Six Days of Stack Week – Part 1: Confessions of a Comics-holic

In what's become an annual tradition here at iFanboy, it's that time of year.  It's our version of Shark Week on Discovery.  It's STACK WEEK!  What exactly is STACK WEEK?  Well my lucky friend, it's the time of year where we take stock of the stack of books in our "To Read" pile and highlight some of the delightful comics that lie ahead for us in upcoming days, weeks, months and for some, years. 

I will be kicking things off this week and you'll be hearing from a different iFanboy writer each day throughout the whole week.  It's guaranteed fun!  So let's get on with it, why don't we?


On my desk in my apartment, I've began assembling a "To Read" pile that is giving the Leaning Tower of Pisa a run for it's money. Seriously, this pile of books is defying gravity at some points.  To illustrate the severity of my situation, I've put together a neat little visualization of my stack, thanks to our friends at Microsoft and their Photosynth technology (apologies if you have to install Silverlight to see this, but trust me, it's worth it.)  Below you can use the controls at the bottom to zoom into my stack as well as press play to see a slideshow to get a 360 view of how tragically huge my stack really is.


As you can see, I have a problem.  Whenever I have a spare moment, I'm reading comics.  I read a lot of issues, but I'm always actively reading at least 2 or 3 original graphic novel or trade paperback.  But I think it's time to put in a line in the sand.

My name is Ron and I'm a comics-a-holic.  Obviously I'm acquring books faster than I can read them which really doesn't justify spending the money on them in the first place, but you know what? I don't care.  Each book in that stack has something to give.  Hours of enjoyment and entertainment and I promise myself that I will get through them all.  But we have to be realistic here, don't we?  I can't go through every book in that stack and tel you about it, that would take me hours to write, hours for you to read and no one wants that.  So I've pulled the top 9 books from the top of the stack to represent what I'm reading right now, and will be reading for the next 2 months or so.  There are some real gems in here, so I hope you enjoy this tour of my insane addiction.


by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruc
Published by AdHouse Books

I'm a huge fan of Jim Rugg dating back to his work on the ill fated Minx line book The Plain Janes that he did the artwork on.  I've heard rumors of his project with Brian Maruca that would be combining the wonderfulness of blaxploitation with the world of comics, but I had no idea it would be as awesome as this.  With great distressed/faux aged artwork, tales of a bad ass hero for the people, Afrodisiac, has been raved about by my friends and other critics around the Internet.  Combine the fact that apparently the book is sold out, like everywhere (1 to 2 months wait on Amazon), when I was able to get my hands on a copy, I immediately shot it to the top of my stack.


Captain Britain Omnibus
by Alan Davis, Alan Moore, Jamie Delano, and Chris Claremont
Published by Marvel Comics

I am full of love for a book like this.  I love Captain Britain, I love Alan Davis's artwork, I love the Omnibus format.  Put them all together and it may be too much for my brain to handle.  The work by Alan Moore and Alan Davis on Captain Britain was originally published by Marvel UK, and has been the subject of much controversy, mainly due to Alan Moore's protests and some bonehead printing moves by Marvel.  But we put that aside and get this one, huge volume of all these classic stories in one book.  I can't wait to dive into this one.



Starman Omnibus Volume 4 
by James Robinson, Tony Harris, and Mike Mignola
Published by DC Comics

The release of the next volume in the Starman Omnibus series has become one of those moments I can't wait for in the comic book shop.  Possibly one of the best superhero titles of the 1990s, this omnibus treatment by DC has been the classiest and best produced collected edition I've seen come from DC Comics in quite a while.  Each volume is an event and I clear my schedule to sit down and just bask in the greatness of James Robinson's legendary run on the character that means so much to him. Love oozes off each page as Tony Harris' art is just a spectacle.


by Sanchez Abuli and Jordi Bernet
Published by IDW Publishing

When I walked into my local comic book store the day Torpedo came out, my shop owner was giddy.  He ran to the back room and presented me with my copy of Torpedo, even though I hadn't ordered it.  He said to trust him, and I've learned to do exactly that. This newly translated version of the Italian comic with art by Jordi Bernet (of Jonah Hex fame) looks to be a great read in the crime vein, as it tells the tale of a mobster.

 Gotham Central Volumes 1 and 2
by Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Michael Lark
Published by DC Comics

My compatriots here at iFanboy swear by this cop drama series focusing on the Gotham PD.  Normally I'm not a fan of the Batman books, but Batman is hardly in this.  I've read the first and second trade from this series years ago, but the recent hardcover collection repackaging those trades and the trades I've yet to read are just too pretty to pass up, even for a non Batman fan.



