Around 1986, I visited my sister in Bruxelles. One evening, we visited a young man who was a critic, and who specialiized in bandes dessinées, comics. His rundown nineteenth century student apartment was lined, floor to ceiling, in hard-bound albums, the large format 64-page books that are standard for ‘serious’ Euro-comics. They were all in French, and we were there to drink and argue politics and music, so I didn’t really get a crack at them.

Those old nineteenth-century rooms tend to have high ceilings. So I’m guessing he must have had about sixty-four linear feet of wall, multiplied by six sixteen-inch shelves. call it 3600 linear feet, each quarter-inch a bound book of the post-war European effusion of comics. 14,400 titles.

Occasionally, when my squarebound comics were out and accessible, someone would remark upon them. The clearest recollection I have of these from was a guy who had tagged along into the space with some pals. He was bored as we discussed whatever it was they were there to talk about but i noticed him bending down to the comics shelf and becoming engrossed.

As they left, he turned to me and gestured, saying, “dude, that is the comics collection of a dream.”

Having actually seen something that put my six linear feet of albums into perspective, I demurred.