Restoring a collectible implies adulteration of the item from it's original, un-restored state. It should not be considered lightly, and should only be attempted by professionals. When amateurs attempt to restore a comic on their own, the result is usually a devaluation to the comic. Examples include color touch, tape repairs, trimming edges, cleaning, reglossing or other efforts to enhance appearance. On occasion, restoration is appropriate and may be the only way a comic can be structurally sound and enjoyed.
Ex: a "Crazy Ed Archive" Collectible undergoing Restoration
Comic Book Example: restoration made sense for this copy of the 1st appearance of Iron Man (TOS 39 from 1963). The cover, although vivid in color, had numerous tears and several chips. The interior was solid "as-is."
At Right: the before picture (and Restoration Report!)
Below, the after restoration shot of a "apparent high grade" comic; something that could now be enjoyed:
Unfortunately, some buyers of expensive, older comics may not be aware of the restoration work. With an informed buyer understanding what he is paying for the owner of a restored comic can be very happy with the result:
The Happy purchaser, buying a book that appears VF/NM (which would sell today for about $20,000) for only $1,500.00 (this was in 2002, by the way)
You should always ask the dealer if he's aware of any changes or restoration made to the book. An honest dealer will not be insulted by the question. You should always request a copy of the restoration report if it exists. Do not expect that a restored collectible be priced the same (or have the same value) as an unrestored specimen.
Ed has had satisfactory results with several nationally respected restoration services. The fees and turn-around time vary between the professionals. These include:
The Restoration Lab (Susan Ciccone is the professional)
Feel free to contact us for more information.