The Evolution of My Collecting and Building New Shelves in the Comic Room
For the first 50 years of my collecting life, I was all about runs and completing titles. I focused on Marvel silver and, for decades, worked to complete the original Silver Marvel titles: ASM, Avengers, Cap, DD, FF, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and Thor. It probably took me 20 years to complete those titles. Mostly I got them from 50 cent and dollar boxes cons (mostly local Northern Virginia cons). I saved getting the really expensive issues to the end, and used mostly eBay and other auctions. The last one I got -- for some reason, it was harder than the others -- was FF #1.
I eventually completed those tiles, and along the way completed bunches of others. Some I have complete runs of; others I decided on a specific issue to start or end.
Something I found out about myself during this process -- I love lists! I love the process of making lists. And I love checking them off as I get issues. I'm also a big fan of indexes. I have many in my collection. I especially like fan produced indexes (as opposed to ones made by Marvel and DC, for example).
I was never a big DC collector as a kid. I was a fan, but not a collector. But my brother collected DC, and eventually he sold his collection to me. It was probably 4 and 5 long boxes. With that as a start, I started collecting the major titles like Superman, Batman, Detective, Action, Wonder Woman, etc. Early on, I thought I could complete those titles, like I'd done with Marvel. I eventually realized that wasn't possible (obviously. So instead I picked an issue to start, and collected the titles from that issue to the end. For example, for Action my starting point is #300. Then, the issues before 300 in my collection are keys or issues with interesting stories.
I've always loved the Legion of Super-Heroes. I still can't look at #369 with Mordru's hands pushing out of the safe and not get a chill. So I focused on collecting the Legion. I have every issue from their first appearance in Adventure 247 through their 5th series that end in 2009. I also collected on the Teen Titans when the New Teen Titans became my favorite title for a few years.
I've collected other runs. For some companies, I collected every one of their issues. Like ABC, Atlas/Seaboard, Defiant, Continuity, the original Valiant titles, etc. (I sometimes wonder if I'm the only person in the world who searches for rare Continuity comics.) And I've collected more than a few independents, like Cerebus, Strangers in Paradise, Jon Sable, Dreadstar, etc.
One part of my collection I'm particularly proud of is my Dennis to Menace collection. This is special to me, because whenever I was sick as a kid and had to stay home from school, my mom would get me 2 McDs filet of fish sandwiches (to this day, still my fav fast food), fries, a milk shake and 2 Dennis comics. Because of that, one of my collecting goals has been to get every Dennis comic ever published. I haven't finished that collection yet. Part of the challenge is identifying them all. But, at least based on my current want list, I'm about a dozen comics for being done.
At some point, though, you come to realization that you can't get every comic every published. That's why I stopped collecting the Legion after their 5th series. After a while it stops being fun.
So about when I turned 50 (I'm 58 now), I decided to stop collecting titles. I kept what I had -- I'll never sell them. But I decided to stop collecting titles/runs. And, I purged about 20,000 comics from my collection. Things that I wasn't really interested in. At this moment, my collection stands at 26,131 comics.
I'm still collecting. But I focused my collecting on keys (of all ages) and GGA, particularly golden age GGA. I'm having more fun collecting now than ever.
I have found though, you can't collect all GGA. There's just too much, even among GA GGA. I've found if your net is too wide, your collection gets unfocused and isn't nearly as fun.
So I've created categories within GGA. I've talked about some of those categories here before. When I'm thinking about buying a comic, I think to myself which category does it fit in. If none, then I don't buy it.
One of my major focuses is Matt Baker. I'm trying to get a copy of every comic where he did the cover. I've also talked about the Lady and White collection I'm putting together. I also search for anything Dave Stevens.
My focus on cover collecting, rather than title collecting, has made me change how I display my collection. With titles, I just had to have space for long boxes. With covers, I want to be able to store the books so I can see the covers. This is especially true as I've gotten more and more into CGC books.
So what I've done, is store long boxes on the floor. Then, above and around the boxes, I make shelves to display comics (and other things that I collect, like statues and toys).
In my old comic room, the shelves were only 1 comic deep. Now though, I made the shelves as deep as possible, so I can store rows of books (both graded and ungraded). Then I'll periodically rearrange the books at the front for display purposes.
Lately I've been building more shelves in my comic room. My comic room is small (about half the size of my old comic room), so this has caused me to rearrange things. I like doing this, though. It's fun.
Here's something I just did. In the picture below, there are some DC Super Friends and Star Wars action figures to the left of the leggy Alice. I took all those action figures and moved them to other places in the comic room.
Below is a picture of what the space looks like after removing the action figures.
Then, it was just a simple matter of getting some wood at Lowes, and building new shelves. You'll see I used an Air Boy CGC comic to make sure the shelves were tall enough to hold graded books.
With these shelves, now I have a lot more storage space to store books in an organized manner. This next picture shows how the new shelves look at this very moment. Thanks for reading.