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By Justin Webb of JUSTCOMICS

In their quest to protect and maintain their comics, collectors face two sources of damage : mechanical damage and chemical degeneration. Mechanical damage such as knocks and spills can cause swift and irreperable loss of value, and the solution is to protect the comic with purpose- made bags, backers and boxes.

Chemical Degeneration is an inevitable process which happens to all papers.

Comics, traditionally made of lower grade paper, suffer more than most.

Chemical degeneration can be accelerated by contact with certain environmental factors, so keep your collectibles away from extremes of heat and humidity, and minimise the time they spend in sunlight. Unfortunately, one of the foremost causes of degeneration is comics themselves, which exude acids. Calcium buffered backer boards actually "mop-up" acids and should be replaced every few years. ("Acid-free" is not the same as "calcium- buffered".

Acid-free means that the boards were free of acids at the time of manufacture , but does not account for any degradation that may have occurred thereafter.)

Mylar sleeves are chemically inert and are undoubtedly the medium of choice for archiving; they are used by most libraries and collectors throughout the world including the US Library of Congress. If Mylars are beyond your means and you are using polythene bags for protection, you should replace them regularly.

Mylar is a ®Registered Trademark of Dupont Co.

Collectorline is a ®Registered Trademark of Justin Ebbs.

For more information on comic collecting visit or contact Justin Ebbs