Panelology (comic book appreciation)
The collecting of comic books, old and new can be related to nostalgia, investment, art appreciation and more. Afficionados tend to appreciate certain genres, series’ and artists, and with some comic books running to thousands of editions, the opportunities for collecting are infinite.
The superheros of the 1930’s, Superman, Batman and their ilk, first came to mass popularity in 1930’s America and were a fantastic visual interpretation of current pop culture, examining in their pages political themes and cultural problems as well as the basic hero stories they convey. Many of the comics which came to the UK in 30s and 40s were American imports, as is much of the material we see today. Japanese comics, or anime, are a huge part of Japanese pop culture and are much admired by many British collectors.
If you choose to collect, for pleasure or profit, it is crucial to make sure you store your comics properly. Many shops will now poly bag and card for you as a matter of course, which helps. Being paper, comics are very susceptible to atmosphere and light damage. Sunlight can bleach pages or turn them yellow, and moisture in the air can cause damage to the pages.
Check that the backing boards used are acid free, as some can erode the paper. The polyethylene bags are suitable for personal storage, but if you are archiving properly, these bags can contain substances which are not suitable for long term storage. Mylar archival sleeves are a safer option. Keep them stored in plastic boxes to protect from vermin and atmospheric changes, in a safe pace away from direct sunlight and possible moisture sources.
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