I collect comics in a tankōbon format.
I would most definatly class myself as a collector, although admittedly of a humble collection at this point, but that is the point I enjoy trying grow my collection, and at the same time my knowledge of particular characters/writers/artists. I am also a completionist at heart so if I begin a series, whether it be via singles of the trade route I try to focus on that series until completion, etc.
Also to add like has been said I also collect dvds, blu-rays, books in much the same way, I guess it could be put down to the hoarder mentality, but I just pass it off as being a collector.
Time to throw my ten pence worth in.
I'm buying the Thor adaptation comics for collectors point, i'm also buying avengers assemble issue 9 because its signed, I love KSD but I'm not massive on assemble, even though it has a awesome roster and great team.
'If you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, its not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them'
Character. Sometimes it depends on who is writing, but I try to give every creative team on a favorite character a chance.
Wake me up when it's over...
OP - I totally understand that you like buying and accumulating old Batman comics. Collect what you enjoy. You should tell the people giving you grief to go fuck themselves.
I started reading AND collecting in the 80's skipped the 90's and 2000's and started reading and collecting again about 12 months ago.
These days I like to buy/collect/read
1) Books that complete gaps in runs I started in the 80's. eg early this year I completed New Mutants 1-60ish: I was missing about 12 of that run. I've also completed all of Moore's Swamp Thing. All of Grendel. I look forward to rereading those runs in 10-20 years when I retire.
2) HCs that collect "good stuff' I missed while I was away: stuff like Whedon's astonishing X-Men, Spawn, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I recently bought Elektra Assassin in HC because my 80's TPB fell apart from reading wear!
3) First appearances: eg first Dazzler, first Guy Gardner, first Lobo,... I have Hulk 181, X-Men 94, Grendel 1, Heavy Metal 1, all bought in the 80's. I love reading first appearances, origins, and first issues. Last week I bought the House of Mystery comic with first Andrew Bennett of I, Vampire fame... set me back US $6 ... at the same time I bought the I, Vampire New 52 TPB. Loved both of them for different reasons.
4) New comics that might be fun to read... a selection of New52, Marvel, Image etc. I resell a lot of those pretty quickly.
5) Back issues or trades of writers I like - Grant Morrison, Los Bros Hernandez, Dave Sim, Alan Moore...
6) Stuff going cheap that might be fun or good. Just picked up Howard the Duck 1-3 for next to nothing. Bought an 8-issue run of The Unwritten, some Promethea, Witchblade 1-25...
7) Absolutely nothing slabbed,because I read everything I own at least once. I currently have around 3-4000 comics but not a single CGC graded book. I also have no interest in variant covers, unless I think the cover is freaking cool. Sometimes I'll buy comics just because I love the cover, but generally I want to enjoy reading it.
I think in future I'll migrate to digital for new comics, reduce my physical holdings of single issues down to a half-dozen longboxes of older and rarer comics, and grow my shelf collection of HCs.
Do what you enjoy.
I am a collector. Have been for 25 years (fuck Im getting old) I have purged a lot of comics over the years. As I get older I find that I am now a lot quicker to drop a title that does not appeal to me whereas when I first started collecting I would probably hold onto the title to complete the run. I have been predominately a Marvel collector but with the re-launch of DC have been really enjoying their output. I am probably reading approximately 45 titles per month and can honestly say that I love all of them, in fact I think its a great time to be reading/collecting comics from Saga and Skullkickers to Batwoman and Avengers Academy to the relaunch of Valiant there is such a great variety of stories out there.
On a monthly basis I just buy what I want to buy and all that, mostly Marvel and Image.
But on top of that I collect Claremont Uncanny X-Men issues. I love these so much. Gradually filling out the gaps. Then I'll get to work buying some more expensive stuff that came before it. Going to avoid the 90s until I have nothing else to buy (so hopefully a long long time) because I've read some stuff from there, and I only like 90s Venom, nothing else.
I'm also starting on Amazing Spider-man slowly. Going to start with the original Hobgoblin stuff and the black suit period. Build from there.
Hellblazer I plan to start as well. I arrived late (just over a year ago) and have only read the last year or so worth of stuff and some trades from throughout the series. Now that it's ended (which I'm actually quite sad and angry about) I plan to start from the beginning in singles and work my way through the series until I have the whole thing.
Avengers Arena is one of the best books in the shops right now, it's seriously amazing.
Show Teddy some love!
"I want Apex to feast on Reptil like a pregnant khaleesi." - Sanji
OP, for what it's worth, I get what you're trying to say.
I buy and read a lot of comics, and within my haphazard, ever-expanding hoard there are stories and characters that are special enough to me that they warrant forming a "collection". Not for the purposes of a ROI--that'd be a quick way to set some cash on fire--but because I sincerely love the stuff.
I tend to be attracted to writers over anything else. I'm trying to put together a few collections at the moment: Grant Morrison's Batman work, Brian Michael Bendis's Ultimate Spider-Man, Kurt Busiek's Conan. Perhaps one day I'll be able to expand into larger collections, such as an all-encompassing Morrison collection or an all-inclusive collection of Conan the Barbarian comics.
sheesh I totally grokked the OP's zeitgeist here. Not sure why some folks seemed to take issue with him. Lots of people collect lots of things with no concern for financial improvement at all.
I think for me one of the primary "things" that I collect is comics that have a Lovecraftian element. Whether its actually a graphic version of an HPL story or just a comic that has strong HPL overtones. Combined with that I'm drawn to "pulpy" stuff. So, I love The GOON, Hellboy, BPRD, The 6th Gun, Fear Agent, Chew...