Go £#€* Your Shelf

From the author's office, some shelf JCPenney's Catalog bra section.

From the author’s office, some shelf JCPenney’s Catalog bra section.

I need to get something off my chest. I have been gifted with the iFanboy Megaphone of Readership, and I need to put it to good use while I can. Just this once, therefore, I am going to set aside my usual m.o. (saying, “So, what else is in the news?” and then trying to work in a reference to ROM, Spaceknight) and crusade for the Common Good:

You creepy little dirtbags need to knock it off with the “shelf porn”. Enough, we all now know that you can buy porn with paypal, but people have been way too crazy lately.

To those of you who just like to read comic books and appreciate them as an art form, as opposed to following fandom on news sites and social media like the dork version of the guy who listens to Sports Talk Radio all day, the term “shelf porn” may be completely foreign. How lucky you have been, up until a couple of seconds from now! Sorry about that! It is my duty to inform you (so you’ll understand everything I say after this) that many hobbyists like to express their passion for their geeky pursuits by decorating their offices, dens, or “man caves” (ugh to this phrase also) with a variety of action figures, statues, busts, and collectibles. Even those who don’t do this will often find a way to prominently or decoratively display the books themselves, showing them off like the colorful plumage of a mating bird, except without the hope of mating.

This is all well and good. I’ve stacked up quite a few action figures myself over the years. Some people like to take and/or look at pictures of people’s more extravagant shelves. This is all well and good also. Most people who deal in these pictures refer to them as “shelf porn.”

This is unacceptable, and you all need to cut it out, starting right now. I mean it. I can’t believe I have to tell you this.

How is this a thing people refer to without so much as blinking? Am I confused? Is “shelf porn” supposed to evoke something subtler that soars majestically above the heads of gutter dwellers like me? People take pictures of amazingly gorgeous shelves, provocatively photographed shelves doing things that your shelves at home just don’t do. Covetous little fanboys are supposed to look at the shelves and lust after them. “My God, look at the size of those shelves. How do they not collapse under their own weight?” Shelf porn is there for fanboys to fantasize about and, I guess, shelf jack off until they shelf ejaculate all over the shelf’s busts.

Am I wrong? Is something besides that supposed to come to mind when I see you regularly talking about “shelf porn”? Because I have to be honest: when I see you use that term, I imagine how you have organized the bookshelves in your own office, and why, and let’s just say the waist-level shelf is where you keep your softcovers. This is the tableau your word choices have made you the star of in my head. So, thanks for that also. That image lives in my mind now.

Conor's shelves from probably nine apartments ago. Appear unmolested.

Conor’s shelves from probably nine apartments ago. Appear unmolested.

Is this the kind of relationship you want people to have? With shelves?

This is the same group of people that collectively wrings its hands about the industry’s inability to attract children. This is the same group that is mystified by the assertion that it has a problem with women.

“Shelf porn.” I vomit in your limited edition trash can shaped like a TARDIS, you arrested weirdo.

It’s especially perplexing when you consider that the point of taking the pictures is ostensibly pride. Right? If you’re decking out your desk as a detailed diorama, then lighting and photographing it for people you’ve never met, isn’t it because you’re proud of how it came out? You’re a geek who went to great lengths to make his office into a showpiece, only to turn around when you were finished and realize, “Oh, right. No other human being ever comes into this room, and basically no one I know in person understands what having a complete run of Omnibuses and ‘Power of the Force’ figures even means.” Of course you want to decorate your space with the things you love. Of course you want to share your love with the like-minded. But you can let your freak flag fly without sounding like an actual freak.

Why does this bunch have such a problem getting their heads around “Don’t Be Creepy?”

If you’ve turned your house into a museum, don’t talk about it like a runaway you lured into your van at the bus station with your mustache. This is shelf love. This is shelf passion. This is shelf any phrase that is less than entirely gross and sticky. You’re better than this. I’m assuming. Also, if you need to conduct some repairs in your house because of the transformation, granite foundation repair’s company gives the most affordable average cost breakdown. For more information, reach their team at 214-865-8609.
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Jim Mroczkowski doesn’t want to think about any of you in this way.


  1. I have a similar problem with people seeing a cool piece of geek news and then comment about how they are “shooting their wad”, or something like that. So gross.

    • This post really steamed my carrot, fried my potatoes, grilled my asparagus, etc. etc.

    • What if that piece of geek news is about Black Kiss II because then they might be speaking literally 😛
      I’m surprised that a site that extols the virtues of that series also publishes an article that insults people who use the word “porn” in a non-sexual context, calling them “creepy little dirtbags”.
      Personally I find that insult more offensive than the phrase “shelf porn”. The comic book series Black Kiss II has been described as pornography and that got pick of the week if I’m not mistaken, so surely Ifanboy don’t think it’s all bad.

    • @kzap: This is Jim’s opinion column and his opinions are his own. The Pick of the Week is chosen by the editorial staff. ‘iFanboy” is not monolith that engages in groupthink.

    • @Conor
      Good point. I wasn’t implying everything on the site should be homogenous.
      I just find it interesting someone offended by the use of the word “porn” would chooses to write for a site that promotes it (or promotes one example of it).
      I guess it’s good to see varying opinions even if I find them offensive.

  2. Gonna agree with you on this one: it is a stupid term.

    Not only does it imply gross things, but it makes the whole community seem creepy and alone. It needs to be abolished…!

    Just out of curiosity, what prompted this?

    • I’m not sure what prompted it but it’s not exclusive to geeks, as this article seems to be making out.
      I personally don’t have a problem with it but perhaps that’s because I’ve heard the word being used so much it’s lost it’s explicit connotations.
      The phrase “Food Porn” has been around for a long while.
      On my TV Production Course tutors use that word seriously in lectures all the time, it elicited sniggers at the start but after a while people just used to it.
      My course leader, a man who looks like he’s in his 50s and is always polite and respectable, said he’d directed a number of housing programs “or ‘property porn’ as they’re often called in the industry”.
      So I personally don’t see what the big deal is, “shelf porn” seems like an accurate phrase to me.
      I guess I can’t get upset over a word (unless it’s particularly derogatory).

