Six Days of Stack Week – Part 6: The Bigger The Better

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. 


 

There seems to be a lot of shame associated with Stack Week. People either feel shame for having a stack. or have shame projected onto them by people with nothing better to do with their day than trying to make people feel bad for liking things.

Me, I love my stack.

The stack represents possibility. The stack represents a treasure trove of as yet unexperienced stories. I look at my stack the same way I'd look at a large table covered with all manner of sweet treats and desserts. Where to start? Where to begin? That looks good! And that! And that! Oooh, and that! I keep my stack on the little end table by my bed and, late at night, I can often be found gazing lovingly at it. I love comics. I love reading comics. And I love my big stack of comics that I keep by my bed that promises adventure and wonder and hours of fun yet to be had.

That having been said, I had no idea my stack was so big. It's not a new phenomenon, my stack has been at its current size for about three quarters of a year now. When one book comes off the stack, another inevitably takes its place. (This could explain why the special book case that I built just for my trades is now full after being only half full last year.) I hadn't realized just how big my stack was until I looked at my Stack Week articles from 2009 and 2008. My eyes bulged when I saw just how small my stacks were back then. Of course, a lot has changed around here in the last year: I am reading a lot more and we get a lot more review copies submitted to us from companies. This stack explosion was bound to happen.

(Of course, none of this takes into account my prose stack, which has taken precedence over my comics stack for the last few months. I've been tearing through that one while my comics stack grows.)

Which books do I whisper sweet nothings to every night?

 

The Executor by Jon Evans & Andrea Mutti

This advance review copy is the newest addition to my stack. In fact, it was added just two nights ago, so I don't know anything about it other than it's the latest book from the Vertigo "crime" series that I've enjoyed even though at least half the books have had a supernatural element. A brief glance at the press materials say that this one has something to do with an ex-NHL player.

Mysterious the Unfathomable by Jeff Parker & Tom Fowler

Another review copy, and this one I'm really excited to read. Josh and Ron talked about how much they enjoyed this book on the Wildstorm show that we did a few weeks ago. I thumbed through the issues after we did the show and it looked good to me. Crazy magical adventures lead by kind of a schlubby, scummy protagonist? Seems like it will be fun.

Hitman Vol.2: Ten Thousand Bullets by Garth Ennis & John McCrea

I never read Hitman when it was originally published. Last year Josh lent me a bunch of his Hitman trades and I tore through them. This is the second of the reprintings of those original trades (which had been out of print). The first was excellent. If you talk to Garth Ennis he'll tell you that he loves Tommy Monaghan and I do too.

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. by Warren Ellis & Stuart Immonen

This is one of those books that people won't shut up about. Especially when they hear you haven't read it. I got this for two reasons. One, so those people will finally shut up and leave me alone, and two, because I love Stuart Immonen and when Warren Ellis is into what he's writing and having fun he's tough to beat. I hear he had a lot of fun with this one.

Mesmo Delivery by Rafael Grampa

I've been waiting for this one since we first saw Rafael Grampa draw that Daredevil pin-up. I would have read this sooner, but my store got shorted on their shipment of this book, and thus it missed its reading window and into the stack it went.

Ignition City Vol. 1 by Warren Ellis & Gianluca Pagliarani

Last year, at a party at my comic book store on Free Comic Book Day, Josh went on some kind of manic spending spree and ended up picking up a few issues of this series. I tried to find some issues for myself, but they were all sold out. That's okay, because I prefer to read this kind of thing in trade anyway. Ellis usually does alternate future/world and sci-fi tech pretty well. I also enjoy futuristic Old West mash-ups, which this appears to be.

Madame Xanadu Vol. 2 by Matt Wagner & Michael Wm. Kaluta

After people wouldn't stop talking about this book last year (and after it scored a few Eisner nominations) I gave the first volume a whirl and really, really liked it. And honestly, who doesn't love a book that co-stars The Phantom Stranger? He's awesome.

Hulk Vol. 3: Hulk No More by Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness

I love this book. It's big, crazy, loud fun. And sometimes, that's just what I need.

King: The Special Edition by Ho Che Anderson

I grabbed this one on total impulse. I don't know anything about the creators. I don't even know who the publisher is. I just know that I like biographies and Dr. King's life was fascinating. This one is so right up my alley that it would have to seriously have to go into the tank for me not to enjoy it.

