Comic sniffers! Which comics smell the best?

I just finished reading Olympia #1 by Image. It was a great read, but I couldn’t help but notice my wife laughing at me from the other couch.

“What’s so funny!?!?” I yelled while flipping the coffee table over and smashing my whiskey glass against the wall.

“Why do you sniff the book every time you turn the page?” She said while putting me in a headlock and administering a killer noogie.

That got me thinking: I love the smell of certain comics/publishers and I derive a significant amount of pleasure from smelling my comics as I read them. I’d even go so far as to guess that the way a comic smells probably has an influence over how I feel about a comic after reading it.

My question to you all is: what comics/publishers make the best smelling comics in your opinion?

My personal favorites:


Bronze/ Copper Age- Hard to beat the classics.

Alterna- Fantastic sniff per dollar value.

Floating World- Surreal in smell and appearance.


Image- Most current Image titles have a great smell.

Aftershock- The chemical cocktail used to print these books is buzz inducing.

Ahoy- Combine fantastic aroma, thicker paper, and the fact that it takes almost an hour to really read an issue and you’ve got a smell sensation!

Not Crazy About

DC Black Label- It’s not that they smell bad. I’m just disappointed that bigger books with more pages don’t have a stronger smell.

Red 5-Strong smell but something’s a bit off. Almost sour smelling.

Scout- Very similar to Red 5. Not that it disgusts me or anything, just not as sweet as others.

I know I’m not the only comic sniffer out there (or maybe I am and there’s something wrong with me). I’d like to hear (smell) everyone else’s favorites. Are there any to avoid? What is it about carcinogens that we feel compelled to get them into our lungs?


I don’t smell modern comics, but If I buy an older Bronze Age comic or 80s book smelling it is usually the first thing I do.

Beings back memories and hits those pleasure centers for when I was a kid walking into comic book shops back in the mid 80s, innocence and the sense of wonder and anticipation at what I could buy with my $5 weekly allowance…which you could stretch pretty far back then!


I haven’t laughed that hard in forever. Thank you for that first and foremost. Have you smelled an Avatar Comic? That’s my favorite and smells like a box of crayons. Any smells associated with older books I both love and hate. Love it because it reminds me of looking through longboxes at LCS’s and the library. Hate because that’s the smell of decay.

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Kudos to the original author. Talk about putting all your cards on the table. Most sniffers are not so forward about their habits. Lol. I am not an avid comic sniffer, but, I do enjoy the smell of books made of newsprint from the 80s and earlier. There is definitely a distinct smell that is very time warping.


I haven’t tried Avatar yet but I will because I recently ordered a couple Crossed TPBs and a few Alan Moore comics.

I agree that there is a drastic difference between the glossy papers and inks used in moderns compared to older newsprint. I definitely think that there is some value to smelling modern books but there is something about the combination of ink, paper, and time that make older newsprint books so much more special. It’s like the difference between the aroma of perfectly aged wine freshly pressed grape juice. Both smell good but one is obviously better.

I never thought about the smell of old books being an indicator of decay. I guess we can use this as a reminder that nothing lasts forever and we should try to live in and enjoy the moment.


I’m also not avid sniffer but with Avatar I found that I was constantly sniffing them. It’s a strong smell compared to other modern comics. Now that I’ve thought about it for a minute it really reminded me of crayons which transported me back to my childhood. Mine are all single issues so I don’t know if the process is any different for collected editions and might make for a different odor.

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I’ve sniffed so many comics over the years that I could not even count the number … folks that are attempting to sell a collection always give me a strange look as they hover nearby when I peruse their books …

I don’t really ever offer up an explanation as that would destroy the general eccentricity that I’ve built around my persona all these many years …

You can tell a lot by the smell of old books … I can differentiate between books stored in an attic or books stored in a basement … whether any owner was a smoker of any sort of combustible “substance” … whether the books were used as bathroom reading material … etc …

New books, I don’t bother … as they simply don’t have the bouquet of older material … unless, of course, we’re talking about the infamous Harley Quinn Annual #1 which I believe sported 4 different “rub and smell” variants … billed by DC as being “Scentacular” … And, let’s not ever forget that Chew released an SDCC-exclusive scratch-‘n’-sniff cover back in 2011, and a 1992 issue of Ren & Stimpy had a scratch-‘n’-sniff “air fouler” in it … all Hall of Fame Contenders …

It’s like a fine Wine … :zipper_mouth_face:

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@TheCrackpot are you a wine drinker or gourmet beer drinker/foodie?

It’s funny how some people have noses that are better at differentiating different aromas or tastes…many go into the food industry as taste testers or food critics.

Me, I drink red wine with white fish. Doesn’t bother me in the least. I don’t care for white or rose wines.

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I do enjoy wine (always red) but I prefer beer and whiskey. Now that you mention it, I do tend to take a sniff, or two, of my beverage every time I take a sip. That’s probably where the habit started.

There are a lot worse things to smell. My sister caught her ex sniffing toilet paper after wiping his ass with it. Different strokes.

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More info than I needed … :poop:

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That’s worse than getting caught sniffing bicycle seats outside the library. I didn’t think anything could be worse than that.

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Ok…this thread is going south fast…and I don’t mean south of the equator…

Wow! Haven’t laughed like this is a while…

I have never thought about smelling comic books. I do how ever try to avoid smelling old comic books. Specially the 12 cent ones. They give me allergies. To the point where I need to take some allergy medicine.

If you said it was going down fast instead of south it would’ve been easier to work with. Lol.

Back on topic:

My wife likes candles. Burns them every day. Last Christmas I was searching on for some candles to buy her for gifts. I was surprised by the number of “Old Book” or “Used Book Store” candles that I came across,.

Has anyone tried these candles?

How accurate are they?

How do they derive the aroma?

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I actually like the smell of Scout comics and don’t really care for the smell of Aftershock.

I like the smell of old Avatar comics. It is unique for sure.

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Hmmm, I wonder if they changed something in the process? If newer Avatars don’t smell the same as old that’s my assumption. The last ones I bought were series like Gravel, Doktor Sleepless, Black Summer & Uber’s. I feel as though all were excellent series. I especially loved Black Summer. and all but one written by my all time favorite comic book writer Warren Ellis.

@TheCrackpot…I want to know if you have one particular book in your PC that has the cats meow of smells, to you?

Side tracking for a moment, I’m used to love the smell of GI Joe action figures fresh out of the box/package back in the mid 80s. Had a sweet cherry-like smell to them, as I recall…