It’s time to take a look at my shelf pjørn!

Back in the day when Robot 6 was the blog partner of Comics Should Be Good, they had a feature called “shelf pørn” (I’m using that letter because I don’t want us to be on weird Google searches). It was for people to show off their comics and comics-related stuff, and someone once suggested I should send in photos of my stuff. I never did, though, because some of those people had some seriously amazing figures and displays, and I … don’t. But this is my blog, and I just got all of last year’s comics where they belong on my shelves, so I figured I’d show of my, for latter of a better word, “shelf porn” (I figure I’m safe now). Here we go!

First of all, let’s look at the actual comics. Well, the long boxes and the shelves of trades. I started buying comics in 1988 and have never done any kind of purge, so I still have almost every single one I’ve ever bought (I’m in the middle of separating the ones I want to keep from the ones I can get rid of, but I still have them). I’ve kept them in my garage since I’ve moved to Arizona simply because that’s the only place I can keep them and the weather never gets wet so they’re relatively safe. I know the heat can’t be great for them, but it never gets ridiculously hot in the garage, so they still look pretty good:

I really dig the long boxes with the “shelves” that you can slide out – it makes access to them so much easier. My boxes aren’t in tip-top shape, but they’re pretty good, considering that some of them are over 20 years old. A few of those are empty – I bought more than I needed one time – but I think it’s only two. Anyway, those are where my single issues live.

I keep most of my trades in the garage as well (we don’t, in case you haven’t figure it out, put our cars in the garage). I do have six book shelves in my office upstairs, stacked into three columns, which hold a bunch of trades and books I haven’t read yet (I own a lot of books I haven’t read; my wife, who’s a much faster reader than I am, actually owns less than ten books she hasn’t read yet, and those she bought about a month ago).

I’ve tried to hide it, but you can see on the fringes that my office is a mess. We moved in over three years ago (getting very close to four) and I’ve never cleaned up the mess. It is a constant source of shame to my wife, who’s happy she can just close the door and shut it from her mind. Then we move down to the garage:

These are the shelves opposite my long boxes (see above), so I can’t really get a good angle on them because I can’t back up too far. Also, you’ll notice the big plastic containers by the shelves. These are mostly full of magazines. Yes, I can’t even get rid of old magazines I like. Someday I will, but today is not that day! You can also see in a few photos the old television on the floor. We don’t quite know what to do with our old television. I heard some electronics businesses will take them, but I haven’t done any research into which ones. I should probably get on that. On the other side of this row we have the rest:

And to give you a better sense of how many there are, these shelves can accommodate two rows of books (although you can see that in the other pictures, this gives a better look):

You’ll also notice a few stacked on top of the last shelf. I bought more shelving this year (Home Depot’s shelves rule, yo!), and I couldn’t quite fit them all. Poor end of the alphabet books – always the shelf orphans!

So let’s take a look at some specific sections. Here are all my B.P.R.D. omnibus collections:

They read well in big chunks

I have two more, but they’re down on the bottom of a shelf and I didn’t feel like lying down and taking a picture. Suffice it to say – I have a lot of B.P.R.D. collections. They’re very keen, though.

Here is a good amount of my Batman trades:

I’ll get to Disco Stu!

This also begins on the shelf by the floor, where the rest of the B.P.R.D. trades are, but the Batman ones are several “Batman Chronicles” trades, the cool program DC did a while back collecting the Golden Age stuff in order of publication. They’re still doing it, but the trades are now longer and despite usually having Michael Cho covers, I like the design of the Batman Chronicles a bit more. I try to keep the trades of long-running characters or teams in chronological order, which is what I’ve done here. I also don’t have quite so many because for so many years I bought my Batman-related material in single issues. And yes, up in the top left corner, behind Pope Innocent III (I’ll get to him, too!) are the Scott Snyder and Tom King trades, despite my hatred of them. I will get rid of those, but I haven’t yet! And check out that nice complete collection of Jason Lutes’s Berlin. Such a good book!

