Beauology 101: Old As Dirt: The Long Box Legacy Of Beau Smith

 “I Like My Long Boxes A Certain Way!”—Beau Smith


“I Like My Long Boxes A Certain Way!”—Beau Smith


by Beau Smith

I find going through long boxes at comic book stores and conventions very relaxing. Sure, sometimes there are other folks beside you waiting for you to get through with the box you’re looking through, and you can tell they are looking more at the books you’re looking through, rather than the one they are attending…just because they think…FEAR…that you’re gonna find a book that they have been looking for, or a surprise that no one thought there would be. It’s a natural feeling. I’ve felt it myself at times. Lucky for me, I’m as old as dirt and have most of the key books that I’ve always wanted. Most were bought new off the spinner racks in the ‘60s. (See, told ya, Old A Dirt!)

But, I find looking through newer books in a long box just as relaxing. I will admit, I’m not as up to date on the last decade of comic books as I should be (according to others), but my tastes and habits have changed.

I research what I’m going to buy in new books these days, after all, they ain’t as cheap as they once were. (Another OAD *Old As Dirt moment) I also rely on the staff at my local comic book shop to steer me into books that I may possibly enjoy. They take the time to know what I like and are really good at pushing my horizons without going too far. That’s the sign of a great staff.

I’ve gotta be honest: I don’t waste a lot of my time on boxes full of ‘90s comics for the simple reason that I was on the comp list of just about every comic book publisher during that time and I got them all free, and still have a storage bin full of them. Don’t need them. I do scour through them looking for books that I’ve written. You can never have enough copies of your own books to give to others and make them cult members.

Beau is preparing to dive in.

Beau is preparing to dive in.


Going through long boxes is a treasure hunt. I find the same feeling there as I did back in the day going through the boxes at the local record stores and finding LPs that I was looking for. Hard to believe that in the ‘70’s LPs sold new for what the cover price of a comic book is today. (OAD)

One of the burrs under my saddle when going through a long box is when someone wants to start up a conversation. It should be a silent given that when a person is looking through a long box, no talking is allowed. I understand that may seem a bit anti-social, but I’m not much of a multi-tasker and I need to focus on one thing at a time. Besides, the person looking through the box may be on a limited time frame. (OAD)

Do I need the comics to be bagged and boarded? Not really. It’s nice, but it is also a time consumer if I wanna look through the comic to see if it’s intact or if somebody has scribbled all over the insides. Most of the time they haven’t, but a guy like me always has to check. (OAD)

If it’s a good bargain bin box, I usually buy more books as gifts for friends than I do for myself. Always fun to find a certain issue that has a great story or art and pass it along. I like seeing comic books passed on to others.

I do differ from a lot of my friends. Most of mine love the smell of old comic books. I never have. I like as little smell as possible. I don’t hate it, but I prefer not to smell someone else’s past. I have to say, next to Spider-Man or Wolverine, I have one of the best sniffers in the world. I can tell someone what they had for lunch two days ago. It’s a blessing and it’s a curse.

I don’t like the long boxes to be too stuffed or too unstuffed for that matter. I know that sounds pretty picky (OAD), but when you’re looking through a long box, ya like to have the best “Flip Ability” as you skim the top edges of the books.

I like for the books to be sectioned off by their titles and in A to Z order. Doesn’t have to be, but it helps with time. With dime or Four For A Dollar boxes, it’s not a must. I understand the sticking them in the boxes and getting them out there. It used to make me a little nutty when I’d find Tales Of Suspense in the Iron Man section. But then, I was young and full of self-entitled ego and order. Now days I’m happy to wake up on the right side of the dirt. (OAD)

“This DOES NOT Go In The Iron Man Section!!!"

“This DOES NOT Go In The Iron Man Section!!!”


I hope this little talk has enlightened you as to long box etiquette or if you’re a retailer or fellow comic book buyer, the more important rule of “Beau’s Rules For Not Bothering Him When He’s Looking Through Long Boxes.” (OAD)

I hope you have fun looking through your next long box. I hope you’re looking for a comic book that has been a lost treasure, or maybe just a really nice surprise.

Your amigo,

Beau Smith

The Flying Fist Ranch

www.flyingfistranch.com

@BeauSmithRanch on Twitter

 

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  1. Chuck Says:

    Great article! Can’t agree more about the “long box stuffed full” being a pain in the neck. That’s fine while it’s in storage, but in a comics shop or a convention, ya gotta have some room to flip through the comics. I usually pass on by the ones that are packed – too much trouble. (Which would make me lazy and old, I suppose.)

  2. SSJ1970 Says:

    Funny article! It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a comic book show and have dug through long boxes. This certainly brought back memories! Would be interested to hear your thoughts on storing your own comics in long boxes versus short boxes. I used to use long boxes years ago but found that the comics would not sit right and some would always bend so I switched to short boxes. Also they’re much easier to handle/move around. What does everyone think?