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Old 07-17-2021, 08:48 PM   #1
MikeandRaph87
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Comic Filing Questions

I have several long boxes of various runs. Most are easy to figure out how to file such a long box of Archie TMNT followed by the early Mirage run. Another dedicated to IDW TMNT. However, I was wondering if there was any good order to file away the various mini-series from the micro-series to The Last Ronin?

Also, I have various mini-series and one-shots mostly DC I don't know where to file or what order. I put Blackest Night and Brightest Day with the chronlogical 2004 to 2021 Green Lantern series. However, I have things like Run Riddler,Run set and a few other Batman villain one shots and a couple of DC Comics Christmas specials along with mini-series like World Finest (1990), Trinity, and company-wide crossovers Doomsday Clock, Identity
Crisis, finite Crisis, Final Crisis. Would you put it alphabetical or chronologically?

Also, I have a complete collection of Brave and the Bold Batman team ups as well as the second volume and Hal/Barry mini-series. Would things like Batman: Phantom Stranger, Batman/ Deadman: Death and Glory, and Batman crossovers with Marvel's Hulk, Spider-Man, Punisher, Captain America,and Daredevil go in a Batman mini-series box or filed after the Brave and the Bold sets?

How would you file sets like Batman Adventures and Batman and Robin Adventures sets as well as Batman and The Outsiders vol. 1, Batman and Robin (2009), and Batman '66 that are completed when I also have a couple of series with just select arcs in Gotham Knights and Legends of The Dark Knight? Thanks for your input.
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Old 07-17-2021, 09:27 PM   #2
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Why don't you just order the comics by release date, the year they came out?
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Old 07-17-2021, 09:36 PM   #3
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Why don't you just order the comics by release date, the year they came out?
Because that doesn't strictly work, for reasons which will become clear.

I've got 20-something longboxes. It can sure be a pain for lots of reasons.

Here's how I do it:

- Stuff like Superman, Batman, Sonic & TMNT which easily fill up multiple boxes on their own get their own dedicated boxes. That adds up to be roughly half of what I own.

- Everything else gets boxed in alphabetical/chronological order. Ex: Stuff with numbers in the title, like DC's "52" series, goes first, the stuff starting with A, and so on.

- I don't put stuff like "Blackest Night" or other company-wide cross-overs in with Green Lantern, even though it's GL-centric, since it does include the entire DCU. That series is in the "B" section. For my own "ease of use" for when I go to read it again, for series such as that one or "Final Crisis", etc., I put the one-shot spin-off books or connected mini-series in the box in-between the main mini-series' issues, so I remember to read everything in proper order. For example with Final Crisis, I put the "Superman Beyond: 3D" issues in-between issues #5 and 6 or wherever it is, instead of in the "Superman" boxes, since even though they're Superman-titled books they're meant to be read in-between issues of the main "Final Crisis" books.

- If the storyline continuity of a spin-off is vague, or else it doesn't truly connect with the main series such as the "Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds" mini, I'll put it in the box directly following the main Final Crisis issues.

- Things like one-shots, Annuals and mini-series for ongoing characters can make things VERY confusing. Therefore, I don't have one set way of doing it. I basically just sort of eyeball where it could fit in storyline-wise, if possible. Like the 1987 Superman-related Annuals are placed in-between issues of the ongoing series based on when they probably should have occurred in-story. "Superman: Aliens" clearly took place shortly after he came back from the dead, so that's where I put it. Etc. etc. It's not a perfect system by any means but it mostly-works.

- Mini-series or one-shots that are clearly "Elseworlds" or otherwise out-of-continuity, or just plain don't fit snugly anywhere, I place after the ongoings. For example, if you went through my Superman boxes, it would go Silver Age books - Byrne-Era through "Flashpoint" - New 52 era - Misc. mini-series and one-shots.

- Probably THE most annoying thing with this sort of thing, is that with characters like Superman or Batman who have multiple monthly books (plus those extras like mini-series or one-shots constantly), sometimes the monthly books intersect but other times not. Those two characters' books are a HUGE pain to organize.

For example, in the late-80s "Batman" and "Detective Comics" only ever told self-contained one- or two-issue stories, but set roughly at the same time. So with those, I simply put them together in release order - The Dec. 86 issue of "Batman", then the Dec. 86 issue of 'Tec, then the Jan. 87 issue of Batman, etc. If there was a two-issue 'Tec story, I'd put both issues together and THEN the next issue of Batman. You get the idea.

