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A Year in Comics

(A post from the archives)

My current comic book renaissance began in March of 2011. It's midterm week again, and I remember reading Essential Punisher 1 while giving out midterms last year. Since then, I've read a lot of comic books. Aliens Omnibus 1, 2 Aliens vs. Predator Omnibus 1,2 Selections from DC's The New 52 (highly recommended) Essential Avengers 1, 4 (I worked backwards) Essential Dr. Strange 1, 2, 3 (my favorite of the lot) Essential Fantastic Four 3, 4 Essential Ghost Rider 1 Essential Hulk 1, 2, 3 Essential Man-Thing 1 Essential Marvel Horror 1 Essential Punisher 1 Essential Tales of the Zombie 1 Essential Thor 1 Essential Tomb of Dracula 1 The Life Story of the Flash The Savage Sword of Conan 1 Spawn 1 The Trial of the Flash That's roughly 11,000 pages of comics! I've bought two or three times this many books over the last year, so I still have a lot of reading to do. I learned that comics from the 60's are just plain dumb. They have great ideas and some great art, but the dialogue and plots are so absurd and dated that they are painful to read. I've waded through a lot just in the quest to say I read the originals, but even my nostalgia and suspension of belief are nearing their ends. Modern comics can be over-sexed and have too much violence, true. But, overall, comic books are a great medium to tell a story. It's like watching a movie frame by frame where you can pause the action and really study it. Characters are complicated (for those who have been around for 50-60 years, not hard to believe), plots are well-conceived, and they're overall fun to read. I haven't just been reading comics, though. I've also read a few notable books from the shelf: Guns, Germs and Steel The World Without Us The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay The Backyard Astronomer's Guide Night Photography: Finding your way in the dark And a few others I probably forgot. I also started and stopped a few other non-fiction books for research purposes. I felt like I had read a lot over a year, but now that I've listed everything, it doesn't seem like much. I need to either read faster or just spend more time reading.

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