Sometimes the only thing that gets me through work is thinking or talking about comic books. It just relieves stress when I can talk about the exploits about a hero (or villain) in between waiting on tables. It also is relaxing when I can talk about my collection. Recently I had a huge find which brought me closer to my completion of a full-run collection of New Mutants comics in a 9.8 white pages or better. This will put me in first place, taking over from the current position holder; a person who has held this title for three years. Even though I am about to be handed the mantle, I still envy his collection.
This makes me wonder about the people that collect comic books because a lot of us were outcasts and feared getting ostracized by our peers because of them. All through high school I was always me, I showed people who I was, if not all of me, it was still the true part of me. I did collect comic books; I just didn’t advertise that fact. I also ran cross country, but this was only because I couldn’t get the Captain of that team to sit for an interview. He offered to do one on the run, and I knew I could run so I said “sure”; I just didn’t know how he could run. He smoked me, and when I finally made it back to school he offered me a spot on the team. I still wrote, just for myself and not for the school newspaper. I made varsity the next four years, transitioning my label to ‘jock’.
I still like to run, although at the moment I don’t run, I just feel to out of shape. I like to collect comic books and I still do, I don’t need to be in shape for that. I don’t fear being ostracized by anyone anymore if they don’t like me for me. I don’t care, but was I afraid that the number one ranking in my favorite set would be upset that I was taking over his spot? Yes I did work hard for this, searching different avenues to get the best collection. The thing is, it is the best collection and I earned it. I am proud of that, and the person who I am relieving of that coveted position has wished me no malice and actually congratulated me! I thank him for that.
I was afraid I would lose a friendship, a camaraderie that sometimes is so desperately needed that I almost feel sorry for the people I work with- because once I begin to speak about my collection, this love of mine, I can almost feel their eyes roll back into their head and their thoughts of “not again” about to spring from their lips; which is pretty much the same thing that happens to me when they talk about shoes.
Thanks for reading.