Reading Habits….

Have they changed so much?

Below is a post from the Neverironanything Blog from last year where I listed all the comics I read through January 2020. I’ll be doing it again this month so thought I’d repost the original list here for later comparisons.

After a challenge from by podcasting brother Dan Butcher I decided to make a note of every comic I read in January. It shows some decent trends and changes in my reading habits that I thought would be worth exploring.

(D = Digital reading. A mix of Comixology, review copies and Comichaus).

This list is shorter than usual due to me not being near the central London comics shops that I normally would be a couple of times a week over a normal working month (Christmas/New Year and all that jazz). I also wrote a few issues of new series over the period and have been involved in the editing and selling process for others (no excuses).

It’s also worthy of note that I tend to impulse buy many comics and read them without adding them to my LCS pull list. But with the decline of new comics at Orbital this is becoming more and more difficult. Only if I have the time I can head over to Forbidden Planet or Gosh and pick up other books. Sad times for a great shop.

Marvel remains the company that I still read the most. It is also the company that I remain mostly in the physical reading realm. Around one eighth of the Marvel Comics that I read tend to be from ComiXology. And this seems to be purely for convenience as they were all comics that I already owned. Double dipping if you will. It is worthy of note that around three quarters of the Marvel comics that I read in January were older than four years and many were more than twenty years old. 

I think that it’s fair to say that I have fallen out of love with many of the comics that Marvel have been putting out in recent years and whilst I am buying many of them they are sitting there unread. The older issues that I’m rereading are more often than not single back issues pulled from long boxes and reread or on the odd occasion bought cheaply at comics marts/conventions/back issue boxes at shops. It’s important to note that currently I’m seeing more and more instagram accounts and blogs dedicated to back issues that it really does make you wonder who are the readers for the newly released floppies.

Marvel. Wolverine 2-8 (Epic Trade). D – Incoming 1, Fantastic Four 192, Contagion 4 – 5, Captain America and The Invaders 1. Invaders 10. Squadron Sinister 1-4. Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man – 47. Power Man and Iron Fist – 57. Astonishing Tales 16, 18. Ka-Zar 18 X-Men (2019) 4. Daredevil (2018) 16. Punisher Soviet 3. Thor 2020 1. Hawkeye 2020 1. X-Force 5. Conan: Serpent War 2. Defenders (1972) 5. Thor 280, 167. New Mutants (2019) 5. Hulk 173. Machine Man 18. Return of the Cosmic Ghost Rider 1-2. Iron Man 2020 1. Savage Avengers 9. Marvel Spotlight 5. Amazing Spider-Man 183. Marvel Team-Up 77,78. Marvel Feature 6. Captain Marvel 39. The Thing 19. What The?! 6. Marauders 6. Atlantis Attacks 1. Ghost Rider 4. Epic Illustrated 1.

DC Comics and my reading habits follow pretty much the same lines as Marvel but on an albeit smaller scale. I had a bit of a Ditko phase over the New Year period and read some of his earlier works. I had also previously subscribed to Mad Magazine due to a pal working on the newer issues so that accounts on why these are part of my ‘Digital Read Pile.’ It is also worth noting that the habit of reading older DC Comics far outweighs the newer issues I’m reading.

DC Comics. Inferior 5 – 2. Detective Comics 1018. New Teen Titans Annual 2. Hawkman 20. Batman 86-87 Swamp Thing 2. Mad Magazine 5 – 6. Showcase 75. Hawk and Dove (1988) 1. (D) Shade the Changing Man 1-6. (D) Stalker 1-2. Batman Universe 2. Freedom Fighters 12. Legion of Superheroes 3. Checkmate Vol 2 1 – 5. House of Mystery 308, 310. House of Mystery (Vol 2) 8, 10. Legion of Superheroes – The Great Darkness Saga H/B

Europe Comics is that new love, that new taste that I have become more than slightly obsessed with at the moment. Whilst there are only seven titles on the list they are all albums and are at least around the fifty pages each size. These are all obviously read digitally and I feel that if they were available physically I would be reading more.
Asgard Vol 1. The Colony. Undertaker 5. Lightness. The Great Outdoors. Guinea Pigs 1. The Hardy Agency 1.

Dark Horse and Image would normally over past years have been much higher and the lack of reading their titles doesn’t reflect my actual buying habits. It’s just that the floppies and trades that I buy tend to sit unread until I’m in the mood to read a certain subject/character/team etc. I have a pile of BPRD etc that needs reading for example. The IDW reads are all digital.
In the past I have ready many more Dynamite and Valiant comics. I genuinely feel that the fall off in quality at both companies had affected this trend. Valiant seem to have dumped many of the characters I normally enjoy reading. I would easily read five or more titles a month from that company (and many more back issues from the classic line) but my enthusiasm has taken a nose dive for books that seem pretty darn dull.
Dark Horse. Grendel: Devil’s Odyssey – 3. Vampirella 100. Lobster Johnson trade.
IDW. Ragnorak – Trade 1. Island of Dr Moreau 1-2. Dire Wraiths 1.

Drawn and Quarterly. House – (GN)
Image Comics. Savage Dragon. 247. Tarot 1. Trees 6. Mage (new run) 10-15.
Humanoids. The Twilight Man Graphic Novel DCarthago 5
Dynamite. Barbarella Trade 1. D
Valiant. The Visitor 1. Robot Fighter 23-25.
Boom. Ronin Island 9 D
Top Shelf. British Ice GN.
Indie. Mars Space Barbarian. 1. The King (D). Ascension 1 (D). 2000 AD Christmas Special 2019. Skin (trade). Strange Days 1. (D) Paradax 1. (D)Best of Milligan and McCarthy Collection. (D) Dream Gang Trade 1 (D). The Hero Comics 29. Resurrection Perverts. Saffron 1. Durango 1 (D). The Complete Tales From The Con (D). Secret Agent X-9 4. Crusade Vol 1. My Little Green Bike. DGGA (D). The Freak Kelly Crimson (D). Walk in Like An Exorcist. 2000 AD 2156. Gods and Gear 1-2.

I honestly feel like this is quite a short list and I’m sure I’m missing many that I started reading and didn’t finish. It also doesn’t really include many of the books I dipped into on Comichaus for example or the books sat in the study that I just leafed through and forgot to note down.

I may well take on the same exercise next January to see how my reading habits and the comics marketplace have changed.

Many thanks for reading.

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