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The Future of Comic Grading4465

Collector CaptainCanuck private msg quote post Address this user
If comic grading continues to be a thing in 25 or even 50 years from now, I'm wondering how slabs will be valued. For instance, since we know that comic books slowly degrade as the years go by I would assume that, in the future, a silver age issue graded 9.0 and graded in 2050 would be more desirable than the same silver age issue graded a 9.0 that was graded in 2017 due to the simple fact that the one graded in 2017 may not still be a 9.0
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Collector IronMan private msg quote post Address this user
Right now, books graded by CGC their first 4-7 years are more desirable. Because of the belief books graded the first half dozen years were rarely pressed (which is true) and more tightly graded (which is very much debatable) So there might other factors at work 40 years from now that negate the assumptions behind your proposal.

Storage conditions and handling are the two biggest areas contributing to paper collectibles aging. Slabbing takes care of most handling concerns. So if I'm buying collectible comic books in 2050 - of which the likelihood is not very good - I would probably be most interested in how/where the books had been stored.
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Collector CaptainCanuck private msg quote post Address this user
@IronMan

I hear ya. Just saying, in this hypothetical thought experiment, that if you buy the book graded in 2050, you wouldn't have to be concerned about how/where the book had been stored as much as you would have to be concerned about the book graded in 2017.
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Collector det_tobor private msg quote post Address this user
since the books are not in air tight SLABS for the gas they give off, would it help putting the whole slab in heavy plastic bags?
Post 4 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
@CaptainCanuck youve got an interesting thought... what is the shelf life of a grade?

Page quality on a 30+ year old slab would certainly be in question, but the value on some books will surpass any degradation anyways.

Kind of a crapshoot, the big keys will always have great value (as long as theres an economy), but in 2050 there may be so few of us left in the hobby that anything but those could be readily available for cheap anyways.
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Collector Redshade private msg quote post Address this user
I don't think we have too much to worry about because before a comic is slabbed the inner holder is voided of Oxygen and filled with Argon
before being hermetically sealed to last 1000 years.
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Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
I think what you have to look to...and it's an imperfect analogy, admittedly...is coins.

Coins have been "slabbed" now for 31 years. That's a pretty decent chunk of time. Now, granted, coins aren't subject to the same conditions as comics...metal degrades over time much more slowly than paper...but the oldest slabs are, themselves, collectors' items.

I think there will be a lot more paid attention to the condition of the slab as an indicator of the condition of the comic, but I suspect it's going to take more than a hundred years for most comics in slabs to suffer serious degradation to the point that the book is no longer in that grade.

...if comic collecting is even a thing, then. It's only about 50 years old, as it stands.

And it needs to be remembered that, when crashes come, material becomes A LOT harder to find, because people who have it are much, much less willing to give it up...not to mention the vast swaths of books that end up being thrown out because they have no value.
Post 7 IP   flag post
Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
I should do a graph...

Nah, I'm too lazy.



But when crashes come, there's a curve...at first, people try to dump dump dump as fast as they can...then, once people stop buying, because they see the crash happening, everything just freezes.

You could not buy high quality Gold and Silver in the late 90's, unless you got really lucky and someone died or otherwise brought a collection in. But it wasn't generally available to ANYONE, because no one was willing to sell it.

Now, you can buy practically anything you want...because, of course, it comes with a very high price.

In any event, under good conditions, I think the vast majority of books will stay right where they are grade-wise...even page quality-wise.

However, I AM noticing a disturbing trend in my own boxes: books I bought in 1990, 27+ years ago, have gotten a bit darker in page quality AND cover quality! Yikes! Covers that were bone white when I bought them...like Wonder Woman #72...now, not so much.

Ack!
Post 8 IP   flag post
Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by det_tobor
since the books are not in air tight SLABS for the gas they give off, would it help putting the whole slab in heavy plastic bags?


NO.

DO NOT DO THIS.

