Thursday, April 28, 2011

Can't Get Enough?

Over at Multiversity Comics Joshua Mocle wrote an interesting piece about what he perceives to be his own comics addiction.

"Now, I'm sure some people will deny that addiction to comics even exists, saving the weighty term of "addiction" for more serious vices. That said, take a minute to think about your connection to comics and how you feel when a book you want sells out? Or your store doesn't open due to snow? Or some other unforeseen circumstance gets in the way of you and your books every week? I'm willing to bet that some (if not most) of you don't quite deal with such instances in the best way possible."

That part got me thinking because due to my class schedule, I can no longer make it to my local comic shop on Wednesday, the day new comics come out.  Instead, I have to wait until *gasp!* Thursday to pick up the titles in my pull-box.  This might seem like a very little deal, but when I discovered it, I was pretty damn upset.   Then, later on in the article, I could also commiserate with another of Josh's sentiments:

"One of those books happens to be Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt’s mystical western adventure The Sixth Gun. For some reason, my preferred comic shop almost always sells out of the book before I am able to get out of work on Wednesday (including a time I didn’t have work and got there literally as the door was being unlocked) and, indeed, I was not able to find Issue #10 there a few weeks ago. Now, I happen to be blessed as a Boston-based comic fan in that there are quite a few stores I can turn to in instances like this one and had, in fact, done so for previous issues of The Sixth Gun. However, two short drives and four phone calls later and I still hadn’t tracked down a copy of the book. At this point I started to feel something I hadn’t felt in years, at least within the context of comic books: I started to panic.

It was sudden, irrational and uncontrolled. The little voices in my head that tell me to calm down and stop being such a nerd were screaming their heads off at me and yet, I was still panicked. So much so that once I found a store that had a copy, I threw on my headphones and walked for almost an hour to pick it up, discovering a new, charming little shop in the process. Once I left the store, my panic began to subside: crisis averted."

Lucky for me, I have The Sixth Gun on my pull list, but I know the feeling.  There have been a few times when I've "discovered" a comic title that I want to read 3 or 4 issues into the series, and have put in a few hours of fevered effort to track down the needed issues so that I don't have to wait for the trade, because I want to read the comic NOW, not later.  

Now, I'm not about to say that I, or Josh for that matter, have a comics addiction, but I will say that my pull-list (comics I get the store to always hold for me when they come out) is ever growing.  Most of that I attribute to me being new to the medium, and slowly finding titles that work for me.  I also really enjoy serial story telling both in the comics medium as well as in fantasy.  The problem is, trimming the fat.  There's no doubt that there is a ceiling as to just how many comic titles I can afford to read.  Today I was looking over my pull list and there's a few titles that I cut right away, but there were others (Chew and Sweet Tooth) that would feel like I was cutting away part of my soul if I were to cut them from the list.  The same goes for my fantasy reading.  If someone told me there was no way I could read A Dance with Dragons when it came out, there would be severe problems. 

Ryan Closs, another blogger at Multiversity Comics wrote a rebuttal to Josh's earlier post, and Ryan makes some compelling points too. 

"I firmly believe that if you don’t love a book that you’re still buying, just drop it. Are you rating a book as a 2 or 3 week in week out? Ditch it. Life is too short to waste time reading bad comics. You have to realize there’s just no way to read everything, so you have to draw your own line somewhere."

I think Ryan makes a good point, and one I tried to emulate when I cut down my own pull list.  However, it can be hard for me to be totally honest with myself sometimes, and that's when trimming the fat is tough.  

I personally feel like I have a pretty good amount of willpower.  Sure, I've added titles, and sure I still buy lots of books on my measly income, but I'm good about asking for and using gift cards, I also buy about 90% of my books (graphic novels included) used.  Plus, everyone deserves a little bit of indulgence every now and again anyway.  I think Ryan sums it up best when he says:

"If you’re enjoying the books you read, then more good books is a GOOD thing; if you don’t think they’re worth the money every month, then just STOP."

So my question to all of you out there is: Is there something you can't get enough of?  Comics?  Books?  Miniature Knight Figurines? 

No comments: