For the love of all things good, STOP pressing and cleaning your old comics!!! You are DESTROYING them!

Watching these Youtube videos on line of people so-called pressing and cleaning their comics.

I can not believe what I am seeing  it is like giving baboons knives. 🙂

People do not press your comics yourself, and do not pay to have an ‘expert’ do it for you.

Why?

Few reasons.

1/All of these so-called experts are using t-shirt presses or steam irons to ‘improve’ your comic. They are all just winging it, with no real understanding of ph balances, and acidity and moisture content, before or after. It’s a bunch of hacks, each one with no understanding of reason 2.

2/ The application of heat and moisture to newsprint, jump-starts a chemical reaction in the pulp paper, the newsprint, that continues and accelerates long after the initial application is supposedly done. The process is called advanced deterioration. The two things you should never apply to pulp paper, to avoid early deterioration, heat and moisture. A whole slew of new and returned collectors are doing just that. In hopes of turning short term profits by slabbing and reselling their ‘hot’ comic. In the long term what they are doing is SHORTENING THE LIFE of that bronze, silver age or golden age comic.

It is far better that your comic has a spine roll in it, than you BURN IN heat and moisture and humidity deep INTO the fabric of newsprint paper. That as stated is kicking into high gear deterioration and breakdown of that pulp paper on a molecular level, that CONTINUES after you have it graded and slabbed in plastic.

And yes, it comes back on the surface looking flatter and squarer, but internally you have taken years (if not decades) off the life of that pulp paper.  And that deterioration process will continue, as well as the possibility for mold growth, IN THE SLAB. Particularly if there is not sufficient time between ‘pressing’ and slabbing.

I’ve seen warped books in a slab before, and the root cause appeared to be a disastrous ‘pressing’ job, immediately followed by slabbing that still humidity soaked book, in plastic.

Now of course the person who sells you the book, doesn’t care, as long as he is getting paid for the arbitrary grade on the slab, people only seeing the cover of the book in the slab, and having no idea of excessive humidity or ph levels in the actual pages of the book. So it becomes a game of hot potato, to not be the one stuck with this graded book, that when finally unslabbed from its protective case, will be found to be in worse condition than a similarly aged book that had not suffered heat and moisture intrusion.

So arguably people are paying more for slabbed books (that is what they call graded comics, that have been sealed in plastic after grading) that are actually shortening the life of their comics, that because of this mania of people seeking a ‘perfect’ cover, they are ruining the actual comic book pages by entrusting them to witch doctors claiming to ‘press and clean’ them.

And I’m sure there is at least one restorative service that is keeping ph levels and moisture content, in mind. However they are the conservationists at the Library of Congress, and are not the services selling themselves as pressers to help you increase the grading on your comic book. 🙂

This is not brain surgery. I do not know what it is about the 21st century , or America in the 21st century, where common sense is not common, and idiocy is contagious, and sought out over reason. How do we  jump on obvious idiotic band wagons like ‘Me too’ and ‘Let’s iron my old pulp comics!” 🙂

And before I get hate mail, I think crimes of abuse when proven in a court of law, people should of couse face the punishemnt prescibed. However, I think when punishment is applied by the mob, before the verdict is in, people losing their jobs, their families, their name before their day in court… that is not justice. And when you are making judgements on your biases and trama, and projecting your issues, or unapplied vengeance in your own life, over the facts of a case that has nothing to do with you, that is mob rule. That is lynch mob justice. That is a witch hunt. And calling it ‘ME TOO’ doesn’t make it any less so. Okay back to the regularly scheduled program.

I do not have a major issue with drycleaning, provided the person knows what he is doing, however If you love your comics, for the love of GOD, spread the word to have people stop pressing their comics. If you have to get out an overwrap or wrinkle, do it the old fashioned way, apply weight and time, to the book. Not heat or moisture.

That should be common sense to anyone over twelve years old, especially anyone who is a comic fan. The fact that it isn’t… disturbing.

Not trying to be belligerent, I’m a collector, so I hate the idea of people shortsightedly ruining collections, in this new speculator’s bubble we find ourselves in, a couple decades after the last speculator bubble popped.

Love the hobby guys, and avoid the snake oil salesman. 🙂

Here endeth the public service announcement. 🙂

 

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What’s Hot on the Web: THE FERGUSON THEATER


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Lot’s of places on the web are catching my attention this weekend, among them…

FERGUSON THEATER- By Pulp Writer Derrick Ferguson features reviews of the films that are catching his attention these days, and helps introduce me to things to try. I like that he covers films that I may have missed or not put on my radar; and further he gives these eloquent dissertations on why the covered material works or fails to.

Some recent highlights for me his thumbs down on Tarsem Singh’s SELF/LESS (I think Tarsem Singh is a visually stunning and experimental director, but is unable to add to those visuals a coherent or compelling story).

