I have created a podcast on blogger so I need some information about the UV rays that damage comic books (or call it yellowing) So can anyone provide me some notes (info) on how UV light can damage comic books so I can use this Comic book info 101 podcast?
I need info about UV rays damaging comic books
I don't have the specific info off hand, but a couple of things happen. The UV rays cause a chemical reaction with the ink plus there are gasses that are emitted when the paper also starts to degrade. Heat and humidity can also be a factor. If the comic book is stored in a Mylar bag or any other type of bag, and is facing sunlight, the gasses can't escape which further causes degradation and yellowing. The yellowing though is primarily from the chemical reaction which is instigated by the sun's UV rays.
I really wish I could give you a definitive answer, but what I do know is that UV rays cause a chemical reaction with some inks and papers. Exposure naturally is the enemy. Funny you ask because I had seen a Bronze Age copy of the Incredible Hulk in a thrift store, hanging on a wall facing the store window. Yup, you guessed it, the cover was yellow and even the Mylar bag it was in was tacky and starting to degrade. Same goes for a run of Master of Kung-Fu comics I had seen at another store ( in the same city by the way), virtually worthless due to yellowing from UV rays. Nasty ass cigarette smoke also really ruins everything, causing even more yellowing from the nicotine. I hate to keep giving examples, but here in Lincoln where I currently reside, there is a used book store--called The Yellowed Pages -- I KID YOU NOT---and the owner has boxes of comics, hard cover and paperback books. Again, all virtually worthless because the owner sits in the store and smokes cigarette after cigarette!!
OH, just to add, I saw an episode of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW some time ago, and there was a fellow who had purchase several NUMBER ONE issues of Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four #1, the first appearance of Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk #1, Thor #1, Journey Into Mystery titles, etc., during the 1960's when he was a kid. What he had done in an effort to "preserve" the comic books, he sprayed each one with SHELLAC. He showed the comics to the appraiser and the appraiser about fell over because he told the fellow he would have had a gold mine but ruined it because as he showed the camera, the comics were beginning to yellow. The comic book collector thought he had done the right thing but in the long run screwed himself. Not only UV rays, but naturally, certain chemicals, cigarette smoke, and solvents will definitely mess up the comic book ink and paper. Even if you don't let the comic book "breathe" once in awhile by opening the bag, gasses can build up from the chemicals used to treat the backing board as well!! I am relaying info I had read a long time ago in an article that appeared in COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE, back when it was in newspaper form.
@Detective Vector: Don't know if you read any of what I said, but regarding best way to protect your comics, it is quite simple.
A. Keep them away from sunlight.
B. If possible, store them in a dry location away from any heat or humidity.
C. Place them in Mylar bags with backing boards but, and this is my own suggestion, DO NOT use the bags with tape. Have them stored where some air can be let out through the flap. Also, it is easier to remove them when you want to read them again. Tape will stick to the comic when you pull it out!
D. Keep them stored vertically, preferrably in a long box or even a plastic tote or other storage container. Use backing boards to separate the comics.
E. Keep them away from cigarette smoke. Do not store them in a pet area if you have any pets.
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