The Proper Use of Comic Book Supplies Will Help You Maintain
a Top-Notch Collection
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? So the proper
use of comic book supplies is essential.
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. Comic book supplies and 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 comic book 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
There has been a lot of elaborate science, particularly
chemistry, which has gone into comic book supplies 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 comic book supplies
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 comic book supplies
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
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 comic book supplies
preservation supplies these days.
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 as part of your comic book
supplies arsenal. 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
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 owns and edits a website built around one of his
childhood passions. Learn the basic essentials to comic book
collecting success. To receive your free 5-part mini course
Comic Book Supplies
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