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Old 11-02-2011, 12:04 PM   #1
King Suck
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Protecting & displaying your Rare Comics & original Comic Art

This thread was inspired by the "Your most prized TMNT possession" thread. Some of you have some really nice original art and older comics! To be honest though the way some of them were displayed ran shivers down my spine.

Ive seen a piece of original comic art framed with normal clear glass brown in as little as 2 years. This was in an area that DID NOT receive direct sunlight. Artificial light can be as damaging as natural sunlight.

I collect a lot of original comic art and prints and with things that valuable or rare I always go with archival framing. Its expensive but I figure if its worth having on my walls its worth properly taking care of.

Below is some info Ive compiled that will help your treasured TMNT art and comics last for many many years.

A Consumer Guide to Materials for Preservation Framing and their Display

Is a great resource to understanding the basics of proper archival framing and protecting your Art from the elements.

When I first started buying original comic art I got it all custom framed. That ran about $150- 200 a piece. As I bought more it became cost prohibitive. I found the below links to be a great alternative as they are excellent quality and a lot cheaper.

Archival Comic Art Frames

Archival Comic Frames

Unless they are advertised as archival avoid from craft store or Target/Wal mart type massed produced frames as these will offer no protection from the elements.

If choose to make your own frame or have your piece framed by a professional the most important thing is going to be the type of glass your using. Below is a rundown of the different types of glass used for framing.

Ive never used anything less then non glare conservation and the past few pieces have been museum. The below was taken from several sources but mostly from my local custom framers website.

Different Types of Framing Glass

Clear glass is the most common type of glass used in picture framing. It offers no protective qualities for preservation of your art and blocks less than 50% of ultraviolet light.

Non-glare glass consists of an acid etched surface that scatters light rays for a non-reflective finish. Non-glare glass offers no protective qualities for your artwork and the etched surface, when used with mats, may create a “fuzzy” appearance to the art.

Conservation (UV) glass is coated with a protective film that blocks 98% of harmful ultraviolet light rays that normally cause fading of artwork. Conservation (UV) non-glare glass is also available.

Plexi glass is a high quality acrylic that will not shatter. It is used primarily where size and weight of glass could be a problem or in areas where the chance of breakage could occur such as a high traffic area or a child’s play room. Plaza Artist Materials offers plexi glass in clear, non-glare, conservation (UV) and conservation (UV) non-glare finishes.

Museum glass utilizes the latest technology for superior protection of your artwork. Museum glass blocks 98% of harmful ultraviolet rays and has a special non-glare finish that is far superior to a typical non-glare glass and practically makes it invisible while safeguarding your treasured work.

What is conservation mounting?

To begin with, not every piece needs to be conservation mounted. Sometimes it is important and other times it is not important. So how do you know when to have something conservation mounted?

Conservation mounting is designed to provide your art on paper with the best possible protection that that will slow or prevent deterioration to the piece. Typically, conservation framing is used when framing anything that is considered an original, a limited edition, something of sentimental or monetary value, or something historical. The materials used in conservation framing must be acid free and allow for the piece to be removed from its mounting in the same condition as it was first mounted.

There are three components to conservation framing. They are matting, mounting and glass. The mats used need to be 100% acid free and lignin free (lignin is a naturally occurring component of plants that is believed to contribute to chemical degradation in paper), as well as bleed and fade resistant. This gives the maximum amount of protection required for works of art on paper. The second component, mounting, utilizes archival quality backing materials that when combined with conservation mounting techniques is completely reversible. The last component is glass. Conservation (UV) glass protects artwork from damaging ultraviolet light by blocking 97% of harmful ultraviolet light which significantly reduces fading of mats and artwork.

Paper is sensitive to its surroundings and can be adversely affected by changes in temperature, humidity, dampness and exposure to light. Original Art and prints should never come directly in contact with the glass regardless of the of glass in question. Changes in temperature and humidity can result in the paint & ink flaking and/or permanently sticking to the glass. Humidity can also result in the paper sticking to the glass, making it impossible to remove without damaging the piece.

Never allow a framer to dry mount an original, limited or rare piece of art. This form of mounting is generally used on pieces that are not considered valuable or are damaged in such a way it is the only option available for proper display. Dry Mounting will permanently glue your piece of art work to a backboard and will significantly decrease its monetary value. If your framer offers dry mounting make SURE they understand that this is not an option for your art.

Dry Mounting artwork, posters, or photographs uses a heat and pressure method, in contrast to a spray (or wet) adhesive. In the dry mount process, a thin, tissue like paper is cut and placed between the piece to be mounted and the backing, and then all are placed in a special machine that applies pressure along with heat and seals the pieces together. Dry mount is a rather quick process that prevents the artwork from bubbling, while saving the time needed for adhesive to dry. It is used in advertising primarily for the making of posters or other display pieces.

If you have something of value that you would like to have framed, and kept in its original condition. Discuss the details with your framer. Don't be afraid to ask questions and when in doubt go for more protection then you think you will need.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:14 AM   #2
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Huh. Interesting read. Personally, I have always had really good luck just controlling the light sources in the room. In my art room there is zero natural light coming in. All of the external windows in the room have been sealed with tin foil, and that seems to have done the trick.I've had some of my pieces as they are for quite a few years, and have never had an issue with yellowing. Remember kids! If UV rays were flying around your house, you'd be getting sunburns indoors.

I get that artificial light can be damaging, but that depends entirely on the type of artificial light you use. Often times just defusing the light at the source with frosted glass works fine. If I am super concerned, I put the comic or art in a mylar bag before it goes in the frame.

