Storing Comics

By | Monday, March 13, 2006 Leave a Comment
I like to think that I have a pretty reasonably-sized collection of comics. Something like 6,000 individual issues and another 2,000 comics in TPB, microfiche or CD-ROM formats. To no one's surprise, I'm sure, that takes up a bit of room. The question naturally arises, where do you put it all?

When I only had maybe ten or twelve long boxes worth of books, I kept them upstairs in my office. I had my computer in there with an internet connection, so it was easy for me to spin around and pull out an issue if I was trying to answer a question or something. The few issues I had on CD-ROM, too, could easily be thrown into the drive to pull those up, and I kept a database record of all my comics on the machine as well.

By the time I got to around 15 boxes, though, I began to worry about the structural intergrity of the floor. That's a lot of weight to be sitting all in one place, and I don't like the idea of falling through into the dining room when I'm reading the latest haul from the comic shop. So I decided to move everything into the basement and begin a bona-fide comic area.

The first problem, of course, is that it's a basement. They tend to be a bit on the damp side, especially if you have things sitting right on the floor. So the first thing I did was put a dehumidifier down there. (Fortunately, I already had one that wasn't being used.) The next thing I did was rig up a shelf system to get my long boxes off the floor. We were replacing several of our old hollow-core doors anyway, so I used those as shelves, stacking them on sets of concrete blocks for stability.

I then hooked up an older computer with my database hard drive so I could continue to catalog my collection. An old bookshelf became re-appropriated for TPBs and The Wife's old reading chair became the centerpiece, so I could comfortably lounge while I was reading or looking up old books. Over the years, I've aquired more than a handful of posters and prints as well. Many of those went up to cover the ugly cement walls of the unfinished basement.

A year or two later, I picked up many old Timely comics in microfiche format and bought a relatively inexpensive microfiche reader to go with them. That's sitting next the computer on a small night stand. Various comic related toys and games have also made their way into the area and I now have a Mage action figure defending my Dark Knight statuette. My Mego Fantastic Four figures stand guard over my pewter Sandman figures, as my custom-made Super-Skrull mask looks on.

For the amount of resources I've put into the area, I'm quite happy with it. It looks like a room whose sole purpose is to house comics and comic book memorbilia. (It's a smallish room, but a room nonetheless.) My father had to wait until he was retired until he could afford to build a true library to house his collection of magic books, but I really hope I don't have to wait nearly that long to get my own library for my collection of comics.
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