Ever notice how geeks love to decorate their shelves with geek stuff? We love to put up action figures or statues or other representations of our favorite stuff where everyone can see it. Often times it’s arrayed like a grade school diorama—never located far from its source material (the Batman figure goes next to the Batman books, duh).
Shelf porn collecting, as it is often called, is one of the true milestones of geek culture. You know you’ve reached the next level of geeking out when guests can find little shrines dedicated to your favorite fandoms scattered around your house.
While shelf porn is undeniably geeky, it can also be quite artistic. Fans can spend considerable amounts of time deciding exactly what will go in their displays. Then they must find the items in question, hopefully at an affordable price. Once in hand the item must be carefully set in place, sometimes in the box and other times out of the box and properly posed. If there are multiple parts to the display, then the process repeats itself until the setup is complete—just in time to move on to the next one.
From personal experience, I can tell you that creating the perfect shelf porn display can be quite costly. The comic book store I get my weekly books from clearly has several thousand dollars invested in their displays. Richard’s collection of figures and busts is quite impressive and he has won awards for his displays.
Fortunately, It isn’t necessary to go as far as he does in order to bring a touch of geek to your otherwise mundane furnishings. The vinyl figures from Funko are very affordable at the $10-15 range. Also keep an eye out for sales at your local comic book store. If there is something that you’ve had your eye on for a while, but it’s out of your price range, check during the special sale times. Of course, there is always a geek convention. I’ve found the best deals on Sunday when the show is wrapping up and people don’t want to take stuff back with them.
If you’re looking for ideas on how to set up your display, there are plenty of resources to use. There are several websites and blogs that are solely dedicated to the art of shelf porn, often allowing users to share pictures of their creations for inspiration and critique. Your local comic book store is once again a great place to check out. Most comic books stores recognize that appealing displays will attract more customers and sell more merchandise. You might not be able to replicate their display exactly, but it could spark an idea or two. Finally there is the source material. It’s always fun to recreate a favorite scene, or a scene you’ve always wanted to see. The possibilities are endless.
Even I am not immune to the draw of shelf porn. I have a small, yet rapidly growing army of Funko Pop figures that will one day soon be making their home on my bookcase shelves. Already several shelves on my DVD case have been given up so that my Star Wars Legos have a home. This has also prevented me from having to rebuild the B-Wing for the 15th time (no exaggeration on that number either).
Shelf porn is a way for geeks to show off who they are and what they love. No different than a football fan putting up memorabilia from their favorite team, it is a way for geeks to show solidarity with their favorite fandoms and identify with the characters. As we always say at Therefore I Geek, it’s good to be a geek and it’s better to be a proud geek.