Saturday, February 4, 2012

One of These Days...

Doug: Happy Weekend, everyone! Today's Open Forum is all on our friend Richard, who gave several suggestions in our plea for creative participation which went out this past Wednesday. Here's what Richard typed (with some minor editing by me):

Richard: Somewhere on your shelf is a comic, series, Treasury or trade paperback/hardcover that you have never, in all these years, got round to reading. What is it, why have you never read it, and when will you? Series you own but never completed reading can count here.

Doug: So there you have it -- answer the man's questions! And by the way, since we always need a little art to liven things up around here, I've included an image of a famous "Richard" from the Bronze Age of Comics:


Rip Jagger said...

I've a ton of Showcase and Essentials volumes clogging up my shelves and I'll get around to them eventually I guess. But nothing really since DC and Marvel started launching those great volumes.

Except for Jim Steranko's History of Comics. I have long had both volumes but I've never read them through. I've used them for research, read a section here and there, but never the full thing.

I adore the covers, but I really need to read the books.

Rip Off

Redartz said...

Batman:Year 2; I have two of the Detective issues in which the story appeared but need the other two. Not a big priority on my hunting list, but whenever I pick them up I'll read the whole story together.

Not sure if this qualifies under today's topic, but I also have several issues of Adventure Comics from the late 70's dollar period (anthology books featuring various characters). I bought them for the Justice Society stories,which I read; most of the other strips I skipped over and may never read...appeared to be some pretty unremarkable stories.

Chuck said...

Every birthday and Christmas, when my inlaws ask what i want, I ask for Amazon gift cards. So I have all 3 Adam Strange archives, 5 Doom Patrol archives and tons of other things I can't seem to get to...

ChrisPV said...

I've had the Avengers collection DVD on my shelf for about five years now. I've read through the end of the Thomas stuff, but no further. Likewise I have a full run of WCA sitting there too, waiting for me to have read up to that point in regular Avengers.

In my defense, I was waiting to read it until I'd read the Cap and Iron Man DVDs, and finished up my run on Thor.

William Preston said...

Every comic I own, I've read.

Novels, on the other hand . . .

Inkstained Wretch said...

I already went into this during the original thread with the Essential Tomb of Dracula volume that has been sitting on by shelf mocking me for years now.

I actually picked it up the other day after writing about it. Before I could get around to glancing through it, I spilled some coffee on the side of it. Why, it is almost like the thing is cursed by some force from beyond the grave.

As to why I haven’t read it, Richard argued that color is essential to the series and I agree. The few times I did read through the first few issues in the essentials volume, I literally had a hard time following the action. It’s a problem that I have never had with any other Gene Colan art. Something about the way that it was inked and colored made all of the difference, I guess.

The other volume I have that I’ve never been able to get through is the Jon Sable, Freelance collection that a friend gave me for Christmas. I love Mike Grell’s art and the volume is in glorious color. I still never made it through the first 10 issues though. Unfortunately Grell just isn’t as strong a writer as he is an artist. The stories were slow moving and just not involving enough. Sorry. Mike.

Anonymous said...


Those Steranko volumes are my favorite history books on comics. We had to special order them in the 70's for me. Only one bookstore in town could get them, and it took forever for them to arrive (and you know how long forever is in kid's terms). I devoured them and read them over and over. And oh-my-god, those bee-yootiful covers!

The rare interviews and depth of research are skillfully woven in with Steranko's obvious love for his subject. Even the chapters on pulps and comic strips are worthwhile. You won't be disappointed.

You know, Steranko's Mediascene was a part of my bronze age experience. Any chance of a look at it in the future?

James Chatterton

Edo Bosnar said...

When I had my original collection, I was like William, in that everything I had, I read. Even now, I make it a point to eventually get around to reading all of the comic stuff I have, but I over the past few years something of a back-log has accumulated...
In that regard, a few books that have been sitting on my shelf for longer than usual, i.e., it's getting close to two years, include the Machine Man TPB (collecting 1984 mini by DeFalco, Trimpe and Windsor Smith) and the English-language versions of Druillet's Loan Sloane/Delirius and Yragael Urm. Why it is taking me so long to read these - I don't know.

Dougie said...

As I said in the original thread, I bought DC Showcase Warlord about five weeks ago and still haven't read it. Every weekend, I pick it up and never start it. I think it might just be because it's in black and white; can't think of any other reason.

