Thursday, July 2, 2009

How I read my comics

These past couple of weeks I've been really busy getting things fine tuned for the JH Williams III and Greg Rucka Batwoman (Detective Comics) creative team signing that's happening Saturday, July 11th from 11-2pm as well as doing the end of month ordering, making and entering new club subscription sheets, and processing the huge amounts of comic titles that have arrived (especially the crazy Marvel onslaught of last week). Somehow in between doing all of this I managed to read quite a few of the comics that came out. I'm happy to report that I still love reading comics, but I often lament that there aren't more hours in a day to read more comics.
Every week I generally read about twenty comics in addition to a couple of new mangas and or graphic novels amongst all the new releases. Reading twenty comics a week doesn't even come close to being most of a week's comic releases as every week sees forty titles on a slow week to around sixty titles on a large week (and this doesn't count manga or graphic novels). I don't think I would read every comic that came out even if I had the time because I think that would definitely lead me (or almost anyone) to burnout and want to just quit reading comics altogether.

On most weeks I have all the new comics that I want to read finished in two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) and over the next couple of days will read the handful of manga and or other graphic novels I've put aside for myself. I've also been the type of comic reader that had to get and read the new release right away and can't space them out over a whole week (and since owning my comic store I want to be able to be recommend titles so the sooner I read a tile that sooner I can recommend it - even though it's also true that just because I like or didn't like a book doesn't mean others will feel the same way, although I like to think I'm in tune with my customer base).

I remember actually having more time to read comics at the store, but it seems like for some time now I hardly get through any comics while I'm working the store. Do I regret this change? No no no! I'd much rather interact with people who come to my store who want to interact and I definitely don't want anyone who comes into my store thinking that they're interrupting my reading time - I'm here to help people find and purchase comics and graphic novels that they'll hopefully enjoy and will make them want to come back for further entertainment and enlightenment. When there aren't customers in the store there really is any multitude of tasks that can be done to fine tune the store for the next wave of customers and other assorted behind the scenes business things that need to be attended to, although to be sure, even the most "unpleasant" business type thing that comic store owners have to do is miles above what most people have to do within their occupations and I definitely know how fortunate I am to have one of my biggest passions in life as my job.
Every week I have at least one or two MUST READ RIGHT AWAY comic books so I read those first. After the handful of must reads I then read the other high profile titles of the week, but they can be mixed amongst other titles like Vertigo, alternative smaller press titles, and the B or C list titles that came out that week. To clarify, there are also Vertigo, smaller alternative press titles, and B and C list tiles that are also amongst my favorite titles, but sometimes they don't have the immediacy that the big books of the week have (but often for me the big buzz titles don't deliver and don't merit the re-readings that the "quieter" titles have). I like to mostly read on my main sofa, but have found over the past year or so that a good way to manage time is to combine working out with reading that weeks comics so I'll put in an hour on my indoor exercise bike while reading the new releases. Generally I don't read the weeks new comics or graphic novels that require deep concentration while working out, but I have read some "deep" comic works like Promethea and Alan's War and don't feel that my appreciation of those books or my workout were compromised. I like reading comics in the morning the best.
The comic covers featured here in this entry are from top to bottom: Viking published by Image, The Mighty published by DC, Irredeemable published by Boom Studios, and The Invincible Iron Man published by Marvel. I chose these comics, not because they were necessarily the best of all the comics that came out in the past two weeks (although certainly these four are very entertaining), rather I'm spotlighting them on the strength of their covers which I think are great singular works of art. Besides wishing I had more time to read more comics, I wish I had more time to talk about the many great comics that are being produced today (and that I had the writing chops to actually say anything new about any of those titles that others haven't said better). It's true that we live in an era of embarrassing riches, meaning there's A LOT of everything, be it comics, music, books, movies, etc., and as time is finite, it becomes increasingly more difficult to actually enjoy everything we want to. Money is also a finite resource for most people, so I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who choses to buy comics, especially those of you who do so at my store - Thanks!

My questions for my blog readers are: Do you have a certain order to reading your comics and or graphic novels when you buy multiple selections on a store visit or do you just grab what's on top? Do you have a favorite time of day and or place to read your comics?


Voq'ha said...

I love to read comics late at night in bed. I have gotten into the habbit over the last ten years or so. Comics are like my late night milk and cookies, they help me get sleepy and fill me up with dream fodder.
The problem now is that my wife can't sleep while I have my reading light on, so i have to wait for nights when she's going to be off work the next day or dosen't have to get up early.
Sometimes the books put me right out and I'm asleep in minutes. Sometimes I'll read for five hours straight till the sun comes up.
I have a particular order that I like to read my books in. Marvel universe first, I try to make sense of the various avengers books and read them in the most benificial and chronoligically sound order, of late this has becme impossible! Then it's Thor and any other Marvel one shots or spin offs with my spidey books at the end of that bunch. then any indys, then star trek. Finally i read Futurama. i have to be done with all my other books first. Futurama is my super sweet desert

Aziz said...

I try to sneak in comic reading whenever I can.

As for my order: it all depends on the title. In a week where I had Batman and Robin as well as Secret Six, the choice was hard. I guess it all boils down to whatever I think will be the most fun read at the time.

Andrea Walter said...

I usually read at night before crashing, and its usually my DC stack first then Marvel then the others.

kilmoonie said...

Good question. I usually work late, and being a TV/Movie nerd as well I basically spend the entire week, Wednesday to Wednesday getting through the 15-30 comics a week I get depending on what's on/in the theatre that night. I buy OGNs and TPBs as well, and those usually get read after the floppies are read. (The unread OGN/TPB pile is large however. I need more time! Ha.)

I ALWAYS read what I'm most excited to read to the least excited. It helps me to see what books need to be dropped if they keep showing up on the bottom. But it mixes in my Vertigo's with my Indies with my X-Men.

My girlfriend reads in a different way:

She basically lets the comics build up for a few months so there is like 3 of each, and the tackles them Marvel Heroes, X-Books, DC Heroes and then everything else that isn't super heroes, which for her is a much bigger stack than the heroes.


Happy New Comics Wednesday 7/18/18 - Life of Captain Marvel, Magic Order #2 (we still have #1 too!), conclusion of Infinity Countdown, Justice League edition!

 Hope all of my friends going to the San Diego Comic-Con this week have a GREAT time!