No joking: Victoria entrepreneur wants to clean and press your comic books

Cameron Hacault finds niche reviving people’s comic collections

Cameron Hacault, joined by his daughter, works on reviving, ‘not restoring,’ comic books for clients and himself. Photo contributed

You’re told in grade school: do what makes you happy. Cameron Hacault listened.

The 40 year old runs Freshly Pressed Comics, a bespoke service that revives – not restores – comic books.

“The reason this service is so great, is that it can help a comic look as good as possible without having it restored,” Hacault said. “Restoring comics will always lower its value.”

“Dry-cleaning and pressing will not lower a comic’s value, and in most cases, will increase its value.”

Freshly Pressed charges $12 to clean a comic; $10 to press it. A clean and press is $20. Hacault will reimburse the owner at fair market value if any comics are damaged during this process.

His passion for reviving comics comes from a very personal loss.

“I had decided to sell my entire, beloved comic collection and knew that if I sold it in a big group that I’d get the least amount of money for it,” he recalled. “As I researched various options for selling, I learned about a new or new-ish niche business where companies will clean – remove smudges, pencil marks etc. and press – to remove moisture and wrinkles from comics.”

Using a cleaning and pressing service seemed like a great way to maximize the sale of his most expensive comics, Hacault said.

But when he discovered how many comics needed revival, he started to research how to do it himself.

“One thing led to another and I got myself set up to provide professional comic cleaning and pressing services. I’m also at a point in my [other] established career that a break is well-timed.”

A self-confessed “comic geek,” his favourite projects involve eliminating or minimizing “spine rolls” in comics.

He explains the process using a ‘before’ photo: “This is where the back of the comic has ‘rolled’ over towards the front of the comic. The after picture shows the spine roll greatly decreased,” he said. “Less spine roll equals happy collector.”

Another inspiring project was a Daredevil comic. Some comic books are assigned a grade from a third party company, measuring its value, Haucault explained. Graded comics are often referred to as “slabs” because they get encased in a hard plastic “slab.”

“The Daredevil comic shown used to be [graded] a 1.8. I cracked it out of the slab and cleaned and pressed it. The comic looked much better than before, and when I got it graded, it came back as a 2.5. [I thought] this is pretty sweet,” he said. “A grade ‘bump’ doesn’t always happen, but it’s great when it does.”

Freshly Pressed Comics gained some profile locally by exhibiting at the recent Capital City Comic Con.

While his newly chosen vocation makes him very happy, he hasn’t lost sight of the fact it’s also a business.

“Work hard. Really hard,” he advised those who want to pursue their passion. “Practice being creative. Creativity is essential in business. Fail fast and learn from your mistakes.”

anna.james@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Peace Walk fundraiser for hospice runs on Sunday

Take a walk, have a snack, and help donate to a local charity

Raccoons making themselves at home on Saanich property

Resident blames neighbour for attracting pests to area

Thousands attend 31st TD Art Gallery Paint-In

Artists display their work along 20 blocks of Moss Street

City of Victoria joins national food waste reduction program

The City is partnering in the Love Food, Hate Waste Program

Details scarce as union confirms probe underway involving Victoria care homes

Island Health, VicPD offer no comment on report of investigation into alleged sexual assaults

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

200 firefighters and 18 helicopters were working to increase the containment of the fires

B.C. VIEWS: Unions regain control of public construction

B.C.’s 40-year battle swings back to international big labour

Brush fire breaks out west of Port Alberni

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 heading to Ucluelet and Tofino

Accident on Vancouver Island after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Witness says accident happend about 1 p.m. Saturday; RCMP investigating

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

Most Read