Comic Book Storage Solutions

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Comic Book Storage Solutions.

The hobby of reading and collecting comics, while enjoyable, can consume a lot of space. It fills up man-caves, bedrooms and bookshelves and spare rooms making a mess where ever there is free space. If you’re new to comics you might not be sure how to store your comics in an efficient manner and even more seasoned collectors can find this a daunting task as their collection grows.

These comic book storage solutions aim to help store your collection in a manner that will be kept in great condition, while consuming less space. With a little effort you will no longer have piles upon piles of comics all over the house allowing for free space for other important things – like more comics!

Note: Keep in mind that you will need to tailor these solutions to your own needs.

Bags and Boards

If you’re serious about keeping your comics in the best condition possible then you need to bag and board them. This process involves getting comic sized slip bags and placing your comic inside them. A backing board is then placed behind the comic in the bag, keeping it flat and rigid.

comic books bagged and board - comic book storage solutions

Some of my comics bagged and board.

By having your comics bagged and board your comic will not get damaged, whether this be while in storage, rifling through your collection or during transportation. It will also keep a level of damaging moisture away from comics – especially older comics that are made from cheaper paper. They also allow for your comics to be flat and stand straight, which makes them easier to be stored in a box or book shelf.

Bags and boards are easy to come by and should be found at any good comic book store or online.

Storage Boxes

Storage boxes are very sturdy cardboard boxes that are made specifically for storing comics. Good ones will be made from thick corrigated cardboard and even have hand holes to make it easier to carry them.

These boxes come in two different sizes with names that are self-explanatory: shortboxes and longboxes.

A shortbox will fit roughly 150-200* comics, while a longbox will fit 200-250*. If you have a large collection longboxes are the way to go, although keep in mind that when full they are quite heavy and difficult to carry. If you have a smaller collection then shortboxes are totally fine.

comic book storage box - comic book storage solutions

Some of my comics in a storage box.

An advantage of these sturdy boxes are they they are built to take great weight so they can be stacked on top of each other. Although I would use your best judgement as to how many you tack on top of each other. I also suggest these boxes over regular cardboard boxes as they built quite solid and to the right dimensions for comic books.

While the cardboard boxes are the most popular, there is also a corrugated plastic variety that’s even more durable. Even though it a bit more pricey I would highly recommend investing in them if you are storing your comics in a basement, attic or garage as it will withstand the elements much more successfully. The last thing you want is your comic box falling apart because it has been attacked by a moist or humid environment.

* These figures will depend on the number of pages of the comics and more importantly if the comic is bagged and board or not.

Filing Cabinet

This solution is a little bit more off-beat and expensive but quite effective if set up correctly. Having a filing cabinet to store comics allows for you to store hundreds of comics in a space effective manner. As the draws slide out, a filing cabinet can make find the right comic much more accessible.

As mentioned before, it’s one of the more costly solutions so I suggest tracking down a second-hand cabinet. Check classifieds and used office furniture stores and you should find one at a good price.

An example of using a filing cabinet to store comics books - comic book storage solutions

To find out more about storing your comics in a filing cabinet click here.

Binding

This is a solution I came across while browsing reddit. Essentially, this solution is getting a portion of your collection and having it bound into a hardback volume. The end result looks similar to an encyclopaedia volume and can be easily stored on the shelf. From the examples I have seen many collect creative runs or whole series, which allows the comics to be all in the one place.

An example of comic book binding. The New Warriors - comic book storage solutions

An example of comic book binding. Source: photo taken by reddit user citizenzac.

Binding is a great idea if you enjoy comics more for reading than collecting, as having them bound will ruin any value they may have. But if you’re not concerned about playing the speculative market and the comics are more enjoyment then this might be a solution for you.

I recommend that you do this with a large collection of comics as the process is not particularly cheap, so you’re better of getting a big batch done at one time.

There are plenty of tutorials online if you wish to do it yourself, otherwise there are services like Houchen Binding who specialise in it.

Plastic Accordion File Folders

I came across this idea recently and it’s one that I think could really suit those who have a smaller collection and don’t really go through the trouble of bagging an boarding. You can read more about it here.

IKEA

IKEA, the Swedish furniture juggernaut, is known for its relationship testing labyrinth stores, meatballs and modernist flat-packed furniture. But did you know IKEA is a good alternative for comic book storage solutions? In this guide I point out some of the IKEA products you can use to store your comics.

Where Do I Store My Comics?

If you want to keep your comics in the best condition possible you need to consider where you store your comics.

Places you need to avoid include;

  • Garages
  • Sheds
  • Basements
  • Attics
  • Outdoors

Essentially anywhere your comics will be exposed to heat and/or moisture is a no go.

