Double covers are one of the most collectible comic defects. A double cover occurs due to a factory binding mishap where two or more covers are rolled together and stapled with the rest of the book. The reason for double covers collectability is due to both scarcity and condition of the interior cover. Not all comic book collectors seek out double covers, but there is a dedicated niche of pursuers who will pay a pretty penny for the multiple cover comics.
The rarity results from the defect itself, and due to increased printing technology, modern double covers are even less available. Another negative for modern double covers is the small difference between cover grades. Modern double covers could be NM/M on both exterior and interior covers, therefore compared to an older double cover comic, modern comics don’t receive the same kind of collector interest.
Certified Guarantee Company (CGC) will grade all of the covers in a comic and place them on the label below the name and date of the issue. CGC will put the highest – usually the most interior – cover on the grade square on the top left of the case. By placing the highest graded cover in the grade square, the price can be heavily inflated. The most exterior cover takes most of the damage and shields the interior cover(s). Comics are a heavily visual collector’s item, and therefore, a multiple cover comic with a marginal difference between exterior and interior covers will be less valuable than a multiple cover with a smaller contrast between cover grades.
Heritage’s Nov. 16-18 Comics Auction offered two such rare books:
A rare Golden Age double cover book – the outside cover is graded a 4.5 but the inside cover is a stunning 9.4 – an extraordinary find.
A first at Heritage, experts have never seen a “double cover” like this before, with the second cover attached at the centerfold. The oddity even warranted a special note from CGC: “Manufactured with extra cover attached at centerfold.”
Written by: Eric Bradley