You could cause the slabs to sweat, if there's ANY moisture in the air combined with even mild heat, which is VERY, VERY bad.

Controlled humidity and controlled temps are the only solution.
Post 9 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR Towmater private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrewbeer
@CaptainCanuck youve got an interesting thought... what is the shelf life of a grade?

Page quality on a 30+ year old slab would certainly be in question, but the value on some books will surpass any degradation anyways.

Kind of a crapshoot, the big keys will always have great value (as long as theres an economy), but in 2050 there may be so few of us left in the hobby that anything but those could be readily available for cheap anyways.


Bingo on your last statement.

The last generation of comic collectors might have already been born. With the publishing industry going digital who will care about a product made out of paper. There won't be memories attached to them unless a father is imparting his love of collecting them to his child or children. Books that have print runs of 35,000 are considered successful now. That's a very small percentage of the US population that thinks about comics let alone holds one.
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Collector Redshade private msg quote post Address this user
Towmater:

"The last generation of comic collectors might have already been born. With the publishing industry going digital who will care about a product made out of paper".

I agree entirely. Comics in the 30s/40s/50s sold literally millions of copies per issue and are now down to a few thousand in the US and the UK (and no doubt in other Countries as well).

I wonder if, in the future, that middle aged men looking back to their youth will have the same nostalgic yearning for computer/video games etc.
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Collector Redshade private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
Quote:
Originally Posted by det_tobor
since the books are not in air tight SLABS for the gas they give off, would it help putting the whole slab in heavy plastic bags?


NO.

DO NOT DO THIS.

You could cause the slabs to sweat, if there's ANY moisture in the air combined with even mild heat, which is VERY, VERY bad.

Controlled humidity and controlled temps are the only solution.


Doc, really? I keep my CBCS slabs in their original plastic bags in the deluded idea that this will be for the better in at least protecting the slabs from scratches. I should take them out?
Post 12 IP   flag post
Collector Redshade private msg quote post Address this user
Back in the 60s UK comics cost around 3d/4d, (about the same as a Mars Bar), and US comics cost 9d/10d, (two Mars Bars).

Nowadays comics, both UK and US cost about three GBP (300 pence) and more whilst I can buy a Mars Bar for 60 pence.

It seems to me that the comics publishers are getting too expensive for kids to buy their products with their pocket money.

How about stopping all the comics with better paper stock and shiny and multiple covers and go back to producing cheap (affordable )comics with lower grade paper stock etc that kids can actually afford.
Post 13 IP   flag post
Collector RRO private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshade
Back in the 60s UK comics cost around 3d/4d, (about the same as a Mars Bar), and US comics cost 9d/10d, (two Mars Bars).

Nowadays comics, both UK and US cost about three GBP (300 pence) and more whilst I can buy a Mars Bar for 60 pence.

It seems to me that the comics publishers are getting too expensive for kids to buy their products with their pocket money.

How about stopping all the comics with better paper stock and shiny and multiple covers and go back to producing cheap (affordable )comics with lower grade paper stock etc that kids can actually afford.

It can be done, it has been done -- reference FCBD comics -- I know that even Geppi proposed it at least once. Cheap, minimal page count and an avenue to introduce people to the genre. But, no one within the production world seems to want to go forward with it, which is a backward step methinks.
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COLLECTOR conditionfreak private msg quote post Address this user
None of us will care one bit about comic books, in 2050. Dead or alive. Well, most of us anyway.

Just look at baseball cards. Chased them for many years. And now I couldn't care less. Same with friends who used to chase them.

Sure, everyone would like a Honus Wagner or an Action #1. But I'm talking about NM #98, Hulk #181, ASM #129, and possibly even FF #5. Not even mentioning all of the lesser books nowadays. And there are a LOT of those.

Anyone here chasing a Yellow Kid comic book? I doubt it. Buck Rogers from the 40's? MAYBE one or two of us.