The best place to store your comics is in a dry, dark place like a spare room, wardrobe or cupboard. Trade paperback and hardcovers are generally stored on a bookshelf, like you would do with a regular book or novel.

How Do I Organise My Comics?

If you want to organise your comic book collection but not sure how I have written a handy guide. As part of the research for the guide I organised my own collection. This allowed me to make all the mistakes so you don’t have to.

Need Inspiration?

If you need some inspiration or looking for a comic book storage solution that is a little bit different, check out the Robot 6 column, Shelf Porn. Shelf Porn is a showcase of people’s collections, man-caves and collection rooms and is always great to look at.

You can find even more comic book storage solutions in this fantastic article I was quoted in on Storage.com. A great article for those considering storing their comics in a storage unit.

How Do You Store Your Comics?

Feel free to leave your experiences with comic book storage solutions in the comments below or via the How to Love Comics Facebook or Twitter.

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Trevor Van As

Trevor Van As is the founder of How to Love Comics and has loved comics all his life. When he's not reading or talking about comics he can be found eating frozen yogurt and dancing like no one is watching.

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Comments (22)

  • Great advice here. But I have a quick question I’m hoping you may be able to help me with. For my collection I have 3 short boxes and 1 long drawer box of modern era comics. With all of them it is difficult to line up the books so they are staggered and not neatly lined up. Anyway to fix this? Thanks.

  • Before I started collecting comics i already had a fairly large book and manga collection (4 bookshelves worth and growing). My husband and I live in a townhome and my comic boxes were starting to drive him crazy. I started researching way to possibly store them on a bookshelf to save room and came up with this:

    I buy the BCW binder bags and store 2 comics to a page in them with a board. Then I hand sew anywhere from 2-5 pages (depending on how large the series is) together. Then I use a craft glue on the extra plastic (the one with the holes for the binder) and glue a binding bar on (the ones used for holding reports together). That way, when its on the shelf I have a way to label the set.

  • Do you believe it would be alright to store them in shoe boxes? The comics themselves (silver age) would be in plastic covers. The shoe boxes with the comics in them will be set on a shelf in my room. Thank you!

    • Hey Brian, good question. Make sure that the shoe box is large enough to fit the comics flying perfectly flat to avoid damage. I would also put a backing board in the plastic covers too if possible to keep flat. Finally, make sure there is no weight put on the box, the last thing you want is for the comics to be accidentally crushed.

  • how would you recommend storing volumes? My initial thought was to just bag and board them, same as the smaller issues, but I’m unsure if they’ll fit the bags.

    • Hi Sofie, great question. Usually with my trade paperback volumes I generally just store them on a bookshelf. As long as they are away from the elements or not positioned unconventionally they are generally fine. If you want you want to bag them you could you Silver Age sized bags. These are are larger than regular ones and will fit mos trade paperback volumes. You’ll be able to get these at any good comic book store or online.

    • If the comic book came bagged then it’s safe to keep your comic in it. If it’s more flimsy plastic then it probably not.

    • A lot of sellers will put all comics in silver age bags so they don’t have to use several different kinds of bags, this saves them time and money. These bags can actually damage your bronze and current age comics because they slide around in there and bump the corners. It’s best to put your comics in proper fitting bags as soon as you can.

  • I just made myself a comic box out of a regular cardboard shipping box however i was told that these boxes absorb moisture. Is that true or should I be ok for a little while? At least until I can get myself an actual comic box. have all my comics bagged and boarded.

    • Unless the cardboard is covered in wax or something similar mist cardboard boxes would be susceptible to some kind of moisture. You should be fine as long as your not keeping the boxes anywhere which has a high humidity or could possibly leak.

  • I am thinking of setting up my room like a comic book store. I like the idea with the boxes but do you have any other ideas.

    • Hi Jordan! A lot of comic book stores seem to have custom shelving units. If you’re a bit handy with the tools you could whip something up. Or you could track down an old school spinner rack and use it to show off some of your favourite comics ?

  • How many boxes can be stacked on top of each other safely? Is there a different number of boxes, depending on if they are short or long boxes? Thanks!

    • I would say 3 or 4 short boxes or 2 or 3 long boxes would be safe. I guess it depends on how sturdy they are. Also you don’t want to stack to high because they can get really heavy when full you don’t want to hurt yourself lifting them from a high stack.

    • Hi! I think it will depend on the shape of the bin and whether or not it is the right size and a flat surface inside. Comics generally store better standing up as when on top of each other the pile becomes a bit shaped like a smile and not flat.