Every Wednesday, I tune in to the Lost'n Comics live show. Chris and Oscar are two of the most down-to-earth guys I've seen talk about comics, and they've been very supportive of folks like me who are trying to get some skin in the game. They almost spend as much time promoting other folks, as they do themselves, which is awesome!
This past Wednesday, the theme was "5 Things we have learned about comics in quarantine." Their 5 points were amazing and there was some amazing insight from Chris Barcomb from the perspective of both a creator and a shop owner.
Everything is very interesting (you should watch the whole thing), but what stuck out to me was #2 on their list, "We don't need so many new comics." (the video is queued to start there). As they went through their own pull/sub lists, their goal was to get it to around 24/25 titles, and they both started with over 30 a piece. So, during their discussion, I decided to open up my pull list and count...HOLY CRAP, THERE ARE 116 TITLES ON MY PULL LIST!!!!!
So, inspired by the #lostncomicsfam, I have decided to "Marie Kondo" my pull list. The goal, is to get this down to 50 books or less (I'm writing this as I cull the herd).
Step 1: Make a Google Sheet of all of the items in my pull list.
Mostly everyone at school knows, for as disorganized of a hot mess I am most of the time, I dub myself the "Spreadsheet Queen West of the Mississippi." This was a simple job, no formulas needed, just throwing data into columns (all of my Marvel/DC titles won't fit on one screen:
Step 2: Remove the titles which are done (one shots, limited runs etc.), and it is evident I have not done this in a while...so here we go!
II was able to successfully eliminate 30 titles from the list, now bringing me down to 86, which teaches me one big thing...Once I know a title is done, I need to take it off immediately! I also don't know what "Dynamic Forces" is, but it was duplicates of other books which were also correctly listed under their correct publisher.
Step 3: Marking titles which are near the end of their runs in Yellow, as they will come off soon anyway! I'm also marking the two previews books as safe and taking them off of my count, because they're free books....This gets me down to 68 titles! 18 to go.....shouldn't be too difficult right?
I'm marking the two previews books as safe and taking them off of my count, because they're free books....This gets me down to 66 titles, 16 to go.....
Books that are locked-in:
At the start of this thought process is: Aftershock, Boom! and IDW are the safest, as there are few titles there, and I am for the most part enjoying what I have from them. Bang! might be on the near bottom of the pile though, so if there is a hard to make choice, then that'll go.
Also, all of the X-titles are safe, because I am really enjoying all of those books and I think I'm pretty pot-committed there.
RIP to These Titles
Amethyst-I enjoyed the first one, but the second was harder for me to stay committed to...it has to go.
HQ and the Birds of Prey-I can't remember if this was a one shot, a black label....but I have it, pretty sure I read it, but I don't remember it....so bye!
Pandemica-This story is really intriguing to me, but, once the world starts to resume some normalcy, I'm taking some time off of big books about disease...
Clock-For the same reason as pandemica....
Family Tree is disease-adjacent, but its Jeff Lemire, not cutting it off!
This is where it's going to get hard for me...
The Empyre Event--I liked the two books that have come out introducing the Empyre event (Incoming and Road to Empyre), but I think I might take everything off for now, and pick up the first one or two of the main story and see if all of the spin-off titles are worth it...so Empyre Avengers, F4 and the Handbook...all gone now!
Marvels, Marvels X, Marvels Voices--All gone, these are iteresting, but they are all re-treads...Marvels might come back on because I like seeing new artists draw new-to-them characters.
Outlawed--I dont know if this was a 1 shot or not, but I know I am reading virtually none of the other titles it spins-off into, so buh bye!
Punisher (main)-I've been playing catch up on this run since go, but I can't count this as a deletion, because I'm going to replace it with Punisher: Barracuda.
Strange Academy-This one is hard. I like seeing the x-men model of magic users coming together, I love Skottie Young's art, but I think this is expendable to me
Uncanny X-Men: From my understanding, this is not necessarially a new run, but its variants on old Uncanny titles? Sadly, this will be the X-book which will sacrifice itself for the rest....
So, I've cut 13...which gets me to 53....Crap....3 more have to die.....
This one breaks my heart. Captain America....I love Ta-Nehisi Coates so much, but I started from way behind on this run, and its never the top of the stack....so maybe I'll wait to catch the rest of this run during a sale?
Invaders--Yeah, I think its done after googling, although Zdarsky is hoping to do more in the future....SAD
New Mutants, War Children--I missed this was a one shot!
ASM--Nick Spencer's current run is torture to me, some issues stick the landing, but this arc just seems like a fumbled mess. Same note on Captain America, I'll go sale diving to play catch up on the run if it gets demonstrably better....
I did it! From 116 books to 48! I'm happy I did that, and thank you to Chris and Oscar for the idea! Here are some final notes I'll make:
1. I know what kind of books/stories I like now, and I need to stop going to the buffet (because being fat didn't teach me any lessons about buffets) and draining my wallet, or forcing myself to read so many new books (when life returns to normal) because I don't wan't my hobby to feel like work.
2. I now need to treat my pull list like it's the club: One title in, one title out.
3. I will still allow myself to grab a few new books off of the "new this week" pile each week, but if I am thinking about adding it to the pull, see rule #3.
4. Eventually, I will probably cut down some more since I still plan on making purchases from Ashcan Comics Pub. (via patreon), TKO/Black Mask, (adding source point after I read some of their titles) and backing Kickstarter projects.
This journey was a pleasant one, and I hope to keep myself honest each day.
Thanks for stopping by!
The journey of a 30-something father of three who's trying to break into the world of reviewing comics after a loooooong hiatus...