Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Wagon

I placed my monthly comic order with Discount Comics Book Service 16 days ago. I’ve used the delivery service six times. With each order, the total cost has steadily increased. After all, the more I bought, the more I saved. Until I found myself shelling out $107.60 for a month’s worth of reading material—a far cry from the day I placed my first order of $57.92.

The madness had to stop. So this time I made a resolution: no more monthly issues. I’ve outgrown that habit. I much prefer the collected format anyway: no more ads, no more holes in my collection, and certainly no more sleepless nights worrying about spine creases. Plus, what about the money I’ll be saving? No more doubling up on stories I enjoy so much I have to buy both the monthly issues and the collected volumes.

So on Feb. 2, 2006, I placed my first order with nothing but trades and original graphic novels. The cost? $84.99 shipped. A bit high, perhaps, but not nearly as bad as it could’ve been. I was satisfied with my order and I stood behind my decision, even going so far as celebrating by posting on my favorite forums. “Hey, everyone, look at me. I’m free.”

I celebrated my newfound freedom for two weeks. That’s when I tempted fate. “I’m strong enough,” I thought. “How can a little window shopping hurt?” I asked. With a deep breath, I scrolled through the DC and Marvel solicitations for comics shipping in May. My eyes lit up: all those stories, all those potential key issues, all those epic battles, gripping cliffhangers, and perfect female posteriors.

I wanted them. All of them.

But I resisted. I made the right decision when I placed my order and there was no turning back. I would prevail! I closed the solicitations and lived to fight another day.

Now, only forty-five minutes ago, I finished reading All Star Superman #2. It was a wonderful, refreshing read. It’s how all comics should be. With a slight smile on my face, I gently slid the issue into its Mylar sleeve (with acid free backing board, of course) and placed it behind the previous issue in my box of DC comics. I returned to my desk and calmly accessed the DCBS web site, signed in, and placed a copy of Daredevil #84 in my basket. Then a copy of Uncanny X-men #472.

By then, my hands were shaking. With each book I added, my breathing came quicker, but shallower. By the time I added that 12th issues, my heart was racing. The dark side beckoned and I heeded the call.

I added a 13th book: Bite Club #1. That one struck a chord. It didn’t seem right; didn’t fit the scheme.

My mind screamed, “You’ll never read that book. Why are you buying it?”

“The cover,” a voice replied. “Look at that cover. Besides, it’s only another $2.”

Before I had a chance to debate, I moved the cursor to the bottom of the screen, clicked the Place Order button, and fell off the wagon.


Anonymous said...

You, my friend, are weak.

But that's the pot calling the kettle black. I started out with orders of $50 or so. Steadily the cost increased until my most recent order was for $358. Oh the humanity! Somebody make me stop!!! The good news is, Infinite Crisis is the only pamphlet issue I bought. Weak, only in different ways. Have fun!

James W. Powell said...

Yeah, I'm weak. I have will power for a few weeks, but there's always the inevitable binge that blows it for me. The funny thing is, just three years ago, I wasn't even reading comics. Hahaha. What a sucker!