Longbox Organomicon

WARNING: The following post contains a Watchmen spoiler for absolutely no reason.

my closet full of longboxesWhat kind of demented Rube Goldberg assembly line do you have for your comics?

I’m assuming everyone else has one of these “systems” too, although calling it a “system” in my case is more or less a complete joke. I suspect I’m in good company. With that in mind, let’s treat the following text like some kind of AA meeting confessional. See if this sounds familiar:

Every week, I bring 4-73 comics home from the store. They sit in their bag on my coffee table. As I read them, I take the spent comics over to the stairs and pile them up on the landing. When that pile gets unsightly and/or my wife begins reminiscing aloud about men she dated in college, I take them up to my office and add them to the larger pile on my desk, which strongly resembles a card table. When that pile begins to wobble and local newscasts begin issuing warnings of a “paper tsunami,” I begin dividing up the comics among the roughly ten alphabetized boxes in my office closet. Of course, the desk pile itself is not alphabetized—every book in it was tossed there like sweat socks in a hamper—so in order to know which boxes to get out of the closet and when, I have to sit there and first alphabetize the pile. Then the boxes come out, and I quickly discover that I am out of room in half of them, meaning that I must begin to reorganize the boxes before I can file anything. It is at roughly this stage of the process when I loudly renounce my Creator for afflicting me with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

My hobby should have been cycling. You never have to file old bike rides you took.

A few months ago, I thought I was being a genius by adding a new step to my flawless process: “I’ll just buy another box, and whenever I read a new comic I’ll just immediately file it in there. It’ll be my 2010 box. That way, no desk pile, and everything will be alphabetized from the get-go. Then, when that box starts getting full, I’ll just integrate its contents with the rest of the boxes in an efficient, orderly fashion.”

That’s what I thought. I’ll just do that. I’ll just wait until I have 700 more comics and completely have to redo everything. It’s so crazy, it just might work! Or drive me crazy!

This week, I glanced over and decided the 2010 box was getting a little full. No time like the present to quickly, efficiently merge it with the rest of the boxes… except I forgot that I am the main character from Memento and have had this idea like three times already. It turns out the other boxes aren’t just in alphabetical order at all; there’s a 2006 box, there’s a 2008 box… there are about three to five boxes of “f*** it, I’ll deal with this later” in that closet. I can only imagine what the look on my face must have been like when it dawned on me. “Let’s see, this box has A through D in it, and this one has… A through E? What the hell?” Remember that feeling you got in the pit of your stomach when Ozymandias said, “I did it thirty-five minutes ago”?

Aside from the three separate “collections” I apparently set up, there was also the fact that I decided when I was twelve that Spider-Man would get his own box, and so would the X-Men. This was a brilliant idea when all my Spider-Man comics fit in the one box. I could never anticipate at twelve that a day would come when I would own so much, or have anywhere to keep it all. And needless to say, I made the decision about the X-box back when they were only publishing one X-Men comic, so… that turned out to be a bit of a fool’s errand, didn’t it? Why did I abandon you, o Alphabet? Take me back!

Getting everything in order was supposed to take about fifteen minutes. That was five days ago. My office now looks like the killer’s apartment in Se7en.

But I am going to get everything organized in straight, simple alphabetical order, and next time, next time it will be different.

Probably.

All of this is more than just high-functioning mental illness. I’m organizing all this treasured garbage because I want to be able to find it one day. (If you’re keeping things but not organizing them, you really might as well just burn it all and save on fuel costs this winter.) This in turn presumes, of course, that I am going to reread all this stuff. It could happen. Science is making advances to extend the human lifespan every day. I could get an extra twenty years tacked on at the end there without warning, and then what’ll I do with myself? Talk to my kids?

Normally, this is where I become Mr. “This Is Why We Need Digital, See,” but I must confess that I’ve had a lot of fun shuffling through these old volumes in a way that I don’t when I’m browsing thumbnails in a directory. (Turns out I own a copy of Dazzler #1.) Shelves of unwieldy longboxes never make you worry about file formats, either; you never take a book off your shelf only to discover that you can’t open it because the new Adobe Reader doesn’t support glossy paper anymore. The main thing that makes me hesitant about the direction digital comics are going is these proprietary, DRMed-up formats. What happens when I start running out of space on my phone? How do I store my iPad comics for the next twenty years?

