I know I’ve gone on and on about the joy of having a complete collection of a specific title and about intending to complete runs of Nightwing and Thor and all that, but now I’m having second thoughts about the whole thing. Maybe being a completist is not a good idea after all
The first reason is the existence of terrible comicbooks within a title’s run.
There was a time when I decided I would collect Wolverine and I bought an issue and it was just blah. So I decided to drop the idea of collecting Wolverine. The next issue came out and my brother bought that, and it was amazing. It turned out that I had the misfortune of buying one of those ‘filler’ issues. And those kind of issues – even entire runs – happen within a title. So a completist will have a complete collection but that collection will include crappy comics. It’s just how it will be. Specially for the longer running titles.
I don’t think that is worth my money at all. Which brings us to the other reason . . .
The term ‘opportunity cost’ comes from Economics but the idea behind the phrase has always been a part of the human condition. Opportunity cost simply means that if you obtain one thing you give up other things.
If I should adhere to the completist mindset, for example, I would have to buy comics of only one or a handful of titles and give up buying comics from other titles. If I only bought Thor, Doctor Strange, Nightwing and Marvel/DC event comics I would have to give up reading X-Men or Batman or The Walking Dead or any new title that pops up because I would be so busy completing a collection.
Looking at it from the other side if I don’t buy like a completist and just by haphazardly, what I give up is the pleasure of having a complete collection a title. I give that up by having a varied collection of comics that is a sampling of a story in this title and that title. I’ll pretty much buy what I’m curious about.
I daresay that there are very few of us who have the budget to buy every comicbook they want and fewer still who have the time to read everything they want to read; so this situation is something we all face.
A Hybrid Approach?
Instead of collecting three titles maybe I could dedicate my budget in just collecting just one. Maybe just Thor with the rest of the money going to whatever takes my fancy.
Becoming a completist or going for the hybrid approach will find me forcing myself to by comics that I really don’t want to buy. I’ll be buying them just because I want to complete the title.
And that’s just wrong. The pleasure of a complete collection is real but I don’t see that making up for the displeasure of forcing yourself to pay for comics you don’t want again and again.
It’s just not worth it.
So, no, I will not be a completist. I will buy as my heart desires and my budget allows. This is a fun hobby not a chore; and I have to keep it a fun hobby.