Sunday, September 17, 2006

Pull Spring Clean – (Or at least that’s what I set out to do)

So a few weeks ago Sid wrote about how many comics he had, that his crisis was about the amount of issues his house holds. Well I don’t have that many issues; I own two long boxes and one short. One long box is filled with main Marvel and DC titles, whilst the second is filled with cheap, damaged or free issues I’ve picked up. Theshort box is filled with more independent stuff, from the more mainstream Vertigo to Matt Boyce’s latest mini comic. I don’t have a crisis about what to do with the issues I buy; my latest problem was what to keep on my pull list. It’s not down to space or not loving comics any more, it’s down to the simplest factor of comic buying, money.

I’m off to University next week, everything’s slowly getting packed, and everything’s nearly sorted. I’m going to be away a bit over a month at a time; I’ve got to be back every 5-6 weeks or so to see the dentist and importantly to pick up my comics. I could change my shop to one up there, but what’s the point in that? I’ve got great service at Comic Connections, Sid knows my pull list inside out, and I like the shop. What I have done over the past few weeks or so is look over my pull list and see what I’m reading, what can be cut and what I’m reading that I’ve not got around to adding to my pull.

I’ve bought a lot of different comics since I started reading, I started off on videogame and Darkness comics thanks to a friend, then I went through a very much exclusive Superhero phase, where I read and caught up with quite a bit of classic Batman and X-Men, then I hit my ‘I’m so cool and indie phase’ – and if I could I would have a bit of a word with that 15 year old me and tell him to get a grip, I mean I read stuff like factor paradox, have you even heard of that? It wasn’t even any good.
Then I kind of regained myself and I now exist as the reader that followed, my indie taste spread to stuff that was a bit more mainstream and actually good, whilst I kept on reading the superhero titles I liked. That’s the way it should be, read a bit of everything, and don’t confine yourself to a box. So anyway what I was trying to say was that the comics I read have changed a lot over 4 years, that the titles I read now have been reached through a period of deliberation, which has resulted in one final conclusion.

I haven’t got anything I want to cut.

My pull is quite concise really, in comparison to a lot of other readers I’ve seen pick up their books in store. The only removal change to stuff on my pull is dependent on the creative team such as the All Star books, but even then these books are taking that long to come out, it will be a good year or more before they will even come off by the current plans (Actually while I think about it, I have two more to add too my list when I come in next as well).
The changes to my pull were additions, I know, I’m going to be a skint student, but these books are some of the ones I’m enjoying most, some are ‘dirt’ cheap, Fell and Casanova, and some are just a mini series like The Escapist. So I thought I might just do a brief run down of what I’ve now got on my pull and why. Whilst this list hasn’t been reached through a barrage of chops and changes, it’s been reached by subtle changes, additions and the odd removal every now and then over the course of the last year by me, I guess these are the back bone of my comics, the ones I can’t wait for trade on, that I want to read monthly.


It really is the must buy DC title for me at the moment, I’ve only been reading comics for a few years now, and as much as I can power through and enjoy a lot of finite stuff, the full scope of the on goings that are the DC and Marvel main Universes have always remained a bit of a mystery to me, I mean there is only so much I can buy and read, but this has introduced me to so many characters. I have to come out and say that I wouldn’t buy an ongoing solos from the main characters after this, the big reason I’m buying this is because it’s giving me a much needed overview of the DCU. As a weekly comic it’s also a very different monster to that of a monthly, making it a bit of a must read just for its difference to the majority of everything else coming out

Over my time reading I’ve picked up and dropped Batman time and time again, I loved Hush, hated the following arc from Azzarello. I bought some of Winick’s, but then avoided it every time it was just a tie in to the crisis, (which I did enjoy, just that the seemingly random issue tie ins always seemed a bit pointless). Now it has the writer to keep me on board, Grant Morrison, I loved his New X-Men (even if Marvel has seemingly erased all of it from continuity by now), I love the Invisibles and I’m really enjoying the bits of his Doom Patrol and Animal Man I’m picking up. He’s left so many hints of what he’s going to touch on I can’t miss it, and just like all the best creator runs, he isn’t on for just a couple of issues, from the way he’s talked in interviews he seems to want to stay on this for a couple of years (at least)

Detective Comics

Never read it before Dini, now I’m loving it. Done in ones that are really exploring the detective side of Batman, what more is there to say? It’s the other side of the spectrum to the ongoing side of the Batman comic; they balance each other out perfectly. Plus I personally think each of the issues so far have clearly shown how to write done in one superhero comics in the modern state of comics.

