My name is Matthew and I am a recovering addict.
I was addicted to “collecting” things: fast cars, beautiful women, piles of cash… No, wait, I’m thinking of Larry Ellison. I was a geek with coke-bottle glasses and a bad haircut living in a farming community in Illinois. I collected comic books.
Yes, comics, that scourge of youth and good manners. That evil only rivaled (in Pat Robertson’s mind) by video games, Dungeons and Dragons, atheism, chocolate, holding hands, and abortion.
I started with just a few miniseries and first issues. The set where Martian Manhunter got rebooted to look like a real alien. The Dr. Fate miniseries where he dies and becomes two new people. The Dark Knight Returns.
Then, one day, Captain America quit. The Punisher had two new comics simultaneously.
I couldn’t stop. Joe Straczynski took over Spider Man and Aunt May discovered his secret identity. I was sucked into the comic book lifestyle: insisting they were “graphic novels,” assuring everyone I’d make money reselling them someday. As if I could ever bear to part with them.
I had six file boxes filled with comics I couldn’t sell. I couldn’t even read them (What? And wrinkle the covers?!). My pushers at the local comic book store laughed when I went to buy cardboard backings and poly-bags to keep them all in.
That’s when I hit rock bottom. I looked at all my bags and boards and realized I had more than I had comics. I would have to buy more comics. Then more bags and boards to keep them in. It would never end.
That’s when I stopped. I locked all my comics away, but still have a giant pile of bags and boards left over. It’s a painful reminder of my shame.
You want them?