Everything You Need to Collect Comic Books
Comic Book collecting has been around a long time, but the hobby is seeing a resurgence in popularity as kids look for comics with the characters from the popular Hollywood movies like Iron Man, Avengers, Suicide Squad, etc. Then of course their are the adult comic book collectors who are looking to recapture a bit of their youth by collecting the comics they had years ago, and maybe pick up some of the key issues that they couldn't afford before.
When it comics to comics, condition means everything so if you’re going to jump into the world of comic book collecting you’re going to need the right gear to protect your valuable collection. We have put together a list of essential items for the comic book collector so you know exactly what you need to preserve your collection. Come Christmas or birthday time, you can share this list with your mom as well so she knows just what to get.
Comic Bags and Boards
The first thing you need is a way to protect your individual comics. That means you need to purchase comic bags and boards. Basically these are protective sleeves that keep your comics safe, and the boards provide a stiff backing to the comic to prevent spine stress. Putting the comic in the bag with a board is like a vault for your precious book.
There are a few different brands out there, and all of them have overwhelmingly positive reviews (and just a few detractors). We tend to buy BCW for all of our supplies just because we like them. We also don’t mind paying the couple extra dollars to get the resealable comic bags. These are extra helpful since you don't need to put all those little pieces of tape on the back flap to hold it closed. Both the bags and the boards are acid free so they should last for years. Check out comic bags and boards by clicking here.
After you have all of your comics bag and boarded, next you need to get a comic box to store all those in. Most collectors start out with the plain white cardboard ones and those work fine, but if you want to go a step up and protect your most valuable comics then BCW makes a special high impact comic box that’s reasonably priced as well. It’s available in short only which suits us just fine because short comic boxes fit better on shelves and the space we have in our closet.
Check out the video above showing how easy the box is to put together, and how easy it is to install ridgid dividers into the box. The coolest feature is the little slot on the front which gives you a spot to add a collector card to specially mark each of the boxes. Get a BCW short comic bin by clicking here.
Comic Book Dividers
Comic dividers are not an absolute necessity, but worth the few extra dollars to help keep your comics organized. Putting these plastic dividers between titles will make it really easy to go right to whatever character or series you’re looking for – rather than flip through the box trying to find the right book. Comic dividers are available in a bunch of colors so you can get creative and match to a character. These dividers have a built in tab for name labels.
There are also some special dividers that come with a numbered list for easy cataloging of your collection. We prefer the plain plastic ones since we keep a separate checklist in a notebook, but some collectors love these checklist style comic dividers. Get your comic book dividers by clicking here.
A Comic Price Guide
You need a basic idea of what your comic collection is worth which is why you should get a price guide. The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is the industry standard. Sure, prices on the hottest comics will fluctuate but we find that the guide is pretty accurate all year long. Another good reason to have a comic price guide is to use it like a checklist. The Overstreet guide is pretty huge, but serves as a master list of almost every comic out there. The guide also helps you to decide what to collect.
You may dream about collecting every Superman comic ever made, but looking at the prices for early and key issues makes for a quick reality check. You may want to focus on a second series of a comic, appearances by a certain character or villain, etc. The price guide helps you to define and decide what comics you can afford and want to collect. Then if you find that your collecting choices have changed you can price your trade bait to work a deal with fellow collectors. Get the Overstreet Comic Price Guide by clicking here.
The Best Place to Store a Comic Book Collection
What’s the best way to store a comic book collection? After you have the comic’s bagged and boarded and in a comic box, it’s important to keep your collection in a stable environment with as little moisture as possible. That means the basement is probably off limits unless you have spent the money to keep it water proof and dry.
For most collectors, especially young ones, the closet or under a bed is probably where you’re going to store your collection. And you know what? That’s a great spot. It’s dry, cool, and there’s no chance of your comics getting water damaged (unless you still wet the bed – which makes the plastic BCW box above a must have). Keeping comics in a closet or under the bed also limits the exposure to sunlight which can fade and damage your collection.
Eventually if you’re collection really grows you will need to consider other ways to store a collection. Plenty of comic geeks have books stuffed into every nook and cranny of their homes, but for newbie collectors the closet will work just fine and keep your collection in near mint condition for years to come.