Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oddly Sized Comic Books


In the past year, and in part thanks to some of the review copies I have received since I started writing for The Weekly Crisis, I have come across comic books of different shapes and sizes. Making your comic a different size than all the others is a great way to draw attention to your material, but it does raise another problem: how do you store these comics? Hit the jump to see some of the oddly sized comics in my collection, and how I store them.


To show you the relative size of each of these comics, I have placed them on top of a normal-sized comic (a Green Lantern issue, to be precise) and took a photo. I do apologize for the graininess of the photos, as you all know, comic books are printed on glossy paper, which makes taking photos of them with flash pretty much impossible. The dimensions of the regular sized comic book are: twenty-six centimeters tall by seventeen centimeters wide.

FCBD Free Paper Size

First up, we have the Free Comic Book Day Avengers issue, from 2009 (which  I reviewed here)...


This comic book is almost the same size as a regular one, only missing about one centimeter from the side and two from the top. This one can be stored just like any other comic book, and I keep it in one of the boxes with all the others, so it doesn't present too much of a problem. In case you are wondering, Joe Quesada said in one of his Cup O' Joe columns that it was produced in this size because the printer had leftover paper from another project, so I doubt we'll see any other comic in this same size any time soon.

Curious Case Size

Speaking of promotional material, the next one is an issue of Ultimate Spider-Man that came with the Ultimate Spider-Man video game...


This is the smallest single issue comic I own! It's actually a reprint of another regular issue of Ultimate Spider-Man. It's width is about 5 centimeters smaller than a regular comic book and it's length about 7 and a half centimeters and it is about the size of most manga collections. In this particular situation, storing is not a problem, because it fits inside the case (which is like any other DVD case) where the game came in.

Novelty Novel Size

Next up is a book that was sent to me as a review copy, The Field on the Edge of the Woods (which I reviewed here)...


This is about a halfway point between the two previously mentioned comics. It's width is two and a half centimeters smaller and it's length four and a half centimeters shorter than the regular comic book. It is roughly the size of a paperback novel, although those vary a lot. Luckily, the book is thick enough that it has a spine, so it sits comfortably among other books and collections in one of my bookshelves.


Widescreen Wonder Size

And finally, we have The Stuff of Legend comic books (I reviewed the first issue here, and the second issue here)...


This one is five and a half centimeters shorter but three centimeters wider than a regular comic book! It's pages are square (twenty centimeters on each side). Good luck trying to bag and board this bad boy (I don't, for the most part), and if your long-boxes are not wide enough, it probably won't fit there either. I have some special boxes that are wider and allow me to store this without a problem, but I can see how it can be a problem for people who just keep their comics in piles, or that stick them in thin long-boxes.

Conclusion

I know this is not a complete collection, just the ones I own. I know that for example the 300 series was also released in a "wide screen" format, and so was the collection. Marvel released a couple of years ago a series of annuals that were widescreen too, although the same size as any other regular comic (just printed differently). Indie books like Scott Pilgrim and others also release collections that vary in size and shape. Each poses it's own problems with storage and finding new ways to fit on the shelf or in longboxes. So how about you? Do you own any oddly sized comic books? How do you store them? Let me know in the comment section below.


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21 comments:

ComicsAllTooReal's Chris said...

Odd sizes in comic book are hell to play with. I ended giving some of those books away just because I had nowhere to place them. Those tabloid-sized book by Alex Ross, for example, where beautiful and all that, but there was no box I could put them into. So, I finally got rid of them.

Primewax said...

I just picked up Vol. 1 of 20th Century Boys. Most of the comics I have are standard size, and I store them together. I also have manga, which I store together. This is aboiut halfway between the two. I guess I can store it with those Dark Horse Omnibus trades of Star Wars I have. Lol

Ramon Villalobos said...

There was also that Batman 9 Lives graphic novel that was also printed kinda widescreen. It's been awhile since I read it but I remember it being a little thinner than most comics.

There is a great discussion about format in Eisner/Miller where they talk about how they love working in different format and how printing should have come so far for comics beyond a standard newspaper folded in two but I think because of storage generally the primary comic book buyers these days would reject them if the industry even tried.