    • Is the word “porn” really that offensive anyway? I’m sure it must be an American thing because in the UK I’m sure people use the word casually all the time.
      Genuine question for those offended or upset by the use of the word “shelf porn”: Would you have a problem with someone calling themselves a “comic addict” or saying “they’re suffering from withdraws from Saga”?
      Because that draws a connotation to drugs and surely they’re worse than pornography?
      I’m just baffled by how seriously people take that word.

    • *withdrawals

  3. So Jim, are you resurrecting Josh’s “What’s Wrong With You?” articles? I always did like his rants. =)

  4. I don’t particularity like the term myself but the term ‘porn’ isn’t meant to be sexual. Especially in the context of ‘shelf porn’. The problem isn’t so much with the word porn. It is that as a society we think of porn as only as sexual porn.

    “television shows, articles, photographs, etc., thought to create or satisfy an excessive desire for something, especially something luxurious: the irresistible appeal of food porn; an addiction to real-estate porn.”

    “1. Also called: porno pornographypublications or broadcasts that demonstrate an unhealthy or voyeuristic interest in a particular subject: property porn ; food porn”

    • The key words in those definitions are “unhealthy” and “addiction”.

    • No, this will not be allowed to stand.

      “Porn” is sexual porn. That’s what the word means. The Greek roots of the term literally translate to “writing about prostitutes.” That “food porn” bullshit came later, and is all a part of the obnoxious thing I’m crusading against.

    • @tuff_ghost

      if you look up pornography in the dictionary you get this

      : the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
      : material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement

      notice how both of those have the word “erotic” in them? shortening the word to “porn” doesn’t make it any less gross. Pornography actually sounds a lot classier than porn.

    • Languages evolve, especially English. Even if the word porn didn’t originally have a sexual connotation (which Jim mentioned ISN’T the case), it now does. A perfect example of this is the word “bukkake”, which originally described a type of soup.

    • The irony is delicious. No, wait, still gross. And I’m assuming that “bukkake” is Japanese. So my question; what are these people calling Soup now ?!

    • Yes, language does evolve. For example, the word porn is no longer used exclusively for sexual material. 😉

    • Well that’s the point of this whole article: the evolution of the word ‘porn’ to describe other things is dumb. It gives off the connotation that the thing you’re partaking in is gross and unhealthy. Let’s not promote evolution for evolution’s sake. Let’s actually think about the words we’re using and be smart about this.

    • “Who the hell are we to determine the next course of evolution for these [languages]?” – Captain Picard, after a fashion.

    • Hey Prax, why don’t you go make it so with Picard in his ready room?

    • Normally I would, CBC, but he’s got all that stuff on his shelves. His first edition Works of Shakespeare, his model of the USS Stargazer, the Ressikan flute, Livingston his goldfish…. Oh sweet Mithras, PICARD HAS SHELF PORN!

    • Congratulations, you bastard…you’ve invented Picard Porn. I will never forgive you.

    • Oh, Chris. Oh, honey. If you think Picard porn is new, never ever go to fanfiction dot net.

    • But yeah, I love that languages evolve, but I can’t deny that there are some instances that are just outright silly. Like, if you mention “food porn”, my mind immediately goes to this: LINK MODERATED.

    • Your link is moderated but I get the idea.

      (The weirdest thing about this conversation to me is the assumption that ‘porn’ = “creepy and gross” not “awesome and shiny”. Too much fanfiction.net.)

    • @PraxJarvin: You sir, just made my day.

      @ohcaroline: You madam, just ruined my day.

    • To clarify, of course porn CAN be creepy and gross but I think it’s just as valid to use it as ‘something that turns me on, and that’s awesome!’ I think that’s where the spirit of terms like ‘shelf porn’ or ‘food porn’ come from. But hey, they can be sexy pictures or erotica, too.

      I wouldn’t go so far as to actually endorse ‘shelf porn,’ but I also don’t here ‘porn’ as automatically equaling ‘shameful.’

    • I don’t know why the link was moderated…it just lead to a picture of two girls with a tube of Japanese mayo right as they were about to COMMENT MODERATED.

    • For my birthday, Chris, please refrain from posting the unedited links to my facebook wall. My mom reads that. Thanks.

    • To what? To what? Tell me IVE GOTTA KNOW!

    • Chris Chris hes our man if he cant do it nobody can.

    • @chris
      If you been round the net long enough, son, you come across Picard Porn.

  5. In unrelated news Red Hulk looks like he’s taking a massive poop. Poop Porn.

  6. Couldn’t agree more about this term, but it extends far beyond shelf-dom if you go on Instagram. There you can find all types of (fill in the blank)porn. Try searching #cloudporn, #beerporn, etc. and you’ll find literally tens of thousands of photos with these hashtags. C’mon humanity, our vocabulary can do better than this!


  7. Whatever Porn^

  8. I don’t see what’s the problem with people who do this. We all have our hobbies. Get over it.

    • The problem is the term. It’s needlessly offensive. Imagine explaining to your mother why you chose to use the hashtag #beerporn in an instagram post. Imagine having that same conversation with someone who’s marriage fell apart because of a porn addiction. Or with someone who perhaps worked in porn and had a horrible experience. The term is just awful and we could easily use something else but we choose to go with the word “porn” because let’s face it, if the world already thinks that geeks are basement dwelling creeps than why the fuck not give them more ammo right?

    • You apparently didn’t understand what the article was about. It wasn’t about collecting and displaying. It’s about the use of the phrase “shelf porn” to describe your pictures of it. I have a 2nd bedroom in my apartment that’s my collection and display room, and I’m damn proud of my collection. I’d never, ever, refer to it as “shelf porn.” I’ve had fellow nerds see it in person and compliment it. One guy went so far as to say “Man, you’re a f–kin’ nerd….I love it!”

    • Nobody uses the term “shelf porn”.

    • and by nobody uses… i mean… nobody speaks the term shelf porn.

    • @RoiVampire If we had to bottle up every word/idea that ever hurt someone we wouldn’t be talking to anyone.

