Comic book pressing is a hot topic today in both collecting and investing groups. Let’s look at what pressing is and some opinions about how it affects the value.
What is Comic Book Pressing?
Comic book pressing is the self explanatory. It is quite literally the “pressing” of a comic book, similar to what you would do to a shirt or pants, to remove blemishes such as wrinkles and creases. Surprisingly enough a very similar process can be used!
Professionally pressed comics comics are put under a controlled heat and weight press to eliminate these blemishes which has the effect of raising the grade of the comic. Heat pressing is fast and effective. As you know, the higher the grade, the more valuable the comic book.
Pressing can also be accomplished through weight alone, but usually this is a byproduct of storing comic books in stacks, not a proactive technique used to increase the grade due to the amount of time it takes.
Is Pressing Restoration? Two Thoughts
There is an ongoing argument among collectors whether or not pressing is restoration. Collectors who believe it is restoration say since you are altering the book’s appearance, although minimally, it has to count as restoration.
The other camp says since a comic can be pressed through long term storage in weighted stacks, it is not restoration.
If it is restoration the problem becomes disclosure. Professional pressing is almost impossible to detect. Because of this fact it leads to the next issue, the affect on value.
Affect on Value
If pressing is disclosed it most definitely can have a negative affect on sales price. But since it is virtually impossible to detect, nothing prevents the buyer from purchasing a pressed comic book and then flipping it without disclosure and making an instant profit.
So why disclose pressing? That is the big problem and what makes this such a touchy issue. An honest disclosure will not be rewarded and could actually be punished.
As if that weren’t enough there are services on the net that advertise pressing your comic books to get a higher grade and therefore a higher sales price.
Complicated, isn’t it?
In my opinion this issue will not be solved anytime soon. You have to make your own decision on whether to disclose pressing or not.
For some more discussion and information about pressing, check out the video below.