Caton said...

This may sound ghetto and it probably is but its worked very good for me. For my issues of Stuff of Legend I used the outer bag that holds the comic bags I buy. For this title in particular the outer bag from the "Comicraft brand Current Size 2mil or 3 mil Comic Bags" was quite a perfect fit indeed.Then I just used golden age board's that I trimmed to fit.There is quite a bit extra flap to fold over, but they are resealable and sturdy.Oh and the extra plastic at the bottom (originally the top) you can easily trim off with scissors.

I have also found these bags good for holding any Golden Age Size comics that have been coming out recently (Cowboy Ninja Viking etc.).Any of the various brands' outer bags have worked for me for these.For me this a easy, affordable and better option then spending 10$ or so on on a 100 GA size bags that I will only need 10 of...

Kelson said...

I've got a couple of indie books that are basically folded 8½x11 size, and a handful of books in various sizes between typical manga and typical American comics. Oddly enough, the first Halo & Sprocket book is full-size, but the second is smaller.

Then there's the Golden-Age Flash "miniature edition" that was apparently given out free, taped to boxes of Wheaties. It's about 6"x8½". Supposedly there aren't any copies with the cover in decent shape, because the cover itself is just another sheet of newsprint...and it's not all that easy to peel tape off of that!

mrpeepants said...

King City is a little wider which surprised me. I recently organized my comic collection and I was surprised to find many comic backings and sleeves just a little too small to fit the comic.

Jeroen said...

Vertical: An amazing little book by the great Mike Allred. http://comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/42/2726_20060122222137_large.jpg

Unfortunately, due to its weird size, mine is now all folded and basically destroyed..:(

Nathan Aaron said...

I just use magazine bags (available at most comic stores. I hate the idea of having to buy 100! But luckily my store, on occasion, will use them as regular shopping bags for some reason; and I've gotten a few that way) for my Stuff of Legend comics. Just fold the magazine bags down in half, works perfect. As for the Avengers issue, I'm sure I recall Joe saying they still had quite a bit of that leftover paper, well, left; so I wouldn't be surprised if we DID indeed see this size again soon. (And the FCBD Wolverine also came in this size.)

Caton said...

yea the King City reprints are golden age just CNV and Viking.

Ivan said...

Being Brazillian, I'm familiar with several different comic bookd sizes. Doesn't bother me much, but it can be a pain sometimes.

Matt Ampersand said...

Thanks to everyone for the input!

That Vertical comic by Mike Alred looks crazy!

Also, how the hell did I (and everyone else) forget to mention Wednesday Comics?

JonesHawkeye said...

Fortunately, my LCS sells golden-age bags w/ boards individually for fifteen cents each. And on new release Wednesdays, if I buy something like Viking or Cowboy Ninja Viking, then I get them free with the comic. I also used the golden-age sized bags & boards for Stuff Of Legend (didn't bother adjusting the height, just left it tall) and Wednesday Comics. Any magazines that I want to keep also usually fit into them as well.

Except for that new Alan Moore magazine, Dodgem Logic. Just got it in the mail from Midtown Comics today and it arrived totally trashed due to its odd size. It's the golden size width, but the damn thing is extra tall. It's about a full two inches or so longer than any bag and board I can find.

Midtown Comics (god bless them and their fantastic customer service) is going to ship me a new copy to replace the trashed one. They are also going to put it in two golden sized bags and boards to protect each opposite end. And I'll probably end up storing it sideways in a longbox instead of standing it up in a magazine box.

Ryan K Lindsay said...

I tied my Wednesday Comics collection together with some old school twine, looks just like a stack of copies of Creepshow being delivered by the Creep off the back of his truck. So, it looks awesome!

Erica said...

For my large comics, usually I just find bags and they go on my bookshelves with the rest of my comics. If I put my comics in boxes, I'd probably have to put the big ones on my bookshelf.

For the small single issues, they go on the shelves. For small tbp -- pocketbooks for Runaways, MouseGuard hardbound -- they go on the ends of shelfs so they don't bend the regular-sized comics.

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