Hey, gang!

Comics Buyer's Guide
#1672 is celebrating comics collecting. For my contribution, I'd like to profile the Legionnaires who are willing to participate. To do so, simply write something brief that answers the questions:
  • Why comics?
  • What made you start collecting comics?
  • Why do you collect comics?
  • Why do you continue to do so?
Et cetera. They're trying to capture the joy of the experience and share that with other CBG readers. Anybody want to play?

Views: 110

Comment by Rich Steeves on September 3, 2010 at 4:00pm
1) I think it was Scoot McCloud who pointed out that our culture values the image (a fine painting) and the word (a great piece of literature) and comics, at their best, can combine the greatest qualities of each. Though, when I got started, it was more about how comics could fire my imagination that sucked me in and hooked me for life.

2) My neighbor and best friend read comics. and I borrowed his, and they helped me learn how to read at a fairly young age. It was my first passion, and it has ebbed and flowed since then, but never waned completely.

3) I have a personality that lends itself to collecting- amassing items that I enjoy (dvd's, books, comics) and I am something of a completist. I gravitated toward comics beacuse other items- stamps, sports cards, etc. were good for collecting, but had little entertainment value beyond the pursuit, wherease comics are great for stories, art and amsassing...

4) I continue to find comics that interest me- that move me, that challenge me, that make me smile and think and feel. My tastes have changed over the years, but I love the medium and the variety of stories it has to offer...
Comment by The Baron on September 3, 2010 at 4:09pm
Why comics?

They keep me amused. Occasionally some of the better ones make me think.

What made you start collecting comics?

People gave me my first comics. I contined reading them because I enjoyed it.

Why do you collect comics?

They keep me amused. Occasionally some of the better ones make me think.

Why do you continue to do so?

They keep me amused. Occasionally some of the better ones make me think.

Sorry for the three same answers, but those three are all the same question to me.
Comment by Philip Portelli on September 4, 2010 at 12:00am
1) My mother bought me one for Christmas when I was seven. I was a good reader and gravitated to the stories and the artwork. Plus my brothers never got into them so it was my thing!

2) I followed characters. The first book I collected was Superboy and the Legion and I only realized that later. I just bought it every time I saw a new one!

3) I always said it was the collecting instinct that seperates man from the animals. I suppose it is a compulsion, bordering on an addiction. But I do enjoy it. It is fulfilling!

4) I still enjoy them. I get a lot but I don't get everything! Plus I feel the current writers read the same books I did, so I get to revisit some old friends!
Comment by Cavaliere (moderator emeritus) on September 4, 2010 at 4:39pm
Why comics? All right, why a comic? Why a comic, why-a no chicken? Well, I don't know why-a no chicken. I'm a stranger here myself.

I started collecting because of Star Wars. I loved Star Wars and there was a monthly comic. No brainer, there. From there I moved on to G.I. Joe and Transformers--two more media tie-ins. Since I was now going into a comicbook store instead of relying on 7-Eleven, it's natural that I started trying other comics.

The art is nice. Heavens, sometimes the art is great. But the reason that I collect comics is for the stories. I may have bookshelves full of novels but I don't collect art books. I'll agree that there have been some fine comics with no words, "Silent Interlude" (G.I.Joe #21) being the gold standard, but that still required someone to plot the story even if there isn't a script. (Crud. I just turned this into a writer-versus-artist rant. Sorry about that.) To be fair, there are comics with garbage plots & scripts but terrific art, too. You're just not likely to find me buying any of those.

Why keep at it? I suppose that everybody keeps going with their own hobbies and obsessions. I could be NHRA or Cherished Teddies or knitting or MLB or stamps or jogging or, in our case, comicbooks. The simple fact is that I like comics. Goodness, I love comics.

(Cap, feel free to use my real name in the article. It's not a secret identity.)
Comment by Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) on September 7, 2010 at 1:12pm

1. It was my dad. He grew up reading comics, so by gum I would too.

2. My brother and some other neighborhood kids went to Junior High before I did. One of their new friends at that school introduced me to the fact that you could collect them. He gave me the address of the company he bought them from, and the rest is history.

3. I am a collector by nature. I still have huge collections of baseball (and other sports) cards, Magic: The Gathering cards, CD, etc. Baseball cards got boring after a while, I quit playing Magic, but I still read comics.

4. I still get a thrill digging through long boxes of comics and grabbing a run of a series. Sharing the finds with my friends. Talking about them. I also like that a lot of the times you can talk to the creators directly. I can Bill Willingham's Fables and talk to him about it a con. I can't watch Spielberg's new movie, and then catch up with him and discuss it with him.

Comment by ClarkKent_DC on September 9, 2010 at 2:42pm
Why comics?

Because they're fun. Because they're portable. Because, at times, they have inspired me to create. Because they entertain and engage you in a way that books don't, that TV doesn't, that movies don't; it's a unique animal that can do what they do in some ways easier, faster and better. It didn't take 20 years to get the Watchmen comics series made, did it? And did anybody really think the movie was better?