Teen Titans
The best book that Geoff Johns is writing in my opinion, it’s been a consistently great look at the teen characters of DC since it rebooted a couple of years back. Now we’ve got a new team with lots of characters to explore in the up coming arc, so again it’s something I’m really enjoying and finding out about lots of characters. It was from a couple of recent issues that I got interested in the Doom Patrol.

All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder
In all likelihood I won’t get a new issue of this while I’m away for the first term, the book is that poorly on a schedule. But this is a beautiful car wreck, you can’t not want to read it, you just want to see what happens next. Plus I love Jim Lee on Batman

All Star Superman
The best Superman I’ve ever read, put Morrison on a book and you pique my interest. Issues that stand alone but tie into a whole, a great format for the book. Plus the art holds so many little clues for those paying attention.


If I was only buying a comic a month, I think this would be it. I came into this late, but picked up and read everything I could as fast as I could once I read my first issue (37 I think). I’m was a fable fan before this, sitting down and trying to figure out who all the characters are and rereading their fables adds so many layers to this. You can really tell Bill loves this book.

Jack of Fables
Fables got a spin off, now usually this could be seen as a cash in step, and I guess to a certain extent it is, but it has a different feel and largely different fables, plus it’s following one of the most charismatic characters. So far it’s felt like early Fables, an experiment within genre, whilst Fables had the mystery, the revolution and heist, this is the prison break.
(Are me and Sid the only one’s reading this monthly? Well did anyone else catch the St. Ives reference, or the Humpty Dumpy change showing the power of Mr. Revise through just two words last issue?

I’ve reviewed it, I can’t stop singing its praises, and it’s got a Preacher esc feel. Why aren’t you reading it? In the last monthly the grand scheme of things were somewhat laid out, perhaps a little prematurely, but the road it looks to be heading looks to be a fantastic journey. I hate the bugs, I love the characters, it stays like this and I’m with it to the end.

American Virgin

Not actually mine, but Jess’s, but it’s on my pull for her. If she wasn’t buying it I would. I’m not sure where this will head in the future, but it’s not about the story really, it’s about an idea and the characters. And these characters are getting more and more fleshed out with each issue


Astonishing X-Men

I love the X-Men, but this is pretty much their only monthly that I’ve been enjoying. Whedon has made this his own. I personally feel to much has happened in the X-Men comics to claim it happened in just 10 years, but this has a strange feel to it, its in continuity but not, and as a third X-Men title its really over kill, but it’s the title that is tackling the core team, the only one I want to read.

Ultimate X-Men
Another of Jess’s, the best think about this book is not the art, nor the current writer (though Kirkman has got better) but that even though the comics are written within ‘arcs’ the stories have existed as more like the old Claremont era, lots of story threads created, left for a bit and then picked up. Making it fun and rewarding to read in issues rather than a block in a collected trade each 6 months or so.

Civil War
I’m not big and buying in all the tie ins, but I’m reading it to keep up to date with the Marvel universe, it even goes in a section in my long box as ‘Main Marvel’, along with stuff like House of M. I like it for its concept, though I wish they would have scheduled it once they had a bit more lead in time



The best Ellis book of the moment and it’s started the ‘Fell format’. I love my done in ones or stand alones, but unlike others this is very much the stand alone, we’re what 6 issues in and we still know about the same as we did in the first about the characters. But that’s not the thing with fell, the stories are fantastically well written, and while it’s not as regular as I would like, it’s a fantastic book.

The second book to use the ‘Fell format’, differently to a lot of people I actually prefer this to Fell. Whilst the end deconstruction and commentary on the book isn’t as good at times, I feel it’s done more with the format, each issue is stand alone, but they all advance the story, and yet you can pick up any issue and start there, thanks to a great introduction catch-up on the inside page. I love my parallel universe and spy stuff, this is a great book, you can read it again and again and each time you get and understand the story more.