Moving on, we find my complete Bloom County collection:

Still the best comic strip ever. Hit the bricks, Calvin and Hobbes fans!

Here’s the Conan section:

I have a new Marvel one, but it came out in January so I haven’t shelved it yet. And man, those are a lot of Dark Horse ones. Of course, I’m missing volume 1 of King Conan. I have no idea why, and I’m sure it’s long out of print. Grrrr.

Moving on, here’s almost all of my Ditko stuff:

One is on the previous shelf, and if it’s stuff he worked on with, say, Stan Lee, then it’s in alphabetical order by title. These are the collections of the stuff that’s either solely Ditko or stuff that’s collections of stories from scattered titles (which is the stuff from the 1950s, mostly).

Here’s the Mike Grell Green Arrow run, Matt Wagner’s Grendel (all of which I have in single issues, but what the hell), and the early GrimJack trades (I own the single issues after the switch of main character). That’s a nice shelf of comics there!

This is the Manara Library, which Dark Horse put together a few years ago. They’re very slowly doing the same with Moebius, and I have all of those, too, but it’s not quite as large yet as this bunch. These are, naturally, gorgeous comics, and not as porny as you might think (I guess Dark Horse did do at least one Manara porn collection, but I don’t own that).

This is most of my Wallace Wood collection. I think his work on Daredevil is the only one in a different place, and that’s because he didn’t work on it alone and it’s part of a larger continuum. That’s a chunk of absolutely gorgeous comics, and if Fantagraphics or anyone else keeps publishing them, I’ll probably keep buying them!

This is the very end of the alphabet, and it rarely gets on a shelf, because I always run out of room. Poor Zot! – it’s always the first to come off the shelf. I thought this year I’d have enough shelf space, because I bought a new shelving unit and thought I didn’t have enough comics to fill it up. But alas! – it was still not enough room. If you can see some of the garage where I store the comics, I don’t know if next year I’m going to be able to fit another shelf. I’ll jump off that bridge when I come to it, I guess!

Here’s a closer look at some of the goofy toys and figures and such I’ve collected over the years. Here’s Jesus, who has wheels in his base so he can zip around, Pope Innocent III, one of the greatest popes in history, at least in terms of temporal power, and Disco Stu. Now that’s a trio!

This is Darth Tater and Boba Fett. Years ago I wanted to get Darth Tater, but when I looked for it, it was sold out. Then I received it as a gift, which made me happy. Everyone loves Darth Tater! (Also, you must dig the weird mask of the upper half of a face and the straw hat I own. It belonged to my mother, and it might have belonged to her parents, that’s how old it is. I have no idea what it is or why someone would purchase it unless they were planning on starring as Harold Hill and couldn’t find a hat to buy. I took it when she said she was going to throw it out, because it’s too freaky to die. When I was in high school, my friend and I drove around one night, and he had taken it from my house and had it in the car. We went to a country club and drove in the circular driveway while some function was going on – I think it was a prom, because I seem to recall the kids going in being young. My friend put it on, went through the sun roof, and used a microphone to announce that “the baker loves you – wave to the baker!” I don’t know why he was a baker, but many of the perplexed people waved to us. My friend was a weird dude.)

It’s Batman and Robin in a Wallace-and-Gromit style, along with the Joker in his correct proportionate size to how important he should be in the Batman canon, a Julie Newmar Catwoman, and my awesome Killer Moth figure. Man, I love that Killer Moth.

I have gotten some plush chogs (from Chew) for my daughter, who digs them very much, but I kept this one. The mug next to it is one I made in third grade, I think, for my parents. It has “1980” written on it, and I was in third grade for the first half of 1980, and so that was probably when I made it, because it’s celebrating America’s birthday, so we probably did it toward the end of the year. I found it in her cabinet once and asked if I could take it. I think it’s pretty neat.

My comic book store has a bunch of cheap figures in a box, so I picked these two up. Rogue is awesome, of course, and who doesn’t like Black Widow? You would not be the first one to think these are the same exact figure, just dressed differently. But I still dig them!

