What is stacking curl and spine roll?

What is stacking curl?

You will likely have noticed that our product condition descriptions often refer to stacking curl. But what exactly is stacking curl and what causes it? Is spine roll the same thing?

Stacking curl is an effect on comic books that usually develops over a long period of time. The edge of the comic book can be seen to turn upwards, particularly at the spine side. This prevents the comic book from lying flat on a surface.

What causes staking curl?

As the name implies, stacking curl is a storage issue. Stacking comic books face up in a pile causes the comics to sag at the centre into a U shape. Over time, the weight increases the effect and the curl presses permanently. The relative rigidity of the spine compared to the rest of the book can create an indentation along the spine and further accentuate the effect here.

Are Commando comics prone to stacking curl?

Yes, unfortunately Commando comics are particularly prone to stacking curl. This is due to the way Commando comics are manufactured. Rather than being stapled, as many comics are, they are glued at the spine. This produces a more robust spine while the main body of the comic remains softer, pliable.

Normal reading of a Commando comic encourages creasing or softening of the paper along the edge of the spine. This weakening of this area increases the likelihood of stacking curl occurring.

Is spine roll the same thing?

No, spine roll is a different effect to stacking curl though they are caused in much the same way. Both are issues caused by the method of storage. Spine roll is an effect where the front cover (usually) becomes pushed over and extends beyond the reach of the rear cover. In a comic that is stapled, when laid on a flat surface, the staples may appear to face upwards rather than sitting to the side.

Are Commando comics prone to spine roll?

Spine roll is less likely to be an issue with Commando comics than stacking curl is. Again, this is due to the method of manufacture. The glued, rigid spine is less likely to roll than a stapled spine. However, older issues of Commando can ultimately suffer this issue should the spine become crushed or otherwise softened.

How can stacking curl and spine roll be prevented?

Both stacking curl and spine roll are the result of long-term storage of comics, piled one on top of another. To prevent this, consider bagging and boarding your comic collection. Once bagged and boarded, store in an upright position. Keep quantities relatively small – even upright, leaning can apply weight and pressure. Alternating comics front to back can also help.

Commando size comic bags and boards are available here.

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