Thrills and Containment
Many of us have spent most of our adult lives trying to fill the hole our mom created when she threw away our prized comic books. We’ve visited the comic book store more times than Lex Luthor has hatched evil plots against superheroes and picked through comics on Ebay like children plucking the marshmallows out of their Lucky Charms. We’ve amassed such a large collection that space has become a major issue and possibly grounds for divorce, eviction or worse. If we are honest with ourselves, we’d realize that we have more than made up for those few, ratty comics that mom tossed. In fact, we’ve had this collecting bug all along and thanks to mom, we discovered it.
There are no words to describe the thrill behind acquiring a 40-year-old copy of Amazing Spider-Man #129 in excellent condition. Those fading, yet beautiful colors are mesmerizing. The delicate feel of the paper is enchanting. And the smell of the book itself is something we could never get enough of. And when we finally slide it into its rightful home, the sigh-inducing satisfaction is immeasurable. Obsess, relieve and then repeat is the forever consistent pattern and there is no end in sight. How we manage our relentless hobby is the key to happiness because there is a fine line between contentment and destruction.
Tested Once Again
Last year DC released all of those gorgeous 3D Villain covers and collectors were all over them like ice on Mr. Freeze. Some of the covers were tricky to acquire, but we moved the necessary mountains and guided them safely to us. Potential crisis avoided, but wait… At the end of this month, DC will release 2nd printings of all 53 covers. What in heaven’s name are we to do?
We could order the entire set from Midtown Comics or our local comic book shop. Or, maybe we’ll simply pretend the 2nd printing series doesn’t exist and save ourselves about 130 bucks.
Honestly, those are two extremes that I find difficult to live with so I’ll probably end up in the middle of the road. I will only snatch up the villains/covers that I really like. That would be the sensible, more controlled way to feed the dragon. We all probably practice this form of moderation more often than we even realize. If comic book-themed, slot gaming at the Betfair Arcade were my thrill, then I would just play the slots that feature my favorite heroes and villains. Otherwise, there would be no parameters and my thrills could quickly turn into unhinged insanity. I’d seek out the Batman or the Incredible Hulk slot machines and play those until my little heart’s content. Then again, my dragon could rampage and I could end up giving all the games a whirl.
Plan in Place
Like stated above, an easy way to create limits and not spin out of control is to collect just the comic books that you like and/or read. The key to the previous sentence is to create limits. Have a plan and try your best to stick to it. I know those darn DC covers are calling out to you again, and maybe they are worth revising your guidelines a bit. Do whatever you have to do as long as it’s within your plan. Feed the dragon, but don’t let him get overweight because you want to own your comics—and not let them own you.