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CSBG Archive

Random Thoughts! (May 15, 2012)

Random Thought! Today, I buy a suit. It’s Random Thoughts time! Get excited!

Link Thought! GraphiContent for comics. butterbeatleblog for popculture. 411mania for wrestling reviews and the occasional CD review.

Random Thought! I actually reviewed an album last week on 411: Stop Us If You’ve Heard This One Before by Barenaked Ladies. Also, after last week’s discussion of the Avengers as facists, this week’s “Riding the Gravy Train” looks at them as anti-mutant racists.

Random Thought! I am wary of Thanos showing up in Avengers Assemble. Very wary given the last time he ‘appeared,’ he didn’t sound anything like the character. Granted, it was Dr. Strange posing as Thanos, but still. That’s also a character that I have a hard time accepting when anyone other than Jim Starlin is writing him. Even the Abnett/Lanning Thanos never ‘felt’ right. I guess I can always assume any non-Starlin Thanos appearances actually show the adventures of some of his clones. That’s what Starlin assumes and who am I to disagree with him?

Random Thought! I’ve been struggling with how I view Captain America for a while. I no longer look forward to reading new issues. I don’t dread them either. I’m fairly neutral — usually forgetting the book exists until I see it’s on a shipping list. And, yet, every time I read an issue, I walk away satisfied. Not blown away or anything. Just happy to have read a solid, entertaining superhero comic. It’s like the book being that isn’t enough…? Being a good superhero comic with few flaws is somehow a bad thing… That’s insane. But, that’s how I seem to feel. It’s weird. I’m going to try to not think that way so much anymore.

Random Thought! For the record: Batman is not actually a bat. The Court of Owls are not actually owls. The food chain that applies in nature to those animals does not necessarily apply to humans who dress up like them. After all, spiders tend to not continually beat up vultures or octopi. I think. Maybe they do…?

Random Thought! My Hunter Thompson books quiz was published as an official Sporcle quiz yesterday. My girlfriend thinks that’s really cool.

Random Thought! I haven’t started it yet, but Essential Black Panther looks like two completely unrelated books slammed together because they happen to feature the same character. The first half and the second half look nothing alike. And that’s kind of cool. What’s not cool is Marvel leaving out the final two issues of Kirby’s run.

Random Thought! I got my tax return last week and used 3/4s of it to pay off a credit card. Because that’s what responsible adults do, I’m told. I’m using part of the remaining bit to get the various Clone Saga/Ben Reilly as Spider-Man trades, because my inner child demands I do so. And because I don’t know when they’ll lapse out of print and become much more expensive to track down.

Random Thought! Apparently the Paul Pope story meant for Mystery in Space was shunted to a future Vertigo anthology. Nice of DC to make that fact well known, because it’s not like Paul Pope’s presence could possibly be a selling point or anything. No one likes that guy…

Random Thought! While I’m bitching: no Esad Ribic and Dean White, plus Billy Tan drawing an upcoming issue means The Ultimates is no longer the high quality comic it once was. Recently, it’s been occupying the coveted ‘read first’ spot any week it’s come out (unless it comes out on the same week as The Boys, which has held that spot any week it comes out for, like, four years now). Now, I fear it may slip back into the middle of the pack.

Random Thought! How do you order your comics when you read them? I tend to have a few of the superhero ones I’m looking forward to most first, while Vertigo and other non-superhero titles are almost always saved for the end. The middle is comprised of the rest. For example, here’s the order I’ll probably read tomorrow’s comics in: Avengers vs. X-Men #4, AVX: VS #2, Avengers #26, Uncanny X-Men #12, Avengers Academy #30, Wonder Woman #9, Daredevil #13, New Mutants #42, Winter Soldier #5, Manhattan Projects #3, Fury MAX #2, and Scalped #58.

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Random Thought! Release schedule fun: five Avengers vs. X-Men comics this week and one next week. That’s how you space things out intelligently! You can bet that I’ll be talking about Secret Avengers #27 in the 8th “Riding the Gravy Train,” I guess.

Random Thought! For some reason, Amazon.ca had Rize of the Fenix by Tenacious D available for order last week (not pre-order), so I got my copy on Friday. It’s a good album. Tight with a couple of songs that really show the band’s full potential (“Roadie” and “39”). It sounds weird, but this album seems like a transition album from their first two albums, the TV show, and the movies, and heading towards something more… mature? While still being funny/crude at times. I don’t know. It’s good stuff.