…What do you mean, “just get rid of them”? Unthinkable.

 


Jim Mroczkowski has never experienced irrational terror like he did when his two year old came into the office, saw all the comics, and ran over shouting, “Daddy, I help you!” This and further setbacks to the project are being catalogued at Twitter.
 

Comments

  1. THankfully I got rid of my collectors side and sell 65-85% of my books back to my store every year. I can’t imagine how many longboxes I’d have if I didn’t do that.

    I’ve got a few boxes of books I’m keeping for me. As they aren’t in trades or I’m too cheap to upgrade at the moment. And a few boxes of books for my kids (when i have them).

    So I will probably sit around with 3-7 longboxes but no more. Don’t get me started on my HCs problem though. Just moved and that was annoying.

  2. I have an interlocking pyramid of shoeboxes. But I stopped reading sinlgle issues about 2 years ago.

  3. drawerboxes.  10 of them about to increase to 12 when i get back from egypt.  each box is a different company and in the box are dividers separating titles.  anal yes, over-zealous, yes…but i never have trouble finding anything.  i have capped it at 12.  i have sold so much to my dealer or ebay but even after that i have these ten can’t sell boxes.  i have a sinking feeling one day the 10 wich is about to be 12 will be 16…but that is many moons away.

  4. Thanks for the Watchmen spoiler!  What the hell!

     

    I keed, I keed.  The horror you describe is exactly why I moved to trades.  I have a few dozen longboxes in the attic and those comics never get looked at.  While I love individual issues, the sad truth is that they are just languishing about in my house.  My trades, on the other hand, get read all the time.

    Dealing with individual issues, especially if you’re a neurotic (as I suspect most comic collectors are, is just a logisitical nightmare.

  5. I just recently hit this snag myself.  Currently I’ve got 8 long boxes and a short box. I don’t have much of an order to my books.  I try to organize by publisher and have DC and Marvel boxes. I So I’ll have a box of Deadpool, Avengers, Thor, Cap, Marvel cosmic stuff. Then there might be a Spider-Man, FF, Ironman, X-Men box and so on. What ever titles I can cram together in a box I will.  I ordered some long drawer boxes from my LCS and I’m waiting for them. Hopefully by not having to move the boxes all the time and using dividers will help me organize. One thing I will suggest is to file your weekly comics away. That way the don’t build up.  My problem right now is that I’m out of room in most of my boxes and I need those new boxes before I can file them away.

  6. I just have my "short" drawer box. Luckily, I’m one of those crazy binding comic book collectors, so I can recycle the space in there. I am running out of shelf space though…

  7. Heh – just noticed you actually DID put a Watchmen spoiler at the top of the post.  LOL.

  8. This is definitely a sickness. After I read my comics, I throw them into a shoebox. Then once that shoebox gets full I put the shoebox on top of one of my many long boxes in back. Then whenever I have time away from my busy schedule of playing video games, I sort those comics alphabetically and finally put them into the long boxes.

    Then I never read them again ever. And then I start feeling guilty about never reading them again, so I plop down and go through my longboxes, just looking at the covers, just to make up for not reading them again ever. 

    Now I’m off to Home Depot to buy a dehumidifier for the room where I keep my comics that I will never read again.

  9. Tell it Jim! I recently had that "Oh S#%T!" moment when I opened up a couple long boxes and realized that I had never taped any of the bags in them. Once that lid goes on, it becomes just another long box.

  10. @cromulent – I don’t know how old you are or what your life is like, but trust me…if you aren’t reading them now, you won’t be reading them later either.

    I always thought to myself "Yeah, when I get older, I’ll sit down and go through the issues and re-read a lot of these."  The truth of the matter is that I’ve been saying that for 30 years now, and I am no closer to re-reading those than I was when I was 15.

    I’m going to put the best aside for my kids and hope that they appreciate, but I plan on moving the bulk of them as soon as I find time to go through the multitudes. All I’m doing is acting as a comics warehouse. much like you.

  11. @Risible Hey I never said it was rational thinking 😉

  12. hilarious article.

    My collection is organized by character/ team and then alphabetically.  So Web of Spider-Man comes after Amazing Spider-Man, but all of those come before all of the Superman books.  Well most of it is.  I have piles of books all over the place waiting to be bound, and smaller DCBS boxes all over with books from the last year and a half.  It’s a mess.

