Friday, March 16, 2007

Anatomy of a Pull-List

Since I didn't buy much this week, I figured I'd delve into my pull-list and try to explain why I subscribe to the things I do. This is more for me that it is for you, dear reader (isn't that the point of blogging?), as I am trying to pare down my already paltry pull-list to only the essential monthly titles. Truth be told, I really don't like buying single issues. I don't bag and board them and my organizational system consists of me throwing piles of them into plastic tubs in my basement. I prefer trades, since I can throw them on bookshelves (that I don't actually have) and they fit perfectly into the 55 qt. sterilite tubs I throw them in.

What I get monthly falls, generally, into two categories:

  1. Books that have poor sales and need every monthly reader to remain in existence (ie. Gotham Central, I miss you baby).
  2. Books that come out so rarely, I may be waiting for trade in my grave (ie. Planetary).

Here's the list:

  • 52: I tried this since I am one of the 4 people who really liked Infinite Crisis. I've since gotten addicted to the idea of a weekly comic and while there have been some slow patches, this has been very good overall. I don't know if I'm going to continue onto Countdown though. The higher price is bugging me. I think I'll go with the first month and see if it's as compelling.
  • X-Factor: Peter David's original X-Factor book has long been fave, so when this hit the stands (and the Madrox mini before it), I knew it was a must get, and I also knew that it probably wouldn't be a big seller, so monthly was the way to go. Also, Marvel's dumb-ass strategy of putting books out in the Premier HC format delays the time until the trade hits by about 8 months, and has killed my interest in several of their books (Moon Knight, continuing with Ult. Spider-man). I wanted to get in on the ground floor of this one.
  • Nextwave: It'll be back I tell you! It'll be back (I made my LCS keep this on my list).
  • Hellboy/BPRD: I subscribed to this book back when Hellboy was putting out about 2 issues per year (on average), so this initially fell under rule 2. Now that BPRD is coming out fairly often, I'm not sure why I still get this book. I'll explore more in my review of the new BPRD series.
  • Astonishing X-Men: While this series's schedule has gotten better, it's still rare to see a new issue on the stands. Plus, I'd rather get the Oversized HC than the trades on this one, so I have to wait a little longer.
  • Ultimates 2: As above (except for the part about the schedule getting better). Oh yeah, I'm off this as soon as the last issue comes out. Ultimates 3 is going to suck, mark my word.
  • Planetary: Again, as above. With only one more issue to go, I may yet have the final Absolute HC in my hands before I'm a Grandfather, but I'm not betting on it.
  • Astro City: Rule 1 again. I'm glad that Busiek has been able to get more of this series out, but each issue still seems like a little gift.
  • Manhunter: Rule 2. I just added this one, since I liked the first trade, but loved the second. Of course then the series got cancelled, but as soon as I heard it was un-cancelled, I vowed to jump on, if anything to make sure I can at least get a few more trades.

Trades: I do subscribe to some trades as well, though they don't really fall under either rule:

  • 100 Bullets: What a great series, but I can't imagine collecting this in singles. Each trade is pretty much perfect (though some are better than others). This is the first thing I look for when DC solicitations come out each month.
  • JSA: I really liked the straight-forward super-heroics of the last series of this and I'm glad I have the complete set. As for the new series, I'm giving them one more issue before I give up (though, depending upon reviews, I might get the JLA/JSA cross-over trade).
  • The Outsiders: I have no idea why I get the trade for this series. I loved the first trade, but it's all been downhill from there. Somebody please stop me!
  • Fables: See 100 Bullets, though I am tempted to start buying the singles. (Also, Jack of Fables).
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Just dropped this due to the aforementioned decision on Marvel's part to switch this to Premier HC. That, and Bendis has long ditched doing anything original for just "ultimatizing" 616 characters and throwing them on the book in lieu of writing an actual story. I may peek in when Immonen starts his run, but it'll probably be too little, too late.
  • Runaways (Digests): Not to much to say, I'll stay on this through Whedon's run and the first collection of whoever comes after him. Always fun.

Man, I just realized how little Marvel stuff I buy. That's too bad, but due to their bad stories and their awful pricing strategies (just look at how their trade prices compare to DC's, it's sad) have killed my interest in their product. The only thing I'm really looking forward to is the Alpha Flight Classic TPB coming out (collecting the Byrne issues), after that, everything else I'll buy from them in trade is pretty much all Essentials (and the last Nextwave trade). Too bad they can't get me excited about anything (other than what's above) they've put out in the last 20 years.


Bill said...

Skip, I'm actually intrigued about Manhunter. Tell me more without giving too much away.

I'm currenly in the process of devouring the Fantastic Four Visionaries - John Byrne TPB but your news of the Byrne Alpha Flight Classic TPB has me really excited.

Jason said...

Here's the set-up (note: this is said in full movie-trailer -guy voice): Tough-as-nails Prosecutor Kate Spencer is tired of seeing the system let murderous super-criminals go free. So she's taking the law into her own hands, armed with confinscated super-equipment taken from the evidence locker and with the help of a former super-criminal's-lackey (now in witness protection) for tech support, she's fighting crime and taking no prisoners.

Man, that sounds crappy when written that way. It's actually really good, dealing both the physical and mental problems that come with trying to be a good guy. I'd definitely recommend picking up the first volume.

Spencer Carnage said...

Ah, the weekly pull list. I used to have one of those. I'm thinking of starting one up again but I fear its all going to be titles that only come out every 7 months, much like most of the titles on yours. And when i pull comics, i keep pulling until I get myself to a place where I decide I need to have every tie-in to CW in what appears to be some weird social experiment.

And that's just not good at all.

Jason said...

Fortunately, I have a low tolerance for being abused by bad writing, so I'm able to "just say no" to horrible cross overs. Also, the internets makes keeping up on thing pretty easy.

Honestly, I wouldn't have a pull list, were there not a discount connected to having one at my shop. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.