Friday, October 17, 2014

Chasing Your Own Favorite Title

Doug: With the finality of Mark Ginocchio's "Chase" to own every issue of Amazing Spider-Man, coupled with my own recent sell-off of around 90% of my complete runs of Avengers volumes 1 and 3 (gave vol. 2 away two years ago -- if you read it, you know why!), it got me to thinking -- if you would or could collect a complete run of any comic book series, which one would it be? And I'm not talking about doing it through trades, DVD-ROMs, etc. Nope -- physically own the paper comics as they saw the light of day on newsstands and spinner racks.

Doug: I chose the Avengers as my own "chase" back in the late 1980s simply because it has always been my favorite title. Sure, I've had other books that I've loved -- Amazing Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and Marvel Team-Up leap immediately to mind -- but there's not a book that I've just really treasured as I have the adventures of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. And I'm sure you feel the same way about whatever your personal favorite is. So assuming you're in a financial position to make such a pledge to yourself, fully understanding that waiting and sacrificing along the way will be part of the deal, what's your complete run fantasy - large or small?


Edo Bosnar said...

This took some thought on my part. It's been said here and elsewhere before that we're living in a golden age of reprints: there's so much material available in such nice formats, so even if I had the money to, say, get every issue of Spider-man, and the space to accommodate it, I'd probably just get the various Masterworks, Omnibuses, tpbs, etc. rather than the original comic books.

So I think I'd want the complete run of Rom: Spaceknight, since it looks like there's very little chance it will ever be reprinted.
A close runner-up is Master of Kung Fu, for the same reason.

Anonymous said...

Easy - I'd get the entire run of Planet of the Apes magazine. I had most of the UK weekly reprints but it would be great to have the original magazine with their lovely painted covers and the POTA magazine only ran for 29 issues so the chase wouldn't be so daunting. I'd also think about the entire run of The Eternals.

Doug said...

Colin, that's a great suggestion. I've long been intrigued by Marvel's B&W magazines, and I'd love to be able to hop in the wayback machine and accumulate as many as I could of the various titles (POTA, Savage Sword, etc.).

I like that both you and Edo went slightly off the beaten path in your choices, beyond the "obvious" choices of Avengers, FF, JLA, and so forth.

By the way, and I should have given credit for my image swipe -- the photo of all the Silver Age covers is just a grab. That's not my collection. But it's someone's, and it's pretty awesome!


Blaxkleric said...

Some top suggestions already. Used to have a load of those Planet of the Apes B&W myself... all long gone now though :-(
I'd probably go for "Marvel Two-In-One" or with Marv Wolfman's "Doctor Strange" from the Seventies.
I'm actually keen on this age of reprints. Not because I buy them, but because they've made the price of many of the original comics come down significantly. I've just managed to complete my collection of Steve Gerber's run on "Howard The Duck" as a result. Plus, the P&P from US is coming down so if you buy 10 golden age issues from a US dealer (which tend to cost about £2-3) it actually works out an awful lot cheaper than paying the over-priced £10+ UK dealers seem to want.

Martinex1 said...

My favorite team is the Avengers and I have a pretty good collection (nowhere near what Doug had) but it was getting too expensive to keep chasing. I have about 70 issues out of the first 100 and I just don't think I will spend the money to get the rest (particularly issues 1-4). So I started focusing on the Sub-Mariner. He is kind of a strange character, always a bit of an anti-hero, and has had more limited and affordable runs (I am not counting the Golden Age stuff). So between his original series, Namor, and his guest appearance in Spider-Man, Iron Man, FF, etc - I am starting to get a pretty nice collection. I like the above suggestion of ROM - that is actually a really good book for the most part. Similarly, my Micronauts run is pretty solid.

William said...

As I have mentioned here before, I spent most of the 80's and a big chunk of the 90's amassing complete runs of pretty much every Spider-Man title. The most difficult (of course) was Amazing Spider-Man. But I also had complete runs of Spectacular Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man, Spider-Man, and etc., etc., etc.