  13. got a couple of boxes that i divide up by publisher. I just recently moved, and as heavy as my longboxes were, my Diamond distribution boxes (freebies from my LCS) that i used for my HC’s and Trades made my back as well as my friends backs hate me forever. And then my coffee table art books….yeah. 

    like a lot of you, every so often i just sit and look through my boxes, taking a look at mostly the covers, or maybe a casual flip through some of my old comics.  

    having a library is a blessing and a curse.  

    That being said, i don’t think i could ever replace it all with digital. I love ephemera too much and i’m too afraid of a hard drive crash, mechanical failure or file corruption to wipe out my entire library in one fell swoop.  

  14. Ah, yes. Still reading your books as they come out, eh? Good on ya. I’ve gone back to buying 1 to 5 year runs on various titles, and then reading 40 to 60 issues in a month or two.

    This year celebrates approximately two full metonic cycles of collector mania, and I’m rapidly filling the tenth longbox. (That’s right, 38 years. I’ve been "collecting" comics since around the summer of 1972.) I’ve got an eleventh longbox full of never-used posters, and about 15 feet of shelf space for TPBs, HCs, odd-sized stuff, and the inevitable books on great artists and the history of comics.

    My pamphlet stuff is generally sorted by publisher, by era, so the boxes say silly things on the lids like "Image – 90s" and "Marvel – Bronze Age", in crossed-out and rewritten sharpie, like the tattoos of women’s names on that sailor in the Norman Rockwell painting. Old sorting ideas I was once smitten with.

    My current "system" is to sort the books by title, by publisher, in bags, on top of the pile in the closet, every week or three. About once a month I put the stuff in the top box. Right now I’m working on the tenth box, as I said, so I’m still putting DC in the ninth box, and Marvel in the tenth. That requires getting the other box out, though, so that only happens every other month or so. The DC usually stays in a bag on top of the pile, even after the Marvel gets put in the box.

    As far as staying current with reading everything I’m buying as I buy it, let me just say I still have a 40-issue run of Backlash I have yet to get to. I am, like the rest of you demented compulsives, planning to organize, catalog, price and grade all of it someday. Right after I finish reading it. Time is growing shorter and the pile looms with a silent, monolithic, all-pervading sense of uphill battles that I never had the time to fight. (Not to mention the still-rolled posters and twelve of the fifteen feet of graphic novels.)

    Cheers.

  15. What is the solution?  How long must I hold onto my run of crappy 90s Punisher comics that I’ll never read again?  Throwing them out seems insane, but how are they different from an old magazine?  Just trying to convince myself to clear up that closet space…

  16. heh, we finally put some risers on the bed so I could move my 15 boxes under there. I primarily organize them by what will fit in the box. Daredevil can’t go in the same box as Spider-Man, because there’s too many of each. Uncanny X-Men has its own box along with some miscellaneous minis. Et cetera.

    This moving them and reorganize was a big thing, though. Now that I’m switching to trades, I shouldn’t ever have to move them around again, so I just went ahead and made some quick notes on the front of the box as to what’s in it. That’ll make future rereads easier.

    I’d love to start getting them bound, but the economics of it are daunting.

    Now I’ll just have to figure out how many bookshelves I’ll need in a year to hold all those trades.

  17. I’m working on 6 towers, 3 3-boxes high and 3 4-boxes high. Grand total of 5 long boxes and 11 short boxes. I have my comics alphabetized and organized by year. All comics from 1999 and older are in the longboxes while comics from 2000 to present are in the shortboxes.

  18. Just tell me one thing: Do I file New Avengers under "N" or "A"?

  19. When I was younger my dad built me a shelf system. 6 long boxes on the floor. 6 on each of two shelves above that for a total of 18 long boxes. Atop of that are two bookshelves that hold a few trades along with novels. I’m not very big on trades.These comics are all arranged alphabetically if I own 13+ isues. If I own 12 or less they get filed as "Misc." So Spider-Man minis, one-shots, etc. are filed under "Spider-Man – Misc." Stuff like Demo or Clerks or Watchmen that don’t fit any specific miscellaneous category go into boxes designated "Other – Misc" at the end of the alphabet.

    Eventually the shelves filled. Now I have 9 boxes stacked on top each other next to the shelving unit. These are only for complete series, so Shade the Changing Man, Swamp Thing v2/3, Animal Man, etc. Since I don’t need to reorganize those boxes to fit new issues, stacking them isn’t really a big deal.

