Wednesday, January 10, 2024

CGC is in Midst of a Big Crisis

In the past couple of weeks, YouTube videos started getting posted about how people had uncovered that scammers were taking advantage of flaws in CGC cases and the grading/reholdering/etc. process to pass books off as being a better grade than they were, or with special Mark Jeweler's insets, etc. It blew up into a huge thing that CGC was slow to respond to and other sites that normally love scandals were oddly slow to report on or downplayed (looking at you, Bleedingcool, but you do get a lot of ad revenue from CGC so hmmm). Comicsbeat--to their credit--has started trying to explore this complex mess. CGC has said they will correct any falsified slabs and have been vaguely apologetic while carefully wording things to avoid a lawsuit. It's been a slow boil of a controversy but it's reached a scorching temperature.

I don't know much about slabbing and wasn't sure what opinion I could contribute, so I was waiting to say much about this, but it clearly is a mess. CGC apologists are saying we are looking at isolated incidents and that CGC handled everything well. Other folks are saying that unless you basically have gotten your slab back from CGC yourself, almost any case you've bought from another person could be suspect. A vast majority of folks seem to be taking a, "Wait and see," approach where they aren't forgiving CGC for the oversights that made tricking the system possible but will wait to swear CGC off as well until the dust from all this settles. Will CGC recover because they are in some ways possibly too big to fail? Will this permanently tarnish their reputation or end up as a footnote of a scandal? Are employees at CBCS (the other big comic grading company) maniacally laughing about this behind closed doors? I plan to keep my CGC membership and use them for my comics (especially when I want to keep them safe in a case and such), but if I might be nervous to buy a slab for awhile. I imagine there will be a lot more on all of this as the story develops.


  1. This is a really interesting development, isn't it?
    I'd say if your main goal is protecting your books, there are much cheaper and better ways. Slabbing makes it impossible to enjoy your books AS books (you can never read them again without destroying the case), but they don't offer much better protection that a thicker mylar bag and acid free board (in particular, the cases aren't UV resistant). If you are planning on selling your books, then maybe slabbing could help but you have to be sure the books are worth the cost of slabbing.

    Personally, I think it would be a good thing for people to move away from CGC. We need much better and more transparent services from a third party grader. The job of appraising collectibles in an ethical one as well as practical one and the ethics of CGCs approach are highly dubious (no transparency, very limited accountability) before we even get into discussion of whether they are "reliable graders" at a practical level.

    1. All good points and you may very well be right this scandal will cause folks to move away from CGC. Time will tell how much this hurts their reputation!