      @iLoveComics I just said it outloud, just negating your comment. Check and mate.

    • @StoreGuy We don’t need to bottle up every word but when talking about action figures, omnibus editions and sketches i got at cons I don’t think people should use words that make other people think of magazines like Hustler. the most important word in my comment above the word “needlessly.” It’s like we tried to think of a word that we would feel uncomfortable saying in mixed company.

    • @RoiVampire, maybe the problem was that when the word was thought of there was no Mixed company. Hence how the word persisted. Just my 2 cents.

  9. I’m all for hobbies but at no point would i want to hear anyone talk about “stamp porn” or “model train porn”

  10. This is terrible! I can’t believe a well respected American tradition such as the pornographic industry is being linked to the unhealthy and addictive practice of hoarding small plastic dolls. This must stop now.

    …Now where did I put my Rom: Spaceknight? I’ve got a lovely peephole bra and pantie ensemble for him to wear.

  11. Hi Jim. Despite enjoying your writing here on a regular basis I must admit I’m not a fan of this article to be honest. I find you and all the other iFanboy writers to be refreshingly positive in all your articles and this sort of negativity doesn’t sit well with the friendly attitude that the site has always conveyed. I think it comes close enough to troll baiting as the many disparate threads in the article don’t form a cohesive argument. It’s something I’d expect to see posted on other click-hungry sites where a welcoming atmosphere is dropped in place of increasing clicks and ad-revenue.

    I always though “Shelf Porn” was a reference to the somewhat illicit “model-train collector” aspect of comics? We all have our collections organised in whatever way suits us best no matter how embarrassing it may be to those outside of the hobby. I never took it to have any more sinister reference than that. The voyeuristic aspect of it is simply curiosity about collecting books or toys/figures – nothing unseemly or creepy about that. Nothing worth calling readers “dirtbags” about. Tuff_Ghost has given you a dictionary reference for the word “porn” earlier in the thread that I won’t repeat here that clearly shows there is nothing sexual about the word. Is it simply a poor understanding of the word on your part that has led to the article?

    I personally enjoy seeing what others have on their shelves in these Shelf Porn articles. Just like recommendations that I get from the potw or botm on iFanboy it helps me search out books that may be unknown to me. Nothing really unseemly in that. I live in a small country where there isn’t the critical mass of comic fans you’re used to in the US so it can be useful and interesting to see others who share my hobby. It’s something that can have a very positive influence of getting readers to try new things and more readers reading more comics is a pretty healthy thing for the comics industry.

    As a married man with a kid, despite not calling it by the term you seem to hold so much hatred for, I suppose I have a “man-cave.” Masses of comics, books, dvds, games, guitars and amps don’t mix well with a kid who wants to play with everything and a wife who doesn’t want it strewn all over the house, so they’re all put into one room. Maybe you’re a single guy and these realities of married life haven’t impacted you yet?

    The article is somewhat confused as to whether you object to the terms, the activities or the fans. You claim to want “shelf porn” re titled to something else to make it ok, but then you slam fans with collections or who like looking at the collections others have amassed. It’s a confused argument at best.

    None of these terms or topics you bring up in the article should really be used to stain fans. These are terms coined and used by comics “journalists.” Perhaps some responsibility for the terms might be directed back at the group you come from? Have you considered writing to comicbookresources and asking them to re-name or stop publishing the “Shelf Porn” articles?

    Apologies for the somewhat lengthy reply Jim, and sorry if I’m a bit negative in my response. Like I said at the beginning I enjoy iFanboy because of the positive atmosphere it promotes and the negativity of your article is not what I’d like to see creeping in here. Thanks.

    • I’m with you on the “family can’t touch” and the whole “the living room of a married guy isn’t the place for my action figures”. But the first sentence on your second paragraph is exactly why we need to can the phrase “shelf porn”! I don’t want comic books to be in anyway shape or form considered illicit or creepy. I love the comic book hobby and art form, and linking the word porn into won’t help it survive these strange times. We, the married guys raising families, don’t need to feel creepy or porno-y about our hobby! We need to move past the old school “captain sweat pants” era of fandom. Hollywood and mainstream pop culture have totally embraced our favorite characters throughout the movie and television and video game and all media forms world. Comic books are the King of All Media! Leave the porn creepy behind closed doors aspect to the past. Walk away from it, proudly!

  12. Hey Cyborg-Koala, chill dude, chill. I read your post before it was deleted and you kinda sorta insulted Jim there a little bit yeah? Maybe, but hey, there are more important things to bunch up your panties right? Like motherfucking Cosplayers!!!!!


    • I didn’t like his article I told him why, then he calls me a name. Real cool. And I agree with the cosplayers.

    • Bro, your original post violated the Terms of Service: Check it out…

      “Make Good Comments

      When you contribute, make it count. Move the conversation forward. Don’t just be negative without offering reasons or alternatives. If you don’t like something, articulate why, and be fair. If the main thrust of your post is that “______ sucks” it’s not worth posting. Basically, don’t troll, and if someone is trolling, just ignore them. Instances of egregious trolling will be deleted. Double or duplicate posts will be deleted. Any comments stating “first post” or “first comment” or the like will also be deleted, so don’t bother.”

      So yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s why your post was deleted.

    • I’ve always been curious about the “Any comments stating “first post” or “first comment” or the like will also be deleted, so don’t bother” rule. Did that used to be a problem in the early days of internet comments? I’ve never seen it happen before; although I make a point not to read the comments on most websites.

    • @Master Destructo, it still happens today. I’ve even seen them on this site before they got deleted.

    • @Ithosapien: Huh, that’s interesting, thanks for the info. I’d never noticed it before and don’t quite see the point of it. But there’s apparently no rule against saying “38th Post!” so boo-yah to all you other suckas who were like #37 or #39!

    • Hey Master Destructo (good thing your last names not Baytor. 😉 Ahhh, brings back memories of Hitman – “I am BAYTOR!”)

