Well, I was wondering how the repercussions from “The Death of Clark Kent” played out over subsequent years….don’t you judge me.
It used to be that I had plenty of time to pull out full runs of something from the vast Mikester Comic Archives to reread. But, as time wears on, and I get older, and more things come to occupy my free time, I don’t get around to doing the full rereads as often as I’d like. Sometimes I barely have time to read all the new comics I get each week, and I don’t even really get that many.
Now, when I’m talking about “rereads” I don’t mean the occasional single issue or mini. I just reread the Preacher mini-series The Saint of Killers just the other day, for example. I mean, rereading full runs of a particular creator, or storyline, or a full run of an extended finite series. Like the Brian Azzarello run on Hellblazer, which, when I reread it a few years ago, held together better when read over a relatively condensed period of time, rather than one chapter a month over a couple of years where some of the nuances of storytelling can be lost. (An argument for “waiting for the trade” if ever I heard one, I realize.)
The most recent of the longer rereads I did was the full run of Planetary, which occurred right after the long-awaited release of the final issue. And the most recent Swamp Thing series. And prior to that…geez, I seem to recall rereading all the ’90s Superman comics, which seems like an odd thing to do to oneself.
But I’ve been wanting to do more rereads from the Archives, which has become an even more imposing task as the older I get, the more comics I have, and the more I have to choose from when it comes to The Rereadering. Plus, one of the effects from working in a comic shop is regularly coming face-to-cover with comics that I’d read and enjoyed in the past. “Hmmm, that wasn’t a bad series, and it’s been a while since I’ve read it…I should dig those out.” Like, for instance, the various “America’s Best Comics” – Top 10, Promethea, Tom Strong…I’ve had a couple friends in the process of picking up the trades for these, and that’s sort of given me the itch to look at my own copies.
The other thing is that I recently reorganized and relabeled our Marvel and DC back issue boxes…not the ones on the tables on the floor (that’s a whole other reorg project I’m not looking forward to), but the less-current series we keep up on the shelves behind the store counters. And that reminded me of several titles I’d like to revisit…like the initial issues of Infinity Inc., drawn by Jerry Ordway and featuring the younger Earth-2 heroes versus the Justice Society. Or the Martian Manhunter series by John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake…a moody, slightly spooky superhero series from the guys who were just fresh off that Spectre series that now I feel like I want to reread, too, just from mentioning it here.
On top of all that, pal Tom recently dropped off some old Cerebus Fan Club material, including a few of the newsletters:
…which (along with the Moment of Cerebus weblog I’ve been perusing) of course made me slightly nostalgic for that time when I eagerly awaited each new issue of Cerebus, hoping for more adventure and intrigue, more gags, more clues to the ongoing mysteries, more wacky letters page hijinks, and…well, things went in an…unexpected direction in the later years, but I still have plenty of fondness for the series. I think one of the earliest topics on this very site was my desire to go back and reread the full run of Cerebus now that the last issue, #300, had finally come out. I never did get around to it, but those 300 issues (well, those six volumes of Swords of Cerebus and the 275-something other issues) are still awaiting my attention, so I’d like to get to that someday, too.
The flipside of this is, of course, the series I don’t really need to reread, and yet I’m keeping them around anyway. I probably don’t need to go through and reread all of the original Swamp Thing series from the ’70s, and the follow-up series from the ’80s and ’90s, as I’ve read those all plenty of times. That doesn’t mean I won’t bust out a single issue once in a while to enjoy, but and extended reread from #1 to the end probably isn’t in the cards for while yet. (I do wonder what new things I’ll pick up, however…which is always the most pleasant benefit from a reread.)
And there’s Sandman, which I read to pieces as it was coming out, and I think I did a reread of the entire series shortly after it was done, but I don’t see myself going through the entire series again anytime soon. But I did like the series, so I will likely revisit it at some point. Though, come to think of it, I think I’d like to reread the Sandman spinoff The Dreaming.
Of course, there are series coming out right now that are on the verge of completion, like The Boys, which I think will benefit from a reread over a short period of time, much like the Azzarello Hellblazers I mentioned earlier.
To summarize: I have too many comics. But I love ’em and would like to read them more often than I really have time for. One of the things this blog does is get me to go through my collection and look at some of the comics that have been sitting there in boxes for a while…I dig through them, looking for things to discuss or poke gentle fun at or simply just throw onto the site to appreciate. So maybe I’m not plowing through full runs of, say, the Garth Ennis Punisher (damn, another one I want to reread!) but at least I’m still looking at my old comics and doing something with them.
…Are any of you in the process of rereading old comics from your collection? Or are you in the same boat, wanting to go look at some old funnybook run or ‘nother and just never having the free time to devote to it? Feel free to let me know…which of course will just remind me of more comics I’d like to go back and look at, and wouldn’t that just figure?