The December Mailbag Q&A is Here!

The Mailbag is here! Let’s get into subscriber/patron questions, and thanks once again to everyone who participated, as you did not disappoint, as per usual.

When I was working on Multiversity Comics’ end-of-year wrap-up, I found I was really impressed with the graphic novels for 2020. Narrowing it down to a list of my top ten proved surprisingly difficult, especially since there were so many excellent YA books and translated OGNs. So I’m curious, what were your ten favorites this year? (I know Slaughterhouse-Five will be on the list, because damn that book was good!) – Mark Tweedale

As I noted to Mark on the SKTCHD forums, I’m not going to answer this yet because I’m about to get into my year end stuff, but it is worth noting that I totally agree with him. 2020 has been a remarkable year for comics, but maybe especially in terms of graphic novels. Amongst my 33 current finalists – with a few more books to read – 13 are graphic novels, and I had plenty more as contenders before I really started whittling them down. And that’s with my undoubtedly missing a ton of great books! It’s insane.

Slaughterhouse-Five will definitely be a contender for me, though…

What are your favorite Christmas-themed comics? – Andrew Tan

While there are others, I will highlight my favorite Christmas themed comic ever: Hitman #22. Garth Ennis and John McCrea telling a holiday story that fits only them, in which an irradiated Santa goes on a rampage, requiring Tommy Monaghan and Natt the Hat to kill him for money. The whole thing is told in storybook rhyme, is genuinely a good Christmas story, and is still completely, unabashedly a Hitman story. It’s the best.

Thoughts on the developments of Daredevil #25? – Rasmus Lykke

I’m not going to spoil it here, but I loved it! It makes total sense with the story, so much so that part way through I was like, “OH SNAP I KNOW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN,” the design is fantastic, and more of that character is never a problem. Plus, the final twist? *chefs kiss* Big fan. Chip and Marco! They got it going on! They’re like the Stacy’s Mom of comics, except maybe sexier? Who am I to say.

Other than Hulk #181, do you have any other comic book Holy Grails? – Andrew Tan

Sort of? I want The Avengers #196 for Taskmaster’s first appearance and Strange Tales #89 for Fin Fang Foom’s debut. Those are high up there. But the biggest thing for me is I’m trying to put together all of X-Men/Uncanny X-Men Volume One, so the big ones are X-Men #1 and Giant Size X-Men #1. I have a lot of the other big ones in the lineup, so a lot of it will be found by diving long boxes once the pandemic concludes.

That’s the other thing for me: I don’t really like buying comics online. I prefer to find them. Because I’m insane. So It’s probably going to be a looooong time until I track those down. But I am very patient.

Why is there so little info and resources in comic collection storage and transport? I saw your new setup and I think it’s cool, but why are there no options to store long boxes? Plus the long boxes are very cheap and lend themselves to tipping inside and out. Can’t we create better ways to store our collection or are 90% of comic collectors disorganized? And how does one transport collections when moving long distances?!!! – Raul Rodriguez

I think there might be! Emphasis on think! I just honestly don’t know where to look. I’d wager there are resources and YouTube channels that cover this stuff all the time, but I couldn’t even tell you where to find them. But none of it is obvious to find, and I think it’s for the same reason those long boxes are cheap: there’s no money in it! With no financial reason to exist, there is little info out there for storage and transport, and to keep costs down, long boxes sort of always end up being cheaply made. I will say this, I heard good things about these DrawerBoxes!

How does one transport collections when moving long distances? There’s one simple answer: don’t! I’d avoid it like the plague, because that would a) not be cheap and b) not be fun. No thank you.

I know you’ve mentioned you occasionally purge parts of your collection by holding garage sales to get clear space in your longboxes. But what about your trade paperbacks and hardcovers? How often do you purge your shelves for the sake of space, and how do you determine what to keep? – Andrew Tan

I, unfortunately, very, very, VERY rarely purge trades and hardcovers and, because of that, am getting a little closer to maxing out my bookcases than I should. Part of the problem is the publishers that do send me advance copies in print are ones that publish a lot of books, and sometimes they send me both advance reading copies and the final versions, which I am not going to complain about. But it’s a lot.

How often do I purge? Pretty much never! If I did, it’d be easy to figure out. I have three main bookcases, and basically all the extra stuff on the fourth one – the biggest one – would likely be a contender to go. Most things I have a reason to keep, but eventually decisions will have to be made. Unhappy decisions.

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