Doug said...

Under the pretense of "I need this for the blog", I have made many, many purchases in recent years. I always look through my books, but finding time to get to them for a nice read is just tough. I am hoping that next school year, when both of the boys are away at college, that I will finally make time on a regular basis to read comics. Right now, even with only one son in the house, a 3-sport athlete keeps us busy several nights a week. When I finally do get to loving on my books, David_b, I may be getting the very eye-roll that you spoke of yesterday!

Here are some recent acquisitions, and I'll be honest in saying that there are many other books in my library I've not read (although in defense, many of them are Essentials or tpbs of comics I used to have and have sought to own again):

Jack Kirby Collector #58 - Stan And Jack: The Wonder Years

Marvel Masterworks - X-Men (contains the Amazing Adventures Beast issues)

Marvel Masterworks - Inhumans (contains the Amazing Adventures Inhumans issues)

Black Widow Premiere Hardcover -- contains the Amazing Adventures BW stories -- you'd think I might have a thing for that old series!

Thor Premiere Hardcovers/tpbs: Tales of Asgard, the Quest for Odin, If Asgard Should Perish, and Ragnarok (I also have Thor Essentials volumes 2-4).

Hercules Premiere Hardcover -- the two Bob Layton mini-series

Again, that's just a smattering of the stuff I've bought. I'm sure it's equivalent to the GDP of an under-developed nation! But, I just love old comics, and really enjoy the art (well, most of it) and stories. It's nostalgic, yes, but doggone it, it's just better than what's being published today.

Additionally, I'd like to toss in my two cents for the Essentials -- I like 'em. They are incredibly cost-effective in acquiring huge runs of a title, and are an easy way to pick up obscure titles. The B&W format doesn't bother me, but then I've been a fan of original comic book art for over two decades. I actually prefer the Silver Surfer Essentials, as it really shows off the effect of different inkers on John Buscema's pencils. Unlike many, I am not a Dan Adkins fan due in no small part to this book.


david_b said...

I don't have much to offer here.., like William and Edo, I pretty much read everything I collect. Some of the vintage Thor issues I picked up, loving the cover and inside art, I do have to read through again.

I never picked up any Essentials, but I'm anxiously waiting on more Masterworks HC's coming in the mail, just bought the Shield Volume 1 (1st Strange Tales stories..).

Amazon gift cards..?? I'D LOVE 'EM. I wish so often my mrs and relatives would remember my frequent desires for Amazon or B&N cards, but again.., I get sweaters.

Once I sell enough, I do want to get the Avengers DVD like ChrisPV. As mentioned the other day, those old letters pages are SO cool to read, being both colorful and many times prophetic as to the years to come.

Anthony said...

I'm the opposite of William in that I have tons of stuff unread. I do look through everything like Doug does and sometimes so extensively it's almost like I've read them.

The things calling out to me most from my bookshelf are, in no particular order, my hardcover Crisis On Infinite Earths. my tpbs of Dark Knight Returns, Kingdom Come, Marvels, Volume 1 and 2 of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Showcase Presents: The War That Time Forgot Volume 1.

For some reason I can't quite start Dark Knight. I liked Miller on Batman Year One but something about Dark Knight puts me off. The others except for League are just lack of time. League is so rich in its references that I'm waiting to pick up the unofficial companion so I don't miss even the most esoteric things.

As for unread series I'm guilty here as well. I have almost the entire run of Ultimate Spider-Man and X-Men prior to the horrible Ultimatum event and other than the first issue of Spider-Man they are all unread. I did read Ultimates volume 1 and 2 and Ultimate Fantastic Four.

Anonymous said...

Empire by Samuel R. Delany and Howard Chaykin is one that's been on my bookshelf for years. I love the artwork, but I've just never been able to make it through the first few pages. One of these days, I keep telling myself.

James Chatterton

ChrisPV said...


Good luck finding one of those DVDs. They went out of print a year or so ago. A lot of them go for literally a couple hundred bucks. Part of why I snapped it up before I was going to start reading it was because I heard about Marvel's digital subscription service. The writing was on the wall, and those suckers were gonna get real expensive real fast.

Kid A said...

