So this was the weekend, the weekend I finally did something that I promised myself I would do months ago...I finally went through my comic book closet. It took several days of shuffling boxes in and out, moving the books I'd acquired since the last time I did this (2 years ago maybe?) into their proper order, and doing the hardest part of all: letting go.
I had two R's to follow when I undertook this project: reorganize and remove. Reorganization was easy; even with 25 long boxes of accumulated issues from the last 25 years, it really was not as difficult as I imagined it would be since I hadn't done it in a couple years. In fact, it was probably harder moving everything out of the way to get to the books, and then actually pulling the boxes out of the closet than it was doing the actually reorganizing.
The hardest part of this scheme of mine was following the second "R": Removal. Any diehard comic book fanboy who has ever forced themselves to go through this process will understand why that deserves a capital "R". To anyone looking in from the outside, those stacks pictured above are just pieces of colored paper wrapped in plastic for some neurotic reason, but to those of us for whom comic books have become a passion, it is so much more than that.
Those comics are the scrapbook of my life in so many ways. From "Youngblood" to "Spirits of Vengeance" to "Astro City: Local Heroes" and more, those books are some indication of where I was at in my life when I (or my Dad) purchased them. It's memories of Capital City Comics in Lansing, Daggett's Comics in Holt, or any of the numerous conventions where I raided back issue bins. They are gifts from friends & family, items that other fanboys have needed to clear out, or thank you items for helping a shop move locations. It's amazing the attachment you can get to "things".
It was a seriously difficult task to pull that first stack of books, even though it was "Team Youngblood", and set it into my sell pile instead of the reorganization stack. It's not as if I'm talking about a book that shook up the industry or one that burned up the sales charts, but it's a little piece of myself that is leaving the nest. Not exactly one of my children yet it is something I have invested time & energy into.
Think about it: 24 issues of a comic is two years of your life invested into characters & story, regardless of the quality, as well as a small dent in your pocketbook. The money factor isn't exactly something that crossed my mind in 1992 when Image Comics broke, but in hindsight it is something that creeps into my mind as I pull out all these back issues. And the quality of those stories as I read them now makes me wonder what on earth I was thinking at 13 years old when these books came out. Pretty much the case for anything Extreme Studios....
Now that is not the case for every single book I've elected to part with, some of them are due to me owning the trades or hardcovers now, some of it is because I have an incomplete series or one random issue of a title, but yeah, a lot of them are due to that whole...crap....thing.
It amazes me how attached I can be to something that is bad, how difficult it can be to part with it after all these years. But once I got started, once I really got rolling, not so difficult; I knew exactly what I needed to unload and how I wanted to do it. Now with 3 1/2 boxes worth of comics sitting on my bedroomw floor, I kind of feel...relieved strangely enough. It's this odd sort of....therapy isn't the right word but it's the first one that comes to mind (credit goes to Chuck Palahniuk there).
Even though I was quite literally cleaning out my closet, I think the philosophical take on that phrase might fit a little bit too. I don't know why, and the why may not be that important, but I know it felt like letting go. Still there are things I couldn't let go of: Batman, X-Men, the books that I've followed since day one, THAT would be like throwing my kid out of the house.
Or maybe I'm just being a drama queen....
It's a work in progress as I add my lots to it, but if anyone is interested in what I'm unloading, here's a link to My Ebay Auctions