Comics - main page
When I first started collecting comics, I didn't have that many (well, obviously!), so physical storage wasn't much of an issue. I just kept them stacked on my bookshelves, grouped by title in sequential order.
As the quantity increased, I started to run out of space, so I got some boxes from them. The ones I used are from Justin Ebbs' CollectorLine range, which I heartily recommend. You can buy these in most UK comic shops, as well as by mail order. I started out with the short boxes, mainly because I didn't realise that there was a longer version available! I basically stuck with these afterwards, to make it easier to stack them. Based on my experience, three high is about as far as you can go - any more than that, and the lower boxes will buckle with the weight.
As I said, I would order each title by issue number. I do this in terms of internal chronology, rather than the date published, so for instance Marvel's
"Flashback" (-1) issues go at the start of each run, and DC's 1,000,000 issues go at the end. As far as the actual titles themselves go, I initially tried to keep each one inside one box. This meant that I shuffled each block around, to mostly fill up the boxes, while leaving some room for new issues. E.g. I might have Secret Wars and New Warriors together, but if I picked up a whole load of NW back issues then I'd put the whole run into a different box, and put Venom in its place. I hope that makes some sense! After a while, this became quite a nuisance, and it also meant that I couldn't remember which box a particular comic was in, so I abandoned this plan. Instead, I put all the titles into alphabetical order, and individual titles were split across boxes when necessary.
This height limit eventually meant that I was running out of space again, and also that it was a hassle to get at comics in the lower boxes, since I had to lift all the upper boxes out of the way. So, I invested in some filing cabinets. I went to 1st Choice Office Furniture Ltd to get these, as they had a good discount on economy four drawer cabinets (code E4). Mind you, if you do go there then you're best off phoning, as their online order system didn't work properly for me. One key point to look for in a filing cabinet is the drawer dimensions - all drawers are going to be in
"landscape" rather than
"portrait", so you'll need one that fits in two comics side by side. N.B. This is bigger than A4.
When I first started getting comics, I mainly went for back issues, so they all had bags of their own. A few months later, I went away for the Christmas vacation, and left all my comics on the shelf in my room at college. On my return, I found that a water pipe had burst in the roof, and sprayed across my bookcase for an unspecified period of time. All my books were waterlogged, and I dried them out as best I could. The comics in bags were completely unscathed, but a couple of new issues were damaged. I guess there's a moral there. I have to admit that I haven't gone out buying bags for all my comics, although the comic shop I currently go to (Gosh!) sells new comics in bags anyway. This is something I keep meaning to attend to, though. One suggestion I heard was to put a bin liner inside the comic box (or drawer, in my case), to add a layer of waterproofing.
Some of my comics (back issues) have come with boards, which is great, but I haven't gone out and bought new ones. I know I should look at this some time, and probably replace the ones I've been using for years, but it is quite an expense.
These are very useful. The way I've got my comics organised now (grouped by title), I use a divider for each one. To put it another way, there aren't any
"ungrouped" issues. So, what happens if I only have one issue of X-Men? Initially, I used
"Misc" groups for them. I had one for each universe (Marvel, DC, Acclaim), and also for lines (2099), which took care of the loose ones. I've now started putting in alphabetical misc dividers - this way, Resurrection Man and Rising Stars will be together in
"R Misc", rather than Resurrection Man being in
"DC Misc" and Rising Stars being in
"Image Misc". It's a judgement call as to when a series deserves its own divider; I generally treat 20 issues as a minimum.
At first, I kept these mixed in with the issues, but then I moved them to my bookcase. They initially had a shelf or two to themselves, but have now filled an entire bookcase. They are sorted alphabetically by subject (e.g. Sandman before Spider-Man), then in chronological order (e.g. Preludes & Noctures before Brief Lives). This may not always be the order they were printed in, e.g. I have Batman: Year One at the start of the Batman section.
On a similar note, I have used various methods to keep an inventory of my collection.
This page was last updated on 2003-12-29 by John C. Kirk