The Rogue is kind of the crown jewel of my stuff, because it’s the most expertly crafted with the best materials. Look at that amazing statue! The Dazzler one is pretty cool, but of slightly lesser material. Still, I love them both.

Marvel offered a new Jubilee statue recently, and it came out this week, so it’s a nice addition to the group. The base is pretty wide, so I’m not sure where I can put it, but right now it’s perched above Rogue and Dazzler on the Airboy trades behind them. If Marvel ever gets around to releasing a nice Psylocke statue, I’m set!

So that’s it for toys and figures. No, it’s not a lot, but it’s something! Finally, here are the prints I have hanging around my room. Most of these are just that, prints, but the first few are nice original sketches. Here they are, with the first photo showing the entire wall, and the next focusing in on each one:

Okay, so here’s what’s what. In 2007, I went to San Diego for the con and hung out at the Elephantmen booth, because Elephantmen is an excellent comic and Richard Starkings is fun to chat with. Moritat, who was drawing the book at the time, was there, and he and Starkings asked me if I wanted a sketch. Not being an idiot, I said yes. He drew me that beautiful Sahara, and it was awesome. Two years later, I was back at the con, and I asked him to draw me Vanity, because I was going for the “three hot women in Elephantmen” thing. In 2011 I went back, and by this time Axel Medellin was drawing the book, but Moritat was still at the booth, so Medellin drew Miki lying on the bed while Moritat drew the Spirit standing on the balcony, because he was drawing that comic at the time. So I had my trifecta, which was nice. On the Vanity one, you’ll notice the inscription “Don’t leave me in a restaurant baby!” In 2007, I was leaving the con (I spent one day there – I flew in on Friday morning and flew out on Friday night, and that was quite a day) and I stopped to have dinner with Ian Brill and Tom Collins (dang, two blasts from the past there). As I had all my stuff, I had to pile it in the booth next to me, and somehow I left the dang drawing of Sahara there. At the airport, I called the restaurant, and they miraculously had found it, and they were even nice enough to mail it to me. So of course I told Moritat two years later, and he made his joke. By then I could actually stay overnight in San Diego, so I was able to pack it away. I’m still amazed I didn’t lose the Sahara sketch forever!

These are the three prints hanging above the Elephantmen sketches. The first two are prints by Ken Krekeler from Westward, which remains one of the best comics of the 21st century. The third one is a nice print by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, which I got in 2015 in San Diego. Good times!

The print on the left is by Celia Calle, whom I met only briefly but seems pretty keen and who doesn’t really do enough comics (she was drawing for Penthouse for a while, which probably paid more, but she should still do more comics!). The Elektra on the right is by Jason Copland, who’s a fine artist and a hell of a nice guy. In the middle you will see my daughter’s 4th-grade Arts and Letters project. She wanted to get rid of it, but I refuse to get rid of anything, so I stuck it on a shelf in my office. I’m an awesome dad, you guys.

At the top there’s a print by Kody Chamberlain, another dude who does far too few comics. The two on the bottom are Stumptown prints by Matthew Southworth, who’s always fun to talk to at conventions. I have to write about Stumptown the television show at some point. It’s pretty good. Sorry about the glare.

This last one is a print by GB Tran from his graphic novel Vietnamerica, another amazing comic that doesn’t get nearly enough love. I love that print. Again, sorry about the glare, and the fact that I’m not wearing a shirt. It’s hot in Arizona, even in March!

I have a lot of other prints, but not a lot of wall space. I chose these pretty carefully, honestly, but I’d love to have many more on the walls. So sad!

So that’s my shelf porn. It’s not the best, of course, but it’s not bad. I hope you enjoyed it!

