After 25+ years of weekly comic book reading, I have cut the cord of my favorite hobby. When I first started reading and collecting this awesome little slices of heaven, heaven was cheap: about 75 cents. They slowly creeped up over the decades to the current price of 2.99-3.99 on average. Some are higher. If this was 1987, and I am only reading 3 comics, the expense is manageable. As my
addiction hobby has matured, it was not unheard of for me to leave the store with 8-10 comics a week. That’s right, 30-40 a week on average. As I juggle car payments, mortgage, student loans, credit cards, utilities, a massive food bill (enough for a family of orangutans) I finally reached a breaking point in December and I cancelled all of my subscriptions.
How I have navigated the last several years with this weekly money sink is beyond me. I tried to limit myself to a 1 0r 2 of digital comics a week, but week one saw me download 5 and week 2 brought another 7 comics, all without the useful discount my local store provided. My last purchase of a comic was Superior Spider-Man #1, and that’s where I am leaving it. I graduate from college in May (please God, please) and with it will hopefully come some gainful employment that will allow me to support myself like a normal human. I doubt that I will ever be able to dive back into comics to the tune of 90+ a month, nor should I endeavor to. There is a particular bible quote that always pissed me off “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” I have spent the majority of my adult life rebelling against this notion. I’ve tried to keep that child-like sense of wonder and excitement with me as I traveled through this world. The various “childish” interests I have cultivated over the years gave me a direct line to that frame of mind.
Last summer I sold off my action figure collection. Hundreds of pieces including a near complete Star Wars collection. I sold off a large number of comics books as well. I even parted with my complete Star Wars Novel collection, as well as hundreds of other pieces of nostalgia. I cancelled my World of Warcraft account, and unsubscribed from comic books. I still have plenty of bric-a-brac on my desk at home, but they are the last vestiges of the collection. From maybe 1,000 items to a dozen. Even some of them are soon to go. My love of film is still intact, and I will continue to Geek out over the latest films and TV programs, but I sense that a piece of me is gone. I don’t know if it vanished when I sold my collection to pay the bills. Perhaps I lost it as I was freezing in the woods of New Hampshire, trying to fulfill my dream of being an actor. Then I watched in horror as that dream crumbled to pieces when the film halted production. My costars encouraged me to audition for other films, but something inside was definitely broken. While I’ve been surviving and “being myself” for the last 4 months, I have to admit that I have felt lost. Looking back, I can see now that it was some sort of depression that took hold. I did not want to leave the house, I ate garbage, and felt no desire to engage the world. Then I cancelled my comics and realized how hollow my life has been.
Then, as I started to feel really low, the plague struck. I came down with the harsher of the influenza strains spreading in the country and was knocked on my ass. To compound it, I then developed pneumonia and was bedridden for DAYS! A person really gets a chance to reflect on life when you are laying in bed, gasping for air, between hallucinations brought on by fever. The time off gave me time to think through where my life has been, and where it is going.
Now, aside from a slight cough, things are better. I will finally finish College and move on from this long section of life that I started in 1997. Perpetually in school, taking courses here and there, traveling the country to every comic and sci-fi convention that caught my eye, and living just above the poverty line. I can’t say it has not been fun, its been a blast. Yet, it has grown tiresome. I have spent the last 15 years living the dream. I have met the majority of my heroes in the Geek world, and my 14 year old self could not be happier. But the 33 year old me is ready for something new. For the first time, in a long time, I have some hope.
I will still post here, and there will be precious little change in the types of things I write. My love affair with movies will never die. I will always enjoy a good book, and good music. If anything, I hope that I can share some other things with all 2 of you readers. Things that will interest you, and reflect a life worth living.