Comic restoration and archiving are practices that have been carried for years; since the introduction of the world’s first comic. As soon as a comic is published and released to the public, environmental forces start working immediately to alter the original look of the comic. Environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, as well as human and manmade pollutants begin to destroy the ink and the paper. As such, many serious comic book collectors have to find ways to maintain and restore comic books that they have had for a long time.
The process of restoration requires the use of specialized techniques and equipment to make it possible. Not only will the repair supplies protect comics for personal enjoyment but they help to maintain the comic’s value for re-sale purposes. Luckily, most of the repair supplies are found readily in many local comic shops. Here are 5 Necessary Tools for Comic Book Restoration and Archiving:
Invest In Some Acid Papers – No, Not The Kind Jerry Garcia Likes
Paper deteriorates over an extended period to become brittle and yellow through a process of acidification. De-acidification paper, when interlocked into the comic book pages, prevents harmful pollutants from acting on the comic book. It also helps to neutralize the process of acidification, keeping your comics fresher for longer.
In the absence of de-acidification paper, one can also use a spray that delays the acidification process. The spray soaks into the paper and quickly evaporates leaving an alkaline buffer that protects the pages.
Bag It Up In Storage Bags
Storage bags are essential because they protect the cover of the comic book, keeping it safe away from the harmful elements. Most people prefer to use polymer storage bags because they are cheap and widely available. However, the best protection is given by Mylar bags that can protect the comic book for as long as 100 years.
Straighten Them Out With Boards
Backboards are used to prevent your comics from bending, cracking or folding. You must ensure that your backboard is sturdy enough and free from contamination otherwise, it will do the opposite of what it is supposed to do. Most primary boards are layered with a calcium carbonate buffer that offers protection to the comic book.
Keep It Dry
A desiccant is a material that absorbs moisture in a contained space. Desiccants are usually placed inside the storage boxes to absorb any moisture that may be trapped inside. They are available in small sachets and can be found readily in most chemistry shops. You may also look into investing in air compressors from Porter Cable and Campbell Hausfeld – to keep dust away from your archives regardless of where you store them.
Box ‘Em Up In Your Inner Sanctum
Any collection that you have must be stored in a box that is free of contamination. The box will not only help with the organization of the comic books, but it will also protect the books from physical harm.
There are plenty more things to learn in the realm of comic book restoration and archival – many of which you only learn after decades in the art.