This past year has been a hectic one for me. Because of all the change in my life, some of my hobbies suffered and that includes comics. So, here I am, at the end of all the craziness and as my focus gets back to what it should be I realize….wow, I have a lot of comics to catch up on. Not having a pull list at my local shop has done some damage, and now my hunt for the issues missing from my collection begins.

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This can happen to all of us, or really collectors of any kind. If you step out of the game even for a moment you miss lots, and end up paying for it in the end. All the issues that I missed that I could have paid a buck for are now $5 dollars. I have to finger through long boxes at a bunch of different stores to get what I need, and to tell you the truth….I love it!

One of the things that I grew to love about comics was the hunt. When I started reading comics I only collected trades, I would even only read stories that had already come to an end, that way I didn’t have to worry about buying up to issue 700 or some ridiculous number. But, the more I got into comics the more I realized that going from store to store and looking for a particular issue was a lot of fun. I then slowly turned into (for lack of a better term) a floppy collector. There have been many comparisons between collecting singles, or floppies, and trades or graphic novels. I personally like the way graphic novels sit on my shelf. I like sitting down and reading an entire trade in one or two sittings, just absorbing the story one issue after the other. The problem though, and another reason why I started collecting floppies, was patience. When you only collect trades you have to wait a while before the next one comes out, you have to wait for the single issues to be released to then be collected into one book. When I really liked a story I found it hard to wait, and then the floppy collection began.

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But, I digress. Since my collecting slowed down after a year and I am looking to get back into it, I have a conundrum….do I collect the singles and enjoy the hunt, or do I go back to collecting trades? The reason I am writing this article is because I know I am not the only one who has had to deal with this problem before. I know of others who have had to take a break from collecting due to personal or financial problems. And, it really all comes down to personal preference. To do a lot of catch up fast I have been buying or borrowing trades. This is the fastest way for me to digest the stories. But, now I am back to the problem I had before….waiting…. I am waiting for the next volumes of trades to come out on my favourite stories shouting “no spoilers!” at my beloved friends because they are about to talk about the latest issue of Saga.

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Because of this I have made a decision. I am taking a spring cleaning approach to my comics. I sat down with a giant pile spread out around me, decided what I wanted to cut (to save money) what I wanted to collect in floppies form and what I wanted to read in trade form. Why pigeon hole myself into one medium, I can do it all! I get the hunt of finding the issues I am missing, the fun of weekly/biweekly pick ups from my local shop and the full hardy read of trades and if I can’t find either I can always catch up with some online reading.

Have any of you been in this pause of reading before? Did you go back to your regular collecting routine or did you take this opportunity to shake it up and try a different way of collecting? Let me know in the comments below.