Delving Into Comics

Delving Into Comics

May the 4th Be With You

First, I need to offer up the obligatory: Happy Star Wars day! I probably won’t end up celebrating today by watching the movies or anything, but I do hope to get them in when Mom is in town, so it might be a belated Star Wars day on my end.

So, my ultimate question is: Is it Revenge of the Fifth or Sixth? I’ve heard both. And when I googled, I came across this little gem. While it doesn’t clear it up at all, it makes it highly more entertaining. Especially the Tweety Bird reference.

To Comic or Not to Comic?

So, growing up I never really got into comic books. Collecting them, anyway. I enjoyed listening to people re-tell stories of the latest comic they’d read, and I especially loved watching the Original X-Men TV show from the 90s. I had considered purchasing the comics after watching the TV show because I loved the characters so much, but I didn’t because (1) there’s only so much you can get with “allowance” money, and (2) even at a young age I was one of those completionist types where I had to start from the beginning. (It’s a blessing and a curse–I do it with podcasts, too.)

So instead, I got into manga. They were easier to keep on a bookshelf and were generally only ten bucks a pop for more pages than a comic book. More bang for the buck, right? Besides, I’d always been obsessed with my mother’s Asian dolls and china sets, and was loving Sailor Moon and DBZ on TV. It just made sense.

My First Comic Book

Yesterday, before going to a pre-Graduation party for Chaide with some of his classmates (they won’t be able to attend each others’ parties, so they had a celebration together), we stopped at one of the downtown squares near the location and took a walk. We ended up stumbling upon an Antique/Collectible store, and they had a large comics section in the back. I’m sure you can see where I’m going, here. We ended up looking through the boxes, and most of the stuff in there was older Marvel and DC things, such as X-Men, Wolverine, Thor, etc.

Chaide picked out three of the comics he had as a kid that got stolen from a storage area he had (all of his Warhammer and comics and other geeky paraphernalia got stolen much before we met) and insisted that I get a comic or two as well.

I couldn’t really find anything I wanted. I have three Comic Collection Volumes at home. Two for Season 8 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Volumes 1 and 2, and I have the other six on a Wish List), and the other one is Volume 1 of Rat Queens which Chaide got me for Christmas at the suggestion of one of our lovely guildies, Yak. Volume 2 Collection for Rat Queens comes out later this month, and I’m greatly looking forward to it–even though I’ve only really read a few pages of the first volume.

Admittedly, I still haven’t finished the Buffy books, either. I get partway through and then put it down to game or read something else. But still, Chaide insisted since I’ve never had a comic book in my life that I pick something out. So I searched through the boxes and stumbled upon Serenity: Leaves on the Wind. I had to have it. But, being the completionist I am, I didn’t want to get it because they didn’t have Issue 1 at the shop I was at. And I won’t read it if I don’t start with the first issue.

Chaide just kind of rolled his eyes and picked it out of the box and added it to the bottom of his pile so I couldn’t grab it and put it back. So now, I own my first ever comic–Issue 2 of Leaves on the Wind. And I really really want the first one so I can read the one I just got. But it has to be the Dos Santos cover, to match the current cover I have. (Yes, I’m that hardcore completionist (or OCD)–all of my Harry Potter books have the embossed year on the spine. ALL of them.)

Expanding My New Collection

So now I need to find a comic shop near me to pick up Issues 1 and 3-6. I’d also like to collect the other mini-series written as a part of the Firefly universe. Now I just need to figure out a way to store them. I think I’m going to get binders per whatever series I end up purchasing that are loose (not Volume Collections) and keep the board/bag and put the board/bag into plastic sleeves in a binder. I know it’s not “optimal”, but I’m a reader, not just a collector. I get books because I love reading them. Comic books should be no different. 
I also stumbled upon a comic called Ruse in the boxes which looked interesting (but they only had Issue 6 through 18). It looks to be out-of-print and rebooted by Marvel later on. But I’m very interested in checking out the Original. I wonder if there’s a Volume Collection or two for all of them?
Are there any other comics (that aren’t Superheros, per se) that people would suggest picking up to a new collector? Please keep in mind that as a completionist, I’d prefer something older that’s a short-stint and easy to acquire, or something newer that’s still being published/doesn’t have an overwhelming number of issues.

11 thoughts on “Delving Into Comics

  1. Heh! I can't offer much in the way of advice for new comics to buy since I stopped paying attention in the early 90s. I would say, though, that as someone who also bought to read not to "collect", your storage plans sound more than adequate to me. I have somewhere north of 8,000 comic books in a room downstairs, piled in stacks, on the floor, on shelves, unsorted, unbagged but not unloved. Ironically, the only ones that have been put into any kind of order are the 2000 or so I planned on selling a few years back.

    I think if I was starting from scratch now I'd be very tempted to skip the actual comic-books themselves altogether and go for the book format collected editions. They're much easier to store, they hold their condition much better and, to some degree at least, there has been some attempt at quality control in the selection process there.

  2. Oh Comics. They break my heart now to think back on them. (sorry, I also have no suggestions.) I was an avid collector in high school – had tons of Xmen (100ish to 330ish), went through some fun glory years of publishing. When Image launched I had the #1s of all of their new titles – same with the Valiant launch. Every week we would rush to our local comic store on delivery day…

    And then, I went to university. And to pay for it, I dropped off my comics at a consignment store. all my boxes. I went away to university, and when I came back at Christmas I got a nice cheque! When I came back the second time, end of year, the store was gone and so were all of my comics.

    I regret that move now, obviously. Talk about a life lesson!

    Sorry about your completionist nature – some of the older X-Men story arcs such as the Mutant Massacre are must read for Marvel universe.

  3. If you're not fascinated with the whole individual comic collection aspect of it, I would recommend looking into either digital comics or a graphic novel which has already done the work of collecting a series of comics for you so that you can start reading immediately.

    If you don't mind some adult themes, look into Vertigo Comics, which deviate from the standard superhero stuff by a fair margin and tend to be chock full of story.

    The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman is an absolute classic. If you played or considered playing the Wolf Among Us by Telltale Games, and loved the setting, it's worth picking up Fables. If you watched the Watchmen movie, there's also checking out the Watchmen comic it was inspired by.

    Ditto things like 300 or Sin City by Frank Miller.

  4. I enjoyed collecting them as a kid and I love the universes, but I hate reading comics (or manga). I just can't get into it at all. I need it to be animated or just a novel, not the weird place in between.

  5. Nice! Thanks so much! Although when I'm playing my engineer, Hypatia, I worry about my bots during fights so don't know how I'd do with a pet. 🙂

  6. I think we have one of the Sandman books that I got for my husband for Christmas two years ago or so and he hasn't read it yet. So I might gank it.

    I'll also look into Vertigo and Fables. I have not yet played Wolf Among Us, but have heard great things about the game and that it was somewhat based on Fables, if I recall correctly.

    Thank you for all the awesome suggestions. 😀

  7. Oof! What a lesson to learn. 🙁

    Yeah, I'd love to read all the X-Men, but based on how much there is, I think either a digital or cliffnotes version is probably better for me at this point, lol.

  8. We'd leave them unbagged, etc. if it weren't for the fact that we have three cats obsessed with toilet paper and chewing on books. I can see comic books going REALLY fast if they get to them!

    I do like the book formats, and would lean more towards those, but some (such as the Serenity comic I just got–unless it's a rare thing on Amazon or such) haven't yet been put in book format.

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