Steve steps out for the week to attend a concert so Bobby, Bob and Stephanie carry out the show and talk about comics, comics and more comics… but after talking a bit about movies like Edge of Tomorrow and the director news for the Doctor Strange movie.
Then we get into the stuff that you’re all here for: the comic talk! Things start off with our Lightning Rounds where the Chew/Revival One-Shot, C.O.W.L. Ms. Marvel, Mighty Avengers, All-New Invaders, Batman, and C.O.W.L. are discussed. From there it’s the regular Books of the Week and Elektra, Trees, Thanos Annual, Doctor Spectre, Star Trek: New Visions; The Mirror Cracked, and The Big Feminist But are brought to the table.
The main topic of the week is just our pull lists and comics in general. What’s going on with our reading schedule, what we’re thinking of reading or discontinuing and more.
This week it's the Three Amigos (Bobby would be Chevy Chase, Steph is definitely Martin Short and Bob is a tailor made Steve Martin!)
Have you seen The Edge of Tomorrow, what're your thoughts if you have? How do you manage your pull lists and are you thinking of culling any titles/adding any books? Did you read any of the titles the team mention in their lightning rounds/Books of the Week?
Get involved and sound off, RIGHT HERE!!!
Annnnnnnnnnd… we say it on the show, but just in case you missed it, the Talking Comics crew on Twitter are:
Bobby: @bobbyshortle Steve: @dead_anchoress Stephanie: hellocookie And Bob’s email is email@example.com
Well, this episode gave me the confidence to look at my pull list and see what I could live without. And the answer is.... Nothing. Dammit. I think a big problem is also the fact that there's a lot of limited series that you don't nessicarily count as monthly books because they are finite, eg; The Wake, Amazing Spider-Man Learning to Crawl, Winter Soldier Bitter March. But 4 months, or 10 months is a long time, and other limited series come along between that. I think limited series should just be released as a graphic novel. Because they read liek a graphic novel anyway. Ongoings should just stay ongoing, the big 2 will never stop releasing Batman and Avengers and X-Men and so on. Saga, well I will die when it ends so having it every month is a blessing. But take The Wake for example. That was announced months and months before the first issue was released. So we are told about this exciting new limited series. Then wait 3 or 4 months. Then its released, and we have to wait 12 months to read the end? Or even Winter Soldier Bitter March. It's a 4 issue mini. Thats not even the size of a regular trade. So not only would it be cheap, but people would definitely buy it in trade or hardcover format because of the movie. I would rather be told a year in advance a new graphic novel is coming out, have it come out, and thats it. We do it with films, books and games. Why not comics? My biggest rule now is that whenever a mini series is announced, I will pick up the first issue to see if I like it, and if not well no big loss. If yes, there will be a trade. Ongoings, well thats the nature of being a comic book reader. At the end of the day its something we all do to enjoy because we love it, so we should never start to dislike it for any reason.
On the topic of Robert Kirkman, regardless of those who like or dislike his comics, its easy to get a grasp on a writers intentions when you read or listen to an interview with them. Writers like Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker and Scott Snyder speak SO passionately about their characters and stories as if they were real people. And that should ALWAYS be the way with writing. But I've listened to Robert Kirkman, and he is basically doing it all for (not sure on the language in this forum) but sh!ts and giggles. He just likes to screw with people. He doesn't care about his characters or the story. There are a couple other writers I won't mention with that same attitude who I've stopped reading because reading their books just feels empty. If its not made with love it shouldnt be made at all. Where I live there are lots of independent comic launches. And people always saying "Support Local Comics!". But so much of it is awful! And thats not just my opinion. From an art perspective and story perspective, its so disposable. But its because its a cool thing now people do it and it makes it hard to find the people that genuinely LOVE to create characters and stories for people to enjoy.