Random Thought! I discovered last week that the Hives have a new album out on June 5 (same day as new Neil Young & Crazy Horse!) and will be playing in Detroit on June 27. That band is on my list of bands I really want to see live, so we’re obviously going. Tickets have been purchased. Like I said last week: everything seems to be happening/coming out right now. It’s weird. But, still: THE HIVES! LIVE! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

Random Thought! My shop was shorted on Silver Surfer: Parable last week, so I didn’t get my copy yet.

Random Thought! Matt Seneca’s “Life on Earth Q” posts on All-Star Superman have been excellent so far. So read them and keep checking back for new ones.

Random Thought! Rereading Bret Easton Ellis’s books in not-quite-order. Have reread Less than Zero, Imperial Bedrooms (because I wanted to see how it read right after Less than Zero), and The Informers (it was apparently written when he was in college, so it makes more sense to be paired with Less than Zero). Currently rereading The Rules of Attraction and I always struggle with this one. I really like the idea of the multiple narrators that tell conflicting accounts, but often get bored in some parts. I think I’ve hit my stride, though. Also, I’ve backed The Canyons on Kickstarter, a film that Ellis wrote and they’re trying to get financed. As tempting as the $5000 level reward of Ellis writing a public review of your novel is, I only opted for the $25 one for the DVD. Can you imagine anything more terrifying than a writer you really respect giving his honest opinion of your work in public? That sounds like a punishment, not a reward… Especially since you know Ellis would be completely honest, too. Terrifying.

Random Thought! Finished reading the second volume of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World this week. Funny how, during the first volume, New Gods was my favourite and The Forever People was my least favourite and, in this volume, that pretty much reversed. I’d say Mister Miracle is my favourite, followed by The Forever People and New Gods with Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen bringing up the rear. I enjoy them all, but I’m curious to see if the third volume will bring about different favourites. Kirby really gets into the heavily serialised stories in this volume with only Mister Miracle sticking to relatively self-contained stories in each issue. I can’t wait for the next two volumes.

Random Thought! As tempted as I am to pick up that Justice League International annual that picks up plot threads from OMAC, I’m pretty sure that Keith Giffen was the part of OMAC I liked the most, not Dan DiDio. Just a guess.

Random Thought! Not even intrigued by The First X-Men. Not even by Neal Adams. Though, I think they’re missing the big audience for The First Force Works, a series that readers only discover upon purchase reprints random issues of Avengers West Coast/West Coast Avengers.

Random Thought! Based on Hulk Smash Avengers #2, I propose a new series: Joe Casey is given two consecutive issues of Avengers and must create a ‘lost’ issue that takes place between them and fits in to that time period. He could probably do it without breaking a sweat, written mostly on coffee breaks from big TV meetings, and it would be awesome.

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Random Thought! I wish I were successful enough a comic critic that I could run a comic convention called GraphiCon. Actually, I don’t. I just want a convention to be named that and have my approval, but for someone else to do all of the work.


Random Joe Casey Question! When attempting new or different techniques (eg. the letter in the final chapter of Codeflesh, the infoscroll in The Intimates), do they usually come out of the comic you’re writing or are they something you apply to the book externally, hoping the two will mesh together well?

Random Joe Casey Answer! When I’m developing a new project, things like that tend to rise to the surface fairly organically. Besides which, I usually have several techniques or tricks that I’ve probably already thought about in the abstract, either based on some sort of outside input (like the 24-hour news networks for the infoscrolls) or an untapped comicbook influence, something a past master did that no one has been able to apply to their own work yet in any tangible way. I’ve been on a huge Steranko trip recently, trying to deconstruct how he did comics, how he constructed his individual issues, so you may see that kind of influence showing up in future work.


Random Comments! Less snarky responses from me this week. Maybe…

CW Atkins said: What particularly get’s my ire up is the totally meaninglessness of the star rating, as it’s completely subjective. Some random Thunderbolts issues get’s 5 stars. Ok, an enjoyable comic. But what’s it’s rating compared to Watchmen #12? Is it still a 5 star comic if they come out on the same week? Is Wonder Woman a 2 star comic becuase the reviewer doesn’t like the details of the story, while admitting that from a craft perspective it’s very well done? Honestly, at this point I read them more for a slightly longer plot synopsis than anything else.