James Robinson's Complete WildC.A.T.S.
by James Robinson and a lot of artists including Jim Lee and Travis Charest
Published by Wildstorm/DC Comics

I have a soft spot in my heart for the mid 1990s Wildstorm universe. I couldn't even tell you why, but when these issues were coming out, first penned by Alan Moore and then James Robinson, I simply loved them.  This is the series where I fell hard for Travis Charest's art, and the story was just the kind of mix between super hero and sci fi, much like Nova which I enjoy today.  I can't wait to revisit these issues.



Almost Silent
by Jason
Published by Fantagraphics

If you haven't experienced a book by Jason, I don't even know how to describe it.  What seems like simplistic and basic, is entranced in nuance and subtlety.  This book releases in March, but our friends at Fantagraphics got me an advanced copy and Jason is one of those special alternative comics creators that when you get a new book by him, it goes right to the top of your stack.



The Waiting Place
by Sean McKeever, Mike Norton, Brian Fraim, David Yurkovich
Published by IDW Publishing

I remember picking up the first trade of The Waiting Place at the San Diego Comic Con what seems like an eternity ago.  It's no secret that I have a strong fondness for the personal, realistic kind of comic books. Strangers in Paradise is what made me fall in love with this genre and I'm always on the hunt for books that tapped into those same emotions.  The Waiting Place did exactly that, and at the same time was a proving ground for some pretty big names in super hero comics these days in Sean McKeever and Mike Norton.  This collection gathers everything plus some new stuff and much like WildC.A.T.S., I can't wait to sit down and revisit those emotions and drink it all in again.



And so there you have it.  Thousands upon thousands of comics pages that will keep me neck deep in comics for the weeks to come.  But once I finish these, I should put a fairly large dent in my stack.  My fear is that for every book I read, 2 more will fill it's place.  Oh the life of a comics-a-holic.

Tune in tomorrow when Jim checks in with his stack, which I'm sure will be a much funnier and witty take on the books awaiting him to read.


  1. damn

  2. I feel your pain.

  3. Well, stop buying so many stinkin’ comics!

  4. Start with the ELEPHANTMEN!

  5. I only have 5 trades sitting unread, and i thought that was big. lol

  6. is that a fucking bunk bed?

  7. Silverlight? Aw, Ron…


    Apology accepted, but still, we Chrome users are flat-out SOL. I hope the entire site isn’t switching over from flash.

  8. @RobAsten

    Silverlight works with Chrome…

  9. It’s not a confession if you embrace the act while confessing.  "Forgive me father for I have sinned, am sinning and will sin again, because I LOVE IT."  A hail mary isn’t getting you out of that one.  😉 

  10. Gotham Central 1 and 2 are the only things in my stack.

  11. That stack makes me feel better about mine.  Not much better, but better nonetheless. 

    I’ve found that when trying to kill off your stack, all it takes is one stinker for you to lose momentum.  I was doing a trade a night until I hit Wanted…

  12. I… I thought I was the only one…

  13. That stack makes me feel WORSE about mine.  My unread trades and hardcovers number in the triple digits. I’m currently catching up on all my Marvel cosmic collections. Can’t get enough of them. Maybe I’ll read Gotham Central next.

  14. That old Captain Britain stuff is pretty good. It might be the "worse" of the early Alan Moore stuff, but it’s still interesting as hell. And you’ll get to see Alan Davis evolve slowly into the art god that he became. Claremont was on his game back then, too, doing some great mythic English inspired stuff.

    I don’t understand how people build up these "stacks", though. Why would you buy something you weren’t going to read? Why would you buy more and more before you’ve gone over what you already got? It’s a different consumer attitude that is alien to me. But then some people will drop nearly a hundred bucks on an omnibus of a dozen issues they already have…yet they’ll still complain about a measely dollar mark-up on new comics. I don’t get it. The things I buy, I generally enjoy so much that I can’t hold back long from reading them, and I’m happy to pay whatever in order to read something great for the first time.

  15. I have a number of the same books in my stack as well.  I do love the inclusion of 2 different versions of the same Elephantment volume.

  16. I’m with Flapjaxx.

  17. My captain Britain omnibus has a different cover than Ron’s…….why is this?  What is the means of this demondry? 

  18. @Gabe: All of the Omnibuses have two different covers.

  19. Oh, man, I just noticed you got an advanced copy of Area 10. Can’t wait for that Samnee art.

  20. So the return of stack week. Last year this made me look at my stack and decide that I had a problem. And I’m pleased to say that although I still have a problem it is under control. Only two books in my stack and one was a present I would never have picked up for myself; Young Liars by David Lapham, so that doesn’t count.

