For me collecting comics has quickly become an exciting and addictive hobby. I’ve enjoyed the thrill of the hunt when searching for that one of a kind cover. Unfortunately this hobby isn’t cheap. Further more there are additional materials required to keep his or her collection from deteriorating into a discolored heavily creased mishmash of once highly prized comic books.
Yes, collecting is in the eye of the beholder so whether you’re purchasing current variants or something older like Chris Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men run then you’re gonna need to provide your collection with some type of buffer between from the harsh environment surrounding it. If you are like me, a small-time collector with a small-time budget, then you’ll need to find these materials at the lowest cost in the least amount of time spent searching them out. After all, time is money right? Here in this 4-part series I’ll try and share what I’ve learned, what is out there, vendors that rock, and price ranges for comparison.
My Small Collection
Pictured below is my small-time collection of short comic boxes and drawers. I keep my collection in a closet with the doors closed most times in order to reduce the amount of UV light that could potentially reach them.
For most collections this is what you’ll see, a bunch of comics bagged and boarded. In the box pictured below you’ll see comics stored in E-Gerber 2 mil Mylar-D bags with an E-Gerber Half-Backs or Full-Backs for support. The dividers are ever changing, hence the missing labels. Each comic is stored front to back, meaning 2 comics per bag to protect the bindings and increase storage efficiency.
The next picture of Manifest Destiny #1 and #2 does a better job at displaying the 2 comic per bag method and the Mylar-D bag. You might also see something in the first comic sticking out and that is a single sheet of BCW Extender paper. It’s very thin and I mostly use it for supporting the comic when the I need to remove it from it’s bag. I also have 2 sheets of Microchamber Archival Paper placed on the inside front and back covers.
Organization Is Key
Ideally I like to store story arcs and mini-series together in a single BCW Golden or Magazine sized Poly-bag depending upon the number of issues I’m grouping together for easy removal when i want to read those particular story arcs.
I usually considered these my reading comics and I tend to store them in BCW Current Poly-bags with current sized boards; smallest and cheapest. Again, the same methodology applies here when storing, 2 comics per bag, front to back, as pictured below. I then place 1 BCW Extender sheet in each reader comic as it adds support to the comic binding and hopefully slows any yellowing that might occur over the many years I plan on keeping these comics.
For current series still in print I’ll simply bag and board them like I did above excluding the grouping phase. I place these in a drawer box with dividers (I’m behind on my labeling) so I can easily remove, read, and/or sift through past issues; see pictured below.
Finally, I keep my Eva-Dry dehumidifier nearby in order to reduce the potential moisture that may collect in my room. I live in the Northwest so we experience a lot of rain along with sunny humid days as well. The weather can be very sporadic at times so the need for a portable dehumidifier depends upon your environment. The one I’ve purchased allows me to plug it in a wall socket where it cooks the material inside to burn off the moisture collected thus recharging for another cycle.
Just make sure that you store your comics in a location where UV light has little opportunity to reach your comic collection. Keep in mind the temperature of the location to reduce the chances of any extremes. DO NOT store your comics in the Garage, shed, porch closet, storage unity, or anywhere that could potentially have temperature extremes and moisture UNLESS IT IS TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED!
Comic Collecting On A Budget – My Collection (Part 1 of 4)
Comic Collecting On A Budget – Materials (Part 2 of 4)
Comic Collecting On A Budget – Retailers (Part 3 of 4)
Comic Collecting On A Budget – Alt. Retailers (Part 4 of 4)