In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.
How and where do you store your comics?
“Where” is easy to answer: in my bedroom. The majority are in my closet, organized in long boxes by publisher and then series. The un-long-boxed minority are where the more diverting “how” comes in. I have four colorful accordion files for the comics I care the most about, organized by character. Pink is for DC: Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark), and Robin (Tim Drake). Red holds Wanda Maximoff and Jean Grey. Alex Summers and Lorna Dane stories fill my blue file (#findhavokandpolaris). Those three files are also in my closet.
In a small bookshelf on my side of the bed, alongside such miscellany as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Fringe Season 1 on DVD, a plushy Pen-Pen, Carrie Fisher’s autobiography, both National Treasures, A Doll’s House, my Mary Jane Watson Heroclick, a collection of postcards featuring the sculpture of Auguste Rodin, my favorite STAR TREK novel, and the film 21 Grams, you’ll find a silver-grey accordion file barely containing my ever expanding Carol Danvers collection.
In theory, or in practice?
In theory, I have several short boxes of comics carefully arranged in alphabetical order by series.
In practice, I haven’t updated those boxes since I moved almost a year ago. It’s probably the curse of having too much space in my house, but I have those short boxes and a few long boxes in a closet. The comics I’ve bought over the last year are in three piles on a shelf in my living room that I intermittently and half-heartedly alphabetize. One of these days, it’s going to get better, but to tell you the truth there are many many things higher on my organization priority list. First, I’m going to make an organization priority list.
But first I have to watch Mad Men.
Considering I moved across the country a month ago, the disorganization of my comics collection is only to be expected. At the moment, all of my comics are in about 12 shortboxes hidden away in a closet, because I have more closet space than floor space in my apartment. (I choose shortboxes over longboxes because they’re WAY easier to lift, a choice that was proven smart when I made said cross-country move.)
Back when I first started buying comics, I tried to bag and board everything, because I had inherited so many bagged comics from friends and could stretch out my stock by double-bagging. Now, though, I have far too many comics to want to spend money on bags and boards that I could be spending on… well, on more comics.
As for organization, in theory I have a very precise system that only makes sense to me. It involves organizing titles (in number order, obviously) by company and by family (Avengers books, X-books, cosmic books), then organized further by character (solo X-Books, solo Avengers books, with, say, books about Cap and Iron Man stuck between the Cap section and the Iron Man section). But even these designations start to get twisty after awhile, and crossovers screw EVERYTHING up, and I’m not always sure where to find something when I go looking. It doesn’t help that the past year’s worth of comics are pretty much all in two shortboxes, only somewhat organized by title. And the last month’s comics are in a pile on my living room end table.
One of these days, I plan to organize ALL the comics in a way that makes sense. It’s an exciting prospect. But right now, I’ve got too much else to do.
Pardon me, I’ll be weeping openly in the corner over here.
I have twenty comic “drawers,” those cardboard drawer-things that look like bigger and bulkier long boxes. Only, you know, drawers, not lids. The drawers are three-quarters full.
I also have about a long box’s worth of comics loosely stacked in my bedroom. My family graciously doesn’t mention this stack, but it LOOMS at me, like Dirk Gently’s refrigerator.
Last summer I hired a teenager to file my comics for me rather than deal with the disaster myself.
I have to go hide now. The comics are coming to get me.
So What about you? How and where do you store your comics?