In January of 1977, comic book collector Chuck Rozanski picked up the phone for a remarkably interesting conversation.
A realtor was looking to unload a bunch of old comic books stashed in the basement of a house she had recently sold in Denver. The homeowner, Edgar Church, was near death and his family wanted the home cleared out.
When Rozanski arrived, he found 18,000 comics from the late 1930s to the early 1950s—all in unbelievably good condition. He offered to sell the comics on consignment, but the family wanted cash up front. Rozanski bought the collection for less than $2,000.
Today, the total estimated value of the collection is around $50 million.
Church, who likely had no idea of the value of the collection, took a big chance by storing his comics in the basement. Imagine if his basement had flooded. Or if a hungry rodent had found the collection. Or if a hot or cold spell had wreaked havoc on the paper.
Church also had a bit of luck in that Denver is one of the least humid cities in the United States. If Church had lived in Miami or even the Midwest, the comic books’ value would have been slashed.
So – how can you store your comic books and keep their value? As storage experts, we have some insights that will help.
Comic Book Storage Do’s and Don’ts
According to the Comic Book Collecting Association, books from attics are usually tanned and brittle, while books stored in basements are musty with rusty staples.
Here is the best way to store comic books:
- Keep comics at a constant temperature of 50 to 65 degrees
- Maintain a relative humidity between 40 and 60 percent (50 percent is ideal)
- Store books standing upright in an archival safe comic box
- Use cardboard backing and plastic protective covers – these will help prevent bending and folding.
Try to avoid:
- Placing boxes directly on the floor.
- Stacking comics on top of each other (if you can’t avoid it, no more than 4)
- Exposing them to large amounts of light – Batman prefers night
- Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy them. Comics only became a hot commodity because everyone wanted to read them, but it was hard to find preserved comics. Keep the hobby alive by sharing your favorites with your friends and family.
How Comic Books are Valued
Founded in 2000, Certified Guarantee Company (CGC) is the first independent third-party comic book grading service. Since it began, it has graded more than 2 million comic books.
Today, a CGC rating is usually given to any comic of value that’s for sale. It represents the condition the comic book is in, on a scale of 1 to 10. A rating of 1 means “fair,” while a rating of 10 means “gem mint.”
Take a look at the 10 most valuable comic books in the world and their CGC ratings
Storing Comic Books Safely in Climate Controlled Storage Units
It’s easy to keep those comic books in your closet or garage, but it’s almost impossible to guarantee that the weather outside won’t lead to the accelerated deterioration of your beloved collection. If Mother Nature is enemy number one to your favorite adventures, consider a climate controlled self storage as your fortress of solitude. This type of storage unit can regulate the internal temperature of your space, ensuring the items inside are not subjected to wild swings between hot and cold temps. An easy option for storing comic books safely is renting a climate controlled storage unit. which are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate collections of all sizes
At StorageMart, we offer climate-controlled self storage units that can be rented on a month-by-month basis. Check out our Self Storage Calculator to find the perfect sized unit for your comic books and other collectibles that can be damaged by exposure to heat and temperature swings. Easily rent a unit online today for our lowest prices.