February 13, 2023
I stopped reading comics in the spring of 2019. I didn't stop buying comics until early 2020. Right before the pandemic hit. And since the pandemic didn't change much for me, they sat on a table in the kitchen, piling up for a year, then spending three years as part of the background clutter.
When I decided to hide some of the crap laying around, I decided to start reading through my backlog before putting them into the longbox that had been patiently sitting around for three years waiting to do its one job.
I had a pretty decent-sized pull list: Somewhere around 15-20 titles a month, plus new things that the shop would add in to see if I was interested. It took a decent amount of time to get through each week's haul, which is why I fell behind in the first place. After Mom died in early 2018 I spent a long enough time not reading comics to make them no longer be part of my routine. But driving to Fairfax to buy them was. I'm weird.
Anyway, these are comics I (mostly) had requested because I wanted to read them. See what happened next, check out the crossovers, get the variant covers, all that fun stuff. And now, three-plus years later, there's so much I look at and just go, "nah". It's not that I can't remember what was happening -- that's true for pretty much all of them -- I pick up a title, get a few pages in, say "who cares" and skip it from that point on.
DC comics come out the worst: Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark are just uninteresting now. Batgirl and Nightwing had interesting plots for a while, then Batgirl kinda went off the rails a bit and Nightwing brought back the Court of Owls which I've never found compelling. So they're basically done for.
Marvel's in a bit better shape. Deadpool went from funny to boring, Star Wars is dull and Doctor Aphra seems to be losing steam, but Iron Man, Immortal Hulk, Ironheart, Champions and Doctor Strange are all still hanging on.
The non-big-two are having problems too. Transformers did yet another reboot, but it's really more of a rehash. I think it's on its way out. Firefly seems to have spiraled off into Nonsenseland so it may not be on my read list by the end of this either. Ghostbusters didn't even get me to open the cover.
I'm honestly surprised what a difference a few years makes. If I'd read all these at the time I probably would have actually read them all. (And with no pile of comics sitting out I may have kept up the subscriptions for a while.) But now it's mostly just "meh". I'd already been griping about how much I spent on comics -- about $100 a month at the end -- so I had one foot out the metaphorical door already, but coming back to these with a bit of a remove kind of lays bare just how much inertia was involved.
It'll be good to get them into the basement once and for all. They had their time for me, and now it's gone. Just took me a while to get around to finishing it.