The # 1 Comic Book Enemy is Acid
Unless your paper is made from cotton rag – which is very rare due to its high cost, most of the paper that your comics are printed on is made from wood pulp. Mechanical pulping produces paper with the shortest fiber length and does not remove lignin from the wood which promotes acid hydrolysis* and causes paper deterioration over time. You can read more about ‘The Deterioration and Preservation of Paper’ at the Library of Congress.
We have three products that help neutralize or eliminate acids in your comics. The first is our acid-free backing boards, the second is Micro-Chamber paper and the third is Bookkeeper Deacidification Spray. Below we talk about the benefits of using these products.
Comic Backing Boards
We stock four different grades of backings. Only the .028″ thick board and the .040″ thick board should be used for long-term storage. They are acid-free and will absorb and neutralize acids. The .024″ and the .030″ should be used for short-term storage only. We will discuss those in another article. Our Comic Backer Boards are properly sized to fit into our poly bags. https://www.bagsunlimited.com/category/6/comic-poly-bags.
- For Long-Term Storage, our STANDARD ACID-FREE backing is acid-free all the way through. Acid-free board can trap migrating acids in paper and neutralize it. Use our .028” thick board for intermediate to long-term storage. White on both sides. This board is not buffered with 3% calcium carbonate.
- For Indefinite Storage use our all white, SUPER ACID-FREE .040″ thick board. This board is not only acid-acid free (alkaline 8.0-9.0) but it is 100% alpha cellulose board and is buffered with a 3% calcium carbonate. Buffering keeps the board from breaking down indefinitely as well as blocks migrating acids from entering the comic. This acid-free, lignin-free, and contaminant-free board is Museum grade archival and is suitable for conservation. It meets the Library of Congress Archival Standards for indefinite storage.
What is Microchamber Paper and why do I need it for long-term storage?
MicroChamber Paper is a thin, pure white, exceptionally uniform 100% cotton paper, containing an unobtrusive watermark for easy identification. It is approximately one half the thickness of a sheet of bond paper and contains dispersed molecular traps that remove and neutralize acids, pollutants and the harmful by-products of deterioration. It also eliminates odors such as smoke, mold, and mildew.
MicroChamber paper is used when storing comics long term. Experts place one sheet each into the front and back covers before sealing the comic in a graded comic case, or Polyester Sleeve like our American made Archival Armor® Mylar sleeve.
And if that wasn’t enough, we also have deacidification spray. Although it is suggested that a conservator should do the deacidifying process, we have sold the Bookkeeper spray for years and have found it to be a non-toxic, environmentally-safe, acid-neutralizer. The magnesium oxide neutralizes the acid, leaving an alkaline reserve permanently fixed in the cellulose fibers and provides 1% buffer. It is a simple process and does not have a negative impact on the print or colors.
8 oz. pump. Covers 25 sq. ft. Nontoxic, environmentally-safe, acid-neutralizer. Works on all materials without negative impact on print or colors. The magnesium oxide neutralizes acid, leaving an alkaline reserve permanently fixed in the cellulose fibers. Provides 1% buffer.
We hope this information helps you preserve your collectibles, valuables, investments, or heirlooms. Collection protection is our specialty so if you have any questions or comments, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you.