    I’m not reading less comics I’m just not handing over the money until I’m ready to read the next. Of course I’m now tempted by Afrodisiac, damn you Ron. 😉 

  21. Torpedo is great…

  22. If wish I had a job so I could have this problem.  Then again I wish I didn’t live on Raman but that isn’t going to change anytime soon either.  Stupid school.

  23. I had to buy new shelves because my mighty stack was threatening to topple. Now those shelves are full and there’s a whole new terrifying stack to deal with.

     Heheh… "Mighty stack"…

  24. Mine’s bigger…

    Seriously though, I love stack week, if only because it reminds me I’m not alone in fighting the dreaded curse of excess stackage.  A lot of mine is stuff I read before but upgraded, so I tell myself it’s not so bad.  I’ve only read Starman Omnibus 1 all the way through, but intend to remedy that soon (I do always at least read the afterword the week they come out).  I devoured The Waiting Place around Christmas and really enjoyed it. In my heart I know the constant additions to the collection mean I’m fighting a losing battle, but there’s too much gooooood stuff out there. Still, onwards and upwards…


  25. Yea, nice stack. But you are a fan of the Descendents? Awesome. My all-time favorite band.

  26. i too was psyched to get my new starman omnibus and i just got the gotham central ones too. i also started on DMZ and a few more to read

  27. I had to incorporate my stack into my shelves.  I’d get home, look at my night table, see the unread books and my blood pressure would spike.

  28. I am going through the same thing, I started last week to read my stack, and I thought I was the only one, I guess not, this is great to know others are experiencing comic over reading.

  29. It appears you have 2 different versions of Elephantmen Vol 2. Why? You can probably remove one of those from the stack.

  30. My stack is in a bookshelf by the way, not precariously balanced on my desk. Since nothing is on TV because of the Olympics, I am catching up as well. I plan on reading the following this week:

     Planet Hulk

    World War Hulk

    Hulk Green and Red Vol 1

    Hulk Vol 2 (red hulk)

    Daredevil – complete Smith/Bendis/Brubaker run (I have several omnibus/hardcovers and trades to cover almost all issues, the rest are up on Marvel Digital)

    The Mighty Vol 1 

  31. I’m really looking forward to hearing your reviews on James Robinson’s Wildcats and Elephantman.

  32. Ron can i ask how you have the 2 vertigo crime new books that are not out yet?

  33. You got Almost Silent? Oh you lucky bastard!

    Pretty impressive stack though, and all of it insanely good. Though I have a very STRONG feeling Paul is going to beat everyone here. Just a hunch.

  34. @flapjaxx and jumpingjupiter~  It’s not that you buy books you don’t plan on reading, it’s that there’s so much goodness to purchase that you don’t find the time to read everything when it comes out.  My stack is a result of Christmas and birthday gifts coupled with things I just haven’t gotten around to reading yet.  The stack is conquered year and year out.

    This shouldn’t be called Stack Week, but Shame Week! 🙂

    I’m with you guys.  I have a ridiculous stack as well and I am ashamed at myself for not getting around to it.  This weekend, I’ve actually read through some of it, so it’s not too bad…

  35. @aceboggie: We’re comics media. We often get early review copies.

  36. install Silverlight? nah..

  37. My stack is actually much smaller this year due in part to a new years resolution that so far I have actually been able to keep.

    Five Main Things:

    1) Powers Definitive Hardcover Vol. 1

    2) Hellboy Library Edition Vol.2

    3) Astonishing X-Men Omnibus (The only reason it’s hangin around is that its a reread)

    4) Alias (all four trades)

    5) Grant Morrison’s New Xmen (in issue – purchased the complete run at LCS)

    Though I might have a couple more soon cuz those Captain Britain and Wildcats Omni are mighty tempting

  38. Man now I feel better. I have no time but everytime I spot a treasuee at the local bookstore or have a giftcard from a bookstore i tend to add to me tpb collection. I would join a 12 step program but then I’s to give back the books

  39. That sir is a mighty stack.  The most embarrassing thing in my stack is the Mad Man Gargantua, because I bought it roughly a year ago at Wondercon.  I really need to read that.

  40. Thanks. Now I feel much better about my stack.

  41. So jealous that you have Peter Bagge’s Other Lives already. Looking forward to your perspective on that one.

  42. Is there anything worse than watching the excitement of getting an advanced copy of something wilt into shame as the release date passes without you ever sitting down to look at it? "I got it early! For all the difference that made."