Your kids will say "dad's comic books sure were dumb". And then use them to start a fire in their car that has a steam engine.

World goes around in circles.
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Collector Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by conditionfreak
Sure, everyone would like a Honus Wagner or an Action #1. But I'm talking about NM #98, Hulk #181, ASM #129, and possibly even FF #5. Not even mentioning all of the lesser books nowadays. And there are a LOT of those.

I've thought this a lot lately myself. I look at the sheer volume of comics being produced ... what is it, ~300 new issues a month? More? Over 100,000,000 individual issues. Every. Single. Month. And that's just Diamond. (I just looked it up while writing this.)

Most won't be remembered or chased ever. And even most of the minor keys will go away down the memory hole.

The only thing that gives me hope is the absolute lunacy going on right now with comic book art. Where is all that money coming from, chasing the absurd number of pages out there, for absurd prices? (*Take with a grain of salt. 30 years ago I thought $2200 for a NM AF#15 was absurd, too*)

The variant cover explosion just makes it worse, I think. Will a collector 20 years from now really care which version it takes to complete a run from 2017? (If he/she even looks for runs.) Or even know? Overstreet doesn't even track most variants.
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Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshade
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
Quote:
Originally Posted by det_tobor
since the books are not in air tight SLABS for the gas they give off, would it help putting the whole slab in heavy plastic bags?


NO.

DO NOT DO THIS.

You could cause the slabs to sweat, if there's ANY moisture in the air combined with even mild heat, which is VERY, VERY bad.

Controlled humidity and controlled temps are the only solution.


Doc, really? I keep my CBCS slabs in their original plastic bags in the deluded idea that this will be for the better in at least protecting the slabs from scratches. I should take them out?


He said heavy plastic bags; by that I assume he means Ziploc or Hefty trash bags. The light plastic bags they ship with are fine, mainly because they're open at the top.
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Collector Tedsaid private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Towmater
The last generation of comic collectors might have already been born. With the publishing industry going digital who will care about a product made out of paper. There won't be memories attached to them unless a father is imparting his love of collecting them to his child or children. Books that have print runs of 35,000 are considered successful now.

Actually, print books have had a resurgence the last 5 years, selling (almost?) better than ever. (Here's just one source.)
Post 18 IP   flag post
Collector IronMan private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedsaid
Quote:
Originally Posted by Towmater
The last generation of comic collectors might have already been born. With the publishing industry going digital who will care about a product made out of paper. There won't be memories attached to them unless a father is imparting his love of collecting them to his child or children. Books that have print runs of 35,000 are considered successful now.

Actually, print books have had a resurgence the last 5 years, selling (almost?) better than ever. (Here's just one source.)


Hmmm... Your article is about print books in general. Which is fair since you were responding to
"who will care about a product made out of paper"

It doesn't appear this applies equally well to comic books. Trades maybe. But not comic books. Marvel's sales are well documented as being in the dumpster. Back in the 1960's, comics in the bottom of sales managed 200,000 copies a month. The best selling titles well over 1/2 million, a few getting in spitting distance of 1 million copies. Now a popular title fueled with one of the highest rated TV shows (Walking Dead) manages 70,000 copies a month. A comic that seems popular with collectors and is fueled by a popular show - Rick & Morty - is only selling about 8,000 copies a month.

It's not hard to figure out the problem. At $3-$4 cover price, printed comics offer very little in the way of value to consumers. My entire family watches hundred's of hours of Netflix every month for $10 a month. $10 a month in comic books offers JUST ME about 30 minutes of entertainment. Which is one of the reasons I don't buy new comics and haven't for 20 years.
Post 19 IP   flag post
Collector Instant_Subtitles private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshade
I wonder if, in the future, that middle aged men looking back to their youth will have the same nostalgic yearning for computer/video games etc.


Funny thing you say that. Collectible Grading Authority has been grading video games, action figures, dolls, and die cast cars for years. And one collector named "1uppedgal"/"1upped" appears to have started this before turning middle-aged. And my guess has also completed all of Nintendo's "black box" run.




