Confused about storing your comics? Don’t worry, every fledgling comic collector has wrestled with the terms “Silver age” and “Mylar”. Consider this a short primer on comic collection supplies.
First and foremost is the preservation of the comic book outright. You’re going to want to put it into a plastic bag with a rigid board backing (a “bag and board”). These come in various sizes corresponding to the differing sizes of comics and other printed collectables.
The most common size is “Silver”, which is for any standard-sized single issue comic books (or even some thinner graphic novels) from the 1960s to the present day. These offer easy bagging and will fit slightly thicker books with no problem. For a slightly tighter fit, “Current” sized bags and boards will be just big enough to squeeze your most recent comics in so they don’t shuffle side to side, but you might run into some problems with older books or thick issues. If that seems to be the case, or if you’re mostly in the market for comics from the 30s and 40s then “Gold”-sized supplies are the right ones for you, which are wider than both Current and Silver. Finally, we have “Magazine” size which, obviously, fits your average magazine (some comics also used to come in this size on some special issues).
Your next question will be “how well does this protect my comic?”. Your run-of-the-mill bags and boards will simply keep out macroscopic physical contaminants such as dust or (to some extent) liquids, and the board will keep the spine from bending and the pages from sagging. This is usually good enough for the majority of collectors but sometimes there’s that one expensive book you just have to go above and beyond on, and for that there’s Mylite and Mylar bags, which, in addition to protecting from everything regular bags protect from, will shield your books from UV rays which prevent fading of the cover. Everybody can appreciate a vibrant cover, so why not guarantee that your book will be the one with that cover?
Of course there’s always a few odds and ends to collecting and storing your comics, such as CGC-sized bags for graded books or boxes to put them in, but the main components of keeping a book nice through several years of storage is the ever-important bag and board.
For more information on storing your comics, check out this Big B Comics segment on Hamilton Life featuring owner and collection specialist, Walter Durajlija, talking about how to keep your books nice.