I didn’t start out as a collector/hoarder. Nobody does. As a kid we can’t afford to nor really want to. We got the books we were given and that was it. Completely at the mercy of mom & dad. But after high school and college, a little money started rolling in. Disposable income, if you will. My timing for this was impeccable, it came at the very beginnings of the ’90s collecting boom. Yes the era that almost killed the comic book market, I fed into.
The LCS that I had my subscription at, bought in too. Jim ( of Daddy Jim’s Comics, now defunct), thought that the original Valiant run was going to be the start of the next big thing, & he bought a ton. I didn’t, but what I did buy was every freaking #1, variant, foil cover, gate fold, & yes nude variants (I know I’m ashamed too, I was 23) that I could get my hands on. It didn’t matter who drew it, wrote it, or lettered it, I bought it. C’mon, I was getting 20% off. I was obsessing, I was jonesing, and couldn’t wait until next Wednesday’s books.
That has led into 25 years of collecting. I’m sure a doctor would say that I’m borderline obsessive-compulsive. Maybe so. I enjoy the hunt as much as I do the actual books. However, I no longer buy new books just to collect. And I read every new book that I buy. That doesn’t keep me from collecting old books though. I fill in runs, because, as I said, it’s about the thrill of the hunt. It’s about doing the two-finger shuffle through 1000s of books, It’s about that musty smell, it’s about standing shoulder to shoulder with another collector, doing the shoulder bump, excuse me, switch sides flip-flop. But, most importantly…..it’s about finishing that run, or even better yet, getting the whole series…..and If it’s one of the “gold or silver age” runs, then that’s just magical!!
Next time….The first hunt