    Two more long boxes are on the other side for storing "unsorted" books until I get around to them. These come into play mostly after conventions. I don’t buy monthly books at the moment due to cost and wait to get them for $1 or less at conventions. So the lots I’m bringing home are fairly large. And then thres a backup short box in times of emergency!

  20. I file everything alphabetically but it gets annoying with stuff like Thor and Mighty Thor. I forgot I had filed Mighty Thor in the M’s and found them years later accidently.

    But stuff that starts with some writer’s name I just skip to the actual title, like Stephen King’s The Stand.

  21. Why not alphabetize by year? It may mean a drastic re-organisation of your existing comics, but once that is done you can keep one or two 2010 boxes at the front/top of your pile and just place the comics in when your done. Then next year just start it again.

     

  22. The thing about the by-year thing is, on the day when I go back through the boxes wanting to read that issue of Spider-Man, I won’t have any idea what year it was published. 2003? 2004? Who can remember?

  23. By year would also make it a pain to read a run that spans multiple years. "Let’s see, the first Ultimates run was only 13 issues, but I’m going to have to pull out three boxes to get to them all…"

  24. I currently have two overstuffed longboxes and a bunch of issues piled on top of them.  I am seriously considering taking most of it and donating it to the library.  I may start doing that monthly.  I don’t (and probably won’t) reread 95% of my issues.

    I am SO ready to make the digital transition.

  25. The space that single issues take up is one of the major reasons I’m deciding to switch to trades only. With twins on the way and limited living space (it’s the San Francisco Bay Area, after all) there’s simply no way I can continue buying as many issues as I used to. I still have six short boxes in the closet of the room that will eventually be the babies’ room but soon they’ll have to moved down to the garage. I’ll still continue to pick up 5-8 issues/month, and actually like being "forced" to only buy those series that I REALLY enjoy. Everything else I can buy in trades.

  26. Oops, I contradicted myself within my post. I should’ve opened by saying MOSTLY trades rather than trades only…talk about OCD…

  27. My biggest filing problem is that I have to read my books, then enter them into Collectorz.com before I can file them.  On heavy weeks that can create a lot of backlog.  Sometimes the tower of single issues can get a foot or two high before they make into the longbox.  Luckily I have no pretentions of ever selling my old issues so I don’t have to worry about bagging and boarding.

  28. I put my books in a numbered box completely unsorted. I enter the title, issue number and box number into a table created in OpenOffice Base application. Now I can find my books and I don’t have to engage in the tedious chore of sorting. The spreadsheet app in Google Docs works well too.

  29. No system. I don’t bag and board. Just throw ’em in a box when I’m done. so I guess they’re mostly organized chronologically, by release date. 😀  I used to keep them organized, back when I had a dozen boxes or less. These days, I have boxes in several different places, in storage, and the new books… well, I’m a reader. I just throw ’em into a box when I’m done. I don’t really re-read any more, so there’s not much point to keeping them all organized by runs. Except…

    The downside: I’d love to get rid of a ton o’ my comics, but the actual feat of organizing them to sell runs on eBay, etc., would involve entire weeks of organization. Right now, I don’t even have the space to lay it all out.

    Definitely no OCD here, unless there’s a thing called Obsessive Chaos Disorder.

  30. I only started reading comics just over a year ago, but Im starting to see stuff pile up and im predicting long term conseqeunces…   :O

    As far as long term solutions, giving them away seems to be the only viable option, either that or rent out storage for an infintely growing collection of "stuff I may want to read one day"

    The question then becomes are there comics worth keeping that I could see myself reading at least once every few years, or do I just get rid off the lot. 

    Or do I just switch over to trades?

    Or do I throw my hands up and refuse to play this twisted game and just wait for digital comics to become more viable?

    Ahhh decisions….

  31. I’m a newb to digital comics. Can you buy and download runs like Preacher or Starman or Y The Last Man for the iPad or PC?

  32. @cromulent: DC has nothing going on in the digital realm, and I do mean no-thing.

  33. @Jimski: Nothing public, anyway.

