Collecting comic books can be an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. For some, it can be about having as many great stories as possible to read. For others, the thrill of collecting in itself is the driving motivation behind the hobby. Regardless of which categories you fall into as a collector, there is one shared aspect that all collectors must face: How do I ensure my collection is protected and stored properly? Once again, you are in luck because we’ve got you covered with some great tips on bagging and storing your collection.
Most everyone knows that after purchasing a comic book, it is of vital importance that you bag and board the book to protect it. However, it’s not as simple as using any old bag and board. Use what’s available to you in the moment of course, but sometimes certain bags can actually do long-term damage to your comic books.
There are typically three different types of comic bags: polypropylene, polyethylene, and mylar.
Polypropylene is widely considered the worst option, but it is also the cheapest. These bags are fine for short-term storage, but they begin to yellow after a while. Polyethylene is the standard choice, as they last much longer than the polypropylene bags. They are also stronger and don’t let as much light in. They can last up to 8 years, but should be changed sooner. Mylar is extremely durable but also very expensive. It’s made of a much thicker material and can essentially last a lifetime. Mylar should be used for comic books which have significant value.
Make sure you also understand which size bag to use depending on the era of the comic book.
There are three major eras of comic books with variances in size: The Golden Age (1940s and earlier), Silver Age (1950s–1980s), and the Current Age (1980s–now). The Golden Age bags are the largest at 7 ¾” by 10 ½.” The Silver Age bags are 7 1/3” by 10 ½.” Lastly, the Current Age are 6 7/8” by 10 ½.” This is important to distinguish so that you never try and fit a comic into a bag that’s too small, and that a comic also doesn’t have too much room to slide around.
There is one very important piece of knowledge to consider when choosing a comic backing board.
Make sure it is acid-free. In the old days of comic storage, any old piece of cardboard was used. We now know that the acidic nature of many of these boards actually can do some serious long-term damage to a comic book stored with it. Aside from that, consider double-boarding your comic books for added protection. Just be careful that this doesn’t make the comic fit too tightly, as that can definitely damage your investment.
When it comes to storing your comic books in a box, there are a few options.
You can choose the standard cardboard comic box, but make sure the cardboard is acid-free if you do so. The better option is putting them in a plastic box, as it better protects the comics from outside elements. Make sure never to leave a box only partially full, as the comics can shift to one side, causing the cardboard and books themselves to bend. Lastly, be sure to store the box somewhere safe from moisture, sunlight, and extreme temperatures. A basement that is prone to flooding or an attic that reaches high temperatures in the summer are not recommended. It is also recommended that you keep your boxes up off the floor for similar reasons.