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May 12, 2008

Comments

MMFK

Yeah so the black marker route probably wasn't the best way to go, but how do these guys do it then?? I had no idea this business existed. After visiting their site I gotta say this one blew me away:

Superman #1: Before

Superman #1: After

Mark Engblom

Yeah, that restoration seems like borderline supernatural.

As for what specific techniques restoration services do, I have no idea. I would imagine it's one of those "trade secret" things the better ones try to keep under wraps. What little I actually know of the processes is that they're incredibly meticulous and time consuming.

I actually looked into restoration pricing a few years back for my thoroughly shabby copy of Superman #15 (1942), but the guy said that it "wasn't a good candidate"...which is surprising considering comics like the one you linked to. I'm sure somebody would be able to upgrade my copy, but I'm not sure I'd be willing to pay that price (whatever it might be).

meng

many a comic from my early collecting days (circa 1976-1980) had the spines not so cautiously retouched with the 36 color marker set my mom bought me from Kmart. i also remembered the "job well done" sense of relief as i had believed myself to have salvaged yet another ruin comic...

the most extreme "restoration" was me completely redrawing the cover for my Superman vs Flash Treasury after the cover fell off due to me assembling the table top diorama from the back cover...

ive since rebought all of these comics but i still keep my originals, as an unbagged, unboarded and well cherished link to days when collecting was a lot more fun and less uptight...

Mark Engblom

"many a comic from my early collecting days (circa 1976-1980) had the spines not so cautiously retouched with the 36 color marker set my mom bought me from Kmart."

Hah! I think I tried the same thing to a few of my comics as well.

"the most extreme "restoration" was me completely redrawing the cover for my Superman vs Flash Treasury after the cover fell off due to me assembling the table top diorama from the back cover..."

Ah, those good ol' dioramas. I was tempted to cut a few of 'em out, but, for whatever reason, I decided not to assemble them. I'd love to see your amateur restoration job on that one.

"ive since rebought all of these comics but i still keep my originals, as an unbagged, unboarded and well cherished link to days when collecting was a lot more fun and less uptight..."

Yeah, I've replaced many of 'em, too....although I've yet to replace that copy of Avengers #114 above.

Siskoid

I must have, but I can't think of an example in my collection. Except the big beige masking tape on the spine of many Tintin and Asterix albums.

To tell the truth, I've probably defaced more covers than I ever fixed.

Al Bigley

Mark-

I thought I was the only one to re-stapple and re-mark(!) my older comics! Wow!

But, did you do this: In 1976, as a long-time comics collector (since 1972!), once the UPC boxes began to appear on comic book covers, I actually cut them off each cover, taped in a piece of typing paper behind, and used markers to continue the cover art, and draw in what WOULD have gone in that small square! I only did this to maybe 5 comics, but I remember thinking that darned box marred the beautiful covers to no end!

Alas, I have no examples of those comics now, having replaced each comic with better-quality issues....

Al Bigley

Mark Engblom

"...once the UPC boxes began to appear on comic book covers, I actually cut them off each cover, taped in a piece of typing paper
behind, and used markers to continue the cover art, and draw in what WOULD have gone in that small square!"

That is Hi-larious, Al. Man...I think that story takes the cake when it comes to kid comic restoration. I remember feeling similarly put-off by the UPC boxes, but I guess I didn't take that next big step of actually cutting them from the cover. That's classic.

Just think: They're probably still floating around out there somewhere (unless, of course, you threw them away).

Arundel

Yikes- may I say that 'restoration' of Detective comics looks like 99 percent Photoshop? The upper left corner was rounded to a pulpy nub, but in the "restored" version it's a sharp corner? How exactly did they do THAT?

Huuuugely disbelieve this alleged restoration. You just can't add paper so seamlessly where its clearly been worn away. Anyone who can ought to be a neurosurgeon instead. This is Photoshop.
Which means i could "restore" that book too, in about ten minutes.

L Norton

Does anyone know how to Press a bend from the pages of a Comic Book? I found Power Man and Iron Fist #84 in a used store and Paid .50 cents for it . It list for $60 in mint . I would say before I dropped it and bent the front cover , It was between 9.6 and 9.8 . I'm devestated . Feel free to E-mail me at 2tenacious526@gmail.com or Phone at 520-302-0745 Thank you , L Norton

Brad

You and any of your readers might be interested in a group called the Network of Disclosure, which advocates for the disclosure of any restoration or controversial treatments like pressing done on a comic book when it is being sold by and individual or dealer.

We're at www.networkofdisclosure.com

Interesting article. Thanks!

Gary

I started collecting in 1970 and loved it!
I think the kids need to take this hobby back...too much is based on condition and price!

I have two collections...a high grade one which I;m afraid to read..and the original books i bought 37 years ago which i read and re read!

Jim

I think there should be an "anti-CGC" grading guide. I love old, worn-out comics. There is something fascinating (to me at least)about all the various defects they can accumulate. You know they have really been read and enjoyed. What is the point of putting them in a hard plastic CGC prison? As long as the complete story is there, it's collectible to me.

Kayla

ok, so I am a HUGE X-Men fan, like SEVERE! And I have one of the comics *praises the comic* but my brother drew on the cover a little with a permanent marker. My question is does anyone know any tricks to get permanent marker out of comic books? (With as little damage as possible to the book itself)

John Edgeworth

Good Morning,

I have been collecting comics for 40 years. Yes, I have a few that I would love to get retored for myself. Some just need the staple holes sealed or the cover.center page re-attached. How can I learn to do this for myself?

A.J. Crimson

Many of those who don't believe processes are available to restore missing corners or chips on books should search a recent season of "how it's made" on Discovery and look for the episode on Poster Restoration. It's a good visual guide showing an example of the process for retouching, bleaching, paper filling and color matching/painting done to restore printed materials. There are so many paper and print experts all over the world constantly improving techniques and utilizing increasing technologies to restore our beloved works of art.

My personal experience in any type of amateur restoration has been extremely limited. I was always told by the comic shop guys who mentored me to keep my books in original condition, no matter what. I did however use clear tape once to re-attach a cover. I've never tried to do any recoloring, but I have done some dry cleaning of a couple covers in my personal collection to remove some crayon and pen with a minimally abrasive large white eraser. I am interested in further dry cleaning techniques using a product called "asorbene." Anyone ever use it?

Matthew Wilson

Well I stumbled upon your blog purely by accident. I can say that I am pleased and humbled by the compliments over the examples of my work you displayed.

I have not really done much in the way of comic book restoration of late - the hobby has changed too much to make it a viable full-time job.

I'll let you know that the example of the Superman #1 you have posted was a complete experiment on my part. I wanted to see just how extreme I could go with a retoration project. Somewhere, I have a case that is even more extreme than that Superman #1 that turned out pretty well. It was another Superman #1 that was in a bound volume which had been severely trimmed on the top, right and bottom edge. If I can find those photos, I'll post them on my sight.

Restoration isn't magic, just a lot of hard, tedious work.

ran

Look I got to say; this seems to be the only industry where you have to disclose that something was cleaned. It's almost to say that if we dealt in silver, we should let the silver tarnish.
I believe in conservation of comic books. The difference between a comic book press and leaving it on the bottom of a horizontally stored long box of comics? Cleaning it lightly with a document cleaner? So to this end I built a small press (a gridle, using glass and cardboard, and telephone books ) I have a document cleaner...I've wrecked some comic books but mostly I'm getting good. I'd love to discuss ideas people have about 'conservation' approaches...rehydration, pressing weight and heat, etc..

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