A beginner’s guide to original comic art preserving
Protecting and preserving your original comic art collection is not a complicated task… if you know how!
Original comic art, like all things, change as it ages and not necessarily for the better: Dust, humidity, light, the passage of time, the use of inadequate protections… Whether your collection of original comic art (click HERE if you wanna check our latest comic art drops by our ARTISTS!) is hanging on a wall or remains stored, there are many elements that can affect its safe preservation.
But don’t worry: If you wish to preserve your comic book art, you can take a series of measures to minimize factors that accelerate this deterioration, and to keep your original comic pages, sketches and commissions intact and without losing any of their beauty… or value. :^)
Keep them away from high levels of moisture, dust and fumes
Graphite, inks and most of the materials used in the creation of original comic art require a certain stability of temperature and relative humidity (30-40%) in order not to lose intensity and deteriorate. Therefore, you should your original comic art away from windows, water sources and heating.
Also avoid spaces with odors, as well as spaces with dust and fumes such as kitchens or places where people smoke. These elements are especially harmful to art created with porous materials (such as watercolors, markers or gouache).
Avoid exposure to light
Light sources cause gradual but irreversible deterioration in art. Discoloration, oxidation of graphites and pigments… The damage on your comic originals will be visible if you place them in a place with direct sunlight or too much light, to the point of making the pencils or inks of your favorite artists discolored or… invisible.
So, in case you want to hang your comic art at home, be sure to find a place where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight or any other light source, especially fluorescent or ultraviolet light.
Some tips for framing your originals
In addition to using a sturdy anchorage to avoid possible falls, make sure you have a glass that protects against UV rays to avoid damage from sunlight. Also, avoid adhesives when attaching art, as they contain contaminants that will irreversibly damage the artwork. Instead, get acid-free archival corner pieces and ask your framer to secure them with water-soluble adhesive.
If the piece is truly unique (aren’t they all?), you can also place a sheet of PH-neutral paper between the original and the framing board to prevent it from being in contact with your original.
Watch out for plastic and inappropriate non-archival storage!
Your art dealer may use plastic sleeves to ship the art to you, as this is the safest way to prevent unwanted moisture seepage during shipping, but this protection is only temporarily safe. Polypropylene plastic sleeves (the regular ones) contain chemicals that will make your comic original comic art go yellow if they remain in them for too long.
Our recommendation? Conservation sleeves from Mylar (especially the D line), Melinex (516 models), Hostaphan or any other company that works with acid-free material. You will never regret investing a little! You can buy these online, at webs such as Conservation Resources and University Products (worldwide).
Always place your art in horizontal position
Placing your originals horizontally, instead of vertically (even if they are inside a folder) will help you to prevent the corners from getting damaged and the paper from wrinkling or adopting shapes that could damage the artwork.
Butter paper, your great ally
Your comic originals are unique pieces in the world. There is and will never be any other like them. Therefore, no care is too little to preserve your collection, especially those pieces that contain graphite (pencils). Get butter paper (also known as vegetable parchment paper) to protect them and prevent the pigments from smudging over time and the drawing from losing definition.
By the way! If reading all these tips about how to preserve your comic art original pages have made you a little “hungry”, remember that in our online gallery you will find hundreds of original comic art pages, prints, sketches and all kinds of original art for sale, from a bunch of amazing comic artists such as Aneke, David Lafuente, David López, Javi Fernández, Belén Ortega, Alvaro Martínez Bueno or Pepe Larraz, author of the image that illustrates this post and artist of some epic books lately such as X-Men, House of Swords and much more.
And, of course, if you have any questions about how to preserve your comic originals, do not hesitate to contact us through any of the profiles in social networks of The Green Room – Comic Art or our email, by clicking HERE. We will be happy to give you a hand. :^)