It’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s Shelf Porn!
Today we head to the hometown of Superman’s creators to check out the collection of Brad Ricca, the author of Super Boys: The Amazing Adventures of Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster — The Creators of Superman (St. Martin’s Press, 2013). Despite being the author of a book about the creators of Superman, Brad tells us he is “a Marvel guy, through and through,” as he shows off his collection of Marvel Universe figures.
Check out his collection below, and you can find details on how to submit your own collection at the end of the post.
So for years and years when I was in a small apartment, my only geek footprint was literally one particle board shelf where I had a couple of graphic novels I couldn’t afford. I rotated a couple of figures on my desk and that was it. Now I have an attic where I do all of my work and it has become a much bigger version of that original shelf. I got this unit (unit) from a Borders that closed (I used to work there a long time ago, so that made it even cooler). I’ve collected Paul Pope stuff for ten years now. I’m a big Micronauts fan so I love this print of his at the bottom right.
This from the Drug Mart that I used to buy comics from when I was a kid in Westlake, Ohio. They used to give out free comics at the check-out — I got a Marvel Godzilla once and that was it — hooked/more, please. Dear companies: free comics work. So the story is that my dad tried for years, decades, to buy this spinner rack from Drug Mart manager in order to give to me. I’m sure that he tried to bribe several store managers, but it never worked. A few years later, after my Dad passed away, I saw this same spinner rack in my local comics shop! The owner, Scott Rudge (of the Comics Are Go! podcast), told me he got it out of the Drug Mart trash. I was devastated, for all the obvious reasons. But not too long later, when Scott moved his store, he sold me this for nearly nothing (he wanted nothing). Great guy. This, like all of this, is just a thing. But things help sometimes.
This is the good stuff and NO THAT ACTION #1 IS JUST A REPRINT SO DON”T ROB MY HOUSE (I have an alarm anyway). It is signed by Jerry Siegel though. When I bought this, I couldn’t afford it, either. An “investment,” right? There are some pulps here and the award I got from the Las Vegas International Film Festival for my film “Last Son.” Some book, too.
HI my name is Brad and I have a problem. I am addicted to the Marvel Universe 3.75 figures. They are not really investments, but I’m okay with that. I think. I’m a Marvel guy, through and through, and these are just absolutely unfair to someone like me. They have Rocket Raccoon! And Puck! Puck! I got all of these at retail. I almost bought my friend Marc Sumerak’s Marvel Legends Fin Fang Foom (check out sumerak.com — he’s selling all his toys) in order to terrorize them all (or do an art installation where I would burn them all in green flame), but couldn’t do it. Someday. My favorite is the black-and-white newsreel Captain America.
Here’s a detail of the top:
This is a detail from the previous corner — this is a painting a bought from some guy on Canal Street in NYC for ten bucks. As you can see, it is a masterpiece. On the right is a comic I did with MJ Robinson called “The School” — you can read it on my website: www.super-boys.com.
I remember when a “hardcover graphic novel” was this rare, unique thing. Now they are everywhere. Unless it’s original, I buy a lot of my trades and stuff used and have found some great stuff. And yes that is a Shogun Warrior. The cape, well, I’m not really that guy (and no there is not a Magneto helmet in the closet a la 21). One of the things I found out in researching my books was that Jerry Siegel used to keep a Superman cape in his front closet. So when kids would come to the front door and ask for Superman, he would show then the cape and they would freak out. Not the same, but I treated myself to this once the book came out, And no, I’ve never worn it in public.
Here is a print that rock poster legend Derek Hess just did for The Siegel & Shuster Society for the 75th anniversary of Superman. On the left, is an action scene of Darkseid, Supergirl, and Orion rendered by my cousin Danny when he was a much younger kid (but still had excellent taste).
Here’s my book — available now! Booklist named it a Top 10 Book about the Arts for 2013! I don’t include this last photo for blatant salesmanship (well…), but more for this point: all of this stuff is important. They can call us nerds or hoarders or whatever, but surrounding yourself with the things you like can be a very creative process — and indeed can help the creative process. Look at how many artists and writers have stuff just like we do — that’s no coincidence. You want to write or draw? Start with a small shelf of the things you like as inspiration. Then build the rest yourself — in the room, in your head, and on the page. It’s place, stuff, music, people — that’s how you get inspired.
My only worry is that Bravo will eventually start a Geek Den reality show and then Pottery Barn will start a line of Sean Cassidy-inspired tartan prints or something. But keep at it — build your own Sanctum Sanctorums, your Baxter buildings, even your Latverias. Then do your own good work.
If you’d like to see your collection featured here on Robot 6, here’s what you need to do:
1. Take some photos and save them as jpgs.
2. Write up a little something about your collection.
3. Send them to me in an email.