I used to joke about having OCD,but there are people in this world whose lives are crippled by that affliction. I used to joke about being “addicted”,but again I have know people who have struggled with the actual disease and know it should never be applied to this. I have fought over the definition of geek versus nerd (and true to form,know that only I am right). But in the end,the only truly honest statement can be:
My name is Chris… and I have a ridiculously stupid number of comics.
Twelve book shelves filled with graphic novels. 25 to 26 “short boxes” of comic books. Ten to twelve short boxes of comics related magazines (which are at least legitimately work related). Various other pieces of sequential art scattered elsewhere around my house. The look on the faces of the movers when they showed up at my apartment in Rhode Island to move me will be forever scarred into my soul.
When I was in college and was just starting to actively build a music collection,my roommate (who had the same compulsion) turned to me one day,pointed at our respective CD collections,and said “Those there,those are our cars.”
Today I look around my apartment at my books and think “Those there,I don’t even want to think of what those are.”
So I know I have a problem. I knew I had a problem even before the economy started to go to hell in a hand basket and everyone started questioning what disposable income meant in a world where essential income was becoming scarce. I need to step away. To pull back and regroup. To better define why I buy,and what I buy,and why I keep it. To figure out what is route gathering and what is collecting for enjoyment. What is the difference between reading something once or treasuring it forever.
And that’s what I hope this will be. My semi-public therapy sessions as I try to work through in my mind what brought me to this point and where I want to go from here. I also hope it will be a way of celebrating what I love about comic books. I know there is a reason I have these things,beyond nostalgia or misdirection of sexual energy,and I want to better understand that.
I also want to celebrate the collected edition,the graphic novel,the tradepaperback. I want to share “shelf porn”,an internet meme of photographing the way you display your books and comics to the world. I will share my own and direct you to others.
Of course all this is in theory. Every other web project I have started is currently languishing,but I am serious about this effort of self-examination and change and I hope that this method might allow me to think it through and make permanent,positive change.
So a bit of philosophizing and self-examination… a bit of anti-materialism possession reduction diary… and a bit of I don’t know. And now,on to the shelf porn…
Coming Soon to PN6700-PN6790…
- The Public Face [or Wanna Come Up And See My Kramer’s Ergot]
- Genetic Origins [or It’s All Mom And Dads Fault]
- Completeness [or I Swear I’m Not A Collector]
- The Librarian [or Collecting for Posterity]
- The Fix
- The Library
- My People
- Obsessing Over Format
- The Love of Look