I spend a disproportionate amount of time thinking about comics. My reading habits are pretty varied, Scalped is probably the best thing I buy every month, but somehow my thoughts always return to the X-Men. Recently I started rereading all my X-Men collection, going from the Chris Claremont omnibus up to today. I don’t think that the characters are real, I don’t fantasize about joining the team, but nonetheless when I’m staring into space it’s a fair bet that I’m thinking about the X-Men. Thinking about what an awesome comic X-Force is, against all odds. Analysing why Chris Claremont wrote such brilliant character studies in the 80s but sucks so badly at miniseries or writing characters that other writers have also shaped. Wondering what I have to do for Rockslide to be given his own comic. Tearing my hair out at the thought of how frustrating it must have been when Grant Morrison and Chuck Austen were writing X-Men at the same time, I mean how did Austen sleep at night working in Morrison’s shadow like that and failing so spectacularly?
We spend our lives collecting and obsessing over all this escapist stuff, I figure the least we can do is give a little back. If it means people getting my comics a little grubby I can live with that. But they’d better not mess with my X-Men collection!
Philip Buchan, Manchester, UK
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