Originally published by ReviewFix.
What does my comic-book collection say about me? I always wondered about that so I thought it’d be a fun idea to data-viz my collection of comics like I did my collection of books a little while ago.
After doing this I realized there is a correlation to the amount of comics I have from a given period and key events in my life.
In 2006 and 2007 when most of my comics were published, I suddenly found myself with two part-time jobs. I was doing the audio for the Evening Reading Series in Queens College (QC) while also being a college assistant for QC’s College Now program. Both were an unexpected blessing not mainly because they gave me more money to feed my addiction. They were jobs that I accidentally stumbled upon and learned a lot from.
Working for the reading series, where WNYC radio host Leonard Lopate talked to some of the great authors of our time, meant I was paid to listen to insights from writers like Salman Rushdie to Margaret Atwood. I thought I was making out like a bandit every time I was there because of the wisdom I was getting paid to absorb.
Working for the College Now program, which helps high-school students prep for higher education, continually reminded me of how much I grew from my years in high school. That sort of perspective however inevitably leads you to start thinking about how much more growing you have to do.
That mentality might be one of the factors for why I stopped collecting so many comics in 2008. I was still making money and I even got a small raise at some point. But on some level my time in those jobs showed me there was more to learn so I took up challenges that demanded more of my time, time away from buying comics.
I got more involved in my college paper, I tried but failed to help start a literary magazine, and I took on the English Honors program where I wrote on superheroes for my thesis. In fact, that essay won me the English Department’s first ever Harold Schechter award on an essay on pop culture.
The dip in my collection for 2010 and 2011 comics, well, that was graduate school. My time there deserves an entire column series in itself to reflect on its significance. But needless to say, that program took a lot of my time from comics.
The rise in 2012, however, corresponds to my decision to take it easy this year: to give myself a time to reflect, a time to take on challenges in a slower pace, and apparently a time to read comic books.