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Comic books can be pressed and dry 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


 

 

 

PRICING AND SHIPPING
KaptainMyke cleans and presses comic books, magazines, and ashcans for a select group of clients in small intervals which produces better turn around times for all parties involved.

  • $10 per book newer than 1973
  • $15 per book older than 1973
  • Dry cleaning and light stain removal is included
  • Additional 1% of book value on books valued greater than $1000 per book
  • Additional $45 fee for spine roll re-alignment (pre-screening is free)
  • $30 fully insured priority mail return service shipping to grading company or your address
  • Maximum 10 comic books per invoice (must create new invoice for additional books)
  • If being sent to a grading company include a copy of your grading invoice or email
  • 24-48 hours per book
  • 3-5 days for return service priority mail fully insured shipping
  • 10% discount grading with CGC

    Email kaptainmyke@gmail.com today if you are interested in this service.
    Currently submissions for pressing is: BOOKED

 

 

WHAT 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.

 

 

 

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
  • Food, tape, gum, boogers - do not press books until you have removed or scraped off debris
  • Crease lines with missing ink (color breaks)


 


DANGERS OF BAD PRESSING
KaptainMyke takes extra caution of any potential problems or dangers that could result from improper pressing of books. As mentioned in my guide on how to press comics, these topics are discussed in great detail and how to prevent each incident from happening:

  1. Burning a book. Use less heat, less duration. Set a timer on your phone.
  2. Ballpoint pen and sharpie ink will appear fuzzy or blurry. Use minimal moisture if possible. Use a lower temperature for ballpoint pen marks on cover.
  3. Cover is fuzzy or blurry. Too much moisture and too much heat. Lower your humidity duration time and lower your temperature on press machine.
  4. Front cover outer corners will lift or curl slightly upwards (Flaring) Removing book too soon from press or too much pressure (or both).
  5. Staples appear recessed or sucked in towards spine. Use less pressure with pressure adjustment knob. Place a backer board at centerfold to protect staples.
  6. Spine appears crushed. Use less pressure with pressure adjustment knob.
  7. Warping or waves across front cover that appear as ripples (cockling). Temperature is set way to high or there is a malfunction with thermostat on unit.
  8. Divots or craters on cover (pebbling). Wipe each book front to back with a fragrance free, lotion free kleenex. If you use steel plates be sure to sand and wipe the plates clean before and after each use. Using a can of compressed air helps as well.
  9. Vertical tiny line traveling along spine on covers or interior pages. Too much pressure, backer board/cardstock/copypaper is not placed right up against spine as close as possible.
  10. Shrinkage (cover can shrink but rest of book measures out). Too much heat.
  11. Staining (water stains, moisture stains) . Use distilled water only. No tap water or bottled water. The minerals can and will stain your books.
  12. Spine rolls. Books are stacked improperly over a long period of time or production error.
  13. Spine splits on an otherwise near mint book. Production error, or using a backer board under covers with too much pressure.
  14. Stiff pages stuck together. Modern glossy page books require a much lower temperature setting, such as 145 or 150 degrees.
  15. Inks can be seen through the cover from page inks underneath. Too much moisture followed by too much pressure and heat. IE., "overdoing it".
  16. Staple prong pin holes on cover. Too much pressure when improper inspection should have notated the staple prongs need to be pushed down using a plastic putty knife or similar tool. Most common with glued squarebound books such as Silver Surfer 4 or Giant Size X-Men 1.
  17. Marvel Digital Code Insert imprints of 1" square on last 8 pages of book, including back cover. Improper preparation for pressing a book with a digital code. The pressure of the press imprints the digital code into each page before and after the code. You must use cardstock paper or copy paper to cushion each page before and after. (Up to 4 pages before and after to back cover).
  18. Back cover is scratched. Make sure you slide a book with board inside a bag. Do not slide a book inside a pre-assembled bag and board.
  19. Rust (Iron Oxide) or Mold on cover. Rust can form on the steel plate of press when pressing damp books from humidity chamber because moisture seeps through SRP paper if not using a buffer such as a backer board. You must also change out all paperstock and SRP paper after 10 minutes and re-press as normal before leaving overnight.

 


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, spine splits, loose pieces becoming detached, or spine chipping if the book is brittle.


DIGITAL 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 interior pages.




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.



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:

  1. Miswraps
  2. Staining
  3. Foxing
  4. Rust
  5. Ink, ballpoint pen, crayon, marker, Sharpie pen
  6. Missing pages, pieces, tears
  7. Staple placement
  8. Rounded corners
  9. Edgewear
  10. Deep indentations that travel through then entire book on every page
  11. Crease lines with missing ink (color breaks)

 



IS "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.




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. Paint markers used on signatures cannot be pressed or graded.



TIME DURATION
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.

 

damage 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. Send me photos of your books to kaptainmyke@gmail.com if you have any questions.

 

 

JOIN US
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

 







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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