I sold my entire collection a couple of years ago. So, I've kind of "been there done that" in the chasing a particular title (or character) department. So I don't think I would ever do it again.

But theoretically, I always wanted a complete run of Daredevil. Back in 9th grade Daredevil became my favorite character for many years, until I went back to Spider-Man. I always thought it would be a lot easier to get a complete DD run, than Spidey. It's definitely a lot cheaper anyway.

I never did get a complete Daredevil run, but I did acquire quite a few nice early issues such as #4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17 and several others.

For some reason, I sold off my Spider-Man books, but kept my Daredevil stuff. I guess I still have a soft spot for 'ol hornhead.

Chasing Amazing said...

I'm pretty much done chasing. 27 years of buying Spider-Man will do that. However, I must be a sucker for the expensive comics, because if I ever got back into it, I would probably look into chasing specific creator runs like Simonson's Thor, Starlin's Warlock, Millers Daredevil, etc.

Thanks for using my quest to spur conversation BAB!

Anonymous said...

"Fury of Firestorm" - back in the mid-80s I even made a good stab at getting the back-up features in Flash comics. Sadly, to this day, it's still incomplete... :-(

Paul said...

The Avengers WAS my chase series back when I was collecting. Like Doug, it was always my favorite book.
However, the first title that popped in my mind was one that Edo mentioned- Master of Kung Fu.
I almost had a complete run at one point. (Again, like Doug, I sold my collection a few years ago.) MOKF was actually the last title that I clung to. As Edo pointed out, it may never be reprinted, due to rights issues. But, my reason for it being my chase title is simply that it was one of the best written books on the market. Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin created a wonderfully complex set of characters that Doug Moench took and made his own. The combination of spycraft, soap opera, and superheroics was done in a way, that I feel, still holds up. And it was given an actual finale to Shang-Chi's story when the book ended. (I know that Shang has come back, but I have never read any of those books, so to me, the story ended with the last issue of MOKF.)

Edo Bosnar said...

Since the b&w magazines were mentioned, I have to add that my hypothetical acquisition of the complete run of MoKF would also include the 30+ issues of the Deadly Hands of Kung Fu magazine.

I should also note that since we're talking about having not just the inclination but also money to do so, if I ever did get these complete runs, I'd do something that would leave most purist collectors aghast: I'd have them bound in chunks of 10-15 issues. It makes them easier to read and, especially, store (i.e., no need for bags, boards and long boxes - you just put 'em on a bookshelf).
I've actually already done this with some of the modest complete runs I have acquired, like the ten original Charlton issues of E-man and the Logan's Run series from the 1970s.

Doug said...

Edo, funny you should mention binding comics. I saw an auction on eBay last week where a near mint/mint binding of Fantastic Four #s 1-20 was up for bid. I believe the starting bid was set for $20K US. There were many photos, and it was a beautiful thing to behold.


Anonymous said...

I forgot to say on my comment that this may be a "golden age for reprints" but for years I looked for reprints of the POTA stories and there aren't any (or none that I've seen) but luckily there's a website called Hunter's Planet of the Apes which does "reprint" all the apes stories - reading comic strips on a computer screen isn't ideal but it's better than nothing and it was fantastic to be able to read those POTA stories again after more than 35 years.

Anonymous said...

Crap crap crap, the internet ate my original post.

Anyways, here's the Reader's Digest of what I wrote. The three titles that come to mind are 1) Legion of Super-Heroes. From the few issues I own and from what I've read here, I would like to read all of their run from beginning to end, b) the Marvel team up books. Both of them, Marvel Team Up and Marvel Two In One. Lastly) I would want the original floppies. Mainly because as I was reading through my issues of Iron Fist and Power Man and Iron Fist, I really enjoyed the Bullpen Bulletins and the Letter Pages. They were great peeks behind the curtain, the goings on and the little details of the company. One of my favorite letters was in the 80s run of Power Man and Iron Fist. The writer just tore into the book. He hated the change in art, the creative team, the mundane stories I mean, he just really vented his frustrations. And he ends it with "Cheers". The whole diatribe of "I hate what you did to my book" and he ends it with "Cheers". I love it!!!! But that's why I would want to read the originals. You don't get that with essentials or masterworks or other tpbs.

