One of the exciting prospects involved in moving and getting new digs is the notion of starting fresh. A way to force yourself to break out of old habits and old thinking. That was the great thing about going off to college -- it opened up a lot of possibilities, not only in terms of a formal education but just by forcing you to perceive the world differently by virtue of the fact that you're seeing it from a different vantage.
Anyway, just the idea of getting a new house has really sparked some thinking for me lately. I've mentioned some thoughts about setting up my library, but I been doing some more thinking on the subject. One of the things that helped was actually setting something up digitally. I had already mostly decided on the type and amount of shelving I would need to get, and was playing around with Ikea's old planning software. I placed the furniture in a kind of generic room (obviously, I don't have any real dimensions yet, much less window and door placements) and then threw a snapshot of that into Photoshop to get a better sense of what things might actually look like. Here's what I threw together...Asterix wall decal and the Strange Tales print.
This exercise has proved very useful in a couple respects. First, it shows that the basic structure/layout that I was shooting for generally works as I was hoping, by providing lots of storage space for my materials (comics, graphic novels, reference books, etc.) with a handy work area for actually doing whatever writing I'm trying to do. Plus, I'll have ample flat surfaces in which to store either items that don't fit on the shelves (oversized books, for example) or related items that I just want to display (like the handful of nerd hummels I have there). It also shows that I'll need an additional small work surface for my microfiche reader, but that can easily fit to the right of the chair.
The second noteworthy thing that this highlights is what the overall impression of the room is. One thing that I would very much like to avoid is having the room look like a shrine to superheroes. While I've certainly spent more time reading superhero comics than anything else, I want to ensure that a wider variety of formats and genres are represented. What we're looking at here, I think, is still pretty heavily weighted towards superfolks. I've got a statuette from One Piece, another from Fairy Quest (Although, technically, I don't have it my possession yet, Paul... just sayin'!), the Asterix decal and one piece of original comic strip art. Technically, the Jack Kirby piece is more of a science fictiony thing, too, but it's hard to escape Jack's connection with the superhero genre. The one newspaper strip reference I have is still tied to the Batman daily strip. I have some different original art I could put up in place of that Thing on the back wall, but few that work as display pieces. I could maybe put up one of my High Moon pieces, but those are horizontal, and I might not have enough space there for them.
As I noted in that previous post, I might try to procure a Winsor McCay print. And I've got a Hobbes plush animal being shipped. Those will help in the newspaper strip department. I don't have thoughts on much else, though. Most of the manga I read doesn't have much in the way of commercial products attached to them, at least nothing more than the occasional poster. Ditto with most European comics. I was hoping to see more materials around the new Judge Dredd movie, but I'm not seeing much there beyond a new statuette.
As I said, I spent many years reading superheroes, so it should come as little surprise that I have more stuff from that genre. And when I started really getting into materials outside that niche, I had largely stopped getting representations of those new pieces in favor of putting my money towards the new stories themselves. But taking a few moments to reflect on that (as I've been doing the past couple weeks) I think not doing that has skewed what my library will look like, and if I want it to reflect what I'm reading now, I might need to make a few additional decoration purchases than just some nice furniture.