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  1. #1
    Spectacular Member Cerd the nerd's Avatar
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    Anyway... A few people have posted before about spine issues with Marvel Omnibi.

    I finally got Secret Wars II (from cheap-comics .com) about a month ago and it had same issues.

    Obviously, this is nothing to do with the seller, but a fault at the manufacturing stage. I wasn't going to send it back (they're in the Netherlands!), the shipping would be too expensive.

    So.... I decided fix it myself. Did a bit of reading first about book structure.

    If you open a Marvel omnibus, and look down its spine, you'll (hopefully) see a piece of thick brown paper glued to the spine.
    This is is the spine lining, and is important in adding structure and solidity to the spine.

    I found some useful definitions at The Book Arts Web Glossary:

    LININGS are layers of cloth ( super) and paper used for reinforcing and stiffening the textblock spine. One or two layers are frequently glued to the textblock spine after it has been rounded and backed.
    Super is usually the first spine lining, and the second lining is a strip of light weight paper, called a paper lining.
    In some modern publishers bindings super may not be used at all (or be of inferior quality) , with only a paper lining being glued down. Ideally, textblock spine linings should reinforce the glue and help hold the sections together.

    SUPER is an open-weave variety of coarse sized fabric-usually muslin or something looking like cheesecloth-used for reinforcing or stiffening the text block of a casebound book. The super forms the first spine lining on a textblock spine of a casebound book.
    The excess (super hinge) that extends (usually one inch) beyond the edges of the textblock spine is used to attach the textblock to its case. It is also called mull, crash or super.

    O.k, if you look carefully, you'll see that the paper lining extends to the edge of the spine, but not beyond.
    So it is a paper lining, not a crash, super or mull.

    It doesn't make a whole lot of difference (well actually it DOES make a difference, but that's not important here).
    The point is, the lining is there to solidify the structure of the spine, but is not involved in attaching the textblock to the cover boards (as a crash/super/mull would be).

    Here's what my omnibus looked like:

    1. The book, without dust cover.

    2. The spine, looking from above.

    3. The spine, looking from below.
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  2. #2
    Spectacular Member Cerd the nerd's Avatar
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    So, you can see that the lining paper is coming away from the spine all the way along its length (I.e. top, bottom and in between). Also at the base the decorative headband ( which is sandwiched between the lining and the textblock spine) is coming away.

    If anyone has an omnibus like this, if you peer underneath the lining paper and the headband, you will see just the back/ fold of the signatures and maybe just a little bit of glue.
    There is no second lining or crash/ super/ mull.
    Just worth noting. The point is, the lining needs to be glued to the spine. If it's not then there will be excess tension on the signatures when you open the book and eventually they will start to come apart.

    To fix the problem you need some bookbinding (PVA) glue and a paint brush (see picture 1)
    PVA glue is what will have been used at the manufacturing process. The point is it dries quickly but is still flexible once dry, so you can open the book and flex the spine without it cracking.

    So.. I squirted some of the glue on a saucer, then used the brush to paint the glue onto the back/ fold of the signatures and the INSIDE of the paper lining (obviously not the outside, that would glue the lining to the spine cover!).

    I took a bit of time about this. You need to work from the top and bottom of the book to ensure the whole of the unglued area is covered. Obviously, if the defect doesn't extend along the whole of the spine, you only need to re-glue the area that is affected.

    Once the lining is covered with glue it becomes very supple. I had to press it along the spine using a flat knife to ensure it was properly adhered.
    Some excess glue splurged out at the top and bottom of the spine and I just wiped it away with a bit of kitchen roll.

    Then I put the book on the shelf, on its spine, for 12 hours until the glue was dry.

    2. Shows the book from the top once it was dry.

    3. Shows the book from the bottom
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  3. #3
    Spectacular Member Cerd the nerd's Avatar
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    So anyway...

    Turns out the book is now as good as new!

    In fact, even better, because now I know that the lining paper is properly glued to the textblock spine.

    Seems like this is more of a problem with the newer Omnibi. Certainly my Stern Spidey and Fantastic Four Byrne volume 2 are a little bit this way, but Secret Wars II is one of the old line, so go figure.

    I'll be tackling those two when I've got the time and energy!

    The last two pictures show the spine of the re glued Secret Wars II Omnibus. This is what the brown lining paper should look like when properly glued.
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    All-New Member bugrom's Avatar
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    Thanks for this great and incredibly useful information!

