November 15, 2008
Maybe comic books are the peculiar affliction of middle-aged liberals. Mr. Obama's Democratic predecessor President Bill Clinton also read them, but he did it on the sly.
Mr. Obama is a "collector" -- a hard-core fan who goes to the trouble of slipping comics into polyester sleeves or Mylar bags before depositing them into specialty storage boxes never to see the light of day again.
Being a collector requires a level of psychic investment and discretionary cash this brother doesn't have. I stopped collecting comics in my late teens, but by the time I did, I had a complete run of Conans and a near-complete run of Spider-Man starting with issue No. 7. I sold them to comics dealers and other collectors in the early 1980s. Who knows, maybe Mr. Obama was one of them.
I imagine Michelle Obama's eyes bulged in horror the first time her husband came home from the Chicago Comicon babbling about having scored a near-mint copy of "Savage Tales No. 1" for hundreds of dollars less than he should have paid.
Comic collectors are usually completist -- which means they're inclined to hunt down whole runs of a title and its spin-offs because voices in their heads command them to.
They also carry checklists with them at all times just to keep track of their burgeoning collections.
Along with the nuclear codes, the new president will carry a list of missing "Marvel Team-Ups" he needs to fill the holes in his collection.
I am not a comics guy, so is this something out of the ordinary in that world? Should I be afraid?
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