Comic book collectors… anybody who collects anything knows that feeling when you finally find what you’ve been looking for. When it’s finally in your eyesight, within your grasp. That’s a feeling that all collectors chase.
I started collecting in my senior year of high school but stopped because of the amount of money I was spending. Now I’m finally making extra money so I started collecting again. I’m mainly collecting The Amazing Spider-Man but also just looking around and getting anything that catches my eyes. All my “hunting” payed off when I found “Secret Wars #8” the first appearance of black suit Spider-Man. I am close to filling up my very first long box. Well it’s actually a short box, but I’m still proud about it.
Collecting comics can be very time consuming, but in the best way possible. I once spent a whole Friday going to comic bookstore to comic bookstore. All it took was opening my Apple Maps app typing in comic bookstore nearby and going to every single one of them. I went to Bay Area, to Pearland and to the Galleria area – just all over the Houston area. In total, I went to 6 comic book stores. Sadly (or luckily) that wasn’t even all of them in Houston! Some of the stores I went to were letdowns, but others I will definitely be visiting again. During this hunt, I was preying on The Amazing Spider-Man comics, but I found myself eyeing different gem in The Killing Joke. It was the 7th printing, but it’s still a prize to me.
When my date and I (yes, I had my date go to every store with me) went to go eat pizza to end our day of comic book adventures, I couldn’t help but feel like I wanted more. Keep in mind we spent all day searching for comics and it was already 9pm. While our waiter put in our order, I pulled out my phone, opened Safari, and searched for a comic store that closed late. I figured this effort was futile due to the fact that most comic bookstores closed at 7pm – at least here in Houston. Surprisingly, I found one 45 minutes away that was open until 11pm. So, we scarfed downed our pizza hopped in my car and away we went to yet another comic bookstore.
I’ve always been that way, going to store to store looking for something I want. Whether it be a movie or CD. I would go to a bunch of Targets, Walmart’s, Best Buys, and Barnes and Nobles looking for a specific item. I even went to a bunch of Japanese stores looking for a drink I wanted to try. It didn’t what it was, if I wanted, I would do my best to get to get it. One of my friends told me “I hate how stubborn you get when you want something.” My other friends would tell me, “Just order it online.” And I would always reply the same way without fail, “No, I want to find it.” There is difference when you find it – especially when it comes to comics. To me, ordering a comic book online is cheating. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part I consider it cheating because you didn’t find it some else found it for you, but that’s just me. To me walking into a comic bookstore and looking behind the counter or up on the walls where they keep the key issues and hoping they have one of the comics you need is part of what makes comic book collecting so much fun.
Another time, I was at a comic bookstore and heard someone ask about a comic he was looking for. The lady behind the counter said, “No, we don’t have it in stock, but we can order it for you if you’d like.” He said no thank you, adding that he likes to find his comics himself and not online. Overhearing this as I was looking through The Amazing Spiderman comics, I thought to myself, “This guy gets it.” See that is the best part of collecting whether it’s movies, CDs, books, antiques, or the spectacular world of comics. The BEST part is what I call “The Thrill of The Hunt.”
What comics do you thrill to hunt? Let us know in the comments!
About our guest writer, Alfonso Guajardo
Alfonso’s interest in comics came from watching AMC’s Comic Book Men. The way they talked about the characters and storylines with such passion made him want to check them out, and the rest is history. When he’s not training or taking care of his dog Harley, he’s reading a comic or going to comic book stores with friends.