Dry Heat Pressing Comic Books

I have decided to try and dive into the subculture and rabbit hole known as comic book pressing.   I decided to invest in a  professional grade t-shirt heatpress machine for this adventure. It makes perfect sense because KaptainMyke is already in the business of t-shirt designs and heatpressing silkscreen art.

Edit 9/17/2017 :  Now you can learn and try to press comic books yourself at home! Read my FAQ How to Press Comic Books with a T-Shirt Press by KaptainMyke.

Where to begin? I’ve read and seen countless examples of bad pressing. Scorched books, waves or ripples appear on the comic book several hours or days later. Many times the comic book returns back to its original shape before pressing – like a memory foam mattress!   I am not here to endorse amateur pressing but I am posting here my findings and experiences so far.   Temperature and moisture levels are key.   So what is one to do when water or moisture is paper product’s worst enemy?

I thought I would try the realm of singular heat/cold exchange on pressing. You press a book for 20 minutes, flip the book over for an additional 20 minutes, and turn off the unit…leaving the book inside the press for 4 hours after. This proved to be wildly successful…so here goes my photo documented results with my very first press.

I used one of my son’s new comic books. It’s a brand new Newsstand Edition copy of Scooby Doo Team-up #27, featuring Plastic Man. This comic book is rough! My son is 10 years old and autistic, so he frankly does not care at all what happens to the book, so long as the book is opened to the page he likes the most, and on the floor for him to look at anytime in any random moment of his choosing to admire.

The first trial comic book pressing: 2017 DC Comics Scooby Doo Team-up ft Plastic Man #27. You can see the wrinkles and creased front corner. Yikes!

The first trial comic book pressing: 2017 DC Comics Scooby Doo Team-up ft Plastic Man #27. You can see the wrinkles and creased front corner. Yikes!

The first trial comic book pressing: 2017 DC Comics Scooby Doo Team-up ft Plastic Man #27. You can see the wrinkles and creased front corner. Yikes!

The first trial comic book pressing: 2017 DC Comics Scooby Doo Team-up ft Plastic Man #27. You can see the wrinkles and creased front corner. Yikes!

I regret I didn’t take enough photos of the back but here are a few good angles for you to inspect:

The first trial comic book pressing: 2017 DC Comics Scooby Doo Team-up ft Plastic Man #27. You can see the wrinkles and waves on the back cover. Yikes!

The first trial comic book pressing: 2017 DC Comics Scooby Doo Team-up ft Plastic Man #27. You can see the wrinkles and waves on the back cover. Yikes!

The first trial comic book pressing: 2017 DC Comics Scooby Doo Team-up ft Plastic Man #27. You can see the wrinkles and waves on the back cover. Yikes!

The first trial comic book pressing: 2017 DC Comics Scooby Doo Team-up ft Plastic Man #27. You can see the wrinkles and waves on the back cover. Yikes!

I used 2 sheets of normal copy paper on top and below the comic book inside the heat press.

I used 2 sheets of normal copy paper on top and below the comic book inside the heat press.

I used 2 sheets of normal copy paper on top and below the comic book inside the heat press.

I used 2 sheets of normal copy paper on top and below the comic book inside the heat press.

I tried an initial temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes on each side. This seems to be the best temperature but today I am trying 170 degrees.

The trick is to turn off the heat press after the second 20 minutes and leave the comic book inside the heat press for an additional 1-4 hours, depending on the severity of the the initial creasing and waviness of of the book. Leaving the book in the press is crucial if you do not wish to use a sinus cold or clothes fabric humidifier. I do not suggest using humidity on the book. It’s called a “dry press” and “dry cleaning” for a reason. Leaving the book in the press for as long as possible will prevent the book from returning to its original “memory foam mattress” condition.

After 4 hours later, here are the results of the first comic book pressing by KaptainMyke:

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down top left side of back cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down top left side of back cover.

Results of 1st comic press. Front of cover. You can see the crease on the bottom right corner to see it's the same book.

Results of 1st comic press. Front of cover. You can see the crease on the bottom right corner to see it’s the same book.

Results of 1st comic press. Top down left side view of front of book.

Results of 1st comic press. Top down left side view of front of book.