The Prowler (It's beyond me help me, Mommy I'll be good, you'll see take this dream away what this, let's see I feel sexy what's come over me? Woo! Here it comes again).

david_b said...

It really depends on the timeframe of the titles to me.

Avengers could be considered mine and would be heralded as best consistency (if you took out 200-240...). I was collecting the Silver Age issues, but stopped since I didn't like later-issue Heck and I was collecting the Masterworks anyway.

FF was a bit more spotty after the King left, but I first hit it back in '73 with those wonderful Conway/Buscema/Sinnott stories so those'll aways be my favs. Ish 13's my oldest one, and but the pre-Sinnott Chic issues are hard to justify spending $80-90 for primo floppies.

I'd also stick with ASM (until around 1977..) and DD (pre-Miller). I've been doing a lot of Silver Age DD collecting like William. I liked the nutty style of Silver Age Marvel, so that goes for Thor and other MMMS-era titles.

I got huge into Ditko Doc Strange (in Strange Tales) comics last year so I've been keeping eyes on them as well as early TOS and TOA that I can afford.

For DC, any early Cardy Teen Titans. Just gorgeous art and early hip Haney stories.

J.A. Morris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.A. Morris said...

I've never wanted to collect entire series. But I did a goal at one time to own all the "new" X-men issues. Before I quit collecting, I had every issue from 134 to the Age of Apocalypse, plus 109 to 130 and 102-104. But I was never able to bring myself to pay for 108 (first Byrne/Austin issues, as if you didn't know).
At the same time I bought every Amazing Spider-Man issue from 135 until the Clone Saga (about 21 years worth of issues), plus a bunch of issues in the 120s. The gaps in the collection were the Punisher appearances (too expensive) and the Gwen/Goblin death issues.
I realized at some point that most of my collection was never going to be worth much and that I was really in it for the stories more than anything else.

Which is why I still read Masterworks & tpbs. The only loss is that they don't contain letters pages. If I really want those, I'll track down the DVD-ROMs.

Anonymous said...

I agree with a lot of the posters here (Spidey, DD, PM/IF); I wouldn't mind a full run of the original JLA, but that's way beyond my means. More plausible (and just as desirable) would be All-Star Squadron/Infinity Inc...the only expensive ones would probably be the McFarlane issues.

Mike W.

Gary said...

I have complete runs of Defenders, Master of Kung-Fu and Marvel Two-in-One. Avengers and Fantastic Four are out of my price range, but I'm working on Bronze Age (1970/71) on up runs for them.

Simon B said...

The one series that I'd love to own in full is Fantastic Four #1 to #101 - yep, the classic Lee / Kirby run. Of course, the ludicrous prices of early FF issues mean this is just a pipe dream... but it's a good dream :-)
I've got 68 issues of the run( the earliest being #8 ),plus three annuals, so I haven't done too badly. And, after quite a few years of not actively pursuing them, I recently bought a lovely FN/VF copy of no. 73, with that cool cover of Reed, Ben and Johnny facing off against Daredevil, Thor and Spidey. Sigh! Once a collector, always a collector I suppose...

Anonymous said...

Hmm I'd have to say the classic Amazing Spider-Man would be my top choice. Over the years I've been fortunate to amass partial runs of uncanny X-men and MOKF; I'd love to own the initial run of Iron Fist and also the Lee/Kirby Thor series.

When I was about 13 during my summer vacation I got my hands on some reprints of the classic Lee/Kirby/Sinnott FF as well as some vintage original X-men along with other assorted titles. Needless to say that was one of the best summers of my young life!

- Mike 'breaking good' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Robert said...

