Series Left Hanging

Last week I posted about my comic’s resolutions for 2013. One of my goals is to finish some of the series that I at one point started buying but for whatever reason never finished. After posting that I further realized that I had yet to figure out which series I was even talking about. I had a few titles lingering on the periphery of my consciousness as I wrote that goal, but without making the books I meant explicit how could I ever expect to even know what to finish? And what better place to expose my failures than the public forum that is iFanboy? So what follows are a few series that never saw their end on my shelf and in the comments you can shame me into prioritizing whatever series you deem the most critical to get through. Sound good? Let’s go!



Strangers in Paradise

Last volume owned: 5 or 6? (of 19)

This one comes first just because just last night I read the first book of Rachel Rising. And no, I still haven’t read Echo, I don’t know what’s wrong with me either. I started reading Strangers in Paradise directly because of the iFanboy Pick of the Week Podcast. Some of those early episodes really lavish the praise on this book, and I remember how raw the discussion of this book was after the release of its final issue. So needless to say I walked right up to Terry Moore’s table the next time I was at a convention and bought a few of the books. For some reason, I wanted them in trade paperback not pocketbook form. The shrunken art just didn’t appeal to me. Unfortunately, this made it very difficult to ever complete my run because most comic shops had switched to only stocking the pocketbooks. It is now clear to me that I need to just set aside some of my paycheck to get a volume online every month or so, getting them read will rely on the fulfillment of another resolution entirely.



Ex Machina

Last volume owned: Vol. 6 – Power Down (of 10)

Last year marked the glorious return of Brian K. Vaughan to comics, and there was much rejoicing throughout the land. However, amongst the celebrations I held a deep dark secret is that I never finished Ex Machina. I chalk this one up to one of the risks of living with another comic fan. Sure you get access to all these great books, but then you fall into this rhythm. Certain series become the book you’re expected to keep up with, and other books fall under the roommate’s jurisdiction. There’s no real logic to it, it’s just sort of how the system evolves. And Ex Machina ended up in Jesse’s camp. Once we weren’t living together I had a hard time buying more trades because even though I owned up through 6 I’d read 7 and some of 8 so was I supposed to buy 8 and skip 7? The completionist nerd in me wouldn’t stand for that. But how could I spend money on something I’d already read? It because the equivalent of asking a computer intelligence “why?” and I eventually just shorted out entirely and reread Y: The Last Man.




Last volume owned: Vol. 4 (of 8)

I’ve written about how much I like anthologies and Flight was the first one that really grabbed my attention by the horns. The cool thing about serialized anthologies is you get a handful of stories that carry over from one volume to the next, so even though you get tons of new content in each volume there is an argument to be made that this is a series unfinished. And in researching this column I learned that they’re ending the books with volume 8, so now I have a goal and I intend to hit it.




Last volume owned: Vol. 7, I think (of 12)

I loved the concept of DMZ, but at a certain point I lost interest in the narrative and the art never really grabbed me enough to maintain momentum through story lulls. Then I started reading Northlanders and fell in love. I know it doesn’t make sense that reading a different Brian Wood series screwed up my progress finishing a very disparate book, but that’s just how I feel, ok? But after the whole Mayan thing I’ve been in the mood for some post-apocalyptic stories so this might be ripe for finishing as soon as I figure out which volumes I actually own.


So those are the books I need to finish with a get on with my life. This leaves me with two questions left for you, what series should I focus on finishing first? And what series did you fail to finish and does it also haunt you to this day as mine do for me?


Ryan Haupt should learn to let go. Hear him on the podcast he keeps insisting isn’t finished yet, Science… sort of.


  1. What unfinished series haunts me the most? James Robinson’s Starman. I read the first 20 some issues when they came out, loved them, but then went to college where I fell out of regular comics reading until several years ago. I’ve been catching up, but it’s taking longer than I would wish. I have the third Omnibus sitting on my shelf & I really shoud crack it open soon . . .

  2. Fabels… I’ve got the first two or three trades… now I’m so far behind it is intimidating to even thing of trying to get caught up…

    • Oh, but so worth it. At least up to the end of the Adversary story line.

