• photographywander

Comic Book Table

Updated: Feb 14, 2021

Giving new life to vintage comic books.

Fwap... fwap... fwap... fwap... that's the sound of comic book after comic book being flipped through until a recognizable hero is uncovered. Each one protected in their clear plastic armor to prevent the unthinkable from happening (ya know, like someone touching it).

These aren't the comics that my brother and I so desperately sought after; we were looking for recognizable heroes for sure, but not the ones protected by plastic. Instead, we dug through the bins upon bins of unwanted and beat up comic books that had seen better days. Most of the heroes that we saw were ones we had never heard of, but occasionally we would come across an Iron Man or Wonder Woman or even a Guardians of the Galaxy and immediately alert each other to the find. The graphics on the front are usually what drew our attention with the bright colors and unique lettering and we began to wonder how we could put these colorful, albeit worn, treasures to better use.

After finding a used white coffee table from IKEA, we knew we had found our canvas. We began rifling through the $1 comics we had collected to see what our spread of heroes looked like and after a few more targeted trips to the store, we were ready to start our project.

First we went through and cut out all of the major characters that we knew absolutely had to be there: Spiderman, Dr. Strange, all of the Avengers, Daredevil, Batman, and so many more. We tried to include notable villains too, like the Joker, Doc Oc, and Thanos. When we were cutting these characters, if the background of the comic was also important or interesting, we kept it intact. We figured we could judge how much room we needed to cover first and then cut it off later.

We continued cutting out any recognizable logos and onomatopoeias (BAM!, ZOINKS, etc) on the covers and then moved on to the insides of the books. Again, we were looking for any of our recognizable characters, this time with funny speech bubbles or actions. Once we had cut everything out, we organized it based on character so we could make sure we spread things out when we were arranging them. For example, we had a lot of Spiderman symbols and characters, which we ended up pairing down, but sorting them out first made us recognize just how many we had.

After the pieces were ready to assemble (get it?), we cut a piece of thin cardboard to the size of the table. Then we placed each cutout where we thought it should generally go to help us look at the overall colors and character spread. More importantly, when this was done, we took a picture to remember where things were supposed to go.

Then the hard part. Any cutout that was sitting on top with nothing else covering it up was taken off & placed into a separate pile to be added last. Then, smaller sections were disassembled to be glued on piece by piece. Within each small section, the glue was rolled onto the cardboard (we used Mod Podge glue from Joann's) and the first layer of cutouts were placed. The glue was then also rolled on top of the pieces to make sure they were flat & sealed. After the first layer of cutouts were placed in each section, the second and third layers were placed in the same fashion. For the edge pieces, each cutout was wrapped around the cardboard & glued onto the underside to ensure a clean look. The glue dried pretty fast, so once all the pieces had been placed, we rolled a final layer of glue to seal everything & make the top uniform.

They sell plexiglass that can be cut to any size at most hardware stores. We purchased some the same size as the table & sanded down the edges to make them more rounded. We placed glue dots along the edge of the cardboard to stick the comic book top to the table. One Glue dot was also placed at each corner & in the middle of the long edges so the plexiglass would sit nicely on the comic surface. The plexiglass is easy to clean & the comic books really show through!

Update after about two years of having this table: the surface has held up beautifully with no issues! I think if I was to do it again I wouldn't use any of the comic titles and instead just use the heroes and symbols, but that's just me.

You could also do this with just one hero or with black & white comics, but we tried to stick with the older colorized ones. I think it would be so cute for a kid's wall or furniture too! Do you love comic books? How else have you thought of repurposing those old treasured ones?

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