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Monday, 17 October 2016
(THE END OF) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD...
Image copyright MARVEL COMICS
The collector-mentality is an odd kind of compulsion. Those of you who collect anything know that already, but for others not 'afflicted' with the desire to own things, allow me give you an example from my own experience to demonstrate the point. Back in 1980, MARVEL U.K. published a series of 'pocket books', digest-sized monthly mags featuring their most popular characters.
I purchased quite a number of them, but, somehow, I missed a few issues of The FANTASTIC FOUR and The X-MEN pocket books. In the former's case, it was at least four issues, in the latter's, two. I managed to acquire two of the missingmags (one from each title) last year, but on Saturday, I received the remaining FF issues I needed, along with two X-Men mags (one being a better-condition replacement for the one I got in 2015).
Here's the thing though - I didn't really need them. I already have the tales in various full-colour, full-sized reprints several times over, yet I still felt compelled to plug the gaps and complete the set of both periodicals - 34-plus years after I'd bought their 'companions'. It feels good to finally complete something that was left unfinished, but there's also an anti-climactic feeling as well.
Last night, I put the mags in numerical sequence with their fellows, placed the lid on the box in which I store them, shoved it back on my cupboard shelf, and closed the door. It could be years before I look at them again, which makes me wonder if there was any point in tracking them down after such a long period if I'm now just going to forget about them.
Although I feel a sense of accomplishment at completing the task, there's also a touch of sadness at finally 'closing the door' on a period that represents my youth (I was only 22 when these mags began). It's as though there was an open link to my past while the quest remained ongoing, but now that it's over, the thin beam of connecting light 'twixt then and now has flickered and dimmed, if not actually expired.
So, satisfaction and sadness at the same event. Anyone else ever feel this way when finally completing a long-standing undertaking? If so, reveal all to your fellow Criv-ites in the comments section.
Postscript: I'm struck by the fact I completed my collection of these mags while residing in the house I lived at the time they first went on sale. Why is that significant, you may possibly wonder? Because 33 years ago, my family moved to a new house in another neighbourhood for four years, before returning to our former home. So I started and finished the collection in the same house - nearly 35 years apart. Amazing, eh?