One of the main reasons I'm embarking on The Batman Quest is that I love to collecting comics in order to complete a titles. As mentioned before, I've collected other titles before to completion, in order to read them.
That said, I'm not really very disciplined in collecting a title. I tend to get sidetracked very easy and I admit to having loads of titles that I am looking to finish, and not all of them are Batman titles either. Some are huge, long running titles while other are newish miniseries. So after nearly two months of doing this Blog, I thought it would only be fair to give you a bit of a background on my Batman Quest.
The Mid-nineties are when I started picking up the foundation blocks of my collection, Batman and otherwise. That's not to say I had loads to start with, but just enough, and the I stopped. I returned to comic collecting with a vengeance at the start of 2007, and have since finished a lot of runs.
I picked up, and finished, 'Hitman' in October 2006, I finished 'Punisher MAX', Peter David's 'Hulk' amongst others and then last summer I finished Gotham Central (which took less than two months to collect from scratch. Even during this time period, I never, ever gave serious thought to building upon the Batman books I'd picked up in my teenage years. After all, I knew that recent Batman titles were easily available (and reasonably) priced in the UK, but I had other collections to have a go at instead.
So what changed this sane approach to collecting comic books? Well partly this was due to the incremental collecting of Batman books throughout this period. It wasn't really focused, and it was happening so that I had something to read on the train home from London. The Batman titles were cheap, fun and I knew that it was always going to be good.
The first moment I felt the need to finish a Batman run was because Greg Burgas wrote that one his Comic Books You Should Own was Batman 515-552, so I felt obliged to see if he was right. This seems like a rewarding challenge, I thought to myself, I already have a number of these books as I picked them up during the 'Foundation' years. And I knew finishing this run would be rather easy. Which it was.
Then I noticed that Burgas recommended the Wagner and Grant 'Tec run as well, and because I loved Wagner/Grant 2000 AD stuff, I just had to get that too (and, again this wasn't too difficult). By which point, back issues of Batman (1940) were being picked up by me as I fell for the Batman 'RIP' switch and bait (and yes, I always knew that Bruce Wayne would die but would get better), and then felt obliged to pick up all of the Morrison's run. And then I noticed something about my Batman collection in relation to the entire comic collection: Because of these bits and pieces I'd picked up over the years, Batman had earned it's own long-box section.
Then it dawned on me that I was not far from finishing a few other Batman titles, and then I started pursuing those missing issues. From there the first Batman series I was able to finish was the 'Batman Chronicles' in January of this year. True, this title was only 23 issues and was quite easy to come across. However, for me, it did feel like quite a big deal.
Soon afterwards, I was able to finish Shadow of the Bat series a couple of weeks after. Shadow was a bit of a long-winded collection. I'm pretty sure I picked up the first couple of issues in Cardiff in the mid-nineties, and was able to bag many more, before my interest in the Bat took the double smashing of a shite Batman film and the interest of a certain super hot babe (hello there, if your reading this!). After this long comic sabbatical and a bit of UK shopping, the outstanding issue was #83, which for some whacky reason was impossible to get my hands on in this country. This was finished as I completed my Bi-Annual Mile High Comic order. When the book turned up, I was well chuffed to get that series completed. This was a proper Batman title I completed.
I think it was after completing these two titles that made me think: What Next? So, I awoke one day to the thought that wouldn't it be cool to pick up all of the B(40) titles from, say, Miller's Year One? But if I did, then I'd have to get the 'Tec titles otherwise some of the crossover stories won't make any sense. What about finishing the crossover storylines that overlap other Batman titles? Maybe I should get those, as well? What about key issues? What about Silver Age? I don't have a Silver Age collection, and maybe I should have? If you are a true comic book collector, you have to have Silver Age books, don't you? What about Golden Age?
And then I thought, what is the answer to all of these questions? It was simple: I will go and get them. All of them. It can't be that hard, can it?!
And then I thought, that'll make an interesting Blog...