Books I Wasn’t Ready For

In my mid-twenties, without really meaning to, I found myself hips-deep in a long-term relationship. I had been out of the game for many years, and unfortunately in my eagerness to get back on the horse (so to speak) I’m afraid I sort of rushed into intimacy a bit too quickly. It made things more awkward than they had to be, and that’s how my pull list ended up full of books I had never heard of in my life.

The relationship between a reader and a comic book store can be tricky under the best of circumstances. It’s hard to find a shop that really gets you, you know? Often, things can get downright abusive: the first shop I went to after returning to comics a decade ago was one staffed by clerks in the Kevin Smith mold so disdainful that they openly ridiculed people for buying the wrong books. I often left a comic I wanted on the shelf rather than dealing with the exchange I’d have had with Porkpie Hat Guy behind the counter.

Luckily, I live in a town where I’ve never been more than a five-minute drive from at least two comic book stores, so I was soon off to greener, nerdier pastures and quickly found the shop that became my Cheers. In an age where every business is a global franchise staffed with disaffected kids, the comic shop is one of the few places left in America where you can form a personal connection. Everybody’s there because they love what they sell. They have to; there’s not enough money in it to be there for any other reason.

My new store was run almost entirely by two guys, both of them excellent company. After a week or two, I got friendly with the manager, Dave, and a few weeks after that he talked me into making the first pull list I ever had. That was a revelation. This shop would hold books for me—books I hadn’t even paid for—just to make sure I got them before they sold out. They had no way of knowing if I was ever even coming back through the door. This was trust. We really had something.

That was when things started going too far, too fast. In addition to the books I requested, one day Dave started holding books for me that he thought I should have requested. Dave said, “I’ve got a pretty good handle on Jim’s likes and dislikes. He’s exhibited signs of some taste. It’s time to broaden his horizons a little bit.”

Dave was giving me way too much credit.

When was the first time? Was it Ed Brubaker’s run on The Authority? (Ed Brubaker had a run on The Authority. Do people besides me remember that? What am I saying; comic book people remember everything. Forget I asked.) One day, Dave handed me my stack, and here was this book I’d never heard of by a guy I’d never heard of but whom Dave promised me was a genius. I stuck with it for more or less the entire run (because he kept putting it in my pile) but every month I thought, “No. No to this. Uh-uh.”

When the second volume of Sleeper started, #1 was right there on top of the pile. I had no idea what I was looking at. After years of mainlining mainstream Marvel mutants, suddenly I’m turning the page and some lady is boning a werewolf in front of her boyfriend or something. I checked my bag for a decoder ring.

Speaking of which, one time Dave held a copy of Planetary #20something for me. It may have been the second- or third-to-last issue of the series. I know iFanboy as an entity rolls its eyes at that question about “good jumping-on points” and the official company line is “Just grab an issue, and you’ll figure it out,” but I would strongly lobby to add an asterisk after that advice that adds, “Maybe watch out for Planetary, though. Go ahead and start with that first trade.”

All of this sounds like the prelude to an awkward break-up, I’m sure, but in fact I’ve never stopped shopping at that store, or its sister stores at any rate. For one thing, I got a lot more comfortable piping up with, “I am too stupid to make anything of this,” especially when cover prices shot up to the egregious, ridiculous sum of $2.50. More to the point, though, I look back on those days and realize that I just wasn’t ready yet for the New Era of Comics. I wasn’t ready for Jenny Sparks and werewolf boning; I’d barely come back to comics, and last time I’d read one the X-Men were living in Australia with Jubilee. I went back and got the Sleeper trades this year and loved them. Ed Brubaker was a genius. Dave knew what he was doing; I just didn’t know what Dave was doing yet. He did me a huge favor.

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Does anyone else have books like this?

It makes me wonder what else I deprived myself of just because I wasn’t ready, what other classics I didn’t want to get. For example—hold onto your porkpie hats—I can scarcely remember a book in my adult life that I’ve hated more than I hated Alan Moore’s From Hell in 2001 or 2002. I started getting angry at it like it was a person. “Why are you doing this to me? I paid for you. I brought you on this plane just to be alone with you, and you do this?” Just… page after page of never-ending scratchy bloviating and pontification lettered by an angry hen… ugh. I’m getting angry again right now. But when everyone else talks about how great it is, maybe it’s not because I am the last sane person alive. Maybe I just need to read it again with eight more years of experience with the medium.

