Fortress of Solitude or: “The Baby’s Coming, get your sh*t out of this room!”


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In August of last year, my wife was just coming up to the end of her second trimester of pregnancy. I thought that it might be a good time to start putting the baby’s room together – painting the room, decluttering unnesscessary objects in the room, assembling the baby furniture and so forth. I wanted to do it then, rather then waiting until closer to the baby’s due date.  Part of this transformation involved moving all of my comic books (a fairly large collection consisting of about 5 or 6 thousand books) out of that room and relocate them elsewhere.   As our basement is unfinished, and up until that point simply being used for storing boxes and bins and for doing the laundry, I thought that it might be a very viable place to not only relocate my books, but also to set up a sort of “Fortress of Solitude” or man-cave if you will.   As I was bringing things down into the basement, I came across other memorabilia that I had packed away that I hadn’t seen in years – such as toys, posters, and blankets.  I gathered up all of my goodies and proceeded to design my little man-cave. 

The first step in my man-cave design, was to catalogue and organize my comic book collection – something that I hadn’t done in many many years.  This was a monumentous effort that took almost two weeks to complete.  Now I know exactly where my books are located if I want to dig up an old book for a re-read.  Several Christmas’s ago, Val bought me a remarkable giant-size poster of the pivotal DC Comics Maxi-series “Crisis on Infinite Earths”.  It had been rolled up and stuck in a closet for over 5 years.  Now, I finally had the opportunity to mount it and hang it up to view.  It’s a pretty cool poster as it depicts thousands of characters from DC Comic’s 76 year existence – painstakingly drawn by the legendary George Perez and then painted by the brilliantly talented Alex Ross.       In my opinion, it is a must have for any true collector.  Over the years I have also saved many magazine covers that were directly relatable to comic book properties.  Many of which were “Entertainment Weekly” or “Wizard” magazines.  I purchased some cheap document frames from the Dollar Store and decided to frame them.  I think it looks pretty sharp.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am ridiculous fan of the TV show “LOST”.  I set up my glass display case and decided to make a little bit of a shrine to possibly my favorite show of all time.  Being a really vocal fan of something often gets pretty cool at gift giving events.  I received a Light up “LOST” Hatch diorama from my brother-in-law Dean for Christmas one year – my mother bought me the “LOST” board game for my birthday – and Val stuck a couple of figures in my stocking for Christmas one year too.  Add all that with leftover decorations I had kept from the “LOST” finale party we threw when the show ended, and voila~!  I have a neat little shrine to my favorite show.

 

Along with the comic books, I have been collecting the super hero action figures since I was about nine years old as well. I’ve never been someone who collects things for the future value or what they might worth in the future – or essentially as an investment. I collected comics and figures because I liked them, and also because I’m a bit nostalgic. It’s remarkable how many memories we link to our toys. I can recall the direct circumstances that lead to getting each and every one of my figures…
*Green Lantern – Super Powers Collection – 1984: My dad purchased this for me at Canadian Tire one snowy afternoon. I came home from school and he surprised me with it. Little did my dad know that this simple act initiated a 20 some odd year hobby.
*Firestorm – Super Powers Collection – 1985: At 9 years old I walked several miles to a used book store to sell my comics to make some cash. I then walked many miles further to Towers to purchase this figure. Apparently, I hadn’t accounted for sales tax and had to walk many miles home to get an extra dollar. I then walked all the way back to Towers to purchase the figure. When I got home I was so exhausted I fell asleep and didn’t get to open the toy until the next day. Yeah, I admit that I’m a bit sentimental. I decided to hang some of the more powerful characters from the ceiling for a bit of an airborne battle display.  I also have a very old blanket from the early 1970’s that depicts some of DC Comics classic covers from the early days of comics.  This blanket was issued as part of DC’s 35th Anniversary celebrations waaaay back in 1975!

I had a lot of fun putting this room together.  I find it inspirational to look at when I’m working on my own personal artwork.  I look forward to spending time with my daughter showing her all about this crazy hobby of mine – but only after she learns how to take the comics out of the packaging properly!

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