No, I haven't been out of town, and I haven't been sick. I've been tired. Very tired. We go live with the game in two weeks, and it has been sucking all my attention and my energy. And its going very well, but it is going to need the two weeks to get it right.
In the meantime, I've found another comic books shop. You will remember that Book World, which was local, then shifted about location about four times, finally shut down, leaving me without the stready fix of soap opera superheroics. Fortunately, I found another place to supply my needs, Spy Comics, over in Federal Way. Situated in a low mall across from an area that they have yet to develop for major mallage (just give them time), Spy is a excellent, full-service shop run by Rick and Paula. They also have a pretty nice website, which even tells you what is coming out each week (which is appreciated as well).
Now making the switch over to a new shop has given me a chance to evaluate what I'm buying, and to drop some deadwood. I pulled together a new pull list, and discovered a few things:
- I am still pretty much a Marvel Zombie - almost half the regular take is Marvel books.
- The remainder is split evenly between DC and Indies (including Wildstorm, which is distributed by DC but has not been swallowed by the Infinite Universe, but not the Ultimate Marvel Universe, which is a different flavor of Marvel).
- About 40% are ongoing series, though many of these are the "last issue" of stuff that has been overdue for a while (Seven Soldiers of Victory, anyone?)
- No Batman. No Green Lantern. Aquaman's gone as well. Wonder Woman's schedule has been so bad she isn't there at the moment. No Iron Man. Thor's still on hiatus. The only Spider-Man is Amazing, the only X-books are Peter David's X-Factor and Joss Wedon's Astonishing whenever it shows up. Only Superman is Grant Morrison's All-Star.
- Yes, I do buy for the authors.
- A lot of team books. About two thirds of them. So definitely the soap opera.
- Some nice experiments I have liked. Action Philosophers. Battler Briton. Elephantmen.
- The best time to drop your favorite books? Write after the initial arc following a major mega-event. That way you know if things are getting back to status quo (which means you can drop them) or if they are ignoring the past (which means you can drop them).
- Second best time? When the team goes off into space. Seriously. It is a good six-month vacation.
- And there are the guilty pleasures. I keep meaning to drop Black Panther and cull back Atom but they both have been delivering good stories, so I'm hanging around.
And that's about it. I've got a nice pull service at Spy, and I've even gone so far as to back-order stuff (Godland and Scott McCloud's Making Comics, which is something that I almost never do.
So at least I have some steady guilty pleasure working for me in the face of the increasing pressure. And I appreciate that.