Two weeks ago I bought a rather large stack of comics. I was home sick, and had the issues sitting there at my side, but ended up more interested in watching television instead. It came to pass that by the time last Wednesday rolled around, I hadn’t even finished reading the previous week’s buys. A certain drive that had previously been consuming me, driving me to follow comics news daily, seems to have evaporated overnight. But it took me a couple weeks to recognize that passion was gone.
Today I picked up my pull and was disappointed to discover that Diamond had failed to ship my LCS this week’s Astro City, the conclusion to an arc several issues in the telling. That used to be the sort of thing that would be a big deal to me. But today I just shrugged, bought the other books, and walked out to my car. I read today the way one reads for class — enjoying some of it immensely, but unsure that I’d have chosen to do it of my own volition. I was reading like I needed to read for someone else, rather than for me.
That’s the way it works with the buying, too, I’ve realized. I started adding books to my list so that I could have a consistent account. I wanted to develop a good relationship with the store. But with a pull, there’s a sense of obligation — a sense that once it’s ordered, it must be read. It means I have to make decisions not about what I feel like reading now, but what I’ll feel like reading a month or two from now. If I decided to stop reading today, I’d still feel compelled to buy comics for the next several weeks. On principle. And if I buy them, I may as well read them. But it’s going through the motions. It’s not what it once was.
That puts me in a weird position, as I have over a dozen subscribers to this blog who ostensibly have enjoyed what I have to say about comics. And when I do read, and I do enjoy, I do like sharing that with people and hearing back from them about it. But I can’t do that just for other people. And as I start to look at my current life, and especially my current and coming finances, at my desire to continue to own a car, and my desire to eventually have a girlfriend, the sheer magnitude of the comics portion of my budget, time, and thoughts just looks way too big. So I need to cut it.
The first cut is easy, it’s the one where I cut out anything I just added because it looked kinda fun but am not really invested in. But the second cut, the cut that I need to make to make a tangible impact on the budget, is the one where I drop books I’m enjoying but that don’t offer me lasting satisfaction beyond the moment — the ones that I will probably never read again, or lack back upon fondly. The many books which are good, but are not great. The books I may decide to read somewhere down the line in collections, or may never get around to reading at all.
I do not know how many comics I will actually read going forward. But I know it won’t be enough, often enough, to sustain this blog. Which is weird, and kind of hard, because this is the first thing in almost a decade of public writing that has actually generated any real kind of attention from people before. And like so many New 52 series, it’s getting cancelled after eight issues.
This week, I bought six comics. These are my thoughts:
- All-New X-Factor #4. This book has been fun. Peter David is building it slowly, adding members to the team at a pace refreshingly slower, but more reasonable, than most team books. That said, this particular issue seems to have been slightly less spectacular than its predecessors. Still one of the highlights of ANMN, in my opinion. 4/5
- All-New X-Men #24. The Trial of Jean Grey continues. It’s fun to see the interactions of so many characters (Starjammers + Guardians + X-Men is pretty neat), but for an “event” that seems so large, it still ends up feeling pretty small and skeletal. I can’t put my finger on what, but something is missing here. 3/5
- Batgirl #29. I think it’s safe to say most people will not see the ending of this miniature “Silver” arc coming. I can’t imagine how others will feel about it; personally I wasn’t impressed. That said, Strix is a fun character to have along (even if she just reminds me that DC refuses to bring back Cass), and the Alex Garner covers continue to be one of the series’ best selling points. That said, I’m about done with this run, I think. 3/5
- Ghost #2. This is a really weird book. Seeing your heroes team up with demons to face other demons is always a novel experience, and Kelly Sue DeConnick has definitely brought these characters in with full doses of personality. The art is great, the intertwining plotlines being developed are intriguing enough — I’d say if you’re in the market for something different you should give this recently-relaunched title a try. 4/5
- Revelations #3. It’s so very odd reading this Jenkins & Ramos mini and remembering they’re the same team that brought me FairyQuest. This is a foul-mouthed, cynical, cigarette-butt-hurling tale about corruption and death in the Vatican. What intrigues me is the question of what kind of book this actually is — there are so many ways it could go, but I’m still not sure whether it will. Kind of like the question of how supernatural True Detective was willing to get. But with more British slang. 4/5
- Captain Marvel #1. So I adored what I read of the previous Captain Marvel run and was excited for Carol’s return. It’s nice to see her return, to see her attitude as sharp as ever, and to see that her cast has indeed remained relevant, even if they’re going to be taking a backseat for at least the first arc or two of this series. Unlike with so many other #1′s I’ve read in the last few months, this book feels like homecoming — so I can’t know what it’d be like to read this as your first Danvers book. That said, if you’re looking for my opinion? You need to go back and read more Danvers stuff anyway. Because it’s awesome. 5/5
Going back a little earlier, I have three thoughts: Tomb Raider #1 was disappointing, Gothtopia‘s ending was okay, and Moon Knight #1 was probably my favorite first issue out of any Marvel Now/ANMN issues I’ve read.