Saint Michael Comics offers Comic Book Pressing services for Comic Books from all eras. Below is a high-level explanation of how we perform our Comic Book pressing. Much of this process was learned from Michael Frederik Sorensen’s book Comic Book CPR and is readily available to those of you interested in learning more about this process.
Don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or are interested in our pressing services.
Comic Book Pressing Services – Step by step
If you are interested in having us dry clean and press your comic book, it would probably be best if you first understand the types of defects pressing will fix. Comic book pressing is not a magic wand that can solve all of life’s problems, it can solve some very specific problems well, but not everything.
What does that mean exactly?
Well, if you come to me with a completely torn cover and a permanent sharpie scribble on the front, chances are that pressing won’t be able to fix those issues; understand?
Comic Book Pressing will help remove creases, fix dents, spine rolls and many other things. It can be extremely effective when combined with a high quality dry clean, and can significantly increase your comics grade resulting in a higher asset value.
For many comic books, this could be a difference of hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
The following chart below outlines which defects can be corrected by pressing and dry cleaning verses which can not be corrected.
|Pressable defects||Non-pressable defects|
|Spine rolls||Color-breaking creases|
|Non-color breaking creases|
Step 1 – Pick a book that you can improve
When determining which comic book to press, pick one that will press well. See above; there are many defects that pressing won’t fix.
Don’t “force” a book to be pressed, because you may be wasting your time and money. Pressing will almost always make the comic book present better when getting it graded, but it may not increase the grade at all given the books existing defects.
For example, you may have a nice copy of a book graded at a 4.5 that would increase substantially in value if you could get the grade to 5.0 or 5.5 – but when reviewing the book, it may not be a good candidate for pressing.
This does not mean you shouldn’t press it but rather it means you should have some realistic expectations before sending it to Saint Michael Comics for pressing.
There will be presses in which the end result appears to be a brand new comic book and we are looking to find those gems to get you the maximum value from your comic book investment(s).
Step 2 – Start with a nice dry clean
I have comics in my own personal collection that I’ve literally hauled around in a short box for decades since I started collecting comics as a kid. From my first apartment when I attended college to cross-country when I moved to Arizona after graduating, those short boxes came with me. All of these books were placed in bags with backboards for the entire duration of my ownership, and you know what?
They still get dirty.
There is dust on them, dirt, debris and other things that can be cleaned. We do a thorough dry clean on all books prior to pressing, unless requested otherwise by the customer. This may include one or a combination of several of the following based on the comics book condition and age:
- Preliminary Cotton Clean and Polish
- 2.3mm Spot Cry Clean
- 2.5mm Spot Dry Clean
- Mars Plastic Hand Clean and Polish
- Gum Eraser Touch up
- Thorough Absorene cleanse
- Magic Eraser Touch up – whites only
- Document Pad Clean
- Miscellaneous Touch up by Hand
Step 3 – Humidify to perfection
Humidity times will vary depending on your location and the books age. If you live in the pacific northwest of the United States, you may not even need to humidify your book, whereas in the Southwestern United States, you will definitely want to humidify the book in a chamber before pressing…
Refer to Michael Frederik Sorensen’s Comic Book CPR for appropriate humidification times. Ultimately this is an art just as much as it is a science that can only be mastered through study and practice.
The good news is a humidity chamber is extremely quick and easy to make, and costs little money to create. Saint Michael Comics uses individual, climate controlled humanity chambers for all comic books prior to pressing. Humidity is held at 99%, room temperature, and monitored via digital hygrometer gauges. Humidity is adjusted with 100% distilled water.
Step 4 – Ensure proper pressing temperature and time
A good rule of thumb when assessing if a comic book would benefit from pressing is quickly screening and identifying if any breaks in color cannot be fixed with a press. Spine ticks, scratches, and very bad creases in which there have been color cracks cannot be corrected.
If you have a book that is heavily dented or wrinkled, it may be a good candidate for our comic book pressing services. Feel free to contact us for more info.
Step 5 – Let it rest then assess
After a heat press has been completed, the book needs to remain within the press for at least 24hrs in order to prevent reversion. Sometimes a comic may need to be pressed twice regardless, however after each press has been completed, the book will be assessed to determine appropriate next steps.
Many times a dry clean and single press can work wonders on a book, and are all that are needed in order to significantly increase it’s value.
Step 6 – Send in for grading
If everything looks good, you can now send the book in for grading or you can simply enjoy a much cleaner, higher-grade copy of your book within your collection without slabbing it.
Saint Michael Comics can take care of this entire process for you so that your comic book asset(s) get the highest grade(s) and value(s) possible.
Contact us to learn more about our comic book pressing services today!