Such a timely podcast for me! I literally had this conversation with one of the girls at the comic shop when I was checking out today and realized I had a stack of issues of books that I had forgotten were coming out (underneath my Loki Agent of Asgard, which I certainly DID remember was coming out today!), and therefore couldn't have been that excited about reading in the first place. I think for me just getting into comics recently I've felt obligated to try lots and lots of things, and now I'm feeling some of that fatigue. I needed that reminder that it's O.K. to let some things go if I'm not excited about them month-to-month; they'll always be around in trade later if they turn out to be something worth catching up on.
I find that my attitude to my pull list has changed enormously (like many things) by shifting to digital reading. Now the only things I buy as individual issues are the books I absolutely *need* to read the week they come out - there are still quite a lot of those!
Back when I was buying printed comics books I would often keep buying series that had gone off the boil in case they got good again, since I was always worried that I wouldn't be able to track back issues down if I started to hear good things about them. That's no longer a problem, and I'll now often buy 6 issues at a time of series I've heard good things about no matter how long ago they came out - and I now don't hesitate to drop a book that fails to hold my interest.
This goes even further with Marvel books due to the existence of Marvel Unlimited. I still buy quite a few Marvel books week to week (Loki, Moon Knight, Magneto & Superior Foes this week) but even some books I like quite a lot I'm now reading on my Unlimited subscription instead and just waiting a few months. A prime examples of this would be Hawkeye, where the erratic publishing schedule has almost got to the point of souring me on the book and I've just decided to wait until it's all there and read it at once.
places like DCBS have allowed me to 'wait for the trade' and make economical sense for me to wait, outweighing whatever I'd get by getting things timely. I'm slowly converting to trades, except for titles like Fantastic Four, Black Science, and a few others where I get pure enjoyment month-to-month.
I know it's not dealing with any of the prevailing topics in comics right now, but I loved this week's episode. I enjoy it immensely when you guys (and gal) discuss pull lists and give insight into what you're reading, how you're feeling about certain series, what you're thinking of dropping, etc. I have similar conversations with myself on a weekly basis and it's good to hear more people talking about it too. Sadly I think my knife has been sharpened a little too much as of late as many books have been getting cut after delivering one or two lackluster issues. Harley Quinn and Hawkeye were both recent victims, the former because the whole Sy-Borg plotline wasn't doing it for me and the latter because it just hasn't been consistent.
Personally, I'm finding it harder to buy single issues, especially when it comes to Marvel and Image. Image puts out their trades with such a low price and so quickly that the only books I'm actively picking up monthly from them are Saga and Rat Queens. Even Rat Queens I'm considering going to trade only once the next arc ends, just to make room for something else. Marvel might have higher TPB and HC prices than the other companies but at least their books are getting put out in a timely manner. With this All-New Marvel Now! wave, I've decided to go almost all trade and cannot wait for titles like Silver Surfer, Black Widow, and Elektra to get collected. As Bob mentioned, a lot of writers are writing for the trades these days and I'm okay with that. However, it is a little hard to read something collected in the span of a half-hour to an hour and then not have anything again to read for another six to eight months. For that reason, trade waiting is especially hard for me. It's like watching all of Game of Thrones in a span of a day and then having to wait a year for the next season.
tundra had a good point when he mentioned digital reading. For some reason I don't feel as compelled to buy issues digitally as I do physically. Batman, Sinestro, and Earth 2 are the three DC titles that I'm reading digitally and I've fallen off both Sinestro and Earth 2. Batman is the only thing I'm picking up when it comes out; the others I know will be there forever so I can go back and pick up what I missed at any time. Having a big stack of physical books lying around my house has really made me reconsider my pull lists, and as of right now, I've got it paired down to about a dozen titles a month (give or take mini-events). Since I want to stay in the know with major comic plotlines, I put titles like Original Sin, Forever Evil, and Wolverine on my pull list, just to be part of the conversation as Bobby mentioned. But then I also have a few slots that I leave for books I truly want to read because I enjoy them, like Saga or Ms. Marvel. I've found a comfortable balance between titles I read for enjoyment and those I read to stay in the know, but I know I'm missing out on so many good things. It's impossible to read it all though, so I just cut and trim and find new titles whenever I can.
Currently reading comics and writing reviews for fun.
