Purge week continues here at Publishers Weekly. Yesterday, Calvin, Ada and The Beat boxed up about 1500 comics — that was two years worth of comics from a handful of major publishers. We won’t name them to avoid embarrassment, but let’s just say…it’s a lot of comics. We had already gone through the piles and picked out things we wanted for our own collections but that left….1500 comics.
How do you dispose of 1500 comics pamphlets in New York City? We tried calling a few of the local comics shops but no one wanted a collection of that size. I emphasize, we weren’t trying to make a killing on these comics, we were just trying to get rid of them without throwing them in a dumpster.
The problem of floppy disposal is especially acute here in New York. Since the folks from Marvel and DC work here, and they all get TONS of free comics there will always be a glut of people trying to liquidate these pamphlets. DC employees were at one time forbidden from doing ANYTHING with their unwanted comps, and from what we hear still are, but there are still a LOT of comics floating around the city.
We tried asking a few places that sometimes take donations if they wanted these floppies and they didn’t. No one wants to take the trouble of storing pamphlets when the graphic novels are just around the corner. After the weekly fix, it seems, the pamphlet is as useless as a phonebook-sized Japanese manga weekly. printed on rough newsprint. These are disposable, the tankubon are the permanent forms.
Still it was sad…we picked a few books unlikely to be collected out of the pile — SOLO, for instance. While there were a lot of total wastes of tress — GODDAM there are a lto of comics published every week — we couldn’t help but note all the great covers and great design and so on. Every comic was somebody’s baby at one point, a book that was put together with great hopes and pride to get out and make a lasting addition to the medium.
And now, so many are just boxed up paper.
We know many of you reading this are feeling little pity for us and our free comics, and it’s true. The Beat doesn’t blame you a bit. But we still have to get the office cleaned up…and that means something must be done with these piles and piles of comics books.
UPDATE 9/24: We decided to ship these comics to the troops. It seems like the right thing to do. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and volunteering. Rest assured there will be more clean ups around here, and we’ll try to hit some of the other very worthy causes on the next round.