The Ultimate Guide To Comic Book Storage

April 27, 2024

The Ultimate Guide To Comic Book Storage

If you collect comic books, you know how important it is to store them correctly. Correct comic book storage is the only way you can guarantee preserving their condition and value. 

The ultimate guide to comic book storage. Image shows a stack of old vintage comic books background texture

There are a range of storage solutions available but this can make it quite a minefield to know which type to select, particularly if you are new to comic book collecting. Also, If you have not been blessed with a great deal of storage space in your home, you will need to look at self storage options which can add to the overwhelm.

Within this article we are going to discuss many of the solutions that are out there so we can help you find the perfect comic book storage. 

Understanding the Needs of Comic Book Storage

Before you begin looking at storage solutions you need to have an understanding of what comic book storage needs to have and what it most definitely shouldn’t have. Within this section we are going to talk you through what you need to know and what you need to think about. 

The Enemies of Comic Books

Comic books are full of enemies and villains but they also have a lot of enemies of their own. 

Common threats to comic books include humidity, temperature fluctuations and light. It is very important that you store them in rooms or areas that have a steady temperature, steady humidity and where they are nowhere in the vicinity of direct sunlight or fluorescent light. UV rays can cause fading and deterioration of both paper and ink.

There is also the threat of physical damage so it is important that your comic books have a place where they can be put away and stored that protects them from all these common threats. 

Assessing Your Collection’s Needs

Now you know the enemies of comic book storage, you can move onto the first step which is assessing your collection, figuring out what you need from comic book storage. You need to think about the size of your collection, the value of your collection and your personal access needs. Assessing these factors will allow you to determine the most suitable storage solution. 

Essential Comic Book Storage Supplies

Next, we are moving onto the essential supplies you will need to consider for your comic book storage. 

Bags and Boards

The bag and board method is a very traditional way of storing comic books. It is when the comic book is stored upright in a bag with a section of board to support them. This method will protect your comic books from dust, light and physical damage. 

It is a very traditional and simple way of doing comic book storage but it is important that you choose acid-free bags and boards. Acid is another of your comic book’s enemies as it will degrade the very fabric of the paper your comics are made of causing them to become yellow, and eventually weakening it so much the paper disintegrates.

Storage Boxes

Once the comics are in their bags, you will next need a storage box to keep them in. They come in designs that allow you to have your comics upright or laying flat. Which you choose is based on personal preference and what storage space you are going to store them in. 

They also come in cardboard or plastic. Again this is down to personal preference but, if you choose cardboard, make sure you choose acid-free. Plastic will protect from any unforeseeable issues such as a water leak or flood. 

Environmental Control Solutions

As we have already briefly discussed, comic storage needs to be in a place where you have a good amount of climate control. Ideally the environment needs to be at 15.5-21 degrees Celcius with 40-50% humidity. This balance keeps the paper from becoming too dry or too moist. A dehumidifier can be a valuable tool for maintaining humidity, particularly in damp areas. 

You can also purchase temperature and humidity sensors which will allow you to monitor the temperature and humidity in the room allowing you to know if you need to reassess your comic book storage or purchase something such as a dehumidifier.  

Organising Your Comic Book Collection

Once you have bought all your storage essentials, it is a really good idea to organise your comic book collection as this will allow you to easily find each of your comics. In this section we are going to discuss some of the ways that you can organise your comic book collection. 

Cataloguing and Inventory

It is a really good idea to keep an up-to-date catalogue of your comic collection. This will allow you to have easy access to your comics and, if you have a valuable collection, it is also extremely useful for insurance purposes. 

Keeping an inventory catalogue can be very simple and can easily be done on a spreadsheet system. You will want to list each comic book that you have but you will also need to decide on an organisational method so you can add this information to the spreadsheet. This will help you to find and access each of your comic books quickly and easily. 

Organisational Systems

This brings us nicely to the next section – choosing an organisational system that is right for you. 

This could be something as simple as using the titles to organise them alphabetically but, if you are wanting to reread certain comics in the right order this could lead to it taking time to find each comic. 

You could arrange them in order of who the comic book is about – all Harley Quinn in one section, all the Superman in one section etc. – and the publication date. This will be good for any comic books that follow on from each other but it could also lead to some complications as some characters appear in multiple comic books such as, in the example of Harley Quinn she stars in her own comic books but also features in Joker comics and Batman. 

You could also work by the creators – all DC together, all Marvel together etc. 

What you pick will be entirely up to your personal preference. 

Advanced Storage Solutions

If it is really important to you to keep your comic collections super safe, there are also advanced comic storage solutions. Within this section, we are going to talk you through some of them.

Custom Shelving and Cabinets

If you have the room in your home, you could have custom shelving or cabinets built in order to store your comic books. This is a perfect idea if you have a valuable collection or if you have specific ideas for how you want your comic books displayed. 

Customer shelving and/or cabinets will likely be quite pricey so it is something you really need to consider and is probably only best for people who own their own homes, unless you have something built that could be easily removed and placed in a new home. 

Utilise Self-Storage Units

If you do not have the room at home for your comic book storage, you could utilise a self storage unit. A self storage unit will keep your collection safe from the elements but also safe from theft as all professional self storage units come fitted with high quality security systems.

Our units are fitted with an intruder alarm and smoke and fire detectors. We also have 24/7 CCTV around each of your facilities. Your comic book collection will be safe with us. 

Regular Maintenance and Care Tips

No matter where you decide to have your comic book storage, it is important that you make regular maintenance checks. In this section, we will talk you through some of the basics. 

Cleaning and Handling

Most damage that happens to comic books comes from handling. Before you even begin handing your comic book, it is important that you have your area set up first to prevent damage. The area needs to be clean and dry, preferably with something over it such as acid-free white paper so you can clearly see what you are doing. 

Do not have any drinks in the area you are handling your comic books in. This is just asking for trouble. 

Once the area is ready, wash your hands, making sure any dirt is removed and dry them thoroughly. 

When it comes to cleaning, you should do this before placing your comics into storage. You will want to use a paper cleaning pad to wipe away any oils left over from fingers and any dust that this oil has attracted. 

If the comic has mould growing on it, you must remove this as it can be hazardous to your health but it is probably best to have this done by a professional conservator. 

Periodic Checks

Once your comic books are in storage, it is important that you check on them regularly. Regular checks will allow you to make sure the storage environment is as it should be and that the collection is staying in a good condition.

Comic Book Storage 101

Comic book storage has many steps and it is important that you store it in the correct materials and that you keep a record of the comics that you have. It is also extremely important that you keep it in a place that has the right kind of environment – steady temperature and humidity and no bright lights or windows. 

You need to invest time, money and resources into properly storing your comic books to preserve their condition and value for years to come. 

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