Let’s Sort This Out

This Week Chris and Walt talk about how best to sort one’s collection: it sounds a lot simpler than it turns out to be. Don’t believe us? Have a listen to poor Chris lament as to how to get it done!

Let us know what you thought of this week’s show by leaving a comment; all we ask is that you keep it civil.

Are you an Alpha-Numeric type?

Listen on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts

Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

Articles: 1712


  1. Well, alpha numeric doesn’t work for me… but I see how it works for others. I have a couple boxes dedicated to pulps… one hero the other anything else, a box for magazines which will include superhero stuff along with my collection of mens adventure magazines, gold in three boxes 1) superhero 2) horror and western, 3) romance and Archie, Marvel silver age ( thru bronze) is segregated by titles. For example Strange Tales also has Doctor Strange and Nick Fury, Suspense has Cap and Ironman, etc. DC has its own boxes as well, then I have boxes dedicated to other publishers with most of the 80’s indies together, Valiant, and such. I write a general description on the boxes exterior…which will change over time judging from titles scribbled out snd new ones written. When I do a display I will admit I have to search through a few boxes sometimes. Like… pre hero Marvel monster comics I lump all together, Strange, Astonish etc along with Amazing Adult Fantasy get put behind Tomb of Dracula. My FF run requires 2 boxes … one only silver and the other bronze and beyond. Is this a satisfactory way to sort… no. But… I have done it so long I can’t change now… and as we all know I have reached my liquidation phase. I am still debating on keeping a few books like some of my FF run… we shall see.

  2. No love for filing cabinets, for your most expensive books?
    I also like to use magazine boxes to store books in two rows of comics side by side which gives more space to put wide books like Golden Age and Canadian ones

  3. One thing that has helped me with my comic storage issues is switching to all short boxes. With the pulp paper in older comics, the books were much lighter. Slick paper has made a huge difference in the weight of books and long boxes were just not an option for the old back after a while. If you don’t believe me, pick up a long box of Silver Age books and then pick up a long box of modern books and you will immediately feel the difference! I have a couple of boxes of FF, a box of Daredevil, a box of Batman, a box holding Promethea, Lazarus and Planetary and a mixed box (alphabetized by title), as well as one box of comics my work has appeared in. I also have a lovely museum quality storage box (which I got from the City of Waterloo Museum after I had loaned them some of my books for a show) in which I store my Canadian Golden Age books. Then there are various sized small boxes for mini comics by me, Colin Upton, John MacLeod and Chester Brown. I sold off a ton of books a few years back and just stripped the collection down to the bare essentials. I mean, don’t you ever get tired off hauling around so much stuff?! I also have the advantage of a photographic memory so I don’t have to own a comic book to enjoy it! As for bags and boards, I now just use Ultra PRO resealable acid free sleeves. They may cost a buck a piece, but they look superb. Of course, my Canadian Whites are in Mylar!

  4. Gerald! I’m not sure if I need the drink because I’m thinking about all of the comics you are liquidating or because I have to deal with Walt on a regular basis. Either way, a drink was needed for sure!

  5. “Four hours later, getting bored…” Amen. But not with comics – with taxes.

    I wrote a bunch of comments below as you went along, and I hit on some of your comments before you came to them:

    You guys are making it so hard. Alphanumeric for me. The only distinction is three categories: graded, ungraded > $50 value, and the great unwashed. However…

    Golden Age is a pain – they won’t even fit in the boxes. I put these sideways in these small Bill Cole acid free boxes that I bought in the early eighties. So I guess a fourth category. The “good stuff” is also in those acid free boxes.

    “Uncanny” is evil but when the title officially changes, it is now a “U” title. Don’t make such a big deal about this – how about “All Star Western” or “Incredible Hulk” – basically the same problem.

    OMG you even hit on the giant CGC issue. Flash Comics #53 “first computer in comics” for me – in a padded envelope because I don’t collect magazine format – so a fifth category…

    My boxes are numbered so I can know where to look for an “A” vs. a “W”. Those graded boxes are heavy, so I don’t want to go through a tower of them unless I have to.

    “Why collect if you’re not going to look?” I can’t explain it, but I resemble that remark.

    No insights except the anarchy idea. Maybe that’s a plan for the great unwashed.

  6. My collection is easy; simply alpha-numeric as I don’t really collect runs. The most I have of one title is probably some older Superman from the 50s. Everything else are, basically, one-shots.

  7. Alphanumeric here too. ASM is separate to Web which is separate to Spectacular. X-Men rolls straight into UXM.

    No dividers either, don’t need that, like to just take a guess and flick through.

    My personal goal is to get everything into myler, for the past 6 months everything that I’ve added to the collection is in mylar and anything re-read gets put back into a mylar bag…but lack of supply is starting to slow me down a bit.

    My other plan for this year is to start inserting interleaving boards into my high-grade books – so X-Men #94-142 and ASM #50-#129 (no, I don’t have the whole run, yet), keep those pages nice and white!

  8. Harder than is seemed on paper, isn’t it gang? Mel, I know a few guys that have swithced to the stubby boxes, they can fit into more nooks and they are easier to fish out and carry around.

    So Meli, you start off by telling us you have a system but then go on and poit out that you really don’t! Your collection exists like the english language, these rules apply except for them this happens…

    Klaus, one shots? You need to start building those runs pal.

  9. HA! Walt I think it is so cool that you call the short boxes “stubbies!” How very Canadian! And, you are right about the ease of storage and carrying. I no longer moan in pain when I pick up a comic box. I notice too that a lot of the long boxes end up with this sag in the middle that I’m sure doesn’t do the books any favours! I flirted with the idea of those big, black plastic storage boxes but decided that there was enough weight to the comics already without adding a few pounds to the empty box! So stubbies it is! That made my morning Walt!

  10. Mr. Meli, I happen to know that is Kirk explaining the card game Fizbin ?? And yes, your collecting technique sounds similar.

    Glad to hear it Mel, my dad drank Old Vienna and O’Keefe by the way…

  11. Stubbies!!!

    mate, you’ll fit in down here, no wucking forries!!!!

    And yes, I moved from longnecks to stubbies last year. happy with that decision.

Comments are closed.