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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Complete Comic Collection

Well my wife was finally able to do something that I was never able to accomplish: Complete my US Marvel Transformer Comic collection.
My Transformers comic collection began when I was around nine years old. I was on the way to the dentist and I guess my mother needed something to pacify me afterward. We picked up issue #58 at the local People's drug store. I immediately read it on the way home from the dentist (no cavities for me!) and was enthralled. It was a story about the Classics Pretenders and featured my favorite character at the end: Starscream! Sadly this would be the only Transformers comic issue I would own during my childhood. We didn't make regular trips to places with comics and I had such a short attention span it wouldn't matter anyway.
This cover never made sense to me as a kid.

So five years later when I had a resurgence in my Transformers interest I began to seek out the original comic issues. I found the first three at a comic shop while I was on a Boy Scout retreat: issues #67, #76 & #78. Up until that point I wasn't sure the comics were in any kind of story order or if they were stand alone issues. While reading these issues I was disheartened to find I had missed the big issue: #75 which was a double issue featuring Unicron! But it was compelling storytelling to say the least. Over the next few years I was able to acquire many more issues, including one very fortunate encounter with a fellow Boy Scout who had over 50 issues in his basement that he sold to me for $45! 

So time went on and every time we went out of town and there was a comic shop near I would check for back issues. Sometimes I got lucky, many times I did not. It got to the point where I had all but about ten issues or so by 2005. I never really made the comics a priority over the toys, so it took a very long time to gather them all up. In 2006 I bought six of the remaining ten I needed and then promptly put finishing the collection at the back of my priorities. There were just too many good toys (read: Classics!) coming out for me to spend money on comics. Not to mention new Transformers comics from publishers like Dreamwave and IDW were being released. Finally by 2010 I decided it was time to be done with it. The last four issues I was missing were some of the most expensive of the series; those near the end of the run. There is an annual comic convention here in my hometown every summer so I decided I should be able to find them all there. Summer came and I spend hours looking through bins. I was able to acquire three of the four, but the last one eluded me. Oddly enough, it was the last issue of the series: #80. I got discouraged. Again, my priorities moved it to the back.
Then came my 30th birthday. My wife had an awesome surprise for me including cupcakes, a log cabin retreat and a nice long respite. And one of my guessed it: #80. After roughly twenty two years of trying to collect a relatively short run of a comic my quest is finally finished. Thanks baby, I owe you.