This is just another one of those things that arrive in my In Box once in a while. It amuses me to take these earnest market-survey questionnaires about books and reading that I get sent every so often and apply them to comics.
This one is something that showed up at school, clearly aimed at students who are reluctant readers, but I decided to answer it myself anyway, just for the hell of it.
How many books do you read in a year?
A great many. Hundreds. Even limiting it to JUST comics it’s still quite a lot.
Have you ever lied about reading a book?
Hm. Interesting question. No, not even when I was in school. Certainly not with comics, not even things I was sent to review. I have, very occasionally, lied about the degree to which I ENJOYED something, just to spare a creator’s feelings…. but never in print. If someone sends me something and I hate it, I usually just don’t review it at all. Using our platform on CBR to beat up on indie creators feels too much like punching down.
Have you ever pretended to be reading?
Ha! There were many times in school, back in the day, when I pretended to be reading slowly. It’s not quite the same thing– I did do the assigned reading– but to save arguments I’d pretend to still be reading something for class I’d finished days ago, to conceal the fact that I had moved on to a comic book instead.
For example, when we were assigned A Separate Peace in high school English, Mrs. Wellons gave us a week. I blew through it in an afternoon and spent the rest of the week’s reading time getting caught up on Marvel events like Power Man’s tenure with the Fantastic Four.
Then there were Iron Fist’s adventures in London, the introduction of the Liberty Legion, Dr. Strange vs. Dracula…
…damn, that was a fun month. Against all that, John Knowles and his prep school mawkishness never had a chance.
When you pick out books of your own what do you like best?
It varies, though I always seem to land on two-fisted adventure. Recently, I’m trying to get caught up on trade collections we’ve acquired over the last few months– between our recent budget troubles and most of my favorite titles getting canceled, the book-buying allowance is down to almost nothing. So most of the recent comics acquisitions are older stuff, remaindered collections we see at Goodwill, stuff like that.
Recently I found a whole bunch of trade paperbacks reprinting the old Gold Key Star Trek books for a dollar each and I have been having a lot of fun with those. They’re not really great comics but they’re nostalgic fun… and some of them are just so odd.
How much time do you spend reading?
Oh, at least an hour a day. Usually before bed. Split pretty evenly between prose and comics. Currently I’m still on kind of a Star Trek binge, and also the Legion from the Levitz-Giffen days.
How much time do you spend on the internet?
Way too much. A couple of hours a day, probably, though to be fair a lot of that is professional– writing, research, and so on. I mean, I’m on the internet right now, while writing this column, getting cover illustrations and so on.
Do you read stories on the internet?
Comics, hardly ever. I do keep up with Dick Tracy. Joe Staton’s been tearing it up over there for a while now.
I approve of a Dick Tracy story where there’s gunfire and mayhem.
Do you use the library?
I live in a library. Running out of books will never, ever be a problem here.
Where do you read?
Used to be on the bus and in bed… now it’s just bed. And audiobooks on the commute.
What was the title of the last entire book that you read?
In comics? The Key Collection volume two. And something so awesomely over-the-top cartoony it SHOULD be a comic, the car’s audiobook was Mack Bolan: Deep Treachery.
Do you read books more than once?
Yes, absolutely. Just revisited a bunch of old Batman favorites from Len Wein, and also the aforementioned Legion collections.
No point in having a home library if you don’t reread stuff.
Did a book disappoint you recently?
Showcase Presents The Unknown Soldier volume two wasn’t as good as volume one but it was still okay.
That’s about as recent as it gets around here the last couple of months.
What would make you read more?
More money for frivolities like comic books, coupled with not having to work for a living. Since I do have to work and we’re currently on a bit of an austerity campaign, I think the leisure reading already has as big a piece of the schedule as it’s going to get.
So there you go. Feel free to chime in yourself below in the comments, and me, I’ll see you next week.
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