The Restoration Lab - Since 1986

Susan Cicconi February/2018

I have been a professional paper conservator for over 30 years, sole owner and operator of The Restoration Lab in Boston, MA.

My illustrious career started in Paris in the early 80's having just completed 3 years of Art History study at L'Ecole du Louvre in Paris France. I began paper conservation tutoring under the head paper conservator of the Museum of Modern Art, Dianne O'Neal, an American living in Paris. I was her chief assistant restoring 36 original drawings by Pablo Picasso for a centennial retrospective held in Munich, 1981. I continued work in NYC and Boston when I met the 'pioneer' of comic book conservation, William Sarill. Within 5 years, I became the sole owner and proprietor of The Restoration Lab, specializing in comics and other ephemera.

Under Bill's tutelage, I restored countless copies of Golden and Silver Age books including heavyweights like Action !, Captain America 1, Batman ! Marvel 1 and several copies of each. Same holds true for Silver Age comics of the 60's. Restoration was an accepted practice particularly on books that merited structural repair, hole replacement and esthetic enhancement. Restoration actually added value to a book in the 80's. I employed the same traditional and archival techniques that I learned in Paris. During the '90's, I was Sotheby's Auction House chief restoration expert/consultant for their historical auctions which brought the industry to the forefront of worldwide collectible investments.

My commitment to precision and detail on all works of ephemera is an innate quality. "I have a surgeon's eye...I am trained to find the defects and fix them." Each comic is treated as it it were my own. The restoration process is a delicate balance of retaining the original antiqueness of a comic while cleaning, mending, rebuilding and color touch add to the structural and esthetic appeal. Pressing comic books is even more delicate. It is important to treat each cover/page with care and respect the paper properties with regard to heat and pressure while using proper, archival materials for protection. Cleaning is a very detail oriented, highly skilled and patient process.

For 30 plus years I have embraced on a true "Wonder Woman" crusade to provide knowledge to the consumer (restore or not to restore, press or not to press), to preserve and protect the longevity of these prized treasures. The industry has seen great changes throughout the 30 years of my services, notably the advent of Certification which has made an indelible mark on comic book value and investment.

The hope for ALL tried and true collectors is longterm preservation and continued enjoyment.