KC COLUMN: COMIC COLLECTOR?… OR COMIC ACCUMULATOR? YOU MAKE THE CALL!

KC Carlson by Deb Hayden Lockhart

KC Carlson by Deb Hayden Lockhart


A KC COLUMN by KC Carlson

Well, it’s been three months (I thought it was only two) since I started (re-)organizing my DC comics collection. It’s been well over 6-10 years since I spent any real time organizing them. (I did do the Marvels a few years ago, but now those are falling behind also.) I have been adding new DC comics to the collection since then, but I’ve been lazy, mostly just shoving Batman-related or Justice League-related titles into a box and putting on a post-it reading BATMAN TITLES (2014-2016) and letting it go at that.

Flash #55. Pretty much what it looked like when KC's head exploded.

Flash #55. Pretty much what it looked like when KC’s head exploded.


Once upon a time, I labeled my boxes THE FLASH: READ until somebody (maybe Johanna) asked me if that meant “have read” or “to read”. After my head exploded, I realized that I had to choose my wording more carefully. Nowadays (since I’m so far behind) most new boxes are labeled TO READ — with specially placed backing boards as dividers to mark where I last left off.

Now, as regular KC column readers know, I don’t let everything pile up.

Occasionally, I read a current short run or miniseries or collection that catches my eye, and maybe (hopefully), I have something to say about it right here (especially if I want to be timely).

Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman #1. Justice League title? Batman title? This is so confusing.

Justice League: Darkseid War: Batman #1. Justice League title? Batman title? This is so confusing.


One of the reasons I decided to talk about the collection this week was that I’ve been “working” some of the larger groupings of comics, such as JUSTICE LEAGUE titles or TEEN TITANS (including TITANS) titles or (when my brain needed a break) smaller groupings like THE ATOM (I did say smaller…) or JONAH HEX titles (more comics than you might think).

I started doing all the BATMAN titles first, until I was totally overwhelmed by the sheer tonnage of Batman-related material over the past 20-some years. (I didn’t even buy everything!) But it’s interesting to note that both my BATMAN and DETECTIVE COMICS runs each fill up five short boxes apiece to store. (Before I updated my inventory there were only three boxes of each title.)

THE SIXTIES WERE MY GOLDEN AGE

I guess I should have noted earlier that I started collecting DC comics in the early 1960s (I am old) — and on their popular long-running titles they’ve produced, I frequently have collected most of their runs (like over 800 of DETECTIVE COMICS’ 1,000-issue run, or JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA (where I’m missing only two issues of the original run — #1 and #2 — but I also do not own any of their three BRAVE & BOLD try-out issues).

HOWEVER…

Justice League of America Omnibus Vol. 1

Justice League of America Omnibus Vol. 1


I can read JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 & 2 and BRAVE & BOLD #28-30 whenever I want because I do “own” those five issues in other (reprinted) forms, most currently in DC’s historical Ominbus and also the DC Comics Archives run. They’re more easily accessible that the actual comics are — being on a huge bookcase at the top of the stairs! Having many of these books is “key” to having what I call a “reading” collection, since DC has been SO active about reprinting so many of their Golden and Silver Age comics over the past few decades.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COLLECTING/ACCUMULATING

Short box

Short box


A Richard Feder of Fort Lee, New Jersey, asks: “Long boxes or short boxes?” Well, “Richard” (if that is indeed your real name), for me there’s no choice — my short stubby arms don’t work with today’s long boxes. Back when comics boxes were less sturdy than they are today, 3/4-full long boxes used to actually fold up in my arms while attempting to carry them. I’m sure they are better now, but I like that short boxes are easier to carry and are more easily stackable (but never stack more than four boxes high, without wall support). I wasted a lot of money on those collapsible long boxes and have never forgotten that.

Patric Carlson. Artist's interpretation

Patric Carlson. Artist’s interpretation


A Patric Carlson of Everywhere, USA, asks: “How do you go about finding a space large enough and ‘safe’ enough to store a large and ‘unstable’ collection?” Well, “Patric” (if that is indeed your real name), it takes a long time to find (or afford) a safe place for comic books. Back when I was still in school, I had a bed that was two layers of comic boxes with a mattress flopped on top of it. (I do not recommend this. Especially if you have a girlfriend. But what serious comic book collector would ever have a serious girlfriend? BWAW HA HA HAH!) Alternate answer: Marry well.

A Samuel Langhorne Clemens of Florida, Missouri, asks: “How do those comic book writers come up with those fantastical stories? I’ve been attemptin’ to write some serious stories, but everyone that reads ‘em loves how funny they’s are. How can I be seen as a more serious writer?” Well, “Samuel” (if that is indeed your real name), as a writer, you should be happy to have already garnered a fan following! Do attempt to not split your audience, however, because if you ever have split groups (like Marvel fans and DC fans), it is hard to get the twain to meet. Best of luck in your future writings!

Okay, Roger says I have to stop now. Apparently my brain is melting on his desk. See you in a couple weeks!

___________________________________

KC CARLSON says: Sometime this month is I Forgot Day, but I don’t remember when it is/was.

I hope I didn’t forget Take Your Pants for a Walk Day! (Hint: July 27, which is also Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day. I don’t have houseplants, so I guess I should Take My Comic Book Collection for a Walk Day. And don’t forget that July 28 is KC Needs Back Surgery Day, after Take My Comic Book Collection for a Walk Day!)

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. (sigh) That was SO bad… I got nothing… I Forgot Day was actually July 2. Hey, I forgot that! (When is Rimshot Day!) Help me…

USER COMMENTS

We'd love to hear from you, feel free to add to the discussion!