I found out about this collector while anticipating the return of my game, which had grade-related delays despite me paying for their fastest turnaround time. And prior to this, I encountered collectors who primarily collect vintage Transformers. With my favorite being one that is trying to complete the European Milton Bradley run.
Post 20 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshade
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
Quote:
Originally Posted by det_tobor
since the books are not in air tight SLABS for the gas they give off, would it help putting the whole slab in heavy plastic bags?


NO.

DO NOT DO THIS.

You could cause the slabs to sweat, if there's ANY moisture in the air combined with even mild heat, which is VERY, VERY bad.

Controlled humidity and controlled temps are the only solution.


Doc, really? I keep my CBCS slabs in their original plastic bags in the deluded idea that this will be for the better in at least protecting the slabs from scratches. I should take them out?


He said heavy plastic bags; by that I assume he means Ziploc or Hefty trash bags. The light plastic bags they ship with are fine, mainly because they're open at the top.


lmfao Dude we're on a comic book forum. I wouldnt assume trash bags akin to heavy plastic 🤣

btw CBCS ships their slabs with very light plastic bags (not trash bags mind you), that are self-sealing. Ie, not open at the top. They arent going to use bags that will damage books either.

@det_tobor To your original point, one does not want to trap a book in with it's own gasses, or as little of that as possible. See this thread where the "dutch oven" was discussed; it's actually a good analogy 😁. Different plastics "breathe" differently, some not at all. CBCS not sealing the sides helps your book, assuming that you are storing them in a place that has consistent and within tolerance, temp/humidity. Hope that helps 🍺
Post 21 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR Towmater private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedsaid
Quote:
Originally Posted by conditionfreak
Sure, everyone would like a Honus Wagner or an Action #1. But I'm talking about NM #98, Hulk #181, ASM #129, and possibly even FF #5. Not even mentioning all of the lesser books nowadays. And there are a LOT of those.

I've thought this a lot lately myself. I look at the sheer volume of comics being produced ... what is it, ~300 new issues a month? More? Over 100,000,000 individual issues. Every. Single. Month. And that's just Diamond. (I just looked it up while writing this.)

Most won't be remembered or chased ever. And even most of the minor keys will go away down the memory hole.

The only thing that gives me hope is the absolute lunacy going on right now with comic book art. Where is all that money coming from, chasing the absurd number of pages out there, for absurd prices? (*Take with a grain of salt. 30 years ago I thought $2200 for a NM AF#15 was absurd, too*)

The variant cover explosion just makes it worse, I think. Will a collector 20 years from now really care which version it takes to complete a run from 2017? (If he/she even looks for runs.) Or even know? Overstreet doesn't even track most variants.


Lots of factors in the comic art market. IMO, some of it is due to...

The art prices have exploded because comic art has been under valued until the last decade. The pages were never looked at as "art" until recently (I'm not really sure the rest of the art world looks at them that way). Currently, the prices are being driven by different groups that have large expendable incomes due to their involvement in the tech industry, and wall street. The influx of new money hasn't really widened the number of people involved. The guys that bought pages by the inch are cycling out right now and are seeing huge returns. Conversely, the guys with tons of cash are jumping into the spots left vacant. It has expanded a bit in numbers but if you go to, let's say, Heroes in Charlotte, you will see the same guys at the same original art (OA) booths year after year as not a bunch of new faces.

If we look at it from a really real world perspective, it is just a niche market that was under valued and now has some guys with super big egos and super big bank accounts trying to out due one another with their big game hunting style of one upping one another. The bubble that has been created will burst once they grow bored and move on to the next cliquish activity to one-up the other guy. I hope it happens soon. I am tried of the ROI talk, and mine is bigger than yours attitude that has invaded the market over the last decade.