  34. I’ll most likely never read most of my collection, but I want to pretend I will.  As far as organizing, there’s no good way anymore.  I like all my Avengers titles together, no matter the adjective in front of it.  However most of my Spider-Man titles are separated.  Which causes problems if I want to read all of Maximum Carnage.  Now I have to dig through 5 different boxes to read one story.

  35. I can’t believe you spoiled the Watchmen for me Jimski! *sarcasm*

    I did the great reorganization a little while ago and it was refreshing to have everything in order.  Unfortunately I think I have longbox worth of stuff I need to get into boxes already. >.< 

  36. I’m pretty much ready to give all my single issues away, except for a longbox or so that I really love.

  37. Jeff Reid (@JeffRReid) says:

    @Josh – Well, if you want to give some away, my wife and I will be in NYC this weekend. I’m sure I could find some room in my carry-on luggage to take a bunch of single issues with me back to Ohio. 😉

  38. @Josh: Me too (well, a lot of, not all of my single issues). I just haven’t figure out the best way to go about it yet.

  39. The discovery that my shop will actually buy some back issues, and that there’s a Goodwill right next door for the ones they reject, has been something of a game changer.

  40. i’m AMAZED that some of you guys are able to sell back recent back issues. Every comic shop i’ve been in recently including my LCS don’t buy anything unless its pre 80’s and very moveable. I’ve seen them cherry pick through AWESOME collections just to buy one or two comics for pennies. 

    There’s gotta be literacy programs and/or periodical donation programs for the troops that recent stuff can be donated too.  

  41. @Connor, Josh et all… seriously look into donating them to your local hospital’s ER or Pediatric unit. I know @ my job(hospital in brooklyn) they are always looking for used kids books. No Preacher obviously, but you could bring a smile to a kid sitting in the ER for hours with a Superman comic  =)

  42. Either open a comic book shop, go digital or quit buying so many fucking comic books.

  43. Re: DC & digital, Ian Sattler hinted at Heroes Con that there might be an announcement in August (is that San Diego?) but what exactly that means, who knows.

    My comics, I put them in piles, until I spill something on them, and then I throw them away.  I occasionally get on a kick of giving some  of them away but nothing systematic. 

  44. Almost none of my comics are appropriate for kids. I looked.  Modern books just aren’t made for them most of the time.

  45. I’d like to donate mine to a kids home, but like Josh, I can’t because of content.  I’m considering figuring out how to get them to our military overseas. 

  46. At any given time I have between about 10-20 piles of comics ranging from about 5 isssues to 50 issues each.  The organization ranges from ‘release week’ to ‘genre’ to ‘creative team/writer’ to ‘publisher’ to ‘series etc.,etc., etc.  The piles are always in flux in size as well as organization themes. 

    My collector mentallity is certainly a ‘double-edged-sword’.  I love perusing all my books and scimming through them (they are not bagged and boarded) and I like reorganizing and rearanging them, but then sometimes, I’ll realize I just spent hours just mulling over my collection and I stop and think to myself, "I could have just read all of my current week’s issues or read a graphic novel/trade collection that’s been sitting on my shelf for months in that time."  I tell myself, "damn you!, what a waste of time!", but then I realize that it was such a relaxing almost meditative process.

    simply put:  I love it and I hate it!

  47. i have a dozen long boxes, mostly Batman titles covering the past 15-20 years.  i just go chronological, as they are released I read them and file them into the current long box. Then there’s the JLA box, JSA box, GL box, a few others with the event series’ that come out.  I eventually needed a Marvel Ultimates box, which I liked when it was first coming out.  THe trade paperbacks have been great for catching up on Walking DEad, and I get other stuff like Scalped that way, saves on the single issues and long boxes.

  48. @400yrs: There are a few ways to send comics to military bases overseas. We organized a comics for troops drive a few years ago.

  49. Cycling won’t git rid of the desire to collect stuff.  My bikes take up more space than the comic and they cost more.

     But I digress.  About six months ago I finished an 8 year project of cataloging all my comics into a database.  One of the fields is location (box #).  Now as I get new comics, I spend one night a month putting them into the database and the floppies themselves go into a box. No sorting though old boxes, shuffling and alphabetizing, new comics just go into to the newest box until it’s full. When that box fills up I get a new one. If I want to know where something is, the database tells me. 

     

  50. Someone needs to make a site for swapping boxes of issues. You can ship single issues pretty efficiently with the Priority Flat Rate Box USPS box so shipping costs aren’t really a issue.

