I discovered my first comic store across the street from a great used bookstore where I also used to buy back issue comics. I distinctly remember picking up Marvel’s Secret Wars #1 and devouring it on the drive home.
I learned about a closer store about a forty minute drive from my home town. It was there that I set up my first pull list in late ‘83. I remember my dad limiting me to only four titles a month. I sidestepped this limitation by convincing my sister to add the series that I missed to her pull list, since we were treated equitably.
The four titles I had pulled were: Chris Claremont & John Romita Jr.’s X-Men, Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s New Teen Titans, Roger Stern and John Romita Jr’s Amazing Spider-Man, and John Byrne’s Alpha Flight.
New Teen Titans # 38: Who is Donna Troy?
X-Men # 177-178: the New Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
Amazing Spider-Man # 248: “The Kid Who Collected Spider-Man!”
Alpha Flight # 9: Sasquatch versus the Super-Skrull!
The value of my collection is tied closely to my attachment to it. This attachment has been fostered by hunting for back issues at conventions, standing in line for hours at conventions to meet your favorite writer/artist to get them to sign your comics, visiting comic stores across North America, and finding that rare gem of an issue in back issue bargain bin.
If you were anything like me as a kid, you probably started out buying comic books from a rack at your neighborhood convenience store. I used to circulate through the three convenience stores in my small town searching for specific issues or titles. By the early 80s, I discovered a comic store where I could get all the issues I wanted put aside as part of a weekly pull list.
Why do I collect comics? As an adult approaching his forties, I often ask myself that same question. There’s the escape into this shared heroic universe where heroes are still heroes and justice is always done. There’s the pure entertainment value, getting that mental theater going, engage your mind to get the sequential art flowing, brining it to life. There’s the nostalgic return to childhood in rereading a comic that you can associate to a specific time of your youth or the memories of lazy Sunday afternoons spent with a pile of comics and cookies.
Recently though, I've shifted over to hardcovers from single issues. Not really sure, perhaps its how they look on my bookshelf, perhaps hardcovers seem more mature than floppies, or it might be that it's much for easy for me to grab a hardcover than move around 3 or 4 long boxes searching for a handful of issues.