  5. #5
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    See, this worries me about omnibuses. Not the fact that the binding has issues, but that amateur restoration is done on books that may eventually end up in the hands of collectors who don't know.

  6. #6
    Incredible Member NZ_InFerno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mixmaster View Post
    See, this worries me about omnibuses. Not the fact that the binding has issues, but that amateur restoration is done on books that may eventually end up in the hands of collectors who don't know.
    This sort of problem is very rare, I think it's been posted about here less than ten times since the Marvel omnibus thread existed. And most of those were the Stand Omnibus.

    It's not uncommon to see shipping damage, but binding problems from the factory are most unusual.

  7. #7
    Incredible Member CrazyOldHermit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mixmaster View Post
    See, this worries me about omnibuses. Not the fact that the binding has issues, but that amateur restoration is done on books that may eventually end up in the hands of collectors who don't know.
    Anyone who cares about "amateur restoration" deserves to be had.

  8. #8
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    Yep the lining of my Stand Omni is completely separate from the book block now. It looks pretty terrible and I'm tempted to do this repair on it.

    I don't know how rare these issues really are. I've got 6 Marvel Omnis and I think at least 2 of them (aside from the Stand which is by far the worst) have some separation of the liner. As far as the amateurish nature of the repair...all I can say is it seems to me that there's a fair bit of "amateurish" work being done at some of the original binders. The work done by us obsessive fans is probably far more "professional."

  9. #9
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    Just curious - where did you find the glue?

  10. #10
    Spectacular Member Cerd the nerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zevious zoquis View Post
    Just curious - where did you find the glue?
    I got the glue from amazon.co.uk. Just search for 'bookbinding glue'.

    The actual name of this product is Flexi-Bind Book Adhesive, but there are lots of similar products available on both amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

    Just check that it's PVA glue, this means it will still be flexible when it's dry.

    PVA glue is what is used to stick the lining to the spine during the manufacturing process, so all you're doing here is replacing what should be there in the first place.

  11. #11
    Spectacular Member Cerd the nerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NZ_InFerno View Post
    This sort of problem is very rare, I think it's been posted about here less than ten times since the Marvel omnibus thread existed. And most of those were the Stand Omnibus.

    It's not uncommon to see shipping damage, but binding problems from the factory are most unusual.
    You may be right about this being a rare problem, but it seems like the quality of the construction of these books has taken a dip since they changed to the thinner paper and matte boards.

    Here are some pictures of my Stern Spider-Man Omnibus.

    You can see that it has the same problem as the Secret Wars II, the paper lining coming away from the spine in places.
    It's not as bad as the Secret Wars was, but still, it shouldn't look like that.

    My Byrne Fantastic Four 2 is affected as well.
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    Last edited by Cerd the nerd; 06-16-2014 at 12:24 PM.

  12. #12
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    I had this problem with my Daredevil by Bendis Vol. 1. Only they didn't even have the single brown paper going down the book spine to re-glue it to. It was a series of broken up strips I had to aim for with glue on the brush.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyOldHermit View Post
    Anyone who cares about "amateur restoration" deserves to be had.
    That may be the dumbest thing you've said on this incarnation of this thread. Seriously. Knowing you're a collector, too, I'm not sure why you'd say that. Don't you omnibus guys all worry, gripe and fuss about your books' bindings? Surely, someone putting glue on a book to repair it is no different than restapling a cover to a comic. How would you like it if your precious Ennis Punisher MAX volume 4 had been repaired by someone who just put some glue on the binding and wasn't a professional restorer? You wouldn't like it at all.

  14. #14
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    Can you explain the proper way to repair this issue? I mean what is the problem with re-gluing something that has come un-glued? And frankly, if the job is done poorly it will likely be completely obvious anyway...

    In the end, these books belong to me. I want to repair it because I don't want the thing to fall apart, not because I intend to sell it to someone.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zevious zoquis View Post
    Can you explain the proper way to repair this issue? I mean what is the problem with re-gluing something that has come un-glued? And frankly, if the job is done poorly it will likely be completely obvious anyway...

    In the end, these books belong to me. I want to repair it because I don't want the thing to fall apart, not because I intend to sell it to someone.
    Whatever. It's still amateur restoration and, yes, it is as bad as restapling a cover onto a comic book. No difference at all.

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