From Coca-Cola and Chicken Boxes - and the Young Steve Geppi

From Coca-Cola and Chicken Boxes – and the Young Steve Geppi

Posted by January 12, 2019 Comment

We’ve been sharing the memories of Bill Schanes, former VP of Diamond Comic Distributors, including the creation of the modern comic book backing board from shrimp packaging but it seems that his former boss and still-owner and President of Diamond, Steve Geppi want to join in.

He writes ‘The good old days! Using Coca Cola boxes to store and display back issue comic books!’

Of course, Schanes had to go one better.

Steve Higgins: Who was it that used to use ‘chicken boxes’?

Bill Schanes: That would be me – as back in San Diego, at that time, the local box company was making boxes for chickens, which were the same size that fit comic books.

Steve Geppi: Chicken boxes were not a good look either, Bill!

Bill Schanes: true, but they were really inexpensive at that time (at least I’m not wearing them

Steve Geppi LOL! Were they cheaper than Coke boxes?

Bill Schanes: I seem to recall they were $.18 per box new (no chicken parts or grease)

Gary Colabuono: Rozanski said he used chicken boxes. I used them too back in the 60s – but that was to store my collection – not retail.

Cliff Biggers: I used chicken boxes to store my collection in the 60s, too! And here I thought I was the only one!

Bill Schanes: What’s amazing about the chicken boxes we used at Pacific Comics, is they were the perfect size to lay comic books flat, or to sell our of sitting up. Only held about 75-100 comic books, so the boxes we used were very small, but perfect for comic books (except golden age comics)

Robert Beerbohm Beginning June 17 18 1967 age 14 took 8 Campbell Soup factory chicken boxes to my first show Houston con on a 8 hour ride on Greyhound Bus. Each box held 4 one foot stacks about 100 comics each stack so upwards of 400 comics each box. Yup, waxed interiors

Cliff Biggers: I remember being a little bit concerned about the waxy coating on some of the chicken boxes, so I’d use twiltone mimeo paper to cover the bottom and inner sides of the boxes so that the waxy coating didn’t come into contact with the books. (That pulpy twiltone paper had many uses!)

Gary Colabuono: Cliff, this is uncanny. I too was worried about the wax on the interior of the boxes so I papered them over with notebook paper. This is very, very weird to me…

Robert Beerbohm: If I remember correctly the first long boxes were offered for sale by Jim Kovacs of The Bookie Joint. This was by very early 70s. This first effort were stapled along the side flaps. Under heavy usage they tended to tear and bend. He pl…See More

Bill Schanes: Even weirder, the chicken boxes we purchased brand new were just cardboard, with no wax on the inside. They did have printing on the outside, but I can’t recall the wording, even thought we bought thousands of these over the early years

Paul Howley When I worked for Gary Walker in Nashville (1970s) we used chicken boxes that he had gotten from grocery stores. I seem to recall Gary washing the chicken blood out of them and drying them out.

Steve Higgins This is the best chicken box thread EVER!

He has a point.



About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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(Last Updated January 17, 2019 4:43 am )

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