Comic book collecting can be a fun and rewarding hobby for enthusiasts of all ages. But if you're new to the hobby, getting started can be overwhelming. There are so many different comics, publishers, and grading systems to navigate.
This beginner's guide will provide an introduction to the basics of comic book collecting, including how to find comics, how to grade them, and how to care for your collection.
WHAT TO COLLECT
The first step in comic book collecting is deciding what to collect. This will depend on your personal interests and budget. Some collectors focus on a particular character, series, or publisher, while others collect comics based on rarity or investment potential.
If you're just starting out, it's a good idea to focus on a character or series that you enjoy reading. This will keep you motivated and interested in your collection. Popular characters like Batman, Spider-Man, and Superman have numerous series and spin-offs, so there's always something new to collect.
Another option is to collect based on rarity or investment potential. This can be more expensive, as rare or key issues can command high prices. However, if you're willing to invest in your collection, it can pay off in the long run. Key issues are typically the first appearances of characters, major events, or issues with significant historical importance.
WHERE TO BUY
Once you've decided what to collect, it's time to start building your collection. There are several ways to acquire comics, including
- Comic Shops - Local comic shops are a great place to start your collection. They often have a wide selection of new and back issues, and the staff can offer helpful advice on what to collect.
- Online Retailers - Online retailers like Amazon, eBay, and Midtown Comics are also great places to find comics. They often have a larger selection than local shops, and you can often find deals on bulk purchases.
- Comic-Con - Comic conventions are a fun way to meet other collectors and browse a wide selection of comics. Many conventions also offer exclusive variant covers or limited-edition comics.
- Garage Sales: Garage sales and estate sales can be a treasure trove of comics. Many people don't realize the value of their collections and sell them for a fraction of their worth.
- Thrift Stores - Thrift stores often have a small selection of comics, but you can sometimes find hidden gems.
- Friends and Family - Don't overlook the people in your life when building your collection. Friends and family members may have comics they're willing to part with, or they may know someone who does.
HOW TO STORE AND PRESERVE YOUR COLLECTION
Once you've started building your collection, it's important to take care of it. Proper storage is crucial for keeping your collection in tip-top shape. Here are a few tips for preserving the value of your prized collection:
Grade Your Comics
One of the most important aspects of comic book collecting is grading. Comics are graded on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest grade. The grade of a comic book is based on its condition, including factors such as page quality, cover condition, and spine stress. It's important to learn how to grade comics accurately so you don't overpay for a comic in poor condition.
Store your Comics in Acid-Free, Archival-Quality Bags, and Boards
Your prized collection is only as valuable as the level of protection you give it. Invest in premium comic protectors like mylar bags or oriented polypropylene bags, archival-grade and acid-free plastic sleeves, and comic book backer boards. These will protect your prized comic book from unwanted elements and other accidental damage, keeping them in pristine condition for years to come.
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Be Careful When Handling Your Comic
It’s important to handle comic books with care. Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling comics to prevent oils and dirt from transferring to the pages. Use a flat surface when reading or examining comics to prevent bending or creasing. And, when removing comic books from bags and boards, use caution to prevent tearing or damaging the pages.
Avoid Stacking Too Many Comics
Stacking too many comics on top of each other can cause the weight to damage the comics on the bottom. Don't stack your comics too high, as this can cause spine stress. Storing comics upright in a sturdy box can help prevent spine damage.
Keep Them in a Cool, Dry Place Out of Direct Sunlight
High temperatures and humidity can cause irreversible damage to comic pages, so it's best to store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and discoloration. Never store your comics in a basement or attic where they can be exposed to moisture or extreme temperature changes.
Whether you're a newbie or a professional collector, taking care of your collection is a must. Share this passion for protecting and preserving your valuable comic book collection with EVORETRO. Start building your own collection and enjoy the art and timeless stories that comics have to offer. Happy collecting!