Friday, 15 August 2014

Atoll Comics Round 15

Or changes to my Top-Ten comics

Due to my spouse seeing how much I spend on comics and an urge to buy better comics, I have decided to be super-selective about which superhero comics I read. Harnessing the Awesome Power of Maths, I have determined that I can afford to read 10 ongoing titles. So I get to read 10, and only 10, titles published by either Marvel or DC as well as one trade paperback a week of my choosing.

A complication of this is that I am forced to drop an on-going title if I want to try reading a new on-going title, an act of very tough love. Being financially responsible is the worst.

I will be adding Rocket Raccoon and dropping Moon Knight.

Why Rocket Raccoon: I've always thought Skottie Young had a fun, Saturday-morning cartoon aesthetic. Unfortunately, most of his projects haven't quite synched up with my interests. Since I only get to read a few ongoing comics it's important for them all to hit some weird arithmetic ideal of characters I'm keen on and creative teams I'm interested in, and the Skottie Young abacus has pretty much always been missing that character hook to get me reading. But with Rocket Raccoon we've finally found a title I'm curious about that seems, with the ludicrous notion of a crazy gun-toting space-raccoon, to be an ideal fit for the frenetic energy of Young's artwork. The result is idiosyncratic and crazy and fun and worth a look. I'm a couple issues in, and while I'm not convinced that I'll be a longterm reader for the series, I'm having lots of fun with it right now.

Why not Moon Knight: I read Moon Knight purely for the strength of its creative team. A comic by Warren Ellis is always worth at least a try and the collaboration between a top tier artist Declan Shavley and living legend colourist Jordie Bellaire, an artistic team that actually live together, would be worth seeing regardless of the writer. Together, well, Moon Knight was fantastic. It was always good, always beautifully made, and occasionally, at it's best, was the kind of semi-experimental master comic that I love. However, Ellis/Shavley/Bellaire are moving on and I think I will be moving on with them. The new creative team looks to be quite talented, but I was reading this comic for Ellis/Shavley/Bellaire and not out of any great love for Moon Knight. I'm happier having had a really great six issue run then press on for the sake of inertia. And I'd much rather save my money and attention for Injection, the new creator-owned project from Ellis/Shavley/Bellaire.

(And real talk: I have feels about Brian Wood and while I might not completely swear off all Brian Wood projects, I'll have to really like the main artist (who spends way more time on a comic than the writer) and really buy into the premise of the project to give it a try. Marginal interest projects like this I'm more inclined to skip.)



  1. i know this would kinda kill your whole central theme of your blog, but why don't you just download the .cbz/.cbr files? you can read every single comic that comes out every week and not spend a dime

    1. I think bootlegging comics is really not okay. Comics fall under the umbrella of "wants" not "needs" so I think stealing them is kind of a shitty thing to do. Really all media in general. If someone sets a price on a thing you either decide it's worth it or it's not, I think it's really that simple. To decide otherwise is just kind of dickish? Or at least childish.

      There is also the fact stuff costs money to make. If you like a thing, than it behooves you to provide the makers of that thing with the resources to make more of that thing. It's about sustainable media consumption.

      Also, we live in a world where there are a ton of free (or functionally free) alternatives. If you have the internet there are a million free comics online. They might not be as good as pay-for-comics, but you don't need to steal them to read them. Also, libraries are a thing where you can find many great comics and borrow them for basically free. So, yeah, if I really wanted to read more comics than I do, there really are free alternatives.

      And really the current situation works well for me. I still spend a stupid amount of money on comics: having a budget for entertainment is just part of adult life I think? And honestly, my darwinian system works really well: I read ten comics and am really excited about each of them. My pull list is all killah no fillah. Add in all of the trades I read and I am reading about as many comics as I actually have time for, too. So this budgeting system is great for getting me the best comics for the money and time I have available for them.

      But yeah, bootlegging comics is not the best.