Dark Horse

The Escapist
A comic about a group publishing a comic of an old superhero, and they are raising interest in it by getting one of them to dress up as the Escapist and foil some basic crimes. I think this is some of BKV’s best work, well along with Y the last man, and maybe Pride of Baghdad (it kills me that I don’t have the money to read it, hopefully I can find a good paying part time job at uni). I love when we see the comic they are creating within it, especially in the latest issue where the speech of the characters was that of the group talking and inking it, yet it fits wonderfully with the art

Oni Press

Brian Wood, last issue was perhaps better than the best of DEMO, everyone should be reading this. It’s about the character Megan McKeenan, each issue we find her a year later in her life, some times she’s the main character, other times she’ll be in it for a page or less, we are following her grow up and face being an adult. At the issue 6 mark it looks like she has taken her biggest turn ‘This is the last time’. I love Ryan Kelly’s art on the book, just as fitting as Becky Cloonan on DEMO.


So I guess that’s about it, I guess it does good to have a look at your pull every now and then, give it a spring clean. I mean what’s the point in buying something if you’re not enjoying it? And why forget to add that title that you’re really enjoying?
So unless any thing major happens with these titles, this is pretty much everything I plan on reading, though I’m sure a lot more will come up in the mean time.


Andvok said...

BEST ADVICE - Get MORE comics and stick them on your student loan.

Actually, don't listen to me.

Ryan said...

But then how do I afford copious amounts of alcohol?
Hmm, maybe I should get a credit card...

Anyone notice 52 was a page short this week?
Censored by 'The Man'

addison said...

Well you now buy more comics regularly than me. You could be happy with that fact

Ryan said...

What are you buying at the moment?

All I can say is I'm glad we have a good trade and digest system now, it helps to keep up with a lot of stuff that I don't think I would pick up if I had to monthly.

Saying that, most Vertigo titles I buy as monthlies and trades, no way I'm lending out my single issues.

addison said...

I closed my pull lists months ago after the flood destroyed my collection. You know that story right?

The people at my LCS have already figured out my taste and interest range anyways so they what to order for their customers. I just visit and browse.

The Spirit, Wildcats and The Authority are in serious consideration to be in my pull list.

Otherwise I'm just following DMZ, Runaways and Morisson's old Doom Patrol in trades. Fables I'm definitely switching to trades. Fell I still follow monthly along with AS Superman and ASB&RTBW.

I've been swamped with work for weeks now that I barely even have time to read or watch DVDs anymore. My pile is seriously growing faster than I can consume.

Ryan said...

Haven't heard that story, but that sucks. I wonder what Sid would do if that happened to all of his issues, I guess it would clear up his storage problem.

I'm reading through the Doom Patrol through singles every now and then, once you get the time I would love that background. What work are you swamped under with again?

I'm still not sold on DMZ, though someone has said they'll pick up the 4th Fables trade if I pick up the first DMZ one. I think I'll have to check it out again.

addison said...

I'm a freelance illustrator and graphic artist remember?

Details on the tragedy that destroyed my collection can be found on Goodbye thread at Newsarama.

I was actually posting at the HSH thread when my bedroom floor busrted and the strong running water destroyed everything. Remember now, don't just leave longboxes lying on the floor. You never know, I don'trecall my place having a flood before that either.

Ryan said...

Oh I remembered that, just as a freelance artist, what are you working on at the moment, anything interesting?

addison said...

Nothing really interesting, just some stuff to pay the bills. Colored flyers for a real estate company, a backlit menu display for a local fastfood, a corporate party invitation and a few billboards.

Sid said...

If that happened to my comics, it would suck, some of them are utterly unreplacable to me for nostagia reasons.
I would miss my Amazing Spider-man and Transformers UK collection the most, and I would miss knowing how much my Uncanny X-Men solid run from #108 was worth.
Having said that, I am insured, and I work in the industry, so I guess I could have a lot of fun re-collecting stuff, but with a sterner eye for what is worth keeping and what's worth saying goodbye to. Then I could wait for all the damaged one's to dry and have a fucking great big fire whilst dancing and chanting dressed as Alan Moore.

Ryan said...

Well I reckon thats the solution, you keep some (just some mind) of your nostalgia comics, we then replace them with cheap damaged copies.

Then we arrange for a burst water main. You claim on the insurance, get the money, just buy back what you actually need and keep the rest of the money to pay a few artists to draw some of those comics you've written.

Then you can have a big comic connections bonfire night. Lots of drink, metal and Alan Moore dress up chanting.

Sounds like a plan