In the UK, collecting comics is nowhere near as respected a hobby as it is in more civilized countries. It ranks just above "train-spotting".
(You can read the relevant page at: http://www.spiderfan.org/faq/comics.html#uk_comics)
Comic collecting is something that I've done in one way or another since the 1980s and this attitude is sadly all too common towards collectors. Another view I've encountered is more critical, viewing mainly American style comics as a somewhat sinister influence!
But for many comic collecting is a fun pursuit. Many comics offer a mix of well drawn art, intricate plotting, strong characters that make you want to come back for more and ongoing storylines.
The medium is mainly associated, for better or worse, with superheroes - perhaps because they're one of the few genres that does not easily translate to television. (Okay how many of you are thinking of the 1960s Batman television series? Looking at it you can see why few comic fans are willing to push for new projects - or why networks are not quick to commission them!)
Some of the best series are those that build up an intricate supporting cast and tell well constructed stories that add new angles if you read the whole thing in one go. One of the best in my humble opinion is Spider-Man. Then there are the cosmic stories like the Silver Surfer series, or the guns blazing series like The Punisher. There are many more that I've enjoyed over the years and I may on occasion make postings about some of them, both good and bad.