I Thought Following Marie Kondo Would Be Liberating. I Didn’t Expect It To Become A New Battleground In My Marriage


Corey Mintz is the author of How to Host a Dinner Party and host of the Taste Buds podcast.

Every superhero has an origin story, and so does every comic-book collection. Mine grew out of a conversation at recess one May afternoon in 1984, when my friend Anooj asked what I was getting for my ninth birthday, which I would celebrate later that week

. Every Saturday, I watched the cartoon Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, waiting for a repeat of my favourite episode, featuring a team of heroes called the X-Men. Anooj informed me that there was a comic that was just about the X-Men and that they also starred in another comic called Secret Wars, which featured the most brilliant idea a nine-year-old could imagine: A magical being makes every superhero fight every villain for no particular reason.

I was hooked.

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From that point on, I went to the comic-book store every week, my collection growing inside a drawer in the bedroom I shared with my brother, later migrating to a closet shelf, then a box designed for comics, which multiplied over the years into 17 boxes holding about 2,500 comics.

Three decades later, I got married.

Whether you divide our opposing tribes along lines of aesthetics (tidy versus sloppy), values (spartan versus packrat) or class (snobs versus slobs), there is no denying the world is divided into neat people and messy people. We don’t change teams. But we do intermarry. And we have to learn to live in peace.

And whether you are Napoleon and Louis XVIII signing the Treaty of Paris (1814), Lucy and Ricky drawing a line down the centre of the apartment (I Love Lucy, Season 1, Episode 8, 1951) or Darkseid and Highfather placing their children in each other’s care to prevent war (New Gods #7, 1972), all of history’s greatest armistices are about division of territory.

So it was with my comic books.

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Corey Mintz lives in a Toronto loft apartment with his wife, Victoria.

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Victoria rests on the couch. Discussions about how to use the shared space – and what to do with Corey's large comic-book collection – took on a growing importance in their marriage.

Victoria and I live in a loft apartment, with one large open space for our kitchen, living room, dining area and gym.

Our bookcase is nothing special. It’s the same collection of IKEA Kallax interlocking units that everyone has – except that thanks to our high ceilings, we’ve got 72 of the cubby-hole cubes. Until recently, my comic books took up 17 of them.

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