    • Really? I read until “The Great Fables Crossover” and that was where I lost interest. Everything before that I loved. I have no idea if it’s returned to it’s former glory but Im getting curious. Oh, and skip “Jack of Fables” I thought that was a pointless spinoff with an unlikeable character (not a single thing to redeem him).

    • @IthoSapien The first 12 trades are awesome, with the crossover they lost a bit of steam but Vol 14, “Witches”, is still one of my favorite arcs (it has to do with some of my favorite characters being in the spotlight here as well).

      Vol 15.(Rose Red) and Vol 16 (Super Team or something like that) are good and a direct link to Vol 12 where they fight Mr Dark.

      Vol 17. “Inherit the Wind” and Vol 18 “Cubs in Toyland” are very good and they recapture some of the magic from the first four trades with the main focus being Bigby and Snow’s cubs.

      if you liked the first trades you might also want to check out the firs Fairest trade, it is pretty good, the current arc … not so much (IMO of course),

    • Actually @carlosFF I’m pretty sure I read Rose Red, Super Fables, and Inherit the Wind since I remember them beating Mr.Dark and Bigby and North Wind finally hashing out their differences, so maybe I did read past “The Great Fables Crossover”? For some reason I don’t see reviews on Fables anymore on IGN so I assumed more people had stopped reading it, what little I have heard is mostly good. I’m somewhat curious of “Fairest”, but can’t remember if Willingham is co-writing it or not. Maybe I’m miscounting, but it seems like it would also be limited too as theres only so many female fables alive (Cinderella, Rose Red, Snow White,Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood) unless others are brought in that died or from other fairytale lands. Aside from Fables and Jack of; I’ve read the 2(?) Cinderella books and thought they were ok, but lacking the magic of the main series. Maybe when the focus is on one character, the magic is gone? There are many reasons I enjoy Fables but a few are the rich cast and the “what’s gonna happen next to these characters?”

    • I think I’ve seen *some* reviews of Fables on IGN, certainly not of every issue but every now and then, or at least I think I have.
      If you’ve read up to the Inherit the Wind arc then you have to check out the Cubs in Toyland, it captures what you mention you like regarding “what’s gonna happen next” since now the cubs seem to be the main focus, it was really good and a great ending, it also has Bucky’s art so what’s not to like? 😉

      As for Fairest, only the first arc was written by Willingham (I liked it a lot), then there was a single issue story involving Beast and Beauty (it is supposed to be canon and VERY important, I’d recommend at least checking this one out) by Sturges, and the new arc, which I’m not liking that much is by someone whose name I can’t recall, it has to do with Rapunzel, I’d try to get the first 7 issues or at the very least Issue 7.
      If I remember correctly Willingham once said that Fairest involved the “fairest in all the land” and that didn’t mean that it would be an “all girl main character” story all of the time.
      Anyway, I’d give the main series another shot and check out the first seven issues of Fairest 🙂

    • Bucky’s art is fantastic, i agree. Alright, you’ve swayed me brother as soon as I whittle down my stack of books on my pile I’m going to try to find more Fables and check out Fairest. Then after that Preacher, @wheelhands. Hopefully after all thats done my library will get more of the Unwritten.

  3. My problem with a lot of series (take the Fourth World Omnibuses, for example) is that it’s a long time in between getting books, so I have to reread the previous volumes to remember what was going on. So I always want to just buy a whole series that I know I’ll love so I can read it all at once, but who’s got that kind of money to shell out on omnibi?

  4. I say jump on the SIP pocketbooks. They’re absolutely fine art wise and are super good value.

    Just finished a re-read of DMZ last week. I’d recommend this site by Justin Giampaoli when you’re reading it:

    Loads of interviews, etc. A really great resource.

  5. A lot…for starters, I own every single issue from James Robinson “Starman” and I’ve only read #0, American Vampire, every single issue but I have only read the first issue (really liked it, that’s why I got them even the mini series), the first three trades of Alan Moore’s “Swamp Thing” and everything else in single issue…haven´t read anything yet but I’m sure I’ll like it I just want to be able to allocate some time to those series in particular.

    Maybe with the American Vampire hiatus I’ll read them all so I get pumped when it comes back.

    On the up side, I’m pretty much up to date on the current releases (except Animal Man and Swamp Thing, I’m at issue 8 or 9 on both but still bought them every month).