BUT, then "Knightfall" happened, so the Bat-books were officially intertwined for several months, so there definitely couldn't be any segregation of the main books in storing them. It wasn't too different from how I'd already been storing them, other than having an official reading order.

THEN the books got segregated again, though, and 6-issue or longer arcs started becoming the norm and continuity became vague. This made it VERY tough to organize things. So what I did was, I'd group all of "Hush" together, for example, followed by whatever the 'Tec books had put out during that time, followed by "Shadow of the Bat", then the next Batman arc, followed by the next 'Tec arc, etc.

So it's like a very odd mic of chronological, alphabetical, and reading-order. I'm probably not explaining it very well but it honestly works okay for what I need it for. I mean if you ever plan on reading the books again, it's pretty much the only way to do it without having to search for stuff. Like if you kept Action Comics where it's "supposed" to be alphabetically and likewise put Superman way back under "S", if you wanted to read anything from 1991 through 1999 it would be a complete mess since the books were integrated week-to-week. Thus it became easier to just group certain characters' books by "section" rather than purely alphabetically.

It's a hassle, I don't envy you. Back in 2017 I got all my comics out of storage and had to re-organize them, and I hope I never, ever have to do it again. And if someone else looked through them, it might look "out of order" because of this weird system I use, but it's honestly the best thing I could come up with.
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Old 07-17-2021, 10:48 PM   #4
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With the exception of my Iron Man collection which has it's own boxes, it's own area and shelving; generally I just file titles alphabetically by publisher.

So, Marvel A-Z; DC A-Z; Image A-Z, etc.

Your oversized stuff like the oddly sized Mirage TMNT and the recent Last Ronin mini tend to work well in magazine bags and boards in a magazine box.

Don't become too constrained by the "need" to file all of your TMNT comics together. Aside from personal preference like Leo's bagging crossovers together, I've found the best thing to do is really just to treat your collection like a comic store with that kind of filing.
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Old 07-18-2021, 08:35 AM   #5
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It took a week, but I managed to go through 11 long boxes for the first time in a decade. WHAT A TASK!

I have a complete set of New Teen Titans #1-#55(Tales) followed by the 3 Annuals and four part spotlight issues and then the two parter drug awareness thing and finish it off with the X-Men crossover. I also have Teen Titans Year One and The Lost Annual after it. I have a single issue from the 2003 series #34(NW/Superboy go to the Artic for IC fight). The only other Titans thing I care to own is the interwoven storyline A Lonley Place of Dying which I have placed in chronological order with the Batman title. However, that is not enough to fill up a long box so I have the Super Friends 47 issues and the Super Powers three miniseries chronologically after that.

I also have specific issues of Wally West's Flash title that I don't know where to place. Right now its in the back of my DC-wide mini-series box stories like Return of Barry Allen, Wally's wedding issue, any Dick Grayson appearance, Wonderland arc, Rouge War arc. You get the idea.

Green Lantern wise I have it like this: Green Lantern: Rebirth, 2005-2011 set, chronological specials and annuals, Blackest Night, Blackest Night Batman 3 issue mini, Brightest Day, 2011-2016 set, chronological specials and annuals, Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps set, GL Corps final issue #57 (Hal vs Cyborg Superman) single issue, chronological specials and annuals, The Green Lantern Season One,Blackstars mini, The Green Lantern Season Two.

I have a third box of TMNT just IDW one shots and mini-series. One box is IDW ongoing with Universe 25 issue set behind it. Then there is another with IDW TMNT that has everything from the four micros up to Last Ronin. I am including the four Batman crossovers and MMPR ones as well. Should I put it in publication order? I have not figured that out yet. I realize only so many of us on this message board collect comics beyond Ninja Turtles, but I thought enough of you might be in the same boat as me on this one.
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Old 07-18-2021, 10:54 AM   #6
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Reading stuff like this makes me glad I only ever collected TMNT comics and never got into DC/Marvel, etc comic collecting.

