Comic Book Supplies, Necessities of the Serious
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
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
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
. 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
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
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