Comic book retailer, shop owner, and DC Comics collector Chris Farrell passed away in late April 2024, following a long illness.

Farrell was a longtime comic shop retailer who owned Earth Prime Comics in Burlington, Vermont for at least 40 years.

But what Farrell was best known for was her collection of DC comics. Farrell was the first person to complete a collection of every DC comic from 1935 to the present day – an achievement that has been thought nearly impossible.

Farrell’s interest in DC comics began with Superman and Supergirl books, then grew from there to all of their titles. She amassed thousands of books covering hundreds of titles, including not just the superhero books, but also romance comics, the ones featuring animated characters, even the ones starring real life celebrities Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis.

She achieved her goal through meticulous searching for issues both well known and those harder to find. Joe Vereneault of JHV Associates talked to Scoop about assisting in her search for the last few books she needed. In the early days of eBay, they found copies of Buzzy #70 and Girls’ Love Stories #56 – two of the last issues she needed – and put very large maximum bids on the books to ensure that no one could snipe the books from Farrell at the last minute.

Mike Wilbur, former Diamond International Galleries and Gemstone Publishing Director of Operations, was one of the few people who actually saw her DC collection. He recalled to Scoop that in February 1992, he and a co-worker visited Farrell to document her collection and helped to find the few missing pieces. At some point in the ‘80s, she started using Vereneault’s booth as her base of operations at conventions, and he and Wilbur would help Farrell get her newest purchases home safely.

Farrell wasn’t one for the spotlight; in fact, she was very shy and didn’t publicize her collection. Despite that, Farrell was known in the collecting community and people were impressed by what she had accomplished with her collection. After completing the DC collection, she continued to attend cons to socialize with other collectors and dealers, and would buy books to sell in her comic store. (Editor’s note: In 2007, Scoop wrote about Farrell’s collection. Since she was reluctant to be known, her name was not disclosed in the article.)

“Back in the 1990s at one of the NYC Comic shows I was talking to a big time dealer from down south when all of a sudden, he stopped and pointed across the aisle from his booth and in a whisper said, ‘Do you see that lady walking over there?’ I didn’t as she had moved out of sight. Then she walked into view, and I saw Christine Farrell for the first time, though I did not talk to her. With genuine awe in his voice, he told me she was one of the greatest comic book collectors in the world. That made it my turn to be in awe of her, and even more so when I found out she had every DC comic ever published up to the newest releases,” Overstreet advisor Art Cloos said. “Over time at the big shows I got to meet and talk to her, and we would go out to dinner when a show closed for the night. It hit hard to learn of her passing. The legacy she leaves behind can never be topped and comic fandom is much poorer for having lost her.”

“Christine was a humble, very dedicated collector of all DC comics which I think was extraordinary! She was quiet but she was friendly and always smiled,” fellow DC collector Alice Cloos said.