Printed Comic Book Boxes

Although white comic boxes are the standard for protecting and storing comic book collections, there are now several great options for colorful, printed comic book boxes. Until recently, finding a printed comic box was rare.  A Little Shop of Comics in New Jersey had the Marvel box seen below in their collection. This Marvel Comic Book Collection Box was offered by the Collectors Marketing Corp. in 1989.

Marvel Comic Book Collection Box, Collectors Marketing Group, 1989

Marvel Comic Book Collection Box, Collectors Marketing Group, 1989

BCW Supplies now prints several designs of comic book boxes. These are all based on the BCW Short Box which can hold 150-175 bagged and boarded comic books and are made from a strong cardboard with double thickness on the ends and bottom of the box. These are BCW’s printed comic boxes, as of June, 2016:

BCW is considering more designs. See all BCW printed Short Comic Boxes to find an up-to-date list.

BCW Supplies also sells printed comic boxes from Boxes in Action. BiA introduces new designs often, so please check for an up-to-date list.

See all BCW comic book boxes.


Four Methods for Displaying Comics on a Wall

BCW offers several options for displaying your favorite comics on the wall. Which of the four methods below is best for your needs?

BCW Comic Book Toploaders
Current Size: 1-TLCH-COMIC | Silver Size: 1-TLCH-SIL | Golden Size: 1-TLCH-GOL
BCW Toploaders are designed for storing comics on a shelf or in a box, hence they do not have a hanging mechanism. However, with some simple MacGyvering, Comic Book Toploaders make an economical method for displaying comics on the wall. The simplest method is adhering a BCW Hang Tab on the back of the toploader and hanging over a flat tack or nail. Adhesive backed flat magnets or Velcro work great in many instances. You can also look in the hardware aisle at your local home center or craft store to find hanging systems from 3M and others.


BCW Snap-It
The BCW Snap-It is a modular system designed to create an attractive display for your comic books.

BCW Comic Book Showcase
Current Size: 1-CBS-CUR | Silver Size: 1-CBS-SIL
The BCW Comic Book Showcase has a crystal clear cover that snaps over a black, wall mountable back.

BCW Comic Book Frame
Current Size: 1-CBF-CUR | Silver Size: 1-CBF-SIL | Golden Size: 1-CBF-GOL
The BCW Comic Book Frame is an attractive black frame with a glass front. Your comic is neatly displayed in a mat border you can easily access from the rear.

BCW Now Offers BiA Mini Comic Boxes

BCW Supplies now offers mini comic boxes from Boxes in Action (BiA). These comic boxes feature artwork inspired by your favorite comic heroes and villains!


The BiA Comic Boxes are available from BCW in these designs:

BiA-SizeComparisonAt BCW, we classify BiA boxes as “Mini Comic Boxes”. These are different dimensions than traditional BCW Short Comic Boxes. BiA Mini Boxes are slightly taller, and a few inches less in length, compared to BCW Short Boxes. As such, BiA Mini Boxes do not fit inside BCW Short Comic Houses. BiA Minis hold approximately 135 bagged and boarded comics, while a BCW Short Box holds about 165 comics.

BoxesInActionBCW offers Boxes in Action products to comic shops at the same price as they can receive directly from BiA. The option to order from BCW lets shops get all of their supplies from one source and makes it easier to take advantage of BCW’s Free Shipping benefits.

See all Comic Boxes offered by BCW Supplies.

Win a Signed Ghost Comic Box

This sweepstakes has concluded.

Congratulations to Matthew Foster who won the autographed Ghost Comic Box!

Enter below for a chance to win a BCW Ghost Short Comic Box autographed by Terry and Rachel Dodson, the cover artists of Dark Horse Ghost #1.


Enter below by Wednesday, January 20th, 2016. One entry per day per email address. Open to residents of the 48 contiguous United States. See the contest’s Official Rules for details.

See all BCW Comic Boxes.

