How to Bag and Board Your Comic

of 05

Getting Started

A bagged and boarded comic book. Aaron Albert

The bag and board are the primary way that comic book collectors protect and store their treasured possessions. Without these simple devices, a comic book will simply be destroyed by the elements, as comic books are usually made of fairly flimsy paper. 

Use this guide to learn how to bag and board your comics properly, allowing you to read them for decades.

of 05

Items You Need – Comic Book Bag and Board

Items Needed. Aaron Albert

There are actually three kinds of comic book bags — Polypropylene, Polyethylene, and Mylar. It is important to know about the different grades of comic book bags and what they offer the collector.

Polypropylene is the cheapest kind of bag out there and is considered by some to be of low quality. Some suppliers won’t even sell bags made of this material, as it will deteriorate and turn yellow much more quickly than the other two. On the plus side, the bag is very clear and makes your comic look nice in the glossy plastic.

Polyethylene is another kind of comic book bag. Comic bags made of this material last much longer than their polypropylene counterparts and only need to be changed after seven or eight years. They are slightly milky in color and let in less light, and are much stronger than the lower grade of comic bags for a slightly higher cost.

Mylar is considered to be the most archival in nature and will basically last a lifetime. These are much thicker and made of a different material than the poly bags. They are usually in sleeves, and one must be careful, as the thicker Mylar ends can actually tear a comic book. Mylar is considered the top of the line but can cost as much as four times as much as the poly bags.

Comic Book Board

There should be only one question when it comes to a comic book board. Is it acid-free? If it is not, move on and purchase the acid-free ones. The acid in the board will eventually leach into the comic and damage the paper. 

Current, Gold, Or Silver?

One other thing to consider is that you need to have the right size of bag and board for your comic book. Comics in the past were made in different sizes than current comic books. The three typical sizes are Golden Age (late 1930s to 1950s) comic books, Silver Age. (1950s to 1970) comic books, and current (present day) comic books. If you get a bag that is too big or too small, you risk damaging your comic. The size is almost always on the packaging. When in doubt, ask a comic book store worker for help.

of 05

Inserting the Comic Into the Bag

Inserting the comic into the bag. Aaron Albert

Once you have all the materials, the next part is to get the comic book safely into the bag. The first two options are to insert the comic into the bag first and then insert the board in behind it or insert the board into the bag first and then insert the comic afterward. Of these two methods, it's generally easier to slide the comic into the bag with the board in place.

A third method is to put the comic book onto the board and slide them into the bag together. If you have the board showing a bit on the bottom of the comic, you have much less chance of damaging the corners or cover of the comic from sliding against the bag.

of 05

Sealing It All In

A folded in comic bag. Aaron Albert

The last step is to seal your comic book in so that the comic book won’t easily slide out. There are usually a couple of methods to this: either folding the flap on the inside behind the board or using some kind of tape on the back.

Those that fold worry about re-opening their comic books and getting the tape caught on the comic book, which can seriously degrade the condition of the comic. Those that tape their comic books see the tape as completely securing the comic in place. Either way, try to get as much air out of the bag as possible when you seal it. This will help to keep it from degrading.

of 05

One Step Further - Storage

DrawerBox. Aaron Albert

Once you have your comic book in a bag and board, then what do you do with it? You want a nice dry place with a constant low temperature, usually someplace inside your house. Heat, light, and moisture are all enemies for your comic book, so pick wisely. Most people store their comics in some kind of comic book box, such as DrawerBoxes.