Avengers: World Trust by Geoff Johns, Kieron Dwyer & Gary Frank

I can remember back when Geoff Johns went from writing JSA to Avengers in 2002. I don't remember a whole lot about it other than that I enjoyed well enough. Times have changed in the last eight years. He's grown as a writer and I've grown as a reader. It will be interesting to see how this fares on a re-read. Plus, Johns' run on Avengers had an absolutely stellar team of artists. I'm really looking forward to this one.

Ball Peen Hammer by Adam Rapp & George O'Connor

I know nothing about this book, including how it ended up in my stack. I think that First Second Press sent us a bunch of books and I ended up with this one. Maybe. Probably. I'll know more when I get to actually read it.

WildC.A.T.S.: Homecoming by Alan Moore & Various

After we shot the Wildstorm show, one of the guys asked if I had read this collection of Alan Moore's time on WildC.A.T.S. before and I said no. Then they asked if I'd like to hag on to it and read it. I said sure. And here we are.

Human Target Vol. 1: Change Meetings by Peter Milligan, Edvin Biukovic & Javier Pulido

Big fan of the current TV show. Big fan of the first TV show. But I don't think I've ever read any actual Human Target comic books. I definitely haven't read this much heralded mini-series that came out of Vertigo. Peter Milligan can be hit or miss, but I've heard so many good things about this series that I'm looking forward to it without reservation. And as much fun as I think the current TV show is, I really do like the original concept of the master of disguise bodyguard a bit more.

The Walking Dead Vol. 11: Fear The Hunters by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard

See below.

Fear Agent Vol. 5: I Against I by Rick Remender & Tony Moore

Normally, when a new Fear Agent or The Walking Dead trade comes out I read them right away. That's how excited I am to read more of the story. Unfortunately, these two trades came out at a very busy time for us here at iFanboy so I wasn't able to read them right away. And then they kind of got buried in the swirl of media that is my life these days. I almost read both of these on Wednesday night, but I decided to finish up the novel I was reading instead. These two will probably come off the stack first.

Oishinbo: Sake by Tetsu Kariya & Akira Hanasaki

Ron absolutely adores this manga series about one man's quest to find the best in Japanese cuisine, and he pushes them on anyone he can. I've personally been at two separate lunches where he has pitched these books to unsuspecting mealmates. I read the "first" volume last year and really enjoyed it. This one was a Christmas gift from Ron. I have to be careful about reading books like this because they always make me hungry.

Archie Classics: Betty & Veronica – Summer Fun by Various

Akamuu very graciously sent Josh, Ron, and I a small package of books around Christmas last year. This was one of the books in my package. I'm excited for it! Ever since the end of the six part possible future arc, I've been jonesing for some more Archie.

Other Lives by Peter Bagge

Another advance review book. I've only read Peter Bagge stuff in short form, like in anthologies. I've never read anything of his in full book form so I am certainly quite interested in getting to this one. There is something very exciting when you open up a book that you know little to nothing about.

Saga of the Swamp Thing Vol. 2 by Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette & John Totleben

Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing has always been one of those runs that has loomed large in comicdom. If you've been around the comic book world as long as I have you know that this is a run that gets referenced everywhere by almost everyone. I never read it when it was originally out because I was a kid and Swamp Thing was totally not my thing. But as I've gotten older and my tastes have matured, not reading this run has been an oversight that I've always wanted to rectify. DC's putting out these new collections have been just the thing. I loved Volume 1, and am really looking forward to this one.

Tom Strong: The Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 by Alan Moore & Chris Sprouse

It's been close to 10 years since I've read Tom Strong. I really liked it back then — though I didn't love it — and I am quite interested to see how I feel about this book lo' these many years later. Chris Sprouse's art is gorgeous. That much hasn't changed.

The Starman Omnibus Vol. 2-4 by James Robinson, Tony Harris & Mike Mignola

I keep meaning to start the second Starman Omnibus because I loved the first one so much, but we keep talking about recording a Booksplode for it and I want to read Vol. 2 right before we record so that everything is fresh in my increasingly porous brain. I might just have ot bite the bullet and start reading. If I have to read it again for a Booksplode show, so be it. Hell, I read Vol. 1 two times.

Seven Soldiers of Victory Vol. 1-4 by Grant Morrison & Various

I picked up these trades when I was deep in the afterglow of Final Crisis and "Batman R.I.P." I own all the issues and have read the story already, which is why getting to these trades hasn't been a high priority. That's the handicap that a book in the stack faces: No matter how great you may be, if I've already read you I'm not going to be in a hurry to do so again when there's so much new stuff in the stack.

Mega City Undercover by Various

See below.

