Sunday, August 7, 2011

On Ice

Doug: Today we'd like to hear our readers sound off on comic book storage -- shoot, collectibles storage in general. As Karen and I have shown in the past, we have myriad displays for our collections. What we'd like to know is how you store your "stuff"? Are you a longbox user? Do you have a shelving system? How about storing titles alphabetically, or by genre? Do you keep the Giant-Size and Annuals in with the regular title, or do you have a separate spot for them? As you can see from the photos below, I even group tpb's and hardcovers with action figures to make a display. Which books (I'm thinking of the Marvel Treasury Editions) do you have a tough time storing?

Doug: Filed under "what
not to do", when I was a child my first storage system was just to stack the books flat in a pile. If you've ever done this, then you know that spine-rolls will be the outcome. Later, I graduated to the notion that storing them upright, as books on a library shelf, was the way to go. The fall-out of that is ink from bright, colorful covers rubbing off on the white ads on the backside of the book to the right. So my Rick Barry and Dr. J. ads (as well as the "Why is this man smiling?") are a bit muddy many years later. Of course, this was way before the days when I ever knew of plastic bags and backing boards. And those things? Oh, yeah -- if you buy cheap ones they, too, can harm your funnybooks.

Doug: So maybe a question within this is: do you store your comics for preservation or for protection? For example, my collection is in our basement. I have a dehumidifier in the room, and I try to have as many books in bags and longboxes as possible (newer stuff? Meh... who cares?), as my comics room sits under our kitchen and laundry room. Yeah, you can see the rain forest-like disaster coming some day, can't you? As I said, I've provided some photos of my room -- it's a mess right now, as I've been meaning for many months to set up the card table and get down to some bagging, boarding, and cataloging. Hasn't happened. Oh, and that raises another question: How many of you have an inventory system? Database, etc?

Doug: Have at it!


MOCK! said...

I am TRYING to limit my comics to four large legal sized file cabinets after YEARS of both short and longboxes. I had moved to mostly shortboxes, as it got harder and harder to file new books in among the stuff I owned. Each shortbox would be a year's (or so) worth of purchases.

I use Collectorz software to catalog my comics so that I can indicate which drawer they are in. I do everything alphabetically.

Some toys are out on my desk and around the room.

J.A. Morris said...

I quit (serious)collecting in '95, since then between my wife and I, we've gotten about 4 short boxes between the two of us.

To answer one of Doug's questions:I kept Annuals with the titles. For instance, I put 'Amazing Spider-Man' Annuals at the and of my 'ASM' issues. And then I stored the 70s 'Giant-Size Spider-Man' issues after the annuals(I never bothered to put dividers between the two). Does anyone else do that?

I also need to do an inventory sooner than later.

Kid A said...

I use long and short boxes both. I've invested a fair amount of money in what I thought was something that was good for books, only to find out years later to get the genuine archival stuff, you've got to shell out the BIG do re mi. So, for the semi-expensive, older books I purchase Mylar bags, but still use the "acid free at the time of manufacture" boards. I also got 5'of those pull out long boxes as I stack my longboxes so that definitely minimizes some of the heavy lifting.
Lastly, I do my books alphabetically, annuals and all. I've had to get a bit creative though in cataloging since I have too many books. I broke out all my bronze age Marvel books, put them in short boxes by title and got one of those steel shelves you find at Lowes. It's helped with the space issues,'but the bottom line is I need to get rid of some.

Edo Bosnar said...

I suppose I'm not really one to participate in this discussion, since my original, huge comics collection is long gone, and most of what I buy now is collected editions: tpbs, a few HCs, Essentials, etc. I store these the same way I do my books, i.e. on shelves, or in boxes - space is a constant problem in my household, as both my wife and I have tons of books and other reading material. My current collection of floppies would fit comfortably into a single long-box, and they're stored in a few rectangular plastic storage boxes.
Back when I did have my huge collection, as a kid, I just piled them flat in big cardboard boxes - and watched those spines roll. By the time I knew better, about my freshman/sophmore year in high school, it seemed to much bother to bag (much less board) them, as I was beginning to slowly lose interest.

