Comic Book DrawerBoxes™
Comic boxes that are strong, stackable, and slide open like
a file drawer. They’re quite possibly the most promising
comic storage product since the plastic bag—but are they
tough enough to stand up to the punishment our staff can dish
ComicBase has sometimes been called, “a program for people
who have enough comics to know they have a problem.” And
like so many of our customers, we definitely have a problem
finding ways to store the tens of thousands of comics in our
With shelf space at a premium, most of the library is housed
in traditional comic long boxes. These are then arranged in
huge, but fairly orderly stacks wherever space permits. Unfortunately,
this tends to make filing the hundreds of new comics which come
into the offices each week a real bear of a job, requiring enough
lifting and shuffling of boxes to leave us either groaning in
pain, or more frequently, looking for any available excuse to
put off this chore until the backlog of unfiled comics reaches
Needless to say, we were more than a little interested in the
new Comic Book DrawerBoxes that creator Rich Vincent was demonstrating
at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con (see our photo gallery entry). Basically, a DrawerBox
is a heavy-duty long box which slides into a reinforced “shell”.
This combination allows you to stack boxes up to six boxes high,
while still being able to instantly access any one of the boxes’
contents without needing to break your back rearranging stacks
of heavy comic boxes.
As soon as we realized what we were looking at, we put in an
order for eighty of them. In retrospect, I wish we’d ordered
DrawerBoxes come in three parts: the drawer (akin to a regular
long box), the shell, and two reinforcement pieces (“sleeves”)
which make the already-strong sleeve even more sturdy. The pieces
are formed from 300 lb-test cardboard, itself a great deal more
solid than the material used to make common long boxes. As a
minor downside, all this extra strength comes at the cost of
an extra pound or so of weight, something which is worth keeping
in mind when factoring in shipping charges.
The box itself is ingeniously designed, giving double or even
quad-ply reinforcement to key parts of the box, including the
all-important handle area. Vincent deserves extra credit for
using what would otherwise be scrap areas of the design to form
punch-out title dividers.
One area where the design comes up a tad short, however, is
the setup instructions which, while funny,
aren’t entirely clear when it comes to describing the
low-level origami which is required to properly assemble all
the pieces. Thoughtful folks that we are, however, we’ve
put together our own photo setup guide to show you the necessary
assembly steps. Although the process is necessarily a bit more
complex than with a regular comic box, it’s possible to
assemble boxes in just a minute or two each once you’ve
mastered the technique.
Part of the in-person demo that Rich Vincent gave at Comic-Con
was to jump up on to of an assembled DrawerBox, and ask one
of the people watching to pull out the drawer. The crowd would
then gasp a bit as the drawer easily slid in and out while Vincent
stood atop it, with both he and the box unharmed by the experience.
Now Rich is a pretty light guy, and we very much wondered whether
our team of much-heavier box-luggers would be able to do the
"striding the box" demo ourselves. Sadly, our first
potential box-strider stepped up directly in the middle of the
shell, putting all her weight on the weakest point of the box.
As could be expected, the box began to buckle.
The boxes certainly are strong, but the load-bearing strength
is concentrated along the heavily reinforced edges--not the
flat top surface of the shell pieces. For this reason, how high
you can stack the boxes depends very much on how straight the
stacks are. When a 200-pound staffer climbed atop a box with
his feet placed near the edges, we were indeed able to replicate
With properly aligned stacks, we were indeed able to stack the
boxes six high, fully loaded, and move the drawers of the lower
boxes in and out freely. This means that the bottom boxes were
each able to handle a load of some 240 pounds, properly distributed.
That’s pretty strong.
Once assembled, stacked, and loaded up, the DrawerBoxes performed
admirably. The front handles of the drawers never came close
to binding even after numerous pulls of fully-loaded drawers
(a real problem with conventional boxes). Best of all, they
lived up to their promise of making comic filing far quicker
and easier than with conventional comic boxes.
We set up a test of filing times, measuring the average time
an experienced staffer required to file a random comic in a
box positioned in the midst of a stack of comic boxes. After
filing, the test required that the stack be returned to its
previous condition (including replacing any removed lids).
When the target comic box was positioned second from the top
in a stack of comic boxes, our staffer could file it in an average
of about 32 seconds. When the target comic box was four boxes
from the top, however, it required an average of 1:29 to file
each comic. The DrawerBoxes, however, did not require any box-rearranging
or lid-replacement in order to allow for filing, and as such
averaged just 21 seconds per filed comic, regardless of how
many boxes were on top of the target box.
Since it was in our self-interest to abuse our staff as little
as possible, our informal testing required the staffer to file
only a handful of comics per round. As such the numbers shown
above should be used only as a rough comparative measure. They
also undoubtedly understate the actual filing times of larger
batches, as fatigue would have played more of a role.
Our test also barely scratched the surface of the all-important
“pain and suffering” factor which comes with the
repeated shifting of large numbers of heavy boxes. Even with
a test lasting for less than a half hour, our staffer was willing
to classify the filing of comics in four-down boxes as an "8
out of 10" on the pain and suffering scale. Filing comics
in the DrawerBoxes qualified as only “about a 2”
in the qualitative pain and suffering measure.
All in all, the DrawerBoxes allowed our staffer to file comics
in a fraction of the time using conventional comic boxes. We
were also relieved to see that our staffer seemed far less likely
to turn in a worker’s compensation claim for back strain,
when they were filing comics in the DrawerBoxes.
For the purposes of being able to file and maintain a collection
as large as ours, switching from conventional comic boxes to
DrawerBoxes was an absolute slam dunk.
The Collection Drawer Co
1818 S. Quebec Way, Suite 12-12
Denver, Colorado, 80231-5616
Web Site: http://www.CollectionDrawer.com
The DrawerBoxes retail for $9.00 per box, but to realize the best value for shipping they are offering a 5 unit case for $43.75 plus shipping of $16.50 per case ($21.50 if shipped east of the Mississippi). Shipping discounts may be available for orders of 20 or more to the same location (call for details).