I blame my older brother for everything. He gave me my first comic book, Fantastic Four #145, and since then, I haven’t looked back. From time to time, things come up that force me to choose between my passion and ‘real life’. When that happens I am proud to say that I almost always make the correct decision. Almost always.
When I buy comics, I always spend more than I had originally planned. I have my usual stack of books, but there’s always something I’ve missed that the store has very thoughtfully included with the rest of my selections. Not that I feel as though I have to buy everything they suggest; they know I am busy and are honestly trying to be helpful… while at the same time making me spend money that should be allocated to other things. I have a deal with myself that if it ever gets to the point to where I have to choose between comics and toys or eating, I will check myself into some sort of geek rehab that must exist somewhere.
That being said, I once broke this golden rule. As usual, I purchased my stack of comics including a couple of hardcovers, plus a few extra books that I hadn’t planned on getting but decided to after flipping through them. I was almost ready to go home and start reading when my attention was caught by something that made me very happy. I had no intention of taking them home, none whatsoever, as there were already enough toys in my house. Sometimes though, what we say we want and what we actually do want are two very different things. I had no choice in the end really, and here’s why.
The History of the DC Universe written by Marv Wolfman and illustrated by George Perez has always held a special place in my heart. The amount of information contained in this book is remarkable, and Perez’s art is always a delight to behold. Why do I mention his book? Well, they made toys of the characters from the book, toys that are now in my house. I was standing at the counter, ready to take my leave, when I saw them. My jaw dropped, and my hand instantly reached out to take Manhunter off the peg. I stood there for a minute, thinking about how much money I had just spent and the fact that I still had to go grocery shopping. Holding the Manhunter figure, I said told myself that I would have to buy the whole set if I bought one; but since it was raining I was unsure of how to get them home without getting them wet. In a flash, the manager told me that he had a complete set in a box waiting for me. That way, there would be no need for a bag, they wouldn’t get wet and I would have all four. Yada, yada, yada and damn him, I fell for it.
Obviously I bought the case. I never thought that I would ever do anything like that. I am usually much more responsible than that. But the toys… they were so well done that I just had to have them. The funny thing here is that once my Mother found out what I had done, she put money in my account specifically for groceries seeing that I had blown my budget. Not one to overlook such a windfall, I have since spent that money on more comics and toys. Now where is that rehab centre?