Improved BCW Comic Boxes

The new BCW Short and Long Comic Boxes

The new BCW Short and Long Comic Boxes

In our continuing effort to provide you with the highest quality, most cost effective hobby supplies, we made some improvements to the BCW Short Comic Box and Long Comic Box. We have improved the design so they fold together easier and the corners are clean and square. This was accomplished by changing the corrugated double-wall construction from a combination of B and C flutes to a combination of B and E flutes. Additional benefits of the new designs are that bundles of the new boxes occupy less space, and the E flute on the outer wall provides for a much smoother surface.

Prior to implementing the design change, we ran two separate tests using samples of the BCW Short Comic Box in both configurations. Below are the results of those tests.

Original Design Flute Sample A Sample B
ECT B/C Flute 62 kN/m 51 kN/m
Mullen B/C Flute 241 psi 250 psi
New Design Flute Sample A Sample B
ECT B/E Flute 63 kN/m 51 kN/m
Mullen B/E Flute 245 psi 253 psi

The ECT, or Edge Crush Test, is a laboratory test method that is used to measure the cross-direction crushing of a sample of corrugated paperboard. It gives information on the ability of a particular board construction to resist crushing and is expressed in kilonewtons per meter (kN/m).

The Mullen test is used to measure the bursting strength of corrugated paperboard and is usually expressed in pounds per square inch (psi). Mullen tests are performed for each side of the paperboard, and the bursting strength is expressed as the average of both sides.

As you can see from the test results above, there is very little difference between the flute combinations in terms of edge crush or burst strength which is why we decided to take advantage of the benefits of the new design.

We are also adding UPC codes to each of our boxes, including the Short Comic Box and Long Comic Box, to support our customers who have point-of-sale systems, and for those who have integrated systems for warehouse, shipping, and receiving applications. Easy to follow instructions for the assembly of the Short Comic Box and Long Comic Box are now printed on the bottom panel and are hidden from view once the boxes are constructed.

Historic Library Converting into a Gaming and Comic Shop

All retail stores strive to find the perfect location for their business to grow. This is especially true for gaming and comic shops where the customers come to hangout in a fun environment. Todd Nightenhelser, owner of TCB Games in Huntington, Indiana is taking the challenge to make the ideal gaming and comic destination by moving his shop into a historic building – The Huntington Free Library.

The Huntington Indiana Carnegie Library

The Huntington Indiana Carnegie Library

Located at Warren St. and Park Dr. in downtown Huntington, the library stands where the first permanent hotel in Huntington was built by General John Tipton in 1835, however the original building was destroyed in 1873. In 1901, the School Board of Huntington received an offer from 19th-century industrialist Andrew Carnegie to construct a public library. Between 1886 and 1919, Carnegie’s donations helped create 1,679 libraries, bringing books within reach of millions of Americans. With matching donations from the local community, the Huntington Free Library was built in a neoclassical style and is larger than most Indiana Carnegie libraries.

Huntington originally grew in the 1800′s as a transportation hub as it’s located along the Wabash River. The Wabash and Erie Canal and railroads added to the city’s impact. When transportation methods shifted to trucking, this created a strain on Huntington. TCB Games and other Huntington business are providing creative ideas to help reinvent the beautiful downtown.

To transform the old library into a retail and community space, Todd faces several challenges. First, the building needs to be rezoned for commercial use. Second, the library needs to meet modern American Disabilities Act standards to make the site handicap accessible. This includes adding automatic doors, wheelchair ramps, handicap bathrooms and an elevator. At the same time, Todd is trying to maintain the historical significance of the building and manage the construction costs. Much of the 1903 library is in original condition, including beautiful wood molding, doors and staircases.

Todd Nightenhelser, Owner of TCB Games

Todd Nightenhelser, Owner of TCB Games

The main room features original bookshelves with a second level made with a floor of poured glass panels. Preserving the features of the library as it converts into a retail space is key to Todd’s plans.

