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Obsession Perception #17: Too Many Comics?

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Welcome friends, readers, and nerds to another edition of obsession perception. This week is going to be a bit different. Typically I go on at length about something comic related that I really love, enjoy and want to share with all of you. I rant from time to time about things but by and large this column is a celebration of all things comics and is generally a pretty positive place. Not to necessarily say that this week will be negative or angry, but more to express something that could be seen as a more of a glass half full approach to my usual sunny disposition. This week on Obsession Perception, I want to pose a simple question… Are there way too many comics? 

ObsessionI first thought about this idea in recent weeks while picking up my pull from my local comic shop. I had this revelation that there were so many comics being produced by every publisher, every week that I have a very hard time keeping up with reading them. I realized that I have been purchasing comics, that I started out enjoying very much (Thor: God of Thunder) and at some point stopped reading as they came that I am not in the 10’s of issues behind. I’m not saying that the quality changed at all of some of these books just realizing that I only have enough free time to really keep up with the books I absolutely love (i.e. Daredevil, Saga) and the ones that I like slightly less have been piling up unread and unorganized. While I really enjoy most of the books I read from them, I feel that more so than anyone else Marvel is to blame. Double and sometimes triple shipping certain titles, releasing multiple books under the same moniker (be it Avengers, or X-Men) and constant re-numbering and relaunching titles has created a surge of books ranging from decent to phenomenal with the majority fitting somewhere comfortable in the middle of that range. I feels as if it’s hard to keep a spotlight shined fully on the handful of really great books you have when you release what feels like a thousand comics a month. It has become a bit of a problem, not just financially but also by hindering the books that should stand out more. Other publishers are guilty of it to a lesser degree, however being a heavy Marvel reader, it’s most noticeable there. 

Marvel aside, and on a better note, independent publishers like Image who put out incredible creator owned comics are in a bit of a renaissance of quality and volume. It seems as if there’s a new first issue of a new Image book, or 3 every week. These tend to stand out more because each individual book is brand new and totally unique and free of fitting into any other books continuity, but there is still a metric-f***ton of comics coming out every week that this adds to. In the past month or so alone I bought the first issues of Trees, C.O.W.L., and Southern Bastards. I skipped a couple books just based on the fact that my stack of comics those weeks was already piled high. 

DC (Vertigo included) has so many comics (slightly shy of “52” I believe) that I only bother to pick up a couple on a month to month basis. Those being Swamp Thing and Harley Quinn (mostly for the girlfriend as I am now behind a few issues). I have taken to trade waiting for the other DC books I read which are mostly Batman related titles. The trade paperbacks from DC come out roughly 6 months after the hardcovers so this on the flip side is a bit too slow of a schedule but I don’t mind it as much in the grand scheme of things. 

I’m not suggesting that there should be less comic books. I understand that at the end of the day it’s all business and the more books that come out the more money these businesses make, however, I wish the pacing were a bit more manageable for those of us who don’t have all the time in the world to dedicate to reading comics. I have to whittle my pull list down to make it manageable and learn to give up buying some of these books in favor of being able to keep up with the ones I really love. The obsession to be in the know of what’s happening in current continuity and the compulsion to buy everything is my struggle here. I intend on fixing it bit it remains to be seen whether or not I can give up some of my sweet addiction. In the meantime, to those who are in the big comfy executive chairs at those aforementioned publishers, Marvel, slow it down a bit, Image, spread it out a bit, DC, get it to paperback sooner. If you could all do these things I think my brain will hurt less!

How about you fellas and ladies. Does the ginormous volume of comics being shipped every week take it’s toll on you? What are your secrets to keeping up with it all? How much fat has been trimmed from your pulls? Please sound off below in the comment section. As always, come back to all-comic.com for all your comic needs and check back next week for another edition of Obsession Perception.

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  • Jon_L

    Totally agree with you.

    I’ve cut my Marvel titles down from about 15-16 to 9 and the reason for this is double-shipping. It was killing the wallet and pissing me off.

    Image do need to slow down a bit. I think it’s great that there’s so many quality creator-owned titles out there (I currently buy 16 Image per month), but there is a potential problem of oversaturating the market – again something that makes me want to shy away from it all.