In a recent copy of the Comics Buyer’s Guide (issue #1463), a chart was showcased revealing how many copies of the coveted "10.0 Mint" grade were awarded by Comics Guaranty, LLC (or better known as "CGC") since their inception. Surprisingly, only ten books [with an issue date prior to 1990] were given this cherished grade. Since 1990, a mere 112 comics (of the 100,000 books so far graded by CGC) had received a perfect 10.0.
Spinal Tap meets the CGC Perhaps this is why we have seen such inane prices for a "10.0 Mint" comic book. In the past months, high graded CGC books have been fetching prices ranging anywhere from two to 25 times normal guide prices. The prized "10.0 Mint" grade capturing the highest honors as featured in the CGC: Hall of Shame. It has almost gotten to the point where the encased comic book itself has become secondary to the madness of attaining "perfection."

The question now is, what’s more important - the comic or the grade? And more importantly, if 10.0 is the highest grade offered by the CGC, does this mean that "ten" equals "perfection?" Recently, Terrence (webmaster of THIRD MILLENNIUM entertainment) ran into Nigel Tufnel of the group, Spinal Tap, who was happy to show off his collection and discuss the insanity of the heavily sought after "10.0 Mint" grade.

NIGEL: Now this is special, too, it's a...look...see...still got the uh...the ol' tagger on it...see...never even read it ...see...

TERRENCE (reaching for comic): You just bought it and....

NIGEL (very excited): Don't touch it! Don't touch it! No! Don't touch it.

TERRENCE (pulls back) : Well uh I wasn't...uh I wasn't gonna touch it...I was just pointing at.

NIGEL: Well don't point, even.

TERRENCE: Don't even point?

NIGEL: No. It can't be READ...never...I mean I....

TERRENCE: Can I look at it?

NIGEL: No. No you've seen enough of that one.

TERRENCE: Don't look at it.

NIGEL (turns attention to stack of new CGC graded comics): This is a top to a, you know, what we use on stage, but it's very...very special because if you can see...


NIGEL (pointing to CGC labels): ...the numbers all go to eleven. Look...right across the board.

The Ultimate Mint Grade - 11.0

TERRENCE: Ahh...oh, I see....

NIGEL: Eleven...eleven...eleven....

TERRENCE (pointing to 10.0 comics): ...and most of these CGC graded comics go up to ten....

NIGEL: Exactly.

TERRENCE: Does that mean it's...BETTER? Is it any MINT-Y-ER?

NIGEL: Well, it's one higher, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most...most blokes, you know, will be buying CGC books at 10.0. You're at 10.0 here...all the way up...all the way up....

TERRENCE: Yeah....

NIGEL: ...all the way up. You have a 10.0 comic ..where can you go from there? Where?

TERRENCE: I don't know....

NIGEL: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is if we need that extra...push over the know what we do?

TERRENCE: Put it up to eleven.

NIGEL: Eleven. Exactly. One better.

TERRENCE: Why don't you just make 10.0 the best and make 10.0 be the top... number...and make that a little better?

NIGEL (confused): ...these go to eleven.

If you're still reading, we've got some fantastic news. Nigel has agreed to mass produce the "Ultimate" (Hey - everyone else is using it - why not us?) 11.0 Mint grade! Nigel believes that since worthless comics are selling for astronomical prices, due solely to the fact that they have the CGC "10.0 Mint" grade, he's come out with one better. Starting next week, he'll offer the "comic-book-less" CGC encasement with the coveted "11.0 Mint" label. Nigel figures it this way:

Nigel Tufnel of Spinal Tap   "Why muck up that nice shiny holder with a book
  that'll never be read anyhow?

  With my idea ... are you paying attention mate?
  With my idea, the fans get a perfect "11.0 Mint"
  holder and not have to pay wacky CGC prices."

Wow. Is it us or is this guy onto something? Thanks Nigel for allowing us your insight into the crazy world of finding perfection in a product that is meant to be read and enjoyed - not hoarded and prostituted for its inflated value.

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