I was generally not a fan of the star ratings, mostly because that’s where people’s opinions of the reviews tended to begin and end. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I often changed my star ratings as I wrote my reviews to fit what I wrote, basically using the same technique I used for thesis statements in essays in university where I’d write them last to fit what I said in my essay as closely as possible. I do think context matters. Like you said, if you compare most comics to the best comics of all time, we’d rarely see anything over three-and-a-half stars and that’s not practical. I do think the reviewers on CBR tend to skew too far towards the positive and it’s a problem I’ve had for quite some time. I usually found that, on average, reviews should fall in the 3-3.5 range. That’s still on the positive side of things given that it’s a ‘mainstream comics’ based site and that, because most comics reviewed have to be purchased by the reviewer, the reviewers are more inclined to like what they’re reviewing — I mean, it’s something that, odds are, they’re buying on a regular basis. But, I still think they tend to lean too far towards positivity. That’s what you get when you have someone saying they go out of their way to review things they’ll like, though, which, honestly, disgusts me and gives a fairly clear indication that that’s a reviewer whose opinion I can’t take too seriously. This isn’t an exercise in ‘comics are great, everyone try to make everyone feel good.’ But, yeah, star ratings… not really a fan myself either and, on more than one occasion, I told Augie that I just threw one on because I had to and if he thought my review suggested a different rating, feel free to change it.

And, yes, I use them on my site, but I just throw those on, too. They’re not meant to be taken too seriously.

DrewT said: A D fan eh? What did you think of the Pick of Destiny?

I liked both the movie and the album. Neither blew my mind or anything, nor was either the best I’ve seen from Tenacious D. But, they’re decent and I watch/listen to them from time to time.

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Travis Pelkie said: In potato chip flavor news (or flavour, since you’re a subject of the crown), I’ve recently gotten a couple of different flavors. Lay’s has a BLT flavor that’s decent, and Herr’s (a more regional brand, I think) has a Classic American Hot Dog flavor. It’s pretty tasty, like when I have a hot dog with ketchup and mustard, and mix the 2 on the dog with some chips. Mmm. America and wacky chip flavors. That’s what freedom’s all about, baby!

No BLT flavour here in Canada (at least not in my area). The only recent new chip flavour of any kind is a new Doritos flavour. Smokey chipotle BBQ, I think it’s called. I bought a small bag and it was alright. Surprisingly bland flavour, some nice heat — the flavour does grow stronger as you eat more, which is something I dig sometimes. There’s something nice about a flavour that slowly builds as you eat. But, I found that flavour to be a bit too similar to their bold BBQ flavour, so… why bother with this new one?

Yeah, what a dick Batman is, for being concerned about his own broken back more than how his replacement is doing!

He stops worrying about that after, like, two issues. He then becomes obsessed with the kidnapping of Tim’s dad and his doctor/love interest. But, seriously, there’s not a single thought about the new Batman. That’s just weird. I’m not expecting him to obsess over it or anything — just ask Tim how it’s going or something? Maybe?

Billy said: And people are…flexible… Sometimes people honestly need to set hard lines that they won’t cross, else they continually drift into situations that they don’t like. (Look at auctions as an example. People will say “That is worth X”, but when the bidding war starts, they often end up willing to go beyond “X”. )

(I just grabbed a sample because I didn’t want to quote a long comment…) Your comment basically makes my point for me. I’m not against people having a content/cost margin that works for them. I’m against hardline arbitrary lines like “I won’t buy ANY $3.99 comics” or “I won’t see ANY movies in theatres that less than 90 minutes.” Statements like that are stupid and act like all art is equal and just a commodity to purchase like tooth paste or garbage bags. Of course people are flexible — and should present themselves as such. That was my point.

Rusty Priske said: Short books should cost less than big books. Part of the cost in maufacturing, so it just makes sense.

That ignores who is making the book or its potential for fitting into people’s concept of ‘good.’ If I put out a giant 2000-page book, while Thomas Pynchon puts out a short 75-page novella, which do you think people would be willing to pay the most for?

Mecha-Shiva said: That presumes I expect to pay more based on assumed quality. Movie theaters charge the same for oscar contenders as they do for Twilight. There is some variation in comic prices, but it’s not based on quality. Scott Snyder’s Batman costs the same as Tony Daniel’s Detective Comics. Albums/sons by your-favorite-band cost basically the same as those by your-least-favorite-band.

Single issues comics cost the same, yes, and, under the iTunes model, music tends to cost the same, but that doesn’t always extend beyond those places. David Bowie albums are usually more expensive in stores — same with the Rolling Stones. Some band’s albums can be obtained for five bucks each, while others tend to hover in the high teens. They’re not all equally priced.

Joe H said: Seems that someone mis-quoted me and missed the point of my comment.