For TCB Games to strive is a relatively small town, it has plans to partner with the community to make the new shop flourish in the library. In addition to selling video games, board games, card games and comics, Todd has plans to share the library with other local groups. The Huntington Literacy Coalition will utilize a room to support their goals. Additionally, Todd has spoken with Huntington University and the Boy Scouts about organizing activities at the library.

The reopening of The Free Library as the new TCB Games is scheduled for the fall of 2014. Todd has lots of creative ideas to develop this space into a fun gaming and comic shop. BCW Supplies will post a follow-up article after the grand reopening, but you can stay connected with the progress on the TCB Games Facebook Page or stop by their current location at 515 N. Jefferson St., Huntington, Indiana.

What’s Behind BCW Comic Book Backing Boards?

BCW Comic Book Backing BoardsIf 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

Are BCW Backing Boards Really “Acid Free”?

Comic book collectors are serious about keeping their comics in mint condition. Protecting their comics by bagging and boarding is common practice. So when BCW Supplies claims our backing boards are “acid free”, collectors say “prove it”. BCW welcomes the challenge.

Originally posted by BCW Supplies on a Collectors Society forum on June 9th, 2011, the article below shows the results of an independent test performed by the Chicago Paper Testing Laboratory. The “SBS” boards mentioned below are solid bleached sulphate, a virgin fiber grade of paperboard.

Once again we would like to thank mschmidt for his thought provoking study which you can find here;

Based on Mike’s data and conclusions we decided to have the products that are represented in his experiment tested at an independent laboratory. Mike had concluded “that [SBS] boards will actively contribute, on a molecular level, to the decay of your comic book from the moment they’re placed inside the bag” based on the results of his testing using a pHydrion pH pencil. Mike stated that the calcium carbonate coating of the SBS board was absorbing only the acid from the board itself and that over time the SBS board would become completely acidic. However, we at BCW stated that we believe Mike’s conclusion is in error. We suggested that the fact that the coated side of the BCW board became more acidic with use over a two year period indicates that some of the residual acid from the comic book is being absorbed by the calcium carbonate coating on the board. Further, we suggested that the fact that the uncoated side of the BCW board did not change in pH over a period of two years of use meant that acid was not migrating from the SBS board to the comic book. As you will see, the data below supports our position.

We submitted samples to Chicago Paper Testing Laboratories, Inc. on 20 July 2011 and I was present in the laboratory on Tuesday 2 August 2011 for some of the testing. We had the lab perform TAPPI T-435 (pH) on a comic book (Marvel Comics Presents #61), E. Gerber Half-Back, BCW Comic Backing Board, Bill Cole Thin X-Tender, Miller Hobby Comic Backing Board, and an Ultra Pro Comic Backing Board. We also had them perform ASTM D-4988 (Alkaline Reserve) on an E. Gerber Half-Back, BCW Comic Backing Board, Bill Cole Thin X-Tender, Miller Hobby Comic Backing Board, and an Ultra Pro Comic Backing Board. In addition, we had them perform TAPPI T-401 (Fiber Analysis) on an E. Gerber Half-Back, BCW Comic Backing Board, and Bill Cole Thin X-Tender. And finally, we had the laboratory perform ASTM D-776 (Artificial Ageing) on a comic book (Marvel Comics Presents #61) and backing boards from both E. Gerber and BCW for 10 and 20 years.

Let’s look at the results of TAPPI T-435 (pH) from the samples submitted;

Comic Book pH 5.4
E. Gerber Half-Back pH 8.52
BCW Comic Backing Board pH 8.47
Bill Cole Thin X-Tender pH 8.57
Miller Hobby Comic Backing Board pH 9.36
Ultra Pro Comic Backing Board pH 7.94

As you can see, the comic book is acidic as expected. The boards all have relatively the same pH with Miller Hobby at the top of the scale and Ultra Pro at the bottom.

