Thursday, September 3, 2009

Waiting for... Whenever

Welcome to a belated edition of Waiting for Wednesday, where Alex talks about which new comics he's looking forward to reading each week. Under different circumstances this weekly feature might also include a discussion of which new comics I'm looking forward to, but there's one major reason I've never written a Waiting for Wednesday: I don't actually... uh... wait for Wednesday. All the comics I buy are old news.

When I first got into collecting and reading comics, I vowed never to get involved with individual issues, or "floppies," as all the hip youngsters say. For one thing, it's expensive to keep up with a series that releases a new issue every week, and that's to say nothing about following multiple series.

For another thing, it seems like too much of a hassle to rush into the store every Wednesday, hope they have a copy of the issue you're looking for, and then try to track down another copy if your store has run out; one of the reasons I don't watch TV is that it's too much of a nuisance to catch every single episode and to find a way to catch up when I miss one. Just as I watch all the TV shows I care about on DVD, I read all my comics in collected trade paperback form.

Honestly, I don't feel at a disadvantage because I don't know exactly what happened during Final Crisis; heck, most of the people who did read it probably don't know what happened, either. It's not important for me to stay current with comics because there's, what, eight decades of comics for me to catch up on first, right?

Captain America RebornNot that I need to read every comic ever created in chronological order, but I'd prefer to have a better grasp of who Captain America is and where he's been before reading about his death and subsequent... uh... whatever happens to comic book characters after they die. See? I don't know 'cuz I haven't been following along. But I'll bet he got reincarnated as Tony Stark's crime-fighting butler or something.

That's why the comics I've been buying have all been origin stories and story arcs requiring little or no previous knowledge to enjoy. My ongoing plan has been to get a broad sampling of as many different characters as possible and to only follow a particular series if the character or characters are particularly engaging.

My Big Goals are to become informed enough about the respective DC and Marvel universes to appreciate and understand Crisis on Multiple Earths and Civil War; even if I've already reached that point, it probably wouldn't hurt to dabble a little more before diving in.

For now, when I feel like reading comics, I go to my shelf and grab whichever character I'm most in the mood for. I'm still getting a feel for which writers and artists I like best, so I'm not yet at the point where I'd ever be in the mood to specifically grab Geoff Johns. Actually, it's probably for the best that I don't ever feel like grabbing writers and artists; fewer restraining orders that way.

Given that my entire comics shelf is essentially one big "to read" pile and that there's no pressure to keep up with any one series, this week I'm looking forward to reading whatever, whenever. There's no telling what I'll read next!

Maybe I'll read more Ultimate Spider-Man; almost all the Marvel stuff I've read has been in the Ultimate universe, in large part because it's very easy to identify comics that are in the same continuity when the word "Ultimate" is plastered across the cover.

Maybe I'll read Superman: Last Son; I still have very little interest in Superman because up until this week I've never seen him in any situation except fighting Lex Luthor and rescuing Lois Lane. The comic I just read had Superman fighting the unstoppable Doomsday, but I'm still not convinced that it wasn't just Lex Luthor with a really bad rash.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comicMaybe I'll read Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic; I'm a big fan of the computer games by the same name, and I'm excited to finally see a story set in the Star Wars universe that has absolutely no trace of Lex Luthor. I mean, uh, Darth Vader and his contemporaries.

There's plenty more where that came from. I might even go back to 2001 Nights, a series of loosely related short stories about the distant future of humanity, which looks like manga on the inside but looks like any other comic book on the outside.

My comics shelf is my oyster. My constantly growing, stupidly expensive oyster. That's what I've got to look forward to; as for you, what old comics are you Waiting for?


Scott said...

If you want to see a Superman comic without Lex Luthor, there's Kingdom Come.

Flashman85 said...

I've been keeping an eye out for Kingdom Come, but I haven't yet seen it collected in a trade on my many visits to comics shops. Thanks for the reminder, though!

Scott said...


Have you tried, uh, Waldenbooks or Borders? It's a pretty famous trade, so odds are that if a bookstore has a comics section, it has Kingdom Come. A comic store, on the other hand, might not have much reason to have a trade that old in stock since everyone that visits will have it, probably.

I'm just pulling at straws here.

Flashman85 said...

Did I mention I have Kingdom Come? Because I do. And I think I've finally read enough to have a clue who the characters are before jumping in.

Scott said...

I read Kingdom Come before I read any DC comics, and it was what got me interested in DC's characters and is why I have a soft spot for Captain Marvel.

If I didn't have notifications turned on, I'd never knew you were responding to these posts after two years...

Flashman85 said...

I try to be diligent about responding to comments, even if I'm tardy...though every once in a while I stumble on a comment I completely dropped the ball on. I get some pretty amusing responses from people on YouTube who haven't watched any of my videos since last year.

I think Kingdom Come might actually be the next book I sit down to read, then. And I'll be sure to give it a proper review, too.