I didn’t misquote you. I selectively quoted you to suit my purposes. And doing so again. Media bias!

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading. Later.


If my inner child demanded I buy Clone Saga reprints, I’d send him to his inner room without inner supper.

Bizarro am Paul Pope Fan #1.

Michael, I’ve only reads bits and pieces (what I could get when it was coming out as a kid) and have the urge to read it all. I can’t help it.

Yeah Ultimates is in a dangerous place right now, because it’s also on the verge of losing Hickman. I’m sure Sam Humphries is going to do cool things with it, but this Hickman/Ribic/White stuff has been such exemplary superhero madness….hard to top a story with a villain like Reed Richards and the City, especially when it was drawn so fantastically.

Also, since you asked, I try to put comics I expect to be the best at the bottom of my stack each week, and read the ones I’m less thrilled for first. Not strictly worst to best, because that’d be a terrible experience, just the lower half followed the upper crust.

Dan Jurgens’s f Justice League International has been a lousy comic all around, one of the worst of the New 52. If there were a Giffen/DeMatteis run all of a sudden, I might check that out, but otherwise I can’t see wasting money on that title again.

I do the same thing Matt does – I put the books I expect to be the best on the bottom. This week is big, and this is how I’ll order them: The Shadow #2, Avengers Academy #30, Batwoman #9, Secret History of D. B. Cooper #3, Thunderbolts #174, X-Factor #236, Atomic Robo #2, Saga #3, Mondo #2, Glory #26, The Sixth Gun #22, Manhattan Projects #3, Hellblazer #291, Scalped #58. Obviously, it could be the “wrong” order and something higher up could be awesome, but I do it based on experience.

Kind of funny, but the bit of my comment that you quoted includes an argument defending arbitrary lines. People are actually recommended to set arbitrary limits before going into auctions, because the fluid/changing nature of “worth” combined with the hunt/chase of an auction can cause people to overspend. In the case of an auction, an arbitrary limit is protection.

I think those with the most hardline limits themselves have something of a hint of “protection” to them. Comics and other items are luxuries. Your life isn’t going to be tragically worse if you happen to miss an amazing series just because the issues were $1 over your limit. (And it isn’t like any amazing series won’t be collected in trade, or movies won’t see DVD, rental, or free TV release, or the like.)

Perhaps I should also say that I can see two sides of the argument… Personally, I don’t believe in “unreasonable” arbitrary limits. At the same time, I know I have a somewhat compulsive nature. While I don’t mess with auctions in general (despite using them as an argument), I can easily fall into compulsive buyer traps and have to enforce my own sometimes arbitrary and often even inconsistent limits on myself. Otherwise a trip down a DVD aisle would easily turn into a $100+ bill, and that’s without even getting into the TV series section. And you would not want to see my forays into “collectable” games, even with self-imposed restraints. I honestly cannot afford to not apply extra restrictions on myself, so I can see justification for other people with other restrictions, even if I don’t agree with those restrictions in practice.

The Hives is one of my favorite live acts ever. I watched them in Paredes de Coura 2009 and they were unbelievable. That concert was mad, man, you’re gonna love them. Didn’t know about that new album, though, that’s great news.

The thing that killed me about Knightfall was that Tim actually brought his concerns to Nightwing, who dismissed him, and then when Nightwing came in to deal with Jean Paul, he asked Tim why Tim never mentioned Jean Paul going nuts…

Travis Pelkie

May 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm

“last week’s discussion of the Avengers as facists”

Facists? Y’mean like, “youse gotta ugly mug, get outta here ya mook!”

Is that why some of them don’t like Vision, because of his creepy robot stare? And that diamond thing in his forehead?

I knew potato chip flavours would get me quoted again! I’ll have more to say later!

I always try to order my comics alphabetically, and I only cheat that order when the book on top doesn’t intrigue me as much as something deeper in the stack.

For this week, the stack is going to be: Amazing Spider-Man Ends of the Earth #1, Atomic Robo Real Science Adventures #2, Avengers vs X-Men #4, Batwoman #9, Fantastic Four #605.1, Green Lantern Animated #2, Hardcore #1 (what the deuce is up with that?!? Only 25 months late?), Sixth Gun #22, and X-Factor #236.

Amazing Spider-Man typically does not get pre-empted. It’s a solid read every time. Not sure how this one-shot is going to go, though. Robo’s slot is safe, too, because COMICS! Really the first comic in danger of being replaced is Green Lantern Animated #2 because I’m not really committed to it yet. X-Factor is typically always a spot-jumper, especially if I’m reading after I’ve seen Burgas’ weekly column. Sixth Gun and the New 52 stuff tend to gravitate downward, even though I really do enjoy Sixth Gun (jury’s still out on the New 52, though).

