Popular comic book submissions to CGC from 2000 to 2015 are fairly consistent, with the same comics appearing most years, but a few surprises do appear as recent events such as movie releases, character re-introductions, and television series impact the demand for their CGC graded key issues.
The CGC Census is updated weekly at cgccomics.com and was updated periodically as early as 2003. It is the policy of CGC to replace their census information with each update, so the author of this site created a database for prior CGC census data. As each update was released, the database grew to the point that CGCdata.com was established to provide an easy method for searching current and historical CGC census information. Permission was given by CGC for the compilation and provision of the historical CGC census data starting in 2003. Earlier CGC census data files originally provided to the authors of the Standard Catalog of Comic Books from July 2001 and January 2002 were also provided to CGCdata.com.
Additional information is often requested which is not available in the CGC Census. Examples include: grader notes, the identity of signatures, and individual submitter or dealer submission information. That type of information is not available in the CGC Census, and is not available to CGCdata.com or slabdata.com.
The CGCdata.com and slabdata.com websites only contain information which was publicly available, which has been stored and compiled for analysis.
A comparison of the number of CGC submissions for Star Wars #1 (1977) over time, including both the regular edition and the 35-cent variant.
The total submissions as of January 2017 are 5,895 copies of Star Wars #1 regular edition, and 195 copies of the Star Wars #1 35-cent variant. The 35-cent variant is effectively a 1:30 variant of the regular edition (1 variant for every 30.2 regular), for copies of both submitted to CGC.
It is likely that the Star Wars #1 (1977) 35-cent variant is significantly lower than 3% of the existing/remaining supply, because lower grade copies of the Star Wars #1 regular edition are generally not “worth submitting” for professional grading when considering the resale value compared to the submission and grading fees.
The purchase of 1990s publisher Valiant Comics intellectual property in 2005, the announcement of the return of Valiant Comics in 2007, and the return to regular publishing in 2012 had impacts on the number of CGC submissions for 1990s Valiant Comics. The chart below shows the percentages of all 1990s Valiant Comics submission by the date they were submitted to CGC.
The above chart for Valiant Comics should be compared to the percentages for all 1990s comic books submitted to CGC to see the differences specific to the Valiant titles.
Though the announcements in 2005 certainly impacted CGC submissions for 1990s Valiant Comics more than the average for other 1990s comics, it should be noted that Valiant Comics (published by Valiant Entertainment, Inc.) announced an investment from DMG for publications and movies in March 2015. The increases in CGC submissions beginning in 2015 for Valiant, even above the overall 1990s percentages, are likely attributed to that announcement. In the fall of 2016, Valiant announced a web-based live action series beginning in 2017.
The terms ‘percent’ and ‘percentage’ are used interchangeably on this website. While ‘percentage’ might be a better word to use in some circumstances, it is always a longer word to use, and therefore clutters some posts or chart titles which are already long enough.
The impact of comic book based movies on the back issue comic market is undeniable, but is it also quantifiable?
In the case of the first comic book appearance of Harley Quinn, the number of CGC submissions for Batman Adventures #12 (1993) is shown on the chart below by the take of the CGC census. Though most CGC census updates were weekly, beginning around 2013, there were cases where the census may not have been updated one week and the next week may actually be the counts for two weeks, such as the gap visible just before January 2016.
The Suicide Squad (2016) was announced with a director in September 2014 and casting in October 2014. The number of CGC submissions spikes initially in late-2013, and increases significantly beginning in early 2015. The dates reflected are the CGC census updates, so it can be assumed that the books were submitted 4 to 8 weeks prior to being recorded on the census after grading, coinciding with the September-October 2014 announcements.
The “rise of the variant” is clearly seen in the percent of CGC submissions which have any type of variant notification on the CGC label, separated by the date of the book. The 1966 variant “spike” is related to Golden Record Reprints from Marvel, and the 1976-1977 “spike” is for 30-cent and 35-cent variants. 1990’s spike is primarily related to Spider-man #1 (1990).
Slabdata.com is a blog established in 2017, associated with CGCdata.com Census Analysis. The CGC census data available is from July 2001 to present. No information is available at CGCdata.com that was not publicly available on the official CGC Census at cgccomics.com. The data has been compiled with the permission of Comics Guaranty LLC since 2003, and the search engine for CGC Census Analysis has been available at CGCdata.com since 2011. Greg Holland is the administrator of CGCdata.com and slabdata.com.
… but what is a slab?
‘slab’ is the common term used to refer to professionally graded comic books. The term ‘raw’ is often used to refer to any comic book which has not been professionally graded, in other words,’raw’ is the original way a comic book is published and distributed for reading and collecting.
In addition to receiving a third-party opinion on the condition of the comic book (including a check for restoration), slabbed comics are encapsulated and assigned a serial number by the grading company.
As of January 2017, only the CGC grading company has made their census data public. When another grading company provides census data, it will be incorporated with their permission into the database and referenced on this blog.
The percentage of CGC submissions which are also part of the Signature Series program is shown in the chart above. These are overall percentages for all comic years. Specifically focusing on comic books printed 2010 to 2016, the annual percentage of books CGC graded each year from 2013 to 2016 was about 36% in the Signature Series program.
As of January 17, 2017, a total of 3,233,122 comic books appear on the CGC Census.
The following chart shows the total number of submissions (universal, signature, restored, and qualified) according to the CGC census data compiled at CGCdata.com, with the oldest decades at the bottom and newest at the top. The numbers for 1930s comics are included, but are so low that they do not appear in the chart.
The portion of each CGC grading year(s) attributed to each decade of comic books is shown as a percentage in the chart below.