A Place For Your Stuff

George Carlin said it all in his classic stand-up routine, “You need a place for your stuff”.  This is very true when you collect comic books, action figures and other cool things.  Where do you put your stuff?

Single, married or live-in significant other… you need a Nerd-Cave (or Nerd Lair, Geek Zone, Geek Cave, Fortress of  Solitude… which ever).

A Nerd-Cave can come in any shape, size or condition.  If you have a bookcase in the corner of your living room, where you keep your comic books, then my friend, you have a Nerd-Cave.  Your Nerd-Cave may be the spare bedroom, where “Aunt Ida” sleeps when she comes to visit.  Or your Nerd-Cave could be the whole basement/attic of your house.

So why do we need a Nerd-Cave? (This question will be asked of you, by your significant other when you propose the idea – because realistically, single people don’t have this issue).  As collectors (comics, action figures, memorabilia) we have a lot of stuff.  We collect it to look at it, or why would we bother having it.  Your not going to go buy a lifesize bust of Thor to have it sit in a box in the closet.  You would like to see it every day.  You don’t buy action figures so they can stay in a Rubbermaid container in the garage.  These need to be on display.   We need a Nerd-Cave so we can display and store our favourite things.

Your Nerd-Cave is your sanctuary.  If you are a married guy, like I am, it is your retreat away from your normal life.  It is a place where you can get away from the “Honey-Do” list, dirty diapers, and Dora The Explorer.  Now don’t get me wrong, my examples are also joys in life, but getting away from them is therapeutic (just like how shoe shopping is therapeutic for a lot of married ladies as well).

So what are essential to a Nerd-Cave?

Lighting is important.  You need to see your stuff.  You need good lighting to read.  Lighting is also important to show off your action figures and collectibles.  You want a quick tip for lighting?  Christmas lights.  The white ones work the best.  They are cheap, especially on Boxing Day.  I have all my lights connected to one power bar.  One flick of the switch illuminates my collection.

Another essential is some comfortable furniture.  You need to be comfortable to enjoy and relax.  Depending on the size of your space, this could be a bean bag chair, futon, pull-out couch or a recliner chair (or couch).  The luxury and condition of your furniture also depends on your budget as well.

The rest is up to you.

I have always been lucky to have a Nerd-Cave.  My first one (in my own place) was an office in the townhouse my GF (now wife) rented in Calgary.  My next Nerd-Cave was the spare bedroom in our apartment when we moved to Barrie.  That Nerd-Cave was packed up and put away when my son was born.  My current “Fortress of Solitude” is in the basement of our house.  As soon as I saw my corner of the basement, I told my wife “You can do whatever you want with the rest of the house, this space is mine”.

My Nerd-Cave has gone under a lot of changes.  I have added more shelves to display G.I. Joe.  I also keep my movie collection down there as well.  I have had to change how I organize my movies, to add more space.  There is a couch and TV in my space as well.  This is important as well.  We don’t all like the same movies.  I used to have my PS2 hooked up in the basement, but I put it away when I got my PS3; I still have my Intelli-Vision down there, ready to be hooked up at a moments notice.  The real challenge of my space is to add more stuff, without expanding the area.

The “holy grail” of my collection is my USS Flagg, the G.I. Joe aircraft carrier.  If you’ve never heard about this one, it is the biggest G.I. Joe vehicle ever made.  It is seven and a half feet long, and two and a half feet wide.  This thing is humongous.  I know several people who have the Flagg, but not many have it on display.  It is one of my favourite Joe items, but it’s also one of the most aggravating due to its sheer size.  I also made a shelf specifically for my G.I. Joe Mobile Command Center and Mobile Pit.

As I mentioned earlier a Nerd-Cave is important to me, because it is my sanctuary in my house.  I can go down to my basement and lose all track of time.  I like to read comics down there, watch movies, or organize my G.I. Joe and other figures.  I used to make custom G.I. Joe figures as well.  I’d have glue, paint and figure pieces spread all over my coffee table.

Now that you’ve seen pictures of my Nerd-Cave.  What does yours look like?

Swing by the Comic Book Daily Facebook Page and post pictures of your Nerd-Cave.  (If you haven’t done it yet, click “like” on our page.  There’s great content on our Facebook page too).

Ed Campbell
Ed Campbell

Ed Campbell is a collector of comics and action figures, primarily G.I. Joe. He is also a Cosplayer with Thor and Captain America as just a few of the characters in his arsenal. When not fulfilling his Comic Book Daily duties, he's "working for a living", volunteering his time for his local Fall Fair, and spending as much time with his family as possible. Use the links below to get in contact with him.

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  1. Nice write-up, Ed.  My present “Fortress of Solitude” is my little corner in the back yard, but I am slowly finishing the basement that will eventually be a Classic Movie and Euro-Beer fans’ paradise.

  2. That is the TNA/NWA replica belt/wrestling ring.  Picked it up for $1.65 on clearance.  I also have the WWE Heavyweight belt posted on the stairwell into the basement.

  3. Eventually my basement will be finished.  My house was built in the late 50’s, so right now there’s lots of work to be done.  Right now it works real well storing my stuff.

  4. I thought it was the NWA belt but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out where a toy version would have ever come from.  I forgot that TNA used to be a division.

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