Spine results of first press. You can obviously see the color breaking spine ticks but overall previous damage of spine is nonexistent.

Spine results of first press. You can obviously see the color breaking spine ticks but overall previous damage of spine is nonexistent.

Bottom right front corner of book shows the color breaking corner crease but it is flattened out very smooth and flat.

Bottom right front corner of book shows the color breaking corner crease but it is flattened out very smooth and flat.

Results of first press. Back of book. No damage.

Results of first press. Back of book. No damage.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down left side of back cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down left side of back cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down top side of back cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down top side of back cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down right side of back cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down right side of back cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down right side of back cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down right side of back cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down top left side of back cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down top left side of back cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down top left side of front cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down top left side of front cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down top right side of front cover.

Results of first press. Back of book. Top down top right side of front cover.

As you can clearly see, for my first trial run of dry heat pressing a comic book, the results are wildly remarkable and astounding.  Total success!  There are a few remaining dings but for my first press this is fantastic.

A few things I’ve learned:
Use copy paper on the top and back of cover for pressing.
Pages with glossy magazine paper will stick together when temp is too hot.
When this happens, wait for book to completely cool down before separating out pages stuck due to modern high gloss paper.
Do not press books with a square bound spine, such as graphic novels like The Dark Knight Returns or The Killing Joke.
Spine rolls are not a problem. The press easily resets spine rolls but you will have color breaks most likely.

The name of the heat press is a VEVOR Digital Controller heatpress machine. Model CP230B. Temperature can be adjusted from 100-400 degrees.  Brand new they can retail for $250-$400.  Used you can buy one for $150 but you will need a new bottom pad most likely.

EDIT:  So CBCS comics suspended my account for 7 days and deleted my post on the forum at forum.cbcscomics.com.  

I guess free information exchange isn’t allowed.   I was also not aware this was against company forum policy since they have not updated their terms of use.  

Amateur pressing should not threaten their business model.  The fascists who operate the discussion forum do, however.   

 

VEVOR Headpress Machine. Swivel stand and pressure screws give this heat press total flexibility for various sizes and shapes of books. The pressure plate screws will help adjust for all different sizes and thickness of books.

VEVOR Headpress Machine. Swivel stand and pressure screws give this heat press total flexibility for various sizes and shapes of books. The pressure plate screws will help adjust for all different sizes and thickness of books.

VEVOR Headpress Machine. Swivel stand and pressure screws give this heat press total flexibility for various sizes and shapes of books. The pressure plate screws will help adjust for all different sizes and thickness of books.

VEVOR Headpress Machine. Swivel stand and pressure screws give this heat press total flexibility for various sizes and shapes of books. The pressure plate screws will help adjust for all different sizes and thickness of books.

VEVOR Headpress Machine. Swivel stand and pressure screws give this heat press total flexibility for various sizes and shapes of books. The pressure plate screws will help adjust for all different sizes and thickness of books.

VEVOR Headpress Machine. Swivel stand and pressure screws give this heat press total flexibility for various sizes and shapes of books. The pressure plate screws will help adjust for all different sizes and thickness of books.

VEVOR Headpress Machine. Swivel stand and pressure screws give this heat press total flexibility for various sizes and shapes of books. The pressure plate screws will help adjust for all different sizes and thickness of books.

VEVOR Headpress Machine. Swivel stand and pressure screws give this heat press total flexibility for various sizes and shapes of books. The pressure plate screws will help adjust for all different sizes and thickness of books.

Here are the results of some more books I’ve recently worked on. I performed a sort of dry cleaning and dry heat pressing on the following books:

1988 DC Comics BATMAN #428 1st Printing NEWSSTAND EDITION. This one is beat up and has bad spine creasing with color breaks. Before heat pressing.

1988 DC Comics BATMAN #428 1st Printing NEWSSTAND EDITION. This one is beat up and has bad spine creasing with color breaks. Before heat pressing.

1988 DC Comics BATMAN #428 1st Printing NEWSSTAND EDITION. This one is beat up and has bad spine creasing with color breaks. Before heat pressing.

1988 DC Comics BATMAN #428 1st Printing NEWSSTAND EDITION. This one is beat up and has bad spine creasing with color breaks. Before heat pressing.

