My first comic binds
I apologise in advance for the lengthy post, but I’m all excitable and want to share. Plus, when I was researching, seeing what other people had done definitely helped me out, and hopefully seeing what I did wrong at first etc. might help some other people out too.
Step 1: Collecting the comics
As you’d expect, this was the most time-consuming, expensive part of the whole affair.
The Irredeemable Ant-Man was actually pretty cheap overall – I don’t think I can have paid even cover price for the whole affair.
That contrasts with X-23 for which I paid up to £10 for some of the earlier issues before I started collecting (I even bought #1 twice due to a stupid error on my part, meaning overall it cost me almost £20). I also realised when I was preparing these for binding that I didn’t actually own the Daken crossover issues and had to buy them pretty sharpish.
The real bugger, financially, though, was Spider-Island. There was just so damned much of it. I got most of it as it came out from my LCS but had to track down a couple of odd issues here and there in the end.
Step 2: Arranging the comics
For The Irredeemable Ant-Man this was as simple as putting them in numerical order, and X-23 only needed two issues of Daken inserted for the Collision storyline (although I reread it to check that Wolverine issues weren’t needed for the first arc or anything), but Spider-Island was a nightmare to organise. I ended up sticking reasonably closely to this list but with some variations (partly due to personal preferences for story flow and partly because books couldn’t be physically broken up where that list said at times). I also realised that I was missing a copy of Herc #8, so hastily and panickedly ordered it in the rush to get stuff ready for sending to the binders, and then half an hour later realised that I did, in fact, have it, and had just put it in the wrong place. Guess I have a spare copy now, then. The paperclip method of showing what needed to be separated from what was effective, but traumatising. I was irrationally worried about deformation to the books caused by this.
Luckily I got to remove it all when I found out, the next day, that the binding method that allows you to chop and change also allows you to hide about 5mm of each page, which I’d rather avoid, so I put them all in an issue-by-issue order. It felt like a bit of a waste of the 4-6 hours I spent the day before, but hey, I was too bouyed up by the tremendous excitement to be put off for long.
For the record, for people considering this, I’d definitely recommend Smyth sewing the comics. It looks great and you preserve the whole page without any of the ungainly leaps in spreads etc. that would otherwise occur.
Step 3: Bundling up the comics
I just put the now rearranged comics into big old piles in the order I wanted them, with 3 comics to a bag/board to save on weight & postage. It all turned out OK I had to include a few more than I’d planned because now that I wasn’t splitting up comics into sections, I had to have every Spider-Island prelude issue, and then I realised that some had stories which overlapped with others, and it was all very traumatic as I’m sure you can imagine. Luckily #658 provided a good firm jumping on point and was reasonably close to the start anyway. I also wrote a brief letter describing the preferred binding order and spine decorations etc.
Step 4: Shipping the comics
Again, a fairly simple (if not entirely cheap) step. I had to pay a little extra when I realised that I had omitted a Free Comic Book Day issue which I couldn’t think of anywhere better to put in future binds (oh yes, I’m already thinking about what I’m going to do next – I think I’ve got the bug).
Step 5: The contents pages
I initially planned to ask a friend with more artistic talent to write these up, but when that fell through I just made my own & I don’t think they look too bad.
Step 6-8: Waiting
OK, it didn’t really take that long. Hollingworth-Moss(the binders I used and will be going back to) are fantastic, they turned it round really quickly (especially considering I slowed them up with a little faffing in the middle), but I was excited enough that it felt like it had taken a lot longer.
Step 9: OH YES, THEY’RE HERE
Well, OK, they arrived when I wasn’t in, leading to a 13 mile round trip on a bike to collect whatever mysterious parcel had arrived, and a couple of near-accidents as I cycled clumsily home, occasionally stacking it because the box I was holding with one hand got wedged between my leg and the handlebars or something.
But when I did get them home, the unboxing began:
And they were beautiful.
This is inside the Irredeemable Ant-Man bind
The contents page and my favourite spread in the X-23 bind
A random page from within the Spidey bind
And here are my babies, all settled into my shelves