      Err, anyway, yeah there is a another site that is NOTORIOUS for that type of behavior, I’ll give you a hint, it rhymes with “Taint Shit Droll.com”

    • Oh damn, you beat me to it @Master Destructo. It’s jevenile, honestly. When I was a young spritely lad the kids in my neighborhood would rush out and line up their backpacks on the sidewalk (by the bus-stop). It was a race to see who was first, second, third, etc. So I think its the same thing.

      53rd Post!

  13. Probably for the reason they don’t want to have a huge argument over a article. Trust me you won’t find a better comic community online if you have one good riddance! Can we just go back to normal programming?

  14. Jim needs to get over himself a bit on this one. Like other people have already pointed out, language does indeed evolve. The word fantastic comes from the root fantasy meaning unreal, now it has been whittled down to just “better than good.” Porn refers to all sorts of things now, usually just nice images of particular things. Food porn for instance, is another fairly common version of this.
    I suggest Jim go onto Reddit and look up the SFW porn network. History porn, space porn, earth porn, abandoned porn, gun porn, sports porn: these are all about the adjective, not the noun.

  15. Then don’t say it in the first place!!!!

  16. Go ahead and remove this too, @Nightwing97, great comeback!

  17. I always took he use of “Shelf Porn” as being kind of a joke, like since they are taking all these glamor shots of their toys and displaying it for all to see. It never made me violently angry or anything. I respect your opinion but with your mega phone why not take a moment you help highlight some of the more serious offenses made in the comic book community or maybe take a less immature take on the problem with the use of the words. Porn is what it is can’t defend that and i will never defend the vile objectification of women or the racism and sexism and elitism in comics or mistreatment of creators in comics. But i also have learned it never helps to lowers one self to the level of the thing you disagree with, or to let emotion overwhelm rational thought.

  18. I can’t believe all the heat this article has caused. Brother vs Brother, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria! You guys that are trolling/raging right now, stop it. Just stop it. This is all about a guy saying he hates Shelf Porn. I didn’t even know that was a thing 3 minutes ago, and now there’s like 4-5 people fighting about it. Like Cats and Dogs. Sad, are you worried someone will take away your (Shelf) Porn? Even more sad.

    I keep my floppy comics under my bed, I keep my books and graphic novels on a book shelf, and on TOP of that I keep my doodads and collected Blackest Night Lantern Rings (I’ve got pictures if anyone wants to see them 😉 ). I’m not plastering photos of my stuff all over the internet. It’s… Douchy? “Look how much stuff I have!!!”. Sorry, that’s how I feel.

    Although I object to Jim’s objection of Man-Cave. I like the term, and I want one. What’s wrong with that?

    • Nothing’s wrong with that. Even better that you presented yourself intelligently and respectfully.

      Oh, and I’m almost done with my rings. Just need the Indigo! 🙂

    • To me, “Man-cave” implies banishment. A man spreads his domination across the apartment, house, backyard, front yard – as far as he might extend his will and crush those who would suggest he retreat to a small, dark corner and hide his dominion.

    • I’m missing the White ring, but I don’t care about that. Cause of, y’know; racism.

      And thanks @Nightwing97.

    • @Grandturk, I agree with you. Myself being a simple and kind ruler, would simply like a small space to call my own. Without kids and chicks coming in there and messing with stuff. Unless I invite them in, or give them money to clean it. A man has the right to control how much of a domain he has and how he runs it.

    • Im reading this comment thread backwords. but clearly Jim started the Trolling. He got what he wanted.

  19. Wow, WTF is going on in this thread… geez. I don’t know what the big deal is with the term “porn.” It’s not something that has a negative connotation to me. I would think it wouldn’t have a negative connotation to a lot of people, but then, I am a liberal yankee if also a Wall St fat-cat.

    Personally, I’ve dabbled a lot in guitar-porn, amp-porn and straight up regular porn-porn.

  20. Well, I’ve always utilized the term “shelf candy,” which is also sticky and potentially gross and equally metaphorical, and it is certainly not exclusive to action figures, comics, and geek memorabilia (as any casual perusal through magazine racks dedicated entirely to interior decoration and home design can attest).

    More importantly, I want to draw attention to your exclusively male perspective on porn. Apparently you must have a penis to watch porn and collect action figures, though admittedly a woman (having read many home decorating magazines and watched a lot of HGTV) would not organize them in rows like a superhero phalanx judging her work productivity. And there would probably be throw pillows.

    • You forgot how tidy and color-coded everything would be. Holy Sh*t, an interior decorator exclusively for Man Caves. That’d be something…

    • One last comment before I leave this thread be. On the right hand side of the very website this article was written on is a column labeled “You Might Also Like.” As I scroll up to it now, there’s a boob-shot of Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Slave Girl with the title “Star Wars Plot Holes You Never Saw” below it is “The Hottest Teachers to Sleep With Students.” You want to talk about not being a creep? You want to talk about porn and its misuse? Check your creeptastic ads/article exchanges first.

  21. Awesome

  22. Wow….the wheels have come off…

  23. Wow!

    I’ve never seen an IFanboy comments thread become so negative and personal. What’s even crazier is that it was about this! “Shelf porn” I had never even heard of the term till today and I consider myself quite the nerd.

    I agree with Jim that it’s a dumb term. But I think “Shelf porn is a dumb term” sums up everything that needs to be said about it. A 500 word article only draws a ton of attention to the phrase that you want to go away!

    • You havent heard the term because nobody uses it.. this article is about fake indignation… A rival company uses the phrase when it describes peoples at home comic setups. Its one guys phrase.

    • @ilovecomics: “Shelf porn” is actually a common phrase and not solely used by one person.


    • Its used by internet writers. Nobody uses that phrase in real life. Try again.

    • I don’t need to “try again”, it’s a commonly used phrase. Putting aside the fact that I have heard people use it in real life, even if it was only used on the internet that wouldn’t disqualify its prevalence.

    • Jimski: “Yes father, I shall become… The Shelf of Purity!”

    • You are a writer on a comic website. Of course you have heard it. Im assuming youve heard it mostly around colleagues. Ill clarify. Most comic fans do not use this term. That is a fact.

