How to Restore Old Comic Books
If you have an old comic book that needs repair, you may consider restoring it. The repair of collectible and rare comics, especially ones you intend to sell in restored form, is best handled by a professional. In fact, the restoration lessens the value of a comic book even though it is improved because comics are graded based upon the condition of the unaltered original. Sometimes a collectible comic is more valuable without restoration even if it has a loose page. As an amateur, you should only consider restoring a comic yourself if the comic is a part of your private collection and needs small repairs.
How to Restore an Old Comic Book
Gently wipe off any dust from the comic cover and pages with a soft cloth. Use a soft brush for any hard to remove debris.
Examine the comic book for tears, holes, rusty staples and smudges. Determine what repairs need to be made.
Remove any rusty or damaged staples with a staple remover or straight pin. Be careful not to rip connected pages.
Carefully staple the necessary pages to replace the missing staples.
Gently remove any smudges with a white eraser, Brush away the eraser dust.
To repair tears or holes, use rice paper. Use scissors to cut a piece of rice paper that is about 1/8 inch larger than the damaged area. For holes, you need two rice paper pieces. For tears you need the rice paper piece to be able to fold over the page.
Apply a small amount of acid-free glue to the rice paper. For holes, pick up the rice paper with tweezers and gently press the first rice paper piece over the hole. Place wax paper over the rice paper to keep glue from sticking to the opposite pages and then turn the page. Place the second piece of rice paper on the other side of the hole. Use your finger to smooth any wrinkles. For tears, pick up the rice paper with tweezers and carefully fold the rice paper over the tear. Use your finger to smooth any wrinkles.
Always cover the rice paper with wax paper before you turn the page to keep pages from sticking together.
When all pages are fixed, close the comic book and cover it with a heavy book such as a phone book or encyclopedia to keep pages smooth while the glue dries.