Long-time The Phantom comic collector Kelby Wooldridge has had enough!
Frustrated with the options available to store his prized collection, Kelby has come up with his own solution and has commissioned a prototype. Now he is seeking interest from other phans to see if this is something that he could produce and order on a large scale and share his vision with the Phantom and broader comic collecting community.
As you can see from the initial designs (below), the plan is for a hard cardboard storage box that will sit on the bookshelf like a normal book. It is intended to hold 13 comics plus an annual special. “There will be an area on the front, back and spine to put information or sticker of artwork,” says Kelby, “Each box will have like a frame around the front and back … in different colours. Black, red, green, blue and yellow.”
Buyers will be able to decorate the cover with whatever artwork they choose.
“[The boxes] will fit Phantom, Marvel and DC comics in them. Also later down the track I want to get plastic sleeves and backing boards for the comics. The boxes are deep enough to hold the comics with these.”
Kelby has run the idea past both Frew Publications and King Features Syndicate. “With Frew [and] the recent change of ownership they just have too much already on their plate … and the cost is initially prohibitive [to license them through KFS]”.
Tentative costs will be around $15-$20 each, depending on phan interest (postage not included).
With quite a large minimum order required to start producing these, Kelby is keen to share costs with the wider community and to keep these down as much as possible. “I myself am a collector so this would be helpful to me … postage could be minimised by sending them to one location per state as a bulk order.”
Anyone who would be interested in purchasing these to store their collection, or perhaps even assist with distribution as a state representative, should contact Kelby by email.