    • @Ilovecomics: Assume all you want. State all the “facts” you want. Doesn’t change the pervasiveness of the term.

    • No one says ‘shelf porn’!…er…no one outside of the internet uses the phrase ‘shelf porn’!…er…no one outside of the internet who doesn’t write stuff on the internet uses the phrase ‘shelf porn’!…er…no one outside of the internet who doesn’t write stuff on the internet who are REAL comic fans uses the phrase ‘shelf porn’!…er…no one outside of the internet who doesn’t write stuff on the internet who are REAL comic fans and have size 12 shoes uses the phrase ‘shelf porn’! Check AND mate!!!

    • Ya check mate chris… You get how some of us dont have the time or the energy to fully flesh out what is in our minds during “Time killing sessions” on the web. I was thinking most… and i said nobody. I mean most as in less than 10 percent of comic fans have ever uttered the phrase “shelf porn”. Ill stick to that. My use of the two words “uses” and “says” were always refering to real life… who cares about the internet.

      You are defending an article whos title is “go fuck yourself”. So once again its ok to insult people randomly but not personaly right? Or even personal insults are ok if you disagree with staff. Conor handles himself fine he doesnt need free interns to do his dirty work for him.
      Raise up those pom poms Chris. Shake that booty.

    • “ilovecomics” please, for the love of Satan, learn how to use commas and apostrophes. If you can do you an ellipsis, you can do those.

    • “Who cares about the internet”

      Apparently you if you’re so insulted by Jim’s opinion on a phrase you don’t think really exists because people don’t use it in “real life”. I bet you’re someone who thinks people who write for websites aren’t “real” writers and that sites like this aren’t legitimate sources of news…

    • blah blah blah steen.. Who says im offended by Jims contrived article………… No i dont care about the language people use on the internet………… just as i obviously dont care about Punk tuation PraxJarvin.. go attack someone else. Your talkin to someone that never got anything but A’s in English class all the way through college. Fuck your commas they dont matter.

      Should i critic your typo? What does “if you can do you an ellipsis, you can do those.” mean? Learn to speak English Prax.

      For the love of satan? nobody says that either. (by nobody i mean almost nobody).

    • I guess properly putting a g at the end of ‘talking’ doesn’t matter either? I guess you really wanted to convince everyone you were 2 kool 4 skool.

      I’ll tell you what…if you produce the official statistical study that corroborates your 10% number, then I will happily concede. I normally prefer my non-engineering statistical studies from the US Bureau Of Labor Statistics, but I think I can settle for any government study on this matter. That way, it won’t seem that the 10% you gave us doesn’t seem like something you pulled out of your ass.

    • In “ilovecomics” defense, the only place I’ve seen shelf porn is on CBR. I also have never heard the words, I’ve only seem them on the world wide web. A group of my college buddies and I have a fb group where we talk comics and post pictures of our collections, but we never use the term. I’m sure it is used elsewhere, but it is a regular feature on CBR. I had assumed they coined the term but that may not be true.

      Regardless its an interesting article. I too am a fan of removing “shelf porn” from the comic vocabulary.

    • ilovecomics, you may feel free to critique my comment, but I fail to see what typo you’re referring to? Could it be someone who has gotten an “A in all their college courses” (Guess an A+ was hoping for too much!) does not know what the word ellipsis means? I assume then, I am free to “critic(sic)” your use a possessive instead of plural for A in your own comment? It also seems you missed the class on how to form a cogent argument and defend it with evidence. If in fact you did complete a college course, it might not be too late for you to go back and ask for a refund for your woefully inadequate education. I can only assume your comment about your grades was meant to impress, but I think you’ll find that the iFanboy readership needs more than a pithy remark about (improvable beyond you posting a transcript) grades to find anything impressive about you or your comments.

      I don’t necessarily agree with this article, nor the attitude it presupposes, but you won’t see me lashing out at the site or writer. I’ve dropped a few witticisms into this article to deflate an argument about “policing” language that I find repugnant. What’s odd is that, normally, I would agree with you. Grammar is more or less fictional and fluid. But at a certain point your comments become almost unreadable. And instead of being a critique of or play on language, they rather belie an angry, unintelligent commentator.

    • @Praxjarvin a’s or A’s is acceptable. You are wrong about that. What else are you wrong about. You call me stupid twice. Once before i ever typed anything to you. Saying that i should learn how to use a comma is the same thing as calling me stupid and is the same thing as a personal attack (which is a violation of terms right?) You seem to think it’s very important to speak formally online, I do not. It’s been ten years since i finished my undergraduate school with a BA in biology which is a far cry from anthropology. I got the highest grade in my anthropology class on every test in undergrad and when the professor asked me if he could tell the class i said “no thank you” (believe it or not, its true). Although i do agree saying i got a’s in all of my English classes from childhood through undergrad does not mean anything. I would go a step further and say grades don’t mean much at all and most college degrees don’t either. I was not trying to show off. Should i send you my W2, that may be a better measurement of my intelligence. Reread your sentence with ellipsis in it, it does not make sense. Maybe you were angry when you reread that and therefor missed the typo.

      As far as Jim’s article goes. It is well written like many of ifanboys articles from “real” writers (@steen). I especially think Mike Romo has a way with words. However many of their articles seem to me to be forced, but that is just my opinion. I would do the same thing i suppose if i had to come up with ideas every few days. This particular article manages to use provocative language even though the statement the article makes is not provocative. My comments weren’t so much about this articles statement that “shelf porn” should not be used as i am indifferent about that. It was about the articles title “go fuck yourself” and comments about “hopes of getting laid” (which i understand are part of Jim’s porn reference). Those comments are provocative and i believe purposeful (and not just in a funny play on words way). Admittedly on a second reading this article isn’t as bad as i first thought thought. I wouldn’t have even commented if not for seeing years of Jim using provocative language to stir people up.

      Oh and if its proof you want how about this.