[Edit: Eric reminded me of my Absolute editions and such, and I forgot to post a photo of most of those. I put them on a book shelf in our living room, mainly because we had the space and partly because they’re anchored to the wall and it’s good to put very heavy stuff on the bottom shelf to help stabilize the shelves. So here they are. For some reason, I don’t own the fourth Sandman one – I don’t know if it’s out of print, but I ought to get it – and that’s the third version of Watchmen I own, by the way. On the far right is a nice Bill Everett book, and that’s Evanier’s Kirby book next to it. Thanks for reminding me, Eric!]

20 Comments

  1. Eric van Schaik

    Wow! That’s quiet a collection.
    I’ve got the BPRD books too.
    Why go from right to left? Is that an American Way or just you?
    Maybe more reactions/questions later because it’s time to sleep in Holland.

    1. Greg Burgas

      Eric: I don’t know if it’s an American thing, but it’s my thing. I think my wife disagrees, so maybe I’m the weird person. It’s mainly because the front cover is on the right, so if you take it out it’s there in front of you!

  2. tomfitz1

    WOW-ow-ow-ow!!!!

    I triple-dare to to sort them alphabetically and separate by publisher, title, or author. (heh heh heh, I’m soooooooo evil!!!!!!!!!)

    BUT, you, without a doubt, put me to shame. I’ve only one shelf on the bookcase for tpbs, and a few hcs. Most most of the tpbs are the Hellblazer tpbs vol. 1-22.

    I have 4 long boxes, 2 of them, have manga (samurai), 1 has Michael Moorcock library (hcs) and 1 has my most current titles.

    Mostly because I live in a 1 bedroom condo, and in no way do I have the budget to get everything that you have!!!!

    Still, amazing shelf pjorn, there! 😉

    1. Greg Burgas

      I sort them alphabetically by title because of the writer/artist divide – how can I put all my Warren Ellis books together when I also have a John Cassaday section?!?!?!? I’ve often thought of sorting them differently, but I don’t think it would work.

      I do sort my prose books by author’s last name, though, so there’s that.

      Thanks!

  3. Edo Bosnar

    Oh, look at him, using that fancy-schmancy European way of spelling peejorn…

    I can relate to the garage situation. Our car has never come near it – we put bookshelves against two walls as soon as we moved in, and the rest of it has shelving for canned and dry food, tools, and other miscellaneous stuff, our freezer, a few cleaning appliances, an old desk (with drawers that really need to be cleaned out – they’re full of old cables and adapters for long-gone computers and other electronic devices) and plants that we put inside for winter.

    Love the convention sketches – those are the best. I only have a few, drawn for me by Chaykin, R.M. Guera and Goran Sudzuka – the former two are framed but I haven’t hung them anywhere yet.

    By the way, when you get around to purging some of your unwanted stuff, I’ll take those, awful, horrible, nigh unreadable Steve Ditko and Wally Wood books off of your hands… 😛

  4. Eric van Schaik

    Now it’s time for a longer response Mr. Burgas.

    Looking at your collection makes me wish I lived in the states when it comes to comics. We get a lot in Holland, but mostly the popular stuff.

    In the old house I had longboxes but that way I had to look very hard to find stuff. I didn’t like that at all, although the boxes with shelves look nice.
    All my comics are now in 4 Ikea Billy’s. One for Marvel and DC. All other are divided by company. One for all the small company’s (Cartoon Books, Bongo Press, Fireman Press etc) and one for Image, Dark Horse and the old Valiant.
    Batman and Superman each have a shelf. Superman from the Byrne reboot until the resurrection. Batman are runs from Azarello, Morrison and Snyder.

    The lowest shelf of the Billy’s are for the Omnibuses (Marvel, DC and Image) and Deluxe Editions.
    I have to find the first Conan Omnibus with BWS art. Thanks for showing/ reminding me.

    The fifth Billy is TPB only. Most of it is Image.
    One shelf has the Dark Horse stuff including the first 4 BPRD omnibuses.

    All of that is in the attic.

