Bags and Boards RAGE!
For something as obsessive compulsive as comic book collecting, why are there about a thousand combinations of bag and board sizes? Sometimes the boards fit nice and snug which keeps the comic from touching the bottom of the bag, and other times they're all sloppy and the bottom of the comic goes to the bottom of the bag risking corner damage. Sometimes the board sticks a couple milimetres above the bag, so when I tape it shut everything works perfectly, and other times the bag sticks up above the board so when I tape it shut part of the bag gets folded over and it looks ugly. I actually don't mind that much, it's just a nit-picky issue that only bothers me because I think there would be much tighter standards in use in such an obsessive compulsive medium.
How do you guys store your collection? I'm at around 600 comics, and 100 trades and hardcovers. I have a shelf for the trades and hardcovers, which is organized alphabetically with hard and soft covers mixed together. At some point, when I have substantially more, I'll probably seperate hardcovers from paperbacks. I rarely buy hardcovers so this expansion is a long way off. My comics are bagged and boarded into long boxes, organized alphabetically, then by issue number. Pretty standard stuff I'm guessing.
Are there any tips that I should use early on to prevent massive headaches and reorganization later on when my collection grows larger? I would have substantially more, but my collection from years ago shrunk because I gave a bunch away, and I lost some in a move.
I'm on about 200 singles at the moment, of which about half are bagged and boarded, I really need to buy some and get the rest protected. I store mine in comic long-boxes with tabs between titles, and then in issue order within the tabs. Spinoffs and one shots go at the back of the main series with a slightly different tab to distinguish them.
My trades are organised by title but not alphabetically, I have X Men at the beginning, in chronological order, with different teams seperated out and kept together. My Sandman trades are next, followed by Nemesis the Warlock, then Cerebus, so as you can see, no rhyme or reason there! I don't have enough for it to be a problem yet though, but I can see the time coming where I will need to rethink.
I use a database program to track my collection, which is why I mostly stick to alphabetic order. That way, as I look down the database list, my physical collection is in the same order, which makes looking up issues faster. If I take issue with the alphabetical order, I can manually override the placement in the database so that it will make more sense in the physical collection, your system of one shots following the running series is a good example of where I'd make a similar change.
As for bagging and boarding, the reason I do it is to stay organized and to keep the pages from ripping apart. Comics aren't really a good investment. When you look at modern age, most stuff from 10-20 years ago is barely worth cover price now, let alone had an appreciation in value. I'm more worried about wanting to re-read a book in a year or two, and not being able to find it, or it falling apart and being too crappy to read.