Before memes saturated the internet, there was an era of comics. In India, we had duos like Akbar-Birbal and Vikram-Betaal. Chacha Chaudhari used to saunter along with his companion Sabu, but he still ran a one-man show. At the same time, there was the exciting and fun world of international superheroes to explore – Spiderman, The Justice League, X-men and so on. Eager minds read comic books during lazy summer afternoons. Finally, there were the manga comics – which were Japanese graphic novels based on an ancient Japanese art form called ukiyo-e. Uzumaki, Naruto, and Goku are still popular beloved characters.
If anyone who has caught the fever of one or all these comic book forms, they know it is not the kind to be forgotten easily. Comics carry the scent of childhood and even coming-of-age. While they might not be bought as enthusiastically now as they were once, the old copies are still treasured and cherished.
This means if you possess some of these treasures, you must take diligent care of them and store them properly, so they withstand the wear and tear over time. You will also need to protect your comic books from the elements, dampness, dust, and pests like silverfish and bookworms.
Storage Mechanism for your precious comics
To safely store your comics, begin by choosing the right storage mechanism for your books, from the following options:
1. Comic book bags
There are three types of comic book bags, depending on the year of publication:
- Current – 1980s to today (size 6 7/8″ x 10 1/2″)
- Silver Age – 1950s to 1980s (size 7 1/8″ x 10 1/2″)
- Golden Age – pre-1950 (size 7 3/4″ x 10 1/2″)
Depending on which era your comic book belonged to, you can get the appropriate book bag for it.
2. Comic book boards
Cardboard ‘boards’ are used as backing to keep comics crease-free. Always go for acid-free cardboard to prevent damage to the pages.
3. Hard-shell cases
These cost more than getting a book bag or a book board but provides higher protection. These are rigid plastic holders and prevent creasing and bending of the pages. The case can also set up on the wall for display. Ideal, if you want to display your collection proudly.
4. Comic Book Boxes (Storage Boxes)
Comic books can be stored in several ways including placing them upright in comic boxes. These boxes come in two sizes – long and short. You can purchase plastic boxes that offer more security than your regular cardboard boxes for an additional cost. You should be careful not to stack more than three or five boxes on top of one another.
Once you have finalised your choice of storage tool, pack away your books according to year, genre, or how frequently you like to re-read them. No matter the order, here are three golden principles that you should not forget:
Three Golden Rules of Comic Storage
- Rule 1: Do not roll up your comics or mis-handle the comics containers.
- Rule 2: Minimise exposure of the comics to direct sun. Prolonged exposure can damage the pages.
- Rule 3: Never place the comics or the containers in which they are kept in, on the floor. Always place them on racks or pallets, this will ward off any potential water damage due to leaking.
Proper Storage of Comic Books
Comic books are modern publications, and the earliest of which are dated from the 19th century Industrial Era when machine-made, wooden pulp paper had already become one of the most common paper products. However, due to the inherent chemical instability of wood pulp papers and late development of paper standards (in the 80s), many comic-book collections still contain acidic books.
Good storage is particularly important to the preservation of acidic papers. This includes storing comics in a cool, dry, clean, and stable environment.
If you have more comics than you can manage at home or you are moving or renovating homes, drop it off at a self-storage facility, like Self Storage India. This way you do not need to worry about their safety when they are not being used. The above pointers can ensure that your precious comic collection will stay damage-free and golden for your grey-haired self and the future generations to enjoy.