The discussion about whether a yearly or semi-annually-released, 120-or-so page graphic novel might outmode monthly issues was very interesting. I'm not quite sure why--perhaps it's my natural predisposition to cling to the status quo--but I'm a strong proponent of the latter. Comics is a very unique medium in that it's built on stories that are, for the most part, satisfying monthly serials. There's something to be said, I think, for being able to tell a story in just twenty-two or twenty-four pages. I also believe that it's a bit easier on the wallet--you need only commit to an issue at a time, pragmatically speaking, rather than having to buy a 20-25 dollar graphic novel every six-to-twelve months. Additionally, it's hard to keep up a long term story that stretches twelve issues or more(like Hickman or Jason Aaron might do) or extended thematic meaning (like you see in much of Morrison's work) when there's an extended period of time separating each bunch of issues. Besides that, there would be less oppportunity for the one-off, non-sequiter issues that don't relate to the over-arching story of that 120 page graphic novel--the stuff that gives you breathing room inbetween bit stories. That's just my opinion, of course--diatribe aside.
I think I'm also getting a bit burnt-out on Hickman's Avengers books, even despite keeping my adoration of the books stalwart through a good deal of criticism. They're still very good books, in my opinion, and there are moments when the greatness shines through (last month's Avengers #29 was EXCELLENT), but they've just gotten so lost in themselves that it's a tad exhausting--this is me speaking as, even still, a huge fan of the books and the story they're telling. I think Hickman definitely lost a good deal of momentum on both series after Infinity (which has been the apex of the run, in my opinion), due to, it seems to me, a need to coincide the "big revelation" issues with Original Sin. Original Sin has been having a lot of those softer tie-ins, with a litany characters discovering a cornucopia of hidden truths, and Avengers was no exception. #29, the excellent issue that I mentioned, was, in fact, an Original Sin tie-in. I think that it definitely could, and should, have continued beyond Infinity, at least to get to the larger revelations of the story (just why the "Universe is broken," as we're continually told, and what transpires with the plotlines leftover post-Infinity), but there could've definitely been some compression. New Avengers #13-15, for example, could've had their story fully completed in around two issues, as could have issues #16-18 (that arc's not over yet, but I digress). They've been meandering around for a long time, waiting to coincide, as I said, with the current big to-do, or just to help establish and emphasize plot points in a very drawn out, superfluous way.
The discussion about whether a yearly or semi-annually-released, 120-or-so page graphic novel might outmode monthly issues was very interesting. I'm not quite sure why--perhaps it's my natural predisposition to cling to the status quo--but I'm a strong proponent of the latter. Comics is a very unique medium in that it's built on stories that are, for the most part, satisfying monthly serials.
I know where you're coming from on this, but I strongly suspect that it's a matter of habit as much as anything else. I grew up on British comics which were almost invariably weekly anthologies - 2000AD was probably the classic in this format for people of my generation, but even imported US Marvel comics were split up into weekly installments and then bundled together as anthologies, so I used to get a little bit of Spider-Man, Captain America, the Hulk and Iron Man each week in a single comic for example. I initially found it quite difficult adapting to waiting a month for the next issue of a comic when I moved to a city where it was possible to buy imported original comics, purely due to what I was used to.
Conversely, France has a huge market for home produced comics that is absolutely dominated by the large format graphic album. If you visit any bookshop in France you'll find a large selection of bandes dessinees, all in graphic novel format. Specialist comic shops also stock pretty much only book format graphic novels - I've been going to France regularly since the late 80's and the only monthly magazine format comics I see with any regularity are imported Marvels and DCs, and I don't see all that many of those - although Sandman graphic novels seem to be very popular in translation and I've seen translated TPBs of plenty of other Marvels and DCs on sale widely. Predominantly the non-superhero material, but that's not really surprising since France has a much stronger tradition of adventure, SF and humour comics. The lack of monthly episodes doesn't seem to harm this market in the slightest, it's more like a thriving aspect of the book market.
