Three Reading Projects at a Time? Really?!

I was looking at my longbox of unread comics yesterday and aside from a couple of random one-off issues or incomplete miniseries, I have only one big stack of physical comics left, and that’s the handful of DC’s first series of Star Trek. Now, my original thought was that I was going to wait until I collected the entire series in order to read it from beginning to end, especially since that series is much like Marvel’s Star Wars in that it has its own continuity that flows (to various degrees of awkwardness) in and out of the films of the time. Then, J. David Weter sent me the DVD of all the Star Trek comics and that eliminated my need for more back issues. So last night, I grabbed a few physical issues, loaded the “fill the gaps” books onto my Kindle, and added them to the pile.

Meanwhile, I read two more issues in volume 1 of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero trade paperback, which is the first of seven that I own (ten if you count two Special Missions trades and the Yearbooks trade), and put to bed the first of the Showcase editions of Silver Age Teen Titans. And as I looked around to see what I wanted to read next, I realized that I’m working my way through three different series at once. I may be crazy.

Or I might be a comics geek. After all, I’m not the only one to start more than one read-through or reading project at a time. Plus, comics of this nature provide are easy-paced reading at a time when the school year has started and I don’t have the mental capacity for a serious novel beyond whatever we’re discussing on Required Reading. These are all series or properties I also really enjoy. Star Trek is something I recently podcasted about and was a big part of my formative years. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is a comics series that was one of the most important for my early days of collecting. And the Titans? Well, they’re at the top of my list.

So here’s how it will break down …

Star Trek. While I own all of the comics on a DVD (at least those published up until about 2002), for the purposes of this project, I’m going to read the comics that surround the original crew movie era. So this means starting with Marvel and their adaptation of TMP and moving through both DC series (and associated specials and OGNs). I’ll probably work my way through the Gold Key comics here and there at some point and also read the TNG, DS9, VOY, and any other of the hundreds of comics on the DVD. But for now, it’s just these issues because not only does it take care of all the physical Trek comics I own, but it’s also my Trek sweet spot.

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. I started buying the IDW trades (although one of mine is an edition published by Marvel) a few years ago when I saw them in the discount trade bins at my LCS. At the time, I was satisfied with buying the volumes that reprinted the specific issues I owned–mainly issues #46-66, which covered around 1985-1987–but then filled things in before then. Since then, I have rarely, if ever, seen any of the remaining ones (there are 15 in the Marvel series and then the numbering picks up again with the IDW continuation). This may wind up being a new collecting endeavor (and one that takes a few years), but unless I see a Joe trade on the cheap racks or for cheap in a bin at a show, I’m going to hold off on buying any of them until I have read my way through the ones I have (including the Special Missions and Yearbooks). This is clearly a toy nostalgia trip that begs the question: is it as good a comic as I remember?

Teen Titans. This is the big one. Because with the exception of a couple of ancillary appearances in comics like Blue Beetle, I own, in some form, all of the Teen Titans comics from their very first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #54 to Teen Titans #100, which was the last issue pre-New 52. It’s going to be a massive reread and the decisions I am looking to make are as follows: do I upgrade my Silver Age Titans reprints to the color ones? And more importantly, is it worth holding on to anything beyond the end of the New Titans series? I haven’t read the Devin Grayson-penned series or the Geoff Johns series in a number of years. Do they hold up or should I consider taking them to my LCS and seeing what they offer for them? I’m sure this is going to take a couple of years to get through, but I’d rather take my time and have fun with it instead of making a decision I regret.

So yeah … I’ll be even labeling these with their own categories so they’re extra special. And it’ll be nice to have them to look forward to.

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