Monday, September 14, 2009

Bound for Glory...or...My Nerdiness knows no Bounds...

Book binding is a lost art. Yes, more books are being printed more than ever, but we are relying more and more on electronic media and electronic entertainment on a daily basis. So it brings me great pleasure to combine my love of hardback books and comic books into one realm...

My friend Lucas introduced me to the concept of binding ones comic collection. He has become an amateur pro at it and has been commissioned to do numerous projects for the readers out there. The following pictures are of my very first books to be professionally bound.

The three books I had bound are actually a collection of a few runs of comic books as listed below:

  • Volume 1: Who's Who in the DC Universe: Vol. 1, 1-13.
  • Volume 2: Who's Who in the DC Universe: Vol. 1, 2:26.
  • Volume 3: Who's Who in the DC Universe: '87 Update 1-5;
      • Who's Who in the DC Universe: '88 Update 1-4;
      • Loose Pages From DC Comic '89 Annuals
      • Who's Who in the Legion of Super Heroes 1-7

This two-page spread, for example, was originally taken out of a Swamp Thing Annual. And by taken out, I had cut the pages out of the book, tear apart the previously glued and stapled pages, and rip the cover off of what was probably some coveted comic.

This spread is actually the wrap-around cover of a Who's Who issue that was left whole, flipped, and re-folded as to make single splash page.

I chose to do the Who's Who books because of many reasons. One of my very first comics was a Who's Who. I think I insisted on it because there were a lot of characters in the book. And probably because I was a neurotic child more comfortable with a dictionary and encyclopedia than a Choose-Your-Own Adventure. That very first issue is collected in this book. Also, due to many reasons, Who's Who will more than likely never be collected as a series of books. Attempts have been made to do so, but various royalty agreements makes it difficult to complete.

So why bind comics? There is no real need to do this. Despite what people think, there are two types of people who get consumed in the realm of comics...well really more than two...but two for the sake of generalities. One type is the collector. The collector is a person who gets a book to never read it, the comic is an investment. If you do read the issue, you wear a glove and masks, and take care never to leave a crease. The other type of person is the reader. Their comics are dog-eared and worn. They may be in a box, but that box is beat up. That person has many copies of the same title because they have worn through their favorite issue so many times. They love comics for the story. They don't care about value. Readers get their stories bound. They want to have everything saved so they can read it over and over again.

I have a few other binding projects planned. The next two books will be Who's Who 4 & 5 collecting the loose-leaf edition of the comic released in the early 90s. The next biggie is to bind Green Lantern: Mosaic. I believe this is one of the greatest and most sophisticated DC story-lines of the early 90s by challenging notions of heroics, cultural and racial identity, and narrative. Finally, I am planning a three volume EPIC collection that binds the entire Crisis on Infinite Earths with all tie-in issues, related Monitor Appearances, Red Skys, and loose threads dealt with over the years. I am looking at 100 issues at this point, and that excludes the supplements I plan to add to make the most awesome epic even awesomer!!!

1 comment:

  1. WOW. Absolutely beautiful. What I would give to look at those. (I can bring weed)