Pull lists are brutal, sometimes evil things. As handy as they are they can quickly make you a slave to things you really shouldn’t be. Listening to your segment on this I realized something I guess I’ve always known, but never thought much about, is that the comic industry is still driven by collectors and their obsessive nature. This is another reason why monthly single issue will never go away. I admit, I’ve been prey to collecting stuff I was no longer reading, but I have heard horror stories of subscribers in my local shop who spend hundreds of dollars weekly because they collect all covers/issues of whatever they think will be valuable or have a large resale value. There still is a pretty active secondary market, even for single issues.
I stopped collecting “cold turkey,” as Bob suggests, in the late 90’s and eventually found myself gravitating back to them. When I decided to collect again I told myself that I would only buy what I wanted to read and no more. Here it is 15 years later and my pull list is broaching $50 a week and that’s using digital as a way to get 33% or more off books (even though you don’t “own” them). That’s usually somewhere between 20 – 30 books weekly. If a comic is new I’ll buy issue 1, and maybe 2, in physical form and then if it’s still interesting I’ll continue digitally navigating the wait for the price drops and sales to keep my costs down. This also alleviates a lot of storage.
The current landscape of comics is getting eerily familiar to the early 90’s in volume. It may not be as gimmicky, but when I get my e-mail from my comic shop there’s routinely 200+ new comics on it each week.
Great podcast. Loved the discussion on an interesting topic. Personally I religiously pre-order everything Transformers (I admit to being a bit of a cover collector too) as I must know what's going on in the various series'. Other than that I have tried to follow a few series in the past that I've picked up random issues of, but in the end I lose interest and wait for the trades. I collected the single issues of Saga for a while, but as soon as the first trade came out I decided it would be cheaper to trade wait. I like to read reviews of trades and make sure I'm getting something I think I'm likely to enjoy. I have added the recent Flash Gordon to my pull list though, and I think it's their to stay if the quality and pace of the story keeps up.
Post by sammiecassell on Jun 6, 2014 22:04:42 GMT -5
I, as a lot of other people, have really begun to reevaluate my pull list. Just week before last I asked my LCS for a new pull sheet to fill out. I did it with the thought of adding stuff that I pull off the shelf myself but also with an eye towards trimming some stuff. I'm one of those "X" readers and do most all of it. Thor is my favorite character and especially in Jason Aaron's hands right now, my favorite book. I also have loved Slott's run on Spidey but Amazing/Surperior is the only Spidey I read. I've been on Punisher and Hulk for a while, and I have been on and off Avengers & FF. (Off both right now). My DC stuff is mainly relegated to Vertigo except for select runs (I.e. Kevin Smith's Green Arrow run). You guys have turned me on to quite a few Image titles. My thoughts on trades are if it saves me quite a bit I may wait for the trade but with Marvels's running $20 or better, it's just as cheap to buy the books (ahhh the collector in me). So I trade wait on Fables, Revival, the Boys, and some other stuff and I hard back wait on Walking Dead (love the over-sized panels). As a collector sometimes I have a hard time reconciling that part of me with the reality of economics. However, after the "die cut/foil/variants" of the 90s I decided I only would buy what I read and that's what I do...it might take a while but that's what I do lol
"Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy,shall possess the power of Thor"
I like to buy singles when they are written in that form instead of written as a giant story that is just broken up into 6 parts over 6 months
Hawkeye, Moon Knight, Black Widow are good example of this
Just like TV shows I prefer shows where each episode or single issue of a comic to have a beginning middle and end to the story while at the same time be part of a bigger story
House is a good example of this 24 is not
If you have better enjoyment watching an entire season of a show on DVD at once or reading an entire story in trade then that is the format it was written for and the other format was just a function to see is if they could make money on it twice
I agree that single issue cannot go away but I wish if they were written more like house and less like 24
And if they want to write a longer story they take the marvel OGN format
I have a pull list of 2 books, Im thinking of expanding it to 4, since one is on hiatus.
Consequently I have a daunting pile of trades..
Like Stephanie sometimes I dont feel like looking at comics- I think the visual nature of the medium is actually quite hard work to take in with the story. So its often more relaxing to read text prose, which also should take some of our time anyway.