With any collection, the time comes to prune and purge and divest yourself of things you have outgrown, only kinda liked, or just wondered why did I pick this up?
This purging urge came over me again in mid-March when I pulled out all twenty of my comic boxes and starting yanking all sorts of things out. Now this is not new for me, as I have always done this every few years. My most massive chopping was almost seven years back, when I shrunk everything from twenty one boxes to sixteen. Four years ago, another box bit the dust. This time, another box. New acquisitions are always arriving, from my monthly supply to back issues, which makes for my new current total of eighteen and half boxes of geeky goodness.
But what is the snapshot of what I now have? Thanks for asking!
The largest piece of real estate is Superman. Mostly covering the era from the John Byrne reboot to the present day The New 52, with related spinoffs in attendance. This makes up five and a half boxes starring Kal-El. Googliebear thought it would be way more.
Next up is my beloved Legion Of Super Heroes, taking up three boxes. One is expressively dedicated to the Paul Levitz run, another to the L.E.G.I.O.N., R.E.B.E.L.S. and Valor spinoffs, and yet another to the so called Archie and Threeboot Legion. With saddened heart, I moved the wonderful and amazing Five Year Later Legion to the box housing those other two realities. Much as I loved this run, it is now considered just another alternate earth.
Another box houses the immortal Teen Titans run by Wolfman and Perez, which still exists in the timeline despite whatever DC Comics says these days. Virtually ever crossover DC has ever done is living in yet another box, because they are my huge weakness. Not all are complete, unfortunately, but they run the gamut from the excellent (Crisis On Infinite Earths) to the monstrously awful (sigh, Genesis) to the whatever (looking at you Countdown).
It always interested me how spotty my Justice League collection is. I have had a love hate relationship with this superteam ever since issue 185 or so back in the last century. But than again the JLA has alternatively been excellent and sucky within years of each point.
A mixed bag makes up another box. I am a few issues short on a complete Action Comics Weekly run, which is the same situation with Amethyst and Captain Carrot. Thankfully, I have all the issues, unread of course, of Angel Love and ‘Mazing Man. DC Challenge has been read, which makes me a proud geek.
Various other boxes house all sorts of gems. An incomplete Question series is awaiting two issues, as is Zot! A healthy chunk of Marvel and DC’s Star Trek comics are spiffy, right alongside the entire Marvel Star Wars series, completed a long time ago at a convention far far away. Someday I gotta read them! Every issue of Sandman, and quite a few of Deaths, are represented, and mostly read.
My one noticeable omission is the lack of regular Marvel comics. And that is because I have always been a DC fan forever and ever. My dabbling in Marvel is chunks of Mark Gruenwald’s Captain America, all of his incredible Squadron Supreme, and everything New Universe after The Pitt. I also proudly have the vast majority of Peter David’s wonderful Hulk stories and all of his amazing X-Factor run.
What goes every time is a potpourri of completed series and incomplete runs, from all over the spectrum. This time around the following stuff got the boot from my OCD collection. The V comic from the eighties were abducted. Most of my Flash comics sped away. Anything Wonder Woman not done by George Perez or Greg Rucka met the lasso. The James Robinson Justice League disbanded. A couple of The New 52 refuges, like Superboy and Supergirl returned to Krypton. And finally some unfortunate duplicates were found and exiled.
Now all my boxes are safely nestled away until the next time we make acquaintances again. Time will shift what matters to me, and who knows what will make the cut down the line. Or how many boxes I will possess. That is part of the fun of being a geek, especially one proudly having geek OCD.
Comics will come, comics will go, but my collection will never be the same.
…is currently reading The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay by Michael Chabon.