Monday, November 1, 2010

Nerding 101: Intro to Protecting Your Comic Collection-Bags and Boards

Good day class! Hope everyone is on the mend after a raging Halloween! Welcome back! Tonight's topic for discussion is part of an ongoing series starting with bags and boards. This will be an intro class, with more advanced classes coming in the following weeks.

If you want to create a comic book collection, the first most important step is to get some comic books. Now, generally speaking, the comic books that you buy from a shop or online, will be bagged and boarded when you get them. A comic book gets bagged and boarded to protect the book from damage. The board, which is a thin piece of cardboard will protect it from bends, while the plastic bag is used to prevent spills, tears and creases on the pages and cover. Never trust the bags and boards the you get from the comic shop. You never know how long the bags and boards have been on the book, so you want to make sure to get a nice fresh one on it when you get home. I suggest a resealing bag, so that you're not using up all the scotch tape in the house, and you're getting a nice seal across the entire book. Polypropylene bags are the most common and are great for basic storage and protection. However, polypropylene bags deteriorate after a couple of years, so if you have anything that is super important, you may want to get Mylar bags which last longer. Obviously, when buying comic book boards you want to get the "Acid-free" kind.

Exhibit A
There are also different sizes of bags and boards which vary only slightly, but can be a royal pain if you buy the wrong ones. There are "Golden Age" (late 1930's to early 1950's) , "Silver" (1956 to 1970's), "Current"(1970's+) and "Magazine" sizes, as well as "Thick Current" bags for those fancy "Annuals" you'll be buying. When ordering, you are just going to want to match the boards up with the bags. For example, if you buy the "Current" boards, just make sure you have the "Current" bags as well. So unless you come across your parent's (or grandparent's) stash of old comic books in the basement, "Current" size should fit your needs.

Nobody likes a soggy periodical.
Once you have successfully bagged and boarded your comic books, make sure you keep them away from direct sunlight (to prevent sun fading) and in a dry spot (to prevent water damage). Next week we will be discussing different types of boxes, and ways to organize your comics. Until then, keep your comics in a cool, dry dark place. If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to e-mail or comment! Class dismissed!

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