BACK FOR THE NEW YEAR! The Read My Library Blog returns from its hiatus but Max takes a break from the older entries to write a new one reflecting on writing the Read My Library project for a year (and publishing for about half a year). Where do we go from here?
Super-Fly Comics & Games’ plucky sidekick Max Lake has embarked on a journey to read his collection of comics! Join Max each week every Friday as he takes on his Library! Titles reviewed by this blog do not necessarily reflect what the store has in stock, but you can always email the store to special order something that you’ve seen here at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call Super-Fly at (937) 767-1445 or just ask someone at the store next time you’re there for special orders. You can read past entries of the blog here. Any questions or comments for Max should be sent to email@example.com or feel free to comment in the comments section below. Check out @maxdlake to follow Max on Twitter. The things Max writes do not necessarily reflect the views of Super-Fly Comics & Games, and Super-Fly Comics & Games is not responsible for what Max says—especially anything that bugs you.
It’s been forever since I’ve written, like over two months, but with holidays being really hectic and other goings-on I’ve been busy and not really in a position to write as much. I’ve just gotten out of the habit. It seems the first half of 2012, I couldn’t stop writing blog entries, whereas the second half of the year saw me write less and less and then not keep up at all. Of course, I was working pretty actively but still…Boo hiss to not writing!
However, I haven’t stopped reading, and I really have a lot to write about. Moreover, all of the Guidelines I set up for myself are now out the window. I plan to read a lot more Marvel and more independent comics too—not just limit myself to DC as I have been for the most part. Part of this came about as my wife Maureen decided to get into Marvel more and started reading some X-Men Omnibi (specifically the X-Men: Age of Apocalypse Omnibus and the Grant Morrison New X-Men Omnibus) dropped off by our good friend Travis Ray, and then she branched into some Incredible Hulk books. In turn, I started picking up some great Marvel books for the Library, finally expanding my collection of books from the ol’ House of Ideas a bit. I’m glad I did. I’ve always liked the Marvel characters, but shied away from getting their books as I thought it’d be too expensive to collect books from both of the big companies and really have had a bad taste in my mouth with Marvel since Civil War. Of course, that’s a stupid attitude to have, especially when there are so many classic and modern Marvel tales worthy of attention—some easily more so than some of the DC graphic novels I’ve bought.
I also don’t plan to read characters in order anymore. Going through all the Aquaman stuff nearly killed this blog I think (at least on the writing side), and I still have about half of the total amount of entries on him to publish! It was ambitious to read through the “A’s” of DC characters but ultimately, I just ended up getting stuck. I wish I could say I had a new system of deciding what to read, but I don’t, so I’ll have to improvise and work on keeping up with books. There are several things I want to get to read, so I’ll have no shortage of stuff to go through; the real challenge will be deciding what to read next. It shouldn’t be too bad to figure out though!
Finally, I’m no longer limiting the Blog coverage to just collected editions or graphic novels so I’m sure I’ll be hitting the long boxes at some point for some entries. So while I had fun trying to follow those Guidelines, consider them kaput.
I also may start mixing in more modern entries with the ones from the past. I’m not 100% confident I’ll be able to churn out new material as quickly as I can put up the old stuff, but I’m hoping to try to, so there’s a mix of then and now stuff, till I can finally catch up. We’ll see how this goes in the coming weeks but this “new” entry is an indication I want to post more recent stuff occasionally.
Overall, my holidays were wonderful and I spent a lot of time with friends and family. I also scored some new comic books, including Mark Waid’s first Daredevil collection from Marvel, the first volume of All-Star Western from DC and Mega City Masters, a Judge Dredd compilation featuring several famous British artists from 2000 AD. I also received a couple Steve Ditko books from family, including Marvel Masterworks Doctor Strange Vol. 1 from Marvel and The Steve Ditko Omnibus Vol. 1 from DC. Seeing as I started this blog covering Ditko, I’m sure you all know I’m a big fan of that mysterious artist who made such an impact on the Silver Age of comics.
