MARTHA THOMASES: Overrun By Comic Books!
It’s that time of year when my comics threaten to take over the apartment. As someone with a serious weekly habit (and no basement), there inevitably comes that moment when there is no more available shelf space. Or table space. Or floor space.
Back in the olden days, I didn’t want to get rid of my comics. Well, at least not all of them. When the stacks got high, I’d go through them, taking out the issues I thought I’d want to read again. I put those issues into long boxes (although not with bags and boards), and sent them away to storage. Then I would donate the remaining comics to the block association sidewalk sale. I felt great watching neighborhood kids ravage the boxes, looking for a something that was clutter to me but a treasure to them.
Once the trade paperback made its entry into the marketplace, I no longer felt it necessary to save my back issues. Almost everything I’d want to re-read would be collected at some point. This saved me a lot of time when it the sidewalk sale rolled around.
And then they changed the calendar, and the block association is much less convenient. I had to find another way to get rid of my stacks.
Luckily (<-sarcasm), we’re in the middle of a horrible recession. In my part of the country, there are all sorts of people selling stuff on the sidewalk. This being New York City, the center (but not the entirety) of the publishing industry, a lot of people sell books. Not only is there a market for books, but selling them on the street is protected by the First Amendment.
So, just as primitive man did before the invention of Ebay, there are tribes of people who look for reading material to sell. I found a lovely man, less than half a mile away, who has a table set up just outside Urban Outfitters (a chain I boycott because the founder donates to Rick Santorum), and he agreed to take my year’s worth of back issues.
I suppose I could just take my old comics down to the trash and let them be part of recycling. However, since I know most of my neighbors, and their kids, I worry that a child might get hold of a comic that is less than appropriate. I’m not a prude about sex, or language, or even necessarily violence, but I don’t want that sweet eight-year old in 5-C to be traumatized by an issue of Animal Man.
It might turn her off comics forever.
Instead, this is a win/win situation. I have a cleaner apartment, and the nice man in front of Urban Outfitters gets fresh merchandise. I feel like one of those job creators that the GOP are always praising.
I wonder what’s actually in my storage boxes. Perhaps, someday, I’ll have the space to unpack them.
SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman