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.
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 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.
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.
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 efficient manner. As the draws slide out, a filing cabinet can make finding 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.
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.
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, 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;
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.
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.