cover."
urfc - Abbreviation for "Upper Right Corner of Front Cover."
Variant Cover - Different cover image used on the same issue of a comic title.
Very Rare - 1 to 10 copies estimated to exist.
Vinegar Smell - The smell of acetic acid in newsprint that is deteriorating.
Want List - A listing of comics needed by a collector. A list of comics that a collector is interested in purchasing.
Warehouse Copy - Originating from a publisher's warehouse; similar to file copy.
Water Damage - See "Moisture Damage."
White Cover - Describes certain comics where white is the predominant color. These covers are easily stained and/or damaged and readily show wear. Because they rarely occur in high grade, white covers are in great demand by collectors.
White Mountain Collection - A collection of 1950s and 1960s comics which originated in New England.
White Pages - A term used to describe interior pages in the best state of preservation. The preferred state of interior pages.
Whiteness - See "Whiteness Level."
Whiteness Level - The whiteness of interior pages compared against a whiteness standard.
Worm Hole - Small holes eaten into paper caused by a variety of insects and boring worms. Most worm hole damage is actually caused by termites.
Wrong Cover - A rare bindery defect in which the cover from one comic is stapled to the interior pages of another comic.
x-over - Short for "crossover."
Zine - Short for "Fanzine."

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