My name is Travis, and I’m a Comic Book Hoarder.
You all know what a hoarder is. Someone who won’t (or can’t) get rid of piles and piles of stuff that they accumulate. I know that in my case, it’s a combination of genetics and environment, so I’m not able to break the cycle yet.
But I keep nearly everything. I never know, I tell myself, when I might need a run of NY Times Sunday Magazines for “research”. Or those copies of the Entertainment This Month catalog from the mid-90s with all my checkmarks. Or all the lists of stuff that I write down (I am an incurable list maker, yet I am opposed to listicles…discuss!). Or basically just anything that I acquire becomes part of the detritus of my life (which I think was a potential title for me blogging at one point…).
(I like parentheticals, btw. Get used to it!)
But what I intend to do with this weekly column here at the Atomic Junk Shop is to bring you people into my hoarding. I’m going to show you some pictures of what I’ve amassed, and try to sort things out and share with you some commentary and reviews of the stuff that I’ve bought or gotten free.
“I want a mission. Not just a gig or a good time, I want a mission!” — Henry Rollins, on the “Armageddon Man” track on the Black Flag album Family Man
This year was supposed to be different, of course. I was going to finally get all my comics sorted, and re-boxed, and read and reviewed, and Burgas was going to be so kind as to post my ramblings over at the old place.
And he did post the few things that I did this year. And I thank him for that.
It’s certainly not his fault that I got behind. It’s all on me. The winter was a mild one, and would have been perfect to sort stuff and move stuff around without it being so cold that I didn’t want to move. Then the summer was SOOOO damn hot, I couldn’t even lay around in my underpants without sweating, let alone move boxes of comics around and sort stuff.
I apologize for that mental image.
So that’s my excuse this year. What about in the past? Well, I think it was the end of 2012 when I had everything ALMOST sorted the way I wanted. I was SO CLOSE to being done, to my liking, and then I decided “hey, why don’t I do a best of 2012 rambling post?”
Mistake. I haven’t recovered since. Between the regular pull list stuff I get (which increased exponentially once my comic shop guy started letting me borrow a Previews for the month) and the fact that I cannot pass up any cheapo bin of comics and bought any and every cheap book I could get my grubby hands on, I started amassing even more comics in the last few years than I had in the years prior to that.
And Flippin’ through Previews takes me a lot of time I should be using to read comics, and boy oh boy, do I like to read through Previews. Oy.
And I haven’t even gotten to the part where the library and cheap DVDs come into play. I spend more time looking at stuff I get for free or nearly so than I do on the stuff that I’m paying good money for. What is wrong with me?
Anyway, here are some pictures of the stuff that I’ve amassed. I have some shame in showing you all this (from our pal Hatcher, I learned the term “shelf of shame” — this is a “room of shame”), but I figure if I show you this, I’ll shame myself into making it less shameful. Yeah. That’s it.
(Apologies for the poor quality of the pictures. I’m shocked, SHOCKED, that a 6+ year old flip phone has a crappy camera!)
Here’s what’s on my bed, to my left when I lay down. You can kind of see what I’m dealing with. Right next to my head is a pile of big trades and HCs, with a bunch of big manga omnibi (Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, among other stuff), that big collection of The Puma Blues, the Usagi Yojimbo big collections that DH has been putting out, and so on and so forth.
To the right of that, sitting on the bed, are a couple of long boxes, with piles of trades and bags of comics sitting on top of those. I can’t even tell you how many times those piles have shifted and fallen on me in the time since I first took these pictures. I’m working on it!
Also sitting on these piles are a bunch of CDs and cassettes that I got cheap, blank video tapes (although I’m looking for more, let me know if you guys have a good source!), and that beard trimmer my sister got me for my birthday as a silent way of judging me (hi sis!).
And that’s the piles closer to me. BEHIND them are piles of boxes with stuff on top of them. I’m not sure how many boxes are in each stack behind there, but on top of those are my Cerebus Archive porfolios, the IDW Kirby Artist Edition HC I have (New Gods, maybe? OMG, I don’t even remember!), and some other odd sized stuff. There’s also piles of comic books on top of those, mostly stuff from this year, maybe some from 2015.
Then down at the end of the bed, there are piles of empty boxes (except for one sideways tipped box of stuff at the bottom of the picture) piled high in front of my stereo system. I plan on talking about what I’m listening to in upcoming columns, as well!
Then to the right are more piles. There are newspapers, but mostly comics and boxes. For some insane reason I thought it would work if I emptied my comics from their boxes and then start alphabetizing them and re-sorting them from there. What a stupid move! They’re piled up so much, and the bagged and boarded ones get all slide-y, so everything is leaning to one side.
That one pile up there has a bunch of Superman and Ultraverse comics right now (don’t judge me!), and those are precariously perched.
Right next to me are piles of bagged and boarded comics that I’ve gotten at my local shops for cheap this year, and oh my god, why did I do this?!?!
So yes, I’m crawling into bed. Thankfully I’m still flexible enough that I can do so, but I need to move things around before I get too fat to move!
The main problem is that I don’t have enough space to maneuver stuff around, to have them sit somewhere while I sort them, without having to move them right back where they were right before. Grr!
Also, everything is basically resting against itself, Jenga-style. I can’t move anything without everything shifting because of it. Why do I do this to myself?!?!
And it’s like all these piles KNEW I was writing about them, because they’ve all started shifting funny, everything sliding, and DAMMIT ALL TO HELL, STOP SLIDING!!!
So that’s what I’m going to be doing tomorrow. Making sure that everything doesn’t fall over completely and maybe even stacking some better. HAHAHAHAHA!
So to wrap up for this week, I’ve got a ton of comics and books and CDs and DVDs and videos and cassettes and records and newspapers and crap that I’ve hoarded, and I hope you’ll join me as I go through this stuff and try to explain why I keep getting it all. Maybe there isn’t an explanation, but let’s see if I can figure one out.
Next week: I already have to interrupt the proceedings because of the library. Explanation next week!