So, why would someone slab a comic?
I do not have, nor do I anticipate having, any comics in my collection that have been slabbed by the CGC, so I do not profess to be any expert. Rather than attempting to explain what slabbing a comic means, let me rely on the experts at CGC:
Professional comic book grading eliminates concerns about grade misrepresentations by providing an expert assessment of condition and quality. Every comic book certified by CGC is graded by the hobby’s most experienced and trusted team, according to well-established grading standards. Furthermore, every CGC-certified comic book undergoes a thorough restoration check by leading professionals during the certification process. When restoration is detected, it is fully noted on the certification label. Once certified by CGC, a comic book is encapsulated in a state-of-the art, tamper-evident holder, providing superior protection and stability for long-term preservation.
Okay – I can understand why somebody with expensive and rare comics might want to get them graded and then professionally protected.
What I don’t understand is why someone would want to “encapsulate,” or slab, them. We don’t do this with rare books (those without pictures). Yes, I know collectible currency is sealed and so are sports cards, but in those cases you can still see the full object – front and back, there’s nothing else. Are comics so much more fragile than books than they need this extra protection? Are comics retailers less trust-worthy than book sellers? Or are those purchasing comic books as investments not as educated, and need the professional help?
I honestly don’t know the answer. I know I like to look at and read comics, not just see the front and back cover. I know I like the feel of paper, especially old paper. I know I want to share the things I like with other people. I know I’m more concerned with the contents of the comic than its collectible value.