buying and reading comics

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I stopped buying comics regularly in 2009. I’d built up a backlog of unread books that was large enough that, even now, I still have some stuff from 2008-2009 in my “to be read” pile. Basically, I was buying a few more books every month than I was reading, so I just got farther and farther behind.

Since then, I’ve been buying stuff occasionally, usually as trade paperbacks or in digital form from Comixology. But this summer, I decided to dip my toes back into the world of regular comic-buying again. I started with Marvel’s Civil War II and some of DC’s Rebirth titles. And I’ve been buying them from my local  comic shop, and actually going into the store every Wednesday and buying them off the racks. That’s something I haven’t done in a very long time. (I’d previously been buying my books mail-order from Westfield Comics, so I wasn’t actually venturing into a comic shop too often.)

I really didn’t think this habit would last too long, but here it is the end of the year, and I’m still stopping by the comic shop after work every Wednesday. I’m thinking about whether or not I want to keep this up in 2017, or quit, or maybe even switch back to using Westfield. I really don’t want to accumulate a lot of comic books again, after giving away most of my collection in 2015. And I definitely don’t want to get back to having a “to be read” pile that’s almost as tall as I am.

On the Marvel side, I only ever picked up Civil War II, which just ended, and the Civil War II: Choosing Sides mini-series, which ended a while back. Looking at the stuff that Marvel has coming up over the next few months, I don’t think I’ll be tempted to start picking up any new books from them.

On the DC side, I’m currently buying a number of the Rebirth titles: Batman, Detective, Nightwing, All-Star Batman, Deathstroke, Justice League, Trinity, and Titans. (That’s a fair number of books, considering that some of them are twice-monthly.) They’re all pretty good. So I don’t see any good reason to stop buying and reading them any time soon. I may give up on Justice League soon; I’m not too enthusiastic about the book, or about the JL vs Suicide Squad mini-series, so now might be a good point to drop that. And I’ve got mixed feelings about Titans, so I could stand to drop that too. I actually haven’t read much of Deathstroke yet; I like Christopher Priest and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. But, if I’m just going to let it pile up (I have, I think, nine issues waiting to be read), I’d probably be better off waiting on the trade instead of buying the individual issues. (And I haven’t read Trinity at all yet; those issues are just piling up too.) I’m sure I could wait on the trades with the Batman family books that I’m reading too. So that would take care of that, and I’d have no further regular books to buy.

One thing that I feel a little guilty about is that I’m not buying any indie titles at all. If I want to get back into that, I think I’d have to switch back to mail order, since my local shop doesn’t bother stocking many indies. But many of those books are a lot easier to pick up as trades anyway. (That’s what I’ve been doing with Usagi Yojimbo.)

So, in a nutshell, I haven’t quite talked myself into dropping everything and going cold turkey, or into switching to mail order. So I’ll probably keep going over to the comic book store every week. But I might drop a few titles, especially if I see that I’m getting to the point where I’ve got more than ten issues piled up, unread, of anything.

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