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February 5, 2010

Comic Cave Makeover: The Current Situation

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Written by: Jeff
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Happy Friday, ComicAttackers!

Welcome to the newly-named column Comic Cave Makeover, formerly called Jeff’s Room Column! Thank you to everyone who participated in the poll to name the column. We got a lot of great responses…almost 30 people voted! Twelve of you thought Comic Cave Makeover was a good name, followed by six who liked Design My Danger Room. With this kind of turn-out, I’m positive that this room is going to be awesome!

Before we go any further with more designs, I want to show you what the current situation is. My wife and I moved here a year and four months ago when I took a new job. Like many moves, we had to get over here pretty quickly, so we ended up renting a house while we tried to sell our house in Savannah. Of course, in this market, that took a lot longer than we hoped, so we ended up in this house a lot longer than we expected. However, we planned for this house to be temporary, so we have really treated everything here as if it were temporary.

The house we currently live in is not ideal. The floor plan is just bizarre. It’s supposedly an open floor plan, but in order to get from the kitchen to the dining room, you have to walk through the carpeted living room. This didn’t make sense to us, having three little kids, so we did a room swap, making the dining room the living room, and turning the living room into a half dining room/half “other” space. It’s very awkward and we have never felt comfortable with it.

So let’s start with what I consider “my space.” In the living-room-that’s-really-a-dining room, I have my chair. This is the place I crash when I get home. It is from such chair that almost all my communication takes place. You can see my MacBook, which I use for practically everything. My favorite orange cup is on one table. On the other table, you can see a few new comics I got last week (Cable #23 and Siege #2), and a stack of graphic novels procured from my local library. Other paraphernalia like my video camera, headphones, and iPhone and camera chargers are also located on this table. I read comics, work on my computer, and watch TV here. Very important space.

Next is where I actually keep my comics. Since we’ve been married, my wife has always been cool with my comic collection. She’s never made me move them out into a garage or attic. I have always kept my collection in long boxes in a section of our closet, as you can see here. I have 7 1/2 long boxes, and in the last year since I’ve been here, I’ve collected a least another long box worth of books.

We all have ways we organize our books, and typically, I’m a stickler for keeping them in order. However, since I’ve known this house was temporary, I didn’t bother organizing anything. The 3 boxes on the bottom are various non-X-Men Marvel books, mostly from the ’90s. The top boxes are all X-titles, which is mostly what I collect. However, you can see that my collection is starting to expand to other publishers and titles, with the Madman and Umbrella Academy issues littered on top. Finally, I have a short box that includes the brand new issues from the last month and the titles I am currently collecting. For instance, I collect Uncanny X-Men and have the last chunk of issues in the short box (I think from when Matt Fraction took over the title). When that short box gets really full, I start filing them into the long boxes. However, as you can see, I’ve run out of room in the long boxes, so now I’m just stacking them.

Finally, I have one long shelf of trade paperbacks and graphic novels. I am really enjoying collecting more of these volumes, especially when I missed something and people talk it up. Getting the trade formats are a great way to get caught up. Here again, though, these are not in any particular order (other than “messy”). There are a number of other books on this shelf, many which belong to my wife, who collects Babysitter Club and Betsy-Tacy books.

So now you see what I have to work with and what I’m hoping to include in this new room. I’d also like to see about fitting a desk in this room as well, as I’d like to return to drawing, which I haven’t really done since I don’t have a space for it.

Please keep sending me pictures of your space to give me ideas. I’d love to share those ideas and pics here in the column. Even if you’re not happy with your space, send pics, and maybe this community can help you with some ideas, too.

The next couple of weeks should have lots of movement. We close on the house February 19, so I’m trying to get estimates on flooring and other renovations before then, so we can start quickly after closing.

For now, I’d like to get your thoughts on flooring. Many of you have your spaces in basements, others have them in rooms. Which type of flooring is more conducive to creating a comfortable comic cave (that’s a lot of c-words)? Think about what you’d like to have, and vote on carpet, hardwood/rugs, vinyl, laminate, etc. Of course, I’m on a limited budget here, so that will drive my decision, but I still want to hear your opinions!


Next time: Measuring the new room!

Jeff Jackson



  1. Are you doing the flooring yourself?

  2. Kristin

    Hard wood and rugs, probably. If you’re going to have a lot of shelving and stuff, it’ll be easier to sweep around them than it will be to vacuum. The only problem with that is scuffing from dragging boxes around or something. So…a laminate or tile might be better than wood.

  3. Nah, I’m having the floors done by a professional. I’m no good at handy work.

  4. Capekiller

    Hardwood. Go with a real formal library look. Something sophisticated, but with comics. Great juxtaposition.

  5. ShenValleyInitiative

    I also like the hardwood flooring.

  6. billy

    I would go with Hardwood. If the contractor uses a really good grade of polyurethane like they do on gym floors and such, you wont get marks from everyday use.

  7. Don

    Wood or laminate, easier to clean, and no carpet and fur bits sticking to the comics or in the comic bags… I’d get a rug near the sitting/lounge area, but not the entire room. 2cents 😀

  8. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by stnicksrector: Comic Cave Makeover: The Current Situation–The next chapter in my chronicle of designing a man-cave. http://bit.ly/9SOPHZ

  9. Eli

    I’d go for hardwood with rugs as well, if money permits of course.

  10. I think Hardwood is the most expensive choice there.

    I would avoid the vinyl altogether. Although its probably the most cost efficient, they peel off easy, and if you sliding stuff and moving stuff around, this won’t mix well.

    I would see where you get the better deal, on the hardwood or laminate. Laminate isn’t true like hardwood is, but sometimes can be found at a better cost.

    Also, I wouldn’t rule out carpeting. It will keep the room the most warm. I know it can be a bit more difficult to clean, but if its just you mainly going in and out, it may be better. You can get a thin pyle or ply i cant remember what the term exactly is. It may make it more difficult to move stuff around, but once the initial “moving in” is done, it shouldnt be too hard.

  11. Gary (Hedgeknight)

    Hey Jeff – dude, you and I have similar comic book, closet situations. I’m hoping you find a good solution that will help me out too. 🙂
    If cost is an issue, I’d go for laminate flooring. It’s at least half the expense and not very labor intensive for those putting it in. We have it through much of our house – easy to clean, doesn’t scratch or dent easily, and has a 15-25 year guarantee depending on what brand you get.
    However, if it is within your budget, I’d go hardwood – you can never go wrong there and it lasts forever.
    Good luck man!

  12. Jeff Jackson

    Hardwood is definitely the first choice, however cost will be a major issue. My second choice is carpet, although I really like Don’s suggestion about the fur bits. I hate those things!

  13. I also voted hardwood floor!

  14. […] Last time I showed you all what my current situation has been over the course of the last 10 or so y… It’s time for my comics to come out of the closet, as it were. […]

  15. […] now beginning to think about storage in the room. As you saw in an earlier post, I currently have the standard old long boxes. I am thinking about possibly getting file cabinets. […]

  16. […] thing I didn’t get to write about was the flooring in the cave. A while back, I had asked everyone’s opinion about which type of flooring I should put in the room. The […]

  17. Matt

    Ok I have to pass this on to everyone here. I was looking up Gaming Table designs when I found one called the Sultan, It’s pretty badass. Turns out the company is making another product as well. It’s called the Alexandrea Codex and is based on the old storage shelves they built back in the day. I have to say I think it is an incredible storage solution and I am thinking of building one myself. No doubt this will be an expensive item when they come out but we can all dream right.

    Look at this and tell me you don’t want to make one yourself.


    My suggestion Jeff is to build one of these or something like it. Make it a project on the side building nice storage units that look attractive and show off your collection. Like you said you have a wife that is cool with your comic collection. I am sure she would be happy with one of these since they look nice and most likely she will ask you to build one for her stuff or something like it.

    All it will cost you is a saw, router, wood and some time. Make it a family project and do a little here and there and on weekends. You’ll be done before you know it and have some cool furniture for your comics.

  18. Jeff Jackson

    I’ve seen that site before, Matt, and it is so awesome! However, I’m the least handy or crafty person in the world, so I could never build anything like that.

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