I believe your variant comment is savvy. If your extrapolate your view and put it in the OA world it is why I stay away from modern pages unless I really enjoy the artist, their style, and what they have put on the page. Another reason is that I don't read that many modern comics. My tastes are different than what is being produced by the modern comic artist. Also, the industry is changing so modern art is being produced digitally. The number of pages produced on paper via pencil and ink is starting to decline. So, collecting modern art will become more and more difficult as those pages produce via paper and pencil see more and more of a decline in production.

Yes, I sound jaded but with all the information that has come out on the activities of some auction houses and dealers in the last 5 years it really has put a damper on an area of collecting I used to enjoy a great deal.

I'd like to end by saying that I am self-aware enough to know that others my have different opinions on the above. I would never write nor state that they views and how they express them are inaccurate or invalid. They just have a different viewpoint and that is what makes the world turn. If they get shared I might learn something from them by reading them with an open mind. I hope that they do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Instant_Subtitles





That is a sweet! Nice clean set-up. Is that yours?
Post 22 IP   flag post
Collector VaComicsGuy private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedsaid
. . . Will a collector 20 years from now really care which version it takes to complete a run from 2017?. . .


Or even know which versions exist? There are books coming out now that many of us don't know about. I think a lot of the variants and store exclusives coming out now will be forgotten about over time.
Post 23 IP   flag post
Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrewbeer
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshade
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
Quote:
Originally Posted by det_tobor
since the books are not in air tight SLABS for the gas they give off, would it help putting the whole slab in heavy plastic bags?


NO.

DO NOT DO THIS.

You could cause the slabs to sweat, if there's ANY moisture in the air combined with even mild heat, which is VERY, VERY bad.

Controlled humidity and controlled temps are the only solution.


Doc, really? I keep my CBCS slabs in their original plastic bags in the deluded idea that this will be for the better in at least protecting the slabs from scratches. I should take them out?


He said heavy plastic bags; by that I assume he means Ziploc or Hefty trash bags. The light plastic bags they ship with are fine, mainly because they're open at the top.


lmfao Dude we're on a comic book forum. I wouldnt assume trash bags akin to heavy plastic 🤣


Why not? People not familiar with comics and slabs, to whatever degree, have done weird things. It's cutting off a potential problem before it can happen. I'm not sure what being "on a comic book forum" has to do with the discussion...surely you don't think everyone who posts on such a forum knows everything about comics, do you...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shrewbeer
btw CBCS ships their slabs with very light plastic bags (not trash bags mind you), that are self-sealing. Ie, not open at the top. They arent going to use bags that will damage books either.


I'm quite familiar with these bags, but it is not accurate to say they are "not open at the top." Look at the sides: see those holes in the plastic flap? That's "open at the top." It means air can circulate, to an extent.

Regardless, if you're using self-sealing mylites or the open top bags that CGC uses, the lighter, the better. Anything that restricts air flow has a tendency for condensation to occur, especially in a warmer environment. Circulation, good, stuffy bag, bad.
Post 24 IP   flag post
Collector Instant_Subtitles private msg quote post Address this user
@Towmater I wish! Bust sadly... No. I found a forum page dedicated to VGA collectors, and the owner of that beautiful collection was talking about completing the run of Nintendo "black box" games. The portions of the collection I had first seen were strictly the "Silver Seal" variants, and not the reissues with the updated "Gold Seal".

There were others. One, prior to being banned, was talking about collecting Konami's silver box run. Another had a graded copy of Tengen's Tetris. And the rest had graded consoles, graded unlicensed games, and graded comic book related video games. With one showing off their copy of Batman: The Return of the Joker. Myself, I only have my first press 3DS copy of Dragon Quest XI. And hope to go from there.


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Collector ZosoRocks private msg quote post Address this user
IMO - if I am alive in 40 years, which I highly doubt - everything should be digital by then, so paper products will probably already be museum exhibits.

