The new TV season is starting and I don’t know if I care one bit. I watched too much last season and I’m burned out. There were actually a lot of good new shows that have premiered in the last two years and I started watching a few of them regularly. Too many, maybe. They add up.

I have always been a fan of the Simpsons and have watched every season. For those who think is isn’t as good as it used to be check out last season. It was a very funny one. More laughs per episode were to be found than on any other show. I am also a fan of Law and Order and watch all three but SVU tests my patience with their sappy episodes. I am also a regular watcher of Deadwood and the Sopranos on HBO but they run irregularly and hardly follow the network season schedule.

That was about it for my TV watching. Buffy and Angel had gone off the air and I lost interest in all of the incredibly redundant “science fiction” (that just has to go in quotes) shows that have been popping up around the dial so my TV watching was on the decline. The networks were making it harder to watch TV with all of the commercials and more ads right in the middle of a show. I don’t want a promo for your next show while I’m still trying to watch the current one. It’s enough to make a person find something else to do.

I also separate my TV viewing from just having the TV on. Being an artist and being that the nature of making art is to be alone while working on a drawing or painting I often have the TV on for noise. Since my eyes are elsewhere I just listen to the TV and often the show is nothing I’d sit down and give my total attention to. All of the shows that I say “I watch” are the ones that I sit down and look at. Though just listening to TV I really do appreciate good dialogue.

I the last two seasons I started checking out a few new shows that were getting some buzz. Lost and Veronica Mars both made it onto my regular rotation along with a show that got no buzz but is still fun: Las Vegas. I even watched a season of Desperate Housewives. That is now four new hour shows and it nearly doubles my TV viewing. Then I started watching Bones too. Five new shows.

Another funny thing happened last year. Sitcoms made a come back. I have long since grown tired of sitcoms and the last one I watched regularly was Friends and even that tested my will with its sappiness sometimes. The whole genre was in the toilet as far as I was concerned. Then Entourage, My Name is Earl, and Everybody Hates Chris debuted and made me laugh. I even started watching How I Met Your Mother about half way through the season and now count four funny sitcoms. There is almost a fifth in The Office but I tend to side with the two guys you are not supposed to side with and think that “sympathetic” characters are the real jerks. They mock the others for being different and I would like to give their straight laced butts the occasional beating. So I don’t always get along with that show.

So there you go. Another two hours of TV added. I’m almost a regular American. But eight to nine hour shows plus four to five half hour shows was just too much for me. I was glad when the season ended because I was having trouble sitting still that long. Add in some episodes of Nova, Frontline, and and occasional special on History or Discovery and I was burnt out. I haven’t sat down and watched TV all summer (except for Deadwood of course). I’m still burnt out. I might just download some shows and maybe watch them later. I’ll have my own TV marathon one day. I think I’ll ignore the network schedules and make my own. Maybe I can work you in maybe I can’t. Beside everyone knows that the Desperate Housewives are no longer cool.

A big haul from the comic shop for me this week. I bought nine comics. That is the most in a single week in months. I got five of my regular books: Jonah Hex 11, Savage Dragon 128 , Jack Staff 11, Local 6, and Battler Britton 3.

In addition I picked up four new comic series: The Cross Bronx 1 from Image which looks like a cop book, American Splendor 1 gets a new launch from Vertigo Comics, The Lone Ranger 1 from Dynamite Entertainment, and just because I was feeling nostalgic for a Jim Starlin “cosmic” story I picked up Mystery in Space with Captain Comet (who?) number one.

There it is folks a lot of comics to read. And football season kicks off tonight.

I think putting things in order is fun. There you go. I said it. I’ve had enough of listening to lazy people saying that it has to somehow be a compulsion or neurosis. It is the only way to find things efficiently and the basis of civilization. For what is civilization but organized living that takes advantage of people’s ability to cooperate. Lining up my paints from red to violet is fun as well as making it easy to find my naples yellow.

Everything doesn’t have to be in order just the things you need to find. As long as I’ve played video games I’ve never had them in any order. That is because I only play two or maybe three at a time. Normally just one. The newest one and when that’s done it gets thrown on the pile. With all the people playing video games out there I think there are relatively few video game collectors. Most of us are video game players.

If you have a collection of anything than you have to have some form of order. If you can’t find what is in your collection than you don’t have a collection you have an accumulation.

Putting things in order can be a relaxing time. The world is a messy chaotic place and being responsible for a small part of it making sense is an accomplishment. Categories, classifications, conditions, genre, there are lots of ways to line things up. I remember as a child when I realized that my comic books all had numbers on them and they could be put in order to make a bigger story than a single comic. From then on in it was fun to put comics in numerical order and watch them become a time machine as you thumb through them.

