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Send Us Your Shelf Porn!

by  in Comic News Comment
Send Us Your Shelf Porn!

Welcome once more to Send Us Your Shelf Porn. Our guest this week is Sean Kleefield, blogger and author of the new book, Comic Book Fanthropology. Sean’s got quite the set-up in his basement, so we’ll cut straight to the chase and let Sean start the tour …

I have my comic collection housed in my unfinished basement. I lived in the house for several years with my collection upstairs out of concerns with dampness. But I was growing increasingly concerned about the weight on the upper floor as my collection grew, so I started looking at the concrete foundation of the basement more seriously. It had proved to be fairly dry as basements go, but I took the precautions of setting up a hygrometer and a dehumidifier before moving my comics down there.

Keep in mind that I’m a cheap bastard and all of the shelving is worn-out, hand-me-down, repurposed and/or jerry-built. It’s not pretty, but it’s serviceable and, more significantly, inexpensive.

Here’s what it looks like coming down the steps. The two back walls are lined with long boxes. Crammed in the corner are some superhero toys. (Mego action figures, Amsco’s Marvel World playset, Mini-Mates, etc.) The Spider-Man image was part of a promotional display when the first movie DVD came out — my cousin was working at Wal-Mart at the time and salvaged it as a gift for me. The cabinet supporting the Super-Skrull is filled with comic-related video tapes and DVDs. Not just superhero movies, but several documentaries as well. On the far right are my manga and digest-sized books.

From the bottom of the steps. The light-wood shelves on the left hold books about comics (top two shelves), comic strip collections (third shelf), and novels kind-of related to comic book properties (bottom shelf). The Human Torch cutout was created by some of my ex-wife’s students several years ago. Sitting on top of the bookshelf, above the Human Torch, is a Dark Knight statuette signed by Frank Miller. I’m not normally into the whole statue/bust market, but I won it a few years back. The shelving along the back are hollow-core doors supported by concrete blocks.

You’ll notice that the long boxes all have a comic on the front of them. I’ve taped a bag to the front of each box and placed the first issue of that particular box in it. Since all of my comics are organized alphabetically by title, I can quickly zip to whichever box contains any particular issue.

Looking back past my first bookcase of graphic novels.

Across from my graphic novels is my “fandom research.” The bottom shelf has old Wizard magazines, the next one is back issues of Alter Ego, and above that are books and journal articles relating back to fandom. The top shelf features some comic-related games and trinkets, with a photo of a Batman mural hanging above that. And I almost forgot, that’s a life-size cardboard R2-D2 in the lower left.

To the left of these long boxes is my microfiche reader, currently displaying Adventure Comics #68. The small box just to the left of Secret Wars II #8 holds about 150 Golden Age comics in microfiche form. On the corner of the table, just to the left of the reader, is a portfolio with my collection of original comic book art. A signed/sketch-marked Mark Wheatley print sits on top of that since it doesn’t quite fit in the portfolio itself.

On the left is my second bookcase of graphic novels. On the far right, you can see my dehumidifier and a small fridge. I’ve got a TV and VCR hooked up to run tapes in the background, as well as my old Sega if I’m up for the old Spider-Man or Avengers games. (Truth be told, though, I tend to prefer Earthworm Jim or Flashback.) What you can’t see behind the TV is an action figure metropolis I built for my 6″ action figures. It’s fallen into a bit of disarray, and I’ll need to straighten THAT up before I start taking photos of that.

Close-up shots of various shelves.

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