Even with that experience, there are books I may not be ready for yet. One that leaps to mind is Daytripper, my least favorite of any book I have every single issue of. I kept a candle in the window for ten months, keeping a silent vigil for the point of that book, but it never came home. I started getting a little mad at this one too: “Let me guess: he dies again.” I get the sense that I have no soul and each issue should have left me reflecting on the beauty and mystery of life and buying a dog and hugging my kids, but all I felt was that I was reading what South Park would be like if it were just about Kenny. But by God, I’m keeping every issue in the vault until I’m old enough to get it.

 


Jim Mroczkowski should probably still be ashamed to admit a lot of these things. Take him to school via Twitter.
 

Comments

  1. My shop owner does the same thing and it’s almost amusing at this point. "Really Scott? Dark Wolverine? I don’t what about me pulling Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine made you think I would want this."

  2. I remember buying a random trade of Invisibles way the hell back when I was just starting to look for other books to get into after I’d fallen in love with comics via Preacher & Sandman.  (Sidenote: does anyone know why they used to not number trades?  It used to be so confusing to me when I looked at a shelf–which book comes first in the series?  Why don’t they want me to know on the spine?  What if the store shrink-wraps so I can’t flip to the back of the title page, and why should I have to do that much work anyway?  But I digress….)

    I tried reading The Invisibles…boy did I not get it.  I probably ought to give it another go, as it has been something scary like 15 years.

  3. I’m still not ready for the Invisibles.

    Also, there is an asterisk on that rule about starting series.  It doesn’t *always* work. Especially in a finite series with a single storyline.

  4. I kind of wish my shop would do that for me more (not to take anything away from them, I love my shop), but I think I probably give off an aura of knowing what I’m looking for.  (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) 

    I don’t know about trying to read things I wasn’t ready for, but there are definitely series that have a set beginning point that I’ve picked up randomly halfway through and been unimpressed with, then gone back to the beginning and thought, "Oh, THAT’S what that was about."  I don’t know if I’ve been reading comics long enough for my tastes to change dramatically, although there are things whose quality I apprecaite more on rereading because I know more about the medium (Watchmen, Gotham Central, parts of 52).

  5. Never liked JLA by Morrison.  Recently went through it about 10 issues from vol. 3-4.  Horrible.  So much crammed info into tiny panels.  So much exposition about things that never happen on page.  Good ideas maybe, bad execution.  Morrison’s style has changed much since then thankfully.  His pacing style.  Whew!

  6. I remember my LCS guy putting Deadpool #1 on his shelf two years ago saying: "God damn, this bullshit won’t be selling for much longer"……5 ongoings and a billion mini’s later; I still joke to him about it.

    But my LCS guy is very nice and always tries to recommend me things. His first big, annual sale he let me get the first trade of ‘The Boys’ and ‘Transmetropolitan’ for like 1/2 off. (They are his favorite series) Sadly I didn’t get much into The Boys, but with his (and Josh’s) recommendation on Transmetropolitan I’ve been hooked ever since. 

  7. Daytripper, From Hell and Invisibles are books I can’t get into. Overrated.

  8. Ready for the story to end all stories like this? I was in Jr. High and the wife of the owner handed me a book that Rick (ower) said I should pick up. It was a No. 1 and black and white. I told her (verbatim) "Ha! A book about turtles with swords? Nah. It’s not even in color!" and handed it back….sigh. I am mocked by the grinning terrapins every comic-con I attend…

  9. @iSpiderMan: Or just not for you.

  10. This reminds me of 10th grade English class and how much I absolutely hated Huckleberry Finn. Then I took an American Lit course at university 4 years later or whatever and it was my favourite book.

  11. I used to buy books that turned out to be crap in the long run and now worth my time and money…But then I gave up Marvel and went to DC.

  12. I agree about Daytripper: only people with souls can truly appreciate it.  Everyone else?  Eh, notsomuch.  It’s not about him dying, it’s about him living.  (Woah!  I just said something deep by saying the opposite of the thing I originally said!  That never sounds asinine and pretentious!)

    I think I’m just not ready for Deadpool.  Or anything Mark Millar writes.  Maybe when the Alzheimer’s sets in, I’ll be able to truly appreciate them.  Also, I think the word "overrated" should be retired.  If lots of people like it, no matter how little I do, then it’s rated just right for them.  Like Matt Fraction.  Sure, I give him an F, but lots of people give him an A, so clearly he deserves that rating, for them.  

