Personal Goal Reached, Revisited

So one of my goals for this year was to read all the comic books I own.

Well, to finish reading the comics I’d purchased, not read all the comics I owned again. Last year, I organized my comic books into short boxes and stored them.

However, I had another short box of comic books that I’d bought in 2008 at a garage sale at Edgar Road Elementary. They were marked 10 cents each, but I bought the whole box for $4 or $5 without counting them. It turns out they came to almost 100. Plus, I’d picked up a couple books at Vintage Stock in recent years. And I’d bought a couple comics for my kids that they’ve then sold to me for a discount when they wanted to buy Pokemon cards. In retrospect, even though they sold the books to me at a discount, I have bought the books twice which makes me a not-so-smart shopper. It also explains why I have single issues of mutant titles–when it seems inexplicable, I realize the cover has Cable on it, and the youngest thought Cable was cool for some reason when he (the youngest, not Cable) was six years old.

At any rate, I decided to read those comics this year so I could enumerate them in the spreadsheet of my collection and then store them properly with the others in an organized fashion. So it’s sort of like how I treat my actual library: I get, then I read, then I enumerate. Of course, there is not much organization in my book library at all, so the comic book collection quite differs from real books.

As you might know, I have been diligently knocking off comic books throughout the year, often as a break from reading actual books or after completing a chapter of a real book like The Grapes of Wrath. The Edgar Road Box, which I would shorten to ERB if I planned on ever speaking of it again, contained pretty good sets of mid-80s comics like Alpha Flight, Power Pack, and The New Mutants, but I was not familiar with those series, so I pushed them off.

But I eventually got to them.

And this week, I finished the last of my comic books.

Now that I’m done with the personal goal, I lack a sense of accomplishment.

On the one hand, as you might expect, I look at the end of the stack and I think, “Is this the last time I read a comic book?” I don’t tend to go to the comic book shop looking for comic books these days, and I haven’t even been to Vintage Stock for months. I haven’t been to Missouri Comics since it closed and moved to Florida (I wonder whether the recent hurricane has wiped him out?) The answer to this is probably not, since I’ll still pick up stuff from the independent comic book publishers at -Cons, and if I discover a small box cheap at a garage sale, I might still be tempted. But who knows?

On the other hand, now that I’m done with it, I look at it in terms of a personal goal, and think, “That’s the best you can do for personal goals each year?” To be honest, my annual goals in the past have been tied to certain metrics. Ten years ago, they were: Read 70 books (I read 125); write 50 rough drafts (I wrote 12, most of which ended up on this blog eventually); submit 50 pieces to magazines (I submitted 12; one, though, appeared in a national magazine); write 3 applications (Junk Data; ReadTrack; WriteTrack–0 completed). I also had a nebulous goal (exercise more) and a specific goal (learn to play piano). I didn’t do so good with those goals, although even today I’m tracking the books I read and get close to or more than 70 per year. And I do exercise more, although I don’t track it.

This year, though, I had more discrete goals: To get a black belt; to do a triathlon; to read all the comics I own; to publish a book of poetry. I’m three quarters of the way through the list, and I wonder if perhaps I should not have looked for something more meaningful than these. Or at least more meaningful than reading comic books as an annual goal.

I mean, I’m ::cough, cough:: closing in on fifty years old. Reading comic books in middle age is not something one does. At least, I look around my cohort and don’t see anyone else doing it. I’m not sure I’d even feel comfortable mentioning it to anyone I know. So let’s keep this between you and I, gentle reader.

Of course, when wanting to have a goal of something more meaningful, you have to have a concept of what is really meaningful. Perhaps that is what I’m struggling with when being down on this particular little pastime. I mean, I enjoyed reading the comic books a bit, although I’m more of a book reader these days. I take a certain pride in my collection (I should add an s, as I am proud of most of my collections). Perhaps that’s meaningful enough, and perhaps annual goals can be that trivial.

Who knows? Perhaps I should set as an annual goal for 2018 Get over the mid-life crisis you’ve been having since you were sixteen years old.

