On small victories

I promised myself some time ago that, once my credit cards were all paid off, I would reward myself with a lightsaber. Well, I’ve held a $0 credit card balance for a few months now, minus a couple of reasonable things (I paid for the hotel last weekend on one of my cards, then came home and immediately paid it off) and … well, I haven’t ordered a saber yet, because I’ve managed to convince myself I’m still in the “research” stage, thus preventing me from dropping $500 on something that is the absolute pinnacle of “meaningless nerd cruft I don’t need.” Shit, I don’t even know if I like Star Wars any longer; one of the many ways the last several years have sucked is watching a number of things I used to love turn into even more entries into the “shit that makes me tired” category.

But I don’t want this to be another obnoxiously maudlin post; I want to focus on the fact that I am remaining (somewhat) financially disciplined by 1) not wantonly ordering a lightsaber today and further 2) determining that there must be at least twice the cost of said lightsaber in savings before said lightsaber is ordered. Which, okay, isn’t going to hold me for long, but kept me from spending money today.

The above, by the way, hasn’t yet achieved the status of “my lightsaber,” because 1) if it’s a fixed color, the blade is going to be yellow and 2) I’m serious about reading a ton of reviews and doing research here, because I am doing this once and I am not about to start a collection of these fucking things. It looks like the saber I had my eyes on when I first started thinking about this has been discontinued, as I foolishly didn’t bookmark it and now I can’t find the design anywhere, but I don’t want one that looks exactly like one of the official ones. It won’t be unique, of course, as these things are mass-produced, but I don’t want a fellow nerd to be able to look at it and recognize it as Plo Koon’s lightsaber or some shit like that.

I probably ought to put the whole thing off until after I know if there’s going to be a teacher strike later this year, shouldn’t I?

I’d part with my childhood but no one wants it

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Semi-serious question: anybody wanna buy about four or five thousand comic books?

I’ve been collecting comic books since I was nine years old.  Never once in that time have I actually gotten rid of any, and I’m finally hitting the point lately where I really don’t think that my current collection is going to be sustainable for much longer.  Mind you, this is not an “I want to stop buying comic books” post– I don’t.  I just don’t feel like I need to have all the ones that I currently have for any longer.  I’ll probably end up holding on to maybe fifteen to twenty percent of my collection out of sentimental or story value, but most of what’s left I feel like I can get rid of fairly painlessly.

The problem is I don’t want to just throw them away, and any other method of getting rid of comic books doesn’t actually work very well.  There’s basically no market in back issue comics any longer– search Ebay for “comic book lots” and you’re going to get a wasteland, although I can’t really believe Ebay is still in business anyway, so maybe that’s not worth much as a data point– and for the most part I don’t have any books that have massively inflated values over whatever their cover price is anyway.  My local comic shop doesn’t want them, at least partially because for the last seven years they sold them to me, and they certainly don’t want them back.  Libraries won’t deal with comics, and at that point I sort of run out of ideas.  Pawn shops?  I kinda doubt it.  Secondhand places?  The nostalgia store in the mall?  I’d be surprised.

What’s triggering this is that if I want to keep my collection in any sort of reasonable shape I need to go through and rebox everything about once a year or so.  Now, I can just buy new boxes as I go and toss shit into them, but that means that if I ever actually want to find anything ever again it would take eons.  I have sixteen longboxes and three shortboxes– so call it seventeen longboxes– of comic books; a longbox holds about three hundred books, give or take.

(Just did the math.  The first sentence of this post originally said “three thousand.”  Gah.)

Anyway, if I want them to be in any kind of order where I can actually find them again, about once a year I have to buy a couple of new boxes and then spend a day or two interfiling all the stuff I’ve bought over the course of the past year into the collection– which is complicated as hell, because there’s never remotely enough room in the boxes I have, and I have to sort of start from one end and work my way back, moving every single comic I own at least once while I’m putting the new stuff in with the older books.  It’s a bloody obnoxious mess and it becomes more obnoxious every year.  And judging from the two four-inch-high stacks on my desk and the three full shortboxes next to me, I need to do it again like right now if I don’t want to be buried in these things– and I really don’t want to be buried in these things.

I should stash them all in the basement and not worry about it, but I’m worried that if I do that it would trigger an immediate basement flood– it’s too humid down there for comic books as is– and I’d rather throw them away then lose them in some sort of home disaster.  Which is probably kinda stupid but whatever, that’s how my brain works.

So, yeah.  Anybody planning on opening a comic book store and want some quick back-issue stuff?  Hit me up.  Or just come over and steal a bunch of them.  If you can get past the dogs you can have them.

Just leave me my Iron Man books.  Those, I’m never giving up.