Here at Spacer, we’ve fielded hundreds of questions about difficult-to-store items, and proper comic book storage is a frequent request. Whether you’re a casual collector hoping to extend the life of your childhood comics, or you’re a comic book connoisseur who sees your collection as an investment, you might have wondered whether you’re storing your comic books the right way.
And you’re not alone. Here in Australia, there are over 5,000 comic book lovers on Meetup, with regular comic book-related gatherings happening in every major city. The Comics Australia Buy/Sell/Trade group on Facebook has 5,200 members and tens of new postings every day. And popular comic book sellers like Comic Book Heroes in Chermside or the Comic Shop Liverpool enjoy a following of 15,000 and 27,600 comic book fans respectively.
With that many comic books enthusiasts out there, it makes sense that everyone would want to keep their comic books in pristine condition. So how can you ensure that your beloved collection is well preserved? We’re here to help!
Comic book storage is a unique challenge
As storage experts, we’re not going to sugar coat it: comic books pose unique book storage challenges. After all, while books in general are at risk for nesting insects and rodents – not to mention humidity and temperature fluctuation – the lack of hard covers on comic books makes them even more fragile. Plus, those vibrant colors are especially vulnerable to UV damage.
With so many threats to the quality of your comic books, you’re going to need to take special precautions when storing them. First, you’ll want to find the perfect setting. Then, you can apply the best packing practices so that your comic books are well-cared for in their long term book storage home!
Step One: Find the right comic book storage location
Comic book storage requires a few special elements so that your comic books are free from humidity, rodents, and other threats. Here are the key things to look for in book storage options:
Climate control. A climate controlled room is ideal for book storage because it prevents damage from temperature fluctuations or humidity. This means that you ideally want to store your comic books in a room of someone’s home or in a well-insulated garage. You might also find climate control in a commercial storage unit, but the service may cost extra.
Good ventilation. Humidity is a huge threat to comic books, and it can be tricky to know that humidity is too high until it’s too late. A good way to keep humidity from building up is to ensure that the space has good ventilation. Many backyard storage sheds and garages have ventilation built in, but you might also invest in a dehumidifier or fan.
UV protection. A garage or storage unit is ideal when it comes to UV protection, but a room with sun-blocked curtains or window coverings can work just as well. If you’re not able to find a setting with adequate UV protection, it’s not the end of the world. But you will have to take extra measures when you’re packing your comic books to make sure that the UV light doesn’t penetrate your comic boxes.
Pest-free zone. Wherever it comes to book storage, there should be extra precautions when it comes to rodents and other pests. Containers of food, animal feed, or other pest-attracting materials will create the perfect environment for critters. The food will attract them, and your comic books will give them a good place to hunker down for the long haul. We’ll talk, also, about the right storage containers to keep pests out, but the more that you can make the space unappealing to pests, the better.
Vertical storage options. One of the best ways to store your comic books is to keep them off of the floor. This will make them less accessible to pests and protect them in the unfortunate case of a flood or leak. So, look for book storage spaces that offer shelving or have enough space for you to bring your own shelves.
Finding a place with all of these elements may seem like a tall order, but don’t worry. Spacer has plenty of book storage options that will check all of your boxes. Because you’ll be able to rent out a space in someone’s home or garage, you’ll have an easier time finding climate controlled, pest free zones. Whether you’re in the comic book hot-spots like Sydney or Melbourne, or you’re in an area with fewer comic book enthusiasts, you’ll easily find comic book storage options that meet your standards.
Step Two: Pack your comics the right way
Even if you end up with a storage location that isn’t perfectly climate-controlled or UV protected, there are a few things that you can do to ensure the safety of your comic books.
Invest in high quality comic boxes. You’re looking for heavy duty plastic storage that will keep out rodents and moisture. Often, we recommend that stored items be placed in clear plastic boxes for easier organisation, but in this case, you might go with boxes that will keep out the light. Cardboard boxes are an option, of course, but they’re more prone to flooding and long-term wear and tear. Plus, stacking cardboard boxes can damage your comic books inside.
Don’t store your comic books with other items. It’s tempting to store like items together, which is why many comics end up being stored in general book storage. But, the different sizes and shapes can mean that your comic books become warped and creased, so keep your comic book storage separate from your other items in book storage.
Make sure that each comic book has a case. If you really want to protect each comic book, make sure that it’s stored in a separate comic book bag or, for more valuable comic books, a hard case. You can do this yourself or have it professionally done. This is another line of defense against pests and water damage.
Reinforce your comic books with sturdy dividers. Some comic book enthusiasts use cardboard dividers, but the material doesn’t matter as much as the strength. You want something thick and sturdy enough to keep your comic books from creasing. And, your comic book boards should also be larger than your comic books, to ensure that no pages get folded over.
Store your comic books vertically. It can be tempting to store them horizontally so that you can get a better look at the binding, but this can put undue pressure on the pages. Instead, store comic books vertically and make sure that your comic boxes are tall enough to accommodate them standing up.
From the boxes to the boards, cardboard is an option, but if you really want to protect your comic books, opt for plastic. That said, cardboard is a more affordable option – just make sure that all of the cardboard supplies you use are acid-free.
You’re ready to pack up your beloved comic books and place them in book storage!
It doesn’t matter if you’re packing up your childhood comic book collection or are holding on to some highly valuable comic book pieces, every comic book should be stored carefully! We hope this rundown of proper book storage means that your comic books are well-kept for years to come!
Have your own tried-and-true methods for comic book preservation? Share your best book storage tips with us!