Thursday, June 15, 2017

Build your own miniature comic book spinner rack!

I do a craft project here maybe once or twice a year, and usually my Wife suggests getting a 3D printer and knocking it out in plastic instead of glue and backer boards. This time, she suggested just buying the damn thing instead of building it: a miniature comics spinner rack! Best of all: it's mildly functional! (I think I'm often described as such...)

Nerdist mentioned this, which I don't think has come out yet, and I don't know if it's going to be that price either. Maybe? DC Comics Miniature Comic Tiles Collection, which looks neat, but is 13 inches tall. That'd be closer to 1:6 scale, roughly; and Marvel Legends (and DC Multiverse, and a bunch of other stuff) is in a ballpark 1:12 scale. So, we have to do it ourselves!

Here's a scan of the backer board and some issues: for some reason, I had a scaled-down scan of 2011's My Greatest Adventure #1. That ended up being my template for the size. Then, I'd look up comic covers (and a few back covers) and paste them over that. I did waaaaay more than I needed to. So should you!

Cut out the backing board pieces. (NOTE: The last one I did, felt just a smidge wide, you might try shaving a centimeter or two off there.) Next, you'll need 28 paperclips: placing them on the lines, then bending them at a 90-degree angle. (The above one didn't come out as I wanted, but you can see how the paperclips are bent.) I had a sheet of foam from something the Wife ordered off Amazon, and I like to reuse that stuff: I cut a little piece for the middle, then hot-glued it and the four sides together. Once dry, you can put all the comics you want in the racks: I recommend at least two, but you could probably get three depending on how stiff the paperclip is.

On the bottom of the above scan, you can see two of the "Comics for All Ages/Hey!! Kids Comics" pieces: mount those on a piece of backing board, then take a kebab skewer and poke it through the foam. My base is just a couple of Powerade lids; you can do better than that! Still, while it won't spin like a real one would; doing it this way, the comics are removable, and you can change up the display!

We've got two unfinished ones to the left, have to finish up there.

Ah, I have a ton of fond memories of a very specific spinner rack: my hometown grocery store had one, that I would park myself in front of while my mom did the week's grocery shopping. There's a few books in the scan above I know I got there: Star Wars Annual #1 and ROM #25, for sure. Later, I started getting most of my books at a Circle K that I could badger the staff until they put the books out on Wednesdays. When I graduated, by then comics were being phased out of grocery stores, and I saw my old rack out behind the store. I considered stealing it, but I didn't know if it was free to take or not; and to this day I regret not taking it. (I at least should've asked!) Those racks are somewhat rare now, although you could probably find a non-vintage one...which would kind of defeat the purpose!

Now, if you wanted the advanced class; you could look up all the books that were on the racks during a specific month and create a more historically accurate version. An easy one to start with would be Marvel's 25th Anniversary covers, cover dated November 1986. I also thought a full rack of comics homaging Kevin Maguire's Justice League #1 could be doable, with a bit more digging. Which I did!

Which led to the homage cover from the TV show Fringe, an alternate universe's cover with Jonah Hex in Guy Gardner's spot! The Maguire inspired covers before, while most of them probably never hit a spinner rack, I think all were actual comics you could buy! Or with some tweaking, you could do a full rack of homage covers, books that never were.

I saw my sister this weekend, and she does a bit of antiquing: I asked her to keep an eye out for a spinner rack for me, but not to go nuts. Maybe someday...


SallyP said...

This is... sheer genius. And educational!

Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

You know maybe, just maybe, you SHOULD listen to the wife and get a 3-D printer. Otherwise this is pure magic already. Thx for sharing buddy.