Monday, August 1, 2011

What We've Been Up To: Dealing with a large and growing collection of comics and related junk

So, on Tuesday night Jamie flew out to see The Dug and K out in Berkeley, and she took PalNicole with her.  I am trying to save my vacation dollars (not so much my days as I have plenty of those), and so I didn't go with.  I am going to try to get tickets to the Noir City Film Fest, and so I'll be in SF hopefully this winter (likely January 20th).  Budgets, people.

I did, however, take Thursday and Friday off work.  And I had a gameplan, which was why I didn't want to screw it up by spending a bunch of time pondering imponderables here at The Signal Watch.  Thus:  Hiatus.  Thanks for your patience.

Here at League HQ I maintain a home office which a few of you have had opportunity to visit.  On some show on Spike, it would likely be referred to as a "man cave", but its far brighter and cheerier than what I'd guess many man-caves to be.  Its where I keep my comics in boxes, display my action figures and toys, etc...  Its a homey little spot, but it doesn't get enough attention, nor have I been good about organizing my comics of late.  Basically, I had more than three long-boxes worth of comics that weren't really bagged and boarded, and hadn't been entered in the online database I use to inventory my stuff.  (I use an online service called

this represents about 16-18 months worth of Superman reading.  I should mention, after taking this picture, I realized I hadn't added my "Superman/ Batman" issues to the bin.  Also:  Jeff the Cat is always around.

This stuff is incredibly time consuming to deal with, and its not a good project to pick up and then do in bits and spurts.  Comic organizing all kind of has to happen either weekly or with a single, sustained effort once in a while.  Cleaning all those toys and shelves?  That isn't exactly something you want to do every day, and when you do it, man...

But the course of true-organizing never did run smooth.

You may have heard we had some trouble with Scout's feet post-rollerblading (its not as crazy as it sounds), and so no more rollerblading for our girls.  But that turned Wednesday night into a fiasco.  A few pain pills later, and Scout is now right as rain, by the way.    But that threw off my Wednesday night something fierce, and I had to deal with it at the eVet, or I was going to lose sleep on Wednesday night plus I'd lose time on Thursday.

Thursday and part of Friday I mostly spent clearing off shelves, dusting and cleaning both shelving and more action figures and toys than I want to talk about.  I'm trying to get down to some nice balance of iconic stuff for a few characters  and not really caring if Superman overtakes the collection in that room.  But the upshot is that I did get rid of a few shelves worth of stuff, or at least cleared it into boxes that I now have to deal with separately.

Yes, I also stopped very early Friday so I could go with PalKevin to see Captain America at the Gateway, where Austin Books and Comics had brought in comic writer Mark Waid to talk about comics, Captain America as a character, etc...  to an eager audience.  I'm a pretty big Waid fan, so I can't really talk about it without gushing, but he seems every bit the gentleman and scholar you read about online.  And his lady friend was pretty charming to boot.

So I mixed up Friday through this afternoon alternating between organizing comics and re-arranging parts of my office.  I basically didn't finish either project.

I managed to get all my comics bagged, boarded and inventoried, but I didn't merge them with the larger collection, and I didn't start to pull out stuff from the long-boxes that I don't want anymore.

I also didn't finish with the stuff in my office.  I hung some little red shelves, and those look okay.  And I re-hung some stuff in frames...  that sort of thing.  But I'm far from done.

Jamie returned this evening (we are very happy to have her home again), and I did try to clean up as much as possible, but the house is a bit of a wreck.  Me, two dogs and a cat did nothing to make sure the house was any better when she came back than when she left.

I talked and talked about what I'd done, and then I took her in my office and I saw it on her face...  in her eyes, it all looked exactly the same as it had when she left.

Pointed a few things out, but I think she just sees a blur of Superman-ishness and a bunch of junk she really doesn't care that much about, and that's fine.  But it did make me laugh a bit realizing that as much time as I spent, ain't nobody going to notice but me.

I took some quick pics with my iPhone, but the flash was all buggy, so I did the best I could.  I think the camera lens needs a cleaning.

part of the action figure collection.  I cleaned every last shelf and every last item.  You can see an issue of Superboy that Randy gave me up top in a frame.

no, I do not wear the cape and belt.  And the boots don't fit.  The lower Power Girl image was a gift from CanadianSimon

why did I buy so many comics..?  By the way, I've had those discolored boxes since  around 1989.  Jamie gave me that issue of Superman on the right where he's racing The Flash.

this should give you an idea of what kind of mess is still left to be dealt with.  There's that Jill Thompson print.


Anonymous said...

I've got to make a decision on what to do with my collection now that I've stopped buying floppies _at all_. They're all just stuffed in boxes and unorganized. Unlike lots, I hate hate the routine of bagging and boarding.

You should check out the furniture here for your collection and figures. It's pretty cool stuff. I'm impressed.


The League said...

That is definitely cool furniture. Were I to look at doing something different with the cape, etc... I would look at one of those displays.

I try not to let the cost of shelves overwhelm the cost of the actual collection. The stuff you see here is cheap stuff from Target and Home Depot. The bookshelves I have are from Ikea and a "Furniture in the Raw" store here in town.

Drawers are hard as I have (according to my inventory) just shy of 9000 comics. The number of those drawers I'd need would fill up most of my house. I've thought about it for managing the Superman collection, but I don't know where they'd go.

Simon MacDonald said...

Your comic room is 1000% cooler than mine. I really need to get my Wesley Dodd's Sandman sketches framed.