Tank Girl One & Two by Alan C. Martin & Jamie Hewlett

For a long time now we've been thinking of doing a video show on 2000 AD so we got our hands on a ton of their collections. Now we're just waiting to carve out enough time to read them all and see where we stand.

Baltimore, or The Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire by Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden

The secret shame of my stack not so secret anymore. Baltimore has been living in my stack so long that it has its resident alien card. I could write more about it, or I could just copy and paste in what I wrote last year. I think I'll do the latter: This one is a bit unusual in that it's not a comic book so much as it is an illustrated prose novel. I originally purchased it because a friend recommended it to me and I thought that it might make an interesting subject for a Mini, but then we stopped doing those and thus it has sat in my stack for the better part of 2008 and into 2009 [And 2010 – ED.]. To be honest I don't even know what this is really about save that it has nothing to do with Hellboy. But the idea of a prose novel co-written by Mike Mignola is highly intriguing.

Image Comics: The Road to Independence by George Khoury

Way, way back when we did our Image Comics show we got this book for research purposes. I didn't get to read all of it and I have been meaning to ever since. This one wasn't in my stack the whole time, I think I had it on a shelf for a while, and I kind of forgot about it.

Absolute Promethea Book One by Alan Moore & J.H. Williams III

See what I wrote about Tom Strong. Replace Chris Sprouse with J.H. Williams III.

Absolute Justice by Jim Krueger, Alex Ross & Doug Braithwaite

Except for Absolute League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier, when I get an Absolute Edition I'm not reading the story for the first time. I bought and read Justice in issues when it originally came out… but I coudln't tell you what it was about. Like, at all. So reading this again will be like reading it for the first time. That's exciting.

 

So that's a wrap on not only my stack, but Stack Week 2010. I hope you enjoyed seeing everyone's stacks as much as I did. I love when Stack Week rolls around, I always find it so fascinating.

 

Comments

  1. I assume we won’t be seeing Josh’s stack as it is covered (and will be for years to come) in diapers and empty formula canisters. 

    That looks like a very enjoyable stack. 

    I also enjoyed Madame Xanadu and look forward to reading Vol. 2. 

    I’m itching to read Walking Dead Vol. 11. 

    I really enjoyed Seven Soldiers when I read it recently.  I’m not particularly fond of either the first or final issue, but loved the individual character issues (especially Frankenstein). 

    I didn’t love Justice, but found it entertaining.  I wasn’t aware there was an Absolute Edition.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised given that Mr. Ross was involved.

  2. Nice, impressive stack ("that’s what she… "oh nevermind).

    That Image: Road to Independence is good, although I also haven’t sat down and read it all the way through. It’s my go-to for one-off, time killer reading at home.

  3. Nextwave!!!! GARRRHHHHHH!!!!!! You are going to love it Conor! Especially for the Immonen art! He is probably more reason why I love that book then anything else.

    Human Target I think you’ll like. But it is nothing like the TV show (or the show isn’t anything like the comic) so…..I think you might be a bit confused. Cause the comic definitely tries to confuse you at the very beginning.

  4. Theres nothing worse than balancing a comics stack with a prose one. Throughout the year i eventually kill my comics stack in a surge but i will never EVER empty my prose stack. It’s always at least ten books high and is refilled more often than my pint glass, which for an irishman, is refilled with great regularity

  5. Tis a might fine stack you have there, Conor. Good luck on it!

    And I suppose I should also get around to reading Nextwave. Honestly, people never shut up about it.

  6. Interested to hear what Conor thinks about Seven Soldiers.  Cause I read it recently for the first time, thought it was excellent.  (Though I didn’t get the ending)  Not a big DC reader, but this was fun and accessible.

    Nextwave is not as good as it’s hyped up to be.  I read it after the hype.  YES it has "A list quality art."  Overall, it’s a B-level story, or not so satisfying.  People need to quit with the overhyping. 

    I mean I read the first 3 issues of the new Deadpool recently.  B+, very good, but knock it off with the A+ level hype!  🙂

  7. There’s some great stuff there Conor. Haven’t heard much about Fear Agent before iFanboy. Is it really up there with the Walking Dead?

  8. Wow. Looking at the stack as endless posibilities of enjoyment is a radically different idea, but I like it. I usually fall into the guilt and shame camp. My stack just sits there taunting me any time I’m not reading it. And that can turn reading into more of a "to-do" list item to cross off than partaking in my favorite hobby.

    My comics stack is reasonable. But my prose stack has grown to the point that I had to buy it its own bookcase.

