Sunday, January 16, 2005

Hulk 3: The "R" Word

Hulk 3 boasts one of my all-time favorite covers. The dynamic leaping Hulk, the soldier in the corner yelling out to the reader and the vivid colors makes it a classic.

This copy is in beautiful condition. Vibrant, deep color strike, super glossy and white pages make it a winner. Other than some very light edgewear, this book looks like it came off the rack yesterday. I'd say it's a VF+. For years, this was the pride and joy of my collection.

About 10 years after I bought it, I took it out to give it a look... something I do with my favorite books on rare occasion. This time, my heart sunk. For the first time, I noticed a very faint orange bleedthrough on the inside front cover. Oh no, it was "restored." I examined the book in microscopic detail and found 2 very small color touches on the slight spine bends (to the left of Rick Jones.) The color matching is so good, it's almost impossible to see the touches from the front -- the razor thin bleedthrough is the only thing that gives the touches away.

I can't recall with 100% certainty who I bought this from, so the dealer I suspect will go unnamed.

I try not to get to crazy about the restoration as it is a gorgeous book and the restoration is so slight. But, it's hard to fight the current stigma attached to restoration and it does take a little away from the book. What's so maddening is that there was NO need to touch up the fine spider creases on the spine. Even with the tiny creases, it still would have been a solid VF. This is the unfortunate reality of much amateur restoration: it is completely unnecessary in the first place.

1 comment:

Lord Thanos said...

I happened to stumble on to your blog by searching for Richard Muchin of all things. I've enjoyed reading about your recollections and can relate to you about the pain felt when you purchase a comic that appears to be very nice only to find it's been unecessarily restored.

I remember several years ago when I found some beautiful, high grade Fantastic Fours from the mid 60s at a local comic book shop. I was shocked when I found someone had touched up the spines for no good reason on each one. Fortunately, the store let me return them as I loathe restored comics for the most part. Thanks for bring back the memories ;-).