The Comic Book and Media Mail Dilemma

Looks like you’re trying to figure out “are comic books media mail” according to the United States Postal Service? The answer to this question is not that simple. There are several factors to consider when trying to judge what is media mail. Below we explain what media mail is and whether or not comic books, graphic novels, and trade paperbacks fall under this category.

According to the USPS, Media Mail shipping is a cost-effective way to send educational materials. This service has several restrictions on the type of media that can be shipped with this method. Media Mail rates are limited to the items listed below:

  • Books of at least 8 pages
  • Sound recordings and video recordings, such as Blu-Rays, CDs, and DVDs
  • Loose-leaf pages and their binders consisting of medical information
  • Manuscripts for books, periodicals, plays, and music
  • Printed music such as sheet music
  • Computer-readable media
  • Printed educational charts
  • Test materials
  • Film

The key to whether or not you can ship comic book related material via Media Mail is that it may Not contain advertising, but there is one exception. In general, comic books do not meet this requirement. However, if the comic book contains incidental announcements of other comic books and no other advertisements then it would meet these requirements and be okay for media mail.

Comic Books and Media Mail Inspection

But will the USPS person actually check the comic book for the kind of ads it contains if the inspect the package? that is very unlikely. It is more likely that they will reject the package or charge the receiver the price difference between media mail and priority mail. One tip to make the USPS employee less likely to inspect your media mail is to package your comic books in a box, stamp textbook on the outside, and use a name on the label that suggests it has something to do with education and not comic books.



are comic books media mail

What about Medial Mail for Graphic Novels and Trade Paperbacks?

Graphic novels and trade paperbacks are typically different from comic books when it comes to the advertisements placed inside. The good news is that most of them do not have advertisements for anything other than other comic books and graphic novels so they meet the definition of what can be considered media. Most USPS employees know this about trade paperbacks and graphic novels so they will not inspect the package.

If you are going to mail one of these via media mail just make sure the USPS employee has no reason to think you are mailing comic books. If they suspect it is comic books then they might inspect the package potentially leading to damages during transit. In conclusion, the answer to the initial questions is that comic books are typically not media mail and that graphic novels and trade paperbacks can be mailed via USPS media mail.


To Recap What We Have Learned About Comic Books And Media Mail

  1. In order to be eligible for USPS media mail the comic book cannot have ads for things other than comic books.
  2. Trade paperbacks and graphic novels are usually okay for medial mail.
  3. Always ship media mail products in boxes that are taped really well and look like educational materials so workers will be less likely to search them.


What do you think after reading this? Are comic books media mail?

If you want to subscribe to one of our comic book mystery boxes you might feel better knowing that we never ship our mystery boxes via media mail. We always use priority! 🙂



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