Sunday, December 17, 2017

2018 Outlook and Insight

As we're getting closer to the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, I'm thinking about the future and the past. These thoughts bring me to my writing now. We'll start with the future first.

Today, I was updating the layout of my blog when I realized just how many comic events are happening in the PNW in 2018. Here's the list:

These are all posted in chronological order for 2018. It will be the 2nd year for Walker Stalker Con and Oregon Coast Comic Con (which was Northwest Comic Con in 2017). I am so looking forward to going to Image Expo finally now that they've moved to Portland. Also, freshman year for the I Like Comic Con event should be incredibly fun. They've already announced Jim Steranko as the artist guest of honor. Every event should be awesome! And just to think that only a handful of years ago, there was only Emerald City Comic Con, Portland Comic Book Show and Stumptown Comic Fest.

As I've mentioned before, my plans are to promote my non-profit this year at Oregon Coast Comic Con and Rose City Comic Con at the very least. Comic Book Covers 4 Cancer is confirmed for Oregon Coast Comic Con, but I haven't hear back about Rose City yet. If not Rose City, then hopefully EUCON will have me.

2017 has been good to me in the fact that I've come closer to completing my G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Marvel collection. The Holy Grail from this year in the elusive issue # 155; the final issue from Marvel.
When I received this issue, I started to think about my future in collecting; which also turned to thoughts about my previous dreams and aspirations.

Since my early 20's, I've always dreamed of having a combination comic book and game store. Something that genuinely catered to both the gaming and comic book communities. I envisioned a space large enough to have rooms for private gaming, tables for CCG and miniature game events, shelves for trades and graphic novels and several tables with long boxes full of back issues.

There was even a time that I was considering a location that would allow for land with area for LARP events. this was back when there was a large enough LARP presence in Salem to warrant such a space. After about 20 years with the Camarilla/Mind's Eye Society, I know how valuable decent LARP gaming space is around here.

But now I can't imagine trying such a venture, especially with the news that there are so many comic shops that have gone out of business over the past couple of years. I've also noticed that the gaming store that I go to in town has been steadily decreasing the amount of inventory on hand. I'm sure that this is due to the fact that they don't want their assets tied-up in so much inventory that just sits on the shelves. The last time I went in for a specific book for a game I'm interested in, the response was "We can always order it for you." As much as I want to support local small business, I go into a store for a specific purpose and prefer to walk out with the item I came in for. If I wanted to wait, I can order it online somewhere.

I will always prefer physical copies of books, comics and trades over a digital copy. Unfortunately, I must be a dying breed of people. Another unfortunate item is that I'm running out of room to store everything I collect.

I currently have 12 long boxes and 5 short boxes full of comic books. I also have 4 bookshelves full of trades and gaming books. Most of my Funko Pop collection are in about 20+ 12 gallon storage totes in our garage.

An this makes me think about how reasonable it is to continue to collect so many things. I still read the trades and am a semi-active gamer, but the comic books get put away in the boxes, barely ever thought about. What makes matters worse is that the hard drive to my laptop crashed back in September, and I was unable to recover the database that I had all my comics inventoried in. Now, I have to inventory the entire collection again. I have figured-out which software I'm going to use to take on this task, but I still question about continuing to get new issues that I'll probably never read.

I seriously considering giving-up collecting new comics after I have the rest of my G.I. Joe collection completed. G.I. Joe started the obsession, it makes sense that it should end it as well.

The final 4 issues I need. I would also love for Larry Hama to come back to the PNW to have him sign a few more issues in my collection... especially that #155.

No matter what I decided to do with my personal comic book collecting habits, I will continue to collect, read and review trades. I have a small stack to go through to actually write the reviews for, and I'll be going through it over the remaining weeks of 2017 and get them ready for 2018.

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