ByGerry Albert, writer at
I Love Lamp! - Blog:

I thought I would take a stab at a contest and talk about my Collection. A few years back, when my wife was just coming up to the end of her second trimester of pregnancy for our little girl, I thought that it might be a good time to start putting the baby’s room together – painting the room, de-cluttering unnecessary 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.

Some of My Comics
Some of My Comics

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 momentous 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, my wife 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 80 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 favourite 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 favourite show.

Along with the comic books, I have been collecting super hero action figures since I was about eight 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. I wrote a "love letter" of sorts to my Super Powers collection that can be read here. This is the prize of my collection. If anything because I'm sentimental and it reminds me of my late father.

*Firestorm – Super Powers Collection – 1985: At 9 years old I initiated a journey of several thousand arduous steps in order to obtain this amazing looking action figure. If you want to know all about that mission, feel free to read about it here.

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! Keeping it company is another blanket depicting the classic Amazing Spider-Man #40 cover.

Other Notables In the Collection Include:

*Star Wars Darth Vader Action Figure Case loaded with about 20 figures and Special Edition Star Wars Princess Leia.

*Several HORROR Themed Prints, 400 or so Horror Movies, and some Horror Action Figure Gift Sets.

*Extensive Walking Dead McFarlane Toys Collection and DC Direct Action Figure Collection of about 100 Figures.

*Complete DICK TRACY Collection and Case from 1990 Movie.

A few months back, I was inspired to create a comic book themed table after looking at some cool designs that other creative folks had posted on Pinterest. I can’t really hang anything up on the walls because…well, they are solid concrete walls with insulation on the outside and nowhere to hang anything up. I had been looking for some fun things to do to spruce up my space where I go for solace and inspiration…my Fortress of Nerditude! After stumbling upon and browsing through some Pinterest and You Tube pages of other creative folks doing similar projects, I decided I wanted to try my hand at this as well. I spent several hours Wednesday Evening of last week looking through my short box of duplicate and banged up comics for images. I picked up my materials I needed – paint brush, Minwax Water-based Polycrylic and a sponge, and I started adhering images to the table. I used both sides of the sponge in order to smooth out any bubbles and to maintain a smooth solid stick to the surface. Here’s what I ended up with:

All-in-all it took about 6 days (Wednesday to Monday), I spend about 28 hours working on this project. I did quite a bit on the weekend evenings and was fortunate enough to have both a holiday Monday and Tuesday off of work to really get in there and put this all together. Aside from getting high from all of the Polycrylic fumes and getting my fingers stuck together (wear gloves kids), I really enjoyed this project and it’s probably one of my favourites that I’ve had the pleasure of working on. I’m always scouring the ‘Cave for other inspired project ideas!!

Well, that's my Nerdcave! I had a lot of fun putting this room together. I spend all my solo leisure time down there, and have recently transformed it further and turned it into a studio where my daughter and I can enjoy Arts & Crafts time together. I find it inspirational to look at when I’m working on my own personal artwork. I love 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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