Years ago, back in the age of cassette tapes and CDs, I oddly stopped keeping my music collection in order. For years I had them lined up in cases in alphabetical order but that stopped working for me. When I would browse for something to listen to I knew where everything was without opening the case. That ruined the browsing experience. It was fine when I knew exactly what I wanted to hear but often I didn’t know what I wanted to listen to. So one day, back before the age of CDs even, I mixed up all of my cassette cases. I took everything out and put them all back in as randomly as I could. It made browsing my music more fun. In this age of digital music everything is ordered nearly automatically. But everyone loves shuffle play.

I’ll tell you what I don’t like to do. Put things back in order. I had a little computer hiccup today when my external hard drive started acting odd. Well, it started acting odd a couple of weeks ago but it was minor and there were some additional odd things with my main hard drive that I fixed. I thought that was the problem. It wasn’t the only one. Today I ran three hard drive utility programs and eventually got things back to normal but a bunch of files went missing. A bunch of MP3 files and a bunch of photos from my snapshot archive.

For some time now I’ve been scanning in all my negatives and digitizing all of my photo albums. Fifteen years worth of film. All of it was on my hard drive and some small amount of files were missing. I have backups of course but I had to go through all 30 DVDs worth of my backups to see what was missing and replace it. It took a while but now everything is back in order. It is no fun to have to do all that work just to get things back to the way things were. It is a good thing the photos were in order to begin with or the fix could have taken ten times as long.

Well, I gotta re-MP3 28 of my CDs now.

It has been a slow comic book August for me. I got just one of my regulars this week: Usagi Yojimbo 96. I also bought Captain Canuck: Legacy issue 1.

A lot of people are collectors. Whatever they are interested in is brought home, looked at, and organized. This organization is key to a collection. Without it you just have an accumulation of stuff. There are people who are accumulators rather than collectors and you can tell they difference because collections are neat and accumulations are in piles; stuff lying around in stack after stack with no notion of ever finding something specific. Once it is brought home no thought goes into an accumulation.

One part of collecting that doesn’t get talked about much is “the search”. As it doesn’t necessarily have to do with collecting the search can happen on it’s own. A friend once conducted a months long search for the perfect leather bag to cart his paper and art supplies around in. It had to fit 11×17 inch paper, a change of clothes, and a beer or two. Everything was too small, too big or not the right leather. But after a few months and many lunch hours later he found it. It cost him two days pay but served him well for years. That is what a search is all about. Finding that one thing to the exclusion of all others.

A search is specific. Going out shoe shopping is not a search. The point of that is to buy shoes and you’re coming home with some no matter what. Shopping for the perfect pair of black paratrooper boots that are just the right height, weight, and fit and coming back with them or nothing is a search. Searches can take some time.

Having a search can be a very important part of collecting. Going some place to look for that one specific thing to fill in the collection is the most obvious search. You can go to a comic book convention and some guys have lists and they go through boxes of comics looking to check things off on their lists. Price and condition both have to be right. If you are searching for the prettiest copy of Human Fly #1 than the tenth prettiest copy won’t do.

A lot of searches are, of course, on the internet now. Search engines rule the world after all. If you have a favorite song or book that for years has eluded you now you can slip it into the search field at Google or Yahoo and the leads are plentiful. The search is on more than ever.

Some searches go on for years especially ones involving technology. I’ve been looking for something to display all of my newly digitized photos. I want some type of portable media player that has a screen good enough to look at photos on. Plus the operating system has to be able to handle lots of folders named and dated with when and where the photos were taken. Also I have my jpegs named with the people who are in the photos so don’t shorten my jpeg names. There is nothing out yet because the technology isn’t quite ripe. The search goes on. Maybe the rumored new horizontal screen iPods will fit the bill but who knows?

Music searches have been made much easier because of the internet. But still some songs are hard to find. I’ve been looking for The Nails: “Things You Left Behind” for a while now but to no avail. I have seen a few remix vinyl versions of it on Ebay but that is all. The search goes on.

There are certain types of dreams everybody has. We all know them. They are in all the books: the flying dream, the falling dream, the not prepared for something dream, the something is chasing you and you can’t run dream, and the naked in class dream. There is one more that doesn’t get mentioned as much. I call it the collector’s dream. I have talked to other collectors and they say they have had it to. The dream is that you are out searching for whatever you collect and you are in some small store or garage sale and suddenly you come across all sorts of treasures. All the prize stuff you are looking for is in an old box and you are thrilled. The search has born fruit. The stuff always fades away in the dream and it’s back to the search in real life. Keep those eyes open.