Comic book collector Chuck Rozanski got a very interesting phone call in January of 1977.
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 upfront, and 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.
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.
Comic Book Storage Ideas
According to the Comic Book Collecting Associations, books from attics are usually tanned and brittle, while books stored in basements are musty with rusty staples.
Here is the ideal way to store comic books:
• In a constant temperature of 50 to 65 degrees
• In a relative humidity between 40 and 60 percent (50 percent is ideal)
• In a dark environment with limited exposure to light
• Store books standing upright in an archival safe comic box
• Do not place boxes directly on concrete
Climate-Controlled Storage Units
If you have a spare closet on the first or second floor of your house, that may be a suitable place to store your collection—as long as your home never gets too hot, cold, humid, or dry.
Another option is to rent a climate-controlled storage unit. Such units are dark and controlled for both temperature and humidity.
At StorageMart, we offer climate-controlled self storage units that can be rented on a month-by-month basis. Check out our storage unit guide to find a place for your comic books and other collectibles that can be damaged by exposure to heat and temperature swings. Contact us to rent a unit online today.