1988 DC Comics BATMAN #428 1st Printing NEWSSTAND EDITION. After heat pressing and spine realigment.

1988 DC Comics BATMAN #428 1st Printing NEWSSTAND EDITION. After heat pressing and spine realigment.

1988 DC Comics BATMAN #428 1st Printing NEWSSTAND EDITION. After heat pressing and spine realigment.

1988 DC Comics BATMAN #428 1st Printing NEWSSTAND EDITION. After heat pressing and spine realigment.

1988 DC Comics BATMAN #428 1st Printing NEWSSTAND EDITION. After heat pressing and spine realigment.

1988 DC Comics BATMAN #428 1st Printing NEWSSTAND EDITION. After heat pressing and spine realigment.

1988 DC Comics BATMAN #428 1st Printing NEWSSTAND EDITION. After heat pressing and spine realigment.

1988 DC Comics BATMAN #428 1st Printing NEWSSTAND EDITION. After heat pressing and spine realigment.

Next I tried a cheap newsstand edition of Supergirl from 1994. This one had bad wrinkles and wave in it throughout the entire book. Looks like moisture possibly hit the book. Here are the results:

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. Bad waves, wrinles, and appears to be moisture damage. Before dry cleaning and heatpress.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. Bad waves, wrinles, and appears to be moisture damage. Before dry cleaning and heatpress.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. Bad waves, wrinles, and appears to be moisture damage. Before dry cleaning and heatpress.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. Bad waves, wrinles, and appears to be moisture damage. Before dry cleaning and heatpress.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. Bad waves, wrinles, and appears to be moisture damage. Before dry cleaning and heatpress.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. Bad waves, wrinles, and appears to be moisture damage. Before dry cleaning and heatpress.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. Bad waves, wrinles, and appears to be moisture damage. Before dry cleaning and heatpress.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. Bad waves, wrinles, and appears to be moisture damage. Before dry cleaning and heatpress.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. After dry cleaning and heatpressing. Waves and wrinkles gone. Interior pages are flat and bright white. Back cover is flat and creases gone but color breaks still evident.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. After dry cleaning and heatpressing. Waves and wrinkles gone. Interior pages are flat and bright white. Back cover is flat and creases gone but color breaks still evident.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. After dry cleaning and heatpressing. Waves and wrinkles gone. Interior pages are flat and bright white. Back cover is flat and creases gone but color breaks still evident.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. After dry cleaning and heatpressing. Waves and wrinkles gone. Interior pages are flat and bright white. Back cover is flat and creases gone but color breaks still evident.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. After dry cleaning and heatpressing. Waves and wrinkles gone. Interior pages are flat and bright white. Back cover is flat and creases gone but color breaks still evident.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. After dry cleaning and heatpressing. Waves and wrinkles gone. Interior pages are flat and bright white. Back cover is flat and creases gone but color breaks still evident.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. After dry cleaning and heatpressing. Waves and wrinkles gone. Interior pages are flat and bright white. Back cover is flat and creases gone but color breaks still evident.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. After dry cleaning and heatpressing. Waves and wrinkles gone. Interior pages are flat and bright white. Back cover is flat and creases gone but color breaks still evident.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. After dry cleaning and heatpressing. Waves and wrinkles gone. Interior pages are flat and bright white. Back cover is flat and creases gone but color breaks still evident.

1994 DC Comics SUPERGIRL Vol 3 #1 NEWSSTAND EDITION. After dry cleaning and heatpressing. Waves and wrinkles gone. Interior pages are flat and bright white. Back cover is flat and creases gone but color breaks still evident.

So now, you can learn and try to press comic books yourself at home! Read my FAQ How to Press Comic Books with a T-Shirt Press by KaptainMyke.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. BEFORE dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. BEFORE dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. BEFORE dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. BEFORE dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. BEFORE dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. BEFORE dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. BEFORE dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. BEFORE dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. AFTER dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. AFTER dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. AFTER dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. AFTER dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. AFTER dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. AFTER dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. AFTER dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. AFTER dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. AFTER dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

1966 Marvel Comics AVENGERS #32. AFTER dry cleaning and heatpress and total spine realignment.

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