Back in February I wrote about comic book pressing, which would help to improve the look of a comic and ultimately their market value. In the past, I’ve submitted books to companies in the U.S. that most collectors on the CGC boards seem to use but have realized mixed results. In order to justify the expense, the books I submitted were high end keys, already graded 9.0 or above. At this end of the grading spectrum we are essentially dealing with nuances, trying to iron out very subtle flaws and hoping for a higher grade. Half the books I submitted went up a notch, many remained the same and a couple went down in grade. In the end, factoring in the cost of shipping, the exchange rate and the cost of re-grading, I decided that it was all a wash. Not really worth my time and effort. However, when I discovered a local pressing service I decided to give it another shot.

Kevin Polidano calls himself the Comic Doctor. Based out in Oshawa, he offers a comic book pressing and cleaning service. When I first met him I was a little skeptical. At the time, I had never heard of him before and was unfamiliar with who he was. However, he turned out to be very personable, very open and easy to talk with so I decided to give him a try. As well, I had a small pile of wrinkled books that I wasn’t quite sure what to do with. These books were not worth sending down to the U.S. but they still had some value so I didn’t want to just give them away because of some water damage. I offered them to the Doctor and recently got them back and… wow! The results were impressive:

Before

Before: Difficult to see the wrinkles here due to the printing.

Before

Before: Turn the book over the rippling is very noticeable.

After

After: After a good press, the book lays flat.

After

After: On the back, only the subtle stain remains.

Adventure into Fear #19 is the 1st appearance of Howard the Duck. I picked up this book under $5 as part of my boxing day haul. After Howard the Duck’s post credit appearance in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, its value popped and was worth saving. However, it had some ripply waves across the top, most noticeable from the back cover. After the pressing, the waves are still visible but much less pronounced. Good enough to be offered up for sale without shame.

Before

Before: Looks okay from the front.

Before

Before: Turn it over and the ripples are much more visible.

After

After: After the pressing, the cover looks smooth.

After

After: The back is also smooth.

The Incredible Hulk #141 features the first appearance of Doc Samson. I picked up this book in a trade but was unaware of the moisture damage. I had a bit of money into this book so I couldn’t just ignore the wrinkles. After the pressing, the wrinkles were ironed out.

Before

Before: Difficult to see the bend here since it does not break ink.

Before

Before: The bend is more visible from this angle.

After

After: After the pressing, the bottom edge is flattened out.

After

After: The top edge also looks much improved. Too bad there’s no easy way to remove the over spray of distributors ink.

Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 is the 1st appearance of Luke Cage, the Power Man. I picked up this book in the same trade deal as the Hulk #141. This book was bent and warped at the bottom but the damage did not break ink. Again, I had some money into this book and with the pending TV series, it was worth trying to save. After the pressing, the bend and warping flattened right out. I can’t even see where the bending had occurred.

Before

Before: My photo’s make the before shots look better than the books actually were.

Before

Before: But this particular book was rough all over.

After

After: After the pressing, both front and back cover was smooth as a babies bottom. This book sold instantly so I had to ask the buyer to send this pic to me.

Batman #200 is an anniversary issue and Neal Adams’ first work on the series. I found this book in the cheapy bins, all crumpled up for under $5. Due to its low grade, everyone before me seemed to have passed on it. After the pressing, it was flat as a pancake and was the most dramatic transformation out of the bunch. It went from what I would consider to be a 2.0 to a solid 4.0… maybe a 5.0. I showed these books to the friend who I traded the Hulk and Luke Cage books with and he made me a cash offer on the spot. Thanks to the pressing, it sold itself.

In all fairness, these were mid to low grade books. Unlike the high grade books I had submitted previously to the U.S. companies, these books had a lot more room to be improved. So, I’m not suggesting that one presser is better than the other, but simply that Kevin is local, thus cheaper for us Canadians and very capable, so I’m happy to endorse his services. While the books flattened out nicely, there isn’t much that can be done about the stains short of chemical bleaching. While the stains do give away the books former state, the staining is mostly on the back and minimal so they don’t infringe upon the over all aesthetic of the book. I’ve got another small batch of books which could use some love so I hope to pass these off the Doctor the next time I see him. Kevin is a regular the Toronto Comic Book Show (TCBS) and is usually set up near the entrance. Bring your wrinkled books along to the next show on June 14 and enlist Kevin’s services. It may really pay off. If you’re not in the city, Kevin can also be reached through his website. Good luck and save those neglected books.