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Comic books can be pressed and cleaned for an improved look and condition. The process also involves a light dry cleaning with no chemicals or solvents.
Amazing results with grade bumps to your books.
Learn how to press comic books yourself with this free instructional guide
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Comic Book Pressing


 

 

DOES THIS BOOK NEED TO BE PRESSED?
The first question you should ask is: Does this book need to be pressed? Signs the book would benefit from a press or dry cleaning:

  • Non-breaking color creases
  • Light bends on front cover or back cover
  • Bunched spine
  • Spine roll
  • Folded comics
  • Wrinkled front and back covers
  • Production line spine bends
  • Preparation for a comic book convention for a signing
  • Using a third party presser prior to using a grading service for a signature series yellow label
  • Dirt, oils, light staining


DEFECTS AND WRITING
Dry cleaning and heat-pressing comic books improves the overall look and feel of a book. It is not divine intervention. Things pressing will not fix:

  • Miswraps
  • Staining
  • Foxing
  • Rust
  • Ink, ballpoint pen, crayon, marker, Sharpie pen
  • Missing pages, pieces, tears
  • Staple placement
  • Rounded corners
  • Edgewear
  • Deep indentations that travel through then entire book on every page
  • Tape (Do not press books with stickers, tape, tattoo inserts, digital codes)
  • Crease lines with missing ink (color breaks)

 


SPINE ROLLS
If your book has a spine roll to it, you should consider spine realignment as well. Adjusting the spine of a comic book can be risky. Other damage may occur from staple movement or spine chipping if the book is brittle.



WHAT DOES PRESSING NOT FIX?
Color breaking creases on covers. Loose or missing staples. Loose or missing pieces or pages. Staple indentations. Moisture stains. Color or ink breaking spine ticks. Scratches. Scratches on black covers. Books folded in half. Ballpoint pen ink. Marker ink. Date stamps. Library stamps. Deep indentions along front spine. Blunted corners. I am not a miracle worker. Please consider these conditions prior to submitting a book for pressing.


IS "PRESSING" CONSIDERED "RESTORATION" TO GRADING COMPANIES?
No. Pressing is a non-invasive method of restoring the original flatness of a book as if it were just printed. Heat and steam are used sometimes to restore spine placement, and helps move creases and fold flaps back to original placement. No chemicals or inks or paints or any similar methods are used on any books. Grading labels will not state "restored" on the label once a book has been pressed.


SIGNED BOOKS
Dry pressing and dry cleaning your book does not use any chemicals or moisture. Only pencil marks and crayon is safely removed from dry cleaning. The heatpress machine and the temperature does not lift sharpie marker or ballpoint pen. Signed or witnessed signature series books are completely safe from ink being lifted during pressing.



TIME DURATION
Cleaning and looking over the book during inspection can take over a few hours. Once your book is actually being pressed, it takes 30 min under high heat and an additional 24 hours or more to cool down using a singular heat/cold exchange method of pressing by allowing the book to completely cool back down while still pressed. The process itself can take 25-27 hours per book. Some books require pressing to be left over several days and nights while still inside the comic book press. Spine roll realignments can take an additional 2 hours or more, depending on severity of spine condition.

 

RISK OF DAMAGE
Pressing a book does have inherent risks. The spine can split. Centerfolds can become loose from a top or bottom staple (or both). Cleaning can rub off surface gloss or ink. If a book is brittle there is risk of chipping and pieces coming loose or removed completely. You must understand these risks and make an informed decision before chosing to have a book pressed. In most cases, the risk is minimal. These risks are mostly associated with Golden Age and Silver Age comic books.






Check out the KaptainMyke Comic Book Pressing Group on Facebook:
KaptainMyke Comic Book Pressing Group


1949 Quality Comics Group PLASTIC MAN #17
Before and After

 







1952 E.C. Publications VAULT OF HORROR #23
(Before and After)














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