As always, let’s start with the numbers …
Physical Comics Read: 43 (188/231)
Digital Comics Read: 0 (471/471)
Trades/Graphic Novels Read: 2 (9/11)
Books Read: 4 (119/123)
Movies Watched: 4 (190/194)
TV Series Watched: 0 (58/58)
TV Seasons Watched: 1 (104/105)
Podcast episodes remaining: 222
I’d say this year started off very well. Many or most of the comics that I read were of the Science Fiction genre, and since it was #SciFiComicsMonth, I had a reason to read them. Well, not like I wouldn’t have read them in the first place, but it’s nice to have an official reason. I also offloaded just about all of them, either setting them aside for #ComicBookCircleofLife or a donation or actually straight up throwing them away. I know that makes so many cringe and can actually be triggering to anyone whose mom threw out a now-priceless comic book collection years ago, but when the books you are reading are in fairly bad condition and at best worth a quarter AND you’re trying to reduce the amount of stuff in the house, then putting those comics into a recycling bin isn’t such a bad idea. The one point of pride for this month is that I did not buy any back issues and instead stuck to only new books; in fact, two miniseries that I had been reading (and am ’86-ing because they weren’t as good as I thought they were going to be) just ended, so my monthly take is down a little bit.
I still need to take better advantage of the digital comics that I have access to. I think that will bear out when I dive back into the Claremont-era X-Men again. I have a Marvel Unlimited subscription plus a TON of X-Factor comics to read, so I’ll be going back and forth between digital and physical books when I do that. I’m also going to start reading more recent DC stuff here and there, but on a “six months behind” schedule via DC Infinite, and I am resuming my read-through of the Titans books because I need to come to a decision of whether or not I am going to hold onto anything that was published after The New Titans bowed in 1996. Which, by the way, is nearly twenty years of books and much of which is available digitally. I have a couple of holes that need to be filled–mainly Justice League of America issues that are from just about when Flashpoint was going on because the JLA at that point was more or less the Titans–but unless I find them in bins, I might just read them digitally.
Anyway, as far as trades and books go, I finished No Man’s Land, the Batman crossover and will be talking about that a little bit when I finally get around to writing and recording the next episode of Pop Culture Affidavit. What remains on that pile are the five Deathstroke The Terminator trades that collect the first 2/3 of his 1990s series (basically up until right before Zero Hour when it was “relaunched” as Deathstroke the Hunted then Deathstroke and became a mess), the first two volumes of Noble Causes (a series I heard about for years and was interested in so when I saw the trades on deep discount picked up a couple as “tryouts”), and two graphic novels by Thom Zhaler that I’ll be reading for #RomanceComicsMonth.
As far as the television and movies go, I can see that those are pretty steady. I got through a couple of movies this month–mainly documentaries and short films that I really didn’t feel like reviewing on the blog–and one season of a show, although I can’t remember which. Honestly, there was a show that was on my list that I immediately crossed off because I couldn’t finish the first episode. And when that’s on streaming and all it takes is hitting the “Remove From List” button? Well, that’s nice. I did add another show to the list, mainly because I couldn’t sleep last night and wound up starting a long-awaited rewatch of How I Met Your Mother (and am kind of interested in How I Met Your Father on Hulu, tbh). It’s been a long time since I watched an episode of a sitcom every night. I did it for years, from when I was a little kid and Diff’rnt Strokes and The Facts of Life were on after cartoons up until right around the time my kid was born and my wife and I were watching Friends, Seinfeld, and The Simpsons reruns. Granted, there are more reasons beyond having to watch effing Caillou every night (mainly the way syndicated sitcoms were pulled in favor of judge shows or local news), but I do miss that, so maybe I’ll replicate that. And maybe I’ll do a podcast episode about that. Who knows.
Anyway, moving on to podcasts, the ten-episode or so drop in episodes from last month has as much to do with my listening to a bunch of them as it does deleting a bunch I won’t listen to or unsubscribing to some as well. In the latter case, Dani Shapiro’s “Family Secrets” was a show I was fascinated by when it first premiered. The idea was that she was going to have someone on to talk about some deep dark secret that they discovered. And while the show is still interesting, it’s kind of become this platform for memoirists to come on and promote their books. So the people she’s interviewing are all writers and that … well, they’ve obviously got something interesting to say, but with a show like that, I’m more interested in the average/normal/ordinary person without a book to promote, you know? In the case of simply deleting episodes, there are a few shows where I am selective with the topics, so I can “shop” the feed and decide that I’m going to skip an episode that I am not interested in. At some point this month, I promise to do a podcast review or two.
Finally this month, I’ve got an added tracking device on my collection. I’m still doing the hand-written post-it note in my daily planner where I tally what I wrote in addition to the counter I have on my phone. But I also threw together a huge spreadsheet in Excel where I’ve listed the titles of everything (except podcasts because my podcast app does that for me) and I’m adding and deleting as I go.
Is 2023 off to a better start than how 2022 ended? There have been a few moments of personal toughness in places, but it’s definitely a little bit brighter.