At any rate, since I did bother to list them, below the fold you can geek out with the complete list of my comic books as of today.

Publisher Title Issues Total
Marvel 2099 Unlimited 3 1
  Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix LS 1-4 4
  Adventures of the Thing LS 1-4 4
  Alpha Flight 11-15, 17, 20 7
  Amazing Spider-Man 67 (2), 167-168,316,326-329,330,351,359, 365(2),366-369,372-373 ,375,384,385,400-404,407-408 30
  Amazing Spider-Man Annual 17,26 2
  Amazing Spider-Man: Soul of the Hunter 1
  Amazing X-Men 1 1
  Annex 1 1
  A-Team 1-2 2
  Avengers 300,303,340,345-347,357,360 8
  Avengers Annual 21 1
  Back the the Future 3 1
  Balder the Brave Limited Series 4 1
  Battlestar Galactica 2-22 21
  Bill & Ted’s Excellent Comic 1 1
  Bishop LS 1-2 2
  Black Knight 2-3 2
  Cable LS 1 (8)-2 9
  Cable 5, 62 2
  Cage 1-12 12
  Captain America 367-368,381,393,397,397-398,400-403,405,407-413,437 20
  Captain America Annual 11 1
  Captain Planet and the Planeteers 1 1
  Classic X-Men 29 1
  Cloak & Dagger 1 1
  Cloak & Dagger LS 1-4 4
  Conan the King 26 1
  Damage Control 1 1
  Damage Control LS 1-4 4
  Damage Control LS2 1-4 4
  Daredevil 227-229, 307,309 5
  Darkhawk Annual 1 1
  DC vs. Marvel 1 1
  Deadly Foes of Spider-Man 4 1
  Deathlok 1-13 13
  Deathlok Annual 1 1
  Defenders of Dynatron City 1,3,5 3
  Dino Riders 1 1
  Doom 2099 1-3, 6-8, 6, 11, 24, 39 10
  Dr. Strange 32 1
  Fantastic Force 2 2
  Fantastic Four 356 1
  Fantastic Four July 1995 1
  Fantastic Four Annual 25 1
  Force Works 6-7 2
  Freddy Krueger’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 1 1
  Gambit 2-3 2
  Ghost Rider/Wolverine/Punisher: Hearts of Darkness 1
  GI Joe 4,11-13, 12-13,22-23, 27-28, 33-34, 37, 39, 42, 45-46, 48, 51, 64-65, 67, 69, 138 24
  GI Joe: Order of Battle LS 1 1
  GI Joe Special Missions 13 1
  Guardians of the Galaxy 1-2,5-8,10,12-14,16-23,25-27,46 22
  Hawkeye LS 1,3 2
  Hulk 2099 1-2 2
  Human Fly 15 1
  Incredible Hulk 416,424-425 3
  Infinity Gauntlet 1-4,6 5
  Infinity War 1-6 6
  Iron Man 243,252 2
  Iron Man Annual 13 1
  Kitty Pryde and Wolverine 1-6 6
  Krull 2 1
  Last Avengers Story 2 1
  Marc Spector: Moon Knight 1, 6 2
  Marvel 1989 The Year In Review 1
  Marvel Action Hour Fantastic Four 1-2 2
  Marvel Action Hour Iron Man 1 1
  Marvel Age 91 1
  Marvel Saga 15 1
  Marvel Tales 218, 241,280 3
  Marvel Team-Up 34,41-44,55,57,63,69,78,80-81,83,86, 90,105,107,113,117-118,121(2),125,127,131-133,135,137-138,140-141,149-150 35
  Marvel Team-Up Annual 4 1
  Marvel Team-Up vol 2 7 1
  Marvel Two-In-One 93 1
  Marvel vs DC 2 2
  Mighty Thor Annual 17 1
  Mighty Thor, The 357, 373, 385, 437,458,484,485,488 8
  New Warriors 1-6,14,20,27-28,40,42,44 13
  New Warriors Annual 2 1
  NFL Super Pro 1 1
  New Mutants, The 16-17, 21-31, 35-39, 38, 41-45 24
