Holy Comic Books – Look at that Room!

03/03/12    specs+spaces staff  |  contributing writers at specs+spaces

“Doesn’t every child dream of tying a towel around their neck and flying off to save the world?”

Comedy writer/ stand-up comic/ author Torry Martin built his entire office around his love for comic books - and why not? A little superhero stimulation is a pretty empowering force to have around. With huge legions of comic book fans around the world and events like the massive Comic-Con Conference this summer and the upcoming WonderCon March 16-18, comic book culture is proving to be a popular form of entertainment, and with that design is bound to follow.
I spoke with a couple of comic book enthusiasts to find out exactly what the appeal is. Plus, we found some fun pieces you can use to decorate your space with the flair of a superhero!
“Comics books have a way of making that dream feel like a reality,” says Martin, who stated he’s been a comic book enthusiast his whole life, which inspired him to build his entire office around his love for comic characters and stories. That includes a large, L-shaped desk covered with 2000 miniature comic book covers. He and friends made a party out of cutting out the covers and he mounted them to desk himself with a coating of epoxy. He made sure he built in plenty of shelf space for his large collection of books for writing resources and memorabilia of comic book characters that serve as inspiration and cheerful support. In addition, he made use of a leather covered trunk and ottoman for hiding unsightly files and a shredder – so clever Batman would be proud!
He posted an entire how-to on his website.
See photos of his comic book inspired office:
For comic art collector and blogger Jason Versaggi, comic books provide “the escapist joy you get from a great story – we want to believe there could be a place where that is happening.” He understands why people are drawn to the art form. “You have to marvel at what these guys can do….the people working in comics are master storytellers, they have cinematic minds that see the world in sequential panels and many even push past those boundaries.” Versaggi currently commissions comic inspired art on ComicArtFans.com.
As comic book fans follow the ever-twisting storylines and know the characters like they are family, Hollywood figured out long ago that taking characters off the pages and turning them into major films is a hit machine in the making. It only makes sense that the art of comic book illustrations would also make its way into interior design.
If you would like to add a little comic book touch to your space, we found some items that will help "animate" your design:

The “Talk Bulletin Board” by Umbra looks like a comic speaker box. It hangs on the wall for you to write memos or create your own story. Comes with a pen and magnets to post notes.
Artist Suzie Murphy makes 3-D letters covered in vintage comics, which she sells on Etsy. Any letter can be requested and says she likes to customize to tell stories with her art.
Say what? These comic strip speaker boxes are just that -“Speak-ers”! This set of MP3 audio speakers can be plugged into any iPod or computer.

We were really knocked out by Italian designers, CIA International’s DC Comics Furniture pieces – modular wardrobe closets and book cases with comic book scenes and covers featuring the DC Comics Superheroes, which look great paired with the company’s ultra contemporary cubic-style furniture:


Others items we found include a speaker box shelf, a comic strip picture frame and Marvel comic book wallpaper murals. Fans of anime might be inspired by the Hotel Tomo in San Francisco’s Japantown.
So roll up your sleeves, put on your cape and go rescue you your space with a little comic book flair – you just might find you have some super powers to do super design!
Images of Torry Martin's office courtesy of Torry Martin
Image of "Talk Bulletin Board" courtesy of Umbra
Image of 3-D Letters courtesy of Suzie Murphy
Image of "Speak-ers" courtesy of the.
Images of the DC Comics furniture courtesy of CIA International

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