I gave some comics as gifts as well, including The Incredible Hulk Omnibus Vol. 1 and Judge Dredd vs. Batman scoring both from Super-Fly and giving both to Maureen. Maureen really likes the Hulk after seeing him in the Avengers movie and we’ve both gotten in to Judge Dredd pretty heaving since seeing the movie Dredd together (look for an entry on it soon!) and Mo was really interested in seeing his encounters with Batman.
I also got my Dad Pogo Vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash from Fantagraphics (I had given him the first Pogo volume for his birthday months ago), which collects the seminal classic comic strip Pogo by Walt Kelly—which was a noted influence on Jeff Smith’s Bone saga. A real testament to Kelly’s art is that my two year old nephew Henry was interested and intrigued by the pictures of all the cute critters of the swamp in Pogo. Talk about timeless art!
After Christmas, I scored a late gift of the Squadron Supreme Omnibus collecting the original 12 issue Squadron Supreme mini-series that came out in the 80s and its sequel, Squadron Supreme Death of a Universe. I bought a collection of the 12 issue mini-series (all 12 issues in one poly bag sold for a bundled price) at Dark Star Books (whose weekly comic business Super-Fly eventually bought) when I was in 6th grade I believe and I loved it. Not only because the characters were takes on DC’s Justice League, but because they did something the Justice League never dreamed to do: they tried to create a Utopia where there would be no crime, no war, no disease and not even any death.
To accomplish these goals however, the Squadron must take extreme measures, such as confiscating all guns to end war (think how crazy that would be, especially with all the stink about new gun regulations in the real world right now). Even worse (though the Squadron thinks it’s a good idea), the Squadron use a “Behavior Modification Machine” to reform crooks into good guys by altering their minds. It starts to get questionable, and when the “Batman” of the group, Nighthawk, disagrees and quits the team to stop them, it escalates into an all-out war! It’s an amazing book and a surprisingly grown-up look at super heroes that astonishingly predates Watchmen by just a touch I think. Still, I haven’t read the whole thing in years, so I really need to go through it again. But now I can! All my original issues have been lost or severely damaged, but now with this Omnibus, I’m set!
I also scored a couple belated Xmas gifts of some action figures, both from Mattel. I got Uncle Sam with miniature Doll Man figures, along with a Copperhead figure (who I had to have after reading Secret Society of Super Villains!) and have re-arranged my villains shelves a fair amount to maximize the number of figures displayed and placing them in appropriate groupings. Uncle Sam and Doll Man I put up side by side on my mini-bookshelf where I keep my manga and some novels and display a bunch of random super hero action figures. They fit in well.
I also redecorated the Library a bit. Maybe I’ll post pictures soon.
I just finished Mark Waid’s first Daredevil TPB, which was amazing, and I’ll try to have it reviewed soon. I’ve also been making my way through The Incredible Hulk Omnibus Vol. 1 while Maureen does homework, and that is very interesting and also something I hope to have written about soon.
As for the blog overall, I’ll try to keep updated at least once a week, mix up what gets reviewed and try to make it interesting. I appreciate all of you who are out there reading! I hope your holidays were happy and I look forward to Reading My Library all throughout 2013!!!
NOTES FROM NOW (3/7/13): Sorry for the lack of updates folks. Between the holidays, internet problems at Super-Fly and a flu outbreak at my house there’s always been something stopping updates of late. I hope things will be coming out more frequently now, even if I can’t always get something up every week (but I’ll do my best!). There is certainly a lot of material to format and post fortunately, both older entries and more recent ones, and if I can pull it off there should definitely be a mix of both until I can get current. I’ve been reading a lot and writing more so it should be an interesting mix. It’s definitely great to no longer worry about or be bound by the Guidelines (though I never really intended to follow them too strictly anyway!).
I’m looking forward to a couple upcoming comic conventions this month and next, including Dayton, Ohio’s own con, the Gem City Comic Con coming up March 23rd and 24th and C2E2 (which I will be attending for the first time this year) held April 26th through the 28th. I’ll have coverage of both cons in some capacity either in the blog or elsewhere on superflycomics.com and by the by, if you didn’t see this post, you can purchase your C2E2 tickets from Super-Fly’s Facebook page here! Exciting stuff! I should also have some coverage of some cons that happened late last year as some of the older posts go up.
So stay tuned! The Read My Library Blog is back for 2013 and we’ve got all kinds of fun in store!