Welcome back to another studio tour, so last time I showed everyone my video library, now it’s time for the book library.
So yes, your eyes do not lie. This is an entire library of all graphic novels. This actually used to be a much smaller collection before I moved into my new house. I used to only have one book shelf and it wasn’t until I got to my new house that I was able to expand. It’s actually always been a life long dream of mine to have a large collection graphic novel reference from all corners of the industry. A deluxe size collection of which I could search and look for nearly anything I wanted and only just this year was it completed.
I should note to everyone that these are only the Graphic Novels in the collection, I actually have many individual comics stashed away in various parts of the room as well. Some of which are in a storage facility, but that’s a story for another time, onto the tour.
So those who know me and read Kalwa and Amber should probably know that my art style is very heavily manga related, so you might be thinking that I have a large collection of manga in my library. Well actually, I don’t really have that large of a manga collection to be honest. It’s not that I dislike reading it, it simply that most manga spans a lengthy number of volumes which take up a great deal of space and it’s quite the weakness for a completionist like myself. So I just don’t like starting manga series if I feel there’s not enough room to finish. Nonetheless I do have quite a couple of manga books, it partially consists of rag tag series such as Anima +, early One Piece, and a few more titles. The only three series I have ever completed are Death Note, Buso Renkin and my crowning achievement Naruto, which stars my favorite manga hero and one of my favorite fictional characters Naruto Uzumaki. I still haven’t finished reading the whole series though I do know how it ultimately ends, I’m just saving the details for when I get there. Collecting the series literally took ten years, mostly off and on again. About two years ago I decided to just rush the rest and did about a six month binge buy on the series. Also sharing the manga shelf are a couple of small Marvel books as well as some Archie Sonic collections. The latter of which were picked up this year. I only have a few select volumes that would fit, and they only go up to a certain point, and since Archie Sonic is now cancelled it is unlikely there will be more books any time soon sadly.
Below the Manga shelf is indy comics, both big companies and smaller ones. Here is where you will find Dark Horse books like Hellboy and the Mask, the latter of which is one of the most underrated Graphic Novels of all time, maybe I’ll do a review someday. As well other comics like Michael Turner’s Fathom, which I bought out of my love for swimming. I’ve read the first book, but still need to read the other two. GI Joe, Transformers and even Godzilla also have some great books in that collection. Also located in there is Spinnerette, a webcomic I enjoy and I actually met the author at a con, bought all is books in one fell swoop.
Then off course we get into a couple of western comics, such as Marvel comics. My real love of comics has always been superheroes with Marvel probably being my favorite. My personal favorite superhero has always been Spider-Man followed by Ghost Rider, but I actually got into other characters through the use of the recent MCU movies. So the Marvel Library has grown from mostly being dedicated to those two heroes to nearly everyone such as the X-Men, Avengers, Thor and more. The other cool thing is given how linked together the entire Marvel Universe is, with various heroes and villains bumping into each other, having these many books is like having access to a universe, tracing a certain characters’ history through other titles. I actually take a lot of my character ideas and plots from the formula of Marvel and other superhero comics. Even though I don’t always do people in tights, I like to see the characters in the story and not just what they look like. I look at both creativity and story structure.
Then located above Marvel is the W.I.T.C.H. comic series from Disney’s Italian branch. It’s finally been rereleased into America and even though it’s more of a girl’s comic I really love it. The characters are very relatable (particularly the protagonist Will Vandom) and the artwork is gorgeous to look at and the sequential story telling is top notch. Take my advice and read it and you’ll see what I’m talking about, it’s like watching a moving cartoon.
Located below the Marvel shelf is a special toy display that I call “the Garage, dedicated to action figures with vehicles, and on a side note above the Marvel library is a collection of figures dedicated to anime and video games. There were actually plenty of cool vehicle toys this year that got added like the Baroness from GI Joe and the Mandalorian Mission Fleet figure with Speeder Bike. Down below the Gargage are some of the individual comics in crates, all related to Spiderman. The first bin is vintage comics from various eras such as the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The second bin the Spider-Man series from 2018 which was the final run of writer Dan Slot after working on the series for nearly a decade. The third crate is Spider-Verse related comics such as Spider-Gwen and other Spider-Verse crossovers, it also has a couple of mini series staring Spider-Man supporting characters like the Prowler.
Finally we come to DC shelf, which was just completed this year. I’ve been a life long fan of Green Lantern and a large fan of Batman too. Both these characters actually held a pretty large presence in my collection even before the big move. Both of them had a large collection of books that came close to rivaling Spider-Man. Green Lantern was always my favorite of the bunch, my personal favorite Green Lantern is Kyle Rayner because I feel he’s like a fictional version of myself if I had a power ring that could convert my creative fantasies into a reality (lol). I especially love the story arcs that writer Geoff Johns wrote with his War of Light trilogy, that was my comic jam in 2011. Upon moving I finally invested in the long awaited Teen Titans series that I had always wanted but didn’t have room for at my old house. Then I decided to pick up a few Justice League books. Then after that I had enough room for one more series, and I wanted to invest in a single character not a team. The Flash had actually been a character I kinda liked by never really invested in, and I kinda thought reading about him would be kinda cool. So I started myself a Flash collection and I do love the character.
Directly under that is the master collection shelve which features art books from artist like Alex Ross, as well as super archives of the early Spider-Man books and the Mirage Studios Ninja Turtles. The latter of which is a major inspiration to me given the background of where and how it came to be. I actually have the first book signed by Kevin Eastman who I met in Phoenix Arizona, if I ever meet Peter Laird I’ll have him sign that book too and have them both. This shelve is the most rarely accessed as these books can be quite heavy and require some effort to get out.
And finally you might’ve notice my toys all over the place on the shelf, but I’ll save that story for another day. See you all then.