William said...

I used to have about 14 long-boxes full of comics. Back in '91 when I got married I sold off a big chunk of my collection. (I kept all of my Spider-Man's and a lot of my silver age stuff). I went from 14 long-boxes to around 5. Now my Spider-Man collection takes up 6 long-boxes by itself and I have several other long and short boxes filled with Misc. Marvel, DC, Valiant and etc. Besides all my Spidey's, I've only kept the stuff I really love that I can't get in trades.

When I had only the 5 boxes (around the mid-90's) I had them stored in a closet that shared a wall with a bathroom. There was a pipe leak and I got some serious water damage to the boxes that were on the bottom. Which unfortunately included some classic silver-age Amazing Spider-Man issues. Luckily the comics were in plastic bags (of course). But a few of them still suffered some slight damage from condensation. After that I transferred by Amazing Spider-Man collection to these cool plastic long-boxes with blue lids that I found. The guy at the comic store almost didn't want to sell them to me because he said they weren't making them anymore and he used them himself. But he let me have four of them for $12 each. That is where most of my Spider-Man collection resides today.

As I said, back in the early '90's I got rid of a lot of stuff, but I have replaced some of it with trades and hardcovers. Those I simply store on a bookshelf.

Just like Doug, I don't really bother even bagging the newer stuff a lot of the time. In fact, over the past few years, I have been selling off or trading pretty much everything that I bought post 1999. (Except for Spider-Man). And a lot of times, if I can replace it with a trade, I'll sell off older stuff as well. It's just such a pain to keep up with maintaining and storing individual comics.

I also have around 300 or so super hero action figures. I store them in plastic bins with drawers. The kind used for storing craft supplies. They are very nice and keep my figures dust free and in great condition.

Redartz said...

I have a combination of long and short boxes, all stored in an upstairs closet (which the cats love to climb around on; made the mistake once of leaving a couple books out on the box and later found claw marks on the covers). As with J.A., the Annuals and Giants are stored behind the regular titles; all arranged by company and then alphabetically.

Everyting is bagged and boarded; my lcs is kind enough to provide these for new purchases on subscription. Good older books are in mylar. I'm switching to the pull-out drawer boxes as they are much easier to pull comics from.

The only problem issues I find are with digests and tv guides; the few I have reside in folded comic bags and fill the fromt of a short box sideways...

dbutler16 said...

I've got them all in boxes. Some long and some short. Many in plastic, some in plastic + boards, some in Mylar. I've got them all listed in Excel. They're not necessarily in perfect order within the boxes (e.g., Avenger might be spread throughout three different boxes) but I've numbered all of the boxes, and my Excel file lists the box number for each comic (about 3,500) so I can find a specific issue in a reasonable amount of time.

ChrisPV said...

I actually keep mine in magazine display boxes, much like the ones you see in a library. Bagged and (occasionally) boarded, of course. But I really don't have THAT many floppies to worry about. If I can get something in a bound edition, I almost always go for that. Plus comics on DVD is a huge spacesaver for me.

david_b said...

I suspect I have a smaller collection than most. At my peak 15yrs ago, had just over 400 comics. After getting rid of most reprints, I'm down to two long, two short, and my eBayin' has been alternating between silver\bronze F+ ishs, Masterworks softcoverss, and my Mego recollecting.

I've found grabbin' those Treasury editions to be a REAL treat of late, so luckily my wife's scrapping endeavors have been a great source of large, flat magazine ziplocks, perfect in size..

david_b said...

Sorry, hard leaving posts via blackberry sometimes.. I meant to say 'my wife's scrapbooking endeavors'. Lots of great tools for preserving large flat items..., since most items come in resealable bags.

Joseph said...

for years, i've needed to get mine into bags, boards, and long boxes. in the meantime, i have them stored horizontally in banker's boxes for the past, oh, thirty years.

maybe i will finally finish this project by the time i retire.

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