Superheroes would be pretty lame without their superpowers. You don’t have to be a superhero to appreciate comic books and want to collect or preserve these graphic book stories from your childhood.
Marvel and DC are the big players in this industry, closely followed by Dark Horse Comics. We all know and love the characters, often watching the latest releases in the cinema, or via video-on-demand services.
There are several simple steps that avid comic books fans can take to ensure their comic book collection is stored so that it retains its value, and can be enjoyed by others for generations.
How do you protect old comics? The do’s and don’ts for storing comic books
- Don’t stack comic book storage boxes too high on top of each other
- Don’t store comic book cardboard boxes on the floor of a garage, basement or cellar. If you do store your comic books in either of these locations, make sure to raise them off the ground by using wooden pallets. If these areas flood or water leaks, it could destroy your books, even if they’re bagged.
- Don’t smoke around or leave your precious comic books around dogs or children
- Don’t roll up your comic books and put them in your back pocket; this will crease the pages!
- Do enjoy collecting comic books, it’s a terribly thrilling hobby and can be enjoyed at any age
- Do make sure to store comic books correctly to avoid disappointment, damage and creasing
What is the best way to store comic books?
There are several different ways in which comic books can be stored, including using comic book bags, comic book boards, using hardshell cases, getting them graded or slabbed, and lastly, by placing them into storage boxes.
Damage to comic books usually occurs when they are exposed to light and air, by storing them correctly through bagging or boarding you can prevent this.
Comic books bags and sleeves
There are three different types of comic book bags, and these are sized according to what year the comic book was published.
Size 6 ⅞” x 10 ½” – From 1080s to today
Size 7 ⅛” x 10 ½” – From the 1950s to the 1980s (Silver Age)
Size 7 ¾” x 10 ½” – Pre-1950 (Golden Age)
Depending on what comic books you have, or simply your preferences, you may use the middle size (Silver Age) for all of your comic books. If you’re a collector who prefers a tiger fit, then adhering to the specific comic book bag sizes is more preferable.
Comic book boards
These are cardboard boards used to place in the back of bags and keep the comics from creasing. It is advisable to look for cardboard that’s acid-free so this avoids any potential damage to the pages.
For really special comics, you can opt for a hard plastic holder. This is more costly compared to boards and bags, but it prevents the book from creasing or damage – particularly, if the comic books are dropped, and keeps the pages from bending. One benefit of this type of storage for comic books is that you can also prop it up and display like a picture frame.
Grading and slabbing
For vintage or extremely rare comic books, it might be worth considering getting them graded through a company. This is ideal if you want to better preserve your comic book, or plan to sell it in the future. Grading helps lock in the value. Essentially, the process works through sealing the book into a hard plastic casing, called a ‘slab, then a hologram sticker and barcode is placed onto it. If the sticker is torn, or case open, the grading becomes invalidated.
Many collectors choose to store their comic books in a cardboard box. Storage boxes for comic books can be purchased in different sizes, depending on whether you want to store them standing upright or not.
Top tip: when using storage boxes to store your comic books, make sure not to stack the boxes too high. The weight can cause the boxes to break and lead to your comic books getting crushed.
Comic book collecting is an exciting hobby, if you take the time to preserve and store your comic books correctly, you can keep your favourites in great condition, and/ or make some money in the process.
Early vintage books or those comics whose characters go on to have a movie made about them can significantly increase in value.
Contact Arden Self Storage
If you’re interested in hiring a domestic self-storage unit – whether it’s for your comic book collection or something a little different – and live in Birmingham or Solihull, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team by calling 01675 442 827, alternatively, you can fill out your enquiry form, and we’ll be in touch.