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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member babyblob's Avatar
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    Default The smell of comics

    Okay this may seem odd but does any one here enjoy the smell of older comics? Let me explain. When I was younger I got a lot of trades and graphic novels from a small second hand bookstore. The store was disorganized, the lighting was bad, the owner weird but kind, and it had a musty smell. And I loved it. I spent hours sreaching through the stacks of books. He did have his comics in a separate area. So they were easy to find.

    When I got these trades or single issues from him they had a somewhat musty dusty smell. I don't know why but I enjoyed it. When I got older and read these comics the smell always took me back to that book store and the hours I would spend looking for books and just talking to the owner.

    I love my digital comics. It is much simpler for me to read them as I don't have space for a large collection. But what thing I will always miss is the smell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyblob View Post
    Okay this may seem odd but does any one here enjoy the smell of older comics? Let me explain. When I was younger I got a lot of trades and graphic novels from a small second hand bookstore. The store was disorganized, the lighting was bad, the owner weird but kind, and it had a musty smell. And I loved it. I spent hours sreaching through the stacks of books. He did have his comics in a separate area. So they were easy to find.

    When I got these trades or single issues from him they had a somewhat musty dusty smell. I don't know why but I enjoyed it. When I got older and read these comics the smell always took me back to that book store and the hours I would spend looking for books and just talking to the owner.

    I love my digital comics. It is much simpler for me to read them as I don't have space for a large collection. But what thing I will always miss is the smell.
    Newsprint comics, bought new, had a distinct smell to them that later comics don't have. Not sure I can remember it well enough to describe it--something of a woody fragrance mixed with pharmacy aromas. As these comics aged they took on various odours--maybe owing to where and how they were stored.

    I got a second hand coverless JIMMY OLSEN when I was a kid that had the smell of salt and vinegar chips. It was overpowering. I've bought other old comics since that had the same tangy odour, but not as pungent.

    Then there are the musty comics--that dank smell suggested they were pre-owned by a 420 enthusiast--and a couple of comics I bought were so bad that I had to put them away and never read them--but I've had some comics of my own that took on that smell when I lived in a basement suite, and I've never smoked a splif, but mushrooms would grow on the walls of that apartment.

    And the majority of vintage comics have the dusty paper aroma of a library stack.

    When there used to be new Archives from D.C., I would enjoy ripping off the shrink wrap and inhaling that fresh ink smell from the pages. Although, the ones printed in China had a different bouquet than the ones from North America.
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  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyblob View Post
    Okay this may seem odd but does any one here enjoy the smell of older comics? Let me explain. When I was younger I got a lot of trades and graphic novels from a small second hand bookstore. The store was disorganized, the lighting was bad, the owner weird but kind, and it had a musty smell. And I loved it. I spent hours sreaching through the stacks of books. He did have his comics in a separate area. So they were easy to find.

    When I got these trades or single issues from him they had a somewhat musty dusty smell. I don't know why but I enjoyed it. When I got older and read these comics the smell always took me back to that book store and the hours I would spend looking for books and just talking to the owner.

    I love my digital comics. It is much simpler for me to read them as I don't have space for a large collection. But what thing I will always miss is the smell.
    Well, I think I know what you mean..........................Back when I was a kid I would smell the books which had a certain smell from the paper and ink. I did not smell the comics just to smell them or as a fetish, but because it was noticable to me. That smell seemed to be noticable mostly to comic readers. Non-comic readers never seemed to notice the smell when presented with a book.

    The smell was a unique smell. I do not believe that modern comics have that old-time comic smell.

    I knew kids whose comics smelled MUSTY. No idea where they were stored! Maybe in their basements? Another kid had smelly books that we always had to put down because they smelled like dirty feet! GROSS!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixx9 View Post

    I knew kids whose comics smelled MUSTY. No idea where they were stored! Maybe in their basements? Another kid had smelly books that we always had to put down because they smelled like dirty feet! GROSS!
    Now that seems real weird, unless the poor kid was born with no arms and had to read books by using his/her feet to flip pages.

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mace Dolex View Post
    Now that seems real weird, unless the poor kid was born with no arms and had to read books by using his/her feet to flip pages.
    Well, no....had arms. And legs too.

    There is a commercial for a room deodorizer for a boy/teen whose room smells like feet due to his feet being smelly. It states that "all anyone smells is this"....and then big (smelly) socks appear all over the room. Perhaps that was the case here. Paper has the capacity to take on ambient smells.

  6. #6
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    I love that smell. When I enter my comic room, its just there.

    i once bought a few Uncanny X-Men books that smelled so bad I had to sell them. I don't know what chemical thing happened with it, but it was darn right evil.

  7. #7
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    I once bought a used Batman paperback that had literally a bad smell when I opened its pages, at first I thought it was urine but I didn't see any yellowness on any page (the book was black and white too) but more of a dank vinegary smell. I still have the book to this day and thankfully the smell isn't as strong as before.

  8. #8
    Loony Scott Taylor's Avatar
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    Yes, but I like the smell of new comics equally well. And books, both new and old. And wood, like 2x4s and such. And a forest. There is something to the smell of wood products and raw wood that appeals to me. My Aunt lived by a paper mill, and I loved the smell even though people mostly complained of it.
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  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Phoenixx9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Taylor View Post
    Yes, but I like the smell of new comics equally well. And books, both new and old. And wood, like 2x4s and such. And a forest. There is something to the smell of wood products and raw wood that appeals to me. My Aunt lived by a paper mill, and I loved the smell even though people mostly complained of it.
    I know what you mean about the wood. I find fresh cut wood has basically two smells, one that I do like but also another I do not. Not sure why that is or what causes the difference.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member From The Shadows's Avatar
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    Yes, after I dust them off. And that new comic fresh scent .

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member batnbreakfast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by From The Shadows View Post
    Yes, after I dust them off. And that new comic fresh scent .
    If there's dust on them you're doing it wrong

  12. #12
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixx9 View Post
    Well, no....had arms. And legs too.

    There is a commercial for a room deodorizer for a boy/teen whose room smells like feet due to his feet being smelly. It states that "all anyone smells is this"....and then big (smelly) socks appear all over the room. Perhaps that was the case here. Paper has the capacity to take on ambient smells.
    I would have to think that to be able to smell up his comics that way, you wouldn't have been able to stand being in the same zip code with him.
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  13. #13
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyblob View Post
    Okay this may seem odd but does any one here enjoy the smell of older comics?
    Yes, but the smell I miss from my childhood is a newly-printed ditto at school.
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  14. #14
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    You mean the purple dittos? Those were redolent with schooling.

    I remember comics fresh in the drugstore being dusty, because they came in bundles off of a truck, which I imagine kicked up some dust. Just because the comics were new, didn't mean they hadn't travelled through a myriad of difficulties to reach their destination.
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