Just having all the Mirage TMNT comics, the Archie comics, Image, and IDW already takes up huge space for me. This is why I started to sell off the single issues when IDW started putting trades out, it's much easier to store and then re-read in book form when I want to go back to them. Even just TMNT comics alone take up a lot of space if you have all of the big 3 series (Mirage, Archie and IDW).
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:18 PM   #7
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I think I solved the Batman titles question. I will go with completed series alphabetically Batman '66 (and Meets Archie mini), Batman Adventures with specials, Batman & Robin Adventures with specials, Batman and The Outsiders vol.1(1983), Batman and Robin (2009) volume, the select issues of Batman Chronicles, the Batman Confidential 'Wrath Child', 'The Bat and The Cat', and 'A New Dawn' arcs, the select issues of Gotham Knights('Transference',Dick is formally adopted, Signalman issue, Spook issue, 'Pushback') and the 'Prey' and 'Grimm' arcs in Legends of The Dark Knight. Then alphabetically place the Batman related mini-series like All-Star Batman & Robin, Dark Victory, Gotham After Midnight, Long Halloween, Mad Monk, Monster Men,etc. While keeping the first mini-series Untold Legends of The Batman (1980) behind Batman #400 in my Batman #150-#400 long box.

However, I am not still not sure about my DC mini-series and specials box.

I am creating spreadsheets to document the contents of each long box. Finally modernizing my organizational skills.
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Old 07-18-2021, 06:56 PM   #8
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I went through this when I was younger and then I realized how it caused problems trying to organize by "story" or by "crossover" or theme.

Alphabetically by publisher and then just go in and pull out what you want to read when you want to read it. I'm laughing at the "situation" not anyone's filing system. I've got about a 60 longbox collection organized this way and it's the only real way to go. Just keep titles by titles. Also, one-shots and mini-series typically file by I.P. alphabetically anyway - a Batman mini for example normally starts with "Batman: Mini- XYZ" and the few exceptions that don't can still just go in alphabetically by title.

Also, like you I keep spreadsheets on my "inventory" and "collection". It's been an evolving monster for 20 years and for the last many years I just did the same thing as the boxes..... Tabs for each publisher, alphabetically. And when you need to find something quickly or you forget an entire title you can search by "Ctrl-F" and jump right to where you want to go.

I love this stuff - been doing it for decades now, which sounds crazy considering I'm still under 45 years old. I keep master sheets of costs and quantities as well. They self-compute when I add books to the inventory. It helps me run the metrics of what this monster hobby has cost me over the years.

I suppose the "bundle it by story and crossover" thing can work when you have a somewhat small collection. But take the Superman "diamond" numbering system from back in the day as an example. Instead of filing "Action Comics # whatever (1991 Diamond number 1) and then putting "Superman the Man of Steel # whatever (1991 Diamond Number 2) after it, it's still better to just file Action comics with Action Comics and Superman the Man of Steel with Superman the Man of Steel.
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Old 07-18-2021, 07:07 PM   #9
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((Strokes beard Hogan-style)) "Yeah... That doesn't work for me, brother."

My wife and I once spent a few weeks reading the entire Superman run from '86 through Infinite Crisis in one straight shot. If I'd had everything segregated by title it would've taken a ridiculous amount of time to pull everything out, arrange it into reading order, then put it all away afterwards.

Since it was already arranged in reading order (those "Diamond" numbers on the covers were a godsend back in the day), all I had to do was pull a stack from the box, read them, then put them right back where they were, then pull the next few, etc.

If I had to skim through multiple boxes trying to pull the correct issues of Action, Adventures, etc. in reading order it would've been an incredible hassle.
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Old 07-18-2021, 08:05 PM   #10
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There are only two situations where a story crisscrosses from one title to another in my collection 'A Lonely Place of Dying' between Batman (1940) and New Teen Titans vol.2 and 'The Lightning Saga' in Justice League of America (2006) and Justice Society of America (2006). I don't have any issues of NTT vol.2 or JSA so I place them in the storyline's reading order. Stories like 'Prodigal' I have the Batman and Detective Comics actual issues, but did not displace them from the title's order and had no intention of buying any other issues of the respective titles.

