#274 In which our hero sorts a great many comic books.
The Scientist and the girls are away for a week (!) visiting the grandparents. This left me with a lot of time on my hands in the evening, so I decided to undertake a big chore that I’ve been putting off for a long time: organizing my comics.
I’ve been collecting comics since I was in 5th grade. This means that a large portion of my collection is old superhero comics that no longer hold any real appeal to me. Not that I’d throw them out! So I have a bunch of longboxes in my basement filled with bagged and boarded comics that I haven’t looked at in years and years.
All of my books are alphabetically sorted and, honesty, that’s the problem. See, if I start collecting a new comic that starts with the letter “A” then if I want to file it properly, I’d have to find room in the “A” box for it. Add enough new comics and you have to displace some into the next box. Displace enough of the second box, and it cascades down and down until I’d have to fuss with a dozen boxes or so. Ugh.
So, instead, I keep a couple short boxes and file away my new comics in them. The idea being that I’d let them fill up, then have one big sorting session and put everything where it belonged.
That was about three years ago.
And, as I’m still getting new comics (not a lot, I probably get 2-4 books a week) I had something like 400 mixed comics in shortboxes; some in the basement with the rest of my collection, some in my bedroom.
I knew it was going to be a major undertaking, so I didn’t enter into it lightly. And I certainly wasn’t going to leave a bunch of my comics around where the kids could get at them. So, when it was decided that The Scientist would be taking the girls with her, leaving me alone in the house for a week, I knew it was time.
Step one: haul all boxes up out of the basement.
I suppose I could have done this in the basement, but I knew I’d be spreading out all over the room, and it would be more comfortable in the living room.
As any serious long-time collector can tell you, the photo above doesn’t show an overwhelming number of comics. I never bought a huge number of books, even in my hey-day. And as I got older and typical superhero books started to lose their appeal, I bought less and less. And there was one point where I decided that comic books were kid stuff and I was done buying them. I think that was around age 19. I think it lasted all of a year.
Why this is such an ordeal is that I have to pull out every comic, make sure they’re all in numerical order within the title, organize all the titles alphabetically, then stick them back in boxes. And, of course, stop and read a comic every now and again.
That’s what sucks up so much time, of course. If I just buckled down and powered through, I could probably finish in half the time.
But these comics are, in a very real sense, the only tangible reminders I have of my childhood. There are certain issues, or moments within an issue, that stick with me today. The death of Dr. Doom. Yellow Jacket sabotaging his career. The Invisible Girl having a miscarriage. Jesse finally kicking Jody’s ass. Dream challenging a demon to a battle of wits to retrieve his lost helm. Rorschach unmasked. The Bowel Disruptor.
And so on.
So I get sucked in and find myself reading. And reading. And while there are a lot of books that still hold a special appeal to me, I also come across ones where I'm like, "why the hell did I ever buy this?" And I have to read it to try to figure out the answer to that question. Bottom line is that it always takes way too long to get this chore done. I'm lucky that I had an entire week.
ABOVE: halfway done.
Turns out I have a comic for every letter of the alphabet (thank you Quantum & Woody and Y: The Last Man) and I also have a robust "S" section. Long runs of Sandman, Starman, Sin City and a surprisingly large assortment of Spider-Man and Superman comics; surprising only in that I've never really gone out of my way to collect those titles.
ABOVE: 95% done.
The clock started to run out, because the girls come home on Sunday, and I was busy all day Saturday. So Friday night I buckled down and finished sorting, and boxed everything up again.
ABOVE: 1:30am, done! All that's left is to hump all these boxes back into the basement.
Until next time.