There are some things you see on Twitter that make you say...
The person who gives me this reaction all the time is Peter Smart. This guy has one of the most incredibly displayed collections which he shows frequently. I' talking new merch, statues, pops, books etc. Everything this guy shares with the world is fan-freaking-tastic. He also has a large depth of comic knowledge writ-large. I am checking his updates frequently, because I need to see which item I'll be most obsessed with from Peter's Comic Corner.
Who Puts Peter in the Corner?
CBP-Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
PS-I’m a warehouse manager during the day it that’s pretty much just to pay bills, in my free time I help run a comic shop. I am passionate about animals and comics. Some hobbies include kayaking, watching tv, playing board games, anything comics related.
CBP-What brought you to comics?
PS-I started reading trades I bought on amazon as something to do after high school, I was bored one day and decided to go to the closest comic shop to me and the rest is history
CBP-Every time I see a picture of your collection, I am constantly shocked. How long did it take you to collect everything you’ve got?
PS-I bought my first comic about 4 years ago, since then I got a part time job at my shop where I eventually became a big part of running and operating. So until then my collection was limited to maybe 3 statues, no graded books, nothing besides what was available from Diamond. In the past 2 years I’ve accumulated about 85% of what people see in my photos. As hard as that may be to believe! I use most of my time spent at the comic shop as store credit and have been able to amass a huge collection. I’ve slowed down a lot the past few months(not covid related) but because I’ve done a fairly good job catching up on all the years of comics I missed pre February 2016
CBP-Do you have any other passions/obsessions outside of comics?
PS-I’m very passionate about animals! [author's note] I've never seen someone own one, let alone multiple ferrets. But seeing how he gets to interact with all of his animals makes me jealous I can't have one as a pet. (Damn wife and her "allergies")
CBP-You are incredibly knowledgeable about all things comics, have you ever thought about youtube, a blog, or do you prefer Twitter over everything else?
PS-twitter is a perfect medium for myself personally. I am incredibly introverted, perhaps to a fault. I'm not so great at vocalizing what I want to say, on top of that talking to people is extremely hard for me and I would surely clam up. On top of all that I strongly dislike pictures of myself and hearing my own voice, so being on video would be incredibly uncomfortable for me and I just cannot see it happening. [author's note] I get that, but anytime you want to guest write a piece and drop some science on these fools, you are always welcome!
Talkin' Comics and Collecting in the Corner
CBP-What is the first comic you remember purchasing/reading?
PS-I started out buying Batman trades about 5 volumes into new 52 so court of owls was the first book I ever read!
CBP-Do you still own that book? Why/Not?
PS-Yes! On top of the sentimental value it is one of my all time favorite Batman stories, even with many many more I’ve read since to compare that too!
CBP-What character/franchise will you die on a hill defending?
PS-Batman of course is the obvious answer. But the metal men, Lucifer, titans, and the legion of superheroes are my diehard fandoms. The franchise I will defend forever is the Doom Patrol!!
CBP-Is there a popular book/character that you just loathe, you don’t get the hype behind them?
PS-I wouldn’t say I loathe him but I have never been a fan of Guy Gardner
CBP-What are your “grail books/titles?”
PS-in my collection would be the full run of court of owls, death in the family, year one and watchmen. I would love to get my hands on a copy of V for Vendetta.
CBP-Like I noted earlier, you have an impressive collection. Do you mind sharing some of your secrets for finding all of your gems?
PS-I kept my eyes on new releases for starters. Once I got more knowledgeable on comics and the industry I started finding out who to listen to or follow, eventually it became harder to decide what not to get. There’s so much out there it ends up coming down to how much space do you have and how expendable is some (a good chunk?) of your money.
CBP-How do you balance collecting and reading for pleasure?
PS-pleasure always first, if comics become a “job” to me? It looses all its enjoyment. Comics are my escape from reality. So when collecting, I never collect anything that at one point or another didn’t bring me some pleasure. Whether it be supporting a kickstarter, awesome art, meeting a creator at a convention or anything else, I collected it because it brought me some form of joy. I think that’s important and what makes any collection special.
CBP-How did you zero in on exactly what you wanted to start collecting?
PS-for me it started out easy. Batman. Then DC comics as a whole. I’ve branches out into some independent stuff but it’s dwarfed compared to my DC selection
Finally, Talking Community!
CBP-Who are some of your favorite folks to read/follow/etc.
PS-the two followers I’ve been talking to the longest and who I talk with daily are definitely Wes (@wes_greer) and Shaquil (@shaqforDCCOMICS) but as for favorites, I’m really proud of the AMAZING community I’ve submersed myself in and become a vocal corner of, so there’s 20-30 amazing people I’ve met that I’d easily put into my favorites category. [author's note] You can read my interview with Wes now, and Shaquil will be up soon, once I finish tweaking his questions!
CBP-What’s your coolest interaction with a follower?
PS-absolutely the amount of people Shaq has recruited to read the AMAZING Killadelphia by Rodney Barnes! I see him daily promoting this book and I jump in whenever I see it and they’re always fun interactions. It’s made all the better when days or weeks later we get shoutouts that said person picked it up and loved it!
CBP-What piece of advice would you give to someone trying to create their own twitter presence?
PS-I spent 9 years doing not much more than retweeting and reading twitter. If you want to grow, interact with others. The more positively the better, for me there’s nothing simpler than kindness so I try to be a voice of positivity on twitter and so far it seems like people enjoy that!
In the End...
I'd like to thank Peter for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer all of my questions! He's exceptionally kind, knows more than 1000 of us combined, and...if you buy anything from him, it comes with a lifetime supply of bubble wrap! You can clearly see he cares for his collection, he cares for the industry, and most importantly, he cares about the community. Keep being awesome Peter!
The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...