On Bagging & Boarding

So hey, I admit that as of late my blogging has been somewhat… sporadic. A few things are to blame, like my real life job, or a socially crippling addiction to Game of Thrones & the discovery of Even Rats by The Slip on Rock Band 2. The thing is my comic book reading of late has also been sporadic as I’ve been more concerned with bagging & boarding every comic I own. Now while my LCS have recently started a bagging & boarding service for new releases this unfortunately does nothing to help the previous decade of comics that are currently sitting in my long boxes & as such I’ve been spending a large chunk of my quality time making sure my comics remain in good quality for a large chunk of time.

Thing is, when I first started buying comics seriously I thought bagging & boarding was something that was only done by hard core collectors. Don’t get me wrong I’ve nothing against those people that wonder through the collectors fares scanning the wares in an effort to plug the last few gaps in their collection (My favourite memory of a collectors fare was the woman who asked a seller if he had any Hellblazer’s, when he asked her if she was looking for any particular issues she said “yeah 6 & 21.” – Now that’s a collection), but that’s never been my style. I didn’t buy comics in the vague hope that I could send my kids to university off the back of selling a mint condition run of All Star Superman (like Hell I’d sell that run anyway!), I bought comics to read them, not to shut them away in the dark & for ten years that’s exactly what I’ve done. But as my collection increased from a few odds & sods here & there to the first of many long boxes I had to actually start questioning why I was spaffing so much of my monthly income on what were effectively glorified pamphlets, & it occurred to me that for someone who wasn’t a collector I had amassed a fairly decent collection & one that was worth preserving. Now I’m sure that all the other people at the collectors fare weren’t just in it for the money either so I figured it had to be about something else. For me it was about the completion factor. Something I discovered at a very early age when I started collecting Panini sticker albums. Transformers, Thundercats, MASK, Action Force. I had them all & I loved filling all the gaps in, watching the story unfold through minimalist text & shiny logo’s.


Ok, so if I was so much into the completion factor couldn’t I have tried collecting something that took up less space? The only thing that’s increased with the size of my collection is the difficulty I have moving house. But, knowing myself as well as I do I’m pretty sure that I’ll part with one my organs before I part with my comics, which is also the reason that I’ve chosen to start doing everything I can to preserve them (Seriously I’ve taken up jogging, keeping my cholesterol low & I’m pretty sure in a few years I’ll be able to exchange one of my Kidneys for a Spider Man #300 foil variant because it’s always about collecting the shiny ones isn’t it?). However it was my last house move that made me start this  exercise after a few comics were accidentally damaged in a way that could have been prevented had I bagged & boarded them (Now as a result it’ll be me at the collectors fare looking to plug that gap that had previously been filled).


I also have to think, if I’m perfectly honest, that the chances of any of my collection being worth more money than I paid for  them are slimmer than the latest mobile phone. So, sorry future sprog (or sprogette) if you want a degree you’ll have to wait for either:


A)     A government not run by wankers.

B)      A part time job with a ludicrous benefits package,


C)      Just hope I get promoted to arch bastard of the world with a paycheque to match.

I appreciate that in writing this I’m probably preaching to the choir but I’m still trying to work out why this has suddenly become a “thing” for me – what’s the point? Well, comics are the point. But if you were looking for a serious answer then in truth I don’t have a bloody clue. Maybe if I’m lucky my offspring will show a passing interest in those books with the brightly coloured pictures that will no doubt form the basis of their bedtime stories & so I’ll be able to hand down the stories that enhanced my life in the knowledge that they’ll help enhance theirs. What’s more likely though is that they’ll be into football & every time I try to explain why Simon Furman is one of the best writers of all time  their eyes will probably glaze over with disinterest in much the same way mine will any time they mention the offside rule. Never mind, at least we’ll both be able to enjoy collecting the sticker albums.


Oh well I’d better get back to the bagging & boarding, or at least I will do after another few chapters of Game of Thrones… I’m nearly at the end now meaning I won’t leave it a George. R.R. Martin-esque amount of time before writing another blog.