Ikea Comic Book Photo Frame Hack

For a while now I have been wanting to find a way to show off my comic book collection in my office. I had done a lot of searching online for comic book picture frames and have been constantly turned off by the price of them. I have always been turned off by the price of photo frames, but that is a rant for another blog post.

I recently found a safe alternative to expensive comic book photo frames thanks to $1.99 photo frame from Ikea and I want to share my solution with you.

Comic Book Safety

Before I started searching for comic book photo frames I did some research regarding how safe it is to present your comic books out in the open. I was personally worried about UV fading as a result of having the a comic books exposed to light.

I found the answer to my concerns over at the website Frame It Again Sam.

There is a myth about UV protection implying that mysterious UV rays exist in all light and need to be filtered out. The truth is that there is no UV light inside your house unless you have fluorescent bulbs without a UV shield. And that should be a worry for you, not your comics. Remember that UV causes sun burns and skin cancer, and you are protected from UV rays in your home and so are your comics.

That being said, Mylar-D Bags have substantial UV-Protection built-in. The reason I use Mylar bags with the frames, however is not so much for their UV protection, but for their preservation qualities, incredible clarity and their longevity.

UV Rays are line-of-sight from the sun (direct sunlight). Not just any light as seems to be the myth. It has to be a straight line from the sun to your comics to have any UV rays in it. Even with UV protection you should still avoid putting your comics in the path of direct sunlight because infrared, another component of direct sunlight, is harmful to the inks in comics. Humidity, changes in temperature and exposure to fresh oxygen are the dangers you should worry about for your collection. Avoid hanging near doors and windows and under bright lights or rooms. And keep comics out of the path of DIRECT sunlight with or without UV protection!

Comic Book Frames

With my worries about my comic books fading gone I proceeded to search for comic book frames to present my comics in.

A simple google search will result in a lot of options for comic book collectors. A lot of the comic book frames I found that I liked where custom build-to-order. These frames where built with care. I was turned off by the price of these frames from the get go. They would be an option for me if I only had a comic book or two I wanted to hang up. The reality is that I have several comic books I want to hang up. I want to be able to pick out my comics that look great and hang them in my office. That means hanging more than two comic books up.

Ikea Photo Frame

During a trip to Ikea in Portland I found they where selling $1.99 black photo frames that would be perfect for displaying my comics in. I bought several of these frames and brought them back with me to Alaska.

To complete this project I also need to purchase a few other materials. Black Cardstock Paper and picture hooks. Below is a list of all the materials I had to pick up to display my comic books.

Materials

Steps For Displaying Comics Using An IKEA Photo Frame

Step 1. Flipping the photo frame over list the 6 black metal tabs so you can remove the back from the Ikea Photo Frame.

Step 2. Gently push out the hanger loop tap on the photo frame backing.

Step 3. Holding the back photo frame backing down on a flat surface wiggle the diagonal stand pice until it can be pulled free from the backing. If you are worried about doing to much damage to the backing I also found scissors to be helpful. (Removing the stand allows the photo frame to lay flat against the wall when hung.)

Step 4. Remove the paper from behind the plastic window of the photo frame. You wont be needing it.

 

Step 5. Remove the Plastic plexiglass like window from the photo frame and remove the plastic wrap coating.

Each side of the plexiglass is covered with a thin sheet of plastic wrap like coating. You can remove it by rubbing your finger gently across the edge of the plexiglass till you can pull off the plastic wrap.

Step 6. Place the plexiglass window back in the photo frame keeping the photo frame face down.

Step 7. Place a bagged and boarded comic book of your choice face down in the photo frame so it is even and level.

Step 8. Take a sheet of Black Cardstock Paper and place it on top of the comic book.

Step 9. Put the photo frame backing back on top of the Black Card stock and press down on the 6 black metal tabs to secure the backing in place.

Step 10. Install a picture hook on the wall where you would like to hang your comic book.

Step 11. Hang your comic book using the hanger loop tap on the back of the Ikea photo frame and you are done.

Conclusion

I currently have 19 of these Ikea photo frames hanging in my office and they look pretty great. It is so nice to be able to look up from my computer and see the wonderful art that now surrounds me.

