Comic Care

cb5Caring for your comics is just as important as buying your comics. As with all collectables its all about condition (grade) and rarity when it comes to value and reselling.

Here’s some handy Comic Care Tips –

Protecting

There are generally two basic camps when it comes to protecting your comics. The entertainment collector and the investing collector are those two. The entertainment collector buys comics just for the stories and doesn’t really care about what happens to their comics afterwards. The investing collector buys comic books just for their monetary value.

Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, buying comics for pleasure and wanting to protect their future value. The basic protection is putting them in mylar plastic bags with slim cardboard boards to keep them from bending. After this, they can be stored in a cardboard box designed just for comic books. All of these can be bought at your local comic book store.

 

  • Bag your comics. Using a protective plastic bag will keep your comics from being exposed to atmospheric pollutants such as dust and harmful gases. Bags are available for most comic book sizes and in materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, or Mylar. Polyethylene and polypropylene bags are designed to last for 3 to 5 years, after which time they should be replaced, while Mylar bags are designed to last for longer periods. Whichever type of plastic bag you use, be sure to buy bags that are acid-free to prevent damage to the comic inside.

 

  • Use backing boards. Backing boards help keep your comics flat in the bag. As with bags, choose boards that are acid-free and insert them in the bag with the comic slowly, with the shiny side facing the comic book. Backing boards should be replaced every 3 to 5 years to remove any contaminants that may have gathered while the comics were in storage.

 

  • Tape the bags shut. You can use either a regular tape or double-sided tape, provided it is acid-free.

 

  • Box up your bagged comics. After bagging your comics, place them upright in a protective box. The best boxes to use are acid-free cardboard boxes made for the purpose.

 

  • Store the comics in a safe place. A “safe place” means not just safe from prying eyes, but also somewhere safe from environmental damage. Store your comics somewhere cool, dry, and dark, away from both sunlight and fluorescent light. A closet on the main level is best, with a dry basement a good second, but an attic subject to temperature and humidity fluctuations throughout the year is the worst storage location. Keep the storage box at least 5 to 10 inches (12.5 to 25 cm) off the floor, with space around it to allow air to circulate and prevent the growth of moulds and fungi.

 

  • Inspect your comics periodically. Even with the best storage, it’s still possible for comics to get damaged. The surest way to prevent lasting damage is by checking your comics over every so often.

 

Always try an remember with all delicates like comics, especially valuable ones, use cotton gloves if possible and treat them as if you are handling historic documents in an archive, as in a sense, you are.

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