ASM #35 (Good plus)
ASM #27 (Good/Very Good)
ASM #22 (Good plus)
Final Tally: 16 issues to complete the run.
Let me preface this post by saying that every issue of Amazing Spider-Man I pick up that moves me closer to collecting every issue in the entire run, is an excellent haul at this point. However, after the excitement of the past few months – picking up my first “single-digit” issue; getting key first appearance issues of major villains like Kraven and Electro; and just recently moving below 20 issues to go to finish my goal – the July haul seems a little tame in comparison.
In terms of storyline significance, in issue #22, Spidey takes on a bunch of villainous circus freaks, though none of these guys go on to play a major role in the Spider-Man universe down the road. ASM #27 is yet another early appearance of Spidey’s arch-villain, the Green Goblin and the second appearance of a lesser villain, the Crime Master. And ASM #35 is the second appearance of the Molten Man. Considering that all of these issues came out in the 1960s and are all part of the epic early Steve Ditko/Stan Lee run, I’m not trying to dismiss their value or worth, but I guess this is where the business-like element of my collecting obsession comes into play. I haven’t been sitting here for months or years pining to get these three issues, hoping and praying for them to magically fall into my lap. In many ways, they are a case of the whole being the sum of the parts. Getting them is a means to accomplishing my ultimate goal, and any emotional attachment I may have to them is primarily through this larger ambition.
Or, to put it more simply, I got these three issues this month, because they were readily available, in the condition I was looking for, and for a price I was willing to pay. And most importantly, because one cannot have a complete run of ASM without having these three issues.
Now that I’ve come across as an emotionless collecting drone, let me draw your attention to those numbers of the right sidebar, showing which issues are still remaining in my chase. Those who are familiar with Amazing Spider-Man will notice some pretty key issues – not just in ASM history, but in comic book history in general – sitting there, while those of you who know nothing about ASM or comics will at least be able to tell that they are primarily very small numbers, which means those issues are both old and expensive.
So, what does that mean for the chase? Well, the days of getting three or four issues a month within the parameters I set for myself financially are probably over. And after a few more of those later issues are knocked out over the next couple of months (maybe), the idea of a regular “monthly haul” may be coming to an end. That’s not to say I’m going to stop the collection now as I get so close to finishing, but you need to remember that I’ve been very upfront about the fact that I can not and will not bankrupt myself to do this. There are mouths to feed and bills to pay and I always like to take the little bit that’s leftover at the end of the month to treat myself to my these wonderful, collectible pleasures. But as these pleasures continue to rise exponentially in price as my chase narrows down, I may end up having to save and store what’s left over at the end of two or three months (or more).
Just writing these facts down is now making me value these three issues from the July haul a bit more. While these may not be issues I’ve spent my lifetime dreaming about, I have to imagine that a few months from now when I’m going through a nicotine-style comic buying withdrawal because I just don’t have the money to drop on a first appearance of Doctor Octopus or the Lizard, I can look back at the July 2011 haul and be reminded of a simpler time when multiple issues could be scored so easily and all within the range of a budget I try to adhere to every month. I’m on the verge of the nitty-gritty here, which also means, the hard part of the chase is upon me. It’s a beautiful thing that I was able to get these three issues now, but I’m just not quite in a position to really believe that yet.