Culling Your Pull List Can Enrich Your Comics Experience

March 27, 2014 Articles, Comic Books Comments (0) 39

After a long financial talk with my husband  (boring) I finally saw some reason and decided to stop buying comics. Last week I went cold turkey and didn’t even buy the new Ms. Marvel comic. If you know me, you know how HUGE of a sacrifice that way. Kamala Khan is my hero and I’ve already started buying the necessary materials to cosplay her. This week, even more amazing comics were coming out and I steeled myself against buying any…and then my husband called my from my LCS (local comic shop) on his way home from work and asked me what he should get.

The workers had given him all the comics in my pull list for the last two weeks and he wasn’t going to buy me twenty comics. He read off all the titles to me, and I slowly kicked certain issues from the list. Did I really need to be reading Unwritten: Apocalypse? No, I didn’t have the second issue so why should I pick up the third? Ditto for Alex + Ada (although my LCS was supposed to reorder me a copy of #4). Five Ghosts, Ghosted, and Ghostbusters were quickly relegated to the “no” pile…for reasons, and I even said goodbye to Ryan North’s The Midas Touch.

Writer: C. Willow Wilson  Artist: Adrian Alphona  Cover Artist: Jamie McKelvie

Writer: C. Willow Wilson
Artist: Adrian Alphona
Cover Artist: Jamie McKelvie

After I rejected many more comics, I was left with 8 titles – an all time low for me considering this was two weeks worth of pull-list. The pile my husband brought home consisted of Deadly Class #3 (It’s murderin’ time), Fatale #21 (The end is near!), Sandman Overture #2 (I didn’t even get both cover options this time), Loki Ragnarok and Roll #2 (I <3 Boom!), Wake #7 (Duh), Sex Criminals #5, Ms. Marvel #2 (OMG), and A Voice in the Dark #5 (It’s seriously good and deserves it’s place among the rest of these comics).

I was initially sad with the small pile of comics that husband handed to me when he got home. Tomb Raider #2 was missing because  my LCS dudes forgot to add it to my pile. C’est la vie. Then I started reading the books I had gotten. Each and every one was spectacular. There were no books that I thought “Wow, that was kinda good, but not great” about. There were no books that made me think I wasted $3.99 and 15 minutes of my life. For an hour and a half I was in comics heaven. 

I had previously vowed not to read mediocre books as a statement to the comics industry, but I never imagined how fantastic it would feel to have those books removed from my pull list. Not that all the rejected books were mediocre, but the remaining books were both the cream of the crop and the ones that meant the most to me personally. Sure I could have picked up American Vampire Vol. 2 #1 – and it would have been fantastic. But that series doesn’t mean as much to me personally as Ms. Marvel or Fatale.

Reading 8 books that were both high in quality and high in my own personal investment was game-changing. There are so many comic books I want to read, and so many new series I want to invest in, but really weeding out the comics that hadn’t made the cut lifted a great deal of the financial burden. I’ve found that if I can limit my comic intake to 5 comics (or less) each week then I can 1) afford to buy comics still and 2) get more out of the experience. 

It’s rare (for me) that cutting things out of my life actually adds to my overall life experience. Rejecting comics from my pull-list over the phone with my husband was like pulling out my own teeth. I had to give up so many of my “babies”, but in the end it was worth it. We’ll still have to see how much self-control I can muster when I’m in the comic shop by myself without husbandly supervision….

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Comic Picks of the Week

March 18, 2014 Articles, Comic Books, Comic Picks of the Week Comments (0) 43

Okay – here’s my top 10 comic picks of this week. I try and choose from a variety of publishers and story types, so there’s a lot to choose from!

Lady Led Comics:

Writer: C. Willow Wilson  Artist: Adrian Alphona  Cover Artist: Jamie McKelvie

Writer: C. Willow Wilson
Artist: Adrian Alphona
Cover Artist: Jamie McKelvie

The first issue of this title was a knock-out hit. THAT ENDING! I am so excited to see what C. WIllow WIlson and Co. have in store for us with this issue. I never thoguh I Could love a character as much as I love Captain Marvel, but Kamala Khan is giving Carol Danvers a run for her money.