I also quite like Ferguson Theater’s take on why Josh Trank’s FANTASTIC FOUR failed. I haven’t seen the movie, and have no real rush to see it; the trailers and posters alone just did not add up to good. I do find funny, for all the hoopla about casting, that Michael B. Jordan as the HUMAN TORCH, across the board it seems, is the only bit of casting that did work.

Also, it is so interesting to hear Josh Trank and Kevin Smith on Smith’s podcast FATMAN ON BATMAN for three weeks pontificate, and really have a little love fest, on the upcoming FANTASTIC FOUR movie, then when the movie comes out Josh Trank does not return to do the fourth planned episode. Go listen to those episodes, it is an interesting insight into how someone can feel themselves on the right track, and ultimately end up so far off the mark.

And FT also puts on my “must see” radar, the films SOMETIMES SALVATION and MACKED, HAMMERED, SLAUGHTERED AND SHAFTED. As a huge fan of David Walker’s defunct magazine BADASS MOFO (and congrats on David Walker’s recent success in the comic book scene) I’ll be buying the DVD of MHSS as soon as it is available.

But yeah, Derrick Ferguson’s FERGUSON’S THEATER is filled with such captivating observations on films old, new, and overlooked. Check it out for yourself at the link below.

FERGUSON THEATER

And I also direct you to Kevin Smith’s fun podcast FATMAN ON BATMAN.

An Artist’s Artist : The 1952 FANTASTIC pulp covers of Barye Philips

There is little written about the pulp cover artist Barye Phillips, no books dedicated to his work or his deft watery and fluid style, which is something of a shame considering he was known as “King of the Paperbacks” by his industry. His work marries a sleek sensuality with elements of the surreal and sinister to make for some of the standout covers of the pulp era.

Here are two of his covers used to launch the long running FANTASTIC pulp title. He only did two issues of this weird fiction pulp, and they stand as not just the best covers done for FANTASTIC but among the best and most striking of the medium and of Phillip’s work. His issue #3 cover art being noteworthy for being one of the earliest examples of a wraparound cover.

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Sites where you can view additional Barye Phillips work:
http://www.pulpinternational.com/pulp/keyword/Barye+Phillips.html
http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/barye-phillips
http://www.thrillingdetective.com/trivia/triv277.html

The Best James Bond Movie Posters of the 1970s!

The Best James Bond Movie Posters of the 1970s!

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Brought to you by MONARCHS OF MAYHEM Indiegogo campaign!
Go view it and back it here! Thanks!

http://igg.me/p/437605/x/2628928

The Best James Bond Movie Posters of the 1960s!

The Best James Bond Movie Posters of the 1960s!

from_russia_with_love_xlg

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IF

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Brought to you by my MONARCHS OF MAYHEM Indiegogo campaign
Go view it and back it here! Thanks!

http://igg.me/p/437605/x/2628928

MONARCHS OF MAYHEM Cover Draft

I’m still toying with cover ideas for MONARCHS OF MAYHEM, below is one. the photo was taken by yours truly. I’m relatively proud of it. I’ll post more ideas as they pop up.

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MONARCHS OF MAYHEM is a book full of interviews with writers of the weird and pulp and strange. From the pulp stylings of Ferguson to the subtle horror of Gavin to the breakneck thrills of Olden.

It takes the existing five interviews you can find here, updates and expands them, and adds five more interviews not previously published, and combines it with extensive photos of the authors own works but more than that their inspirations, their loves, their peers to bring a strange and evocative book filled with posters, book covers, DVD and CD recommendations and much more. 96 pages, hardcover, limited edition.

Sounds really intriguing? I think so.

To make it happen I need you (yes you! :)) to swing by the Indiegogo page linked to below, take some of your friends and support the project at the $35 level. At that level you get the hardcover book.

You make it happen here!
http://igg.me/p/437605/x/2628928

MOVIE OF THE DAY: SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW!

Kerry Conran’s SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW is one of the most sumptuous, imaginative and ground breaking films of all time.

That said I can see why it failed at the box office when released in 2004. The main issue is pacing. There is too much movie to comfortably sit through from beginning to end, and not feel the fat.

True to Conran’s initial impulse, the movie is very much a serial, and works better broken up in chunks, or perhaps enlivened by Chapter Breaks. Which makes it the perfect film for DVD, but not so much for the theatrical experience.

However in terms of visuals it very much deserves to be seen on the big screen. This is seemingly Conran’s first and only film, and what a film it is. One that shall only increase I think in import and prestige, much as the closing song says, ‘As time goes by’.

If you have never watched the film before, or watched it only once, I would say revisit it. I picked up the DVD for less than rental price, and around the third attempt I finally made it all the way through the film, including special features.

In a word… impressive. Try it for yourself!