Both the conservation profession and the comic book collecting subculture matured during the last century, largely in isolation from one another. As a result, the types of preventive conservation tactics that became institutionalised in the comic book retail sector often diverge from modern conservation strategies in other heritage contexts. Yet if inadequate preservation methods endanger the living tangible and intangible heritage practices of the comics subculture, there is an imperative for conservation outreach in that sector. In order to demonstrate the need for a professional dialogue between conservators and shop owners and to reinforce the necessity of ongoing supplier quality review in other conservation contexts, this study explores the preventive conservation strategies commonly used by comic retailers and tests the practical benefits of their archival products. The origins of the comic book collecting subculture, its modern values and the materials of the books themselves are also discussed.
This is the abstract of a dissertation submitted in partial fullfilment of the requirements for the degree of MA in Principles of Conservation, Institute of Archaeology, University College London 2013.