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To Read First, Or Collect First?


The first comic book of my collection (not my first comic book itself) was purchased from a 7-11. I can vaguely remember walking into the store because I wanted some chocolate, a slurpee, and to see if the new baseball stickers were out. I started collecting these when my hometown team won the 1980 World Series. I since gave these away to an old friend whose love for baseball rivals my love for comic books. The last year I had for these sticker books for was ’83. I never got an ’84 and actually don’t know if there as an ’84 since I became enthralled with a simple comic book, New Mutants #15.

I went home and read it right away on the kitchen table. After reading it I knew I wanted more. I counted up my money and went back the next day to purchase what I could. I can still remember the covers and the titles I purchased. I pretty much bough every book based on the covers that I liked, I only stopped because I ran out of money (it was tough being twelve). From there my life changed.  The first comic book I ever missed was the little known copy of Amazing Spider-Man #252. It took me years to get that. I have to assume that when that book came out it was purchased at the 7-11 directly out of the back. I knew about comic books stores (3 for a dollar rack days), but I never really thought about back issues.

Since then I have been addicted. I outgrew my slurpee needs; still have chocolate once in a while, but every Wednesday I make the trek to the comic book shop. I had collected to such an expanded amount I had to purge about 80% (something that I despised doing) of my collection a few years ago. Doing this however gave me the opportunity to change the way I collect. I was upset (still am) about the Man without Fear no longer supporting Daredevil as the title character. It s nothing against the Black Panther but compared to Daredevil (in my opinion) he is just a second hand character. I didn’t even pick issue #513 up in the comic book shop other than to scan its pages.  I only purchased this book recently, in a 9.8.

Of course the question that begs to be asked is why I picked up a book I cannot read without ripping apart the casing. As I hope you figured out I am not a Black Panther fan and currently only need five more issues to finish this Daredevil run and when they go back to the original numbering system I want to be able to say I have them all, even the atrocious ones with Black Panther (Did anyone do this when The Incredible Hulk turned into The Incredible Hercules?) I will read the book eventually but I will wait to download it digitally or wait for a trade.

Will I do this more often? Could I actually be able to wait to purchase it this way. I don’t see myself doing this on a New Mutants book when I have to be at the shop when the doors open (this is because I work nights and 10 am is past my bedtime not because I am addicted to comic books, ok maybe it is a little of both). Will I be able to do this when Daredevil starts over as a #1 (again) in July? Can I really wait a few months before having the issue in my hands and a few more months after that to be able to read the book in a trade? Of course this type of collecting becomes even more expensive and then what do I do when money is sparse and space is dwindling. For every 33 slabs (one box) is equal to 140 raw books (one box, bagged and boarded).

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