The Ikea frames are not flawless, but what do you want from a Photo frame that cost less an two bucks? Besides, people who visit me in my office are to busy admiring the comics to care about the frames.

[UPDATE: 10.23.2011]

Hamp Freeman contacted me to say he liked my solution for framing comic books. He even e-mailed me some photos. [Link to Post]

[UPDATE: 10.24.2011]

Anthony James contacted me to show off his comic books using the IKEA Frame hack [Link to Post]

[UPDATE: 5.2.2012]

I have seen that some people are using the black IKEA frames to display their comics, but they are doing so without including the white backing board that most comic book collectors use. This is producing a cleaner look when displaying your comics. I have not don’t it (yet), But I just wanted people to know about that option.

[UPDATE: 6.8.2012]

The Brilliantly Easy blog has managed to pull off the same kind of frame hack I have going on, but by doing it with dollar frames. The blog poster found a company that will ship you the frames! Something IKEA doesn’t do. Check out the dollar comic book frame post called: Comic Book Frame.

[UPDATE: 7.18.2012]

Paul contacted me from Australia to show off his framed collection: Comics Framed In Australia

[UPDATE: 7.25.2012]

Mat showing off his Green Lantern collection and explains how to hang comics on cinder block wall: Framed Green Lantern Comics

[UPDATE: 8.16.2012]

Kiley showing off is books on his wall in Chicago: Comic Book Wall In Chicago

[UPDATE: 10.31.2012]

Russell showing off his New York Comic Con Framed Comics

[UPDATE: 11.5.2012]

Adam Darvish showing off his Framed Avengers Vs. X-Men

[UPDATE: 04.29.2013]

Casey’s Framed Comics In Kenosha, Wisconsin

PAX Prime 2010 – Day 2

Waking up and pulling myself out of bed I was feeling like I had been at PAX a week already. I could not figure out why I was feeling like this. Maybe it was all the walking around and standing in lines the day before. Maybe eating out so much was catching up to me. Regardless Hannah was smiling and ready to start her day and I was hardly going to disappoint.

In line with Hannah and Lyle

Hannah and I grabbed a quick bite to eat as we made our way back to Benaroya Hall to attend the “Penny Arcade Make a Strip” panel. Lyle joined us in line shortly after we arrived. When the doors to Benaroya Hall finally opened that morning everyone in line poured into the great hall and made their way to the seating area. Once everyone was seated The song “Hustling” by Rick Ross started blasting from speakers all around us as Gabe and Tycho entered the stage to a roaring applause. The two proceeded to create a comic strip for their website right before us all while they worked they also took questions from the audience. It was really funny and very entertaining and something we will do again for sure if we are lucky enough to attend PAX Prime in 2011.

After the “Make a Strip” panel finished we headed over to the Sheraton and got inline for “Acquisitions Incorporated: D&D Live”. This was a longer wait for us but the PAX Enforces did a decent job keeping everyone in line entertained as we waited to take our seats. Everyone in line seemed really nice. People in line where again either talking, Playing on their Nintendo DS’s or playing Zombie Dice. The three of us grabbed some carpet and talked about life, the universe and everything.

The doors eventually did open and we made our way inside and found good seating up close to the action. A large projector screen was center stage so even the people in the back of the room would be able to see the Dungeons & Dragons action going on. Chris Perkins from Wizards of the Coast and the DM of this game was already on stage making the final adjustments to his to props and miniatures.

Eventually everyone did get seated and cameras that would be projecting on to the screen in front of us where correctly setup. Then the players were introduced to great applause. Scott Kurtz as Binwin Bronzebottom, Wil Wheaton as Aeofel (Al), Gabe as Jim DarkMagic of the New Hampshire Darkmagics, and Tycho Omin Dran CEO of Acquisitions Incorporated. The object of this Acquisitions Incorporated Dungeons & Dragons game was to bring Wil Wheaton’s Character Aeofel, back from the dead if possible. It was an awesome game and I laughed pretty hard throughout the whole thing. I am sure that Wizards of the Coast will eventually post an official video/podcast of the game. When they do I will update this post with the link.