Now let’s look at the results of ASTM D-4988 (Alkaline Reserve);

E. Gerber Half-Back 7.69%
BCW Comic Backing Board 3.64%
Bill Cole Thin X-Tender 6.57%
Miller Hobby Comic Backing Board 4.45%
Ultra Pro Comic Backing Board 4.72%

From the data we can see that the E. Gerber Half-Backs and Bill Cole Thin X-Tenders actually have more than twice the Alkaline Reserve as advertised. The SBS boards all have about the same Alkaline Reserve with Ultra Pro at the top of the scale and BCW Supplies on the bottom.

Let’s take a look at the results of ASTM D-776 (Artificial Ageing);

Aged 10 years

Comic Book pH 5.45
E Gerber Half-Back pH 8.07

Comic Book pH 5.44
BCW Comic Backing Board pH 7.62

Aged 20 years

Comic Book pH 5.27
E Gerber Half-Back pH 8.07

Comic Book pH 5.26
BCW Comic Backing Board pH 7.34

From the data we can see that the E. Gerber Half-Back’s pH level does not change over a 10 year period which suggests that the E. Gerber Half-Back does not absorb any residual acid from the comic book. This is the conclusion that we drew from Mike’s data originally, and it is also the position of E. Gerber that their product does not absorb any residual acid from a comic book. It only acts as a stiffener. As the BCW Comic Backing Board absorbs some of the phenolic acid that migrates from the pages of a comic book the pH level of the board naturally decreases as the buffer reaches the saturation point (which is why we recommend that you change your boards every 3 to 5 years). Phenolic acid is released as lignin breaks down in the pages of a comic book and exhibits itself as the yellow residue that you see on a comic backing board after several years of use.

Please note that ASTM D-776 does not allow for the micro-environment that is created when sealing a comic book in a bag with a backing board. Therefore, we were not able to confirm our hypothesis that a comic book will deteriorate more quickly if the phenolic acid is not absorbed.

Now let’s look at the results of TAPPI T-401 (Fiber Analysis);

E. Gerber Half-Back

Bleached Kraft Softwood 12.1%
Bleached Kraft Hardwood 55.9%
Groundwood 32%
Unbleached Kraft Hardwood 0%

BCW Comic Backing Board

Bleached Kraft Softwood 9.6%
Bleached Kraft Hardwood 90.4%
Groundwood 0%
Unbleached Kraft Hardwood Trace

Bill Cole Thin X-Tender

Bleached Kraft Softwood 17.2%
Bleached Kraft Hardwood 61.1%
Groundwood 21.7%
Unbleached Kraft Hardwood 0%

SBS is stabilized paper board, meaning that it is made using a chemical process (also known as bleaching) where the lignin is removed from the pulp. This process does leave some residual acid in the SBS from bleaching and a buffer of calcium carbonate is added to stabilize the sheet. The paper mills have a target pH level of between 6.5 and 7.2 which means that the lower the buffer the less residual acid that remains in the paper. Bill Cole Thin X-Tenders and E. Gerber Half-Backs and Full-Backs are made of VAT board which has a coating on both sides that is bleached, but the core of the VAT board is made using mechanical pulp and contains lignin. The reason that this is important is that the lignin will eventually break down and the board could become acidic depending on how much calcium carbonate is in the board and how much phenolic acid is released.

There is between 32% and 21.7% Groundwood in the E. Gerber Half-Backs and Bill Cole Thin X-Tenders respectively. Because Groundwood contains lignin, the VAT board requires a greater Alkaline Reserve to remain stable. Note that the Alkaline Reserve of the E. Gerber Half-Back is greater than that of the Bill Cole Thin X-Tenders. This is because there is more Groundwood in the E. Gerber Half-Back and therefore requires more calcium carbonate to achieve roughly the same pH level as the Bill Cole Thin X-Tender.

Attached are copies of the documentation that we received from the laboratory for your reference.

Chicago Paper Testing Laboratory – Report 45892

Chicago Paper Testing Laboratory – Report 45892- DATA