Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The year end comic book cull

So, the year is nearly over. Ok, well not really as it is only October, but as Previews has released the comic book solicitations going all the way up to December, for me it's about time I did some clearing out of my pull list ready for the new year. Now, I don't have that many books in comparison to some people I know, but I'm a guy with a mortgage to pay, mouths to feed etc, etc. and so my comic book budget is pretty conservative and with such a conservative budget, new books are prevented from being looked out without cutting away some of the fat.

With that in mind, I've gone through my list and thought long and had about what should stay and what should go and this is the end result:

Daredevil (Marvel) - I could say that this book has been ok. I could say that this book takes up precious space. I could say improvements need to be made here. I could say these things, but they'd be a lie!!! Daredevil is time and again the best book I pick up. With consistency like that there really isn't an option, Daredevil is staying. No more can be said. - Safe

Daredevil: Dark Nights (Marvel) - Honestly, there is only one thing that makes this not as good as the ongoing series above; the fact that this is only an eight issue series. Going into the new year, there is only one issue left, but Daredevil: Dark Nights is that good that I'm not willing to quibble over one issue. - Safe

Lazarus (Image) - I think, for me, Lazarus has one thing going for it that a lot of other books just don't have; Greg Rucka and Michael Lark (Ok, that's two things). I'm a big fan of both those guys and while Lazarus isn't perfect, it's still well thought out and incredibly interesting. With that in mind I'm confident this title will go in leaps and bounds and am willing to take the risk. - Safe

Think Tank (Image) - Think Tank has had its bump in the road, but its still come out swinging and it not only entertains me but makes me feel smarter (like the tagline promises). I still enjoy the book immensely and I plan to see where it goes. Besides, I rant that more people should read it and don't like to be a hypocrite. - Safe

The Activity (Image) - Ahh, the Activity. My longest running non Marvel/DC comic book (god that is sad, I should really have more). Continues to be strong, although its almost constant late release dates bugs me enough to consider dropping. Nonetheless, it's staying. - Safe (just)

Ten Grand (Image) - I gotta admit, I'm a little taken with Ten Grand and its unique, supernatural spin on the decade old Noir stereotype. That said, what drew me to this book was Ben Templesmith's art and now he's gone I'm not sure if the subject matter is enough to keep me invested. That said, I'm not willing to write it off just yet. - Uncertain

Earth 2 (DC Comics) - I love Earth 2. The main reason for that is that it's pretty isolated from the rest of the New 52, allowing it a great degree of freedom. However, though its art is fantastic, its writing has been known to be a bit clunky in places and the abrupt departure of James Robinson has put me off a bit. Then again, Tom Taylor is taking over and I hear he's got game, so I'm willing to give him a shot. - Uncertain

Indestructible Hulk (Marvel) - I had such high hopes for this series when it first came out. I mean, it's written by Mark Waid, you know, the guy writing gold over on Daredevil. Sadly, after the first couple of issues this series has just lost any interest to me. Now the Daredevil arc kept my attention and this Agent of TIME arc might just save the book on my list, but I'm skeptical at this point. - Cut

Mass Effect: Foundations (Dark Horse) - I'll be honest, there are times I think that the only reason I pick up these Mass Effect series is because I love the games so much (and I do, I REALLY do). With Foundations, I'm in two minds, the first issue was....adequate while the second issue was better. I'm an issue behind but while I suspect the series will not be of top quality, I suspect my completionist tendencies will save it from the chop. Serious thinking still required here. - Uncertain

FF (Marvel) - When the series was first conceived way back when, I was skeptical. However, what Hickman did with it turned me around. Now when Fraction took over I thought without doubt, it was one of the best books going. I'm inclined not to think that anymore as since Fraction jumped ship (and maybe a little before) this series has gotten much more non-sensical and a chore to read. Rather sad really as it started off with such promise. - Cut

Fantastic Four (Marvel) - Now this is the moment my heart breaks. I've got over 10 years of Fantastic Four issues. I have from the beginning of Waid's run all the way to present day. However, I guess that the series just hasn't recovered from Hickman's stellar run as it's been difficult to invest myself in. Now the Fraction's run (along with FF) ends in January and while I had planned to do the unthinkable and cut it, the recent reveal of James Robinson and Leonard Kirk as the new creative team has me more than tempted. - Safe (for now)

Where is Jake Ellis? (Image) - Ahh, Where is Jake Ellis? Well, that's actually a good question as an issue hasn't been released since the last new year. I'm tempted to cut it, not because it's not good but because I'm not sure if the last two issues will be released in my lifetime. That said, because it probably won't come out any time before the Superman/Batman movie, I might just leave it on, it's not like it costs me anything by not coming out. - Safe (by some miracle)

So, there it is. At the end of that, I could only bring myself to cut two books (although, I'm thinking Ten Grand will also get the chop, as will Fantastic Four if the new creative team doesn't meet expectations). That said, the book that have been hit are Marvel books (even if, sadly, one is a Fantastic Four-related book), which given my increasing love for creator owned work of late, may not turn out to be a bad thing. Of course, if any one who reads this wants to weigh in then please do, any excuse to not make a decision about comic books being cut.

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