IS COMIC BOOK PRESSING?
Comic book pressing is the process of flattening out
a comic book that has been wrinkled or damaged. Comics
can get bent during shipping or have creaselines from
heavy reading. Good news: Comic Books can be pressed
using a t-shirt heatpress machine, a book press, a
stack of short boxes, or anything heavy and flat.
The idea is simple: to smooth out the waves and bumps
on the cover of a comic book. This makes the overall
grade and eye appeal of the book increase considerably.
Comic book pressing is not restoration, more like
comic book conservation. The difference can sometimes
mean thousands of dollars when discussing high dollar
key comic books. Do NOT press a comic book
with an iron.
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:
DANGERS OF BAD PRESSING
Grading companies will actually make you take a hit
or more if there are evident signs of pressing. This
is what to avoid at all costs:
Burning a book
with too much heat, and too long of duration under
and sharpie ink will appear fuzzy or blurry under
too much heat or humidity
Front cover outer
corners will lift or curl slightly upwards (Flaring)
recessed or sucked in towards spine
Warping or waves
across front cover that appear as ripples (cockling)
Divots or craters
on front or back cover from dirt/debris (pebbling)
line traveling along spine on covers (too much
can shrink but rest of book measures out)
stains, moisture stains)
Spine splits on
an otherwise near mint book
Stiff pages stuck
together (too much heat)
Inks can be seen
through the cover from page inks underneath
Staple prong pin
holes on cover
Code Insert imprints of 1" square on last
8 pages of book, including back cover.
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
CODES AND INSERTS
New Marvel Comics modern age comic books have digital
code inserts in the last 4th page of every interior
book. Some books also have Tattooz inserts or other
items, such as Image #0 coupons and Mark Jeweler's
Inserts. These books require a different and careful
approach so the digital code does not press or imprint
a 1" square onto the back cover and adjoining
WHAT DOES COMIC BOOK
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.
CONSIDERED RESTORATION BY 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.
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
Cleaning and looking over
the book during inspection can take over a few hours.
Cleaning alone can take several hours depending on
what is being cleaned and how cleaning should be approached.
Once your book is actually being pressed, it takes
5-7 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 25-30 hours total 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 and pre-screening
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. Spine splits can become
worse during a press. 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. Pre-screening is important
because sometimes a book is best left in its present
condition if the benefits do not outweigh the risks
due to value or rarity of book.
There is a dedicated Facebook Group called "KaptainMyke
Comic Book Pressing" for anyone to join and contribute
ideas open for discussion. Ask questions about this
guide or show off your own books! Anyone is welcome
to join. I firmly believe the spread of accurate free
information will help us all keep books preserved
and conserved. You may find the Facebook Group at
this link here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/kaptainmykecomicpressing
I press books for a select group of clients in small
intervals for better turn around times. Perhaps you
are looking for a comic book presser in Seattle
or on the west coast? People often
search google for "comic presser near me".
This is easier: