Early forms of self storage date back thousands of years to the ancient Chinese, who used to store their items in underground vaults.
Self storage as we know it today started in the western parts of the country in the mid 20th century. The business model really started to pick up steam in the 1960s and 1970s and soon, self storage facilities were all over the landscape.
For decades, dedicated buyers have been waking up early to attend auctions and staying late to clean out their storage units and then taking the treasures that they find and flipping these items for profit.
It is surprising then that it’s only been in the last 10 years that self storage has become part of the pop culture landscape and vernacular. We can thank shows such as Storage Wars and Auction Hunters for being the driving force of this new trend. These shows gave viewers a cursory explanation of the job title and the basic process involved in holding a storage auction.
As more and more people have become familiar with the terminology and the landscape, the storage auction hunting business has exploded with new buyers eager to try their luck and subsequently, the entertainment business has started to take notice.
Now there is almost no category of entertainment where you can’t see self storage in action.
We’ve previously reported on some of these things, such as the horror comedy, Self Storage and the alien invasion movie, Storage 24, both of which have come out in the past few years.
But those aren’t the only places self storage is taking on a leading role, in popular television shows such as Arrested Development and Being Human, self storage has played a major role in recent story lines.
Now, even comic books have gotten in on the storage auction action!
The idea behind UNIT 44, a four issue miniseries from the minds of Wes Locher and Eduardo Jimenez, is that the government has previously stored evidence of alien life in a self storage facility.
You would think that would be something that the government (or whoever has said proof in its possession) would want to keep close. However, it seems that the folks behind Area 51 did not.
The story kicks off when the previous tenant has forgotten to pay their bill and the unit was sold at auction! Sure enough, the government needs something that was in the unit in order to stop an alien invasion.
“I’ve written comics in a lot of different genres, but I really wanted do something fun,” said Locher. “I think the medium needs more of that.”
In order to get the project done the duo took to the crowd-sourcing website Kickstarter.com where they asked people to invest any amount up to $2000 so that they could make the project happen. They had pretty good luck. Within 24 hours they raised over half of the amount. They ended up raising over $2700 from 105 backers.
“I got to write a funny story about Area 51, aliens, and government conspiracies and now, people are paying to read it,” said Locher. “I need a time machine so I can go high five 14-year-old me.”
While it is definitely the most humorous self-storage related project on kickstarter.com it is not the only one. There is another project on the site, Self Storage (The Movie). It is a short film from the creative mind of David Byars.
Just like Locher, he too received more funding than he requested ($5462; he asked for $5000).