Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Crisis on Finite Loft Space

Comics. Marvel and DC specifically. They have been integral to my life since I was 5. I can distinctly remember making the very adult decision to get rid of my subscription at the corner shop to Barnaby Comic and instead start getting The Avengers. That was the beginning.

Zip forward 30 years and I still read comics. I spend around £7 a week on them. I have a bunch of regulars and some that I occassionally pick up. Want to know what the regulars are? Lets see...

Justice League of America (JLA)
Justice Society of America (JSA)
Legion of Superheroes (LSH)
The New Avengers
Young Avengers
The Ultimates
Ultimate X-Men
Supreme Power

There might be some more - I can never tell. I just grab the stuff I want thats on the shelves at the moment. Especially all of the Infinite Crisis goodies - oh, thats a sweet series.

Anyway - whats up with comics as a hobby? Well, nothing really. They are there - I buy them and I read them and then I keep them.

Actually, thats the problem. I keep them. Comics are like books and in my mind books should never be got rid of, under any circumstances. You never know when you or someone else will want to read them again. The upshot of this is that I have 1000s of comics, stored in the loft. Many of them are in nice, difficult to access cardboard boxes. Many more are in rather ramshackle stacks.

Now, this presents two problems.

The first is that the sheer number of them makes doing anything with them improbable. You just cannot easily do anything with over 10,000 comics! I should really index them or sort them or get them into some sort of order instead of the pseudo-chronological towers that they dwell in at the moment. But it's just too big a job. Its not even something that you can easily break down into little bits. Its just massive!

I also need to look at some redundancy here. There are some comic series that I absolutely adore and that I would never part with - my Avengers and JLA/JSA collections - but what about the others? What about that stack of Nexus? Darkstars? Sub Mariner series III? And a myriad other things that have fallen into my lap over the years? Should I have a clear out and thin the mountain a little?

Or will my childhood come back to haunt me

When I was young, I had a trunk and in that trunk I kept my comics. One day, my Dad said that I should really get rid of some comics if I wanted to get any more - in that way that parents always just allow you to have a prescribed number of things? So my comics went to 'the orphans' - a generic destination for everything I owned it would appear.

What were these gems? Early Bryne and Claremont X-Men. Neal Adams Avengers. Early issues of the Defenders. Comics which I have had to hunt down and pay (in some cases) frankly ridiculous prices for in my adult years.

If I got rid of some of my comics, would I regret it in the future? Would I have to hunt them down again.

Ah buggeration. The problem faced by all hoarders, I believe.

Until I get my head around that little quandry, the comics will remain I guess. And grow. I need to get a load of long boxes however - and spend a day in the loft. Hehe, like I ever have a full day to do anything!


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