Learn useful tips about long-term comic book storage and preservation
What is the best way to protect your comic book collection?
The most crucial key to the value of comic books is the condition. Since comics are not built to last for a long time, optimum protection is necessary to preserve their present state.
Handling your comics with great care remains the best way to preserve their condition. But there are many other factors that can damage your comic books over time.
Factors that can cause comic book damage
Extreme environmental conditions, rats, and even people are detrimental to your collection. The first step to minimize these factors, if not eliminate them altogether, is to be aware of them.
These are the common causes of decay in comic books that you need to look out:
- Direct contact of light sources such as sunlight and florescent light can cause damage.
- Extreme heat or humidity can be very damaging to paper.
- Pollution, sulfuric dioxide, and dust can turn the paper into yellow in a period of time.
- Chemical or acid-based storage materials can quickly destroy your collection.
- Potential water damage.
- Rats, mouse, and other insects are the worst enemies of your comic books.
- Inexperienced people can also be the cause of damage in your collection.
The next best step to prevent them is through careful comic book storage.
Best materials to use for comic book storage
Visit your nearest comic book store and try to procure the following materials you will need to store your comics:
• Polypropylene or polyethylene bags
• Mylar bags
• Acid-free backing boards
• Acid-free comic book boxes
Important things to remember when buying comic book storage materials
You need to keep in mind that comic book preservation bags or protective bags come in different sizes. Each size is designed to fit the specific type of comic book that you have. The common sizes available in stores are Modern or Current, Silver Age, and Golden Age.
After you have determined the size or sizes you need, the next step is to choose the type of bags to buy. Experts recommend either the polypropylene or polyethylene bags. But these bags are only good to use for up to 3 to 5 years.
If you want long-term comic storage, purchase Mylar bags for optimum comic book protection. Mylar may cost you more but worth the price. Yet if you are tight in budget, acid-free portable bags are still a good alternative for temporary storage.
After choosing the best bags to use, it is time to buy backing boards. Most of them are acid-free. Others are not. You need to be careful by checking the label for acid-free content before buying one.
It is also the same when buying comic book storage box. Make sure that it is made of acid-free cardboard. Depending on the size or sizes of your comics, buy boxes that fit your collection.
Steps on how to store comics
When you have all the needed materials, you need now to secure your comic books properly. Just follow the steps below:
• Put the comic book and the board together with the glossy side of the board facing the back of the comic.
• Slide the comic and board in slowly into the bag, and make sure to seal it properly using a regular tape or a two-way tape.
• Once your comic books are safely placed in protective bags, you will now need to put them inside the box. When storing the comics in the box, be sure to put them in a vertical position.
Long-term comic book storage tips
When you have all the comics secured inside the boxes, it is time to consider the best place where to store you comic book collection.
Make sure to put them in a dark, dry, cool place. Basements and closets are okay. But the attic is not a good place to store comics.
Never put the box on the floor, elevate them at least 5-10 inches in case of a flood. For good air circulation, allow some space between the box and wall so as to avoid molds and fungus growth.
Check the boxes regularly for bugs or molds.