The up side of the Great Plague…

My undying love of all things Buffy the Vampire Slayer is well known. I suppose it was only a matter of time before that abiding adoration found its way onto my book shelves.  A fluke thrift shop find about a year ago spurred me towards putting together a complete set of Buffy novels. Let me start off by saying there are a lot of them – and I mean an absolute shit ton – and that’s before you start into the cadet branches of the written Buffyverse. They’re short, written for the young adult demo, and don’t take up all that much space on a shelf. War and Peace they aren’t, but they’re fun reads layered on to a fictional universe that I enjoy spending time in. 

One of the keys to collecting (as opposed to hoarding) is starting off with some idea of what the final collection should look like. I opted to focus my attention on the “main stem” books – and excluding the novelizations of the actual TV show, books from the Angel series, and a handful of choose-your-own-adventure style books (that were wildly overpriced in fine condition anyway). I closed the loop on that collecting effort about a month ago. A few pieces are in rougher shape than I’d like – cracked spines, loose pages, etc. – but I found them cheap and they’ll do until I can replace them with better copies. In any case, now that I have them, I’m slowly enjoying injecting these books periodically into the reading list.

A few days ago, I noticed something unusual happening. The collector sites were starting to show an unusual volume of items for sale rather than just collectors showing off their finds for one another. Some heavy-duty collectors were slowly starting to turn loose of their wares – and the prices were maybe not quite at the fire sale level, but they were markedly lower than the same items would have commanded months ago. In light of the current situation, I’ve opened the scope of my hoard collection to encompass many of those titles that I had formerly excluded. A few of these them are currently trundling towards me via post even as I write this.

So, the Great Plague is bad, sure, but let us not completely ignore its up side here. Now I just need to find someone who needs to turn loose of their prop replica Scythe at a price that doesn’t require drawing a personal loan. Sure, a scythe doesn’t exactly fit into a book collection, but if people are determined to sell off the good stuff I’ll have to do my best to be a buyer and prop up the economy where I can. 

Dreaming the vampire slayer…

If you’ve known me for any time at all, you’ll know I have a deep and abiding love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I shouldn’t be surprised that Buffy and the whole Scooby Gang eventually found their way into my subconscious.

I don’t remember much in the way of details. The setting was distinctly southern California, though the sun-walking vamps made for some dissonance even in my dreamscape.  Buffy was there, and Giles, Willow, Zander, and Cordy. Spike and Dru were the baddies, but not the baddies. 

The only thing I remember with clarity is I was dumbass civilian who decided to take a swing at the Big Bad. In a standard fight scene trope, he caught my fist on the fly and squeezed until I could feel the joints starting to strain and pop… and then he dusted. Thanks Buffy.

That’s where I woke up, with my hand jammed uncomfortable underneath me, bearing my not insignificant weight, clinched into a fist, and hurting like nobody’s business. 

Apparently, my brain generated Buffy and the Scoobies to let me know I needed to roll over. So I’ve got that going for me, which I guess is nice. 

Why there’s never space available…

Let me preface this by saying that I’m not, strictly speaking, a “comic book person.” I’m only passingly aware of what transpires in the Marvel Comic Universe and couldn’t even pretend to hold my own in a discussion of the virtues of Marvel over DC or vice versa. There are a lot of bits of pop culture I enjoy, but the standard superhero story isn’t generally one of them.

Buffy, of course, is the exception. It’s a universe I really just can’t get enough of. I like to think it’s one of the more interesting, quirky elements in the vast array of things I choose to care about. I mean I’m allowed a bit of whimsy among the long list of captains of industry and warrior poets that otherwise fill so many of my shelves, right?

I only bring it up because today I won an online auction that will bring me up to date with the last three volumes of the “Library Edition” version of the venerable Dark Horse Buffy comic. Sure, there’s a good chance I overpaid a bit if you value such things in simple dollar terms… but getting Season 10 on the shelf is entirely worth it in terms of having the whole run of these delightfully illustrated, weighty books all together at last. Or at least it means I’ll have the whole run until Boom Studios releases their “library” treatment of the short Season 11 in a few months. I’ve already pre-ordered that, so no ruthless bidding war next time.

Being a completist collector in the universe of Buffy comics is probably cost prohibitive at this point. There are too many back issues, too many spin offs, too many cover variants. I should be satisfied with the Buffy-focused “special” edition collection I’ve put together and concentrate a bit more on digging up the Season 4-7 novels I still need to round out that collection… although there’s a very nice set of Angel and Faith library editions still in their plastic on offer that I’ve had my eye on for a while now… of course then I’d be chasing another set to completion, so I’d best brace myself to let that one pass for the time being.

If you’ve ever wondered exactly how the shelves I talked about yesterday get filled up so damned fast, consider this post nothing more than a brief glimpse into where my head goes when the bug is biting.

Nostalgia television…

I’ve largely taken a pass on the latest trend towards nostalgia television – Unless you include that one time I skipped senior year Russian history class to watch Walter Cronkite in the CBS anchor chair during John Glenn’s return to space on the shuttle Discovery, I just haven’t found it all that compelling.

Last night I did tune in to see what the Conner’s had been up to after twenty years off the air. I approached it with some trepidation, because even at the hight of the original run’s popularity, I hadn’t been a diehard fan of the show. In the end, though, this reboot won me over. The set piece comedy against the backdrop of a kitchen and living room that are as familiar to me as the ones I grew up in offered a trip down memory lane that I’m happy to take.

Maybe I haven’t entirely missed the boat on this trend towards nostalgia… Now if we could just convince someone to pick up a new season of Buffy, I’d climb fully on this bandwagon.