The continuing death spiral of the value of the pound against the dollar - due to uncertainty over this whole Brexit shitshow - has seen another rise in the cover price of comics this week, which, in turn, has forced me to make some serious decisions about my pull-list.
I've had to take the axe to several titles that I was almost a year behind on (such as Batman - the twice monthly publication schedule was killing me anyway) and also pull the plug on a number of pre-orders.
I'd already started trimming my list, fearing that this price increase was on the horizon.
My pull-list now stands at 40 titles, which still sounds a lot, but this includes a number of one shots and (very) limited series of two or three issues.
Long gone are the days of thinking I need to read everything. Not only do I no longer have the mental concentration, but, thanks to the Brexit effect, I no longer have the money either.
Maybe it's an age thing, but I was surprised by how easy it was to cut comics I'd been loyally collecting for years.
When I last took a serious look at my pull-list (over a year ago), DC was dominating with 60 per cent of the titles, Valiant came in second with 23, and Marvel came in behind "miscellaneous" with only six per cent.
How things have changed!
The pendulum has swung back from "DC Fanboy" to "Marvel Zombie" again.
The current breakdown looks like this:
It's pretty much an even split between the Big Two and the miscellaneous category (which is full of indie titles).
Valiant has been wiped out completely (they kept presenting me with good opportunities to jump off titles, and I took them) while Marvel has seen a massive surge, largely due to the arrival of Conan, putting them just ahead of everyone else.
The decline in DC titles is, in part, because of The Bendis Effect.
Outside of his peerless run on Ultimate Spider-Man, I just don't get on with Brian Michael Bendis's style of superhero comic book writing... and, unfortunately, as DC tries to claw back its massive investment in this "superstar" writer, they appear to be handing him the reins to pretty much everything in their stable.
I'm also finding that with titles from both of The Big Two, I'm focusing on superhero titles that aren't really at the heart of their mainstream continuity, such as Hawkman and Shazam! at DC and The Immortal Hulk and the new X-titles at Marvel.
That way, hopefully, I can sidestep the financial - and intellectual - minefields of any big "crossover" events the company's throw at their readers.
Whereas my list always used to be dominated by superhero titles, this has changed in the last 12 months or so.
The breakdown of subject matter is now:
While exactly half of the titles I read remain superhero titles, almost half again are now fantasy (swords & sorcery etc).
And it wouldn't surprise me if, as my pull-list continues shrinking, the swords-and-sorcery slice continues to grow.
|Battlepug: the newest addition to my pull-list|