The 7 Best Comic Book Sleeves For Your Collection
Comic books are meant to be protected. You don’t just throw them in a box unprotected and store them away. That is why comic book sleeves were created.
Comic books fade and disintegrate when exposed to sunlight. Comic books are made from paper and are susceptible to rot and other environment-caused damage.
Whether you are collecting comics for pleasure or investment, you need to protect them.
You need to invest in comic book sleeves. They are also known as comic book bags, but “sleeve” is a more apt term.
And this is not a complete list. I will review more products in the future.
Comic Book Sleeves 101
There are three kinds of comic book sleeves.
Comic sleeves made out of polypropylene are the most common kind of comic book sleeve on the market. They are very cheap.
However, polypropylene comic book sleeves do not diffuse the natural gases emitted from paper. The comics stored within can fade, become discolored, or rot.
Make sure that the polypropylene sleeves you use contain no acid. The cheapness of manufacturing will degrade your comic books further.
Still, polypropylene comic sleeves are prone to sticking on your comic paper. Or it will cause it to ripple due to friction or the subtle emission of gases over time.
Polypropylene comic sleeves will last three to eight years before they stand falling apart. And they may have damaged your comics long beforehand. Your best bet is to switch out your polypropylene comic sleeves every three to five years.
If you invest in thicker polypropylene comic book sleeves then your comic books will last longer. But polypropylene bags offer no protection from fading damage due to sunlight exposure.
Polyethylene comic book sleeves are a step up from polypropylene. They are more resistant to sun damage, but not much different.
Mylar comic book sleeves are the gold standard for saving your comic books for the long term. (We will talk about how to save priceless comic books in another column).
The U.S. Library of Congress saves its archival documents in mylar sleeves. Mylar comic book sleeve resists internal gas diffusion, and sunlight, and won’t stick to the paper. The average mylar comic book sleeve could last 150 years under optimum conditions.
A Word of Caution
Keep your comic books out of direct sunlight when storing them.
Pack the comics too tightly in a box and paper will ripple inside due to friction.
Comic sleeves come with a sealing flap. Sometimes the top portion of the comic will come with an adhesive strip that you can use to seal the comic. Some people prefer to tuck in the flap. Or they use tape to seal the comic.
If you use the adhesive strip to seal the comic, never tuck in the flap afterward. The flap may contain adhesive residue that could stick to your comic book.
Paper is made from trees. Paper is a biological product. So, over time, your comic book paper will emit gases like oxygen, carbon dioxide, and so on. Depending on the material of the comic sleeve it’s packed in, your comic book may begin to slowly disintegrate or rot.
As previously mentioned, polypropylene comic books are cheap. But you need to replace them every five to eight years to protect your comic books.
You should buy cardboard backboards to offer more rigid protection for your comic books after you place them into a sleeve. And this is especially true if you have hundreds or thousands of comic books.
If you don’t mind spending a little extra, polyethylene mylar could be your best option. As long as your comic book is securely packed, it’s protected.
BCW Re-Sealable Comic Book Bags
BCW’s resealable comic book bags come in 100-count packs from Amazon.
These comic book bags are made from clear polypropylene. This is the most basic kind of comic book bag that you can buy for your comic books. The empty bag itself is about two millimeters thick.
And this product does not use any acid during the manufacturing process.
BCW Re-Sealable Comic Book Bags prominently features a 1.5-inch resealable back flap with an adhesive strip. You can completely seal in your comic book without worrying about exposing it to the elements.
BCW Thick Thick Comic Bags
BCW Thick Comic Book Sleeves are basically the same comic book bags as BCW’s basic resealable brand.
But they do come with two major differences.
The plastic is a little thicker and this comic book sleeve is wider. This comic book sleeve is optimal for storing thicker comic books with more than the basic 22 to 32-page count.
Leffis 100 Comic Book Sleeves and Boards
Leffis 100 comic book sleeves and boards is a great way to start collecting comic books for any novice.
Unlike the other comic book sleeve producers on this list, you get 100 comic book sleeves and 100 matching boards. Just place one board into the sleeve and then place the comic between the sleeve and board.
Just be warned that the thicker the comic book, the less likely it will fit in the sleeve with the backing board. These sleeve and board compartments are optimal for one 32-page comic. You may be able to squeeze into two at a cost of damaging the comics in the long run.
Big Fudge 50 Comic Book Sleeves and Boards
Big Fudge is one of the better-known brand names when it comes to comic book storage and protection.
These comic book sleeves are made of polypropylene and are similar to most other competing brands. But Big Fudge claims that their polypropylene sleeves are coated with a proprietary substance called “Archival Buffer” which allows them to last longer and offer more protection to your comic books.
Colin Guardin 100 Comic Book Bags and Boards
Colin Guardin’s 100 comic book sleeves and boards are basically like a lot of polypropylene comic book sleeves on this list.
They are acid-free and will protect your comics. However, the company claims that these comics are waterproof. And unlike other polypropylene backs, which ripple and stick to comic book paper over time, this brand cuts down on friction and protects comic books.
EnvyPak Premium Color Coded Comic Book Sleeves
EnvyPak’s comic book sleeves are made of polypropylene but they are doubly as thick. EnvyPak’s 30-pack of comic book sleeves are 4.5 millimeters thick.
Your comic books will last doubly as long as the standard comic book sleeve width, two millimeters.
And they come with color-graded edges so that you can organize your comic book collection better.
BCW Silver Comic Mylar Bags
The biggest difference between the 50-pack BCW Silver Comic Mylar Bags and the others on this list is the fact that these sleeves are made with polyester mylar.
As long as you keep these bags in safe and safe and optimum storage spaces, the comic book should last forever.
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Allen Francis is a full-time writer, prolific comic book investor and author of The Casual’s Guide: Why You Should Get Into Comic Book Investing. Allen holds a BA degree from Marymount Manhattan College. Before becoming a writer Allen was an academic advisor, librarian, and college adjunct for many years. Allen is an advocate of best personal financial practices including saving and investing in your own small business.