Back in the day I collected comics. We’re talking full-on geek; polybagged, and cardboard backed “collected”. I justified this envisioning some grand future payout as my impeccable taste and slavish hoarding would translate into cold hard cash.
I realize now that any worthy payout would, at best, serve my great-great grandchildren. And then, only in some post-apocalyptic world, where my mid 80′s Spiderman would fetch a small fortune from a cryogenically defrosted cyborg Stan Lee, looking to archive his past glory. At present however, they are worth less than the paper they’re printed on.
Though not entirely useless I guess. I gifted an entire box to a friend’s son in the neighbourhood. I dreamt of such a windfall as a kid myself but never saw it play out without the inclusion of a windowless van down by the river. I’m only dying a little on the inside thinking about his grubby paws folding back the spine and creasing pages on my Claremont era X-Men.
Comics have gained some credibility in the past years with the Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen getting some deserved props, but to be honest, most comics are crap and the continuity is a mess. At this moment Spiderman is dead, or in an alternate universe no longer married to Mary Jane, African-Hispanic Miles Morales, or one of his many clones. Don’t even ask about the X-Men. Still, pretty pictures! And they look fantastic on the iPad!
Now I have an entire comic store at my fingertips without that whiff of condescension when I ask about the latest offering from Jim Lee. Hear about a great indie monthly? Just a click away. Orc Stain, Morning Glories, The Umbrella Academy and The Walking Dead are all absolutely fantastic reads and a great diversion between the more literary tomes crowding my iPad. Do yourself a favor and try one out. Maybe you can’t bring yourself to buy a comic at the Chapters, let alone wander into an actual comic shop – but much like Harlequin romances or Harry Potter erotic fanfic you can indulge in this guilty pleasure with no one being any the wiser.