Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Panelists Archive: Comments on "A Mountain of Minicomics"

These are the comments produced back in January 2011, when I posted my article about minicomics storage to The Panelists.

On January 19, 2011, at 9:03 am, Shannon Smith said:
I use these little plastic crate things. They look like plastic milk crates but are half or a third of the size. They are the perfect size and you can usually get them for a dollar or less (two for a dollar) at your cheapo stores like Dollar Tree, Everythings a Dollar, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Dumbo Dollar, Holler Dollar, Lol’er Dollar, Lady Gaga’s Dollar Emporium etc. The positives of these little crates are that they are plastic so they hold up, they stack perfectly, they come in all kinds of colors, and best of all, they fit perfectly on a book shelf so you can still have your minicomics right next to your complete set of the the Left Behind series. Jesus approves of proper book case management.
Good luck.

My pal and colleague Charles Hatfield said:
"…first I’ll have to spend a few dozen hours alphabetizing the collection and centrifuging the dross away from the gold."

Oh, gee, such torture. :)

Seriously, I enjoyed this post so much, partly because it was a treat to be reminded of the CCS Library and to check out its blog once again, partly because, as my family can attest, I’m a Container Geek. For some reason I like containers even when, perhaps especially when, they’re empty and I can imagine various ways of using them.

We should try to get some banner ads from IKEA and The Container Store. :)

I don’t have as many minis as you do, Isaac, but I have given this matter some thought. Shannon’s suggestion reminds me that big box office supply stores often have stackable crates on the cheap.

In general, I find it difficult to cleave to pure alphabetization when shelving my comics–any comics, not just minis–because of the sheer daunting variety of sizes. I do end up sorting by size as well as alphabetically; it seems the only safe way to pack very big books on shelves (e.g., the Sunday Press Nemo that I have).

Then Jared Gardner said:
I know such considerations are probably wayyyyy too anal, exposing the not-so-hidden archivist in me, but isn’t there some concern about using those acid-rich packing boxes from Staples for long-term storage? Of course, it is not as if most minis are printed on acid-free paper…

To which I replied,
It’s not as if they’re in archival boxes right now, Jared. I think being able to sort and retrieve them will be a step up from the “archaeological strata” / trashpile mode of storage I currently have going on.

Let’s pretend that when I have more pocket change I will phase out my Staples boxes in favor of archival document boxes with the same dimensions.

And Ben Towle chimed in:
Mine are all in various-sized plastic boxes, but I too wish I had some better system. Those periodical boxes look perfect–if a bit pricey.

Caitlin McGurk checked in to say:
Wonderful post, Isaac! Thanks for the interview, any chance to rep CCS and my own over-saturated comics librarian brain is a good one.

Shannon- any chance you could post a link to the type of containers you’re talking about? I can’t quite visualize them, but it sounds like a great solution.

Jared- as I mentioned in my shpiel, Gaylord Industries does offer acid free boxes, but Isaac and I were going for the cheap and dirty method, just to get the storage set. If you’d like to read more about the acid-free end of treating/maintaining comics, check out the article I wrote for Diamond Comics about a year ago on the subject.

Rob Clough said:
Funny you should mention this. I’m in the process of reorganizing my minis as well, and in fact have just moved my main comics bookshelves into the living room of my small house. I’m just using a conventional bookshelf for my minis, and I’m alphabetizing them by creator. Then I have a separate section for my many, many mini anthologies. There is some question as to what’s a minicomic (Big Questions?), and I also have a few standard-sized comic books in this section as well. When I’m done, I’ll take a “shelf porn” photo of it.

And I replied:
One of the real disadvantages of the system I’m planning to use is that it’s much too blah for shelf porn. I wish I had room for the Alec Longstreth solution.

Shannon Smith replied (to Caitlin):

I tried to find some pics of the small plastic crates online but failed. I’ll have to take some shots of mine sometime. If you google plastic milk crates and look at images you’ll find lots of pics of standard size milk crates which people have been using to store records for ever. They are perfect size for records. Most stores also have the smaller ones which are perfect for minicomics (or 45s). Target or Wal-Mart are probably going to have them in their housewares sections but your cheaper stores should have them for a buck or less. They travel well too. I just them at conventions to both transport my stuff and display it.

Mike Rhode reminded me:

Don’t forget to send the dross to MSU, Isaac!

But I already had plans:
I’ve already promised the castoffs to my pals at the Schulz Library. (Vermont represent.)

Caitlin McGurk said:
Woot woot!!!

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