For anyone who’s purchased a back issue of a comic book or seen a price guide, you know that for dealers and collectors, condition is everything. The same book in two different conditions can go for five dollars or five hundred dollars. To make sure everyone is on the same page (pun pardon), a generally-agreed-upon grading scale was developed a few decades ago. While the minute details of each changes over the years, the names have remained the same. From best to worst: Mint, Near Mint, Very Fine, Fine, Very Good, Good, Fair and Poor. (And everything in between: Fine-Very Fine, Good-Very Good, etcetera.)

Only problem with these names is that they’re not very funny. Nor do they apply to comics or comic book characters specifically.

That is, till now!

Lucky you, you now get to read the very first installment of the grading guide for specific types of characters and comics.

This week: Mint!

For those who need to know, Mint means absolutely perfect. Not just “newsstand” condition, but flawless. No printers’ errors, or even the tiniest of nicks or signs of reading. Very hard to find.


Before now, a perfect condition copy of this book was in “Mint.” No more! Read on to find out what it is now. (Art by Bob Larkin. ©1981 Marvel.)

This will now change for the following comics:

For titles based on Sergio Leone westerns or magnum-carrying cops acting as vigilantes, the condition is “Clint.” (Also applies to Gentle Ben comics. Guess why!)

“Flint” applies to (duh) anything featuring Flintstone characters…and James Coburn.

“Glint” applies mostly to sword-wielding heroes. Also The Silver Surfer, The Dazzler, Liberace, and characters with sparkly eyes.

Perfect copies of comics featuring Professor X and other telepathic characters will be in “Hint.”

“Lint” will apply to any character wearing a cotton uniform, as well as titles featuring The Blob, Kingpin, Bouncing Boy, Tubby and Fatman The Human Flying Saucer.

“Mint” will now only apply to Christmas comics, plus any published in Denver, Philadelphia or San Francisco…and those with Peppermint Patty.

“Stint” will now be for all cancelled series and mini-series.

Those featuring grimacing superheroes (or constipated characters) on the cover will be in “Squint.” (Does not apply to Clint Eastwood comics…see above.)

And lastly, comics starring characters with costumes colored with variations of the same color will be (of course) in “Tint.”

As if you haven’t guessed by now, I need some sleep.







Thanks for playing,



P.S.: If you’d like a “mint condition” pinup of any of the characters listed above–or any others–I will gladly create one for you. Just ask Craig here!



Published by Mike Pascale

Mike is a freelance storyboardist, artist, writer, comic book/web comic creator, graphic designer, award-winning senior art director/copywriter, Kubert School alumnus, Spectrum Fantasy Art award-winner, guitarist/songwriter, future novelist and full-time, life-long comics fan, pop culture collector, and book hoarder. His creations include Bru-Hed™ (America’s favorite Blockhead™), The Game Buzz!™ weekly webcomic, Nasti: Monster Hunter™, Mikey Moo-Moo™ and more “™s” waiting to be unleashed from his crazy cranium.

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