The comic book collections of today have their origins in newspapers. The first comics were compilations of reprinted newspaper funnies, but have evolved to become a dynamic form of entertainment read and collected by millions of readers. Hobbyists regularly amass diverse collections comprised of new, old, and rare books.
Comics offer a range of art styles and story genres including fantasy, adventure, science fiction, humor, and horror. People of all ages enjoy comic books and they often are used to instill a love of reading in young children.
Comics have become so popular there’s even a day to commemorate them. National Comic Book Day is an annual celebration of all things comics including characters, creators, and communities held every September 25th.
Comic Book Storage: How to Keep Your Books in Mint Condition
Whether you recently picked up your first comic or have amassed a sizeable collection, if you start to collect comic books, proper storage quickly becomes imperative. But if you want to keep your books in mint — or very near mint — condition, you must do more than leave them on your nightstand or coffee table. Let’s explore some of the basics of proper comic book storage.
- Comic book boards and bags – Properly storing your comics starts with bagging and boarding your books. Slip bags and comic book boards help preserve your comics, protecting them from potential damage such as creased pages or bent spines. The size of comic books has changed through the years, so ensure you use the right size bag and board that fit your comic. Always store one comic per board and bag.
- Comic book boxes – The best way to store comics upright whenever possible is using comic book boxes. When stacked, the weight of each comic on the other can cause pages to stick together over time and cause deterioration of the ink and paper. Any number of comic book box types are available from magazine file holders to cardboard storage boxes. Plastic comic book bins also are available and offer sturdier protection than cardboard boxes. Regardless of the box you use, be sure to store your comics in a dry, cool place without heavy items stored atop them.
- Regular checkup – Out of sight, out of mind can be dangerous when it comes to storing your comic book collection for the long term. You’ll want to perform regular checkups on your collection to ensure they don’t develop mold or mildew or become damaged in some other way. If you notice a mildewy smell or other issues, move your comic book collection to a new location immediately and replace your bags, boards and boxes.
Pricey Pictures: Storing High-Value & Rare Comic Books
Although every comic deserves to be treated equally with a proper bag and board while being stored upright, not all comics are valued equally. If you own some particularly high-value or rare comic books, you may want to take the following additional storage suggestions into consideration.
- Handle with care – Take care when handling any comic, but especially vintage and rare comic books. Wash and dry your hands prior to handling these comics. If possible, use gloves when holding any rare comic to avoid transferring oils, dirt, or other muck that could potentially stain or damage the book.
- Mylar bags – A pricier option than regular comic book bags, mylar bags are sturdier and stronger, offering better long-term protection from the elements and potential hazards for rare or older comic books, which are more susceptible to damage due to the thinner paper used to print them.
- Hard-shell cases – For rare comic books, you may want to shell out for hard plastic comic holders. Although costlier than regular bags, and boards, these hard-shell cases provide extra protection from potential damage, bending and creasing. As a bonus, these cases often allow you to display your rare comic books like a picture or photograph rather than store out of sight in a storage box or bin.
- Comic grading and slabbing – For vintage and rare comic books in your collection, you may want to consider having them graded and slabbed through Certified Guaranty Company (CGC). CGC reviews the condition of your comics and assigns a grade to them. Then they seal the book in a hard plastic case called a slab and place a hologram sticker on the barcode. So long as the sticker isn’t torn and the case isn’t opened, the process locks in the value of your comic, allowing you to store it, display it, or sell it without risking damage.
Not All Superheroes Wear Capes: Self-Storage to the Rescue
As your comic book collection expands, you may eventually run out of room in your home to store them all. If this happens, consider a climate-controlled self-storage unit to keep your books in mint condition. Storage West has locations throughout the Southwest. Explore our self-storage facilities.