I had a pretty amazing 2011 and I hope you did too. I would like to spend this blog post reviewing some of the amazing things that I have gotten to do and experienced over the last three hundred and sixty five days.
I Lost 30 Pounds!
2011 started off with a book, ‘The 4 Hour Body‘. This book had a huge impact on me. Because of this book I have lost thirty pounds and I have kept it off! This is amazing to me because my weight is something I have struggled with my whole life. Now, I don’t feel like I am struggling anymore. I feel like I have it all under control.
I Got Married!
As far as importance goes, my marriage should be the first thing on my list. But I have decided to do my 2011 list in chronological order rather than importance.
In April, I got married to my beautiful wife Hannah, and I can’t think of another person I would rather spend the rest of my life with. After being together for seven years we had an amazing wedding with our family and friends. We can’t thank everyone enough for showing up and supporting us on our special day. But please know we are thankful and grateful for each and every single one of you.
I Wrote My First Book
In 2011, I wrote ‘All That Matters’, my first book. I wrote it and self-published it all in the same year. Its now available on Amazon.com and Barns & Noble. From start to finish creating this book was an amazing process that I have learned so much from. I am eagerly working on my second book which I hope to have out soon.
My Most popular Blog Post
In 2011 I wrote a blog post entitled ‘Ikea Comic Book Photo Frame Hack‘ which has become the most popular post on my blog. Its pretty impressive that something I wrote on how to display comic books cheaply has become the most popular post on my whole blog in less than a year.
2011 was an amazing year with memories I will carry with me forever. I have nothing but great hopes and dreams for 2012 and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Thank you all for taking the time out of your busy days to follow my little blog. I hope you have found it entertaining, if not useful. I wish you all lots of luck and happiness for the new year.
I recently had a chance to meet Scott Snyder at the Midtown Comics in lower Manhattan for the launch of Batman 1. I bought a copy of Batman as well as Swamp Thing and had him sign both. I also bought a copy of American Vampire 1 signed by Scott on Ebay.
After getting home I realized I didn’t want them all sitting in a long box in the closet so I looked up framing solutions online. They had to look nice in order to get my girlfriend to approve hanging them in the hallway, so at first all I searched was Amazon. After giving up because I needed 3 frames which would be very costly, I searched Google and came across your site.
We went to Ikea in Brooklyn (just a short 15 minute drive so I can do this all the time!) and I picked up the frames. One thing your site doesn’t mention is that the store has different colors so I went with a white frame for American Vampire as it’s primarily a white cover. They have other colors as well but the black was the best fit for Batman and Swamp Thing.
One thing I did different was I used white card stock behind the comics to make them almost appear like they are floating. I also used foam mounting tape on the edges of the frame which keeps the flush with the wall. The comics don’t pinch at all in the frames which is great.
Again, thanks for the awesome tip. It saved a lot of money and left me with a nice exhibition in my hallway!
Thanks for writing and sharing your photos Anthony!
I got a great e-mail from Hamp Freeman this last weekend who read my post on IKEA photo frames hack for comic books and decided to drive 3 hours to his nearest IKEA to pickup a set of these photo frames for his own comic book collection. He was kind enough to share with me some great photos of his comic now proudly displayed on his walls. Check out his e-mail to me below.
I’m from Raleigh, North Carolina, where I went to NC State to get a Master’s of Industrial Design. Comics were a minor interest as a kid, but came out even more when I went to the College of Design. I found it really interesting to see how they have affected entertainment and popular media through their design over the years, especially within the past few years. Recently, I fell into some rare comic books (my girlfriend’s father gave me a few of his old comic books when he found out how interested I was in them, and they happen to be some of the earliest issues of The Amazing Spider-Man) and this got me very excited to not only collect these amazing covers, but find a way to show them off. I never wanted to be “that comic book guy” who hides his collection in boxes to keep them safe. I was proud to own these books, and wanted to share their history with those that came by.
I scoured the internet one day, looking up “how to frame comic book covers” and like you, found that most of the products out there are pretty expensive, something a recent college graduate couldn’t afford, especially not in the mass quantity I wanted. I finally came about your blog post (drawn in by the mention of IKEA) and became really excited about the idea of a D.I.Y. IKEA solution that was affordable. I had to drive to Charlotte, NC to get them, but it has made all the difference in the world. I bought 16 while there, and plan on getting another batch soon.
Your solution is incredibly effective. Not only for its affordability, but also because the IKEA frames allow me to quickly change out the covers to show off different collections in the same area. I have a few different sets of collections going right now and I plan on switching out different collections to keep my room’s art always changing. Right now I have three collections going at once. The first are classic issues of my favorite Marvel characters, chosen by their cover designs. The second are homage covers to Spider-Man #1. I really find the concept of “paying tribute” to past covers by recreating the design with updated characters to be very interesting and visually stunning (something that can’t quite be completely understood until you see them all up together). My final set of collections are the “Marvel Zombies Homage Covers paired with their originals”. Basically their is a comic book artist, Arthur Suydam, who created amazingly painted covers for a yearly series “Marvel Zombies” where he took classic covers recreated them to have zombies in them. You can see the Spider-Man#1 zombie counter part in the previously mentioned picture, but also the 2nd picture shows the classic “Spider-Man Wedding” matched its zombie counter part. Suydam’s covers are really interesting and you can find a list of the covers at his wikipedia page.
So that pretty much sums up the whole process. I apologize for getting a bit long winded, but finding your solution really rebooted my interest in comics, and I’ve been incredibly excited to show off everything.
I think it is so great when people like Hamp share stores like this with me. I hope this becomes a thing on the Internet where more and more people take pictures and share their comic book photo frames with me. Feel free to contact me if you have done a project like this. I would like to hear about it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hamp Freeman contacted me to say he liked my solution for framing comic books. He even e-mailed me some photos. [Link to Post]
Anthony James contacted me to show off his comic books using the IKEA Frame hack [Link to Post]
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.
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.