- What exactly is comic pressing?
- What is dry cleaning?
- When should a collector consider having a comic book pressed?
- Is pressing safe?
- Do third part grading services like CGC and CBCS consider pressing and minor dry cleaning restoration?
- How do you press a comic book?
- How can I tell if my comic is a good candidate for grading?
- What comic book grade is best for pressing?
- Does the Comic Doctor submit comics to CGC or CBCS once they have been pressed/ cleaned.
- How long does pressing and dry cleaning take?
- I am ready to submit my comics for pressing and cleaning (if needed)…what do I do?
- How much do your services cost?
- How many books must I submit to take advantage of your services?
- Are you Insured?
What exactly is comic book pressing?
Simply put, pressing is the application of even heat and pressure in order to attempt the removal of imperfections in comic books. A collector will have his/her comics pressed to try and improve the overall appearance of the comic, and in doing so, its value. [back to top]
Dry cleaning is a process used to remove dirt and pencil marks from both the interior and cover a comic book, particularly in the white areas of the comic. Dry cleaning means just that: no liquids (including water, peroxides and/or solvents) are introduced to the comic book during cleaning. Instead, gentle dry methods are used to remove as much dirt deposits from the book as possible. Dry cleaning will not remove tanning, stains, pen or marker, sun shadows or foxing. [back to top]
When should a collector consider having a comic book pressed?
Comic pressing should be considered anytime there is a desire to improve the overall condition of the book. This can either be for resale purposes, grading and encapsulation purposes or simply to improve the appearance of your collection at a minimal cost instead of spending time, money and effort in acquiring new, higher condition issues.
There are many defects (both small and large) that can occur to a comic that will result in a lowered appearance and while there might be some advantage in pressing any and all condition of books, the best results will usually be seen on books that are already in higher grade.
The majority of the damage that can be addressed is limited to non-color or non-image breaking defects like Light Creases, Slight Surface Dents, Light Scratches, Subtle Folds, Minor Spine Rolls, Ripples or Waves, Surface dirt, Smudges, Fingerprints and other disruptions in surface gloss.
If you are considering having your comics pressed, each comic will be pre-screened for free to ensure pressing is needed and suitable. [back to top]
Is pressing safe?
“…While there are no specific studies on comics, there is past research data regarding similar 20th century papers and inks. This data shows that there is a measurable correlation between exposure to heat and humidity and the effect on paper.
Effective pressing requires comics to be subjected to low levels of controlled heat or humidity. Applying the available data on newsprint and color inks, we suggest that the remaining lifespan of printed newsprint is reduced 57 days during pressing. This same data suggests that newsprint has a useful lifespan of approximately 50 years. The age and condition of the comic should be considered when applying this data, but assuming a comic which is 30 years old has 20 years of lifespan remaining, pressing reduces this by .008% (57 days.) A comic which is 45 years old has 5 years of lifespan remaining; pressing reduces this by .03% (57 days.)
In comparison, storing a typical book in an improper, uncontrolled environment may affect useful life at a rate of approximately 2% per year loss, if not more. To clarify the extremity of this, consider our useful lifespan of 50 years is reduced by an entire year for each year it is neglected, giving it a total of only 25 years of useful life if subjected to poor storage. It is well known that proper and controlled storage can ultimately extend the lifespan of any book, pressed or not – improper storage will ensure or accelerate the destruction of paper.
The assumption of a 50 year lifespan is problematic because it applies to newsprint alone; comic covers are a much higher quality paper and the book is treated while still assembled, so this will mitigate the effect of pressing, but there is no data for this kind of composite result. A typical comic collection is now in a controlled (if not ideal) environment, and it is not unusual to find comics well past 5o years in very nice condition, and with continued conscientious storage books may still double that lifespan. In this case, pressing may reduce a still remaining 5o year lifespan by only .003% (less than 4 months of a 100 years total useful life.) This ideal example, and any other pressed comic book, is far more affected by future storage and handling than by its one time pressing treatment.” [back to top]Heft, Tracey. “Is Pressing Safe?” Eclipse Paper Conservation. Allwebco Design & Hosting, 2010. May 1, 2014. http://www.eclipsepaper.com/pressing.htm
Do third part grading services like CGC or CBCS consider pressing and minor dry cleaning restoration?
CGC and CBCS do not consider pressing or dry cleaning to be restoration. [back to top]
How do you press a comic book?
I have invested much time investigating and exploring the technique of comic book pressing. That being said, I would prefer not to reveal how I press and clean books. I can say, however, that I do not expose comic books to liquids, chemicals or extremely high temperatures. Nor are my dry cleaning methods aggressive. I am very careful when handling comic books. [back to top]
GOOD DEFECTS include the following problems that don’t break colour: dents, bends, folds, light creases, minor spine wear/ roll, impacted corners/ edges, warping, ripples, waviness, stacking bends, light cover impressions, light pencil marks and dirt.
BAD DEFECTS include: creases that break colour, missing chips/ pieces, tears, stains, detached staples/ staple tears, spine splits, fading, spine stress that break colour, rusted staples/ rust stains, rounded corners, pen/ ink stains, brown. brittle cover/ pages. [back to top]
What comic book grade is best for pressing?
Higher grade books will obviously see the most improvement after being pressed, simply because they usually have only minor defects (non-colour breaking spine stress, dents, bends, etc.). On the other hand, I have also seen amazing results after pressing and cleaning books in lower grades as well. Often times these books show a more dramatic improvement. [back to top]
The Comic Doctor is an authorized CGC agent. Large submissions are sent twice a year, or by special arrangement. I no longer submit to CBCS. [back to top]
A typical dry clean and press job will take approximately 24- 48 hours. If more significant dry cleaning, humidification or a second pressing is required, the turn around time will obviously be longer. If a comic is heavily soiled, cleaning can often times be quite time consuming and require much more attention. [back to top]
I am ready to submit my comics for pressing and cleaning (if needed)…what do I do?
Once you have decided to submit your comic books, please click on the “submission form” button located on our home page. Once you have filled out the form in full, simply submit it. I will contact you within 24 hours to arrange a time to meet and pre-screen your book(s). If you are located outside of the GTA and wish to send your comics to me, please call me to discuss your submission options. [back to top]
How much do your services cost?
Cash & Paypal Accepted Credit cards are accepted via PayPal
** In the event that the Comic Doctor, at its sole discretion, determines that the fair market value is higher than the value stated by the submitter, the Comic Doctor will move the comic book to the appropriate higher value and the additional fee will be the responsibility of the submitter. [back to top]
How many books must I submit to take advantage of your services?
See cost breakdown above. [back to top]
Are you Insured?
Yes, your comics are insured while in my care. In fact, return shipping insurance is even covered, which is quite a savings considering USPS & Canada Post charge an arm and a leg for this service. Since a $1000 deductible is in effect, customers may wish to purchase this amount from USPS/ Canada Post when I arrange return shipping for them. To take advantage of this coverage, customers must submit a comic book value form when initially submitting their books – this form will be sent to customers with the submission package. Also, in order for the insurance to be in place, return shipping must include USPS/ Canada Post signature option (that is, customers must sign for their comics upon return to them).