There are a few things in life that I have a great passion for.
Music. I love music. Listening to it. Creating it. Writing it....bitching about it.
Comics....been a comic book collector since I was 7 years old, that's over 35 years I have been reading,collecting, creating, and yes like music...bitching about comics.
I've also always enjoyed gardening. Until recently that's how I made my living, sort of. I managed every aspect of a 55 acre complex that grew and sold nursery plants to landscapers. I loved that job. Unfortunately the company I worked for got bought out by a company from out west (which I won't name) and within five years they alienated our customer base...which had been loyal for the best part of 100 years...and the company closed. 74 employees kicked to the curb and the doors shut behind us as the company sold off everything and moved back to California.
That part of my life is gone now, perhaps forever. I'm working in a factory again. It pays the bills and at least I do have a job after a very lengthy amount of time unemployed. But I miss the old job, growing plants.
My very first job was at that same company. The company that my Dad worked at for over 30 years. I worked there for three years before allowing my ex-wife to convince me to try something else, but eventually I returned to the work I enjoyed best and spent the last ten years enjoying my work. I do miss that.
I also miss collecting comics. Oh I still have a comic book collection, but don't actively buy new comics. That part of my life also seems to be gone.
You see in a weird way, for me at least, there's a lot in common when it comes to collecting comics and gardening. When I was a teenager I used to mow grass, every chance I could, to earn money to buy comics. Comics and yard work has always been interconnected. During the ten years at my last job I made good money. Good enough to spend 40-60 bucks a week on comics, including buying back every book I was foolish enough to get rid of in the past for various reasons.
Like I said collecting comics and gardening does have a lot in common. If you're not careful a lot of weeds can pop up in your garden...and in your collection and you have no choice left but to get your hands dirty and start pulling those weeds.
That's what I recently done, cutting my comic collection down by half and now I have a little under 3,000 books...15 long boxes of only the good stuff.
Sometimes you have to clear out all that Bendis and Morrison stuff that is choking out all that high quality Marv Wolfman and Roger Stern stuff. All that crazy Avengers stuff is stealing way too much light and water from the roots of the collection. Get rid of it so that David Micheline and Jim Shooter stuff can thrive once more.
Look....Andy Diggle overwatered Daredevil and killed it. Throw it out.
All this D.C. stuff is like a Japanese Beetle infestation. Blast it to Hell and get rid of it quick!
The long creative drought that has been slowly killing Amazing Spider-Man for years now has finally taken it's toll. No amount of fertilizer that you throw on it can save it, it's just too far gone.
That Claremont stuff is never going to be as vibrant as it once was, just give up on it.
What is this? A Deadpool comic? How did that get in here? Where's the Round Up?
But like all great fall afternoons working in the yard, it's paid off. I've enjoyed walking through my revitalized garden....I mean collection these past few weeks. I've rediscovered the stuff that brought me into reading comics in the first place.
I've recently re-read such great books as
Iron Fist #1-15
Adam Warlock #9-15
Invincible Iron Man #137-141
Incredible Hulk #232-236
Captain Marvel #50
Marvel Premiere #48-49
Captain America #228-232
Marvel Team Up #41-44
Sometimes it feels good to get a little dirt under the nails.
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