Which of these comics should I read next?

Comic Book Binging to Keep It All Straight?

Open Question

If you’ve been reading comics every week for, say, ten or more years, does it get easier or harder to remember what’s going on from month to month?  Or is comic book binging the only solution?

I don’t read too many comics, I don’t think, but I also know I can’t keep them in my head as easily as I did twenty years ago.  Maybe this is a good sign that more important and necessary information is filling in that space.  Or maybe it’s a good sign that comics are getting less predictable, so it’s harder to keep stories in your head that don’t fit one of the usual patterns. Or maybe it’s a sign of old age kicking in early that I can’t remember who’s who or what they were doing 30 days ago.

It’s gotten to the point where it feels like the only way to keep track of things is to read massive amounts of them at a time.  Don’t start one series until you’ve finished a sizable chunk of the last. Don’t waste time reading an issue when you can read size issues of this other book over here.

 

Side Rant: My Pet Peeve of Comic Book Binging

We live in a day of “Binge Everything.”  Or, if you prefer, “Binge All the Things.”

People refer to reading a trade paperback collecting six issues of a series as “Binge Reading.”

And I laugh at them.  Every time.  “Binge Reading” is that one Saturday afternoon I spent 15 years ago reading 30 issues of “Suicide Squad” for a review I wanted to write.

Have you ever read a novel in a weekend?  I’ll give you a “binge” on that.  But were you binge reading because you read three chapters of a book before bed one night? No, not really.

Still, the easiest way to keep track of stories is to read them in bigger chunks, rather than in bite-sized pieces.  Refer to it however you wish, for the sake of this argument.  But do me a favor and don’t say “Binge.”

Also, has anyone said “Comixology Unlimited and Chill” yet?  Of course they did. There are some news stories on Google that show that, once Amazing bought Comixology. Sigh.

What about “Keep Calm and Comixology On”?

Keep Calm and Comixology On

(Clip Studio Paint needs some way to center objects such as text better…)

 

No, that doesn’t fit. Nor is it endorsed by Amazon, though I can’t imagine they’d have a problem with it.

Enough of this binging talk, let’s talk trade waiting!

 

Patience and Trade Waiting

I’m more patient with comics these days, just because I know a trade is right around the corner and that will give me the blast I’m looking for.  Let me have a big chunk of issues all at once.  I don’t mind waiting for the trade, especially if I’ve fallen behind on a book.  I can read that trade in one or two sittings and keep everything in my head.  Spreading that story across five months limits those chances.

It’s still only a short term solution. When I fall behind on a series of trade paperbacks, I’m in deep trouble.  The idea of reading three trade paperbacks so I can best appreciate the fourth is tiring. That’s happening to me right now with one or two series I normally enjoy, and it’s driving me nuts. Am I a bad at comic book binging?

 

The Solution

You know what always works, though?  Stop worrying about it, and start reading.  If it’s a book I’ve read once before, it’ll go very quickly — much quicker than I anticipate.  Then, when I get to the new stuff, I’ll slow down, but I’ll also understand it better.

In a day and age of too many choices, making a single choice is the best step towards progress.

If you aren’t moving forward, you’re falling behind.  It’s not like the comics are going to stop coming out until you read them.

Good luck out there!

 

Any Other Ideas?

How does this all work for you? Do you fall behind on series you like?  How do you catch up? Is comic book binging the only solution?  Do you take knows/Google things/read CliffsNotes somewhere?

Leave a message below. Let’s all figure out a way to catch up on things….

3 Comments

  • George Tramountanas December 7, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    I’m in exactly the same boat as you. I remember a time when I could read 25-20 issues a month and keep all the storylines straight in my head. Now? I can’t imagine doing that.

    I’ve moved to trades too. You know what would be great though? Recap pages in trades. At first, I thought it was strange to do it in single issues, because those come out every month (or are supposed to). But trades? They come out every six months (or more). They’re the ones that need recap pages, so we don’t need to re-read the previous trade (as you mentioned). Plus, having to dig out the previous trade can be a chore.

    Sometimes, I feel old.

    Reply
  • Eric van Schaik December 8, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    This old man (53) has the same problems. My solution is the same as yours: read a compleet serie/story. I switch from TPB to single issues and back. Now i’m reading Firestorm by John Ostrander (damn you Greg Burgas) in single issues.
    In the beginning it was easy to follow all storylines, but after getting backissues it became hard very quick to keep up. Now i’m follow certain writers and artists and read a story once it is finished. Hopefully I life long enough to read all of them.
    Because Marvel and DC are making a mess I don’t read any of there series anymore (Batman with Snyder/Capullo was the last, and I don’t even remember when I stopped reading Marvel on a montly basis).
    Just being curious: how many comics do you guys own? I have 6.500 floppies and maybe around 1.000 issues in trades.

    Reply
    • Augie December 14, 2016 at 7:48 am

      I’m not sure what my comics total is anymore. I know at one point it was close to 20,000, but then I stopped managing them in any way I could count quickly. In the last three years, I’ve sold off a very large chunk of it. Last year, I dumped 5000 in one go, after 1000 the year before. I got rid of hundreds of collected editions at the same time. Yet I still have no room for all of them. I SHOULD do a comics census someday. That would be a fun project…

      Reply

What do YOU think?

%d bloggers like this: