Reflections of a Die-Hard Collector



Reading, collecting, slabbing, & downloading

It's been about 5 years since I started collecting slabbed CGC books, and almost 40 years since I began reading comic books. Over these years, I've amassed quite a large collection of books, slabs, TPB's/HC's, artwork, and figurines/statues.

Now I'm having what will likely be my retirement home built. Quite large space I may say, and is being constructed with an eye towards preparing for an ideal environment for a collector (ie Low E windows to keep out UV, LED lighting to avoid damage, shelves with glass covers, ample cool/dry storage space etc) but still it will be impossible for me to properly house & display everything that I have collected (most items now in storage). Choices I will have to make, and make soon:

1) Which of these items should I keep, and which should I dispose of?

2) Which books do I keep in a display shelf/bookcase, and which should I keep in storage boxes?

3) Which slabs do I frame and display, versus those which I keep hidden in storage?

4) With limited display space, how do I decide what items to display (books? statues/figures? original artwork? what's an optimal mix?)

What makes it somewhat easier to avoid the temptation of further amassing more and more books is the availability of online comics; to date all my issues of Walking Dead and Justice League are virtual. Helps avoid needing space to store more books.

What makes it difficult however are the dozens of great Bowens, Sideshows, Hot Toys, Efx's etc which are released every day. Many better than previous versions. It was hard for me to resist the temptation of not buying the complete line of Hot Toys 1/6 Avengers for example. Soon, it will occupy a prominent space in my display.

I know that I'll need to stop someday. I have considerably slowed down, i.e. a year or so ago made a decision to cease expanding my CGC collection, start selling off, and only focus on a core CGC set on the Turok character (ie highgrading where financially feasible, and completing a few uncompleted sets). So I thought my intense CGC collecting days were over. Of course, earlier this year Dynamite revived the character .... and I'm back!

Its been a great 40 years of ups, of pauses, and downs. Of wanting to get each and every issue of a particular character. Of countless hours reading and re-reading favorite books. Of following certain creators. Of eagerly waiting for slabbed books shipped by CGC. Of hours looking both mine and at other collectors' image galleries (in CGC, in Comicartfans, etc) and admiring with envy! Of waiting in line to be among the first to see Avengers. Of attending comic conventions, meeting creators and fellow fans. Of eagerly anticipating results of an Ebay bid, or availability of a Sideshow release. Of refocusing buying habits. Of rationalizing with my very patient wife on why this hobby is good.

I've enjoyed all these years as an avid comic book reader and fan tremendously. From the time I picked up and read my first comic book (a hand me down Turok from my dad), to the time I write this journal. It was an opportunity I was truly blessed with to enjoy. And, I presume like all of you reading this, I look forward to moving on to the next chapter of this journey.

Happy reading and collecting!


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