Thursday, December 07, 2006


I haven't bought any books in 2+ weeks.

I haven't written nary a thing about comics, nor have I written any original comic story ideas in that same time span of at least 14 days. I occupied 20 or so of the previous 20,160 minutes by a rough and loose doodling of random characters, none of which I liked, or kept for any further reference, during a "state of the business" conference call. Those 1,200 seconds, out of a possible 1,209,600, comprise the sum total of my comics-related drawing during the past fortnight. I haven't even picked up a book to look at. That's what strikes me as the most odd. I haven't been tempted to grab one and go over an old favorite storyline. There has been no want to review a great splash or a perfect rendering of Superhero X taking out the nameless faceless goons of Badguy Y 's clone army. There hasn't even been a moment recently in which I've staggered, clench-cheeked and tip-toed, over to my shortboxes, and with furious anxiousness scoured them back to front for the absolutely quintessential example of "A Book To Pinch Loafs By". Easily a 2,700 second gig for a book or three.

Could this be the end of the unrequited comic book addiction I have been living with these past 6 months?
Is it possibly true that the brilliantly white hot burning of my collecting fervor has begun to cool itself off?
Is it really about the comics, or is it about having something to collect and to buy?
Should I no longer consider legally changing my name to Comicbook Jones?

I don't know the answer to these questions my friends, but I do know that I am afraid. Oh very afraid.

**horrified screams and shock-filled gasps erupt from the chorus**

Its not like I don't have any books that I haven't read and that I'm just tired of re-reading all the stuff I've already poured over. That may be true of approximately slightly less that half of a quarter of a third of my collection, but its definitely not indicative of how I view my "read already"s. The books that I happen to read that don't happen to impress me, I get rid of. They're either left in a box for my nephew or they're left by a mailbox or a newspaper vendor that I happen to stop at. In the Summer I had gotten into the habit of leaving books I had no interest in keeping in the lobby area of our neighborhood rec center when I would pick my daughter up from ballet. I was always jazzed whenever, while walking to the room my daughter was in, I saw a couple of kids plunked down on the couches crowded around the one kid with a THING or EXCALIBUR held up in front of his face. For a book to be kept in my collection, it needs to be considered pretty special by me and have serious replay value. I don't view any of them any different now...I just have little-to-no interest in spending the time reading them.

That brings me to the books I have in my collection that I haven't read yet. The majority of these are collections of a series of which I am at a stopping point, or am way ahead of. For example: I have Y: THE LAST MAN 1-24, 26-29, 32-37. I have stopped and have been all Jack Bauer and stuck on 24 for about 2 months now. I would love to know the rest of this compelling story, but not at the expense of missing even one step along the way. It is anathema to the way I think to willingly drop a hole right smack in the middle of storyline. This has been an issue for me in starting books that are about 2+ years into their run. (That's 31,536,000 seconds for all yall sleepers out there). I have collected various THE PUNISHER issues from 16-35, and then 38-40. I started reading this book at 38 and really, really liked it. So I picked up back issues when I could find them during 50% off sales. So now I have nowhere near a complete set and one or two issues from about 4 different story arcs. I know I started out at 38 and am way behind but for me that means that I will have to get everything complete and in order before I can even think of filling in this book's history. It would be a frustrating and nonplusing endeavor.

I'm weird like that about story arcs and series' runs, I guess. I think there's something in there that if I examine deep enough I will understand a little bit more about whether I'm more of a comic book fan or a collector of things. But as I sit here and think of just why I haven't had that same compelling urge to stop by the shop on the way home or at lunch, plopping down $15 here and $9 there, eagerly getting inside the door and slipping the scotch taped bag off some new mysteriousness...I would have to honestly say I think its one half where I'm at in my various collections. Another half knowing I have many other monetary obligations this month. Still another half is convinced that this is just a temporary phase that like all things will too come to pass. And yet there are still a couple more halves that just has actually been enjoying the other things around me that had taken a smaller role in the last 5 months, 3 weeks, 6 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59.9 seconds : work, children, work, food, sleep, work and sex. And work, too.

Oh yeah...this blog took me 1/4,380 of a year to write it, so maybe its coming back?


lonesome said...

Man. You're skipping 52? Or just not reading it? Craziness.

On the other hand, I understand your dilemma and sympathize with all aspects of it except for the inability to skip an issue/arc to get on with the series.

AFKAP of Darkness said...

i think more and more comic heads think that way these's because comics are increasingly arc-driven and it's a lot harder to just randomly read an issue an understand what's going on without reading what went before.

i know i have lots of semi-complete runs which i'm waiting to read until i can fill in the gaps.

JRennoldz said...

I'm right there with you...sort of! I fear that once I attain my degree (from this HELLACIOUS MENTAL PRISON commonly referred to as college) and truly enter THE REAL REAL WORLD, I will have no choice other than to sever my ties to the four-colored world.

Why? Well, I'd save a ton of money each month (which will become vital to my survival) and two, I truly will need to grow up. Hot, career-oriented and smart (non-cooky emo women and no I'm not a virgin either!) hate comics.

I'm willing to sacrifice my hobby in the pursuit of TRUE LOVE. Yes, I am "growing up." I think that after all is said and done, and I'm financially stable, I will reacquire this hobby. I'm enjoying it while I can though...

I'm just relieved that 52 wraps up near my impending break for freedom. But ay, Cooke on The Spirit looks like a potential longterm arrangement. I'm down!

At the very least, I will have to drastically cut back. ARGH, growing old sucks!

buckshot said...

JR, I tried that whole 'growing up' thing you speak of. You know what? Overrated.

Slumps happen. This is either when you hit up the trade shelf, or something else entirely.

Never quit comics.

JRennoldz said...

I can't grow up. I *heart* me some DC, been on the graff tip for five years now and have been digging those emotional punk girls for ages.

I'll never QUIT QUIT but I will eventually cutback. I'm going to buy any and Grant Morrison books 'till death. And that's a fact, Jack!

Great blog, Corkonomics!