Earlier this month, CGC announced a new partnership with James Spence Authentication (JSA), an autograph authentication service. As of May 7, 2024, collectors can now submit autographed comics for authentication by JSA and grading by CGC at the same time. We all knew this was coming back in March when CCG (CGC's parent company) announced that it had acquired JSA.

Let's take a closer look at this combined service and how it compares to CBCS' Verified Signature program.

In years past, one of the biggest competitive advantages that CBCS had was its its Verified Signature Program. While CGC had its Signature Series program where comic collectors could have their comics signed by writers and artists witnessed by CGC staff, CGC did not offer an option to authenticate unwitnessed signatures. Instead, in the past, CGC would provide comics with unwitnessed autographs with a green Qualified label with the notation "NAME WRITTEN ON COVER IN MARKER." As you know, a Qualified label is the kiss of death for many collectors -- it indicates that the comic has a defect which significantly lowers the market value of of the collectible.

Many of us have had our comics signed by writers and authors at conventions during our youth before grading was even a thing and didn't have the option of having the autographs essentially notarized. For example, I still vividly remember having Todd McFarlane sign my copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #298 at a convention in New York City in 1990. When I got back into comic book collecting decades later during the pandemic, I had no choice but to send it to CBCS so they could authenticate McFarlane's signature through CBCS' partnership with Beckett Authentication Services (see an example below, but not my actual copy).

Collectors had a way to authenticate the unwitnessed autographs they had in their collection helping to reduce the risk of fraud. At the same time, we all know that comics graded by CGC are generally more valuable than ones graded by CBCS and many of us have wanted a similar service from CGC.

After many years, CGC has finally responded to customer demand. Autographed collectibles verified by JSA and graded by CGC will receive a new label similar to the Signature Series yellow label, but with a black headline and JSA branding. Most importantly, collectors who use this combined service will no longer receive the green Qualified label.

In terms of pricing, it will cost collectors $25 for JSA to authenticate each autograph. This pricing compares favorably to the pricing for CBCS' Verified Signature program. Under CBCS' program, it costs collectors $30 for Beckett to authenticate the first signature and then $25 for each additional signature. I've only used the Verified Signature program for one book, and I doubt many collectors will be shipping multiple autographs to be authenticated in one order.

Would you consider using CGC's new autograph authentication service? What do you think of the new label? Please let us know what your opinion is in the comments section below!