Monday, July 16, 2012

Cataloguing Comics: Westerns

Some of these boxes (and their contents) are almost 30 years old, and they'll have to wait
until the more recent stuff is organized and catalogued.
Of the many projects I have put into motion for myself in an effort to keep prodcutively occupied this summer, a number are intended to beautify our home, such as landscaping and painting the bathroom, while others are being taken on in an effort to alleviate my spirit, such as making healthy donations of items I no longer use or that others may find of better use.

The updated "Westerns" List; numbers to
the right of titles are gaps in each run.
Perhaps the silliest activity is one that I am most enjoying thus far: re-cataloguing my comic book collection and identifying gaps in "runs" (A "run" is a group of comics of one title where most or all of the issues are present.) in an effort to fill any storyline holes. This practice of organizing (and re-organizing) is one I've started and stopped on numerous occasions since I was, oh, I don't know--15 or so, and this summer I'm going full-bore. Unfortunately, like some other local comic book aficionados, I do not have a temperature controlled room, online cataloging software, or even display shelves; this is going to be an old school endeavor. What I lack in amenities I like to think I make up for in attitude.

As you can see from the terrible image above, this task could take some time. In an effort I have begun with those series I have most recently begun collecting (in the last 4 to 5 years), and while most local comic shops will organize by publisher first and then alphabetical by title, I will be organizing each long box by genre (relatively speaking), and ignoring alphabetization. This approach may be tweaked, but not in the too-near future.

Three boxes o' Westerns--that's better... for now, though tab separator labels are a must.
The majority of my recent collections can best fit into one of four categories: Westerns, Pulp, Horror/Science Fiction or Hero books. Where there is some obvious genre overlap, such as with Oni Press' The Sixth Gun (Western, Horror/Science Fiction), I've just made judgement calls on where they best fit based on my own frame of reference  (The Sixth Gun = Western, to me). In the end, other than whoever gives this stuff away when I've departed from this plane, the only one who will really need to "agree" to these groupings is moi.

One advantage of being a Westerns-fan is that there are very few of us out there, and therefore back issues (comic books not purchased when they were originally released) are generally easy to find and usually less expensive, often if you wait long enough. For example, when originally released, the 1993 Rawhide Kid  mini-series published by Marvel, was a little difficult to find as it had received quite a bit of mainstream publicity due to the character (rather stereotypically by most tasteful standards) "coming out." I picked up the whole run (all the issues) for a few dollars just months ago. Sometimes collecting is a waiting game, especially if you are a completest.

Over the next few days I plan on making my way through the Horror/Science Fiction genre and will share some of the processes entailed...

No comments: