If you want to keep your comic book collection in tiptop shape, comic book supplies will become part of your collecting life. As soon as a magazine is printed there are natural environmental forces going to work to try and destroy the ink and the paper. You have put in a lot of time, effort and enjoyment in acquiring all your comics. You don't want them to turn back to the dust and elements from which they came do you?
Elements such as humidity, temperature, pollutants, human skin oils and even the
chemicals of the printed materials themselves, will start to deteriorate and discolor your
comic books from day one. Tools that have been developed over the years to help us
combat these natural forces are de-acidification paper, polymer type storage bags, stiff
backing material, storage boxes and desiccants (dehumidification materials). Not only
will these comic book supplies protect your comics for your own enjoyment, they will
add to reinforce the future value of each comic book.
Most all of these supplies can typically be located down at your local comic book shop.
But as I have discovered lately, there can be a world of difference in preservation abilities
depending on what materials are used in the manufacture of comic book supplies. Quite
typically what you may find downtown will be of sufficient protective quality to protect
your comics for quite a while. Although, polybags, to put your comics into, are quite
common and fairly cheap, Mylar bags are definitely the way to go. They will protect for
100 years (that may be a little overboard) as opposed to 2 or 3 years for poly.
There has been a lot of elaborate science, particularly chemistry, which has gone into
preservation material manufacturing the last several years. MicroChamber material has
been developed that will increase preservation from de-acidification and environmental
breakdown for a vastly superior time period as opposed to typical materials available
today. Beware though, comic book supplies manufactured with this new material can
become quite costly. But if you have some serious collector's items, which you feel are
worth a significant amount of cash, isn't the investment worth it? It is also no secret that
CGC uses these materials in every comic book they grade.
I have created a page at my comic book site, which incorporates links to some rather
technical scientific articles on preservation and using MicroChamber materials. You can
read an in-depth discussion at www.comic-book-collection-made-easy.com/comic-book-supplies.html . Be forewarned though, You may need a moderate understanding of
chemistry and physics to completely follow some of the discussions. But the articles will
open your eyes to what is available in the comic book industry for preservation supplies
Now if you have a rather rare back issue that may well have a high dollar value, here is a
process worth considering. De-acidification products are usually used to neutralize acids
in the paper prior to storage of most paper products of a pulp nature. This is not to be
taken lightly, as it is considered by most to be an extensive form of restoration. The
current understanding of the process is that the staples are removed and the sheets are
submerged, film developer style, in a bath of de-acidification material. Then the entire
book is rebuilt with new staples. This process can cost around $50 per comic book, when
done by a professional, but will restore and increase the life expectancy of your comic
book by many years. This process, in my opinion, should only be considered for already
deteriorated comics that may have a considerable future worth if restored.
One final item to consider, especially if you live in a high humidity area is the use of
descants within your storage boxes. A desiccant is a chemical sieve for water, and is
available for industry use in small packets or in buckets. For our purposes an 8 oz can
(that looks like you'd keep a grasshopper in) can be simply put inside the box to absorb
moisture and indicates when it is full by changing from crystal colored to pink. These
same cans can then be reused by baking them for 3-4 hours in an oven at about 350 F.
Each canister can cost around $9-$10 from one supplier called GAYLORDMART. 1
canister per short box and 2 per long box should be sufficient. Another consideration is
the little packets typically found in a box of shoes. These are even more inexpensive, but
would require further research to insure no harm would come to each comic book.
So as you build your valuable comic book collection, you will want to put some serious
consideration into the comic book supplies that you will need. Materials and supplier
source will become important variables in your overall decisions. I will have more
interesting topics and sources from time to time at my site, so come on over and visit.
You may even want to bookmark it.
Dave Gieber, a former rocket engineer, has decided to take up residency on the Internet.
He is the owner and editor of several websites, one of which was built around one of his
childhood passions; http://www.comic-book-collection-made-easy.com. You can visit here to
keep up to date on the world of comic books and comic book collecting. Feel free to sign
up for his comic book ezine at http://www.comic-book-collection-made-easy.com/comic-book-ezine.html