Thursday, November 10, 2005

Being Anal Retentive

Although I don't post to Legion-related message boards and mailing lists nearly as much as I used to, I will take credit for introducing the phrase "Anal Retentive" (sometimes abbreviated as just AR or A-R) into the online Legion fandom's vernacular. I don't know how much (or even whether) it's used on other message boards any more, since DC's main boards came online right around the time I was cutting back.

The earliest post to the rec.arts.comics.* (aka "RAC") newsgroups with that phrase that I could find is from April 21, 1995, when I posted my Anal Retentive Legion Reprint Checklist v1.02. By June, I was referring to my Anal Retentive Checklists for Bill Sienkiewicz and Mike Grell, which I had created and maintained even before I got online. I had them up on my web page by August, with references in my .sig which I used til late 1996.

By Jan. 8, 1997, I posted notice of my Anal Retentive Legion Checklist, which was a simple checklist of what issues the Legion (or Legionnaires) had appeared in. I had other checklists, too, though:

As long as I'm hyping, I also maintain a Legion reprint checklist, which has a listing of which issues were reprinted where ... Plus, there's the Legion merchandise checklist, for those of you (like me) who are anal retentive enough to HAVE TO HAVE every single appearance. The merchandise list shows everything from trading cards to posters to t-shirts to Slurpee cups.
After that, the phrase popped up here and there in the various comics newsgroups, in part because I referred to it in my posts and in part because I co-wrote the rec.arts.comics.dc.lsh FAQ. In the FAQ, it's described in the "commonly seen abbreviations and terms" as this:
* AR: Anal-retentive, when used in conjunction with a Legion appearance, it usually refers to an appearance that only a true LSH completist would find it necessary to own.
You can do a google newsgroup search and find current examples of people using "anal retentive" in this manner, especially when referring to Legion collection.

So there's the secret origin of "Anal Retentive" Legion collecting.

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