And frankly, I don’t have the memory to do any “decade” lists.

§ December 30th, 2019 § Filed under blogging about blogging is a sin, watchmen § 3 Comments

Every year around this time I think “I should really do a year-end review,” since I haven’t done one on this site since…probably 2005, I’m guessing without looking to see if I’m right? Anyway, it’s been a while, and the reason I don’t do it is mostly because…well, because I feel limited in direct experience with the vast array of comics that come out each year. Probably a strange thing for a guy what owns a funnybook store to say, but “ordering, racking, and selling” ain’t the same as “reading,” and I feel like I can’t put my dime down on “THE BEST COMIC OF THE YEAR” when my actual reading experience is limited to the handful of comics I’ve mananged to consume over the previous twelve months.

And especially this past year, where (as perhaps you may have heard whispers of in the dark alleys and not heard me complain about nearly daily on this site) I’ve had problems with my vision. My keeping up with the new comics, which had already fallen a bit behind due to my reading more slowly due to all this stuff, pretty much stopped entirely sometime in April. I managed to read a comic here and there, sometimes with some difficulty (I read at least one issue of Doomsday Clock with a large magnifying lens), but mostly I’ve been just letting things pile up.

I said “until recently” because as my vision has become more or less stable-ish in the last couple of months, I’ve been going through my stacks, pulling runs of books and just reading them straight through from where I left off ’til today. As such, I’m caught up on the Superman books, Immortal Hulk, Justice League, Event Leviathan, and, yes, Doomsday Clock. Oh, and the Tales from the Dark Multiverse comics, too, which I probably like more than I should. Thus, I’m making some progress, slowly but surely. Oh, and I’m caught up on the Legion of Super-Heroes reboot, having just read the first two issues of the new series Sunday evening. (Not quite sold on it yet but we’ll see where it goes.)

So as you see, I don’t have quite the pool from which to draw…not exactly a wide range there. I’ve got a lot of other stuff I want to read set aside, but at the very least I’m trying to keep up with those titles so I don’t get even further behind.

Moral of the story: take care of your eyeballs, folks.

Of course it occurs to me that I can do some kind of year-end thingie just from a retail perspective, and I suppose the biggest trend of the year I’ve noticed is more speculation (apparently driven by certain comic-investing websites and YouTube videos and such). Not that folks speculating on what comics are going to be “hot” and “expensive” and “”rare”” (that last one gets double quotation marks) is anything new, or ever really went away. It’s just that I’ve noticed a lot more of it in the past year (sometimes with no apparent rhyme nor reason). Which, you know, that’s fine, whatever you’re enjoying, but at the same time it makes things a lot more difficult to order. Asking for that variant the day before it comics out, or everyone grabbing the first issue of something, and then the second issue shows up and doesn’t sell at all. It can be a little maddening, but that’s why they pay me the big bucks. (NOTE: no big bucks are actually paid to me.)

On the other hand, a new publisher that distributes their own books directly to retailers, TKO Studios, has been working out quite well for me this year, getting their first batch at the store back in February and a new round of books in November. They’ve done well for me, they’re very convenient to order, and they’re solidly-produced items. Very nice additions to the product lines my store carries.

Oh, and so I have at least one year-end award for a specific comic, Doomsday Clock gets the award for “Best Comic Titled Doomsday Clock.” Yes, I know you’re shocked. Hopefully someday we’ll find out why they hoed this row for so long just to bring back the Justice Society of America and the Legion of Super-Heroes when current Justice League comics brought also brought back the Justice Society and current Superman comics brought back the Legion on their own.

Well, who knows, if I ever catch up maybe I’ll do a year-End Awards thing for 2019 in, I don’t know, 2023. Watch this space!

In the meantime, a couple of reminders:

Lots of folks have contributed to the GoFundMe for my old friends the Beckners, which is greatly appreciated. As I type this, they are a mere $95 away from their goal, so if you can pitch in even a little bit, that would be wonderful.

Plus, I’m still taking your predictions for the 2020 comics industry. Will it rise? Fall? Become more dumb? CHIME IN WHY DON’T YOU

3 Responses to “And frankly, I don’t have the memory to do any “decade” lists.”

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  • Thom H. says:

    I would love to hear the behind-the-scenes dirt on Doomsday Clock regarding the Justice Society and the Legion. I assume the glacial pace of publication meant that Johns’ plans were scrapped and/or handed off to other writers at some point.

    I’m also on the fence about the new LoSH. I’m not sure Bendis knows what makes those characters tick, but it is very pretty so I’ll give it a few more issues at least.

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