If your goal is to preserve your comics for years to come or if you want to keep your comics in mint condition as an investment, BCW offers several methods to protect, store and display comic books. While there are more elaborate methods of storing comics, let’s focus on the most common method – bagging and boarding. The combination of bags and boards is a trusted method by collectors of comics and is a cost effective way to protect an entire collection. BCW offers bags made of polypropylene and mylar, both are acid free, archival quality materials. Let’s narrow our discussion even further to backing boards. To keep your comic books in mint condition, you don’t want any old cardboard stored with your comics. BCW backing boards have special qualities that make them ideal for preserving comics.
First, BCW offers backing boards sized for Current, Silver Age and Golden Age comics. In each case, the boards are slightly larger than the comics to protect the comics’ edges, but the boards fit in the bags with the comic appropriately.
Second, our boards are cut from 24 point stock. This heavy board weight provides a firm backing which resists warping and protects your comics while handling and storing these floppy collectibles.
Third, BCW backing boards are acid free. They get their white appearance from a bleached sulfate process which does not interact with your comics. We have confirmed our boards are of archival quality by getting them tested by an independent lab, Chicago Paper Testing Laboratories of Northbrook, IL. They ran a number of tests on our boards, including a pH balance test (Acidity/Alkalinity, Hot Extraction Method, TAPPI T-435), an alkaline reserve test (ASTM D-4988, % of CaCO3), artificial aging test (Dry Heat Method, ASTM D-776) and a Fiber Analysis Test (TAPPI T-401 Using Graff “C” Strain). As you would expect from the scientists at Chicago Paper Testing, the results get technical, but BCW backing boards received good marks from the lab. If you want to see the technical results, learn more here.
Lastly, the backing boards help preserve the comics by absorbing the residual acid that migrates from the comics. Most comic books have been printed on newsprint. This includes all comics printed prior to Modern Age, as well as some Modern Age comic books. This newsprint paper has been bleached with acid prior to printing, and some of the acid remains in the paper. As time passes, this acid will degrade the newsprint, affecting the quality of the paper and the inks. BCW boards have been buffered with calcium carbonate which neutralizes the acid that migrates from the comic. The coated side may be on one or both sides of the backing board. You can identify the coated side by the glossy finish of the board. When you insert your comic and board inside the bag, you’ll want the coated side of the board facing the comic. If the board is coated on both sides, either side will work great. It is recommended to replace the backing boards in your comic collection every three to five years to rid the acids that have migrated from the comics into the boards.
Of course there are other important considerations for preserving your comics. You will want to store them away from sunlight and in a cool dry place because sunlight, heat, and moisture can directly damage the comics and accelerate the acid migration process, further damaging the comics. BCW offers several boxes and box dividers to help keep your comics safe and organized.
Learn more about BCW comic book products:
BCW Comic Book Backing Boards
BCW Comic Book Bags
BCW Comic Book Bag and Board Combo Packs
BCW Comic Book Boxes
BCW Comic Book Displays
BCW Comic Book Accessories