I’ve come to a painful decision.
It’s time for me to give up my comics.
Oddly enough, this isn’t something I’ve been mulling over for a while—it only just hit me earlier today as I stood towel-drying my hair in front of the bathroom mirror. Epiphanies make themselves known at strange times, I guess.
I’ve been waging this war against my backlog for—it hurts to even say it—a few years now. Years. And try as I might, making any headway in the stack has just been impossible. I finally realize that this weight has done nothing but sour me on the sheer joy that was once my comics reading. I have to admit it when I’m beat.
And I am so very beat.
Unshakeable persistence, coupled with my fangirl desire to be up-to-date on what I once perceived to be “continuity,” has flown out the window. Here I stand, waving the white flag. Continuity doesn’t matter anymore, nor will it even really exist soon enough. And I think that’s why this is the perfect time to let go of the backlog and start anew. With both DC and Marvel making huge changes to their lineups, who cares about continuity anymore? The publishers, for the most part, don’t. It doesn’t make sense to worry about whether or not I read every issue of Uncanny X-Men anymore, because story arcs from three years ago have little to no bearing on anything happening now. There are still issues of Fear Itself tie-ins lying in my To-Be-Read pile, for goodness’ sake! It’s embarrassing, but there it is.
I understand now that the majority of issues that make up the exorbitant pile of comics taunting me every week have become irrelevant to me. All they’ve ever really done is cause me stress, turning comics into a mundane task I have to “finish,” and delay me in getting to the books I actually do enjoy. I didn’t want to admit that for so long, because these are things I did, at one point, want to read—things I spent money on. Lots of it. I wanted to feel like I was getting that money’s worth in reading a good story. (Granted, one could argue that I’d never have gotten my money’s worth out of Fear Itself, read or not read, but that’s beside the point….)
Yet I no longer recall the feeling of looking forward to picking up my sub. It’s gotten so unruly, so out of control no matter how many times I pick through it or how many titles I cull, that going to the shop—an event I used to look forward to every week—is now a giant chore. It’s a burden. It’s suffocating.
I’m done with that. I’m starting over.
I won’t get rid of everything. The few things I still actively love and feel excitement toward—titles like Thor and Saga—I’ll keep collecting. The difference is that now they won’t just be collected—they’ll also be frequently read! But those 20-odd issues of New 52 Batwoman that have been sitting in a pile on my bookshelf since the title began? Yeah, I think it’s safe to say I’ll be ridding myself of those. As much as I wanted to get into that book and love it, I just never did, and I was too stubborn to quit while I was ahead. That’s not happening from here on out. Ebay listings, here we come.
When Sunday rolls around, Husband and I will do our usual thing: we’ll get up, grab food, watch the first Formula 1 race of the season with friends (Sunday morning F1 is the best), and then we’ll head to the comic book store.
I will purchase the books I enjoy.