Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Elbow Rule & "Running" Comic Books

One "rule" of the English language that I made up (but, really, it's not rocket science so maybe I'm sure someone somewhere had the same idea) is one that I refer to as "The Elbow Rule." I use The Elbow Rule to illustrate for students the importance of context to giving some words there denoted meaning, especially those terms that have multiple definitions, which are implied by their use.

The word "elbow" is one such word. For example, if you are a cook, an "elbow" can be a reference to a type of pasta noodle, while at the same time, for those studying physiology, the same term is used to denote a joint. Likewise, a plumber would see an elbow as a pipe bend... and so on. It's also important to consider the part of speech the word s being used as, as the verb "elbow" is obviously different than the noun.

Exactly what you'd expect to find in the attic office of a
42 year-old professional educator.

Now for a completely different kind of "run".... a comic book one! In comic book collecting terms, a "run" can be loosely defined as a continuous or sustained publication of a specific title. For the completist, such as myself, to acquire or collect a complete, or full, run is a pretty cool thing. It can also prove challenging (not to mention expensive!) if one is a little late to the party with a particular title and doesn't begin a collection until after it has been published for a period of time and found a degree of niche success.

In the past (pre-Internet) this could be insanely difficult. Though a little more costly, in most cases, if it can be done affordably, I still prefer to buy back issues from the local comic shop that I have been frequenting for almost 20(!) years now. Sometimes, especially with those titles published by smaller "independent" presses, it can be very tricky coming across issues that are from a small printing.

Over the past few months I have found myself completing full runs of a number of titles and, in my ongoing quest to find things to write about, I figured I would offer a glimpse into some of my recently completed runs. While some are rather short (8-10 issues), others are more extensive (70 issues).

Though the anticipation is likely killing you, you'll have to come back later to see just what titles have (at least for this month--in the world of comic books, nothing is terminal) run their course...

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