Published on January 29th, 2015 | by Ellyssa Kroski
Cataloging Comic Book Collections
I’m a relatively new comic book collector, however I’ve already acquired a few hundred issues through tag sales, comic cons, and other events. One of the challenges that I was running into was keeping track of what exactly I had and what I needed to complete the volumes in my collection. For example, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 was started in 1990 and ran through 1995 for a total of 62 issues. I knew that I had acquired a lot of those issues, but I only discovered after cataloging all of them that I was only missing 5 issues in order to have the complete volume. The application that I used to catalog all of these issues also allowed me to add those issues to a Wish List that I can take with me to future events so that I know exactly what else I need. That application is called StashMyComics.com and is “the leading free comic book and action figures cataloging website”.
StashMyComics enables collectors to catalog unlimited comics, import and export spreadsheets of collections, create wishlists, search across your collection, run sophisticated reports, track the value of your collection, and organize your collection in many ways. Collections or “stashes” can be set to be public or private.
One of the best features that I’ve used is the ability to organize sub-collections of comics using folders or categories. For example, I created a “Guardians of the Galaxy Collection” category into which I’ve organized not just the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 comics, but also all of the other comics in which the Guardians team made guest appearances during that time period of 1990-1995 such as Thor, The New Warriors, The Fantastic Four, and Silver Surfer. Not only can you include comics into folders such as this, but you can then also tag issues with descriptive keywords and add notes.
The reports are another favorite feature of mine as there are so many choices. You can easily run reports which will display 1st appearances of characters, origins, value changes, duplicates, missing covers, unrated issues, and grades. You can also always export your entire collection in spreadsheet (.xls or .csv) format at any time from the front page.
The front page provides a quick glance at your statistics which includes how many comics are in your collection, the newsstand value, what you paid, how much they are worth now, and the value change percentage. You can also click into any of your Categories or folders of sub-collections to see these same statistics displayed at the top.
I used this site in tandem with Comic Vine which is a database of nearly every comic ever published. Comic Vine was really helpful when I was researching alternate appearances of characters and teams as well as identifying questionable issue titles, etc.
Ideas for Libraries
Not only can libraries create a public “stash” that they can share with patrons via their website or social media to spread the word about their comics collection, but libraries may have many patrons with comic book collections who are still using spreadsheets and other cumbersome ways to catalog their own comics collections. A workshop on how to use StashMyComics geared toward those patrons would be extremely helpful.