Monthly Archives: September 2009

Decluttering the Pull List

The Weekly Crisis writes about taking the suitcase test (figuring out what you really need to buy or keep based on what you’d put in a suitcase for a long trip) and applying it to comic books. It’s an interesting way to look at a hobby dominated by completism and collecting for collecting’s sake. I’ve been doing something similar over the last couple of years, with two major changes to my buying habits.


The biggest decision for me was to stop buying event books just because they were events.

I understand the desire to read everything “important” and keep up with the universe. My DC reading practically started with Crisis on Infinite Earths, and I read a lot during the event-heavy 1990s. But after 10 years of annual crossovers, I found myself sick of them. I got sucked back in with the buildup to Infinite Crisis in 2005, but after the weekly Countdown to Infinite Crisis I realized I needed to focus on books I actually liked.

So I bought Final Crisis because it looked interesting and Rogues’ Revenge because I couldn’t pass up Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins on the Flash’s Rogues. I skipped Final Crisis: Revelations, and I’ve skipped Blackest Night so far, because the stories just didn’t appeal to me.

The only exception I’ve made so far is Legion of Three Worlds, and that’s because I run a Flash site and it featured the return of Kid Flash.

Falling Behind

I’ve also started taking how far behind I am on reading a series as a measure of how interested I am in it.

  • Am I a few weeks behind? No biggie.
  • Waiting for a story arc to finish? Maybe I should start buying it in trades instead.
  • A couple of months behind? Time to catch up and see If I really care.
  • 6 months behind or longer? It’s probably time to drop it.

I’ve dropped several series based on this criteria…and I still haven’t gotten around to reading the issues I’d bought before dropping them. I can’t quite bring myself to drop Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though, even though I’m 8 months behind.

At this point I’m reading 12 more-or-less monthly series: 7 ongoing and 5 miniseries. It’s manageable, except when I’m really busy, and keeps my monthly budget around $40 to 50.

What to Keep?

I’ve got my comics buying habits sorted out at this point, but the hard part is figuring out what to keep. The last time I moved, I set myself a goal of having fewer long boxes of comics the next time I moved. Unfortunately I haven’t really gotten around to (a) sorting and (b) actually selling much.

I did, however, put some boxes in storage, and it’s been enlightening to compare the items I’ve gone back for (Girl Genius trades, for instance), the items I keep meaning to go back for when I have time to read them (Sandman), and the items that I just haven’t thought about.

So I guess my suitcase criteria would be reread and research. Anything I’m likely to reread stays. Anything that I may need as reference material for my website stays. (Unfortunately that means I have to keep Countdown for now.) I’m not willing to toss the rest of it just yet, though, which is why I have 15 or 16 long boxes.

Eventually, though, I’ll go through them all and make some decisions.

Quick Look: Francis Manapul Flash Sketches

Francis Manapul Sketches the Flash

The Source has posted some Flash sketches by Francis Manapul. They look great, and IMO should reassure fans who have been apprehensive about his selection as artist on the new series. Manapul plans to ink and watercolor the art himself, similar to the style he’s using for Adventure Comics.

The artist adds some new wrinkles to the Flash transition timeline:

These were done a while back near the end of my Legion run. I tried to make a go at the Flash and these were the sketches I did as a pitch to try and get the book. It was nixed as Geoff and I decided to do Adventure Comics (which I love and will miss very much). However the opportunity to get on the scarlett speedster arose and so here we are.

That would have been about a year ago, right? Flash: Rebirth would have been announced, but not solicited, with people speculating that it would start anywhere from January to March (it ended up launching in April). I suppose if Flash: Rebirth had been 6 issues starting in January and stayed on time, DC could have launched a Flash ongoing series in July — right around the time that they launched Adventure Comics. Hmm…

This Week (Sep 30): JSA, Blackest Night: Titans

It’s a light week for the Flash. I’m not even 100% certain that Wally West or Bart Allen will appear in this issue of Blackest Night: Titans, so it may just be Jay Garrick in JSA.

Justice Society of America #31

Justice Society of America #31Written by Bill Willingham & Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Jesus Merino

Magog and Wildcat square off as the team traitor involved in the attack on a fellow JSAer is revealed! It all leads to greater tension and permanent rifts within the most storied Super Hero team of all time! Clearly, this was an inside job, and though they may not realize it now, the damage to the group is deeper than any of them suspects.

On sale September 30 · 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Blackest Night: Titans #2

Blackest Night: Titans #2Written by J.T. Krul
Art and cover by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter
Variant cover by Brian Haberlin

Titan-on-Titan violence! Black Lantern Hawk has his talons set for the female Hawk and Dove! Meanwhile, Red Star faces a frightful family reunion with Black Lanterns Pantha and Wildebeest, and Donna Troy faces her worst possible nightmare! Plus, Black Lantern Terra terrorizes Beast Boy! Continuing the 3-issue miniseries from writer J.T. Krul (JSA CLASSIFIED, Fathom) and superstar artist Ed Benes (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!

This issue will ship with two covers. For every 25 copies of the Standard Edition (with a cover by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter), retailers may order one copy of the Variant Edition (with a cover by Brian Haberlin).

On sale September 30 · 2 of 3 · 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Dan Didio Talks Kid Flash Launch: April or May

In the latest 10 Answers with Dan Didio (it’s now 10 questions every week instead of 20 questions every 2 weeks), Dan Didio answers some questions about the upcoming Kid Flash series being written by Sterling Gates.

Launch date: “somewhere around April or May of next year. It will launch about a month after the launch of the new Flash book.” Note: Last we heard, Flash was going to launch in March 2010, which would place it a month after the planned end of Blackest Night: Flash

Artist: “I’ve got a couple of artists who are under consideration,” but right now they’re focused on coordinating stories.

He also reiterates what Geoff Johns has previously said about the Flash and Kid Flash books being aligned much in the same way that Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps are aligned.

There are, of course, 9 more questions and answers in the original article, including some interesting remarks on solicitations and spoilers.

(Thanks to @SpeedsterSite for the link)

Flash: Rebirth #5 Pushed Back Again

Flash: Rebirth #5I can’t say I’m surprised, but I am disappointed. According to DC’s website, Flash: Rebirth #5 is now scheduled for October 28, 2009, rather than October 14. The conclusion is still scheduled for November 25, which is just one week before the scheduled launch of Blackest Night: The Flash on December 2.

I hope they can complete this miniseries before the next one starts. And if they do push it back, I really hope they still launch Blackest Night: Flash in December.

Update October 8: It’s been delayed another week.

Update: Several delays later, it’s now set for November 18.