    What am I saying?  This is an internet message board.  I take it all back: only stupid people like things that I don’t enjoy, and they should stop.  (As always, Jim, a great article with a balanced perspective and good use of "I statements.")

  13. I remember it took me AGES to read through Sandman.  I eventually went back and reread it.  It was amazing.  I know it sounds mainstream, but I’m not yet up for Arkham Asylum.  I want to be, but the art is just too distracting for me to embrace the writing.  I’ve also been trying to get into Queen and Country.  After 2 trades into it, I still cannot get it.  I was also a little turned off by the art.  First arc was great, then they put the main character in fishnets and I was done.

  14. We did a show about how I wasn’t ready for Kingdom Come. Didn’t like it at all the first time. Loved it when I read it later.

    The first time I read Watchmen, it was like a teenager with his first beer. I wanted to like it. I pretended to like it, but I didn’t get it.  That was many, many years ago, and I’ve clearly gotten over it.

  15. My closest LCS is 20 miles away, and I only trade wait – so thankfully I have iFanboy to help recommend books for me to research before I buy from IST or Amazon (though lately Amazon’s shipping practices leave much to be desired – I hate trades with bent pages or broken spines!).  If I ever get around to buying an iPad I may grab some of the issues I’m interested in, but for better or worse I don’t have a LCS recommending books to me that I feel obligated to buy.

  16. Ok this one’s easy. Back in late ’80’s bought Watchmen trade because of all the buzz surrounding it and proceeded to have my mind blown.It took about 10-15 years for a much deserved 2nd read and the greatness hit it’s mark then. What can I say 16 yr old me was just not ready….

  17. I was reading DC comics for about ten years before I finally committed to reading Crisis on Infinite Earths. I had tried it twice before and never made it 20 pages in before shouting "Where the fuck is Batman?!" and slamming it shut. But after familiarizing myself with the DCU for a decade, I picked it up one more time and loved every second of it. Read it in one afternoon and have read it a few times since. Looking back, I’m glad I waited because I got more out of it. That’s probably my best example of a book I simply wasn’t ready for. It pays to revisit things once in a while.

  18. I agree about “the invisibles ” ; I could deal with animal man, and even shade, and from hell, but I just wasn’t ready for invisibles and still am not! Perhaps one day the boys will say the same about “sentry: fallen son” tee hee

  19. I’d completely forgotten until I started reading these comments but it took me a long time to "get" Brian Bendis’s writing.  He’s probably my favorite comics writer now, overall, but I remember the first time I picked up ‘Alias’, I was like, "What are all these word balloons?  Why are there parentheses in the dialogue?*  This is stupid!" and took another year to pick it up again and read the whole thing almost in one sitting.  I’m not sure what accounted for the change.

    *I still do not approve of this.

  20. I still haven’t finished From Hell from years ago. I gave up heh.

  21. I know I’m supposed to support my local LCS, but that can become a weird relationship–weirder than actual dating. I just recently stopped going the shop I frequent because I couldn’t afford the prices and the guilt that came with constantly cutting my pull list to the point where there wasn’t one. I would get these awkward looks from behind the counter. The iFanbase has become the community I frequent and led me to some really great books I enjoy. I’ve switched to DCBS–it’s anonymous, cheaper, and I get more for my dough.

    As for books I’m not ready for? I love Grant Morrison but left The Filth and Invisibles alone. I leafed through them, but realized, just from the visuals, that I just didn’t want to go where he was willing to take me. Some stuff I just can’t get up for, regardless of the wirter/artist/hype.

  22. I bought the first 5 trades of Sandman in 1995 when I got back into comics, because I heard it was better than sliced bread.  Every few years I try to read them again, and usually give up around the 4th volume.  I concede now that while I recognize why others like it, and it is well written, it just isn’t for me.  And I am fine with that. 

     

    Same thing goes for Watchmen.  It’s an important work, just not important to me. 

     

     

  23. I still haven’t finished Sandman (or Lucifer for that matter) but I love every bit of them that I’ve read and look forward to owning and having read them all. Daytripper is one of my favorite books of the past year. And I’m also on the bandwagon that just doesn’t get/isn’t ready for Morrison’s The Invisibles.