I am much like your first poster. I'd rather get the omnibus editions or trade paperbacks of the old titles. It's too bad they still don't make those 500 issue runs on DVD by a manufacturer called Graphic Imaging Technologies. I liked the first 500 of Spidey and Fantastic Four DVD's however the remaining ones are so exorbitantly priced because Marvel is no longer allowing this company to create them.

But I digress, my favorite title was Kirby's run on the Fantastic Four. After he left, the FF was never the same. I know when Kirby started writing New Gods, his dialogue was a bit heavy handed. However the stories and visuals was so spectacular they influenced a generation of comic book artists.

Last year, I purchased in hardcover and paperback on Amazon:

The complete 4th World Omnibus volumes one through four. It's the complete saga with an introduction by
Mark Evanier.

Kirby's 1975-76 run on Marvel's Captain America. It was in an Omnibus edition.

Also purchased volumes one and two of Kamandi, The Omac saga, and Kirby's Demon run all in hardcover. You can say what you want about his writing skills, however Kirby's art draws me in each time.

Rip Jagger said...

I've done the Avengers, many years ago. It was hard quitting them finally since I did have all the issues.

But now I only get back issues for a rare few. I recently bought back issues for Turok Son of Stone. I'd love to own all those in the original.

And I keep thinking I'll track down all of Charlton's Ghostly Tales and Many Ghosts of Dr.Graves one day.

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, just imagine if you would pick any year from the early 70s and get all the Richie Richs that came out that year. You would be well over a 100 issues!!!!

The Prowler (Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend I want to guard your dreams and visions).

Anonymous said...

For me, I did the majority of my first "collecting" era from @ 1984-1991......The only (ongoing)title I "HAD TO" get EVERY issue of was AVENGERS....and I picked up EVERY new issue from #240 (great cover)- #343 (I guess the BAD aftertaste of Rage joining, and seeing Crystal in the cornerbox (boo Crystal!), and Black Knight with a lightsaber was enough for me to give up on the Avengers! And in hindsight, it was probably a good time to jump ship (on the Avengers, and comics in general).


Anonymous said...

For me, I did the majority of my first "collecting" era from @ 1984-1991......The only (ongoing)title I "HAD TO" get EVERY issue of was AVENGERS....and I picked up EVERY new issue from #240 (great cover)- #343 (I guess the BAD aftertaste of Rage joining, and seeing Crystal in the cornerbox (boo Crystal!), and Black Knight with a lightsaber was enough for me to give up on the Avengers! And in hindsight, it was probably a good time to jump ship (on the Avengers, and comics in general).


Anonymous said...

I got the complete run of Defenders, up until issue #70 or so. After that, I didn't enjoy the book anymore, Kraft left and the fun went out of it.
But up till then, what a run!
Also, F.F., first 180 issues or so. Mostly reprints! I ain't rich. mp

Humanbelly said...

This is a toughie. I have a decently big collection, although it contains very few of the earliest issues of any of the older gold-standard titles. But I do have huge, huge swaths of the titles I always liked the best, w/ reprints of any missing issues, so for many years I've found myself more in the "What's next?" realm that Mark mentions.

I'm missing Avengers #1 and #4--- but other than having them fall on my head out of an airplane, I can't imagine a circumstance where I'd ever be able to acquire them. I don't think I could ever bring myself to spend even as much as $100 on a single issue of any comic for myself, regardless of how valuable its market-rate might be. It's still just a comic that I would then look at every once in awhile-- but mostly it would be stored away. I wouldn't get $100 worth of enjoyment out of it that way, I'm pretty sure. And, were I to come across it at some poor old lady's yard sale or garage sale for a dollar, I don't think I could possibly take that kind of unfair advantage, and would almost certainly make sure that it got put into the proper channels to be sold at a proper price. But that wouldn't end up with it in my collection.

Incredible Hulk #'s 1-6 would be delightful, no doubt. And that title (starting with his first appearance in TtA) was my own early "Chasing Incredible" odyssey. And I totally, totally remember that wonderful feeling of being able to fill in those gaps one hard-sought issue at a time. #115 was a big hurdle, as was #153 for some reason. And #167.

