Thursday, October 4, 2012

Another Collection Update

I've spent a busy two days entering a lot of comics into the system, and I find I'm running smack-dab into one of the pitfalls of many collectors: I'm obsessing with the numbers. You see, a long, long time ago, I was like most young collectors and I went through the "investing" phase of collecting. Even though I had little immediate desire to sell my comics, I would buy extra copies of important issues. This was obviously tied to a higher-than-previous income, which is why I have at least 4 complete set of Frank Miller's run on Daredevil during the crucial DD/Elektra era (I've even got copies autographed by Frank Miller at Lone Star Comics during the 1981 - 1983 years).

I picked up four of these during
my "investor" phase.
I then matured a bit and gave up investing to just focus on what I enjoy reading. That doesn't mean I never bought multiples again, but I definitely cut down on the practice.

When I quit investing, I also quit counting how many comics I had. They were just there for my enjoyment, so it didn't matter how many there were. The last time I did a count I was between 6,000 - 7,000 comics, but I just sort of lost track after that. It wasn't until recently that I stopped to do the math and realized that I probably have between 10,000 - 12,000. I really won't know for sure until I figure out a faster way to access and sort them (hence my recent posts about getting custom cabinets).

But back to the numbers game
My evenings have been a bit free for the past week, so I started entering comics into the system with a bit more vim and vigor than usual. And once I started, that's where the "numbers bug" hit me. You see, I might enter a range of comics and then do a count to see how many I had done, and if it was 98 comics I would feet cheated until I went to grab 2 more to make it an even 100.

Likewise, I might enter that 100 comics, only to see that the comics total for my collection was at 4,376. Only 24 comics away from passing a milestone of 4,400? I'd go grab another series and quickly enter them into the system so I could pass another milestone in sheer quantity of books. That's one thing the software makes easy -- counting comics. And it feeds the Numbers bug in other ways, too. Not only have I been buggy about total comics entered, total in collection, but also with comics by publisher and comics by title.

Let me go back to the Man Without Fear to give you an example. Last night I finally decided to tackle my Daredevil comics. He was mostly collected (bagged & boarded) in one box, but some later issues had gotten scattered throughout other boxes and I thought I had finally collected most of them into one new box. So I set out to document them, and that's when I realized just how many multiples I had purchased between Daredevil #173 and into the late #190s. I have as many as 6 copies of some of these books (although 4 or 5 is more common). So, I go through them, reboard & bag some of them (some cheap old bags were getting tacky and oily feeling) and, when all is said and done, I only entered 89 issues of Daredevil last night.


I would have sworn I had at least at least 150 or more in my collection. But even if not, the thing that irks me is that I only entered 89 issues, not 90 (or 100, like I thought). But 89? I just feel gypped somehow. Now, when you factor in some older Daredevils, I actually made it to 103, plus I'm pretty sure I've got a few more issues hiding in other boxes, but still. I just thought there were more.

And you see, that's the Numbers Bug talking. I really don't care how many I've got. Those are great comics and I've got a slew of them. I'm even planning to pull them out and reread them (I peeked at a few and dang it, they look good!).

Biting Back at the Numbers Bug
I had a lull today after work and decided to continue entering comics. I was determined to make it over 4,700 comics today (I've no idea why, but it's a threshold I wanted to pass). To do that, I went into some of my older boxes where the comics are already bagged, boarded and sorted. I was able to pick up huge stacks and just do a fast visual count to see what was there and then quickly enter it into the software.

Here are the big titles I've entered the last two days:

  • 89 - Daredevil
  • 42 - All Star Squadron
  • 38 - Arak, Son of Thunder
  • 31 - Misc. (Action, Adventure, Tales to Astonish, etc.)
  • 24 - Arion
  • 14 - Amethyst (includes annual & DC team-up with Superman)
  • 12 - Uncle Scrooge (the AWESOME "Life & Times of Scrooge McDuck series by Sam Rosa)
TOTAL: 250

I used this one to "Feed the
Numbers Bug" & make it to
250 comics on my list above.
By the way, I had originally only entered 249 comics in that list above. But I couldn't stand being 1 comic short, so I went back and grabbed a lone copy of 1975's Omac #8 to finish off that number. This brings me to a total of 4,717 comics that have been cataloged.

I feel a little closer to the halfway point than I did before. Maybe the collection is actually closer to 11,000 than to 12,000 after all.

One thing's for sure, though, the Numbers Bug won't be happy until I know for sure.

UPDATE: Another bite from the bug! I was watching TV late tonight and decided to enter some more comics and hit 4,850 comics!