After the good time we had at the Acquisitions Incorporated game we all got right back in line for Wil Wheaton’s Awesome Hour that was also taking place in the Sheraton. Wil talk a bit about his life and then left the rest of the hour open to a Q and A session.

Day 2 at PAX was pretty much lines and panels. After Wil Wheaton’s talk the three of us got dinner. Again Lyle headed back home and Hannah and myself proceeded to walk around the open game rooms and look over the shoulders of other gamers till we where ready to head back to the hotel.

Christopher Nolan’s Joker

Heath Ledger as the Joker
Brad Dourif as Luther Lee Boggs

I know this post is coming out of left field, but this is  an idea I have had floating around in my head for a while. In the last Batman movie (Batman: The Dark Knight) the Joker lived. But the actor Heath Ledger past away. Now I highly doubt that the next Batman movie will have the Joker in it. Which is sad because the battle between batman and the joker has always been and on going one. But should they decide to bring  the character back in the next film  think the actor Brad Dourif is the best possible replacement. Brad played a character on the X-files once, named Luther Lee Boggs and I think based this roll proves he is the best replacement for Heath Ledger as the Joker.

That’s just my two cents from left field.

Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

BatmanThe same NPR article that made me what to read “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” also had a link for an older NPR peace on “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”.

Gotham City is plagued with crime and corruption in places high and low, but one man has taken a stand against evil of all forms: the dark avenger known as Batman. But now the Dark Knight is dead. “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” is a captivating and mysterious tale, the likes of which Batman and friends have never experienced before. Delving into the realms of life, death and the afterlife, no stone is left unturned in this exploration of every facet and era of Bruce Wayne’s life. Neil Gaiman, the multiple award-winning author of “Sandman” and “Coraline”, is joined by legendary artist Andy Kubert (“Batman and Son”) for the ultimate Batman story!

The hardcover edition I picked up also came with other Gaiman stories from Secret Origins #36, Secret Origins Special #1, and Batman Black And White #2. I felt that some of these stories where on par, if not better then “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?”. One is a story on Poison Ivy which really lets you see her true side. A side I had never seen before.

Another story focused on the Riddler. I found this one very interesting because the Riddler is a character from the early days of Batman villains like King Tut, Book Worm, and Egg Head. The Riddle still exists today but (at least in my opinion) never really has found a nitch in the comics like the Joker, or Catwomen. In the comic it’s brought up by the Riddler and he comes off as depressed by it. It was just a good a good read.

Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?

SupermanNot long ago I came across an NPR article about a special hardcover edition of “Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

In 1986, DC Comics decided that Superman’s dense 48-year history had grown too confusing for new readers. Worse, his backstory contained elements that seemed slightly twee in light of the tonal sea change that was beginning to take place in comics. It was the year of grim, violent books like Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, which showed readers the superhero genre’s sinister side.
Superman, on the other hand, had over the years featured such sunny conceits as Krypto the superdog, with his tiny red cape.
So DC cleaned house, rebooting the Superman franchise from scratch. Going forward, nothing would remain of what readers had come to know about the Man of Steel. Henceforth, he would be the lone survivor of Krypton — no dog, no cousin Supergirl, no shrunken Kryptonian city in a bottle, peopled by hundreds of thousands of microscopic (though similarly super) people. Gone, too, the Fortress of Solitude. Even archnemesis Lex Luthor would morph from mad scientist into billionaire businessman, trading his skintight purple getup for a crisp bespoke suit.

In 1986, DC Comics decided that Superman’s dense 48-year history had grown too confusing for new readers. Worse, his back story contained elements that seemed slightly twee in light of the tonal sea change that was beginning to take place in comics. It was the year of grim, violent books like Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, which showed readers the superhero genre’s sinister side.

Superman, on the other hand, had over the years featured such sunny conceits as Krypto the superdog, with his tiny red cape.

