Thursday, October 26, 2006

Too Many Comics

There are, I think, too many comics these days.

By that I don't mean that there's just too many in raw number of titles, although a look through the massive Previews tome that comes out each month shows that is a problem as well.

No, I mean that there are too many comics that I want to read. Too many original graphic novels. Too many manga paperbacks. Too many super-hero comics that serve as 'comfort food'.

This is ably illustrated by my growing Too Be Read pile, which now takes up three short boxes of comics and well over 100 graphic novels, manga & collections sitting on bookshelves. (Not to mention all the comics in the library that I could read if I had the time!)

It didn't use to be this way. Back in my college days I'd buy maybe 8-10 comics a week, and over the course of one or two evenings get them read. But today there are not only comics to buy--and more of them--but also a plethora of comics in book format.

I think it's a combination of several factors: the increase in the number of formats; a general increase in the amount of quality items available; too many other options for my time (including blogging about comics instead of reading them); and an increase in disposable income, so I can buy more comics than I have time to read.

Does anybody else have this problem, or is it just me?


The Dane said...

I do. I've helped it a lot, by dropping entirely my weekly pickup of floppies. But even so, the number of good collections, anthologies, and graphic novels that come out every month makes it tough to keep up.

When I was still collecting the floppies, I had dropped my number of Marvel and DC to maybe five a month to favour books by other publishers and I was still completely overwhelmed.

RedheadFangirl said...

I always feel behind the 8ball with comics and trades...and like you have even more in my library if I could even finish my own stack! It's like Tivo, great to have, but it's almost like 'homework' to get through it all.

ShellyS said...

Oh, good, someone else has this problem. I think my comics are breeding judging by how fast the stack of the unread ones keeps growing. And just this week, I've added 2 more titles to my pull list. And there are some graphic novels I need to get.

Anonymous said...

Yep. I've got the same problem.

Recently I've started working toward what I hope is a solution by culling my pull list, dropping those titles I no longer find as interesting as others.

A new twist on this problem has developed, however, as some authors are starting to present their novels in comic book form, authors whose novels I've not read but now want to. The most recent example of this is Laurell Hamilton's Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter character.

Oh well, at least it keeps me out of the bars.

Anonymous said...

For me, the manga boom has done a lot to add to the quality choices. Just within manga I find myself passing over titles I would have enthusiastically purchased a few years ago for not being interesting enough. I think it's been six weeks to a couple months since I bought any kind of comics. I just have so much left unread that the only thing that gets me to buy comics anymore is when something I really want hits the store, like the latest Death Note.

In past years, I got in the habit of rationing out my comiccon purchases from San Diego and APE, but I've still got comics unread from APE. Things come in so fast.

But, yeah, blogging also slows me down since I usually end up reading a comic two or three times, to firm my opinions, before putting it in the "read" stack. Sometimes I run into a book I have a hard time reviewing, despite wanting to write a review and my reading gets stalled as I give that one a fourth or fifth read. I just put myself on a pretty tight budget, though, so too much disposable income isn't a factor at the moment. Hopefully it will be soon.

Anonymous said...

There's also too much drama in the comics community. Did you see all the uproar over that White Tiger writer expressing an opinion on Civil War? Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

It's not just you. I'm faced with an ever growing "to read" pile as a fan. But as a comic store owner, I'm expanding my new comics section every week.

And, as you said, it would be one thing if most of the books were garbage, but there is so much good stuff out there.

What I would like to see from any of the big 4 publishers (Dark Horse, DC, Image, Marvel) is a monthly anthology series featuring 4 or 5 different titles instead of always launching a new title or mini series for every character under the sun. An anthology priced between $5.99 and $9.99 would probably do well.

Anonymous said...

"Too many comics" is like Salieri's crack about Mozart's "too many notes"...but god, I love to read these things. Except for the (very rare) current issues of Wonder Woman, I'm managing to satisfy my cravings by catching up on the TPB offerings. Sure, it means I have to practice control...but at least I'm not paying twice...(once for the story in a timely manner, the second for the durability that re-reads require.)