New Year’s Resolutions… of COMICS!

It’s that time of year where the gym is super crowded, er, I mean, everyone is working on their New Year’s resolutions. Most years I have a pretty clear idea of what I’d like to accomplish, but this year I’ve been waffling. I have one definite resolution, but it’s rather precise and not really about self-improvement, per se. One thing I noticed about last year is that I spent a lot of time in front of this screen, which in some sense is okay because I love my laptop, I have a lot to do, and part of the time I was using this little guy to read comics. However, that also meant that I spent less time actually reading, which really began to bug me. Over the break I finished a few books that I’d been working on for a while and it left me with a mentally clean slate with which to begin the New Year. So without further ado, here are a few things concerning comics that I’d like to tackle in 2013.

Catch Up on Unfinished Books

Lacking an LCS can really screw up how well you keep up with a series. It was so easy when you could walk into a shop and see the new releases right there along the wall. It’s not nearly as easy to go to Amazon, check the release date, then remember to go back and get it. I’m sure some of you have a system similar to what I just described that works very well, but for me it just slips my mind and then series I like never get finished. So step 1 is to actually figure out which series I started but have let get away from me. Then step 2 is to go buy the volumes I’m missing. Step 3 is, of course, to read them. Which brings me to my next resolution:

Tackle The Stack


Actually Josh’s Stack from a few years back, but you get the idea.

Like so many time before, I promise this time I’m really going to make a dent in my Stack. The problem with a resolution like this is that it’s vague by its very nature. Ideally I would say, “on Thursday evening or Sunday afternoon I will sit down and read one of the comics off my Stack for an hour.” But schedules, and frankly my attention span, just don’t work that way, so I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to pull this one off, but I know that I desperately want to. Maybe for every week I don’t make some progress on The Stack I have to put $10 in The Jar of Infinite Sadness, and at the end of the year I have to donate that money to an organization I really hate? Pretty gutsy move, but it could work. Speaking of people filled with hate, my next resolution is:


Pay Less Attention to the Internet

I love you guys, I really do, but I think we need some time apart. It felt like in 2012 there were weeks where I read more about comics on the internet than I read actual comics, and that’s not good. Couple that with the increase in nerd rage seen throughout last year and I’m just less inclined to even bother. This is not my announcement that I’m going to quite writing this column, but I want as little as possible to do with the negativity that seems pervasive amongst the comics’ community. If there are legitimate things to complain about, I’m totally for making our voice heard and affecting change (notice: not just complaining for the sake of being upset) but I don’t want to be a part of the “controversy of the week.” It’s just not worth the frustration to be upset about something only to have that issue be forgotten the second the next catastrophe happens. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there’s less of that nonsense in 2013 in general, but regardless, I’ll be keeping my distance. And my last resolution is simply:

Read Some Classics

Asterix_in_BelgiumThe weekly grind is fun. There’s always a slew of new books to get excited about, read, and discuss. It’s fun to be sure, but I want to spend some time with some classics. It’s easy to get lost in the grind of the weekly release and never enjoy some of the older goodness comics’ has to offer. I consider this distinct from my promise to work on The Stack, because those books aren’t necessarily classics. For example, my girlfriend was telling me about Asterix the other day, and it sounded delightful. I don’t own any of the books so they aren’t on my Stack, but I ought to read them all the same, and this year I intend to do just that.

So those are a few things I’d like to improve about my comics’ life in 2013. I imagine a chunk of you have already posted your resolution on Molly’s post but her resolutions were more about geek life in general and not necessarily specific to reading, so how about in the comments you tell everyone what your resolution regarding actually reading the funnybooks happens to be?


Ryan Haupt should probably also resolve to lose some weight if he spends on planning this much time just reading in 2013. Hear him not read or exercise by listening to the podcast Science… sort of.


  1. I made some similar resolutions this year, but for me rather than “read more classics” I’ve decided to read more European comics and Manga.

    • Oh! That’s a good one! And frankly nested in my own list as well.

    • Every so often I find a new manga that interests me, but lately my passion for European comics has been completely reignited (no small thanks to the amazing HC reprints coming from Humanoids in the past year). That said, I still feel there is a lot of great material either a) coming out of Europe, b) from North America that is much more European in style and art (Archaia publishes a lot of stuff like this) that I’d like to try.

