Saturday, January 17, 2015

BAB Firsts - Karen says: Welcome to the Sanctum, Part 1

This post was originally published on November 30 2009

Since Doug has shared many of his treasures with all of us here at the blog, I thought I might welcome all of you into my comics sanctum, a place where I can meditate on all things geek. The sanctum is in a constant state of flux, with new arrivals coming in, and old favorites being pulled out of a closet or box to take their place on a shelf or wall for a little while.

I will ask you to pardon the dust, as living in the desert makes it nearly impossible to keep things dust-free for very long. Hopefully the overall cool factor will make up for that!

First off - come on in.

You see here the view from the doorway. Dead center is one of the most essential elements of any sanctum - the comfy chair. In fact, this chair is so comfy, it is often a struggle to stay awake in it. Many a comics review has started here, only to be delayed by a nap.

Behind the chair is the one item I almost regret buying, Captain America's shield. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful replica (and hefty too), but I still can't believe I spent so much money on it. Easily the most expensive 'toy' I've ever bought.

To the left of the shield is an autographed picture of the Man himself, Stan Lee. Also included in that photo frame is a small piece of paper, on which I got both Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's autographs back in 1975 at the San Diego Comic Con. It's a long story but let's just say that Kirby signed first and when Stan saw his signature, I wasn't sure I would get his autograph! However, Stan was a great guy and did sign - although he turned the paper upside down - so Kirby's name was not above his?

To the right of the shield is one of my favorite posters, Alex Ross' interpretation of Marvel in the 1970s. It has an amazing number of 70s characters on it, all in the beautiful Ross style. You'll notice as we look around the sanctum that a lot of my art is from Ross. What can I say? He's the best.
Also in the first pic you can see some comic boxes. Those are primarily either some of my favorite books, or new books. Besides the boxes there I have another 12 in the closet of the room, and the vast bulk, 24 more, downstairs in the vault (aka the utility closet). I really need to sell some books.

Proclaiming their prowess from the top of the comic boxes are Thor and Doctor Doom. I'm not an action figure collector but my fiance thought these were great and he knows they are two of my favorite characters, so he got them for me. They do look really outstanding. In the window are the Avengers mini-mates figures, going all out against Ultron.

In the corner atop the bookcase is my tribute to Ray Harryhausen, the incredibly skilled artist behind Jason and the Argonauts, Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, Golden Voyage of Sinbad, and so many other classic fantasy films that were my bread and butter as a kid. Harryhausen made these creatures come alive, with their own personalities and idiosyncrasies. I can never get enough of his work.

The bookcase below the Harryhausen figures holds primarily my film reference books, my comics DVD-ROMs, and my Lord of the Rings books. The Creature from the Black Lagoon holds a business card for the now defunct Parkway Theater in Oakland, California. The Parkway was an amazing place with the feel of an old glamorous theater that had aged somewhat. They would serve pizza and sandwiches (and beer), and they were home to Thrillville, a wonderful venue for all films strange and wonderful. Thrillville was a once-a-month show hosted by Will the Thrill and his wife, Monica the Tiki Goddess. It had to be experienced to believed. Let's just say I had a lot of great nights at Thrillville -and I saw the Creature in 3-D there too.

And before you ask, yes, that metallic Godzilla does look pretty weird. It opens up to reveal a secret base inside, with a tank, jet plane, launching missiles, and some sort of odd, telescoping pole. I have no idea why this exists but I bought it about 25 years ago and it still makes me shake my head whenever I see it.

Next time: The Corner of the Jedi!

UPDATE: Karen here, speaking to you from the future -well, from Jan 2, 2015. I was stunned to see this post from five years ago. The room has changed so much, especially over this past Christmas. I'd like to add a couple of pictures, just for comparison's sake -and for posterity:


dbutler16 said...

That's awesome. By the way, the Cap shield was worth it (easy for me to say) as it's the first thing I notice when I look at the room. In fact, it fairly dominates those first couple of pictures.
By the way, what are those labels on your comic boxes? Are they color photcopies of comic covers?

Humanbelly said...

Oh yeah--- yeah, my heart warmed right up with the inclusion of the updated photos. Your sanctum from several years ago was first-rate, mind you (I particularly like the white walls and generally bright feel of the room). But it still had a sense of. . . restraint, maybe? There's just something about the proliferation of organized, intentional "clutter" that conveys a sense of joy in your pastime. And you've done a great, great job of creating it without it seeming "messy" at all-- just rich and layered. Heck, I'll bet most of us would have picked this out as your study from a line-up-- it really does broadcast as "Karen's Place"-!

Hey, no reading lamp for the chair, there? Oddly enough, that's the first thing I noticed (as the eyes age, I tend to become aware of such things. . . )


ColinBray said...

The comic boxes are not in the latest photos Karen. Has your collection shrunk somewhat?

Old-fashioned maybe but to me a comic/geek room without long boxes looks kinda bare...

For all that great photos, thanks for sharing.

William Preston said...

Perhaps I missed it in the post: Are those lightsabers on the wall?

Edo Bosnar said...

William, I believe they are. It's Karen's way of saying no trespassing... :P

Humanbelly said...

And, in the bottom picture-- the guy down in the right-hand corner-- is that. . . a Predator head-? Man, that's a big piece o' memorabilia, whatever it is! Extremely cool. . .


Martinex1 said...

Karen that is all very cool but the Creature from the Black Lagoon material is awesome. That creature does not get enough credit.

Karen said...

Thanks for your comments guys. No worries about the comic collection: it continues to grow. Those were just a few boxes, and I moved them into another closet. Sadly now 3/4 of the closets in our house have comics in them! I really have to take a cue from Doug and start selling books but so far the motivation isn't there.

The lightsabers we got years ago -I believe they were made by a company called Force FX. They all light up and make sounds as you move them. If you want to see them all lit up, here's a link to the next post which shows them in all their glory:

That huge 'berserker' Predator lurking in the corner was yet another Christmas gift from my hubby this year. The man has a lot of connections with other statue collectors and he managed to snag that grotesque beauty.

Martinex, I love the Creature and have accumulated a ton of Creature stuff over the years. My husband gifted me the bust this year and the Creature statue several years ago. The design was just years ahead of its time and even today holds up so well -a classic.

Humanbelly said...

Boy Karen, you really do have the best husband on planet Earth, dontcha? I find him kind of inspirational-!

That statue of the Creature swimming caught my eye as well-- even in a small picture it comes across as a truly lovely piece.

Gosh, the old Aurora model kit series of the Universal Film Monsters would fit perfectly into the ambiance of your room, wouldn't it? Those things are so inordinately expensive now, though. . . (Hmm-- have we done a post on those kits before? Seems to ring a bell. . . )


The Prowler said...

Comic book box question. Has anyone tried the "Comic House"? I've seen it online but haven't run across anyone who uses it. The company promotes it as creating a "filing cabinet" system for your boxes.

(What are we made of? Our fathers came across the prairies, fought Indians, fought drought, fought locusts, fought Dix... remember when Richard Dix came in here and tried to take over this town? Well, we didn't give up then, and by gum, we're not going to give up now).

Dr. Oyola said...

I loved seeing this Karen (and it is so cool your husband is into supporting your hobby + I bet he has an easier time thinking of gifts for you than I do for my wife ;) )

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