  43. @Flapjaxx

    I built up my stack from doing things like those 4-for-3 sales on Amazon, and that $3 Top Shelf sale really added to it.  It’s mostly simply a matter of not feeling like reading something yet, so you get something else to fill the gap.

    A lot of my stack is also buying Vol. 1 of a series so that I’m committed to reading it/won’t forget about it, then wanting to wait until more/all trades are out so I can read it in a big chunk.  For instance, I’ve had Ex Machina Vol. 1 in my stack for well over a year now.  I’m just waiting for the last trade to come out before I read it so I don’t have to wait between trades.  Read Y: The Last Man when only the first 9 trades were out, and that wait for 10 almost killed me.

  44. I stopped reading comics back in about 1995 when I went to uni and then started again last year.  I decided I’d catch up on the very best of what I missed…suffice is to say I bought many, many, many trades, generally big Omnibus ones.  I’ve finally started making a dent in them but to do it I had to limit myself to only buying one trade a month and reading what I already have.  I’m down to about 10 left I think.  Although that does include the complete Bone…

  45. Gotham Central is fantastic.  I would like to thank iFanboy for putting it on my radar.

  46. I still got five Marvel Essentials that were in my stack last year.  The Godzilla one is the only one I ever got more than halfway through.  The old Spiderman stuff from the 1970s just isn’t like the post-BND stuff of today to me.  I’m sure plenty of people will argue but I like the modern stuff so much more.

    My STACK also includes about 30 more issues of Countdown.  I bought all 51 issues from a seller on Ebay after I finished reading all of 52.  They really are quite similar.  Then I got four softcovers of Seven Soldiers and the Final Crisis hardcover I got from Borders yesterday for $24. 

    My brother has eight volumes of The Walking Dead and I only got up to four when I realized that it is virtually just a really long zombie movie that doesn’t seem to ever end.  Nothing I haven’t already seen in Day Of The Dead, Dawn Of The Dead, Night Of The Living Dead, or Return Of The Living Dead so it is gonna take me a while to pick back up on those…

  47. Just added Afrodisiac to my order @ DCBS.  Seems to be instock there for those wanting it 🙂

  48. Wow! You have Area 10 on that stack? You obviously have Metron’s chair. How about sending it my way and I’ll send it back before the release date of April 7th. 😉

    This is the one Vertigo Crime book I am desparate to get my hands on. Chris Samnee!

  49. I’m trying to save money these days so my stack is actually pretty manageable right now (only two trades, one of them borrowed!) Rather than spend money on new trades/hardcovers I may just have to keep borrowing from my bandmate for awhile (he’s loaning me all of his Invisibles trades and also has all of the Kirby Fourth World Omnibuses) and checking out stuff from the library.

    My wife, on the other hand, has a monster stack of novels that’s at least 3 feet tall on her nightstand. Pretty impressive…I’m just waiting for the whole thing to topple down during the next earthquake.

  50. I’m a huge Descendents fan. Right on!


    Also, I am stoked to pick up Almost Silent. I love Jason’s stuff.

  51. I can sympathize. My "To Be Read" pile is way out of hand, like embarrassingly so, and I just keep on adding to it.

    And hey, that Dirty Pair: Biohazards TPB looks familiar. 😉

  52. I just finished reading Book One of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I wish I could go back in time and slap my kid self in the forehead. These books started coming out at about the same time I started reading comics. Back then I was really into horror comics and I would’ve loved this stuff. I remember the reason I didn’t bother with the comics was because I had seen the lame Wes Craven Swamp Thing movie. Naturally I assumed the comics were equally lame.

    I just ordered Book Two of the hardcover and I’m probably going to wait until Book Three comes out in June. But I dunno how long I’m willing to wait until the rest. Just might get the TPBs already out.

  53. I guess us fanboys are ALL HORDERS to some extent, but DAMn Ron, wtf? It’s OK to WAIT before making another purchase!! Knock off a few books off that stack before you purchase anymore Mister!!

    <waving a finger in motherly disapproval>

  54. That’s a big stack, but nothing to mine: I buy like $100 of books (floppies & trades) A WEEK! and I read maybe, maybe 3 or 4 floppies a week (or the equivalent). Let me put it this way: How does Secret Invasion turn out? what’s all this about alpha lanterns?

  55. I just noticed those Dirty Pair: Fatal But Not Serious and Bubblegum Crisis: Grand Mal TPBs in that smaller pile too! You’ve got great taste, Ron. 😉

  56. Late to the party on this one, but I can’t wait to grab that Jason collection. I LOVED Low Moon.