What made you start collecting comics?

I'd read some when I was child at my grandmother's home, but I didn't start collecting until I was in high school and had a buddy who showed me his. My friendly neighborhood library had a table where people could swap comics, and I scored new issues of the beginnings of the Steve Englehart/Marshall Rogers run on Detective Comics (which I still have!) I started buying my own comics from neighborhood corner stores that sold back issues (some with covers, some without) cheap, like a dime apiece, and eventually sought out new issues.

Why do you collect comics?

Because they're fun. Because they're portable. Because, at times, they have inspired me to create. Because they entertain and engage you in a way that books don't, that TV doesn't, that movies don't ...

Because collecting comics indulges my inner pack rat, but allows me to do it with things that still amuse and entertain me.

And because not keeping the comics I buy means I can't read those stories and be enthralled and engaged and inspired all over again.

Why do you continue to do so?

I never thought of comics as something I would do for a while and eventually stop doing (unlike, say, drawing or painting or being a Boy Scout, although I never was one). I still enjoy it; there's always some new artist, some new writer, some new character, some new story being told that offers joy and surprise and escape.
Comment by Lumbering Jack (M'odd-R8-Tr) on September 9, 2010 at 5:48pm
Hope I'm not too late here ...
* Why comics? I like comics because the stories inside them aren't bound by anything. You can have a cartoon pig spar with a world-devouring alien. They let a writer and artist share whats inside their heads in a way a movie producer can't. Comics really aren't constrained by a budget. All the ink goes on the page at the same pay rate. In a movie, your special effects can only get better if you pour more money into them. With comics, anyone can make a blockbuster. In practically any other medium, you need big wads of cash or major sponsorship to tell your story. (Regular "story writing," I suppose is the main exception.)
Even the "corporate comics" out there have freedoms that you don't see in other mediums. You can kill off main characters, you can tell a story in a whole new way, you can be funny, you can be serious. But, for the most part, one trade paperback later you can hit the reset button and be back to the baseline. That's a surprising amount of creativity for the corporate world.
* What made you start collecting comics? In my youth, my sister and brother had a few meager stacks of comics. At some point I noticed that they each had their own number. They actually went in a specific order. There collections became mine and I found ways to fill the gaps they left. It's surprisingly satisfying to "at last" have the missing part to a comic story you've long been puzzling about.
* Why do you collect comics? It used to be habit. I followed characters and books for years in dissatisfaction. Now I just love to research obscure characters or explore the non-corporate comics. Why? Listen, I always know that Spider-Man is going to be OK. But when I pick up an independent comic, I never can be too sure. I like the surprises.
* Why do you continue to do so? It's getting harder and harder to continue to collect and/or read comics. The prices ... When comics went from 60 cents to 65 cents, I was pissed. Now I'm looking at comics that cost $4 each unless there's some special promotion going on. Now the big companies are rolling out dozens of titles a month. My entertainment budget has not grown with their output, so I buy fewer and fewer titles each year. I spend a lot of my comic-store time looking through the bargain bins.
I could just give up comics, but I love the exercise in imagination that comics give us. I applaud every creator from the highest-paid to the web-comic maker to the fellow who just doodles on scrap paper. Show us your imagination people. I want to see it.
Comment by Lumbering Jack (M'odd-R8-Tr) on September 9, 2010 at 5:51pm
Question 4 correction: * highest-paid superstar *
Comment by Don Collett on September 9, 2010 at 11:40pm
I can answer the first two. I stopped collecting because I just don't have the money to keep up with new titles anymore.

Why comics?
Because they take the visual excitement of art and the intellectual stimulation of writing and combine them into something greater than the sum of their parts. The potential is limited only by that of the creators, and the artform (and it is an artform) is as flexible as any other, and in some cases, maybe more so. Great comics are more than superheroes. They can be fantasy adventures, gritty westerns, soaring sci-fi, bone-chilling horror, and much more.

What made me start collecting comics?
I was a voracious reader as a child. I actually started reading at the age of two, and I read any book that caught my interest. Usually it just had to look like a book and I wanted to read it. I believe the family started buying me comics as a cheap way to keep me in reading material. Also, I discovered reruns of the Superman and Batman TV shows, and wanted to read more about those heroes, which led me to others. They were like nothing else I had read before, and I started keeping them so I could re-read them whenever I wanted.
Comment by Julian Gift on September 11, 2010 at 10:39am
Comic books are an entertaining form of escapism from the harsh rigours of living day to day.
A friend of mine introduced me to them when I was a wee lad. He would bring them to school and talk about comic books. I saw the cover recently of an old Superman title that he had. It brought back memories of my youthful days.
I started collecting them because I enjoyed reading amazing stories that do not necessarily happen in the mundane world. I collect and continue to do so for the reasons put foward for "Why comics" and "What made you start collecting comics".


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