Q & A 4: What are some of your favorite comics-related collectibles?

In Q & A, a semi-regular feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.

What are some of your favorite comics-related collectibles?


I have a vast and varied collection of items related to comic books; it is difficult to narrow it to even “some” favorites. My plush Wolverine, my Iron Man towel, my Supergirl sneakers (I am lucky enough to be able to fit into a girls’ size four shoe), my New Goblin window cling (also plush. I like plush; just today I saw a Batman plush toy for toddlers that I wanted to buy. For myself, not for my toddler). But I think the best example of my household and comics-related collectibles is our Batman DVD player. If we could have a Batman refrigerator we probably would. The DVD player was a gift from Santa Claus to the whole family two or three years ago. The start-up screen features our darkknight, leading AJ to believe that Batman himself produces every movie we watch. Yes, even Barbie and the Twelve Dancing Princesses.


Aside from my actual comic books, and a poster or two, all of the comics-related merchandise I own was either a hand-me-down or a gift. Because I have awesome friends, and fandom makes me easy to shop for. There’s a reason I have action figures of three generations of Summers men lined up on my kitchen counter, leaning against my Iron Man Slurpee cup (okay, I bought that one too. But it came with Slurpee!)

Honestly, the best part of all this schwag is the way it makes me think of the friends who gave it to me. That’s why my very favorite has to be the coffee cup that my friend Samantha sent me, a couple Christmases ago. It’s one of those tall ones, with space inside the lining to put a piece of paper — the kind you used to draw flowers on and give as a Mother’s Day gift. Samantha (who, I note, is not even an X-Men reader in any meaningful sense), took one of these cups, a color copier, and a few issues of Astonishing X-Men and made me the Best Coffee Cup ever. I can’t really get a photograph of the cup that does it justice, but it includes the panels on this page. I love Cyclops and Phoenix. I love coffee. It’s a match made in heaven. Best of all, the cup seems totally innocuous if you don’t look too close. So I take it to work, I sip my coffee during a boring meeting, and I steal a look down as I think about how in love those two were, how gorgeous John Cassaday’s drawings look with Laura Martin’s colors and, most of all, what great friends I have.


I’m a child at heart, and since I became a comic book fan, it’s been dangerous for me to go to the toy aisles at department stores. I can’t help it – the Marvel Super Hero Squad line is too adorable. Not to mention the Spider-Man and Friends line. Until yesterday, my favorite pieces of merchandise I own were a Wolverine “bop bag” (it’s three feet tall and pops back up when you punch it — just like the real Wolverine!) and a Spider-Man and Friends “comic book pillow”, which is actually two pillows sewn together as “covers” with cloth “pages” inside that tell the story of the Marvel heroes playing Olympics-style games.

But then, yesterday, at my LCS, I bought the toy described here.

Yes, that’s Iron Man, painted in Captain America’s colors, much like the cover to this excellent What If?. According to the back of the package, “Programmed with every possible piece of information about the fighting style used by Captain America, this armor allows Iron Man to mimic the moves of his friend and fellow hero.” It’s a completely random and faintly desperate marketing ploy, and it doesn’t even make much sense, considering this is the toy line for the Iron Man film, a universe in which Captain America does not yet exist. I can only assume this means that Cap’s shield in the Iron Man movie was meant to signify that Tony was already planning on making this suit based on hero-worship of a World War II legend.

But you know what? I don’t care what the explanation is. Because this is a toy that combines two of my favorite characters, is tangentially related to a comic book issue I loved, and reminds me, in its sheer absurdity, of why I love comic books so much. All comics merchandise should achieve so much.


I think my favorite is either my Little Endless poster (signed by Neil Gaiman and Jill Thompson) or my Toon Tumblers. Oddly enough, both items are in the kitchen instead of in my bedroom with all the other stuff. The Little Endless poster was acquired many years ago at a signing at Dreamhaven Books in Minneapolis. The Toon Tumblers I pick up at my LCS, The Source Comics and Games. I try, try, to limit myself to characters I really care about. And, besides, the shelf is full now, so I can’t get anymore. Right? Right?


What are some of your favorite comics-related collectibles?

  • Dan

    First off, all of these sound ridiculously cool…but, I think my fav has got to be Captain Iron (Iron America??).

    Reading this, I realized that I have very few comics-related collectibles. Sure, I have a bunch of autographs (Joss Whedon’s on a repro of the script to “Prophecy Girl”, Jeremy ‘Boba Fett’ Bulloch telling me to “Stay Cool”) and the commemorative Mel Blanc lithograph that the Warner Brothers store sold a few years back; but, not much in the way of comics.

