Why I’m Collecting Copper Age Marvel Comics
So, I've decided to start collecting comics in a more serious way. To be clear, I’ve always acquired and kept comic books but I didn’t really take great care of them and now have a 2000+ issue collection of mostly worthless comics. I can’t say I really regret that because I decided when I was still a preteen that I would collect comics but I wouldn’t be a comic collector.
That’s how I did it for years; keeping the books but not taking great care of them. As an adult, I’ve gone through a couple of periods having a pull list at the comic shop. I would slowly add to the list and try new books and drop ones I didn’t like anymore, usually because they change the writer. I’d have this pull list and get the comics and eventually decide I’m just getting them out of habit and drop the list.
Meanwhile, around my home, stacks of comics are developing and I’m finding I don’t have a lot of attachment to all these modern comics. Occasionally they will be great and I will maintain an interest past the first reading. For the most part, though, they are forgettable and gimmicky.
After breaking the habit, it feels like paying for a soap opera by the episode. Then storing the episode in a fragile paper form and keeping it forever. And spending a significant portion of my insignificant income to do it. I realized I didn’t want to do it that way anymore. What I really wanted, were the comics from when I first got into comics. I decided I wanted to get comics in a more intentional way and be a good caretaker of them.
In theory, if well cared for, the comic is a near timeless artifact. While I, even well cared for, am still a rapidly decaying meat machine. I now understand it will only pass through my hands to continue unchanged through time. I see that I should be a little more selective in what I choose to collect. So I am.
I’ve dropped the ever-swelling pull list. My interest has been narrowed to just books I know I want. The Copper Age is my deal now. Marvel Copper Age to be specific. If you don’t already know, the Copper Age describes comics published (roughly) between 1983 and 1993. Demarcated by The first Secret War Maxiseries at the beginning and X-Men #1 at the end.
The Copper Age and I were born around the same time and my first interest in comics was born with a collection my uncle left behind while he was in the Navy. He didn’t leave them behind for me. He left them at his parent’s house. His parents were my Grandparents, whom I would stay with for extended periods during the summer. They lived on a cattle ranch in the country and it was perfectly boring. I brought as much entertainment as I could but it didn’t even matter once I found those comics. That collection; though I could see it only once a year and only for a couple of years before he came back long enough to retrieve it.
The memory of those comics stayed with me. They weren’t the first comics I owned, they were never mine. They did spark my interest though and lead to many comics being owned and read and borrowed and traded over the next thirty or so years. Now, mostly disillusioned by modern comics, I’ve come full circle and know those copper age books are what I’ve wanted for myself since. It’s a pure nostalgia trip at this point.
Most of my favorite stories; the stories I feel changed my life or at least my way of thinking, most of those stories weren’t Marvel books or from that era. I own most of those in collections at this point. I thought I might catch another in my pull list or at least recapture the feelings I had with those superhero books as a kid. No more gambling on new stuff for me, at least for now. I know What I want and I know Where to get them. Mostly eBay.
I’ve made my first few buys and there will be more to come. Sharing is Caring and I wanna Care so here I am sharing my journey back.
Back… To The Copper Age