Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Dropping of Comics Strikes Again!

Cutting Comics Redux
Not too many months ago I did a multi-part look at how I was dropping many comics, and keeping others. It had four parts and I'll link to that at the end of this article should you desire to read it. The basic message was that comics that were merely okay wouldn't be able to keep coming home with me, as for $2.99 I can maybe do "basically good," but once you hit a cost of $3.99 you have to be pretty damn snazzy to be something I want to keep buying. Well, I said then I would eventually get to cutting more stuff, and lo and behold I have. Let's examine some choice examples and how they represent what I do and don't want to keep. I know I'm cutting a lot lately it seems, but don't worry, I'll still review comics even as I keep cutting, along with all the other stuff I enjoy discussing. I just thought you all would find it interesting to see more of my thoughts on what is right and what is wrong with comics. Let's proceed!

Stuff I Kept:
Various One-Shots/Mini-Series/Series That are Ending
You're just three issues and a good read? Sold!
A one-shot is a short little tale, why not give it a chance? If I don't like it, I only lost that amount of money, so one-shots are quite appealing. Also, if something is a generally self-contained mini-series from an independent publisher, and the story is pretty good, I don't flinch at maybe getting the six-issue run and then being done with the comic. I don't have to commit a ton of time and effort to understanding back-stories, or a bunch of money to a whole bunch of issues for a series that I may not even like at some point. Through being just a small number of issues, I don't hesitate to read "Absolution: Rubicon" or "Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde".

By the same point, if there were a series I happened to be following and was considering dropping, but it has om;y a few issues left, I figured I would get those last issues and not replace it with something else, still clearing out space in my wallet, just at a later time. A series such as "Avengers Arena" which is nearing its conclusion is an example of this.

Beautifully illustrated comics
Yeah, "Green Arrow" is worth keeping.
"Green Arrow" and "Clone" may not have incredible stories, but Sorrentino and Juan Jose Ryp are killing it on each respective book. Therefore, as long as they are illustrating those two comics, I definitely want them.

Well-Written Stories with Great Concepts
This is kind of an obvious point, but it deserves stating that if a comic has a great "hook" and is written extremely well, I will of course want to read it. "Saga" springs to mind as a book I couldn't live without, and even though I'm not reading any other Spider-Man book I am loving "The Superior Foes of Spider-Man". Also, even though I dropped some books by Joe Casey, one of his current works, "Sex", is just spectacular in its weirdness and has some great art too. Also, "X-Men Legacy" is something I shall keep reading as long as it is coming out with Si Spurrier doing his amazing work.

Dumb but Fun Comics
The "Justice League" comics tend to be kind of dumb and silly, and "Forever Evil" is a bit absurd too, but they are a fun sort of stupidity that makes them worth reading because even if the comics aren't making a deep and insightful point, there still is something awesome to seeing super-heroes smash each other up.

Stuff I Dropped/Won't Start Getting
Boring/Impossible to Understand Comics
"Lazarus" makes even a cool scene of someone coming back to life from wounds boring.
A comic can be dumb and still be enjoyed by me if it is fun, if a comic is just boring though--regardless of how clever or stupid it is, I just would rather give it a pass. "God is Dead" was kind of a snore, and "Indestructible Hulk" was slowly losing me too. "Lazarus" started out with a great concept, but all the pages of people talking, and talking, and talking about little of interest made me want to pull my hair out. Also, some comics weren't boring, they just made no sense. I love Joe Casey but I was having trouble understanding much of "Catalyst Comix" so I gave up on that.

Comics that were just "okay" and therefore not worth the price
This probably made up the largest number of comics I cut. From "Superman Unchained" being decent but uninspiring, to "Uncanny" having some good ideas but just seeming to lack a spark, so many comics I cut were by no means bad, they just weren't at that level of "good" I need with the lesser amount of money I want to spend on comics. As much as "Fatale" could be interesting sometimes, there were plenty of issues that had me saying, "And, that's it?" so I had to let it go. "Suicide Risk" is a perfectly fine comic by the talented Mike Carey, but it just wasn't really leaving me satisfied in a way that had me feeling my money was well-spent.

Absurdly Over-Priced New Comics
Everyone has heard the big news that Marvel is going to start publishing the famous Marvelman/Miracleman comics again (which took forever, I mean they bought the rights how long ago?), but a point less discussed is how expensive these issues are going to be. We're talking something like 5 dollars for a comic that is a reprint of some admittedly great stories, but how can Marvel think charging me that much for a comic that lacks anything super-special (extra pages, some silly gimmick like fold-out pages) will make me want it? A comic such as this or others will not be in my pull-box, that's for sure.

Most New Comics
Part of the problem with cutting comics is that there will always be new things coming out I might want. However, if I make sure not to start getting new comics unless there is something really special about them--or I cut something I currently get if I add something new--then I can keep my amount of comics I read down to a more wallet-friendly level.
"All-New X-Factor" is one of the few upcoming comics I will be buying.
Marvel has announced a new "Punisher" series, and that sounds great, but unless I hear it is absolutely amazing I am probably going to skip it. The "All New X-Factor" comic by Peter David is of course something I want, however, because Peter David is awesome, but another "Ghost Rider" comic is a title I won't lose sleep over missing. As long as I avoid adding much and letting what I currently have run its course, I can be more fiscally responsible and still enjoy the comics I truly like.

So, What Does It All Mean (Again)?
The first time I did my big dropping of comics I got rid of many of the same sorts of things I cut this time. Comics that were okay but not really worth the time they took to read, boring comics, and of course things that cost way too much for what I was getting. I kept stuff that was  written well, fun, had good art, and basically made for stellar comics--which sounds so easy yet seems to be so rare.

As I continue to cut things and read only the stuff that I feel is really worth my time, I hope to get more enjoyment from reading comics as there will only be ones I really treasure, and I will save a lot of money too, which can be used for other things that I hate to admit is more important than comics, but are--like food, shelter, and clothing. Anyways, there you go with what else I decided to drop and why.

Articles from the first time I did a big cut of comics:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

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