  9. I had never heard of Nextwave until I saw it in Conor’s pull list a couple weeks ago.  Got it from the library and laughed my ass off the entire time I was reading.  Great fucking read!!!!  I’m very fortunate to have such a great variety at my local library.

  10. @conor @drakedangerz You must read Nextwave to make Lettermatic 7053 ™ not cry oil. He is so sensitive!

  11. @Meg — Totally with you on the bookcase of shame. I keep buying books! My comics stack is actually practically non-existent now. But I can’t read all the books I keep buying…

  12. Oh, I had no idea Adam Rapp had written a comic.  I’ll have to check that out; I’ve liked his novels.

  13. NextWave is the hotness.  I hope you enjoy it.

  14. Great article conor! You can tell how much you love comics and its infectious.

    Also, youve mention that custom constructed bookcase a few different times. It sounds badass. Any chance we could get a look at it?

  15. Good to hear you have a 2000AD show up your sleeve.

  16. @Marbles: Possibly. We have a 2000 AD possibly up our sleeves.

  17. Apparently, the pop up of the stack picture wasn’t working before. It’s been fixed.

  18. 2000 AD? That’s SO ten years ago. 

  19. Don’t be fooled by your stack. It offers nothing more than my little leather journal of "to read" lists. It doesn’t represent a special status. Okay, it might. Here it is:

    The hooker came into your room. Lifted her skirt a little. Took your money and left.

    Unread books have offered nothing in return. Absolutely no bang for your buck. 😉

    You just paid for a movie ticket that you don’t want to see yet. You paid for a meal at a resturant that you won”t eat yet. You have spent money on something that hasn’t "paid for itself."

    You may wonder why there isn’t a few hundred dollars more available to yourself to use when something comes up all of a sudden.  A very "oh, I can’t get from point a to point b, but my stack looks nice" moment.

    Shame! Shame! Shame!

    (I’m only joking a little)

  20. @Roland: You’re lucky it’s snowing and I’m in a good mood today.

  21. Well then, let it snow and stay in a good mood. 😀

    Seriously though, this stack week event has be a lot of fun to read. Very entertaining what you guys have put into this.

    I’m just trying to help some of you with your thing (problem).

    (runs!)

  22. @Roland   I have a few more for you: 

    You go to the grocery store, buy a weeks worth of food, and eat it all right away because you want it to pay for itself right away.  Or you go clothes shopping for a new job/school year, whatever. On the first day you wear everything, because, once again, if it doesnt pay for itself NOW you are loseing money.   

    Just because you dont enjoy something at the moment of purchase doesnt make it a waste. 

  23. Word.

  24. Reading Hitman right now.  Its very good so far (up to issue #13).

    Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing is my second favorite run of all time after Sandman.

  25. Wondering if most people only have one stack (singular tense).  If I were to "stack" my unread books in one column it may topple over and bury me.

  26. @AlanRob

    You are right about what can and can’t be enjoyed at a "moment of purchase." I just differ in thoughts on how best to spend/manage money when it comes to books. I actually have a stack myself, but I guess 3 trades isn’t really a stack when hanging in these parts. The idea that one would spend $100+ on a stack that won’t be read for months or even years is just somewhat absurd to me. Its almost like there is a thought that it is a given that life offers a guarantee that you’ll be around no matter what. All I suggest here is that a stack can do nothing more for you than just keeping a record of what you want to read in a journal.

    Excuse me while I go drink month old milk reading new comics.

     

  27. I wanted to get that Absolute Promethea , but i had already read it and I ended up choosing the walking dead compendium because I had to catch up. Your totally right though reading in absolute edition is not like reading the same book, plus some of what Alan Moore writes goes over my head the first three times. I wish i could be like that guy in Phenomenon who could read a book in like two minutes. Oh the things i would know…

  28. Might I recommend a music choice for reading NEXTWAVE conor.

    "You’re Dead" by The Brains is the perfer reading to the trade.

    Or you could go with the actual theme song by Ellis (preformed by Thunder Thighs): http://www.myspace.com/thighsofsweetthunder

  29. I always have a stack of 6 or 7 things(minimum) waiting to be read. Seeing them brings me pleasure. Love your stack Conor a lot of great books, thinking of picking up a few I haven’t seen yet.

  30. Ah, the end of iFanboys week of event books articles. The annual iFanboy crossover if you will.

  31. I just read Madame Xanadu Vol 2 today and have to say I really liked it, probably more than the first.  It reads a little tighter, and the setting of 40s New York was great.  Golden age Sandman too – woohoo!

  32. As a Brit I would be very interested in your guys opinion on all things 2000AD, look forward to it.