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Send Us Your Shelf Porn!

Welcome to Shelf Porn, your weekly look at somebody's shelves. Today's contributor sent in a massive collection of action figures, toys, artwork and comics that he and his family have been building together.

If you'd like to share your collection, just drop me a line at jkparkin@yahoo.com with your write-up and some .jpg images.

And now let's hear from Sean ...

*****

Back when I was a swingin' solo guy, I amassed a whole heap of stuff Some of it I'd kept from childhood, some of it was purchased with the disposable funds common to every bachelor geek. But as marriage to a girl overseas, a mortgage and a child came on the horizon, I realised I needed some quick cash to cover expenses, particularly international travel. I got rid of everything that wasn't part of my three core collections - Transformers, Spider-Man and Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) - and made a bundle of cash that kept us going through the lean times. I did it happily, though it broke my heart... and my wife's heart, too. You see, she is just as geeky (she finished her wedding vows to me with "face it, tiger - you just hit the jackpot"). But she spent her solo years moving from apartment-to-apartment in Canada (and then here, to Australia) and was never able to collect like she wanted to. We made each other a vow: once we were settled and established, we'd hoard like a Tolkien-esque dragon with kleptomania.

Fast-forward to now and, thanks to some professional successes, our house has become a comic, toy and memorabilia paradise. I've continued to focus on those three main fandoms. My G1 collection is complete through to the cast of The Transformers: The Movie, and from that point includes characters who were important to the US and UK comic book stories. I'm trying to get every single piece of Kyle Rayner merchandise ever made (and I'm getting there, slowly), while my Spidey stuff is more about creating an iconic look at the character than it is finding every last piece. Meanwhile, I'd rediscovered my love for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kingdom Hearts, Doctor Who, GI Joe, sports and pro wrestling, and am slowly building up the numbers there (not pictured: t-shirts, jackets and other apparel of these various licences).

My wife has finally been able to indulge her passion for Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Wonder Woman and other "girls who kick ass" (as she calls them), which I'm pleased to say includes Transformers females and some hard-to-find convention exclusives. She also collects geek- and cultural-themed Barbie dolls. Admission time: the Mary Jane Barbie doll is mine. I figure my masculinity can handle owning a doll if it's Spidey-themed. I also like to think of it as my anti-One More Day talisman... no one can tell me the wedding never happened! Hah!

We like our autographs, as well - we have signed pieces from artists Jim Lee and Darryl Banks, writer Simon Furman, hockey player Trevor Linden, a commissioned piece by the animation team from Justice League. The big one, though, is a personal letter to me from the great man himself, Stan Lee. I wrote to him in the late 1990s to thank him for his life-long influence and to complain about the then-current direction of the Spidey books (I did mention I'm a geek, right?). To my delight and eternal treasure, he wrote back... so that just had to be framed.

Around and through it all sits our shared comic collection. Our Amazing Spider-Man run goes back to April 1979 (the month of my birth), and our Uncanny X-Men goes back to the Claremont and Byrne days. There's also a full run of Transformers comics, both US and UK, in the large white chest (plus all the colouring books and children's stories from the 1980s). I've nabbed the complete run of Kyle Rayner comics (naturally) and (perhaps sadly) own every single comic in which Darkhawk has ever appeared.

To top it all off, my daughter (she's six) has begun building a collection of her own. She's a dead-set mark for Transformers: Animated, Batman: the Brave and the Bold, The Super Hero Squad Show, Star Wars and Turtles, which I think comes through in the photos of her room. In fact, while I was taking these photos, she followed me 'round the house reading from the kids' novelisation of A New Hope. It was like having a little Padawan quoting holy text at me while I tried to work...

Anyway: I thought you and you readers might enjoy seeing something which, I feel, is unique. I may have once given up my collection in order to create my family, but my greatest reward is the way my family turned right around and helped me build a collection of which we can all be proud.

Selah,Sean

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