Question on smelly comics and storage!
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so I have read around online and couldn't get an exact answer for my question. I go to garage sales thrifts etc and almost all the comics I buy have that classic old comic smell. From what I gather online it seems to be the acid from the paper degrading. The only solution to truly fix this is to but bookkeeper spray and spray every single page front and back and you're good to go. However, the comics I have just aren't worth spending the money on. Are there other alternative cheaper methods to deacidifying paper or whatever you call it?

Anyways I have just been boarding, bagging and using Mylar for some of the better ones and store in a comic defense box. However, some comics don't smell as bad as others. Should I keep the decent ones separate from the ones that are worse? The smell doesn't bother me at all however if the bad ones affect the degradation of the better ones I would separate them. Basically does having bad smelling comics with decent smelling comics have any negative effects besides maybe making them all smell stronger?..... Thoughts On this? None of them are moldy or anything either, I always make sure to check for mold and if I see no signs they're good to go. 

Edited by Spartcom5

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Honestly, I love that smell when I walk into a comic shop, "Ahhhh, the sweet smell of degrading paper", however...

From what I have learned and been told over the last 40 years is you cannot completely stop the degradation of the paper, it basically starts as soon as the book is printed, the key is to store the book properly to sloooooooow down the degradation of the paper.

The more the book is exposed to changes in environment , the more the paper expands and contracts, the faster it destroys itself.

The inks and paper itself also play a role in how quickly the paper degrades, the newer printing processes (inks and paper) are less detrimental to the paper than the older paper and inks that were used.

Mylites (inert material, acid free), Acid Free Boards, Kept Away from Light, Kept in a Controlled Environment (Temp and Humidity), etc .

The more the book is exposed to changes or acids, the more the paper expands and contracts the faster it destroys itself.

Personally, when I add anything to my collection I allow the book(s) to sit out in the open (in a dark room) for a couple of days so the paper will adjust to the new environment before it is stored/sealed away in a Mylite.

As far as actually getting rid of the smell without harming the book/paper try letting the book sit is a closed container with an absorbent like Baking Soda.

You may have to open the book to allow each page to be exposed to the absorbent.

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The baking soda is a reasonable suggestion since it is a base.

But since there are varying degrees of smell I am wondering if some have mildew or mold.  That is my first thought when I walk into a store with that "old comic smell".  I have a lot of comics that are 50+ years old and have no smell at all.  I suspect a lot of it has to do with living in a very dry climate (Colorado) and mold and mildew are fairly rare here.

 

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