    The best books are in my bedroom.
    Next to the bed I have a small bookcase containing the absolute editions (no love for them Greg?), the Hellboy Library Editions, the Parker Martini book and the Taschen books 75 years of marvel and the DC golden, silver and bronze editions.
    At the foot end of the bed is an Ikea Kallax bookcase. On the top is my record player. In the shelves I have the Wolverine Admantium book and the Stan Lee book. Also the Big Damn Sin City.
    Because the size is to big to fit in any shelf I have the Gallery Edition of Terminator vs Robocop and the HC wednesday comics in the bedroom closet 🙂

    In Holland we never saw Bloom County in the newspaper so Calvin and Hobbes is the best comic strip for me. 😉

    Do you own a bike??? I thought american’s were allergic to that 🙂

    Porn shelf and not owning the Manara porn collection seems strange to me 😉

    The only figures I have are Hellboy and a soldier that came with the deluxe dvd’s. Last week I got a funko of Liz Sherman from my oldest son as a gift.

    I had one sketch 🙁 done by Tom McWeeney (of Roachmill fame) but it got lost during moving to this house.

    I wonder what will happen with some of the stuff in the bedroom when my girlfriend moves in with me (maybe by the end of the year). She says she needs some space for her stuff…

    While typing most of this I received some books I ordered because of you: The Midas Coin and tpb’s 4 to 10 of Noble Causes.
    Thanks for all your columns Sir.
    If only you learned to appreciate good music 😉 but we will get to that 🙂

    Have a nice weekend!

    1. Greg Burgas

      Eric: Thanks for reminding me of the Absolute editions. I added a new photo!

      Sounds like you have a pretty good collection and a good sorting system. I’ve also thought about sorting mine by publisher, but I’ve never pulled the trigger. Alphabetical works fine for me.

      I love my bike! I don’t ride it nearly enough, but I do get out every so often. Phoenix is pretty flat, so it’s easy to ride around.

      My wife has never had a ton of stuff, so it’s worked out pretty well. Of course, when we moved in with each other, I had far fewer comics and for some years, they stayed at my parents’ house until we had room. I don’t envy you!

      I hope you like the comics, because I’m always worried when people buy comics based on my recommendations (even though I like them, I’m never sure if others will!).

      Have a nice weekend as well, sir!

  5. papercut fun

    Great call on the Absolute Sandman books! Sandman is a series I have in multiple formats, and the Absolute editions are some of my favourite books to flip through on the semi-regular. In addition to Vol 4 you can also add Absolute Death and Absolute Sandman Overture if you want to go “full on Absolute Completist”.

    1. Greg Burgas

      I have Sandman in a few different formats, too. I own the original trade of The Doll’s House, before DC released the first issues in trade and before the standardized the dress, so that’s pretty cool. I have the rest in single issues, then I have the Absolute ones (except for volume 4, dang it!), and I have the Annotated versions. Fun stuff! I have thought about the other Absolute editions, but haven’t gotten them yet. I also get gun-shy because they’re so expensive and I usually already own the comics, because otherwise I would own a lot more!

  6. fit2print

    I was tempted to suggest that instead of ponying up big money for collections of … by the looks of things… just about every title in comics history, you might consider borrowing now and then from your local library (your results may vary but mine stocks a surprisingly large and varied collection of both graphic fiction and non-fiction, from mainstream superhero fare to memoirs to comic strips to slice-of-life indies I’d never laid eyes on before).

    But then it occurred to me that denying publishers the huge quantity of cash they’re making from you might just signal comics industry armageddon and that wouldn’t be good for anyone. So carry on, sir!

    On a semi-related note, much as I enjoyed the tour of your hoard (and the many, many others that used to appear at Robot 6), part of me (not THAT part) longs for the day some iconoclast decides to post — for lack of a better term – images of “Shelf Erotica.”

    By that I mean photos of the presumably modest selection of books that mean the most to the person, which would theoretically allow the viewer to actually gain some insight into his or her individual taste in comics. After all, as anyone who has visited a friend’s — or potential significant other’s – home and gravitated toward their personal library could tell you, half the fun of shelf-snooping is the opportunity to draw conclusions (often wildly off the mark but still…) about the “snoopee’s” character based on the titles they’ve read or, in some cases, the titles they haven’t actually read but choose to display.

