Tips for packing comic books for transport
If you are one of those people who used to dress up as Batman every Halloween, has known the names of all the X-Men ever since high school, or has a calendar of upcoming Dark Horse releases, then you might just be a comics enthusiast. And odds are that you have your own collection. Maybe it’s just your favorite Grant Morrison run of Doom Patrol or maybe it’s every issue of Avengers ever published. But either way, your comics are probably very important to you. And comics don’t just have sentimental value – they can also be very expensive. When the time comes to move house or put things away in Seattle storage, it’s only natural to be a little nervous. You don’t want anything to happen to your collection, do you? Properly packing comic books for transport will help you prevent that.
Before packing comic books for transport, consider paring down your collection
The best and most valuable collections are the ones that are exclusive. While you may love each and every comic you’ve ever owned, you should periodically ask yourself if you really need them all. Do you have any duplicates? Any issues that you’ve damaged beyond repair over time? Perhaps items you don’t like that don’t have much value? As you’re packing for Issaquah self storage, you’ll go through all your comics. So, this is the perfect time to get rid of the comics you don’t need anymore. That is not to say that you should throw out the entire collection. But even selling off a few issues can make packing easier and earn a pretty penny.
Use the right materials when packing comic books for transport
Comic books, like most collectibles, are pretty fragile. They are easy to tear, stain, fold, crease, and otherwise damage if you’re not careful. And when you’re putting them in Mill Creek self storage, the packaging you put them in is their first line of defense against outside elements. So it’s very important to use high-quality materials to protect your comics. Here’s what you will need:
- backing boards and plastic sleeves for every comic that doesn’t already have them
- special backing boards for long-term use for comics you’re storing for five years or more
- cardboard sheets somewhat larger than the comics themselves
- sturdy cardboard boxes (or another type of moving and storage containers)
- painters’ tape and regular tape
- markers or labels
A step-by-step guide to packing comic books for transport
Once you have all your materials, it’s time for the hard part. So how do you go about packing your comics when you need to move them somewhere?
Bag and board individual comics
The first step is to give your comic books some individual care. You’ll need to bag and board each individual issue. Some of your comic books, especially those that are very valuable, might have actually come into your possession already bagged and boarded because this is always the basic first step to comic preservation.
But for those issues that you’ve opened and read, you’ll need a backing board and a plastic sleeve. Put your comic on the glossy side of the backing board. Then, put the boarded comic in the plastic sleeve. Make sure there is no air in the sleeve before sealing it. This will prevent folding and protect from the elements during transport.
Divide comics into stacks and wrap the stacks in plastic
Individual comic books are not very heavy. But a whole stack of them can be! If you have a large collection, you’ll probably have to divide it between several boxes so that none of them are too heavy to lift. Use cardboard sheets to divide individual issues for extra protection.
If you’re worried about comics sliding around and creasing, tape the bagged and boarded issues to the cardboard dividers for safety. When you make a big enough stack to fill a box, wrap it in plastic for an extra layer of protection. You’ll want to store comic books upright. But if you’re just transporting them, they’re better off lying horizontally.
Pack in a reinforced, insulated box
When purchasing packing materials, pay special attention to the kind of boxes you’re getting. For comic books, you’ll want sturdy and durable boxes. If necessary, reinforce them with tape. Put a layer of insulating cushioning at the bottom – polystyrene beans, packing peanuts, bubble wrap, or crumpled and shredded paper. Then slide the stack of comics into the box.
Finally, fill the remaining space in the box with cushioning material too. Only use newspaper and other printed paper for this if you’re positive all your comics are securely wrapped in plastic. Otherwise, the ink from the paper might bleed and stain your comics.
Seal and label the box
Once everything is in place, close the box. Before sealing it, shake it a bit – the comics should move as little as possible inside. When you’re satisfied with how steady the box is, seal it with tape. Don’t forget to clearly label the box as fragile. Use a label or write FRAGILE on multiple sides of the box in big printed letters. You don’t want your comics to move around much so it’s best to also mark which side of the box should go up.
Keep comics away from direct sunlight or heat during transportation and storage
In order for your comics to stay in perfect condition, they need to be transported and stored away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Exposure to direct sunlight can fade the ink. Very high or very low temperatures can affect the quality of the paper. So even with all other protections, you risk serious damage to your comics if you expose them to these conditions.
Therefore, when you’re packing comic books for transport, make sure you use new boxes that are whole, undamaged, and properly sealed. If you have a lot of rare and expensive limited editions, you should even consider climate control in storage and transport. This will add to the cost of transporting and storing comics. But it can be worth the price for valuable collectibles.