  24. When I got back into comics it was because of a sale at my local Hastings I picked up an oversized hardcover of Bendis’s Daredevil and the Marvels Tenth anniversary edition for less than ten dollars a piece and while I devoured the Daredevil book the Marvels hardcover just sat on my shelf I slowly bought all of the Daredevil Hardcovers and loved them all but that copy of Marvels just sat on my shelf barely even cracked open to see that it was indeed a comic book.

    I slowly picked up other characters in trade like Green Lantern, Ultimate Spider-man and X-Factor but Marvels just sat on my shelf neglected. Until one day I just didn’t have anything to read so I picked it up and I read it in one sitting. The next week I started buying issues. 

  25. I don’t want to admit how many books fit this description for me.  Interesting article, sir.

  26. I had a similar thing with the Watchmen. When i first read it i just wasn’t ready for that level of storyteling in comics. My first time through the trade I skipped through all the Behind the Hood between chapter stuff, and realized i prob just skimmed through to the action sequences. Going back was a revelation. 

    Also with the series Ultra and the Luna Bros, the guy at my shop was convinced that i’ve love it…it wasn’t for me…mostly to do with the art.  

    I’ve had that problem with being judged at just about every comic shop i’ve ever been in. Listen its cool that you (comic shop guy) have been reading every comic published, non stop since 1985, but i haven’t. I’ve missed some big events and books. I’m ok with that, but instead of risking embarrassment, i just go to Borders/Amazon instead for a lot of my older trades. This may be changing as over the weekend the guy at my local shop just recommended an event to me that i missed and was surprisingly cool about it. I think there is that fine line between being a passionate fan who truly wants to help others discover good things, and being the stereotypical comic store snob. 

  27. wanted to burn my copy of the Final Crisis trade this weekend. don’t think I’ll be touching another grant morrison book soon.   I liked the grand feel of the book but didn’t get any character moments out of it so I couldn’t connect to the story. Zero Hour was better . . .    but I was younger then . . .  

    I still don’t get Jae Lee’s Hellshock (the second series), love the art though, want to try reading it again but I can’t find my trade of it which has the final issue in it. 

    Some things I don’t get (recently Amazing Spiderman), and some things I just don’t care about (the return of Bruce Wayne), it only hurts when those somethings are things I want to care about and yet I just don’t get (Final Crisis, Hellshock)  

     

  28. I’ve tried to read From Hell on three different occasions and usually give up by page 50.  It has since been donated to the local library where someone will love it and appreciate it.  My stack of Preacher and DMZ trades may be following very soon.  They are well written, I don’t have anything horrible to say about them other than when I read them I am completely indifferent but I’m glad there are people out there who enjoy them.

  29. It also took me multiple occasions to get through Watchmen, but I finally pulled through before the movie came out so I wasn’t spoiled.

    Made it all the way to the second to last chapter of From Hell before I gave up, just couldn’t get through all of the heady dialog and lack of pushing the story to conclusion… 

  30. Great article, as always. 

    "In an age where every business is a global franchise staffed with disaffected kids, the comic shop is one of the few places left in America where you can form a personal connection. Everybody’s there because they love what they sell. They have to; there’s not enough money in it to be there for any other reason."  Amen.  The porkpie hat guys totally infuriate me.  Right before I started working for one of their competitors, I walked into a shop in search of X-Men trades.  I walked into the store and had no idea where to look (their store was arranged by an angry harbor seal who couldn’t read and hated pictures…I’m reasonably certain she was the owner), so I asked the guy behind the counter where they kept their X-Men trades, and he rolled his eyes and went into the back room.  And, because I’m an optimistic idiot, I waited about five minutes for him to come out, thinking he was getting them from the back.  Instead, he rolled his eyes again and said "Are you still here?  Dude, fuck the X-Men."

    I never went back.  But now I make it a point to never ever belittle someone’s opinion on comics.  I will argue with them if they present their opinions as facts, but if someone comes in and raves about how much they love what Liefeld did with Captain America, who am I to mock their love of his big breasted, footless masterpiece?  I own the full run of Chuck Austen’s X-Men, and I don’t hate it. 

  31. Yeah I agree with what some posters are saying. I jsut can’t get into a lot of Grant Morrisons work. To me, he is the definition of an "idea man", someone who comes up with great ideas but doesn’t know how to execute them well in a satisfactory manner on paper. Even his previous run on ‘Batman’ was plagued with this problem

    Oh and Sleeper is like one of the greatest comics ever!

