What is the Best Way to Store Comic Books?

Comic books are illustrated stories, sometimes in a light, cartoony style, and other times in a darker, novel-like style. Many comic books, especially very old ones or those from limited print runs, have developed a strong collector culture around them, and as a result, many comic books — especially those from limited print runs — can be a good investment, returning many times their original value over the course of their lives. Some old and rare comic books are worth astronomical sums of money; for example, the first issue of the Action Comics series, which featured Superman’s first appearance, is worth more than half a million dollars (USD).

Given that comic books can be extremely valuable, and that a large part of their value is determined how well they are stored, it is critical to store comic books in such a way that minimal wear and tear occurs. Even if you aren’t interested in collecting comic books as an investment, but simply want to read them, learning how to store them properly can help them last longer and remain readable.

Comic books are typically made of flimsy paper, which allows them to bend and flex easily. Getting appropriate braces to ensure the least amount of flexing and warping over time is an important part of preparing to store comic books properly. Comic boards are semi-rigid materials that are placed behind the comic book to keep it from bending. When storing comic books, make sure each one is supported a board. Replace the boards every few years to reduce the risk of the acidity of the board leeching color from the books.

In addition to a board, a container of some sort for storing individual comic books is a good idea. A simple plastic sleeve will suffice for most comic books, and many companies offer sleeves that are specifically designed for their comic boards to ensure a snug fit. If you have valuable or rare comic books, you may want to store them in a hard plastic case, which provides more protection than the less durable plastic sleeves.

A large storage container for comic books is also an excellent addition to your collection. These boxes are designed specifically for comic books and are typically available in either long or short sizes, depending on your requirements. Because some older comic books, such as those from the Silver and Golden Ages, are larger than modern comic books, many companies create specially sized boxes for them.

When you have all of the supplies you’ll need to store comic books, it’s time to put them in sleeves, boards, or boxes and put them away. To reduce the chances of moisture or mold reaching your boxes, place them on a table or shelf that is slightly elevated off the ground. It’s also a good idea to check on the books on a regular basis to ensure that their condition isn’t being harmed the storage environment. To keep your comic books in the best possible condition, you should never remove them from their sleeves, and if you do, you should wear gloves to protect them from the oils on your hands while reading them.