Starlin really needs to go back to Marvel every 10 years to invalidate every Thanos story written in that interval.

It will help my tolerance of Bendis-Thanos by thinking of him as Thanosi up front!

I’m hoping my comment on your blog had something to do with your statement about Captain America. And I honestly believe that several of Brubaker’s Cap issues in recent months have been great, not just good. The opening arc with Steve McNiven was exceptional, not just as a story about Steve Rogers’ burdens, but as a jumping-on point for new readers. And the new arc with Patrick Zircher and Scourge could be really promising.

And regarding the Ultimates; I know Sam Humphries. I know him personally, since he used to work at Meltdown Comics in Los Angeles and was part of the exceptional (and sadly ended) MeltCast round table discussion. I’ve read most of his work, including Fraggle Rock (which I liked even though I know nothing of the Fraggles), Our Love Is Real (comedy gold), and Sacrifice (which is really great and unique). Believe me when I say that Ultimates is in good hands.

I read my comics starting with the ones I’m most interested in and working my way through to the ones I’m least excited about. I understand people who prefer to lead off with the weak stuff and finish strong, but I rarey finish reading all my books the first night – sometimes I don’t even get half way through the stack the first night and it’s not unheard of for me to have a book or two I still haven’t gotten to when the next week’s books come in – and I don’t want to put off the best stuff indefinitely while prioritizing the weaker books. Generally I make three piles: things to definitely read tonight no matter how tired I am or what’s on TV; things it would be nice to read tonight but I’m not going to lose any sleep over them; and things I don’t really care when I read as long as I get around the them eventually (I used to have a fourth pile – things I can’t read this week because I haven’t read the previous issue yet – but I’ve dropped all the books I wasn’t keeping current on).

I’ve often wondered if the folks in charge of such things at Marvel have some motive, however questionable, behind their scheduling. Like, maybe they’ve gotten in into their heads that people don’t like to go to the store every week, so it makes sense to sell, say, all the X-books in one week so people who only care about the X-Books can just go in once a month. Or maybe they think “people seem to like trade paperbacks, so maybe they’d rather buy a pile of related books each week than, say, one X-Book, one Avengers book, and one Spider-Man book each week.” I mean, it seems like there must be some rationale to it.

Travis Pelkie

May 16, 2012 at 1:06 am

Hm, I tend to read my “weaker” stuff first and finish with the “better” stuff. Of course, that’s when I actually get around to reading my stuff…

I did that with FCBD, and the better stuff was put in the right spots (Disney Ducks, Barnaby, a few others), and the worse stuff was about right too, although the Burt Ward book was surprisingly less dopey than I thought it’d be.

(Speaking of FCBD, since my local shops didn’t get the 2000 AD book, does anyone here have a copy, or can get one, that they’d be willing to give up? Brian or Chad can probably give you my email if you do….)

And thanks for the tip about Hulk Smash Avengers. Not only was the Casey issue quite cool, but as I think I said in last week’s comments, I was able to point to issue 1 as an appropriate for a 13 year old comic. Which is slightly sad that it was so difficult for me to think of others….

Well Well Well, the Hives are pretty cool.

I’ll have to check out the ASS posts from Seneca.

Did anyone else get Hell Yeah 3 last week? It’s on Diamonds’ list for this week, but I snagged it at my shop last week. Wasn’t expecting it, and I later found out why. It’s pretty good, if a little slow moving.

That Thanos is the Avengers Assemble bit, confused the hell out of me.

Ive just been reading the latest SFX (UK magazine) and the movie is titled “Avengers Assemble” over there.

So of course thats what I assumed you were talking about for bit.

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 16, 2012 at 5:01 am

Thanos is a character that should only be handled by Starlin. Just as Elektra should only be handled by Miller.

Unfortunately, Marvel doesn’t realize (or recognize) that fact.

Please stop talking about potato chips. I’m getting the munchies and hankering for BBQ, bacon, and hickory sticks.

I read my books this way, by the price (low to high): then the lower (to higher) numbering: then alphabetical order. Doesn’t matter how good or bad the story is. ;-)

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 16, 2012 at 5:02 am

Mind the Gap # 1 was kind of cool.

