22 May 2006

COMMENT: Organizing Comics

Judging by the presence of all seven issues of Jonah Hex spread throughout, among others, it had been at least seven months since I'd filed away any comics, and the stack (as seen here) was growing out control, threatening to topple over onto our bed at any moment. The stack at the back on the left was everything I'd already read, mostly floppies, with a handful of thinner TPBs in the mix. To its right and direct front were TPBs of various dimensions, some read, some not. Finally, the stack closest to me was yet another mix of unread comics, mostly incomplete mini-series.

Like going back to the gym and getting a start on writing my Great American Novel, organizing that mess was firmly entrenched on my to-do list, and also like those aforementioned projects, the thought of finally getting to it was daunting. Nevertheless, I dove in yesterday and spent 10 hours sorting, bagging, boarding and boxing more than 300 comics -- with another 150 or so left when I gave in at midnight -- amazed at how many more comics got put into the donation pile vs. the boxes and/or eBay pile.

When I first organized my nascent collection almost two years ago, I had 4 longboxes and a couple of short boxes, and used a mostly Marvel/DC/Indie system, with one longbox for all my Batman-related comics, and a shortbox for Moon Knight. Over time, thanks to eBay, I added a longbox specifically for Epic comics and another for random stuff I'd picked up in mixed lots. Last night, because of limited storage space for the now seven longboxes and three shortboxes, I had to rethink my system and eventually settled on the following:

Long Boxes
Batman
Licenses (full)
Minority characters (full)
Marvel (full)
DC (full)
Indies (full)
Miscellaneous (full)

Short Boxes
Moon Knight (full)
Current (x2)

I added a stack of about 100 comics or so to the donation pile -- the majority were assorted DC runs that were cut short by my disinterest in the build-up to Infinite Crisis -- and set aside approx. 24 for eBay, including the Supergirl arc from Superman/Batman that I'm sure some fanboy out there will snatch up for $19.99 whenever I get around to listing it. Even among the comics I'm keeping, though, there were many that I could have easily waited for the trade on or simply skipped altogether, ie: Vigilante and Black Widow (the second mini), both of which remain unread and went into bags anyway, just to get them out of the way.

Made me realize it's time for another hard look at the pull list as space is at a premium now and I no longer feel the need to stay on top of as much as my budget might allow. I'm also shifting some $$$ over to Vs. as the Infinite Crisis expansion has me addicted, so there's that.

As for TPBs, I was taken aback by how many I've bought over the past six months and how many I haven't gotten around to reading yet, including Box Office Poison and Bluesman, among others. While they're easier to store and much more conducive to subway reading, they also take longer to read than the standard floppy, so it's not a simple call to make on switching over to waiting for the trade completely, as I've been tempted to do at times.

Next step, cataloging everything into some sort of database to better track what I'm missing so I can work on completing my runs of the likes of Micronauts, random Moon Knight appearances and the full line of Epic comics.

2 comments:

Mark Fossen said...

I'm getting a database together, because dealing with organized boxed makes me nuts. I don't want to keep rearranging and shifting things to new boxes as my collection expands. I have short boxes - each one alphabetical - then a database with includes location information.

I'm using the same one I used years and years ago. It's not the fanciest, but it's very powerful and can download info from the GCD.

Realms Of Wonder: http://www.realmsofwonder.com/

Erech said...

Bastards, no Mac versions on that Realms of Wonder app, d'oh!

I sorta organized my mess the last few weeks too, getting ready for the move. I'm def. gonna need a few more short boxes asap. Although I never even thought about a donation pile, I feel bad now, after all the junk I just tossed. That's a good idea, have to remember that once I get really into organizing the bitch.

Also, read Box Office Poison damnit.