The title(s) from the last fifteen years or so that I still am trying to wrap up would be DC's JSA followed by the subsequent JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA. I do have most of both of those runs-- but there are a few holes that contain some surprisingly pricey back issues. Again-- not willing to skip groceries in order to buy comics, y'know?


Dr. Oyola said...

ROM was the only series I ever worked to collect the whole thing + all appearances in other comics, plus all the appearances of Dire Wraiths in other comics that were concurrent w/ the ROM run.

I have completed that.

Otherwise, I chase small bits defined in specific ways. The issues of Strange Tales that introduce Brother Voodoo (finally got those). All of the original OMAC and Devil Dinosaur issues (got those). All of Micronauts first volume.

I would LOVE the whole of the B&W Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu magazine that feature White Tiger (for a project I am working on regarding Latino superheroes), but it looks like acquiring that is out of my price range.

As for Amazing Spider-Man. I am seriously considering getting rid of the vast majority of my collection after Annual #21 (Peter and MJ's wedding) and using that my own personal "end of Spider-Man" (picking back up with MC2 Spider-Girl digests) and then going back and completing a collection of all the issues from my childhood up to there - thus limiting the expensive issues I have to shell out (mostly b/c I bought them off the rack back in the day).

I have posted this link before, but here is an overview of my collecting practice: On Collecting Comics & Critical Nostalgia

Edo Bosnar said...

Osvaldo, I've always wanted a tpb or HC or something that collected all of White Tiger's solo stories in Deadly Hands, plus his guest appearances in other books (mainly the Peter Parker series). But it looks like that falls in the same category as Man Wolf, Ragman and Black Lightning, i.e., wishful thinking.

Ward Hill Terry said...

I stopped actively collecting many, many years ago, but never got rid of any of my books. About fifteen years ago I focused my collecting on just two things, The Legion of Super-Heroes, and The Justice Society of America. When I do have the odd $20 or so, I'll seek out the missing issues of the various titles in which these groups appeared. It is almost exclusively pre-crisis books, i.e., the REAL Legion and JSA that I collect.
As MP mentioned, having the originals rather than the collected editions is a real treat! The letters pages, the house ads , the Daily Planet and The Bullpen Bulletins all added to the overall comic book experience. Not to mention the smell of the originals!

Anonymous said...

Just a quick flash post for those who may be interested. Our guide is showing that ABC will be showing at 3pm Central time "The ABCs Of Schoolhouse Rock". It's a great look back at the show that taught so many, so much in such a short amount of time.

The Prowler (Feeling my way through the darkness guided by a beating heart I can't tell where the journey will end but I know where to start).

Dr. Oyola said...

Ha Prowler!

I just busted out my Schoolhouse Rock DVD to see if there was something I could use for a class lesson, and there might be - but I don't think the makers of that "Elbow Room" cartoon would like what I have to teach about it. ;)

Humanbelly said...

Hmm-- genocide, slavery, imperialism (of a sort), devastation of natural resources, wholesale slaughter of indigenous wildlife, forced religious conversion. . .

(Am I somewhere in the neighborhood?)


Edo Bosnar said...

Yep, HB, as I said recently, "Elbow Room" is pretty obnoxious. Too bad all of the history rock bits weren't as good as "Sufferin' for Suffrage."

Anonymous said...

I chased Daredevil 1-500 and eventually had them bound. The journey was wonderful. I became an archaeologist of DD. I did study it more than courses I took in college.

Joe Pilla said...

Fun topic!

I've long since gotten past the stage where I'm trying to lighten the load on my apartment's floorboards rather than add to it.

However, if the neighbors downstairs are willing to prop up their ceiling, the three titles I'd pursue in toto are:

those Silver Age champs TALES OF SUSPENSE and TALES TO ASTONISH, which simply say Marvel to me;

as well as STAR-SPANGLED WAR STORIES, admittedly mostly for the lovably looney WAR THAT TIME FORGOT issues, which never fail to put a sappy smile on my face
when I need a pick-me-up.

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