So DC cleaned house, rebooting the Superman franchise from scratch. Going forward, nothing would remain of what readers had come to know about the Man of Steel. Henceforth, he would be the lone survivor of Krypton — no dog, no cousin Supergirl, no shrunken Kryptonian city in a bottle, peopled by hundreds of thousands of microscopic (though similarly super) people. Gone, too, the Fortress of Solitude. Even archnemesis Lex Luthor would morph from mad scientist into billionaire businessman, trading his skintight purple getup for a crisp bespoke suit.

I also learned that the book was written by Alan Moore, who has written other comics such as the “WATCHMEN“, “V For Vendetta“, and “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen“. When I learned that Alan Moore had written “Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow” I had to pick up. Which I did and read it in one sitting.

I found “Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” to be a very good ending to the original Superman story line and think anyone interested should read it. It really is good and worth the cost. The Deluxe Edition that I picked up also includes a couple of other Superman Comics written by Moore. “Superman: FOR THE MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING” as well as another story between the man of tomorrow and Swampthing.

“Still Me” by: Christopher Reeve

StillMeUSpapPut very simply, “Still Me” is a book written by Christopher Reeve where he writes about his experiences as an actor and about his horseback riding accident which produced his paraplegia and its effects on his life.

I am a fan of Christopher Reeve and what happened to him was just awful. It’s quite interesting to read how he deals with his life after the accident and what his life was like before his horseback riding accident and after.

The book starts out well and good. Bouncing between happier times and what his life was like after the accident. Before you know it he is describing in great detail what happened to him and his horse. The beginning of the book reads a lot like a man who has been though more therapy then any normal person could realistically afford. Halfway through though, you start to really get a sense of who Christopher Reeve was. Almost like halfway through the book he started speaking his mind and was not so influenced by his therapy. The book is also filled with hope that one day thanks to all his hard work and the work of medical scientists a cure for his paralysis will be found within his life time.

Christopher spend a lot of time in this book talking about how he started out in theater. Working as a stage hand, learning as much about the trade as he cold. Eventually Christopher Reeve made his way as an actor. It’s been a real eye opener for me learning about all that goes into a play production. Having close friends heavley involved with the theather I never really thought about all that is needed to put on a play in a theather. But now I feel I have a much better understanding.

My favorite Christopher Reeve movie is “Somewhere in Time“, followed by “Superman“. Both of which are very much worth seeing if you have not.

I remember the day Christopher Reeve passed away.  October 10, 2004. It just seemed so gut wrenching that such a good man, such a positive man, with all the hope he gave people left us. I remember that date well.  I made a little memorial for him on my website quoting the final pages of Superman Comic issu #75, The Death of Superman.

Like weary boxers who have gone the distance, the combatants collide in one last explosive effort.
In the years to come a few witnesses will tell of the power of these final punches… That they could literally feel the shock-waves.
Others will remember the enormous crater that resulted from the sheer force of the blows.
But most will remember this sad day, as the day the proudest, most noble man they ever knew finally fell.
For those who loved him, one would call him husband, one who would be his pal, or those who would call him son, this is the darkest day they could ever imagine.
They raised him to be a hero… To know the value of sacrifice.
To know the value of life.
And for those who served with Superman in the protection of all life, comes the shock of failure.
The weight of being too late to help.
But it will.
For a city to live a man had given his all and more.
But it is to late.
For this is a day, that a Superman Died.

Like weary boxers who have gone the distance, the combatants collide in one last explosive effort.

In the years to come a few witnesses will tell of the power of these final punches… That they could literally feel the shock-waves.

Others will remember the enormous crater that resulted from the sheer force of the blows.

But most will remember this sad day, as the day the proudest, most noble man they ever knew finally fell.

For those who loved him, one would call him husband, one who would be his pal, or those who would call him son, this is the darkest day they could ever imagine.

They raised him to be a hero… To know the value of sacrifice.

To know the value of life.

And for those who served with Superman in the protection of all life, comes the shock of failure.

The weight of being too late to help.

But it will.

For a city to live a man had given his all and more.

But it is to late.

For this is a day, that a Superman Died.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was very difficult to put down once I opened it. I highly recommend it if you where a fan of Christopher Reeve or a fan of theater.