  New Mutants Annual, The 2 1
  Nightcrawler 1-4 4
  Night Thrasher 4-5 2
  Night Thrasher: Four Control LS 1-3 3
  Nikki Doyle: Wild Thing 1 1
  Nomad 1-10 10
  Nomad LS 1-4 4
  Nova 1,3-5 4
  Nth Man 1-2,7,16 4
  Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Update ’89 5-8 4
  Police Academy 1 1
  Power Pack 33,35-39,41 7
  Punisher 26,86-87 3
  Punisher 2099 1-2 2
  Punisher Holiday Special 2 1
  Punisher Meets Archie 1 1
  Punisher Summer Special 1 1
  Punisher vs Batman 1
  Punisher War Journal 45-47,61-62,64 6
  Punisher War Zone 1,23 2
  Quasar ($1) 1-17 17
  Quasar ($1.25) 1 1
  Raiders of the Lost Ark 1
  Ravage 2099 1-4 4
  Ren & Stimpy Show 1-3,13 4
  Robocop 2 1
  Robocop 2 1
  Sabretooth 3 1
  Savage Return of Dracula 1 1
  Scarlet Spider 2 1
  Scarlet Witch 1 1
  Secret Defenders 12 1
  Sensational She-Hulk 1,4,9 3
  Sensational Spider-Man 1 1
  Silver Sable & The Wild Pack 2 1
  Silver Surfer 34-35,58,67,96,99,102 7
  Silver Surfer vs Dracula 1
  Silver Surfer: Madness and Mayhem 1
  Sledge Hammer! 2 1
  Sleepwalker 9-14 6
  Solarman 1 1
  Soviet Super Soldiers 1 1
  Spectacular Spider-Man 158-159 (2), 165-166,169-170,177-185,194-196,222,226-227 23
  Spectacular Spider-Man Annual 12 1
  Speedball 1-10 10
  Spider-Man 1,7, 24-28,50,56-60 13
  Spiderman Megazine 1-3 3
  Spider-Man: Dance of the Hunter 1 1
  Stryfe’s Strike File 1 1
  Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle 27 1
  Tek World 1-5,7 6
  Terror, Inc. 13 1
  Thunder Strike 2-4,10 4
  Uncanny X-Men 307 1
  Venom: Lethal Protector 1-2,1 3
  Venom: Nights of Vengeance 1-2 2
  Venom: Separation Anxiety 1 1
  Venom: The Enemy Within LS 1 1
  Venom: The Madness LS 1-3 3
  War Machine 1-3, 5-10 9
  Warlock and the Infinity Watch 1-10, 6, 12-14 14
  Warlord of Mars 1 1
  Web of Spider-Man 58-58, 61,64,66,71,79,83,91-93,122-124,126-127 16
  Web of Spider-Man Annual 8 1
  Wedding of Dracula 1 1
  West Coast Avengers 43,46,82,84 4
  What If? 9,11,16,19-20,28-29,53,56,72 10
  What the? 1,9,10,14-15 5
  Wolfpack 1-12 12
  Wolverine 21,43,89 3
  Wolverine and Gambit: Victims 1
  Wolverine and the Punisher 1
  Wonder Man 1-13,17-18,17 16
  Wonder Man Annual 1 1
  X-Factor 4-5 2
  X-Force 7 1
  X-Men 1(2), 26 3
  X-Men 2099 4-5 2
  X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills 1
DC Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1,5,7 3
  Adventures of Superman 498,0,505-507,517-518,529,531 9
  Agent Liberty 1 1
  Aquaman 3-4 2
  Aquaman Time and Tide LS 1 1
  Batman 0 1
  Batman: Ten Nights of the Beast 1
  Black Condor 1 1
  Detective Comics 301 1
  Doc Savage 2 1
  Dragonlance 30 1
  Flash 100 1
  Flash Gordon 2-3 2
  Forgotten Realms 6, 8, 18 3
  Fourth World 1, 11-12, 18-19 5
  Golden Age 1 1
  Hardware 1 1
  Hawk & Dove 1 1
  Human Target 1 1
  Kid Eternity 1 1
  Legion of Super Heroes 300 1
