I recently heard from Matt, who shared with me his experience of finding my site and using the direction I provided to display his Green Lantern comic books. Matt also solves an interesting problem when it comes to hanging comics on a concrete wall.
My Wife and I are expecting our first child in October, and let me tell ya, that has a way of getting you motivated to get some projects done that you’ve been putting off. It was a little over a month ago, that while trying to figure out “What am I gonna do with my comics?”, I stumbled across this post: My first thought? “That man is standing in front of a DeLorean, and that man IS NOT ME.” Instantly, jealously and curiosity, not necessarily in equal measures filled my soul, and I read a post that would see me repainting a wall at 3am, finding something that would penetrate cinder blocks, and meticulously positioning and framing some of my favorite Green Lantern covers.
As luck would have it, I live pretty close to the Baltimore IKEA. One Saturday morning my Wife and I drove down so I could check out these $1.99 frames I’d read about. You can’t beat the price, they are decently sturdy for their size and composition, so I filled up my cart, gorged on IKEA hot dogs and frozen yogurt and drove home. My wife managed to find something even better than black construction paper at our local Michael’s, it was Recollections Black Card-stock, it really is more like mat paper, and had a nice texture, slightly matte finish without the “hair” that you see on some construction paper. Less likely to fade over time, etc. I think it was between $4.99 and $6.99. I went home and began picking out the 16 lucky books I would be hanging.
I have a nice finished basement, some call them a man-cave, I like to think of mine as a nerd-haven. My Green Lantern statues, figures and other items were already on display along with some original artwork and prints I’d acquired over the years. The only issue I ever had with my small part of OA was that I had a big, empty cinder block wall that had been painted a very ugly brick red by previous owners. Nothing I could come up with ever looked good on the wall, and I really was going to admit defeat before I got lucky and found Youseph’s post. After getting my books framed, I really hated the way this wall looked. So one night, around 3am (I’m a night shift guy) I decided I was going to repaint the wall to match the room. I pulled out the spare paint and went to work.
Once the wall was painted, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to just tap some nails in and be done in 30 minutes. Another trip out to the local big-box hardware store and I found the perfect solution, OOK Concrete picture hangers, they come with a special masonry nail that will not bend, which allows you to remove the hanger if you make a mistake (Which I did, more than once). They were a bit on the expensive side, considering the cost of the project so far was around 40 bucks total and I needed 6 packs, supposedly there is a 25 pack but I didn’t see one anywhere.
These hangers are fantastic if you want to hang something in any type of masonry, but make sure you have a small sledge hammer. I tried with my regular framing hammer at first, and while possible, would have taken for ever. The brass nails set pretty easily in the masonry, and the extra weight of the small sledge makes it much easier. Also, because these hangers are a more…permanent solution make sure you have a nice level or some other method of marking where you want to place the hangers. While you can remove the hangers once they are in the wall (as long as you have a pry-bar, or determination…I guess?) they may cause some chipping in the immediate area once removed. It was still a time consuming process, but well worth it once completed.
I think my next step may be to get some small floating shelves, similar to this one to place between the hanging books and showcase some statues or figures.
Youseph, your idea was awesome, thanks for documenting the process so well and helping me give these books the love they deserve.
You’re welcome Matt! Thank you for taking the time to write me and letting me share your story with everyone! I am sure your experience is going to help others who want to do the same thing in their homes.
If you have seen my IKEA comic book Photo Frame Hack post and it has inspired you to display your comics, drop me a line and tell me about it. I would love to hear from you.
… And Remember:
In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!!!