Mike Loughlin

May 16, 2012 at 7:34 am

“I’m not against people having a content/cost margin that works for them. I’m against hardline arbitrary lines like ‘I won’t buy ANY $3.99 comics’ or ‘I won’t see ANY movies in theatres that less than 90 minutes.’ Statements like that are stupid and act like all art is equal and just a commodity to purchase like tooth paste or garbage bags. Of course people are flexible — and should present themselves as such. That was my point.”

A company or retailer putting out entertainment can’t charge by unit of quality.* Pricing Watchmen at $50 but Ultimatum at $0.50, for example, can’t work. I understand the point about needing flexibility, but having X dollars to spend and an array of choices available for X dollars means that I have to make those choices. I buy discount stuff, mostly, or trades that don’t seem overpriced. I avoid the obvious crap, but my flexibility is somewhat limited. Therefore, $4 for 20 pages (even 20 good pages) is not worth it. My cost/content margin *becomes* a hard limit. It’s not stupid to put such a limit on myself if I don’t want to feel ripped of.

In terms of reading order, I would go from lowest perceived quality to highest, but I’d try to start with something that fell in the middle. If possible, I would end with the highest quality one-shot or conclusion to a story arc.

* iTunes being the only exception I can think of, with “quality” being defined as “desirability/ newness.” I’m not counting Special Editions/ Upgraded versions of existing product either.

I try and order them weakest to strongest…unless it is a BPRD week, then they get read first. Don’t know why I do that, but I do. This week is a bigger one for me: BPRD, Star Wars: DotJ, Avengers, AvX, U X-Men, Manhattan Projects, Venom, Saga, Sixth Gun…that will be the order.

ZZZ: I personally WANT to go to the comic shop every week…so it drives me crazy when they put all the X stuff out at once and so on. Same with them not scheduling for the 5 week months…there is always one week that is bunk. Next week is my bunk week…Journey into Mystery with the weaksauce crossover with New Mutants, and Secret Avengers…with the weaksauce AvX tie in. Blah.

Similarly to a few people who commented I also tend to organize my comics based on which I tend to enjoy more by placing them on the bottom and leaving those I tend to enjoy less on the top. One of the things I enjoy about doing it this way is that every once in a while I get a nice surprise when one of the “on top” comics has a strong issue. It seems odd that I expect the quality of a comic to remain the same based on where I place it in the pile and it’s purely enjoyable when it seems to question that.

Man, that all seems much weirder than it is when I write it down like that.

Captain Comet

May 16, 2012 at 1:38 pm

I read by company. So I read DC first, Batman, Nightwing, Wonder Woman, then I read Marvel, Incredible Hulk, AvX, Uncanny X-Men, then everythnig else, Manhattan Projects.

I split my pull up my company as well: DC, then Marvel, then Image, then Other. I then sub-organize alphabetically. Since I only currently read two DC series (Dial H and Wonder Woman), with Batman Inc pending, the cream already rises to the top for that company. For Marvel, I only seem to be purchasing titles in the T-X range of the alphabet: Thunderbolts, Ultimates, Ultimate X-Men, Uncanny X-Force, Venom, Wolverine and the X-Men… Strange.

Thunderbolts is the same for me as Cap is for you. I’m not champing at the bit for the next ish, but, when it arrives, it’s a satisfying enough read. I’m going to switch to trades when the book becomes Dark Avengers as a result.

Billy Tan is meant to be the ongoing artist for Ultimates — or at least one of the main artists in the rotation since the book will continue to ship at a rate no artist can keep up with.

Speaking of Ultimates, I read the first issue co-written by Humphries earlier today, and the shift in authorial voice was definitely noticeable. Unless reviews are raves, I won’t be continuing with the series, post-#12. Tan’s art only cements that.

Also: Director Flumm = Ultimate Dirk Anger.

Once that thought entered my head, I couldn’t shake it, which didn’t increase my enjoyment of the issue any.

Why on Earth was Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega five issues long? There wasn’t nearly enough story there to warrant that length. It should’ve been three issues, tops. A two issue interlude in X-Men: Legacy between Carey and Gage’s runs would’ve been ideal. I’m still looking forward to Wood’s run on Ultimate X-Men, but there’s a little more caution in my optimism now.

Travis Pelkie

May 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm

@Mario, and all of us who mentioned how we read our comics — we, as comics readers, are an odd bunch. But lovable. Really. OK, maybe only to other comic nerds.

Except of course Tom, who is getting VERY VERY hungry!!!

Of course, today when I read my comics, I think I blew my reading order all to hell, but hey, who cares, right? It’s just comics.

Manhattan Projects is getting really good.

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