The one-shots are going to be a problem. I need to figure out where Penguin Triumphant, Run Riddler Run, The Riddle Factory, Two Face Strikes Twice, Catwoman: When in Rome all go. I am also trying to figure out what to do with my retro-Batgirl tales in Batman:Batgirl, DC First:Batgirl/Joker and GirlFrenzy:Batgirl and Batman oneshot from 1987 do I place them in front of Batgirl (2011)? Batgirl: Year One as well? Robin: Year One and the Year One Annual do I put that behind the Nightwing arcs that I own?

Some of these are a cinch like my beloved Batman (1940)#150-400 box. Others like DC minis and Batman minis and completed sets like the Animated runs, Outsiders, and '66 while now solved were not easy then the titles I have just select arcs in alphabetically

The more I think about it I will put the Batman team ups behind Brave and the Bold (2007-2010).

The only oddity in the DC minis and one-shots box is a Sonic/Sabrina crossover and Archie Meets The Punisher. Marvel wise since I don't count Star Wars as Marvel per say I have maybe a hundred books all Spider-Man 100th issues and about ten others aside from that with Spider-Man meets OG SNL, Hobgoblin Lives!, Spider-Man: Blue, Spider-Man Life Story, Marvel Knights The Last Stand arc, Superior Spider-Man set, Renew Your Vows mini and ongoing set and Secret War (1984) and Civil War (2006). I am much more of a retro DC guy.
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Old 07-18-2021, 08:10 PM   #11
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The one-shots are going to be a problem. I need to figure out where Penguin Triumphant, Run Riddler Run, The Riddle Factory, Two Face Strikes Twice, Catwoman: When in Rome all go.
Non-canon, they'd go before or after the ongoing runs, depending on your personal preference.
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Old 07-18-2021, 08:13 PM   #12
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Non-canon, they'd go before or after the ongoing runs, depending on your personal preference.
Right now each of those are in my DC mini-series long box. Once I finish computing everything in a couple of days I will post the contents of the box that is giving me trouble.
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Old 07-18-2021, 10:38 PM   #13
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((Strokes beard Hogan-style)) "Yeah... That doesn't work for me, brother."

My wife and I once spent a few weeks reading the entire Superman run from '86 through Infinite Crisis in one straight shot. If I'd had everything segregated by title it would've taken a ridiculous amount of time to pull everything out, arrange it into reading order, then put it all away afterwards.

Since it was already arranged in reading order (those "Diamond" numbers on the covers were a godsend back in the day), all I had to do was pull a stack from the box, read them, then put them right back where they were, then pull the next few, etc.

If I had to skim through multiple boxes trying to pull the correct issues of Action, Adventures, etc. in reading order it would've been an incredible hassle.
I mean... (and honestly as a point of conversation)...

A) how often do you really go back and re-read old $#!(? Seriously...
B) That's what basically everyone has to do when compiling a run out of bins anyway - it's not that complicated for people building a story, right?
C) Pull it from the bins when you are going to read it, put it all in a pile and then read it!

I mean honestly, to each their own - it's a comic collection. But there's a reason that every LCS.... maybe on Earth? Sorts their bins alphabetically by publisher (although the clever ones occasionally bag entire stories together, but that's clever marketing not organization).

I dunno.... Like I said, 60 or so long box collection. So by the situation there aren't many other ways for me to do it.... LOL!
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Old 07-18-2021, 10:49 PM   #14
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"How often" isn't the point. The point is, when I do want to, it takes ten seconds to pull them out in reading order and then ten seconds to put them back in the box when I'm done.

Rather than meticulously pulling stuff from the "Action Comics" box, the "Adventures of Superman" box, etc., shuffling them into reading order, then separating them to put them all back.

It might be "organized chaos" but I know where every single thing is when I do choose to look at it. I might "only" have about 25-ish boxes worth, but every bit of it is pre-arranged so that every single storyline can be pulled, read, then put back within seconds.
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:19 PM   #15
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It might be "organized chaos" but I know where every single thing is when I do choose to look at it. I might "only" have about 25-ish boxes worth, but every bit of it is pre-arranged so that every single storyline can be pulled, read, then put back within seconds.
Much of my life is organized like that - "I know where it is when I need it".

So what do you do with say the rest of your Superman run that never crosses over into a DC event, or for example when they got rid of the diamond numbering?
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Old 07-18-2021, 11:54 PM   #16
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I mentioned that as well. It's still in "reading order" but it goes by storyline.

