Since Mylar was first introduced about 40 years ago, the knowledge of its benefits over other common plastics was not widespread and the practice of using Mylar was even less widespread. First, the country's leading authorities on preservation, such as the National Archives and the Library of Congress, established that Mylar was, by far, the best plastic. In fact, they have made it a requirement and do not allow any deviation from their specifications.
E. Gerber introduced Mylar to the comic market in 1979. The most knowledgeable collectors have switched to Mylar since then. Slowly, museums, archival institutions and those in the collecting areas of currency and stamps have switched to Mylar. Comic collectors have been among the most knowledgeable and have been switching for years. However, we won't rest until there's a Mylar on every collectible.
Is Light Bad for our Comics?
Enough cannot be said about this topic. We would appreciate your support in teaching the collecting public that accumulated light eventually fades comic book covers. You cannot see it fade, just as you cannot see a tree grow, but go away and come back in 10 years and you will be surprised by how much that tree grew. The same thing applies to comic cover fading. Leave a comic displayed in your store and a couple of years later compare it to an identical comic stored in the dark. WOW! Unfortunately, at this point, it's too late for that comic; the damage is irreversible.
Ultra-Violet Light - UV
All plastics and glass stop some UV light, so many advertise that their "Protector" blocks UV. The truth Is that they stop only some of the damaging rays. Even Mylar will not stop all UV.
Mylar stops about 2% of UV light and is accepted as photo safe to direct contact and is used internationally by archives and museums.
Yes, it costs 8 times more than standard Mylar, but it blocks UV hundreds of times more than other plastics.
What about Air and Oxygen?
Do these elements damage comics? Isn't it bad to completely seal off the comics and make them airtight?
The reality is that an airtight environment is the proper environment and by far the best one for preservation. By keeping out the oxygen, moisture and insects, and by keeping the temperature reasonably low, you can provide an environment in which your comics will become "Golden."
For example, go to any library that has older volumes. Open any book and figure out why the pages are always browner at the edges and get lighter and whiter as you move towards the middle of the page. The inside of that book has not been in contact with any moisture, fresh re-circulating oxygen or light.
In order of Most Important to Least Important.
1. Keep in a cool and relatively dry place.
2. Keep in the dark, or if in light, protect from UV light.
3. Store in ARCHIVES (formerly SNUGS), MYLITES2 or MYLITES, with or without AF backing boards, and keep them tightly packed in a box or on the shelf.
4. Store on a shelf in a closet or in a drawer, without any plastic bags.
5. Lastly, for short term protection from oily fingers, store in polypropylene bags or polyethylene bags.
The truth is, we really do care on how you preserve your collectibles and are always available to answer your questions, whether or not you purchase our products or someone else's. What matters is to preserve our heritage for future generations.
Mylar trademark of DuPont Co. For the purpose of this website, Mylar shall mean any pure polyester biaxially extruded film such as Mylar D. Mellinex 455, 516 or approved equivalent.