Sometimes the collector’s bug bites me. That’s what I call it when I buy some comics for no really compelling reason. I buy new comics every week when I make the trip to my local comic shop but I rarely buy back issues. Most of the back issues I buy these days are not actually back issues but new printings of old comics in collected editions. As much as I like single issues it’s often cheaper and easier to buy collected editions. Plus after buying new comics week after week for forty years I don’t need many back issues. Except on the occasions that I do.

This was all proceeded by buying a single back issue at my local comic shop. A couple of weeks ago I bought an issue out of the dollar bin. I wanted it because it had some Adam Hughes art in it and I thought I already had an issue related to it. It was WildC.A.T.S./X-Men: The Modern Age. The comic is from 1997 and was part of series of WildC.A.T.S. And X-Men team-ups that had some big name talent on it. After I got it home I checked my shelf and saw that I had WildC.A.T.S./X-Men: The Golden Age and WildC.A.T.S./X-Men: The Dark Age. That got me curious at what other ones were out there. I went to the internet and found out there was also WildC.A.T.S./X-Men: The Silver Age.

The odd thing about the collector’s bug biting me was that I’ve never been a huge WildC.A.T.S. fan. Way back when Image first started publishing it took me a while to check them out. Maybe six months into Image’s publishing existence I bought my first Image comics. The early issues of WildC.A.T.S. Were already gone from the stands so I think I bought issues 5-7 or some such. I ended up enjoying them and then managed to track down a collected edition of issue 1-4. This was before the age of everything being collected in a trade paperback and this collection was more of a square bound comic instead. After reading all those issues of WildC.A.T.S. I put it on my pull list and bought it all the way until the end. Issue fifty. The Alan Moore and Travest Charest issues were my favorites and I haven’t reread any of the other issues since I first bought them. Yet here I was looking for WildC.A.T.S. Issues online.

Though it wasn’t a dollar WildC.A.T.S./X-Men: The Silver Age was only $2.40 ($4.50 was the original price). Not a fortune so of course I wanted it but there is no way I’m going to buy just one comic. Not with shipping costs added in. So I looked at how much WildC.A.T.S. 1-4 were going for. The original printings and not the collected edition that I have. They printed and sold a lot of those comics back in 1992 so I expected them to be cheap but they were even cheaper than I thought. They were only $1.35 an issue ($1.95 or $2.50 were the original prices) for really nice copies. I added those to my shopping cart too but that still wasn’t enough to justify the shipping cost. So I started looking at more WildC.A.T.S. comics.

I saw a mini-series called WildC.A.T.S. Trilogy from 1993. I remember this series but I never bought it. I wasn’t interested in the Jae Lee artwork at the time. I’m more interested in his artwork these days so I decided to throw those three issue in the cart. Another $1.35 an issue ($2.50 original price). After that I discovered Alan Moore had written a WildC.A.T.S. and Spawn mini-series. Another $1.35 an issue ($2.50 original price). Except issue four was $1.60 for some reason. Same VF condition so I wonder why?

Now my cart was stuffed with WildC.A.T.S. comics but they just sat there for a few days. Despite their cheapness I really didn’t want to order them. It seemed silly to give in to that collector’s impulse. After all WildC.A.T.S. isn’t a favorite must-have comic of mine so why was I bothering? The I remembered some must-have back issues that I wanted but hadn’t gotten around to buying.

The first two are recent back issues of Invincible. I’ve been buying Invincible in hardcover collections for years now. I have ten volumes of what they named Invincible: The Ultimate collection. But recently I decided to start picking up Invincible in singles so I put the comic on my pull list at my local comic shop. I started where I thought the latest hardcover ended but it turned out I was off by two issues. I missed issues 122 and 123. I found them on the website and put them in my cart. They were cover price so they were the most expensive ones I got at $2.99 a piece.

The last comics I got were ones I passed up on a few years ago. One of my favorite comics of the late 80s and early 90s was The Jam. I was missing a few issues of it for a decade and I finally bought those issues online about five years ago. Except I didn’t quite get all of them. In 1992 a publisher named Tundra reprinted some of The Jam issues in color that were originally printed in black and white. Since I had the black and white issues I didn’t buy the three color reprint issues I was missing. It’s bothered me these last five years that I didn’t buy those three issues. I put them in my shopping cart too. At $2.40 an issue (originally $2.95) they weren’t that expensive. Why didn’t I get them the first time?

It was the WildC.A.T.S. comics that made the collector’s bug bite me this time but they were a little too whimsical to buy on their own. I was able to resist. But then the collector part of my mind remembered things that made it harder resist. But in the end with shipping costs added in I ended up spending $37 on seventeen comics. Not too bad. Plus you should have seen how giddy I was opening up the package. Sometimes old new comics are just the thing to put me in a good mood.