The Middle Ground #34: Tis The Season

There are too many comics to read out there.

I realized this while making my top 10 comics of the year list for the main site (Spoiler! The Rise of Arsenal will not appear on that list. I'm sorry, David Wolkin), as I firstly tried - and, most likely, failed - to remember everything good that I'd read from the past twelve months, and then gazed long and hard at a list someone else had prepared of the major releases of 2010. Both times, it kept coming back to me, over and over: there is so much that I still haven't managed to get to, yet.

(This gives me an excuse to say something about that top 10 list that I've been meaning to for awhile, which is, there are at least two omissions to me that seem glaring and obvious - You'll probably be able to guess when you see the list - and the reason isn't that I didn't like said books, but that I still haven't managed to read them. It frustrated me, putting the list together and knowing that they were still lying there, unread, but free time and deadlines aren't always the best of friends, you know. So, sorry to the creators of said books, and yes, I will be telling creators of books I didn't enjoy that they're one of these two to spare awkward situations in future.)

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about this. In fact, just the opposite; I love that there is not only so much out there, but so much good stuff. For all the doom and gloom about the industry that we see on a regular basis - and not necessarily without reason, it has to be said - I think it's all too easy to forget that the comic medium is remarkably healthy right now, if you factor in all of the publishers and formats, from Direct Market kings like Marvel and DC to webcomic geniuses like Kate Beaton or Meredith Gran (Naysayers, please note I said "medium." There's still plenty things wrong with the business side of things). Maybe it's the season of goodwill getting to me, but there's something heartening about the wealth of material that is out there to read these days. Yes, some of it may be more difficult to find than I'd like, but just looking down the ten projects that I ended up choosing for my list and seeing such a mix of genres (autobio, science fiction, superhero, magical realism, whatever you'd call Scott Pilgrim, crime and social commentary) from multiple publishers (six, and a webcomic, which counts as a seventh, right?) just makes my normally Grinchy heart swell with something approaching comics joy.

This is probably the part where I should make the Christmas references mean something - Suggest that you give the gift of reading to your loved ones, perhaps, or maybe offer up a list of books you should buy as presents - but I've got a better idea. Instead of any of that, why not just go and get yourself something new to read? But make it something that you wouldn't normally pick up, something that's outside your normal interests but looks enticing nonetheless. Get yourself a present. If nothing else, you can rest assured that there's no way that you've read everything good that's out there, right?

Oh, and have yourself a happy Saturday, whether or not you're into the whole Christmas thing, too.

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