    As such, really all I have to add to your lists is my collection of Nightcrawlers. Yup…if they made a Nightcrawler, I bought it. Good thing he’s not Wolverine, then I’d probably be broke by now.

  • Caia

    I am really incredibly fond of my Alan Scott plushie. I have no idea why DC made it, but it is absolutely adorable. Also, hilarious.

  • Out of the two LCSs I hit up, they are seriously lacking in cool memorabilia. The same can be said for cool toys at my WalMart and Zellers.

    Buut, I do have an addiction to claw machines, and those are filled with tons of Marvel Characters. Most of the time they’re buried underneath Ms. Piggy or some character from Shrek, but I have won a Wolverine who was just sitting on top of everyone.

    I also picked up a Hulk Pez dispenser once at the dollar store. And Dr. Doom sits up on my computer screen.

    I’m most sad about the time I was broke and found a Gotham Girls Batgirl at Giant Tiger. When I went back the next week it was gone. :(

  • spuffyduds

    When the hub and I were either dating or early-married, I forget, Matt Wagner came to the local comic shop. I stood in line for a drawing, because hub had a radio shift or something, and when I got up to the front asked for a Mirth for the hub and an Edsel for me. (I think they were $10 apiece.) Wagner said, pleasantly, that he wasa only doing one per person, sorry, and I thought a second and said, well, do Mirth then. The next time I went to the shop, they pulled a drawing of Edsel out from under the counter–he’d had some extra time at the end and remembered. (I’ve always kind of assumed he did that BECAUSE I asked for hub’s and not mine, but who knows) Both drawings are in a double frame in our bedroom, 20-some years, later, with a green mat. Because the magic is green. :-)

  • sigrid

    @spuffyduds That is an awesome and *terribly sweet* story. :)

  • Twyst

    recently, i found a con-exclusive firestar at a comic store near my parents’ house, when i was visiting for Thanksgiving, my bro and i decided to hunt comics stores, so it was a great find, and was bonding with him.
    Secondly, i bought an original pencil page by Lenil Yu from Secret Invasion #6. It is a page that is all spider-woman, and includes her lifting up her mask, in an upclose view of her face. I love it. i cant think of a suitable place on the wall yet, so it sits in it’s mailing packaging, and i look at it every few days 😀

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  • King Titan 658

    It has said that Matt Wagner thinks I’m obsessed with his character, Edsel from his first Mage series. The sad news is that I met black girls like Edsel from 1962 to the present date and some of them did own and operate vintage cars & muscle cars. Some owned 1957-59 MoPar cars, one had a 1954 Hudson Hornet, 4-Dr. Sedan and one owned a 1955 Packard Clipper and one dressed like “The Major” in “Ghost in a shell” series drove a 1952 Packard Hearse & some owned 1955-56 Mercurys & the list is on & this was even before Matt Wagner came to Comico and promoted his first Mage Series and later Grendel. He saw me twice at conventions & at the 2nd visit, I played it straight. And claimed that when Kevin purposed to Magda in the end of the second series of Mage. I knew that “Carolyn Esther Williams” aka “Curley” aka Edsel did not die in vain in his first series. That’s the bottom line because King Titan says so!

  • I did see an episode of The Boondocks where Stinkmeaner’s crew were coming for Robert Freeman for killing Stinkmeaner. What would happen if Matt Wagner meets Edsel’s former crew. Their names is Lord Regis Cromwell, Lady Estella Frahm-Graham & Mr. George Packardbaker. They meet Edsel when she was billed as “Curley” and met in a high school similar to the one from “Square Pegs” and challenged teachers and students alike & destroyed 4 high schools and went their separate ways. When Edsel’s crew knew what became of Edsel, they decided to come to Matt Wagner’s hometown & punish him & his two children & then got a body guard, a black belt champion named Pauline Austin & she nearly cleaned them out of house & home and forced to sleep in a camper when she took over the house. Then Edsel’s crew decided to face Matt Wagner & then Ms. Austin faced the trio and held her own & was beheaded by a weapon owned by one member called a flying guillotine. Matt wanted to be spared by the trio and found out they hated Carolyn Williams aka Curley & used her demise as an excuse to ruin Matt’s life. They also informed that they did saw their former sensei at the ballroom & and an indoor aquatic center setting up Matt’s Champion to become the hero & they were ticked off on Matt Wagner for not having it in the series. Then before the trio decided to take out Matt, the police arrived and arrested the trio for the murder of Ms. Austin. Edsel’s voice makes her statements and state, “Some folks need to go to jail!” and states she may be in “Comic Book Limbo” and she isn’t in jail like her crew. To Be Continued.