I didn't really think it would take more than four decades to get every issue of the galaxy's greatest comic when I first started reading 2000ad regularly back in the 1980s, but that's how long it took.
The earlist issue I remember ever owning is #152, with the Fiends of the Eastern Front making a terrifying debut, which my Nana Smith got for me off the shelves when I was five. I would read the odd issue over the next couple of years, and geeked out with my mates over the cover of #302, with Old Ben's android face revealed, but I was mainly about the slick and polished American comic books at that age.
I started getting 2000ad every week with #381, when I was nine, and it wasn't any one thing that got me hooked on thrillpower. It was just that gorgeous combination of prime Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Rogue Trooper and Halo Jones, and that was enough. Hooked for life.
Or at least until the mid-90s, when after so much thrills, there were several years of substandard progs that had me abandoning it altogether. I didn't get it for another eight years, until Wagner came back to do some amazing Dredd stories, and Nikolai Dante stole the show. 2000ad was not as ubiquitous as it once was, and it took me another decade to find all those issues I missed in that eight-year break. I found them at comic shops and second hand bookstores in Christchurch and Dublin and Sydney and New York and Dunedin, and slowly filled in that gap.
I still get 2000ad every week now, a regular purchase for almost 20 years straight, getting it right off the shelves at the nearest newsagent. I still always read it in the street, because I always need all the thrillpower I can get. They still miss a few issues a year, because getting it to the arse end of the world invariably results in leakage (and because Brexit is fucking up everything getting out of the UK), but I can still fill these gaps easily by getting them straight from the source.
And then good people help you out, and you're only a few away from a full collection of 2000ad, and then you pay what you need for those few, and then...
I got the last two issues I needed in the post today, and that's it. I have a complete 2200+ run of 2000ad, just like I always wanted, way back when there were only a couple of hundreds issues to find.
Building that kind of collection, in that kind of way, is not recommended for anybody. If you're foolhardy enough to want that kind of mass of comics, (and it is a mass, taking up half a full-szied cupboard in our house) just go online and buy up somebody else's collection. But drokk, it was fun filling in all those gaps.
Now I just gotta find all the Judge Dredd Megazines I keep missing.