This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet-pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: A system to organize your comics.
Okay, bear with me. A lot of the comic readers I chat with at my LCS fall into one of three categories; those using an app to track their comics, those with an eidetic memory or those who just do the best to remember what they have generally but buy based on a specific want list. I tend to fall into the latter category; I’ve a list of the books I’m hunting on my phone, but when it comes to the books I already have, I’m less prepared. I tend to rely on what isn’t on my list and memory… which is fine when I’m looking at comic runs that I know I’ve finished, but less ideal when I come across a book I’m not sure if I have and am not actively collecting.
So what are my options to help me file and organize my books?
An excel or google doc spreadsheet is one of the simpler and less flashy methods, but also one of the most effective if you’re just listing which issues you do and don’t have. The more comfortable with spreadsheets then the more you’ll be able to customize how much information about each comic you want to put in, but at the end of the day it’s all reliant on what you put in.
Of course there’s comic book collecting apps designed to help you organize your books such as CLZ that for $14.99 a year allows you to track your books with a barcode scanner or the Comic Book Collector’s Database. I can’t honestly give you much information about the apps because I don’t use them (and never have), but they’re an excellent option for those who want a little more of a user experience than a basic list or spreadsheet.
You could also probably pay someone to catalogue your books but why waste the money on that when you can buy more comics?
Ultimately how you track your books is entirely up to you; but if you’re new to the comic collecting and reading community then eventually you’re going to want to track your collection somehow because unless you’re really good at remembering what you have (I’m not) then you’ll probably end up with a couple doubles of books you probably don’t need doubles of (I’m looking at you Wolverine #36).
Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.