Read My Library Introduction & Guidelines

Introducing a new blog at the Super-Fly Comics & Games website, “Read My Library” by Super-Fly sidekick Max Lake. Since January, Max has been making an attempt to read large chunks of his Library and report all about it! Now he’s finally ready to take it online. Catch the introduction here and the loose guidelines Max hopes to follow! It all starts here!

Introduction to this Blog

Hello. My name is Max Lake, and I am a comic book addict. That may sound like I’m introducing myself at a twelve step program, but maybe it should. I have been collecting comics since I was a young boy. Now after a lifetime of fandom and a handful of years doing hardcore collecting, I have acquired many toys, graphic novels, manga and individual poly bagged, boarded and boxed individual comic books. Almost all of these now reside in a room in my house affectionately known as “the Library.” Somehow getting caught up in the collecting, I’ve gotten far behind in the reading. My Library has become more of a trophy room than an actual library.

I once treasured every individual new addition to my small collection of graphic novels to the point that I would re-read my series of DC’s JLA (Justice League of America) and/or JSA (Justice Society of America) trade paperbacks from the beginning each time I got a new entry in the respective series. Now I have quite a few books to where I have been collecting to collect them more than I have to read them.

And that’s just wrong.

The Library!

Max's Library in all its glory!

I’m now in financially leaner times and have much less space to devote to my Library. Consequently, I have slowed my roll in acquisitions quite tremendously. Moreover, shouldn’t I be reading all of these comics before indulging in more? So for one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2012, I have decided to read just about my entire collection of DC Comics graphic novels, hardcover and trade paperback collections. This is quite a daunting task. But not only will I read all of these books, I will blog about it weekly right here on the Super-Fly Comics & Games website.

The idea came from a determination to read it all, and an attempt was made some time ago. I got stymied early on and then made the project a New Year’s resolution. I was talking to Super-Fly Comics owner Tony Barry, who recommended I blog about it and has been nice enough to allow me to do so here on! I’ve been hard at work at it for seven months, and been learning about how to do a blog simultaneously as I’ve written this. As it starts at New Year’s Day 2012, this is more about me reading and less about current events. It’s taken me awhile to get to know WordPress and get this blog into a good order.

While it will be challenging, I think my plan is an undertaking in high adventure. I have material from the Golden Age of comics to stuff that is quite recent and I plan to read as much of it as possible. I have comics featuring characters that would build the foundation of DC to characters created under other companies to be acquired or utilized by DC later. I’ll be reading great comics, terrible comics and everything in between. This project is unwieldy, and as such I have NO RULES in accomplishing this. However, these are some of the guidelines I plan to be ideally following:

Tentative Guidelines (written just prior to 1/1/2012, updated 7/7/2012 and updated again 4/17/2014)

  • I can do whatever I want how I want when I want in regards to this blog. So while there are guidelines there are NO RULES!
  • While I have and love many Marvel and independent comics in my collection, I am focusing on my DC books, as I have the most of them by far and DC characters are overwhelmingly my favorite. I also think it’s wiser to concentrate on one universe at time. That said I plan to read other comics here and there that are not part of my scheduled reading regimen that I will probably report on. These “Bonus Books” could be anything. I may also sprinkle my reading regimen with other stuff just to keep it interesting.
  • I am concentrating on reading graphic novels and trade paperback (TPB) and hardcover (HC) collections of titles and not many individual issues. The point is to get through as many books on my shelves as possible. Reading the individual issues in the long boxes is a project for another time. That said I plan to buy and read weekly comics whenever I can afford them, and will likely mention these as “Bonus Books” when I can. It isn’t an impossibility that back issues may work their way into the project, as reference if nothing else. I may also dig out back issues for other reasons, but it’s unlikely they will play a major part in this project.
  • Books will be read in (mostly) alphabetical order. There are some chronological exceptions, such as Red Robin coming after Robin comics, or Batgirl comics coming after Batman comics—simply because reading about the earliest adventures of Batgirl before reading about the earliest adventures of Batman seems a little out of order although it is the correct thing to do alphabetically.
  • Books will be read in (mostly) chronological order. Older comics will be read first. Some exceptions to this are more recent stories that are set in earlier days of a character’s career will be read before earlier stories set later in a character’s career. Superman and Batman are likely the main characters this will apply to, as their pasts are constantly re-examined and retold.
  • With a couple of exceptions, books featuring individual characters will be read first. Team books will be read next, then event books, then Elseworlds collections, with perhaps select Vertigo and miscellaneous DC related books to follow.
  • I will read as many books as much as I can. After reading each book or reading chunks or individual chapters of bigger books, I will do a brief write up of each book with thoughts. At the end of the week, I will post my write ups into an article and post it on the site. At this point I will let the format of these write ups be determined upon their creation. The format is likely to change and evolve over time. I hope to have new updates at least once a week, though with the backlog of material, I will update three times a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the time being and will try to continue that schedule for as long as I can. Luckily, this project has been underway for a while so I have plenty of material to draw from.
  • The blog covers stuff I have written about over the past several months, so some entries will cover one day, other entries will cover many days, depending on the length of the posts. Super long entries will probably be broken up into multiple parts.
  • The blog is primarily about reading my Library and my reactions and thoughts about the books and their characters. However, sometimes comic related subjects will come up for discussion.
  • Since most of the blog entries have been written some time ago and are only being posted now, I will occasionally include a “NOTES FROM NOW” section with some updated thoughts about the entry.
  • Again, any and all of these guidelines can and will be broken!

UPDATE 4/17/14: Yes, all of these guidelines *have* been broken, with me breaking away from DC exclusively, with entries on Marvel Comics, Archie Comics, Image Comics, Mirage Studios/IDW Publishing, and Fantagraphics to name a few. Individual issues have been covered and the reading order has been abandoned completely. It was a lofty ideal, but overall, no fun to stick to. As the RMLB runs now, anything goes!

So enough jibber jabbering! Let’s get to the first installment of Read My Library!