      The term coined 3 years ago over at CBR by one man. I find it hard to believe that “shelf porn” is a common term after being coined three years ago. You want real proof though right? Just let me take a year of work so that i can run a poll. Ridiculous. I prefer just to guess on this if that’s ok with you guys. Hey how about the number of posters that said they haven’t heard the term. Ya i know that’s not statistically significant. I guess i am going to have to run that poll. Ill be back with my proof after i take a spin in my Time Machine.

      I await your apology for calling me stupid.

    • @iLoveComics This is embarrassing dude. You got trounced by nearly everyone in this thread. When someone jokingly corrected your horrendous grammar, which, regardless of your belief, makes your comments look like that of a toddler, you reacted by making sure you mentioned your outstanding grades. Because that’s what people do. When that same guy owned you again, you respond with a post EXTOLLING HOW GREAT YOU WERE. You completely missed the point dude. Seriously, back away from the computer and disappear from the internet for a while because instead of looking like a victim here you end up looking like an idiot.

      I wouldn’t hold your breath for an apology.

    • Oh i got trounced did I? Did i just get trounced by you? Did i get trounced by Praxjarvin who barely even addressed my point. Prax jumped in this thread and attacked my grammar while at the same time saying that i should present evidence for my point of view (this coming from a guy that attacks grammar to win arguments). Bull. Come to think of it, did Jim present evidence that the expression “Shelf porn” is actually a problem? Why didn’t he present his evidence? Why should i present evidence, and when i do present a little evidence i get another aggressive unchecked response. Oh and he was “joking” that i have horrendous grammar was he? No he just wanted to shut me up and simultaneously invalidate my point by calling me an idiot. As for my grammar, I do not have horrendous grammar. I choose to type like that on the net. Do you understand the difference between forum posting and reality? When someone tells me i can’t use commas and apostrophes because i am unintelligent how should i respond? Seems to me Speaking of straight a’s all my life in English classes is a logical response to “you speak shit English”? When someone breaks the terms twice in one sentence by making a personal attack and going off topic how should i respond? We have never spoke before but yet you call me an idiot. Disagree with staff and all the dogs get long leashes to lay the smack down, and they take turns so it seems like i am in the minority. That is just not the case. Chris in particular is most active on these kinds of threads and gets left a wide birth to act extremely aggressive. I could never get away with what he gets away with. Storeguy did you trounce me? Did you address my “evidence”? No. You just jumped in on the side of the man. Real brave of you. Hey prax you are aiming to become an anthropology professor right? Maybe you can shed some light on group think, mob mentality, and tribal behavior for us.

    • Grammar policing is = a red herring. Pretending that you don’t understand that the expression “nobody says that” is a “common” expression that means “not many people say that” is a convenient stance to take when you want to beat someone down. This article and many like it on this site = click baiting (which is working very well i might add). Someone that cannot admit to even one typo = an arrogant %$&#&*. Doubling down on ignorant aggressive articles is = a short term profit at the expense of long term business.

      Another customer lost, how sad.

    • First of all, berth, not birth in this context. Second, you do not need an equal sign if using is and a. If you’re going to call someone an arrogant prick or asshole or whatever, how about actually using the word instead of hiding behind “bleeped” text. I feel the need to note that, whatever your feelings about “being attacked” are, it seems you allowed Prax to win. As you are currently using commas and apostrophes, I can only chuckle as you rail. You seem to be most aggrieved that someone impugned your English skills when you were not displaying them. Comport yourself like an ignorant person, you’ll be called ignorant. As well, you keep hitting upon how glorious your college career was. It’s a little pathetic to see someone use that to “win” an argument they already lost by correcting their grammar. I don’t know where anthropology came into this convo, but it’s a bit creepy you stalked this guy to find out about him.

      But alas, you won’t be missed.

    • First of all Grammar policing has nothing to do with logic. I just thought i’d bring that up because Prax is all about logic. Now you are correcting me as well. Im beyond upset at this point; im just bored. Being bored is why i used to come here. I can find something else to do quite easily.
      Just f.y.i., a man that has typed the following sentence has no room to judge my language skills. “Because that’s what people do” (is not a sentence). Also, you actually explain to me that i don’t need to use an = sign for the word equal as if i did not know that. That is weird.
      Hey pal you missed one of my many typos up there as well. I typed BA in Biology instead of BS in Biology on accident. You could have really cracked my skill open with that typo……… but you are just a “store clerk” after all (so you missed it).
      Speaking of bragging, it takes one click to find out all about Prax’s accolades ( i know… how creepy is it when someone clicks on prax’s avatar). Hey now, how do you know i will not be missed? You rarely post on this site. Are you a company shill perhaps?

      You are right about me not being missed but alas i am not the only one who will not be coming back after reading this article.

  24. How do you feel about my Porn Shelf then?

  25. I think the “porn” denotation is more about excitement than eroticism. “Torture Porn” is a term in film that refers to brutality and violence that is elevated to a position of excitement. Usually applied to horror films like Saw and pretty much every horror film made after Saw. “Shelf Porn” is only creepy and gross if you spend your time thinking about dudes jerking off to action figures. Otherwise its just two words put together to help emphasize the pleasure that comes from collecting for some people. This seems like a weird forum to be afraid of words and ideas. And by the by please don’t say Fiscal climax anymore because it makes me feel dirty.

    • At least in the contexts I’ve seen it, “torture porn” isn’t being used to praise the movies. It’s being used to critique how these movies glorify and revel in obscenity.

    • No, it usually isn’t. But its also not referring to eroticism or sexuality. Its uses the word porn to stress the graphic nature of it.

  26. Tilt at enough windmills and eventually one’s bound to fall on you…

    I can’t take this article seriously from a guy who used to go around decrying people with a preference for print as fetishists, which displayed the same lack of understanding/creepiness as calling something shelfporn. Except, you know, fetishist is a creepy term we can use to put down others, because, as we all know, we can’t feel good about ourselves and our own interests without putting others down.

    Your use of crusade is particularly interesting, as its a loaded term full of racism and crushing heathens who don’t agree with our point of view. But, hey, what do I know. I’m not weak willed enough to require acceptance from every Tom, Dick and Harry out on the street to rail against things I don’t like. You want to decreepify nerd culture – which I don’t think you believe in – fine, waste your time. I’ll just hang out, read my books and look at my nicely ordered shelves. Seethe in anger as I use the term hatred, it will entertain me to no end.