  MASK 7 1
  Mister Miracle 1-2,4-5 4
  Ms. Tree Quarterly 1, 6 2
  New Teen Titans 22, 36, 39, 54 4
  Robin 2 1
  Shadow Strikes 1 1
  Star Trek: The Modala Imperative 1-4 4
  Star Trek: The Next Generation 1 1
  Star Trek: The Next Generation Annual 1 1
  Static 6 1
  Steel 12-14,16-17 5
  Superboy 0,8,10,12,14-18,23 10
  Superman 0,75,83-85,93-95,102,108 10
  Superman Doomsday Hunter/Prey 2 1
  Superman in Action Comics 0,692-694,698,703-705,717-718 10
  Superman The Man of Steel 0,28-29,37-40,43,50,52 10
  Superman the Man of Tomorrow 3 1
  Untold Tales of Superman 5 1
  Zero Hour 1-3 3
Image Brigade 1(5) 5
  Darkchylde 1 1
  Fathom Collected Editions 1 1
  Grifter 1-5 5
  Shadow Hawk 1(2) 2
  Spawn 1-5 5
  Supreme 1(2) 2
  WildCATs 1(2) 2
Impact Black Hood 7 1
  Comet 1-4 4
  Crusaders 1-2 2
  Fly, The 1-3 3
  Winter Special 1 1
  Jaguar 1 1
  Legend of the Shield 2-4,8-9,12-13 6
  Web, The 1 1
Now Adventures of Baron Manchausen 1-3 3
  Green Hornet 2-3,5 3
  Twilight Zone 1 1
Dark Horse Badger 1 1
  Give Me Liberty 1(2) 2
unknown Deathwind 1 1
Adventure Comics Logan’s Run 2-4 3
Aircel Silver Storm 2 1
Archaia Black Label Cyborg 009 000 1
Archie Archie Meets the Punisher 1 1
Classics Illustrated David Copperfield 1
Cornerstone Design Drifters 1 1
Eagle Comics Judge Dredd 22, 28 2
  Strontium Dog 1-2 2
Eclipse DNAgents 8-9 2
  Ms. Tree’s Thrilling Detective Adventures 1 1
Epic The Alien Legion 9-15 7
  Elektra Assassin Limited Series 1 1
  Interface 4-5 2
  Cadillacs and Dinosaurs 1,3 2
Eternity Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective 1 1
First Badger 35, 49, 66 (2) 4
Gold Key Tom and Jerry 303 1
Innovation Cyberpunk:The Seraphim Project 1
Lead Belly Book of Lost Souls 1 1
Leed/Viz Comics The Professional 1 1
Malibu Mortal Kombat: Blood and Thunder 1 1
  Protectors 1 1
  Raver 2 1
  Street Fighter 1-3 3
National Periodical Publications Champion Sports 1 1
Nicktoons Ren & Stimpy Show Exposed 1 1
Revolutionary The Pink Floyd Experience 1 1
Tekno Gene Roddenberry’s Lost Universe 1 1
  Leonard Nimoy’s Primortals 5 1
Tokuma Street Fighter II 1 1
TSR Birthright: The Serpent’s Eye 1
Valiant Harbinger 20, 29 2
Maximum Press Avengeblade 1 1
Archie Comics Tandy Computer Whiz Kids 1
Whitman Tom and Jerry 265 1
Independent Spectral Void 1-2 2
  Noir City: First 2 issues + Bonus Material 1 1

As I mentioned, I am a Marvel guy.

Note that this list does not include my beautiful wife’s comic books, my children’s comic books, or that old box of well-worn comic books from my childhood which I have let my children read for a couple years now and is now the old box of well-destroyed comic books from their childhood.

Given the amount of time I’ve put into amassing this collection and organizing it, perhaps I should take a little pride in it and perhaps find a geekier cohort.