My Ideal Comic Library

By | Thursday, September 13, 2012 1 comment
I've been kicking around the idea of basically doing my comic library again from scratch. You know, the one that was shown on Robot 6 a few years ago? That was largely put together on a shoe-string budget, primarily utilizing a lot of found materials. And it's worked well for many years now, but it's not really as well-suited to me and my reading/research habits as I would like. So what would I do if I scrapped everything and started over?

Well, my first thought would be to start with basically the THX-1138 room. All white. Sterile. Pretty featureless. All the furniture that would ultimately go into it would likewise be all white and pretty utilitarian, without much ornamentation.

See, my thinking is that if I have a room devoted to comics, and much of the imagery surrounding that is bright and colorful and almost in-your-face, I wouldn't want to either detract or distract from it by putting extra crap in the room that you'd have to take in. Let the comics and art be the focus of the room by removing everything else.

I'd like to showcase my comics with a similar tactic that I use currently, with many of the front covers visible. Ideally, some kind of comic-sized storage drawer system that still allowed for the first issue of each box to be displayed, but since that doesn't exist, I can still use my issues-hanging-on-the-front-of-the-long-box trick. I can get deeper shelving to hide the cardboard of the boxes themselves, even if it might not be perfectly sized.

With all that art visible, I don't know that I'd need/want a lot of additional art on the walls. Posters and such. But I should think a couple of nice, framed pieces would be in order. My "Incan Visitation" by Jack Kirby is a must, but I'm not certain which of my other pieces (or entirely new ones!) would make sense. I know I would want to have a balance of material, though, so it's not overly weighted towards any one creator or publisher. Maybe a Winsor McCay piece...

Of course, that's all flat work. I think at least one or two pieces would be needed to add some depth to the room. My initial thoughts actually floated towards some of the very nice prop replicas that have been made over the past decade or so. I quite liked the City of Kandor, though I'm not much of a Superman fan to really justify it. There's a few versions of Captain America's shield that are nice, too; I would consider that primarily because of my appearance in The Avengers movie.

But then it dawned on me that a life-size character statue would be really cool looking. Expensive, of course, but I'm mostly fantasizing here anyway. I think I would ideally want to have The Thing, but it doesn't appear that anyone's made him. There's a handful of commercially available characters, but they seem to be limited to Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and Iron Man. They also float in the $6,000 range. I did find this guy, who does what appear to be un-licensed versions for about one-third the price and with a much wider range of characters already created.

The trick all over here, I think, would be not over-loading the room with stuff. It should definitely be engaging and colorful, but that should stem from some key pieces and not a system overload of color.

But, of course, starting over would not be cheap. Some quick back-of-the-envelope math drops me into the $5,000-$6,000 range on the furniture by itself, and just using the posters and the couple of small statuettes I already own.

Everyone's collection is an ongoing one anyway, so I'm sure things will get shuffled and re-organized just by the nature of me getting more stuff that needs to be housed somewhere. But maybe I can set aside some time in 2013 to really look at how my comic library is designed, and work on improving it. Hmmm...
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Matt K said...

Nice. I have an idea of someday having a dream library, though since my comic collection is a good deal smaller and growing only very slowly these days, they would just be a part of it along with a big collection of books (much more than I have now). And my idea for a dream library is pretty much the opposite of your white room concept; I would want a busy, ornate Victorian gentleman's study look. Patterned wallpaper, fancy antique furniture, all kinds of stuff on the walls, yep yep.

Someday. Maybe. (Probably not.)