A few weeks ago I mused on the challenges of collecting full runs, noting that some may take as little six months, but as serious collectors understand and accept, many take ten or twenty years or more. I have full runs of titles running over 100 issues, but I also have incomplete series with stubbornly elusive issues which have thwarted me from completing runs of less than 20 issues. This year I have completed my collections of two titles, and they provide both a stark contrast in scale, and an illustration of my point.
Super Giant ran for 28 issues over a period of four years or so in the mid-1970's. My first copies were picked up in 2008 - maybe 3 or 4 issues - but I didn't begin consciously collecting it until around 2001. My 27th issue was secured in late 2009, the 28th this year. That's seven years between drinks, and at least fifteen years to source a complete set. The good news in all this is that the average price I paid for these issues was less than $5, including the last issue.
The Hundred Comic Monthly ran for 102 issues over 10 years until 1965. My first copy was also purchased around 2001/02. My 101ist issue was purchased in mid-2011, and the last copy just a few months ago. That's 5 years between issues, and again, a good fifteen years of legwork.
The prices paid for the Hundred issues is a different story altogether. On the one hand more than half cost me less than $20 each, and quite a few of those were under $10. That still leaves plenty of issues which averaged $30-$40. Two issues cost me $100 or more. It's no surprise that the last one falls in that bracket.
It's fair to say that The Hundred has always been a greater priority to me than Super Giant. I'm sure there were copies of Super Giant I came across in my travels which I didn't purchase due to their condition or price, figuring another copy would turn up sooner or later. If I knew then how long it would take to complete a full run I might have been more vigilant. and less choosy.
As for The Hundred, I hunted it with a fervour bordering on mania. And I reckon I done good. Sure, there's a few poor condition specimens which require an upgrade, and I possibly paid too much for a few issues, but there's also plenty of beautiful copies which would be amongst the best condition vintage pre-decimal K.G. Murray comics that I own, and all things considered, it's a damn good set that I'm proud to own.
So there it is: A tale of two very different complete sets. Whodathunkit?