  6. 100 Bullets. Bought all the trades through Amazon however I stopped reading at volume 6 or 7. Gotta get back in the saddle.

  7. It seems to me like you have already made the decision to drop or not continue reading so some of these books you’re just not listening to the voice in your head whispering, “Let go, little Ryan, let go.”

    For me, its Ex Machina. I started with the first trade and haven’t picked up the rest. The End.

  8. All of those are on my unfinished our never started list as well.

  9. I gotta get back to Scalped… left off at like trade 6 or 7 or 8… not sure – I think I was derailed because I actually bought High Lonesome like 3 times by accident thinking it was the next one I needed on several different occasions.

  10. All of you who have not completed Starman – get busy! It’s wonderful.

    Things I started but have not finished:

    Invincible – read the first 6 trades
    100 Bullets – read maybe 5 trades?
    Irredeemable – read maybe 5 trades
    Fear Agent – read the first trade only
    DMZ – read the first trade and a few issues

  11. Promethea – I have all 5 volumes. I still haven’t read past 3.
    Ex Machina – I read the first 4… or 5. I’m not sure. I can’t even find them now. Maybe I lent them out? At this point I’m hoping for a Comixology sale to finish it.
    DMZ – I read the first 2 years of this in floppies but had to drop out of comics for health reasons and I haven’t gotten to go back. I loved what I read.

  12. Finish “Ex Machina” , it is an amazing read similar to Y but with it’s own flavor. I’ve stopped reading “Preacher” ,”Invincible”, “Green Hornet” and “GH:Year One” (Tho I really want to finish this one), and its been awhile since I made any attempt to read BPRD. I recently decided to catch up with “Naruto” and I have up to vol.59 so that’s been fun diving into. Most of the stuff I fell behind in because it’s become harder to get copies or the quality dipped and then time started flying by (although my library refuses to get a new copy of Invincible: My Favorite Martian so that’s been holding me up. The biggest thing I wish I could finish, that beats all of those titles combined but is just so frustrating to find: Will Eisner’s “The Spirit”. I only made it to volume 2 and I’ve been looking for the other 52(?) volumes ever since.

  13. You gotta finish DMZ! I’ve actually read it all through twice and it was great both times. The last 2 arcs are among my favorites. I had to bail on Ex Machina too. I really liked it, but just couldn’t get myself to keep buying the trades.

  14. still working through Peter David’s X-Force… up to vol 12/13 or something…
    sadly i only *just* started on y the last man (i know) – up to vol 3 on that one
    irreedeemable is sitting collecting dust too… only up to vol 4…
    and lastly i have transmetropolitan… for which i have up to vol 7 but have only read the first 3….

    on th other side… i have started series like 100 bullets, Spawn origins, Chew, Gotham central and for weird reasons (mostly money) i havent been able to push on and buy/read more volumes…

    also i need more shelf space

  15. Gotham Central, Scalped and having trouble finishing Phonogram: The Singles Club. This never happened when I was purely reading trades. Now that I get weekly comics they’re just being pushed aside. This and my obsession listening (podcasts) and reading (comic related sites) about comics rather than reading the actual comics.

  16. I’m missing a few of the IDW issues of John Byrne’s ‘Next Men’ and I really want to complete the collection before I reread the entire selection. Plus I really need issue 46 of Peter Milligan’s ‘Shade the Changing Man’ otherwise I have every issue. I’ve been doing pretty good on completing things lately. Also need a few issues of Lemire’s ‘Sweet Tooth’.

  17. Read maybe the first 15 issues of Ex Machnia and I desperately want to finish it. Also I want to read all of Frank Millers run on Daredevil which I haven’t had a chance to completely jump into. Also you should definitely finish DMZ asap. That might be my all time favorite creator owned series.

  18. I am also one of those who has yet to finish Starman. Not because it isn’t great; just haven’t for whatever reason.

  19. SiP is a long-lost unfinished read for me. I was reading the series as it originally came out and drifted away, never to return. I don’t feel that guilty about it, however. It just wasn’t doing it for me any more. That said, Moore is a great artist and I’ve really got to catch up on some of his other stuff.

    Ex Machina seems to have a problem in that many people like the concept and execution yet don’t find it compelling enough to keep going forward. This includes me. I’ve had the first trade for forever and have never picked up the second.