Sometimes, I miss writing my weekly Cool Shit. But then again, sometimes I'm glad I don't. Near the end, I found myself writing about the same books over and over again. I hate to say this, but there's a saturation in the market right now. There are too many comic books. Quality is rapidly decreasing. I'm glad that comic books have finally reached the point where they're widely received as literature, but the unfortunate thing is that this saturation has led to a cheapening of the medium. It happens. Usually, it's a genre that gets fucked up by this. For now, it's the entire comics industry.
I'm reading too many comics. A shocking amount of them come from habit purchases. Books I've always gotten but have not been as good as they used to be. I took a look at my pull list, and I realized that I could save a lot of money by cutting a few titles.
This, for me, is akin to pulling teeth. I'm a completist. Once I get into buying a book, I don't like to stop. Chances are, the tide will turn against a bad storyline. But . . . I'm getting older. My collection is getting too big. I have to start cutting titles. It hurts, but it has to happen.
I think my major problem is with media tie-ins, so I'm going to cut almost all of them. Here is a list of what I'm going to be dropping from my weekly purchases starting in January.
ANGEL AND FAITH. Let's make one thing clear: when Dark Horse started publishing the next "season" of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, I didn't care. But when IDW pushed ANGEL on us, I ate it up. It was a great storyline, and when it translated over to Dark Horse in ANGEL AND FAITH, it was still good. This new "season" hasn't been all that great. I lasted nine issues. Time to kick it to the curb.
ASYLUM: I love John Carpenter, and I'm glad he's doing an original comic book, but quality has dropped. Besides, it's a HELLBLAZER rip-off. I tried it for eight issues. Time to bid it farewell.
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA: I loved the movie, of course. The book started strong. It's just getting too silly. Buh-bye.
ARMY OF DARKNESS: I should have ditched this one a long time ago. It took me a long time to realize that, well, I know this is blasphemy, but . . . the movie wasn't THAT great. It was fun, but it doesn't justify the time or money I've dedicated to this comic series which has gone up against Freddy and Jason, has saved Obama, has gotten hitched and is now in space. So long, fucker.
FUTURE'S END: I started reading this because of Brian Azzarello's involvement, and at first it was fun. Now, it's dealing in storylines I just don't give a fuck about. I stopped caring about the Batman bullshit, even. The only thing that still kinda-sorta interests me is the interaction with Superman and John Constantine. It's just not enough. Cut.
GOD IS DEAD: I used to love this book from Avatar, but it's lost itself in this odd self-butthole-sucking path that I just can't get into. It should have been a mini-series ending with Jonathan Hickman's involvement. Gotta' lose it.
HINTERKIND: Every time I start losing interest in the series, it redeems itself. I can't continue this dance. It's too much for my wallet. Besides, it's been a while since I cared about it. I won't miss it monthly.
JUDGE DREDD: This one hurts. I'm a big Dredd fan, but the American series has proven itself as a different entity from the UK version. It's obviously not canon, and I can't live with it in that fashion.
SANDMAN: OVERTURE: I've given this one a lot of thought, because I really loved the shit out of the original Gaiman series. My problem with this one is that it's 100% style over content. I'm getting nothing out of it. It's a beautiful book, but that doesn't justify my continuing interest. Sorry. And goodbye.
And then there's Dynamite's attempt at rebooting the Chaos Universe. So far, the only title I liked was CHASTITY, which I think is over now. The others? I want to continue, because I'm a completist (in case I didn't mention it before). However . . . it's shit. There were some good moments in the CHAOS main title, but it's just not enough. There's no heart in anything they do. I'm cutting all titles, even EVIL ERNIE. It's hard to say that, but it's got to happen. I can't afford for this to continue.
Here's a list of titles that are on the brink of getting cut: JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK (which has gotten too silly for my likes, even though it involves Constantine's story arcs, and I'm not ready to give up on CONSTANTINE yet), TEN GRAND (which I'm almost certain is nearly over, anyway), TRANSFORMERS VS. GI JOE (which has got to be the worst version of this team-up ever) and DARK GODS (which is a toss-up, as we speak, but it's only one issue in).
FABLES and FAIREST have both lost their appeal to me, but they'll be over in a couple of months. I've already decided that ANGRY BIRDS/TRANSFORMERS is so terrible that I cannot continue with it. I'm pretty sure that GRAVEL and SERENITY have both been quietly canceled. So what does this leave for me?
Here is the most current list of the comics I read and won't be cutting: AMERICAN VAMPIRE (which is the best vampire book on the market, comics, books and movies), CONSTANTINE (which is just barely good enough and sometimes conjures up the good ol' days of HELLBLAZER, even though he's on Earth 2 right now), CROSSED: BADLANDS (which is still fucking awesome), CROSSED +100 (even though I'm not a big fan, I'm willing to wait out Alan Moore's story), THE DARK TOWER: THE DRAWING OF THE THREE (I love what they're doing with this, even though not all of it is detailed in the books), DJANGO AND ZORRO (who the fuck would cut a book by Quentin Tarantino from their pull list?), EX-CON (which has combined horror and crime perfectly), THE FADE OUT (which promises to be the greatest crime comic book ever written), FBP (which features science adventure unlike any book ever written, even in Heinlein's time), Larry Hama's G.I. JOE (which is a continuation of the book I enjoyed as a child, so I would never give it up), G.I. JOE (which has recovered from the brief period of fuckery it lived through a few months ago), GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS (which is so batshit crazy it should never be dropped from anyone's pull list), JUPITER'S LEGACY (I would never drop a Mark Millar book, especially one that only has an issue left), THE KITCHEN (I think this book could be cool, but we're only one issue in so far), MPH (see my previous Millar answer), NIGHT BREED (which has succeeded beyond my wildest expectations), PUNKS (which is one of the most original books I've read in a while), SAGA (which is one of the greatest comic books ever written), SEX CRIMINALS (you know why I wouldn't give this one up), SUPREME BLUE ROSE (which is bending the way I think about comic books), TRANSFORMERS (both the prime title, previously known as ROBOTS IN DISGUISE, and MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE, because they are even better than the old Marvel books back in the day, and DRIFT because, well, it's on par with the other two), TREES (which has been pushing the boundaries of SF), THE TWILIGHT ZONE (which has beaten the odds and has been producing incredibly original stories), VELVET (which is the perfect spy story), WAR STORIES (I would sooner cut my own dick off before cutting a Garth Ennis title from my pull list, especially one as violent and beautiful as this one), WYTCHES (which is an incredibly complex horror story) and THE WALKING DEAD (do I even have to list my reason?).
That's still an impressive list. I don't think my comic book dealer will go out of business because of my cuts. Please note the shocking lack of superhero books on that list. Not all comics have to be about people who wear their underwear on the outside of their clothes. Thank you for your attention.