Easy Ways to Preserve Your Comics While You’re Not Enjoying Them

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s your Superman comic book collection, perfectly preserved while you’re not actively reading them. Whether you have highly valuable comic books or just want to be able to save your childhood favorites for your own kids to enjoy someday, preservation is key.

When it comes to comic book preservation, there are two words to remember: bagged and boarded. Learn how to store your comics so they stand the test of time.

Storing your comic books in bags

There are many types of bags that can protect your comic books—mylar, polypropylene and polyethylene are three of the most common materials. Bag material is largely a matter of preference, but keep in mind that certain types may “wear out” and need to be replaced more often. For example, mylar is a popular choice, but it will start to yellow after about five years.

The bag size will depend on when your comics were published:

  • Golden Age: These comics were published before 1950. You’ll need bags that measure 7 3/4 x 10 ½ inches.
  • Silver Age: The Silver Age of comics spanned from the 1950s to the 1980s. Look for bags that measure 7 1/8 x 10 ½ inches.
  • Current: “Current” comic books can be over 40 years old. This era started in the 1980s and continues today. Get bags that are 6 7/8 x 10 ½ inches.

Of course, some collectors prefer to use the largest size for all comic books, while others like the tight fit that comes with choosing the bag by era. Keep in mind that the most important thing is to keep light and air away from the comics—that’s what causes damage, and it’s why we bag our comics.

Adding boards to prevent further damage

Wrinkled, crumpled comics are a sad sight to behold. The key is to slide an acid-free, archival-quality piece of cardboard into the bag with your comics. (Don’t just cut up shipping boxes and hope for the best.) This will provide support for the paper so your comics will stay free of creases.

If you buy a comic that’s already bagged and boarded, ask the seller whether the boards are acid-free. Some dealers do not invest the extra time or cost to buy acid-free boards. When in doubt, buy and use your own.

Other ways to protect your comics

When you’ve got a real prize on your hands, you might want to increase your protection. In that case, many collectors turn to hard shell cases. These keep light and air away from the comic, prevent creases and will even keep the corners from bending if you drop them. Some collectors prop them up and use them as frames for their best collectibles.

Finally, consider storing all of your comics in specialized comic storage boxes. These will allow you to safely file away all your favorite stories and thrilling moments. Remember not to stack them too high, or you’ll crush the bottom boxes.

For collectible comics, as well as additional tips on how to safely store your comic collection, visit The Book Broker today.