  32. I tried Transmet, and I’m not ready for that yet

  33. @mrckent: The art in the second trade put a lot of people off, but persevere and you’ll enjoy it.

  34. @akamuu—that type of awesome attitude is so rare in the comics retail biz. I always relate it (and most things) to food. There is a reason why restaurants don’t serve just one dish. Personal taste is interesting that way. One man’s Deadpool is another’s Superman. 

  35. Not down with The Invisibles.

    Took a couple trades of Invincible for me to see the light (before the Guardians of the Globe were killed, I thought it was just some lame teenage superman story).

    Not down with people not finishing From Hell.

    Not down with people not liking Watchmen.

    Not down with people having contrary opinions of what I know is excellence.

  36. @wallythegreenmonster: I’m guessing (based on the name and icon) you live in the city I work in.  I may very well be the guy behind the counter at your LCS.

    "One man’s Deadpool is another’s Superman. " is a great slogan.

    The slogan I use for our store to encourage people is "Available because you demanded politely requested it."

  37. @akamuu–i unfortunately no longer live in the land of Wicked Awesome, but its always gotta place in my heaaaaaaarrt. =)

    Thats a good slogan. Its always a good thing if a shop can be all things to all customers y’know? 

    I thought about that Superman/Deadpool thing…y’know there are some people (even involved with this site and podcast) that disslike Superman/Deadpool as much as other people are obsessed with them. Really is quite intriguing. If i ever wanted to go for a PHD in abnormal pop culture sociology that is my thesis right there. =)

  38. i agree with @conner i never thought I’d like the invisibles, to high concept. but i just got the first volume and while i may not get some of the subtextm, its a good read…anything that involves the ghosts of john lennon and stuart sutcliff is worth a try.

  39. Jim I had the EXACT same experience with from hell, just a few years later, and slightly less violent (no plane yelling for me) but I just couldn’t get in to it, I forced my way through, but barely, I get why people like it, but it did nothing for me.A related thing happened to me recently, re-reading sandman as an older more mature reader, is a fascinating experience. Maybe I should give from hell another shot….sigh…..it’s so thick.

  40. I think transmetropolitan fails on an art level. Maybe I’ll like it later on, but I doubt it.

  41. @gwiz Wow.  I don’t think I could disagree more.

  42. Not down with people disrespecting Transmetropolitan.

  43. @gwiz, it’s funny how different peoples taste and perception is, transmet is my favorite series ever, and I love the art, one of the first things I read after getting back into comics

  44. @gwiz transmet is good, i can see the art thing though, I have the problem with a lot of vertigo and indie stuff

  45. It’s interesting how The Invisibles comes up pretty much any time I hear a conversation like this. I think people want to like it, or maybe have a sense that there’s something there that might be worth reading. Narratively it’s kind of like a roller coaster; the point doesn’t have to be to "get" anything. You just kind of go along for the ride. If you read it a couple times, certain realizations start to fall into place. That book has always been about the characters for me, though. Grant Morrison was really channeling some powerful archetypes outside of the superhero genre. And it was all wrapped up in the conspiratorial, somewhat paranoid, full-speed-ahead vibe of the late ’90s.

    V for Vendetta was probably a bit much for my 16 year old self getting into comics. I finally went back to it a year or two ago. The rumors are true – it really is a great comic…

     

  46. @Josh – I finally picked up vol. 1 of the Invisibles after reading New X-Men, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, We3, Kill Your Boyfriend, and his JLA run, and even after years of experience reading Morrison, I’m still not ready for it. I know I’ll like it once I "get it", but I’m just not ready. I supoose I should wait on The Filth too…

  47. Oh, and Final Crisis, Batman R.I.P., All-Star Superman, and pretty much everything else but Seaguy. Still don’t get the Invisibles.

  48. Today I just read the first two trades, 12 issues I think of Transmetro, really impressed and I love the art. I bought the first 5 trade and the rest are in the mail. Love it so far.

  49. This is how I felt about Watchmen the first time I read it: I had virtually no experience with the medium and the slow pace just wrecked me on my first reading (though I did get through it, putting it down several times along the way).  Ten years and hundreds of comics later, I definitely feel a taaad different about what is now one of my favorite books.  

     It’s also how I felt about Box Office Poison just last year when I took my first run at it, but I may give that another shot soon.  I seriously only lasted about 20 pages with that thing.

