This past few days, there’s been kind of a theme here at the blog… well, maybe a few. They are: Change, Moments of Profundity, and Walking Away. The episode I’m going to share with you today actually touches on all three!
The purpose of ReMarvel, as a program, was/is for me to rediscover everything I love about Marvel Comics. Not only that, but it also allowed me a forum where I could reminisce and share stories of my trajectory through comics fandom. I feel like a lot of folks assume that I was a “DC lifer” and had never touched a Marvel comic, which… while understandable given my content, really isn’t the case at all. Quite the opposite… as I came into my more “rabid” fandom as only reading Marvel, and very seldom checking the DC “side” of the new-release table.
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X-Men (vol.2) #45 came at just about the perfect time for me… and was one of the truest comics-related “moments of profundity” to slap me across the face. I’m not sure I’ve expressed this here, though it might be plainly obvious, I’m very much an “all or nothing” sort of guy. I have great difficulty in the act of calibrating. I’m either “all-in”, or “all-out” with nothing in between. That applies to my comics fandom as well.
If I’m an X-Fan, then… dangit, I’m reading all the X-Books, ya dig?
If it’s also not plainly obvious, I definitely have some addictive qualities. My inability to let this website go might be the most recent testament to that. So, being “all-in” and addicted… collecting comics in the mid-1990’s sort of ceased being a hobby, and became nothing more than a “chore”. I was 15 years old, and I’d foisted this monthly “bill” onto myself. I’d feel sick as Wednesday approached, and I knew I was a few cents short of grabbing the next issue(s). It didn’t help that the X-Line of books had absolutely exploded from the time I entered the hobby 4-5 years earlier. There were just so many X-Books! It was not the best of times.
With X-Men (vol.2) #45… I hit a wall. I wasn’t picking up Previews catalogs at the time, so I wasn’t privy to what was coming next. Knowing only that it was “X-Men (vol.2) week” at the shop, I headed in with my pittance (including my two-bucks for X-Men)… and, what’d I see?
X-Men #45 was there… and it had a price tag of $3.95! I was gobsmacked, and couldn’t figure out why this random-numbered (which is to say, not a “multiple of twenty-five”) issue was slapped with a gimmick cover and jacked up in price. I was informed that (most of) the X-Books were celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Giant-Size X-Men… and, so… the (core) X-Books for that month would all be of the four-buck variety!
It was at that point I realized:
- I was never going to be able to afford this month’s X-Books, which would put me behind in my collecting
- Marvel could hit us with one of these “gimmick months” at any time
- We were just a handful of months away from X-Men (vol.2) and X-Force hitting their 50th issues… which, would definitely be gimmicked and over-priced
- Have you ever “walked away” from comics, dear reader?
- Was there a “last straw”?
- If so, what was it?
- How long were you gone?
- What brought you back?