Sunday, September 16, 2012

Why I Collect Comic Books

There are lots of reasons I might give on any given day for why I've spent the time and effort (not to mention money) to build up a 30,000-issue comic collection over the past 40+ years. The one that comes to mind at the moment, though, is that I love the fact that I can usually find just the right series to re-read when I'm looking for a certain type of story or vibe.

I loved Master of Kung Fu (subtitled, The Hands of Shang-Chi) for most of its decade-long run from 1974 through 1983, which I would've been reading between the ages of 11 and 20. I was especially impressed by Shang-Chi, a rare minority lead character at the time, and his Eastern philosophies. However, in those days, I wasn't of an age where I could really appreciate his views for just how admirable they were. So when I recently went looking for something that would inspire me in a certain way, I happened to think of MoKF (as it used to be known) and so far it hasn't let me down. I'm only about 20% of the way into the run at the moment, but I'm up to the point where it really started to take off. And best of all: these are comics that I've only ever read once, back when they first came out... which means that most of the stories are "like brand new" to me! What a thrill! The characters and plots have aged amazingly well, for the most part, making them - on average - better than the vast majority of modern series coming out today. I'm finding I can barely wait to read each successive issue, all of which are fortunately waiting for me right where they should be, in the appropriate box down in our basement.

And so, today, that's why I collect comic books...

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