Creator: Larime Taylor

Creator: Larime Taylor

Ever wonder where all the great women of color are in comics? Look no further than A Voice in the Dark. Larime Taylor is a disabled writer/artist writing a story that is basically Dexter + Ross Campbell’s Wet Moon. It’s absolutely great, and it is sooo nice to see characters drawn in normal people proportions. Unlike certain superheroes we could mention…

Writer: Greg Rucka  Artist:  Michael Lark, Brian Level  Cover Artist: Michael Lark

Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Michael Lark, Brian Level
Cover Artist: Michael Lark

Forever Carlyse continues her investigation of the Freemen Resistance, and tragedy strikes as the Barretts make their way to Denver. This is a great post-apocalyptic series full of betrayal, intrigue, and of course, a fantastic leading lady. You can never go wrong with Greg Rucka ladies and gents.

Writer: Brandon Montclare Artist: Amy Reeder

Writer: Brandon Montclare
Artist: Amy Reeder

To be honest I’m still not 100% sold on this series. That said, I supported the Kickstarter and I’m excited to see what kind of actions is in store for this issue. The writing may not have grabbed me yet, but the art certainly has. This issue promises to have some crazy action sequences and I’m interested to see what Amy Reeder can do with Rocket Girl.

Writer:  Jeremy Whitley  Artist: M Goodwin

Writer: Jeremy Whitley
Artist: M Goodwin

Okay okay, this is actually a trade. This is a reprinting of Princeless Vol. 1 which has been out of print for a bit. You see the comics alliance quote on the front? It’s so freaking true. Follow princess Adrienne as she SAVES HERSELF and other princesses of the land. Jeremy Whitley really cares about the representation of young girls in comics, and you should also be following him on tumblr.

Leading Men

Writer: Eric M Esquivel  Artist:  Jerry Gaylord  Cover Artist: Alexis Ziritt

Writer: Eric M Esquivel
Artist: Jerry Gaylord
Cover Artist: Alexis Ziritt

There are currently 2 Loki titles coming out right now, the one from Marvel and this from from Boom. I can’t get enough of either. I enjoy this take on Loki (and the rest of his pantheon). Basically, Loki is sent to earth as punishment of sorts (mainly because Odin knows Thor won’t understand the point of the punishment), and ends up completely rocking it. If you’re any kind of Loki fan, you should definitely take a chance on this book.

Writer:  J. Michael Straczynski  Artist: C. P. Smith, Ben Templesmith  Cover Artist:  C. P. Smith

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: C. P. Smith, Ben Templesmith
Cover Artist: C. P. Smith

Ten Grand #8 is finally getting to the climax of the current storyline. Joe Fitzgerald is in hell, attempting to save his wife Laura from the clutches of an evil man that is responsible for their deaths. What can go wrong? Quite frankly, a lot. The art of this book has gotten a bit…wonky as our protagonist left the ground of earth – but I’m excited to see just how (if) this resolves.

Writer: Frank J. Barbiere  Artist: Chris Mooneyham

Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Artist: Chris Mooneyham

Last issue we met another person fused with a dreamstone and got to see Black Beard decimate his partner’s opponent. Chris Mooneyham’s art blows me away with each issue. It’s beautiful. I would pay him money to paint the walls of my house. It’ll be interesting to see his interpretation of the Island of Dreams, and see if Fabian can get any answers to his problem.

Writer: Mike Carey Artist:  Peter Gross  Cover Artist: Yuko Shimizu

Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Peter Gross
Cover Artist: Yuko Shimizu

I am new to the Unwritten series, but as a former English major it has absolutely blown my mind. I love how author Mike Carey navigates literary references, tropes, and worlds all while making his own story. Unwritten Vol. 2 Apocalype has just begun and it’s a great jumping on point. If you’re a literary guy or gal like me, you wont’ regret it.

Team Titles:

Writer: Matt Fraction  Artist:  Chip Zdarsky

Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky

I don’t think I can say anything about this book to explain just how good it is. So just buy it. But really.

Writer:  Scott Snyder  Artist: Rafael Albuquerque

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque

Will you guys think any less of me if I admit I haven’t read an American Vampire until the recent one-shot? Okay – judge ahead. This (like Sex Criminals) should ultimately be a no-brainer. I can’t get enough of Snyder’s non-Batman stuff – and his take on vampire’s is refreshing, violent, and dirty – the way vampires were meant to be.

Writer:  Joshua Williamson  Artist:  Davide Gianfelice  Cover Artist:  Matteo Scalera

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Davide Gianfelice
Cover Artist: Matteo Scalera

I can’t exactly remember what’s happening with this title right now – but this cover is pretty disturbing. If you like your supernatural thrillers, this series has been pretty solid and just keeps getting more demented which each new situation that Jackson T. Winters and friends find themselves in.

*whew* That’s all for this week. LEt me know if I missed one of your favorites in the comments!

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