    “Shelf erotica?” “Deep Under Covers?” “Psy-tome-analysis?” Yep, I’ll shut up now

    1. Greg Burgas

      I know the library in Mesa, where we used to live, didn’t have great selections of comics, but I haven’t checked out Chandler’s. I’ve often thought of getting stuff from the library, but it would be, I don’t know, stuff I would be pretty sure I wouldn’t love but was morbidly interested in – the rest of Tom King’s Batman run, for instance. I just love owning comics and books!

      That’s an interesting idea, and I’ve done it with our books because we’ve recently added shelving to our house (which I’m going to show in a future post, because I’m going to write about books). I don’t know how I would do it with comics, mainly because I have so many that I really dig and so many are in single issues. It’s a fascinating idea, though, and maybe I’ll see if I can do something about it.

      I rarely see books displayed in my friends’ houses. I have loser friends. 🙁

      1. The library is great for reading stuff I don’t want to buy. I can’t just give up on the current DCU or the MU but I don’t want to spend money on them when there’s better stuff. The library takes care of that. Including Tom King’s largely dreadful run.
        It’s also good for experimenting with new stuff, like Paper Girls and Beasts of Burden, which I wound up buying the run of.
        Plus cheap books on the sale table, ranging from the good (Alias) to the not (Black Science).

  7. Der

    Hey, nice feature, I would love more shelf pron. It’s robot six still around? I loved checking their shelf pron because well, some people posted some stunning pictures. And then almost at the end I sent some pictures, it was only two small bookcases and a big one, but I posted some pics of one of my favorite comics ever(The Eternauta) and it got a really positive reaction(this was way before the english translation) and it even got me in the top 6 or whatever shelf porns of that year!

    Your collection looks great, I love the art on the walls. I would love to have original art or prints, but that wont happen for a few more years.

    1. Greg Burgas

      Der: Robot 6 isn’t around, as it got folded into the main CBR just like Comics Should Be Good did. I imagine that the writers for the blog made the same choices we did and either stayed and are still posting articles, or they left. But I rarely read CBR anymore, so I don’t know.

      That’s very cool about your collection and their reaction to it. In the sixth picture I posted (the long shot of the shelves in my garage), you can see my copy of the (English version) of the Eternaut, sticking out on the bottom shelf (that thing is huge!). I had to wait for the translation, because I’m a mouth-breathing monolingual American! 🙂

      I buy plenty of prints, but I haven’t bought any original art yet (Moritat’s sketches don’t count). That’s a rabbit hole I would never get out of!!!!

  8. Terrible-D

    Dear Greg,

    Hello. As you may recall, I’ve been a long time lurker. I hung around at the old spot, and have been with you lot since the Junk Shop opened it’s metaphorical doors. We don’t really know each other, besides some brief back-and-forth in the these comment sections, and your suggestions of comic shops in the greater Phoenix area when I visited your lovely town a few years back. Which was a very kind, and appreciated gesture. But it pains me, because of the unfamiliar nature of our relationship, that I feel I must ask a personal favor of you. Could you, and this is embarrassing, please PUT YOUR SIN CITY TRADES IN THE CORRECT ORDER TO DISPLAY THE ART DECORATING THE SPINES!?
    Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Derek

    1. Greg Burgas

      Ha! I have them in correct order, sir! They are numbered 1-7, and that’s how I shelve them. Is it my fault that Dark Horse screwed up the numbering? Should I be at fault for their mistakes?!?!?!?!?

      I will re-shelve them, though, because you’re right about the art. It’s just stupid that that’s the way Dark Horse numbered them.

  9. Terrible-D

    I never realized that. I only have the first 4 volumes, and because I don’t have as much shelf space as you, I haven’t actually laid eyes on them in years.
    Do I still own these books? Is this a Schrodinger’s bookshelf scenario?

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