Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

Goodbye 2013: Forgive me while I indulge in some wrap-up for 2013. I’m not for sure what possessed me to do so this year, but I kept a list of all of various collected editions that I read for the year. Whether reprint collections like the Essentials or Showcase Presents, or the original graphic novels, I managed to read 50 books during 2013. It may seem like a lot, but in all fairness, I had some free time on my hands when I was out of work for three months this fall.

For the subject of this blog, I read 11 Showcase Presents volumes* and 12 Essential volumes**. Back in early August, I finished reading Essential Captain America Vol. 7. As I was placing it on my shelf with the other volumes, I did a quick count and realized that this completed book was the 100th Essential volume that I had read. That let to some heavy contemplation on my part as to what I could do with any of this knowledge, which led in turn to me launching this blog.

In addition to the Essentials and Showcases, I read a mix of older reprints as well as new original graphic novels. My two favorite reads of the past year were:

  • March Vol 1 by Representative John Lucas, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell. This should be required reading in every high school in America. I am eagerly awaiting the future volumes to read more of Lucas’ remarkable journey.
  • The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew Robinson, and Kyle Baker. A beautifully illustrated book by Robinson and Baker. Sadly, you know how the story ends before you open the book, but you still hope that the ending changes as the pages turn towards the finish.

Please seek out each of these volumes – you won’t be disappointed!

* Showcase Presents volumes read in 2013: World’s Finest 4, Flash 4, Hawkman 2, Wonder Woman 2, Justice League of America 6, Doom Patrol 2, DC Comics Presents 2, Superman Family 2, Martian Manhunter 1, Adam Strange 1, and Phantom Stranger 2.
** Essential volumes read in 2013: Spider-Man 10 and 11, Power Man & Iron Fist 2, X-Men 11, Defenders 7, Captain America 6 and 7, Dr. Strange 2, Spider-Woman 2, Marvel Team-Up 4, Avengers 7, and Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man 5.

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Hello 2014: OK, for many years I have been a loyal listener to the Collected Comics Library podcast produced by Chris Marshall. Each January, Chris announces his “Adopt a Character” for the year, in which he focuses on reading more about a particular character, or in some cases a particular run of a book, over the next year.

I have tried to do this as well. For 2013, besides trying to catch up on the growing pile of Essentials and Showcases, I reread the entire Marvel Star Wars series, via the new line of Star Wars Omnibus editions from Dark Horse Comics. Two years ago, it was an effort to read more comics and books featuring a female lead character, such as Wonder Woman, Supergirl, or Spider-Woman.

So for 2014, I am wanting to target a couple of titles for my Adopt a Character.

  • I want to re-read the Mike Grell Green Arrow series from the late 1980s and early 1990s. I followed this title on and off while it was running. It was a deluxe format book at the time, so it was only available at comic book stores, which made it a challenge to find/afford during my college years. Over the last few years, I have filled in all of the missing issues, so I can now read it straight through.
  • With the Essential line, I have accumulated a back log of titles featuring various Avenger characters. On my shelf to read, I have four Thor volumes, three Hulk volumes (including the Rampaging Hulk volumes) and two Iron Man volumes. So I would like to get those read, especially since I have never read most of the contents in those nine volumes.
  • With the Showcase line, I have accumulated a back log of two titles, Wonder Woman and Superman Family.

So, with this being January 1, set some comic reading resolutions for yourself for 2014, and feel free to share your goals with me! Happy New Year, loyal readers!

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