Solving A Sticky Situation!

A couple of weeks ago I purchased a near complete run of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The below pic was all I had to go on…

Photo of Collection

The first thing that drew my eye was the top two issues in the pic. They were news-stand editions. Awesome! The instant question in my head: are these all news-stand? At this point I had no idea, and I was reluctant to ask the seller in case he didn’t know what he had and upon finding out would hike up the price (happened to me before) or simply remove the lot from sale. Not that I wanted to cheat the seller or anything (I ain’t that guy!), but he was already asking a fair bit of dosh. I wanted them, but they also came with issues.

Which leads us into the main plotline of this story. Three of the four books pictured had the dreaded price stickers on the covers. And they’d been attached for a long time! Since 2006, to be exact. Consequently, removal of said annoyances would not be easy. Unfortunately the seller confirmed in a quick correspondence that 98% of them had price stickers. Bummer! But I still went for it … after haggling a bit of a deal.

Skip forward a week. The collection arrived, and after a quick perusal, my fears regarding the stickers were confirmed. Stuck fast is an understatement. But on the plus side every single issue was news-stand. Woohoo!

I must admit I’ve never attempted to remove really old stickers. Doing so is fraught with danger. Many, many things could go wrong. I was so nervous about bolloxing the whole affair that I considered just leaving them be. But I couldn’t. Every time I tried to admire the cover art my eye immediately went to that gross square of ugliness in the top corner. Why do newsagents insist on subjecting our poor comic books to this barbaric practice?

No. The stickers had to go.

But how to do it safely? To the internet! After some searching, I was quite shocked to discover there wasn’t really a lot of info out there. Did this mean that most just didn’t do it? That stickers were generally just left in place? This possibility made me even more nervous! But my mind was made up. I had to push through the fear. Those blasted stickers were on borrowed time. They had to go. No backsies!!

The consensus of opinion of those who did remove stickers was to use a hairdryer. Sure. I could do that. I watched a couple of YouTube videos illustrating the technique. Simple enough. With the hairdryer on low, place it really close to the offending sticker, and blast away for about three minutes. With nervous anticipation, I grabbed the hairdryer and the guineapig comic, which happened to have a damaged cover, anyway, so all wouldn’t be lost if I messed it up.

Thank goodness the cover was already rooted, because mess it up I did! Royally! As you can see below, a chunk of the cover came away with the sticker.

The screw up!

What caused this? The best I could figure is while I held the hairdryer to the cover it was getting ridiculously hot and was starting to wrinkle. I felt that I was holding the hairdryer way too close. I don’t know if the hairdryers in the tutorials were weaker on the low setting than mine, but whatever the case, I needed to adjust how I executed the task. Problem was, I had no more damaged covers with which to practice! I needed to just go for it! I grabbed the next comic, and fired up the hairdryer. But this time I held the hairdryer about 30cm above the sticker. I also moved the hairdryer around in mini-figure-8s. The moment of truth.

I started peeling …

… and

… success!

It actually worked! No sticky residue. Emboldened, I did another. And another. Pretty soon (well, a after a few hours) I had the majority of thee stickers off. All were a success, but some I did have to put a little extra work into to remove a bit of glue residue. I did this by reheating the glue for about 30 seconds, then, with the side of my thumb, I gently massaged away the small areas of glue.

As you may know, this comic series has two major keys. Issue #9 and Issue #42. I left these till last. Even though I had done over 40 comics successfully, I was still “shaking in my boots!” I grabbed Issue #9, first appearance of Revan. A stunning cover. Apologies for the blurry pic! I didn’t realize this till after I’d removed the sticker.

Issue #9 with sticker

Seeing this beautiful cover in front of me made me even more anxious. I was literally shaking (could’ve been the Red Bull I’d just chugged, I guess!). Taking a deep breath, I had at it.

It worked!

Sticker removed

And boy does the cover look sooo much better! Epic!

Next I grabbed Issue #42, first appearance of Malak. Another sweet cover. I don’t have a before shot of this cover, but suffice to say, it looked ugly. And now it doesn’t!

Issue #42

To conclude this rather long-winded story (apologies), always test whatever you see on YouTube first. Never assume that your results will be the same. We live in a chaotic world, guys. There are so many variables. We must, if we hope to succeed, devise our own methods through trial and error. But all in all, I have to say I really enjoyed this process, and I’ve learned a new skill. Cool! Comment below if you’ve tried doing this. Did it work or flop? Or do you just leave price stickers on cover?

Until next time, guys …

Mail Call Monday!

Isn’t it great to start the week with a bunch of comic-laden parcels delivered to your door!

I love it! And some pretty exciting stuff, which I’ll be sharing with you all in upcoming posts, turned up in this batch. Here’s a peek…
A bit more Scooby Apocalypse for the collection, including the TPB edition vol. 3 (for reading!). Knights of the Old Republic #4 makes its long awaited appearance. Love KOTOR? I’ve got you covered! I’ll be doing a whole host of feature posts for this series. So stay tuned! Also lurking in the batch are a couple of Batman Detective Comics for the collection! The Detective Comics series will feature heavily in this blog over time. Very exciting!
I also grabbed some silver age boards to fit the bags I got recently. And damn, boards are harder to find than a sailboat in a 3d picture at present!
That’s enough rambling for today. What are some of your most recent buys? Leave a comment below!
Until tomorrow…

New Beginnings!

Many, many decades ago, a young boy, the gleam of a wild imagination in his eye, stepped into a newsagent. Little did he know his life would be changed forever, the scope of his imagination stretched immeasurably. While browsing the glossy magazine covers, his eye caught a particularly interesting cover. The artwork intrigued him. He reached out to grab it, unaware that this action would alter his destiny forever! It was a comic book!
I still remember that moment like it was yesterday. Back then I pretty much collected what grabbed my eye on the news stand, but I did particularly like Detective Comics and anything Batman related. Granted, when I was a kid there wasn’t a huge selection to choose from here in Australia. I spent many long hours immersed in amazingly vivid, wonderful, and dangerous comic worlds, some even late at night by torchlight hunched under my bed covers. Those were the days!
Then life evolved. I went to university, got married etc… The world of Comics seemed forever forgotten. Then a few years ago, my life drastically changed. I was no longer married and all obligations I once had were gone. I was free to start exploring hobbies from my youth again, such as model building and, of course, comics! 
But so much has changed. The comic scene has literally exploded with myriad amazing options. I’ll freely admit, it was difficult when I first started looking up stuff again a few weeks ago to rein myself in! I wanted everything I saw! But then the reality of that dreaded word “budget” kicked in!
So now here we are. What are my plans for this blog? What am I going to collect? Well, my plan, for now is to write a daily blog reflecting on my new journey, such as my current reading and the new new issues I’m collecting. As to what I’m collecting, it’s still early days, but my interests so far are:
– Batman Detective Comics (and in future some other Batman issues.
– Scooby Apocalypse
– Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
– Star Wars High Republic
– Spencer & Locke
And a few others! I’m super excited about my new comic collecting, and I hope you enjoy following along! The eye candy below is just a glimpse of what’s to come, so buckle up, guys!

 Until next time…