In his superlative blog at ProgressiveRuin.com, the Internet's foremost Swamp Thing fan, Mike Sterling, has spent much of the past week discussing his definition of "completist" and what that means in regard to his Swamp Thing comic book collecting habit. As a completionist collector myself, I found it interesting.
I noticed two things in Sterling's posts and the responses from his commenters:
- Each collector has his own definition of what "complete" means.
- Most "completionist" collections appear to have begun in childhood.
Both of those apply to me, which is no doubt why I noticed them. In the first case, the Boosterrific.com database arbitrarily draws the line at depictions of the character of Booster Gold himself; dialogue references don't count. In the second case, I first discovered Booster Gold on a gas station magazine rack when I was 10 years old — can you even imagine finding comic books in a gas station in 2019? — and have been collecting ever since.
But in addition to being a completionist, I'm also a contrarian, which plays no small part in why I would gravitate to an upstart super hero like Booster Gold. I have to wonder whether my observations were skewed by my perception bias. Do I think all completionist collectors start young just because I did? Let's gather some data!
This week's poll question: How old were you when you bought your first Booster Gold comic book? Please visit the Boosterrific Polls page to view results for this week's poll.
| | Tags: collecting mike sterling polls progressiveruin.com
Osyrus68 posted on Sep. 20, 2019 at 2:31 PM
TECHNICALLY my father bought my first Booster Gold comic in a open very late bookstore in downtown minneapolis/st. paul when we were on vacation there. It was the 3rd issue and they had 2 and 3 on the shelf and he bough both for me. So that would have been '86 so I was 10. I remember when we got home to Ames, IA, I looked for a comic book shop in the yellow pages because I knew the local quiktrip didn't have issue 1....so I found 2!!!! TWO comic shops in AMES, IA in 1986!!!! Lucky for me one of them was literally around the corner from my piano lessons so every wednesday I would get to go to the comic shop just before lessons!!!
Greg posted on Sep. 21, 2019 at 8:30 AM
I had comics growing up but was far from a collector yet. Around 9-12 my obsession turned to GI Joe then from 12-13 music. At 14, as a freshman, I went to lunch and stopped in a Walden Books. The first comic I picked up was Justice League International #24. It was a great story but there was a short story in the center that caught my attention. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle saved Max Lord and won my heart. I was hooked. It wasn't until later I would learn my hero and i shared a last name. I would go on to name my children after Michael and Michelle. There are only a handful or so of obscure items missing from my collection. I am a completist and a little OCD.
Cort posted on Sep. 22, 2019 at 3:54 PM
First comic with Booster I picked up was Booster Gold 22 when I was 5-6 ? The here's a pound, go amuse yourself while in in the chemist sorta deal. Mostly because it had the JLI on it and I didn't realise it wasn't that. My dad had actually earlier picked me up Booster Gold 5-6-7 he found sometime but I never paid attention til then. But from there I was pretty hooked. A good deal of all the heroes in comics I was exposed to then tend to be my favourites still now and what had me start collecting. So I think you're onto something there.
Bob Rossetto posted on Sep. 25, 2019 at 9:59 PM
I started picking up comics around age 4. My Grandma and grandpa used to take me to the comic shop or the dollar store once a week to get comics. My first book was Amalgam Spider Boy. I didn't get introduced to Booster until much later. I was around 17 or so. I saw Booster in adds and stuff for JLI but really didn't get to know him. It wasn't until the end of 52 that I really got interested in him. My mom and I would read Vol. 2 every week. He is still Mom's favorite character. It has been good to here everyone's stories. Thank you for sharing.
Ithildyn posted on Sep. 27, 2019 at 4:35 PM
I guess I'm an odd duck having started, not too long ago, in the later half of my twenties. Also a cultural outlier among ya'all, my childhood is filled with *bandes dessinées*, but the only two American-style comics that I've had during that time (bought by mom&dad) were two hardcover albums, one Batman and one TMNT.
You can thank the small but dedicated DC fandom on Tumblr for enticing me into checking out the 80's JLI run and then individual Booster Gold and Blue Beetle titles. I do prefer them in a grand ol' team up, along with Fire & Ice, Miracle & Barda and all the merry bunch. I like the Bwahaha era fare more than the Edgelord Drama I guess, sue me.
Anyhoo, I bought my first comics, with mine own money, in the last year or three. Online, all of it.
Will I ever go so far as to hunt a vintage collectible paper copy? Who knows. I might invest in figurines before that. (Shout-out to the people on Tumblr sharing photos of their cool collections/shrines. I'm not on that level, sadly.)
Anyway, glad I've not been made unwelcome here so far despite me maybe not checking enough hardcore fan boxes! (I do frequent a fansite though, so I imagine I might edge between "real" and "casual" fan?) I know some parts of the comic fandoms have a bit of a "gatekeeping" reputation and all that. So yeah, thanks for humoring me among you all. :)
Boosterrific [Official Comment] posted on Sep. 30, 2019 at 12:30 AM
I don't think there's any such thing as a "fake" fan. (Well, I suppose such a thing might exist somewhere, but not in the way that certain sectors of "fandom" generally use the term.) I should probably make a post about that.