Press or Not Press

I am a newbie when it comes to getting comics pressed and submitted for grading. I hear alot of people stating that every come should be pressed before you send for grading. Is there a general rule for which books to press before send off to CGC or CBCS?

I have a bunch of silk 1, thor 5, venom cates books that are border line 9.6.

any insights appreciated.

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I’m sure some will disagree, but I won’t submit any book without a press. I’m sure in some cases it is a waste but previously I have submitted books I thought were good to go that came back with little issues a press would have handled.
The difference in grades (and subsequent value) with many books is so huge that it is worth the 8-12 bucks for reassurance.

Now, if you have a stack of one book and really don’t care much anyway whether it’s a 9.4 or a 9.8…then no reason to waste the money. Some people just want it slabbed for display.


I have everything scanned for press by the graders in case any damage from shipping. For the most part I’m pretty good about knowing what needs a press and they probably feel I waste their time scanning everything but it’s free where I grade my books.

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Might sound crazy but if you send enough books it might be worth buying a press. That is what I did. It cost $150 on eBay and after some trial and error it is pretty easy.

I wouldnt even know where to start to press my own books and I would be too afraid to press high end books like x-men giant size #1.

There’s pressing your books with a heat press you get off amazon or eBay but the professionals use a tack iron, heat press, and dry mount press in combination. The dry mount press being the pricey one unless you find one cheap from somewhere going out of business.

I personally have everything pressed. No need to take unnecessary risks. This only applies if you care about the best possible grade for your books, imo.


I have found a good quality (highly rated) $150 to $200 heat press does the same job on a comic book as the more expensive professional units. It really comes down to the person applying the press…Do they understand how paper reacts to heat and moisture, the difference between high gloss and lower gloss books, how to remove a roll and how much heat is enough, not enough or too much. All that fun stuff.

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To be honest older books IMO are easier to press than newer ones.

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I wouldn’t touch high end books. The others are easy

When I first started to press comics, after I was done practicing on cheap dollar bin issues I was a little nervous pressing my high end books but after knowing what I was doing it was not that big of a deal, really. I’ve pressed my Iron Man #1 with amazing results among others and even pressed my big time beat up Spider-Man #1…Still beat up but presents a little better now. I’ve been practicing with spine rolls and have gotten quite good at removing or minimizing them. Just a matter of practice and gaining experience.


Are acetate covers pressable and cleanable? (i.e. Stray Dogs 1) I assume they would press the inside covers and leave the acetate alone.

Is the acetate cleanable? Can they get scratches out also?

I haven’t tried pressing an acetate cover. I’m going to have to track one down and give it a shot.

What defects are you trying to fix with a press? Can you add some photos?

The press would just be for some slight indentations and a general vertical waviness of the comic (that is usually more apparent in Marvel comics). Very minor stuff but I’m submitting to CGC and need to press out. Able to press these out without heat?

I’m also concerned about the ability to clean some crud and scratches off the acetate. See pic.

I would wipe it down with a swifter dry sheet and then cold press for 48 hours. You could use something like Novus cleaner, but CGC might consider this restoration if they detect it.

Use a tack iron on the paper cover to smooth it out and wipe down the outer cover with a lense cleaner, like for glasses and see what you can get off. If there’s nasty stuff left over, you can use a damp cotton round if you need to, dry right away. Cold press overnight.

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