Farewell, My Comic Book Longboxes (You Kind Of Sucked)

This past weekend, I transferred my six longboxes of comics from white cardboard longboxes to black, plastic ones. This was the one bit of protection I am giving to my comics collection, which is being moved — deep breath — to the basement.

Aside from the years I was in college, I've never lived far from my longboxes. They've always been stored on the same floor as my bedroom, in a closet or side room. It was like that when I was a kid in my parents' house. It's like that now in the condo I own with my wife in Brooklyn.

But these longboxes are an eyesore and an inconvenience in our relatively cramped domicile. Just as importantly, I've stopped buying physical comics. I know almost exclusively buy my comics digitally. So, with my collection no longer expanding… with the threat of more longboxes being needed now absent…I was recently able to step back and decide: OK, I don't need these things in my space anymore.

Let's be clear: I buy comics only to read them. I don't care how much they're worth. So I don't care if my comics are no longer in mint condition because they're going in the basement unbagged and unboarded, protected only by a longbox. I only care that they'll be further out of reach.

But let's also be honest: longboxes suck for those of us who like to read comics. They're no fun to flip through and certainly no fun to unstack as you search around for that one great series you want to re-read. Longboxes have none of the convenience of a bookshelf, which is where I put the comics I most love — the ones I have re-bought in collected form. For years, longboxes have been my comfort but they've actually been as much an obstacle to me reading a beloved old comic as having those comics stacked in the basement would be. Into the basement these boxes will go.

Here's the other thing that's important: I have six longboxes (another seven or so in my parents' hours); more than one full longbox is now duplicated on my iPad. Smartly or stupidly — take your pick — I've re-purchased that many of my own comics online in 99-cent sales, because I've decided that accessing my comics collection on my iPad is way easier than accessing them in my longboxes. The iPad is what I wished my longbox was — and I can fit the iPad in my bag! And in the back of an aeroplane seat! And on my nightstand!

I've recently reminisced about the comic stores I've shopped at. I'll want to always visit a comics shop, probably to buy graphic novels now that I don't buy individual comics issues anymore. But if I never have to see a new longbox again, I'll be delighted. I just hope the ones I've got hold up in the basement.


    What about buying the Menoth book for reference when playing Warmachine?

    I am in your same position just not as many boxes. I have two boxes and a third that I need to buy so I can store the ones from my bookshelf. I will probably keep the ones in graphic novel form (my collection is mostly them) on the bookshelf as I am kinda proud of that :-P

    Now I just get them digitally as It is so much easier. I have even bought the DVDs of several series (Spider-Man, X-Men etc) that went from their beginning to 05. They are on my computer and I just copy them to my tablet. Digital is so much nicer and easier to read as I take the train and a big graphic novel is clumsy.

    I get you man, I get you.

    I have about 11 short boxes of comic books all in a wardrobe still sitting there waiting for me at my parents house. There's also 1 long box and about another unsorted long box worth of comic books in magazine-like boxes on bookshelves I made especially for in wood shop when I was in high school.

    Meanwhile I have a row of top shelf with all my graphic novels at my house. And I'm the same, I wish all my comic collection was on my iPad. I don't have the money to do what you've done though, I've only got a measly small collection of comics on my iPad from recent years release where I haven't been able to get to the local comic book stores.

    The black long boxes looks nice though.

    I can't tear myself away from single issues, but the move to digital is becoming more and more tempting. I don't have a large collection by any means, but a recently furniture shuffle has meant my longboxes have moved from my shelf to my cupboard, which means I don't really see them any more.

    One question I have - the comics I buy from the DC/Marvel/Comixology digital stores live in 'the Cloud'? As in, if I buy them, do I have to store and back them up locally, or can I re-download them at any time?

      You can re-download them anytime. Its pretty handy really, I have them on my galaxy and my ipad. I just wish they would have a way to sync bookmarks.

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