  27. Yeah… wow.

    I empathize with Jim to an extent here, but I see all of this stuff in terms of a much larger trend. So trying to play language policeman and stop one little term — that doesn’t really take into account why people are using the term “porn” this way in the first place.

    I think all of this says a lot about the sexualization of everything, period. Even when something isn’t overtly sexual, our society has gotten so bizarre that people are using sexual terms to describe certain aspects of it. And, for what it’s worth, they’re doing so proudly. We’ve gotten to the point where “porn” can be a non-sexual term that people are fine with ascribing to things they enjoy publicly… and yet “fetish” is still mostly negative, I guess.

    Relatedly, what really rankles me is how people use “sexy” in non-sexual contexts. Like they’ll say “That’s a sexy idea!” in response to things like school curriculum proposals, budget software, or new features in a car they want to buy. Things totally unrelated to human bodies are being described as “sexy”, and it’s juts effing bizarre.

    And I’d like to say, “STOP IT”, but there isn’t really any point. I’m not being defeatist; I’m just recognizing how huge the cultural trend is, and there’s just no stopping it. Things are just getting so weird in this wonderful “liberated” society of ours. It definitely isn’t all “bad” — I don’t necessarily think that “shelf porn” or the motivations behind it are “bad” — but one thing we should all agree on is that it’s pretty damn bizarre and weird, just the fact that any of these practices and their non-sexual sexual descriptors have arisen in the first place. It’s not really a choice of “Well, do you want to go back to the 1950s?” because that’s impossible. And it’s not really a CHOICE at all. These bizarre trends ARE happening and people don’t really have the ability to stop their culture from getting increasingly abstract, childish, pseudo-sexual, and insane.

    • Well, not to rag or anything but; the Internet? How many jokes have been made that the Internet is primarily for porn (I don’t have numbers, but you might have a convincing argument there) ? My question to you is: “Would Shelf Porn be a thing without the internet?”. I mean I think the Web has allowed and even encouraged some of the behavior you’re talking about. And I mean that as an observation, not a judgement.

      Ideally, as a multi-cultural, globally connected Society we will eventually “mature” past these things. But who would ever describe human beings as “Ideal”?

      And I agree with you to an extent as well, it is weird that there’s Shelf Porn, Food Porn, (and like, 20,000,000 other kinds of Porn out there.). But, hey man; “Even the Mona Lisa’s falling apart”.

  28. Whew, man this article sure is hardcore. I mean, just check out all the comments here – I’ve been cumming back here all day just to lick up all the things my fellow Fanboys have had to say. And boy have they not let me down – from the first time poster nodding their head in agreement, to the anal retentive long time member sneaking in the backdoor to spew their wisdom all over the face of of the internets.

    God I need a cigarette.


  29. The ironic part is that when I saw the words “Rom, Spaceknight” I got a semi.

  30. Now that’s a forum! Well done everyone!

    FWIW, my wife and I have always referred to the Sunday newspaper color real estate/living section as House porn…because we love to gawk and drool at the pictures. I assume that’s what people who love figurine shelves do too, so I think the term fits…I agree with those who understand that porn in this case is about visual obsession / pleasure.

    Unfortunately, I am a-shelfic, so I don’t get off on shelf porn…but damn, a nice antique with a seaside view…whooeeboy!

  31. WOW what an ignorant article designed to get page clicks. Nobody calls this stuff “shelf porn” in real life… its just what your rival website calls it. “Comic book resources” you know the site with more objective opinions. So many cheerleaders on here too.. that just parrot whatever a staffer says.,. regardless of whether its positive or negative. I dont have “shelf porn” so i have no vested interest in taking a contrary opinion but i dont like to see people insulted when they arent doing anything wrong and because a writer has nothing else to say so he rips his ideas off rival websites. Back to his old tricks again.. starting arguments. Try to let it roll of your backs fellas. Fuck the cheerleaders.

    • That’s where I see it cbr. That’s just a column they do about, wait for it a “collection”. It is a weekly segment. When in a conversation with anyone that’s what they would call it a collection. Not shelf porn. And to cry about it in an article aimed at the very fans who embrace shelf porn is a big FU. I’m with ilovecomics.

    • But I wouldn’t call cbr objective.

    • ya i more objective than this site.. whatever that means.

    • TYPO.. i meant more objective.. not objective.. whos objective nowadays… Supposedly comsumer reports isnt even kosher.

  32. I think the only plausible resolution to this issue is for Jim to write an article entitled “In Defense of Shelf Porn: A Look Back.”

  33. “Is that a cosmic rod in your pants or are you just glad to see my shelf porn?”

    • @MM “Cosmic Rod”, Ahhh, lol!! Power Girls costume is soft core porn and I love it!!! Vampirella, RedSonja, Catwoman…..I love it and that’s normal, the art is good and it can be sexy & provocative. Most girls I know or have met that are into comics love the sexy chicks and this is usually coming from girls who are sexy chicks. Not dumb but wharp,sophisticated witty & into comix. That combined with who they are mostly drawing these for is a good thing, not that all female characters should & don’t dress like Lady Death, Psylocke or any other revealing look. Grimm Fairy Tales has it going on but I’m on a whole other tangent with this post than the article is even really about.

  34. Listen, I think we can all agree that there is nothing wrong with porn. However, Jim makes a good point that people definitely resonate with. When a lot of people think of porn, they think of a man slipping his COMMENT MODERATED into a woman, and many other perverse things done with a COMMENT MODERATED. So yeah, of course some people don’t want to see the two combined. Porn is great, displaying your geek stuff is great, but crossing those streams can be weird. It’s kind of like that problem where female characters are drawn erotically in mainstream superhero books when the context doesn’t call for it. There’s nothing wrong with the erotic, but when you mix it in with something that has nothing to do with the erotic, it just seems awkward.