:o)
Post 26 IP   flag post
Collector DocBrown private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZosoRocks
IMO - if I am alive in 40 years, which I highly doubt - everything should be digital by then, so paper products will probably already be museum exhibits.

:o)


If that could happen in, say, 10 years, I'd really appreciate it.

I'd like to complete a Detective run for less than $50,000,000.
Post 27 IP   flag post
Collector det_tobor private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrewbeer
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshade
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocBrown
Quote:
Originally Posted by det_tobor
since the books are not in air tight SLABS for the gas they give off, would it help putting the whole slab in heavy plastic bags?


NO.

DO NOT DO THIS.

You could cause the slabs to sweat, if there's ANY moisture in the air combined with even mild heat, which is VERY, VERY bad.

Controlled humidity and controlled temps are the only solution.


Doc, really? I keep my CBCS slabs in their original plastic bags in the deluded idea that this will be for the better in at least protecting the slabs from scratches. I should take them out?


He said heavy plastic bags; by that I assume he means Ziploc or Hefty trash bags. The light plastic bags they ship with are fine, mainly because they're open at the top.


lmfao Dude we're on a comic book forum. I wouldnt assume trash bags akin to heavy plastic 🤣


Why not? People not familiar with comics and slabs, to whatever degree, have done weird things. It's cutting off a potential problem before it can happen. I'm not sure what being "on a comic book forum" has to do with the discussion...surely you don't think everyone who posts on such a forum knows everything about comics, do you...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shrewbeer
btw CBCS ships their slabs with very light plastic bags (not trash bags mind you), that are self-sealing. Ie, not open at the top. They arent going to use bags that will damage books either.


I'm quite familiar with these bags, but it is not accurate to say they are "not open at the top." Look at the sides: see those holes in the plastic flap? That's "open at the top." It means air can circulate, to an extent.

Regardless, if you're using self-sealing mylites or the open top bags that CGC uses, the lighter, the better. Anything that restricts air flow has a tendency for condensation to occur, especially in a warmer environment. Circulation, good, stuffy bag, bad.


Everyone, my concern is: In the past, IF I buy a book in special
shape, the seller may have sent it in a heavy plastic bag without a top. The book continues to become more brittle and change of color because of oxidation. THIS SUCKS BIGTIME.

I want a way to prevent a book from further deteriorating. Originally, I thought the grading SLABS kept books from getting worse over a great deal of time. If I want to put books in a will, I want that book to still be in great shape in a hundred years.
I put books in special acid free bags with acid free boards to maximize their condition over the long term.
If a book is for future investment, I don't want it getting worse in a slab if a slab "breaths" to prevent gas build up. If I understand what has been discussed, a book WILL still turn color and become brittle in a hundred years even in a slab.

If in a hundred years, the person I willed a book to still has it and wants to take the book out to read it or put it in a new style container, what way is there to keep it in prime shape? At that time, what will be the condition of the book when it's taken out of its slab if it's in 9.0 shape now? thanks.
Post 28 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR conditionfreak private msg quote post Address this user
There are books around from several hundred years ago. They were not stored with any cared other than being "cared" about. No mylar, no plastic. No nothing. Just a modem of care.

So, I think your slabbed comic books will fair much better than a two volume set of Uncle Tom's Cabin from 1852. And yes, they will deteriorate to a certain extent. But a hundred years from now, there will be a can of spray something or other that you can buy at the local drug store. That will make brittle paper spring back to life, and will make age spots disappear.

Don't lose any sleep. Your Batman Adventures #12 will be worth double what it is today, in a hundred years.

Of course a Pepsi will cost you twenty times what one costs today. So...........................
Post 29 IP   flag post
COLLECTOR shrewbeer private msg quote post Address this user
@det_tobor The best way to protect your page quality is to neutralize the acid. Unfortunately this is not an accepted practice in our hobby. I am of the opinion that a conserved book in this way should be worth more than one that is not, but I am very alone in that opinion.
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