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RU’s Views: Why We Read Crap pt. 2 - Completionism

Written by GHERU on Wednesday, March 20 2013 and posted in Features

RU’s Views: Why We Read Crap pt. 2 - Completionism

RU continues his exploration of the fanboy mindset to find out why we read bad comics. In this second of four articles, RU examines completeism and the forces that drive it.

Source: the internet

Hello there, internet people, it’s your good buddy, RU, here for something a little bit different. Rather than helping you through the minefield of garbage comics I am going to ask why it is that we read garbage books to begin with.

As discussed in part one, I belive that there are three, often overlapping, primary forces that drive collectors to purchase books that they do not like; habit, completeism, and hope.  Morbid curriostiy will also be explored in the final article in this series along with some closing remarks.


Hello, my name is RU and I am a Deadpool-aholic.
Hi, RU!
Thank you. At first I became a Deadpool Completion-ist as a project. You know, can I get all of Deadpool issues? Can I maintain that collection? How cool am I? I looked at this project as a goal to achieve and not a journey I should enjoy….

Many of us know that game, and here’s the thing, I still have that mindset. I know Thunderbolts is a bad book consisting of storytelling and art bad enough to make angels weep, but Wade Wilson is in the book so I must have it.

I know I’m not alone in this completionist mindset; I’ve talked with addicts of one character or another online and in stores, and the one thing we all have in common is self awareness.  They know that being a completionist is illogical and downright dumb, but, to people like this, a project adds an interesting (to us) twist on the collecting aspect of comics. We buy crap books because we want to, not for the story but rather for the thrill of owning all of the stories, like a toddler who must have ALL THE TOYS!

What many completionists do not understand, or refuse to admit, is this is not the fault of Marvel, DC, Image, etc but rather the fault of the collector for all the bad books in thier collection. If you “must have” every Dark Horse Star Wars book, it’s not Dark Horses’ fault that you kept reading Knights Of The Old Republic after issue #35 (volume 6 – Vindication) when it really went downhill, it’s yours. No matter what the internet comic book community wants to think, these companies are in the business of making money and if we keep buying books for completionist sake regardless of the quality there is no incentive for them to make their product good. Again I point to Deadpool Corps and Merc With A Mouth as proof of my own failings in this regard.

Personally, I see no problem with completionism, it’s an aspect of collecting that can provide pride and purpose to one’s portfolio, but constantly complaining that its their fault that you buy books you know are crap solely to have them all is dishonest and self-serving. Own up to the fact that you made a conscious choice to buy these shitty books and stop blaming everyone else, or drop the project and move on with your life.

The overlap between habit and completionism should be obvious. If a collector has both of these forces working for (or against) them then the two can perpetuate each other. Once a collector is able to break the habit of buying a bad book, there is still the chance that their run is so long, so big, that the competionism bug can take over and provide yet another excuse to not let the book go. This can make it doubly tricky to find the strength of will to do what needs to be done, but in order to break the cycle-o-crap both of these barriers must be broken down in order to do so.


That concludes the discussion regarding completeism, tomorrow we'll explore hope as a reason to keep a book and on Friday we will conclude our discussion focusing on morbid curiosity and some closing remarks. Until then, later peeps.

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