  2. Hi Ryan – Some Asterix tips: Stick with the first two dozen books. The best art is a few volumes in, but you might want to start with the first couple albums, anyway, just to understand all the basics of the series. I started somewhere in the middle and had no problems, only to go back and have a few A-HA! moments in learning how some things came to be. But if you read the first couple and like what you read, feel free to jump around. There’s very little continuity.

    And then, if you like that, go to Cinebooks and pick up some “Lucky Luke” volumes, written by the same guy and set in the American West.

    If you’re looking for some dramatic action type stuff, then you can go in a completely different direction with Largo Winch or even XIII at Cinebooks, as well.

    I’ll stop now, before I get too far ahead of you here . Enjoy “Asterix.” It’s an awesome book.

    • Thanks! XIII did always look pretty interesting.

    • Literally learnt to read with asterix. Have read them books more than twenty times. I recommend the books where they visit other countries to have a look at some stereotypes from an european angle.
      Especially love the asterix in corsica volume cause i love that little island with its delicious cheese.
      Ahh, and the running gag with the pirates.
      Damn, now i’m dwelling in childhood memories

    • I like to add: Try to avoid those penned by the artist Uderzo after writer Goscinny died. They don’t hold up an turn from “just not as good” to “annoyingly bad” pretty fast.

  3. My only New Years Resolutions aren’t comics related.

    1- I want to finish the first draft of the novel I started writing last year

    2- i want to read every Shakespeare play

  4. I just never understand it when I read about folks lamenting about “tackling the stack” as if reading comic books was some kind of chore. Am I misunderstanding?

    • I have a similar problem. Basically you buy or rent books you want to read, but don’t always have time to. So the stack sits there, and then you find more books you JUST have to read and add those to the stack. You end up with a pile of books collecting dust in your room that you really do want to read but for one reason or another don’t. I usually run into this problem because I get upset or anxious and go to the library and just check out handfuls of books at the time because it makes me feel at ease having something to read and escape. This time around I checked out a dozen X-Men Legacy, some Hickman FF, and Naruto that I plan to spend reading today. Short answer: it can become a chore, but I much prefer it to taking out the trash or doing dishes.

    • “The Stack” isn’t a chore, it’s a fantasy land where we get to read comics non-stop! I personally just started seriously collecting comics a couple years ago, and I kind of got so excited about it I bought WAY more than I should have and haven’t had ANY time to read them. I do usually manage to keep up with my monthlies (I’m currently way behind, but that’s another story), but when you throw in graphic novels and all of the hundreds of comics I’ve bought at charity sales and digging through the boxes at my local shops, I buy way more than I typically have the free time to read. It doesn’t help that I’ve started to write for a comics website (not sure if I’m allowed to name it here, is that something iFanboy is sensitive about?) and now have to read specific books as part of that job, as well as spend a good part of my free time doing that writing.

      In short, the stack keeps growing because I WANT to read it but can’t, not because it feels like a chore.

  5. I don’t normally make New Year’s Resolutions because I don’t care about the day and it seems most people end up breaking them anyway. But I guess if I had to make one for reading, it would be to read through my personal collection books I haven’t read yet or want to reread. Before “Hellboy in Hell” started I really wanted to read through the entire series to have it fresh in my mind but I didn’t start doing it in time. I also want to finish reading “Preacher” by Ennis, the “Ender’s Shadow” series by OSC, catch up on the Dresden Files novels, and read “World War Z” that I got for Christmas (the only book I got this year, WTH?!) .

    • I *still* haven’t read Preacher. This might be the year I tackle that one. World War Z is definitely a blast and because it’s a collection of vignettes, it’s really easy to pick up and put down as time allows.

    • A heads up on “Preacher”; aside from extremely blasphemous, it’s also very gross at some points. Tarantino couldn’t outdo the stuff, for whatever reason Garth takes the book to some strange places. It’s still a good series, it’s just written like some kind of grindhouse movie (filled with sex and gore). I’m looking forward to “World War Z” because I read the graphic adaptation of zombie attacks in history, which was pretty cool.

  6. In my country (Greece), is Asterix is famous. It’s one of the basics. Disney and Asterix. The Gosciny ones are really great.