How to store comics

Remember that proper storage and care can significantly extend the lifespan of your comics and help maintain their value. Additionally, if you are unsure about the value or preservation needs of a specific comic, consider consulting with a professional comic book appraiser or collector for advice.

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 these simple and reliable steps below:

  1. Choose the Right Storage Supplies
  • Comic Bags: Use acid-free, archival-quality comic book bags. These are typically made of polyethylene or Mylar, which are both durable and acid-free.
  • Backboards: Insert acid-free, buffered backing boards into the comic bags to provide support and prevent bending or creasing.
  • Comic Boxes: Store your bagged and boarded comics in acid-free comic storage boxes. These boxes come in various sizes and are designed to hold comics securely.
  1. Handling Comics
  • Always handle comics with clean, dry hands to prevent oils and dirt from transferring to the pages.
  • Use gloves if you’re concerned about fingerprints or oils. However, some collectors prefer bare hands as gloves can reduce tactile sensitivity and dexterity.
  1. Location
  • Store comics in a cool, dry, and dark place. Extreme temperature fluctuations and high humidity can damage comics.
  • Avoid direct sunlight, as it can cause fading and deterioration of the paper and ink.
  1. Storage Environment
  • Use acid-free, archival-quality dividers to separate and organize your comics within the boxes.
    Keep comics upright to prevent spine stress and warping.
  • Avoid overpacking boxes, as this can lead to damage when removing or inserting comics.
  1. Maintenance
  • Periodically inspect your comics for signs of damage, pests, or deterioration.
  • Replace old bags and boards if they become yellowed or damaged.
  1. Sealing and Protection
  • For particularly valuable or rare comics, consider professional grading and encapsulation services. These services provide a sealed, protective case to prevent physical contact and environmental damage.
  • If you are storing comics for long-term preservation and have access to a vacuum sealer, you can seal individual comics in archival-grade bags for added protection.
  1. Labeling and Cataloging
  • Label your comic boxes for easy identification of their contents.
  • Maintain a catalog or inventory list of your comic collection. This can help you keep track of your comics and their condition.
  1. Insurance
  • If you have a valuable comic collection, consider insuring it to protect against loss or damage.
  1. Handling and Display
  • If you want to display your comics, use acid-free comic display frames or stands. Make sure they are in a controlled environment away from direct sunlight.
  • Be cautious when handling comics for display and avoid excessive handling or touching.

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.

An individual who has a strong interest in comic books and the culture surrounding them. Comic books are a form of printed or digital media that combines text and artworks that tell beautiful and interesting stories, often featuring characters with superhuman abilities and adventures. A comic fan, passionate about the medium and collect, read, discuss, and even create comic books.