In this era of having access to DC Universe Infinite Ultra (and other stuff like Marvel and Comixology Unlimited, etc, etc.) the proverbial, All-You-Can-Eat Buffet, I find myself getting stressed out picking out what to read. With (literally) thousands of comics to read at my disposal, I sit and scroll through title after title and end up reading less the more I have to choose from.
So, tell me, my friends, how do you do it? How you decide what to read when you have so much to choose from. How do you keep from starving at the All-You-Can-Eat Buffet?
I have routines and habits. I have some series I read an issue or two from every day or so (like the Triangle Era of Superman), and then I’ll also just read through an entire TPB’s worth of issues all at once when the mood hits me. I also have several series I read whenever a new issue comes out.
I also find that some reading leads me to want to read other comics, so it can be a huge rabbit hole.
I moved most of my reads that I would otherwise purchase on Comixology to Ultra (basically everything except Superman books and whatever the current DC event is).
There were always books I was curious about but wouldn’t spend money on, I now check those out here and if I like ‘em, I stay with ‘em (Nighwing, DC Mech, Dark Knights of Steel, & others).
Not Ultra reads, but there’s long runs that are gonna take me ages to finish (Superman Triangle Era, JLA). When I’m out of new stuff to read I just pick an issue from those lists.
Most importantly, I realize that just because I have Ultra, it doesn’t mean I have to devour everything it has to offer. At the price I paid, it’s equivalent to buying two new DC books a month. As long as I’m getting more than that out of it, & I get a lot more given what I just listed, than it’s doing its job .
You make a good point! There’s a part of my mind that’s very much a completionist about things, and feels like I need to go back and read characters from the very beginning before jumping into their bigger stories. Fortunately I gave up on that and was reading both the Triangle Era and Rebirth Superman runs at the same time for a while.
This might go without saying, but if something sounds like something you’d like or something you’d find interesting, I’d recommend checking it out. At the end of the day reading comics is a hobby, so you should just have fun with it, and not have to feel pressured to read something that you don’t want to.
I had an obsession when I joined the Marvel app to read every comic they put out (joined over ten years ago). I started with everything 1999-2015, and then I went to everything 1961-1980 until I woke up one day asking myself what I was doing. It had long since stopped being fun.
I then focused on my favorite characters/teams (Wonder Woman and X-Men primarily), and when I am finished up with them I dabble in different series as the urge strikes me.
My new rule is that if I read 3-4 issues of a series and it doesn’t click with me, I’m out. Done are the days of forcing myself to finish something I wasn’t really enjoying. It has made things a lot more relaxed and simple.
Because of this, I often have no idea who the characters are that are discussed in the forums, or the titles, or especially the tv shows and movies, but I am okay with that. When the discussion swings around to all things Diana, I can contribute at that time. I tend to follow jokes/meme/collecting threads mostly anyway.
And I have found over the years that there aren’t a ton of comics I really want to re-read. The ones I do, I tend to get the collections or omnibuses.
It is funny that at the start of my comics journey the issue was famine, and now the issue is feast. Actually, the issue is more one of guilt at not eating everything at the feast. I also use @moro economics to justify both the cost and the fact that I don’t have to eat everything.
I go at reading several different ways. I concentrate on creators first. Who wrote it and who drew it. That usually is a sign of quality or at least what I like.
I also follow my favorite characters, but I look for the best runs. An example would be the Fantastic Four. Lee/Kirby, Byrne, Waid/Wieringo, and Jonathan Hickman are the four best runs on the title. You can check out the rest out, but it’s not necessary.
I can’t remember exactly who said it (maybe Len Wein?) but to paraphrase “continuity ties your best writer to your worst writer.” You don’t have to read everything! Read the stuff you like!
Finally, I keep an eye out for good reviews or recommendations from people I respect. Tom King’s the Sheriff of Babylon is a good example. Before he blew up I heard good things about Vision and Babylon and they were both good. Now he’s the man.