Embarassingly, I have a TON of comics I keep telling myself I will get around to reading one day, but instead find myself buying more! Dr. Strange's 1st series, Iron Man, Marvel Team Up, Luke Cage, Thor, Fantastic Four, Nova Spider-Woman, all bronze age era stuff, natch. Also, I have the first two omnibuses for Tomb of Dracula and only started the first one. I get some new comics, too, so it's all I can do to keep up with those.

Karen said...

Recently I've purchased a number of bronze age books -Captain Marvel, Amazing Adventures, Frankenstein's Monster, Astonishing Tales -but I am holding off reading them til I can get some pretty solid runs. Right now there are a lot of gaps.

As for trades, I still have the third Dark Horse Conan volume to read, the Secret Society of Super-Villains (sort of regretting getting that one), Iron Fist vol 1 masterworks, and the Marvel in the 70s vol. 1, which I just started, but I am skipping around in it.

And yeah, a stack of 'real' books too!

Anonymous said...

With my apologies to any SSoSV fans...

Even with the critical facilities of a DC-crazed kid in the 70's, I could see how lame SSoV was. It started out as a weak concept, kept changing direction every issue or two, and never did amount to anything. Not even Captain Comet, Kid Flash, Star Saphire, or any Manhunters could save it. And don't get me started on the Wizard.

Here's the pathetic part: I still loyally bought every issue back then. My parents must have been proud.

James Chatterton

Edo Bosnar said...

Both William and Karen mentioned novels or 'real' books - I think we better stay away from that one here. I have stacks of books (both fiction and non-) that need reading, and I just keep accumulating more...
By the way James, I envy the fact that you own Delany/Chaykin's Empire. That, plus a few of those other projects illustrated by Chaykin at around that same time (Bester's "Stars My Destination" adapted by Preiss, the "Swords of Heaven" book by Moorcock) are kind of holy grails for me. It's so hard to find reasonably priced copies of any of those.

david_b said...


Thanks - I still see the FF DVD libraries on Amazon for good prices, the Avengers is there, but yes a bit pricey.

Ah, there's always eBay, and a few years..

Chris said...

I am pretty patient when it comes to collecting, so there are a number of comics I haven't read yet as I'm waiting to complete the run. Of the top of my head these include

Howard the Duck
Tomb of Dracula
Iron Man (50-150)
Avengers (50 -150)
Team-Up (-100)

I've got loads of issues from these runs but just need a handful to complete and then I will start reading (when I get the time).

I've also got a stack of Masterworks still to read but I am saving those for later too

My ambition is to have a complete run of all the main Marvel series that I like and read them in published order.

One of these days....maybe next year...I will be in position to start.

I always think having a pile of stuff yet to read is somehow comforting.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pic, Doug. Amazingly, that’s exactly how I look when I spring out of bed in my jammies every morning (....and yet, I sleep alone...)

OK, these don’t really count, but what I’ve been doing since I returned to comic collecting about 7 years ago is completing a series and then reading the whole thing, so I have untold hundreds of comics I haven’t read yet. A particular thorn was the Avengers, which I completed last year. I meticulously collected all of the annuals, KS, GS etc, (took 35 years, btw), and the first 300 issues flew by. After that, every issue seemed to be a cross-over of some kind that required me to get every Marvel comic published that month to move on. So I parked them for the time being.

Doug .... I reckon for what you spent on AM Adv’s TPBs you could have bought the originals...only #1 and #11 cost real money. The rest are pretty cheap, but as you say , you love the essentials format, so on you go...

Inkstained....regarding Drac, I think it’s a room divider, but I think what the pro people love about B&W Drac is exactly the same thing that the Cons hate. The actual art & inking are a unique blend of light and shade, complex detail in some places and total blank simplicity in others, and a lot of what artists call ‘ modifying structures’ ...lines in the darkness that make the eye fill in the rest of the detail. I think the colour makes it a lot more clear what is going if you like it clear, you want colour. If you like it lugubrious, you want monochrome.

Like Anthony, I have Dark Knight...which I think is the first TPB I ever bought. I just never got round to it because I don’t read DC, so I have no frame of reference for it, except maybe Daredevil.

James.... much like you, when a new comic started in the 70’s, I got very excited about being in on the ground floor and collected devotedly regardless of quality. Ms. Marvel & Nova were probably the first series I ever they happened! Surprisingly, I do very little boasting about that.

Hey Doug & Karen....I posted another couple of ideas on the You Tell Us thread. Seriously, I may actually need help now.

My name is Richard and....

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