  50. Damn, didn’t read the previous comments before my posting.  Just to chime in, I loved Transmet from my early days of comic reading, and still love it to this day.  I re-read it just a few weeks ago, and I really adore it.  It’s the kind of thing where if you’re a writer yourself, in any field, it instantly clicks with you.  The art was a great fit for the story and character portrayals.

  51. @Gloomy Box Office Poison is actually my favorite "single story" trade ever. I read it about once a year for the past 7 years or so. In fact, it’s about that time……

     

    But I can see why somebody else wouldn’t like it, to be honest with you. It has a lot of things from my own life that I can relate to, so that’s one of the reasons I love it so much. I remember picking it up off the shelf at Borders on a whim, and flipping open to a page at random. On the page is a conversation with a customer in a bookstore who says something like "I’m looking for a book. it has a blue cover." i have had that EXACT same conversation so many times when i worked at a bookstore. i knew I had to own that book. So i bought it, ran home, and read the whole thing in one night.  My love affair with BOP began there and has only gotten stronger over the years. 

  52. Invisibles is a hard book. I think it takes several reading to begin to get it. I need to get the remaining trades I don’t have and finish it.

    From Hell hurts my eyes to read. It’s SO dense with info, and B&W makes it hard to read.

    One book that was difficult reading but awesome is Leage of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier. Moore proves his genius and writes every style but the kitchen sink in that puppy. Probably put a LOT of people off, but the payoff is amazing.

    Final Crisis was somewhat of a disappointment for me due to the execution. Some of the ideas were awesome, but if I can’t understand the story from the core titles, and there are no references to things I should read first, there’s a problem. Maybe more with DC than the writer, but I was like "Who’s this stupid vampire guy? He’s behind it all? Really?" Really could have done without that!

  53. God! i thought I was the only one who felt like that with daytripper…god to know I’m not, Jimski

  54. I loved Daytripper, but I think I can see where you’re coming from.

    The series I wasnt able to get into was Invincible. I read a trade of of Invincible and it just seem to be a guy hanging out with occasional plot twists coming out of nowhere but it could easily be cos im not ready to appreciate whatever it is that in there.

    Also, I think it can work the other way. I have a deep love for Morrison’s Batman & Robin and Return of Bruce Wayne and it really weird when the iFanboy guys mention it on the podcast and go "yeah it was alright". But they maybe be more an issue of me being delusional

  55. Fascinating article Jim. Really got me thinking about how despite some interesting ideas, I just couldn’t stand Morrison’s Arkham Asylum. I’ve really enjoyed his Batman run since the start but have found generally that I’m just not into crazy out-there Morrison so I find it hard to muster the enthusiasm to go and give it another try.

     

    So what I really want to know is how you tell the difference between the ones you’re not ready for and the ones that just aren’t for you?

  56. I think the internet would be a better place if we took the time to dislike a book, and yet still recognize that somebody else might because it still has some redeeming qualities.  I didn’t get any of Final Crisis, but who am I to tell somebody else that they shouldn’t.

  57. @ato220 – Well said.

  58. @Jimski: you remind me of the time I watched Big-O season 2 or the ending to Akira (huh wha?!?)

  59. my comic book guy is a tool he is away’s trying to sell me some more stuff . and its alway mainstream stuff which beside deadpool i don’t read but the other guy that work there are playing with a full deck and know what’s good and what i like so it’s a trade-off . i deal with Scrooge so i can talk to Bob Cratchit and i’ve got to give it up to Scrooge he does have a really nice store !  

  60. @ato220 should be the new ifanboy slogan

  61. It wouldn’t look very good on a t-shirt.

  62. @Josh: And it would be wrong. 😛

  63. @Josh I don’t know maybe with the right font and a photo or artist rendering of conor from 250

  64. My friend bought me the first trade of Transmetropolitan for my birthday a year ago.  I’ve tried to get into it multiple times and haven’t been able to.  I know it’ll click with me one day though.  I hated George R. R. Martin the first time i read Game of Thrones.  Read it a year later and loved it.  It happens.

  65. Black Hole is that book for me.  I understand it on a sort of intellectual level, but I’m amazed at the praise that’s heaped on it.  I’m not entirely sure what he was trying to say, and it’s depressing and  gross, and ultimately I feel like I’m missing something.

    Maybe when I re-visit it in 5 years time it’ll have more meaning for me, I don’t know…