23 August 2007

Priorities: Comic Books

This is the first post in a series, where I will be musing on my free-time priorities in order to reassess how they all fit into the Nakia-as-Dad domain. I recognized the need for this process earlier, and am going to try and look at my free time activities in some sort of systematic way to determine what stays, what goes, and what gets modified. I think it's important to do this honestly and systematically, otherwise stuff gets lost simply due to inanition, attrition, and neglect. It's better to choose to let something go, to make a conscious decision about how I am going to spend my time and money, that to just let something wither because I can't decide or am avoiding it.

I know it may seem weird to talk about comics as a priority, but 4+ long boxes in my spare bedroom say otherwise. In my reassessment of my leisure priorities, I am tackling this one first because it's fairly easy. Comics, at least "collecting" them, is going. I don't spend a ton of time or money on them. Thirty dollars a month or so; a Saturday driving into Charlotte; a Sunday afternoon reading my monthly books. It's easy to let this one go for a number of reasons. First, it's a pain to get to the store. Heroes is a great comic store, one of the best. But getting there is a 30-40 minute process. Once I am there, it's not like I spend hours browsing, reading, and talking about comics. I get my stuff then leave. Second, and most telling, is the stuff itself. My pull list is pretty small. Conan, Amazing Spider Man, Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine, Hellboy, The Dark Tower (they've been doing some comics based on the Stephen King books), and the occasional other mini-series. Out of those books, nothing is stellar enough to make me want to get it on time every month. Conan is the most consistent book there. It's been great from month to month and I got in at the beginning, but now they are doing a "re-launch" with a new team next year. And it will still come out in trade paperback. Amazing has been really, really bad ever since this Civil War stuff started. KotDT is amusing and provides some neat game fodder, but the strips are all collected in paperbacks anyway. Hellboy is always good, but is infrequent and comes out in trades. The Dark Tower has been a big disappointment. It was billed as adding to Roland's story, but the comic portion of the books just recapped Wizard and Glass in poor, abbreviated, PG form. I HAVE READ THE BOOK. THAT'S WHY I BOUGHT THE COMIC. I DON'T NEED THE CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED VERSION OF THE STORY AGAIN. The "new material" came from stories (and I use that term loosely) at the end of each issue about the mythology of Mid-Word. These were poorly written and, in many cases, bordered on the silly.

Thus, I am not really excited about any comics any more, at least in single issue form. I will miss getting Amazing Spider Man monthly, since I have LOTS of those issues. and a nice run of 5 years or so going on. Likewise with Conan -- I have every issue of the new series. So I'll stick with my monthlies until their current arcs end, then phase them all out gradually.

What to do with the 4+ long boxes of stuff I have is a bigger question.

4 comments:

  1. Store them and forget about them. 10,20,30 years from now you will be glad you did for many reasons and so will Elenore.

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  2. I'm finding that I am buying more and more trades, and not quite as much interest in the monthlies any more. That said, Conan is going to be rebooting at issue #50 (I think) with a new creative team, so that's probably as good a place as any to make the switch. I dropped KotDT months ago. I had been buying it but only flipping through it, reading a few articles and not even bothering with the comics, I haven't missed it since.

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  3. I am a little annoyed at the Conan reboot. I really like the book and thought it had been doing well, so I don't understand it.

    My favorite part of KotDT is the comics!

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  4. I've never had the time or money for the monthlies. And with trades, I can get the whole story in one big go.

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