There is a line between smart conservation and paranoia, and crossing it can be REALLY expensive and simply unnecessary.

Here is a pretty good blurb from FramItAgainSam:

Quote:
Is UV a concern? Do I need special UV glass?

Nope. There is a myth about UV protection implying that mysterious UV rays exist in all light and need to be filtered out. The truth is that there is no UV light inside your house unless you have flouescent bulbs without a UV shield. And that should be a worry for you, not your comics. Remeber that UV causes sun burns and skin cancer, and you are protected from UV rays in your home and so are your comics.

That being said, Mylar-D Bags have substantial UV-Protection built-in. The reason I use Mylar bags with the frames, however is not so much for their UV protection, but for their preservation qualities, incredible clarity and their longevity. The frames are designed to display comics in their bags as a condition preservation feature. Comics do not sag or bend while on display, and no part of the frame ever touches the comic. You can view more about the bags and purchase extra bags in full packs or in smaller increments in the Mylar bag section or when ordering frames.

What you should know about UV rays is...

they are line-of-sight from the sun (direct sunlight). Not just any light as seems to be the myth. It has to be a straight line from the sun to your comics to have any UV rays in it. Even with UV protection you should still avoid putting your comics in the path of direct sunlight because infrared, another component of direct sunlight, is harmful to the inks in comics. Humidity, changes in temperature and exposure to fresh oxygen are the dangers you should worry about for your collection. Avoid hanging near doors and windows and under bright lights or rooms. And keep comics out of the path of DIRECT sunlight with or without UV protection!
King Suck, in no way am I trying to discredit you or invalidate your opinions. I just think that, for the average collector, you can take care of your art without having to resort to the far end of the spectrum.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:36 AM   #3
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This is also one of the reason I enjoy collecting MWS-sealed cartoon cels as they are sealed, and I would apply the same method to non-sealed cels. But generally if the comic is in less than NM condition and under $100, then standard paper board & plastic will do. Then again I'd rather get them CGC certified if more than $100 in value.
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Old 11-03-2011, 07:55 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pannoni1 View Post
This is also one of the reason I enjoy collecting MWS-sealed cartoon cels as they are sealed, and I would apply the same method to non-sealed cels. But generally if the comic is in less than NM condition and under $100, then standard paper board & plastic will do. Then again I'd rather get them CGC certified if more than $100 in value.
And lucky for us CGC collectors, CGC cases are inherantly UV resistant
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:43 PM   #5
King Suck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Turtle View Post
King Suck, in no way am I trying to discredit you or invalidate your opinions. I just think that, for the average collector, you can take care of your art without having to resort to the far end of the spectrum.
I agree there's a lot to take into account that's relative. Art Location, local humidity, temp swings, value of the piece (monetary and sentimental) and disposable income all come into play.

It doesn't make sense to pay $600 to archival frame a $50 piece unless that piece means a lot to you personally.

My personal collection that I display is like my own little museum. I assume like most collectors, each piece hanging on my walls has significant personal value.

The thing that brought back bad Déjà vu was seeing a signed comic framed with with the comic its self touching the frame glass. Years ago I made this mistake and over the years the signature bonded to the glass. The frame got a nasty scratch during a move and when I went to replace the frame I ripped the comic trying to peel it from the glass. The signature was done with one of those silver paint pens and I suspect it was temp changes that caused the silver ink to bond to the glass.

After that I got serious about taking care of my collection. I figure if its worth displaying its worth doing right, and will preserve the piece for years to come.
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Old 11-03-2011, 03:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Suck View Post

The thing that brought back bad Déjà vu was seeing a signed comic framed with with the comic its self touching the frame glass.
If you are talking about mine I have it in a bag. Also, the signatures are on the inside of the cover.

This is a good thread though. When I finally get a place that I can display everything properly I will probably invest in some more serious display frames. Plus it's always good to know the pros and cons on both sides.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:52 AM   #7
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On the topic of archiving and preservation, I have a concert poster that has been signed by all the band members that I would like to add a little protection to. I was thinking about going this route

http://www.amazon.com/Sureguard-Arch...ref=pd_sim_p_1

Has anyone ever used anything like that?
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A little *too* Raph View Post
On the topic of archiving and preservation, I have a concert poster that has been signed by all the band members that I would like to add a little protection to. I was thinking about going this route

http://www.amazon.com/Sureguard-Arch...ref=pd_sim_p_1

Has anyone ever used anything like that?
Eh, not a fan of this stuff. Just try to find a mylar sleeve big enough for it and you are good to frame it in anything.

And with Original art, if you want to display it, it's a bit more diffucult than storing it. You gotta make sure you put it in a mylar sleeve, get archival, acid free, UV resistant, frame. BUT, if you just wanna store it safely, I'd suggest getting a Itoya art folder. That's what I use and many other art collectors use this.

Last edited by Samhain; 11-17-2011 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:03 AM   #9
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I really like those frames in the first post. My question is...would any of those sizes fit the original Mirage books? I have 2 signed by Peter, but I am not really a comic collector so I don't know what sizes are. I think i read elsewhere that they are magazine size?

Also...im interested in getting some mylite2's for the IDW series. Are there any stores online that sell them?? I tried www.comicsupply.com but they never sent me items and I had to go through VISA for a refund. Is the IDW series considered...current size....or standard??

A little confused here!

Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:24 PM   #10
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Most of my artwork is still in my Itoya folders. I still have a few if anyone is looking to get one for $20 OBO. I think they go for close to $30 at Michael's. Getting my comics CGC graded is my next investment. I will worry about displaying all my art work when I have a proper place to display it all.
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