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Old 08-02-2006, 10:03 AM   #1
Lynn Lefey
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How to smear POD comic covers

Hey all,

I recieved an order of Print-on-demand books from Ka-Blam. They did a great job, and I was very happy with their product.

However, a few days after I'd gotten my order, I had the most curious thing happen. I was working on some artwork, and using the book as reference. When I was done, I set the book atop my little portable drawing board, and set my pens and white eraser on top of the comic. The next day, the black areas of the comic cover had liquified where it was in contact with the white eraser, and it smelled like the bonding agent used for PVC models. I have NO idea what happened.

I have written on these books with Sharpies, which had no effect on the inks, and have considered putting one of my books through various horrors to determine what they can and can't withstand. If anyone else has discovered any other anomolies about POD books, feel free to share.

EDIT: I just tried a heat experiment, with an oven at 150F. After three minutes in the oven, several pages stuck together in small spots, but only at the back of the book (which was resting on a paper towel on top of aluminum foil). The conduction from the metal may have caused this, so I think it's safe to assume that a POD book, put in a box inside a car on a hot summer day is probably safe, but I will test this derectly today, when it gets good and hot.

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Old 08-02-2006, 02:07 PM   #2
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odd that the eraser would somehow attack the ink in the book...i have never heard of anything like that. freaky. keep us posted with the experiments though! i thought the oven test was quite well done!
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:16 PM   #3
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Great thread... keep up the experiments!
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Old 08-02-2006, 03:02 PM   #4
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try using salsa.

I just wanna see pictures of someone putting salsa on a comic book. Call me weird.

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Old 08-02-2006, 03:03 PM   #5
Lynn Lefey
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I put the book in a mylar bag, and put it into my car (in direct sunlight) for about two hours. It's officially 100F here right now. I'm guessing 130-150 in the car. This had a much more noticable result with the book in question. The ink stuck slightly to the mylar, and where it was touching the bag directly, it became very shiny. There were about an equal number of internal sticks as with the oven test (creating a few tiny spots of transference from one page to the next) in areas of solid black. I'm not sure if black is effected because it's absorbing more heat, or what. The book gave off that same odd melted PVC smell when removed from the bag. Having now cooled, the smell is much less, but still noticable.

I'd recommend that folks not store copies of POD books in a car in hot weather, but unless it's REALLY hot, most likely nothing will happen.

Note that in both heat tests, I got nothing like the weird permanently liquified ink like I got with the white eraser. I'm trying a different white eraser on the same book, to see if I get the same result. Note also that when I tried scrubbing the ink with a white eraser, nothing happened. Only with prolonged contact.

Anyway, I'd appreciate any other folk's posting their tests in this area as well.

EDIT: The heat test has officially ended with me putting the book in the microwave for 25 seconds (on top of a paper towel). It is more severe than ovens or cars for creating page stickage and spot transfer, but I seriously doubt anyone needs to fear their comics accidentally falling into a microwave IRL.

as for salsa. I have none, at the moment, Sorry.

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Old 08-02-2006, 10:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Lefey
as for salsa. I have none, at the moment, Sorry.
How about some OFF! Brand Mosquitto Repelant?

Chewy Granola Bars?

Tang?

Napalm?

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Old 08-03-2006, 12:05 AM   #7
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Jason, you watch too much Mythbusters.
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Old 08-03-2006, 12:43 AM   #8
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Jason, while your... exuberance is comendable. I started this experiment to deterime things that might actually happen ot a comic, after having found that weird white eraser thing. I have no Off, Tang, or chewy granola bars on hand. Napalm? Now you're just being silly!

The white eraser thing is a consistent effect. With both a block white eraser, and a tubular (the kind that are sort of like a pen) white eraser, the same effect happens. Direct contact against the ink starts making the ink tacky after an hour or so, and turns it into a smearable liquid after about three hours, but only in the area of direct pressure contact.

Another round of testing, this time with rubbing alcohol and model glue: Rubbing alcohol had no effect on the inks whatsoever.

Model glue, made for PVC models, liquifies the ink after a few seconds. If you wipe the ink off, it comes up almost completely, at least with the smooth paper stock. Applying it to the standard stock, the glue absorbs somewhat, and while the inks liquify, they do not come off nearly as cleanly, and colors seep through to the other side of the paper.

I'm now curious what nail polish remover will do. Acetone (I suspect) will also have a liquifying effect on the ink. I'll test that tomorrow, when I hunt up my nail polish remover.
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:01 AM   #9
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so you're saying that it's unlikely a comic fan will be wearing OFF! while eating a chewy granola bar and drinking tang?

While being napalmed?

C'mon... this is comic fans we're talking about.

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Old 08-03-2006, 12:25 PM   #10
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ok my only question here is, do are you using a control in these experiments? you are testing POD books here, but have you tried the regular print books right along side? just curious.
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Old 08-03-2006, 04:36 PM   #11
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POD books are printed with toner, so anything that affects a toner will have an adverse effect on a POD book. That includes heat and acetone.
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Old 08-03-2006, 04:45 PM   #12
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I've smeared the ink off of regular comic covers with just the acid in my fingers.
Oooo ... acid fingers. Scary.
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Old 08-03-2006, 06:40 PM   #13
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Lynn might be onto something -
"The Remarque Comic Book"
The new comic book art craze - take a white eraser pencil and dip into acetone and re-draw your comic book sgin and you now have a one of a kind comic book from the printed version.

Lynn have you found anything that you can dip the white earser pencil into that is more user frendly than acetone?

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Old 08-05-2006, 03:04 AM   #14
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Did you find anything that works yet?
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Old 08-05-2006, 11:17 AM   #15
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We sent Ill Conceived to the Library of Congress to square away all our paperwork. We received a call a week later asking for a new one cause they melted it in the "irradiation process." LOL! I guess they heat them up to kill any suspect materials, but yeah, toner and copy paper don't hold up well to heat. That's how they are bonded. Fun story, non the less.
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