Comic Storage


Jun 20, 2001
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I think I'm finally gonna get around to organizing/storing/giving away a lot of my collection. I have something like 8 or 9 longboxes already filled that I haven't touched in years, plus a ton of comic stacks sitting all over my room. I know for sure that I need a storage system that is stackable and slides in and out so I can actually access my comics--otherwise, I'll wind up shoving everything in boxes and then forgetting about it all over again, just as I did with the longboxes I already have. So access is a major concern. That led me to the longboxes with stackable sleeves that wrap around them rather than covers.

As I looked into it further, though, I started seeing a lot of stuff about using standard, metal filing cabinets. That kind of makes a lot of sense to me. They're sturdier than the cardboard longboxes, which a lot of people have mentioned tend to wear down over time. I can throw some homemade dividers into a filing cabinet pretty easily and that'd be a fair chunk of my collection taken care of right there, if I get a 3-drawer cabinet or something.

So my questions to all of you is: Has anyone tried using filing cabinets? How do they measure up to the cardboard filing boxes? Are there other options I haven't thought of that I should consider? Just curious about everyone's experiences and what works best for them, since I really, really don't want to end up having to tear whatever system I decide on down and redo it all later.
I keep most of my collection in a file cabinet at my mom's house. Whenever I travel home for a visit I try and bring back my "best of the recent best" and put them away with some of my full-runs and more valuable comics.

The metal file cabinet I have turned out to be a great investment. Especially considering I got a water-proof one. After I moved out, my mom moved it down to the basement just before a bad storm that flooded some of the basement. My bottom drawer would have been ruined if not for the cabinet. After that, I convinced her to move it to the garage where it's a little safer.

Aside from that, I can keep a pretty large amount of comics in there and organize them in different ways using some dividers I bought. One of the middle drawers has two full runs in it which I have very organized, all bagged and on their sides. Another drawer keeps some of my favorite stories and some shorter runs and is a little less organized. I have some in dividers on their sides, and some as just stacks at the end of the drawer. My top drawer has most of my older and valuable Spider-Man books, and the bottom drawer is random issues with a few small collectibles and some trades in there too.

As of my last visit and deposit, it's clear that I could probably use another cabinet. Especially if I wanted to try and store my entire collection at some point. I could do a better job of organizing them too but I ran out of dividers. But considering that the first one has about 75% of my collection of about 20 years of collecting and 5 years of regular single issue buying, I think it's a great way to organize and protect your comics.
Cool, thanks. The space issue is definitely making it look like a good investment. I'm thinking of getting a lateral filing cabinet with 3 or 4 drawers, which can hold a lot of comics.
I too use something like filing cabinets, but plastic ones. If you buy the long, drawer type for hanging file folders, and have the comics sideways and not up and down, they work great. Plus you can stack them four high and they will never crush. I never had any desire to use the normal cardboard boxes, especially after seeing such boxes ruined in a flood once.

I have 35 long boxes... and it's definitely a storage problem...

I have one 5-drawer metal filing cabnet that I saved from a school before it was demolished. I fit my entire collection in that cabnet and sell stuff when it gets a little too loaded. It actually works wonderfully and I can't believe it took me as long as it did to try it.


1) I don't know if they would all do this but the bottom of the drawer has grooves, so the comics tend to lean toward the center. The drawers are wide enough to fit two rows of comics per drawer so they but up against each other and the sides of the boards (in the bags) can get caught up at times. It doesn't hurt anything but can be annoying when you're flipping through them. It's typically not a problem when you have the thinner boards, but when you have the real wide boards it's annoying I actually went through and trimmed all the wide boards and I don't have that much of a problem now.

2) The drawers can get heavy when loaded; therefore, the whole thing can tip if you open the top drawer and not have the weight evenly distributed. Make sure you have enough weight in the bottom drawers or throughout to act as a counter weight.

5) Now I've not really had an issue with this but something worth mentioning... Grease. The sides of the drawers are obviously lubricated for sliding purposes. It's mostly alright but be sure to look over your drawers to make sure the grease isn't on the inside of the drawer. You don't want greasy bags, trust me.

And those are the only Cons that I can think of. Otherwise, I can't recommend the file cabnets enough. Get a nice one that looks good and someone might let you keep it in the living room or bedroom :)

Mine's maroon... the color, not like the Diamond List complainers :)
Here are some pics... excuse the mess:

I'm sorry, it's actually 4-drawers, not 5. I was mistaken.

And here's an example of what I mean by them meeting in the middle. And look, there's a nice copy of Uncanny X-Force #1. How'd that get there? ;)
(Note: the 'B' is on the bag... a bunch of Half Priced Books had them on there for some reason)

P.S. What are you planning on giving away? Like donate? Sell on ebay?

Just curious. After having had to sell my collection a few years ago, there are gaps. Always looking to fill them but seldom have money :(
Nightmare: 24 longboxes ALL at my ex-wife's house! (Cue psycho music!)
P.S. What are you planning on giving away? Like donate? Sell on ebay?

Just curious. After having had to sell my collection a few years ago, there are gaps. Always looking to fill them but seldom have money :(
Probably gonna give a lot of my stuff to two friends who like comics but haven't really got a lot of their own. I don't actually know what I have--that's part of the problem with not keeping my comics organized--but it's about 12 years' worth. A little over half my full collection. Once they get what they want, I can post a list of what I've got left.

Also, I was looking around online and found some stuff about comics in file cabinets. One of them showed how you can cut foam board into a divider that'll keep the two rows in each drawer nice and neat:
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Hmm, interesting. I can't help but wonder if that would make an annoying squeeky noise as you thumb through the comics.
You can buy some long boxes that are like filing cabinets. I own a single box like that, I wish I had a lot more. It looks just like the regular boxes, but it has a pull-out box that lets you see what's inside without having to unstack all those dang boxes. (It's not easy to get at regular comic shops, though. It would be best to order in bulk online.)
I saw the longbox files, Phaed. I'm a little uneasy about some of the horror stories I've heard, from the constant opening and closing wearing the cardboard down to the cardboard literally just falling apart over time. This is basically gonna house my comics for the foreseeable future, so I want to make sure it's something that'll last a couple decades as well as being easily organizable and holding everything.

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