Home Columns Kibbles 'n' Bits Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 1/4/21: How to store your mini comics

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 1/4/21: How to store your mini comics

Wrapping up the Best of 2020 and trying to store my indie comics.

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§ Nice Art: King of Nowhere #4 by Lorenzo De Felici, as spotted in Doomrocket’s Best Covers of 2020. Man there were some good ones.

§ How ya doing! We made it to 2021. Some intact, some not. Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year, and hoping you are all staying safe out there. The Beat is slowly getting back up to speed, so look for more extensive kibbling and bitting as well as many new and exciting projects for 2021!

§ Best Ofs 2020 draw to a close — I’m sure I missed many so feel free to ping me with links.

• A sprawling, inspiring The Best Comics Of 2020  – man, so I have a lot of reading to catch up on.

• From Comics Bookcase Best Comics of 2020.

• And Doomrockets’s own Best of 2020.

§ Speaking of 2020, if you want to catch up on one of the  best publishers out there, the Latvian publisher kuš is offering a 2020 package of all of their delightful little comics for  $88. Since you didn’t go to any comic arts festivals in 2020, you can just catch up here. But there are only a few packages available so hurry hurry!

§ And speaking of kuš and their little comics, one of the great conundrums of my life has been how to store mini comics, zines, and all of the gorgeous, odd-sized indie books that I have picked up over the years. So many are handcrafted, risographed works of art in their own right, I can’t bear to part with them, but long to find a way to store them. While shoeboxes and Ikea boxes have been the default, they tend to be just one year’s worth of comics thrown into a box and if I’m looking for the complete works of Gabrielle Bell or Michael DeForge (good luck), it’s a hopeless task.

Over the holiday I tried to get a bit more organized, but just how to store the things is a long-running problem. The best solution I’ve heard is hanging file folders in a filing cabinet or file box, one creator to a folder. This makes sense but if you don’t have a dedicated filing cabinet, cardboard boxes are still not as esthetically pleasing as I’d like.

However, Brigid Alverson tipped me off to the fact that the plastic photo/scrapbook boxes you can pick up at Michael’s are ideal for storing bits of paper. So over the last week or so I’ve been investigating the local Michael’s with good results.

Michael’s is currently having a sale on these boxes, so I picked up several varieties for under $50.  There are 12×12 plastic flat boxes, currently on sale for $4.99. I used these for A5 and larger publications. They don’t really fit nicely, but you can put in two stacks side by side. I sorted stuff alphabetically by author and the result is better than a shoe box.

The real winner of a size is this 5″ x 7″ photo keeper. It’s a box with six boxes inside. Each smaller box can be used for an author or publisher – IF THEY KEEP THEIR SIZES CONSISTENT. And no one does. But it looks nice!

Finally there is this common household workhorse, the photo box, a tote with 16 smaller 6.7″ x 4.8″ x 1.2″ boxes inside. Ideal for storing all your family photos and kuš minis!

These boxes are IN THEORY the perfect size for mini comics. However, as I went through all my shoe boxes I realized that hardly anyone makes traditional “A6” sized minis any more. (Yes, I know A5 and A6 are international units.) However, if I were to dig through the OLD OLD boxes for more John Porcellino minis and so on, this would be very useful.

This size does hold postcards, which I have a lot of that are too nice to throw out. So that worked great!

This is a work in progress at Stately Beat Manor; however, at least ugly cardboard boxes have been converted to more pleasing acid-free storage, and I’m beginning to get more organized.

What is REALLY needed is a photo box that would hold traditional 8.5 x 5.5 minis, since this is the most common size. Damn you, crafters!  I see Michael’s has 8.5 x 11 storage boxes on their website, but I wasn’t able to find any in the store.

Overall, I found these crafting boxes with straight sides more useful than plastic shoeboxes, which have slanting sides. OF course, now I have to find a way to store the boxes, and the boxes of boxes but…it FELT better, anyway.

I did learn two things from all this. #1, Michael’s is crazy. You can buy so many things there from pens to jewelry to t-shirts! I am not crafty or handy, so I just wandered around feeling awe for people who know how to use a glue gun. Now that my beloved Flying Tiger has left the US, Michael’s may be my new go to.

#2, “beginning to get more organized” is actually just a description of my purpose on this earth.

Did I miss the mark? Do you have the magic bullet for indie comics storage? Share in the comments.

1 COMMENT

  1. I don’t use those photo holders for zines but I saw some how-to years ago that suggested them for pins and they work great! I just cut some thin cork board into the appropriate size and then stick the pins in. Great to organize them by theme and I can take just a couple of the smaller holders with me to Cons instead of taking my whole pin collection.

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