For example, the pre-Infinite Crisis run. Action Comics, Adventures of Superman and Superman each had their own 12-issue arc in 2005-ish; they all ostensibly took place roughly around the same time in the DCU, but they didn't cross over much and can more or less be read in any order. So I just put them in the box grouped together - the 12-issue Action Comics run, then the 12-issue Adventures of Superman run, then the 12-issue "For Tomorrow" run in Superman.

That's how I arranged all the Superman (and Batman) books once they stopped doing "triangle numbers" or integrated stories. "This 6-issue Batman arc, then this 6-issue 'Tec arc from the same year, then the next Batman arc, then the next 'Tec arc..." etc. etc.

One-shots, mini-series and Annuals, I sometimes have to guesstimate where they'd fit but I'm always pretty close. If it's an Annual which has no connection to canon, I just put it in between stories by cover date - most DC Annuals used to come out in Summer, for example, so if it had an August cover date I'd put it in front of the August ongoing issues, unless the August issues were in the middle of an ongoing storyline, in which case I'd stick the Annual in right after that. If the mini or one-shot is blatantly non-canon, it would go in the "Superman - Misc." section which is after the ongoing series stuff.

It works better than I'm explaining it. But again, pull out any storyline from "Maximum Carnage" to "Death of Superman" or whatever, it's all in "ready-to-read" arrangement. Which is for me the most important thing.

Long, long, LONG time ago, when all I had was Superman and Batman stuff, I did just put stuff together by title. But I got sick of digging around whenever I wanted to read "Knightfall" or "Death of Superman" or whatever, so I finally just put everything in reading order and it's been that way ever since.

There's no real "right" way to do these things; the important thing is just that you know where stuff is when you're looking for it.

I also put "The Dark Knight" and "The Dark Knight Rises" with the rest of my Batman DVDs, even though they start with "D". Because they're Parts 2 & 3 of a trilogy, and the first movie started with the letter "B". Fight me.
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Old 07-19-2021, 02:16 AM   #17
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I have like 35 plastic bins in the garage of everything DC from like the 60s on. I organized everything in chronological order. So like if DC released a new Green Lantern comic in 2007, but it was set around his origins, it goes even before Showcase #22 from the 60s. Same with everything else.

Which is fine for ME... though if I ever wanted to sell it all, it'd be hell to try and sort out now.
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Old 07-19-2021, 11:03 AM   #18
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I have like 35 plastic bins in the garage of everything DC from like the 60s on. I organized everything in chronological order. So like if DC released a new Green Lantern comic in 2007, but it was set around his origins, it goes even before Showcase #22 from the 60s. Same with everything else.

Which is fine for ME... though if I ever wanted to sell it all, it'd be hell to try and sort out now.
I would love to rid my life of the cardboard and have plastic boxes with lids for my collection, man. For so many reasons.
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Old 07-19-2021, 12:08 PM   #19
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If you guys were going to sell your entire comic collection, how much do you guess it would be worth? Some of you are probably sitting on thousands of dollars, maybe close to a million.
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Old 07-19-2021, 02:21 PM   #20
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If you guys were going to sell your entire comic collection, how much do you guess it would be worth? Some of you are probably sitting on thousands of dollars, maybe close to a million.
I have all of my costs tabulated going back to the first comic I bought. That probably sounds impossible, but it was incredibly easy to do about two decades ago because I could rely on cover price for most of my books at that point, and I used to keep the dealer stickers on the bags and boards when I bought a back issue.

But people forget all of that add-on costs to the hobby. Costs of long boxes, short boxes, drawer boxes, bags, boards, mylars, mylites, etc. I track the actual book costs, but if I wanted to add the supply costs in, it wouldn't be hard to amortize a cost in there given the average costs of Bags and boards packs. Generally if I bought a book as a bargain bin book or off the racks I had to B&B it. Other add-on costs are like accounting for shipping and tax when you start using a mail order service like DCBS, but you can retrieve all of that as well just by downloading your history from those vendors. There is also other stuff like Microchamber paper or mil cases to consider.

The hobby really adds up over the years and the supplies though, but it is possible to go back and account for close to every penny you spent even if you didn't log it as it happened over time.

To your question - there's also a big difference between logging your hobby costs and comparing that to what it's "worth". The truth is that the majority of comic books are bargain bin fodder.
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