  51. I’ve been making fun of it for years because (as I may have mentioned three times above) I’m incredibly shortsighted, but now that people are talking me through it this database thing is an innovation I can get behind. Just stuff it in a box, number the box, and write down which box has what! Done! You people must sleep like babies.

  52. yup every summer my shop has a donation drive to send comics to troops. it has been a god send

  53. Erm, I admit that when the "cbr" came out, I was definetly on the banwagon to stop purchasing alltogether. Now knowing better the problem, for me seems only to be whether or not I’d rather wait for the inevitable trade or if I should buy that wierd oneshot DC would hardcover 20 years from now?

  54. @birdseye/Jimski- Databases are awesome!  I haven’t done it with my comics yet(I described my ‘organization’ methods earlier), but I have used it for art/photo archiving.  It’s really convenient and overall hassle free.

  55. My cousin’s son is getting to that comic book reading age. I think I will have to give a good portion of my collection. I thinks he needs to be infected with the bug like the rest of us.

  56. Speaking of changing buying habits, has anyone subscribed directly to the publishers for their comics, and, was the discount worth any possible downside (day and date release, damage in shipping, delayed/cancelled titles, etc.)?

    I still love my shop, but between the advent of digital, the new price point for a direct market pamphlet copy, and the subscriber discount I saw at one major publisher, I wonder how my LCS will stay in business in a few years.

    Also, continuity is kept really up-to-date (from what I can see) on third-party sites like wikipedia, CBR and ComicVine, as well as at publisher sites, so it seems less crucial to buy every possible book just to keep up with every detail of (arbitrary, contradictory, mutually-exclusive) continuity. They’re beginning to publish just about everything they have in the vault in some form or another while they still hold the rights. And any good-sized city library would have to stock most of it, just for the sake of archiving the Americana.

    One of us is going to have to remember to be the Frank Blackbeard of the Post-Chromium Age.

    Cheers.

    In the sudden event I must help the Secret Avengers in the Negative Zone, my wife is under strict orders to sell it to my store as it hits the 50 year mark, offer whatever my LCS doesn’t buy to any of my family who want any, and give the rest to the public library system, or some other such community resource. I have a friend or two who has already spoken for one or two items. Someone is probably going to get a box of totally unused posters, mostly from the 80s, and either toss them out, or freak out and line their garage.

    I just thought of what Larry Young said about old comics in True Facts. That they are worth the per-pound going rate for old newsprint, so put ’em on the scale. I told the guy at my LCS that he should just get a T-shirt that says "Has it been forty years yet?" on the front, and "If not, no thanks…" on the back, with a placard that reads "Donate old comics at schools and hospitals today!" for the front door.

  57. yes, as mentioned before, moving is a very, very sobering event for a comics collector.  It was my impetus to change.  I love to read in general, but comics are so much more difficult to unload (due to sentimentaly) versus prose (although I enjoy both equally).  It’s a mentality that was difficult to correct.  Switching to trades was equivalent to only watching movies on dvds.

    When my ex was in Botswana working in an orphanage, I shipped about 1-2 longboxes of floppies….  She said they devoured and shared them.  It was great…. but expensive.

    I’m going to look into more ways to of donating without actually spending money…..  maybe an anonymous dump at the library.

    On another random note, I work in nursing homes, and saw a stack of modern spider-man books in the lobby…. wierd

    It’s unfortunate, but as mentioned by Josh, there is a stigma associated with comics that makes them more difficult to donate than prose.

    Random, random thoughts…

  58. I read my books alphabetically and organize them alphabetically by title.  I re-read arcs and runs quite often, so its the only way that I can access them quickly.  I only know a couple people that collect comics, but they’re pretty much like most of you, "I’ll get to it eventually".  Being my mothers child, I have to put everything in order, or else my whole world falls apart.  Organized to a fault…

  59. @vadamowens – I commend you on your instant organization.  I have similar reading habits as you(alphebetically/re-reading arcs) so my collection slowly gets organized only after (if and when) I go back and re-read through issues.

  60. One thing I will mention that got me out from under the feeling of having way too many books to read, is keeping a shortbox around, with just a few current titles in it. It almost takes me back to the feeling of starting fresh, when I actually could keep all of the information about my entire collection in my head. And I knew all of the current continuity of at least one corner of one publisher’s universe.