Case Study: Batman Adventures #12 (1993) And The Impact of Movies on CGC Submissions

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.

Percent of CGC Submissions Noted as Variants

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).

What is slabdata.com?

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.

Percent of All CGC Submissions that are Signature Series

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.

CGC Census Submissions Over Time – By Comic Decade

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.