In the final weeks of 2013, I finally got real with my pull list. I’d been on autopilot for a long time, continuing to buy comics I wasn’t dying to read and letting them pile up. Fear of being out of the loop or abandoning beloved characters was holding me back, but I finally found the gumption to make big changes. I’m looking forward to a fresh start this year.
In the spirit of the new year, we came up with some advice to guide you to happier reading in 2014. The main thing to keep in mind is that reading comics should feel like a joy, not a job. If trips to the dentist have been more fun lately than going to your LCS, consider the following:
Stop buying stuff you don’t like.
It sounds simple, but I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people who hold on to some comics long after they’ve worn out their welcome. I’ve been guilty of saying I’ll give Book X just one more issue to prove itself, even when the last six have left me cold. You don’t have to keep going. Really. Just stop.
Spread the word about stuff you DO like.
Sometimes we need a good cry, preferably over wine, about the comics that have let us down. G3 has never been shy about venting. However, we’re just as dedicated to telling you when a book makes us sit up and take notice. There are so many deserving, under-the-radar titles that don’t get nearly as much ink as stuff that’s mediocre-to-crummy. When you see something that makes you think, “This is why I read comics,” shout it from the rooftops.
Then, tell the creator(s). They’ll appreciate it.
A lot of work goes into the comics you love. It’s been our experience that writers and artists are genuinely flattered and encouraged when readers take the time to say, “Your book rocks, and here’s why.” Let them know that their writing/art/characters entertain and inspire you.
Remember that change is inevitable. Roll with it.
For the first time ever, I’m not pulling any DC books — and that’s OK. If there’s anything I’ve learned, nothing in comics lasts forever. Being bitter about the fact that the current DC Universe isn’t my cup of tea is a waste of time. It’s entirely possible that we’re destined for a reunion somewhere down the line. There are plenty of other comics, present and past, to keep me happy.
Be honest about your reading habits.
I recently noticed that my comics fell into two distinct categories: Those I couldn’t wait to dive into and those that began to accumulate, unread, on my shelf. Not that the latter were necessarily bad, but the amount of time I have for things not related to family, work, boring adult things and self-care is laughably small. It occurred to me that reading the “this can wait” stuff in trade would make more sense, so I made the switch accordingly.
Step outside your comfort zone.
Familiar is comfortable. We know what we like … or do we? The next time you’re at your LCS, grab that intriguing-looking graphic novel you’ve been eyeing. Allow yourself to take some risks and be open to things off the beaten path that might surprise you. It’s just a book, not a car.
Last but not least:
· Remember webcomics!
· Don’t judge a book by its cover.
· Buy creator-owned.
Are you making any changes in 2014? What’s your strategy?