A break, A Decision And How I Collect

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.

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.

Memory Lane Books 5

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.

SagaCensored

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.

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Leigh Hart
Leigh Woodhall - Soapbox Nerd. Aerialist. Writer. Podcaster. All around tough guy (but a lady version). Follow me on twitter @Leigh_Louise
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5 Comments

  1. Welcome back to the wonderful world of comics! I’m an intermittent reader and often read popular story lines that have long since been concluded (I’m currently reading Sandman for the first time, after checking out the recent Overture issues). There is simply way too much content out there! The trade paperback route is the way I go, especially when you can get them for 50% off the cover price from major online book retailers.

    To me, reading & collecting the monthly issues is more about the social aspect. It gets me into the shops where I can converse with other comic book aficionados.

    On a side note, you mentioned you can get issues for $1. What’s your secret for getting that arrangement?

  2. The hunt isn’t as much fun for me as the stories. I LIKE the stories, no matter how much the ‘net may shit on them. So I have a hard time spending the cash on weeklies when I can get the trades… but then the trades don’t come as fast as I want. There’s always digital UNTIL the trade comes out, though.

  3. I actually went through something similar about 4 years ago when I was getting back into collecting comics after stopping back in college. I’d forgotten how much I actually liked that weekly trip to the comicbook store to check out what was new and poke around for something I’d missed but should be reading. I kind of slowly eased my way back in to the monthly/weekly collecting and read stuff I’d missed as a trade or online.

    Anyway, welcome back to weekly collecting!

  4. That is exactly how I feel, if I can’t find a trade to complete a series I get sad because I just really want to read the story. Which is some of the only times I read digital comics, to catch up and finish the story.

  5. Thanks jsnsmith! I feel like this happens to collectors at least once in their life, which is why I wrote the article. I love to hear other collectors stories, so thanks for sharing!

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