    Let me come back to ‘bukkake’. If you grew up only knowing the sexual meaning of the word and then tried to appropriate to its original culinary meaning, wouldn’t you feel weird using it for that meaning? Maybe over time you can deprogram yourself to feel comfortable using it in the way that’s new to you, but the original-to-you meaning will always linger.

    • Wait wait wait, back up; there’s nothing wrong with Porn? Then why do we have to be ashamed of watching/enjoying it? Feminists…

      And back to my original question up top; what the hell do Japanese people call soup now?!

    • It’s not what they call soup, but a kind of soup that has the broth splashed on at the end, as opposed to having the ingredients cooked in the broth.

    • Human beings have been looking at pornography for 5000 years. Trust me, the shame part is a relatively recent addition to human psychology. Maybe one of those lurking professors can tell us!

    • who sees the phrase shelf porn and doesnt quickly figure the joke out. its a weak joke.. who cares. move on. I dont know who would get confused or offended.

      I dont think that Jim is offended at all. I dont believe it.. its false offense. I think that he had nothing else to write. Eloquently written waste of time.

      If they changed the phrase to something else i wouldnt miss it.. but who cares … thats my point.

  35. Jimski really twisted some nerd nipples with this one! Keep up the good work.

  36. Nice one, Jim. I moaned about that phrase a few times over at CBR. Like ONJ, it got me nowhere.

  37. I don’t get the outrage directed at this article. It’s not cool to compare innocent nick-nacks or books on your shelf to a medium that sexually objectifies people. People are being weirdly defensive about how awesome a term “porn” is.

  38. This is a straight up dumb thing to get upset about.

  39. Hey guys, hey guys! Looks like we have a shelf-prude in the house! I hope he never encounters this:


    Also there is non-objectifying pornography out there, if you are so inclined.

  40. I just stumbled upon an article on io9 about spaceporn…never heard that one before. Can’t wait to line my shelves with these.


  41. I have never heard the term “shelf porn” before I read this article, but I don’t lie it. It is just another example of people within the hobby giving others a bad name.

  42. I agree with the article for the most part.

    My question is, why does ifanboy insist on trying to alienate parts of their audience. Just because people want to be the “cool geeks” doesn’t mean that everyone that comes here is. It also doesn’t mean that it’s ifanboys job to tell people what you think is wrong with them.

    Can we go back to just Josh, Ron and Connor talking about comics?

    • I don’t think Jim thought to himself “How can I alienate the most people?” he probably thought “Hmmmm this is kind of a weird phrase to use in regards to comic books and toys and i bet i could write a column on it”

      I mean if a columnist in the NY Times writes something I don’t agree with my first thought isn’t “The Times is trying to alienate me!”

  43. It’s about time. I have some awesome shelves stocked with hardcovers with slip cases, 1/6th scale statues, a few glass door sections, etc. the room that’s in has more shelves just for figures and original art and classic comics all over the walls. I would never post pictures of my comfortable relaxation room because i don’t want my stuff called shelf porn and i absolutely cant stand when people call it my “man cave”. I’d never ban any group of people from my room, but if i did, i’m certain it wouldn’t be women. I enjoy the company of women and they enjoy my room. Why someone would call this room a man cave is beyond me

  44. I’ve never heard this term, even as a guy who’s had quite a few action figure displays over the years, but it doesn’t surprise me. Agree totally with the article.

    The comments I skimmed above about how porn has expanded to be other things is missing the point of the expression. When someone says “food porn” they’re basically saying this is food I love so much I would fuck this cheesecake if it were possible.

    • Yeah, exactly. It’s like if you got all your friends together and everyone brought a different kind of beer and instead of calling it a “beer swap” like a functioning adult you called it a “beer orgy.”

    • I am afraid by this definition of “functioning adult,” I must find my way to a repair shop. I have used the phrase “An orgy of food” to describe many a potluck dinner.

  45. I’m not sure how else I’m supposed to refer to the porn I proudly display on my shelf.

  46. “Busty mature shelf rides BBC.”

  47. … anyone else feeling that Donald Duck is a bit out of place on that shelf? 😀

    • Avatar photo ochsavidare (@ochsavidare) says:

      Since Donald not is wearing any pants, I think he fits perfectly in the context of porn. 😉

    • It hurts my heart that comic book readers could look at Howard the Duck and not recognize him.

      Has Donald ever worn a tie and a porkpie hat?

      Schools these days.

    • Avatar photo ochsavidare (@ochsavidare) says:

      I’m sad to say I have actually never read any Howard the Duck, but I have read my fair share of Donald (my first experience with comics as a kid) and should have noticed the tie. At least Howard isn’t wearing any pants so my joke still stands.

  48. Pretty sure actual porn will need to be called pornporn pretty soon.

  49. Oh my god ,lol!!! I never even heard this term in the comics sphere and couldn’t even make it through the whole article & comments without laughing my ass off!! But I have had many a run in with the creepy, too close for comfort fan. They’re usually the guys who need the ok it’s time to reel it in hint or just say gimme 2ft would ya, your creeping me out space invader. Now I and hopefully everyone on here loves comics but I know I’ve been & can be obsessive at times about my collection, love talking shop with the cats who can bounce it back and know when to let it flow. I do have my shelves with my hobby in full, I like to rotate the set up so its not all cluttered and keep it fresh, yet it has its mainstays. And I wouldn’t call this an obsession really but a passion, cause I truly enjoy it. Do I take pictures to display to people I don’t know? Why would I? Its not meant to impress others (sure its nice to see it admired or told “thats sweet as hell”. Tophe main thing I loved about it in the 1st place is that I’m doing it for myself as a form of escapism & enjoyment. Me & my friends that collect send photos of stuff to each other we know the other will like but porn isn’t in the ballpark. Thanks for the laughs everyone, enjoy your shelves.

  50. This article is laughable. Not for the reason that they bring up shelf porn but just on the grounds that you want to ban it because it uses the word porn? I can be a pretentious shit and talk about why that’s bull but I’ll just say if you don’t like the term. don’t use it don’t stick shit with people who use it or in extreme cases cut ties with people who use it. it’s the internet. it comes with an ignore button.