It's that time of the month again -- time to submit my pull list to the local comics shop!
Last month, for reference, I pre-ordered 40 comics books, retailing at $143.60. However, after the 20 percent discount I get for committing to my books in advance (which helps the shop owner know how much of what to order, so he does not get stuck with too much leftover product), and after adding in Maine's dreaded 5.5 percent sales tax (it's a new thing, there was no tax on periodicals up until a couple of years ago), the total hurt came to $121.20.
That was just a tick over my spouse-set limit of $30 per week, or $120 for the month. How close did I get to budget this time out? Let's see!
First, for books to come in August, I ordered 20 from DC Comics, and just six from Marvel. DC has always been my preferred realm, all things being equal, but over the past couple of years I had reached a certain level of parity, ordering about equally from both companies each month. However, with DC's Rebirth era again holding the line at $2.99, and Marvel in the middle of a giant company-wide crossover event, the scales have again tipped in DC's direction. Also on the order form last month were five books from Image Comics, three from Archie Comics, two from IDW, and one, each, from Aftershock, Joe Books, Dark Horse Comics, and Titan Comics.
Helping to clear up the budget this month, DC's LEGENDS OF TOMORROW came to an end at No. 6; THE AUTUMLANDS from Image skips a month, and is probably done given recent sales reports; and AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHE goes back into hibernation, while BETTY AND VERONICA skips (at least) one month.
Then come the "must have" new solicitations. The biggie of the month for me is DOOM PATROL, from DC, which promises to be either an epic win or a total train wreck. Time will tell. Also, it's an on-month for SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP, which actually goes monthly starting in October.
From Marvel, DOCTOR STRANGE ANNUAL is a no-brainer for me, even if Jason Aaron's involvement may be minimal.
Also warranting an instant, "Yes, please," is the return of Terry and Rachel Dodson's RED ONE at Image Comics, and (for the first few issues, at least), JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, from Archie.
Finally, I add in GREEN LANTERNS. I had picked up the Rebirth one-shot off the stands as an impulse buy, because the week it came out happened to be one with not a lot arriving from my pull list. Rather than leave the shop with just four books, I grabbed a couple more off the "New Arrivals" shelf. GLs proved good enough that I've been picking it up "raw" ever since, and this month take the leap, committing it it for the foreseeable future via the advance order.
That put me over budget by almost $15 so I had to take a look at what I was willing to cut.
Failing to make the grade are DC's NEW SUPER-MAN (unlikeable lead character and a derivative plot line), and Marvel's MOON KNIGHT (just not giving me enough story per issue for $4). I also reluctantly cut PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN from Joe Books, even though I haven't seen the first issue yet. But, it had to be done.
I also temporarily (maybe) cut BATMAN at No. 7, because it's a crossover with NIGHTWING and DETECTIVE COMICS, two titles I've not been buying. With no room in the budget to add two titles (or, at least, not finding two others I want to cut badly enough in order to make room), it's easier to just drop the main Bats book until it gets back to doing its own thang.
Those cuts still left my almost $5 over budget, so I went ahead and cut BLACK HAMMER (Jeff Lemire is a good writer, but tends not to provide enough plot to chew on per issue, so, at $4, it's not too hard a decision), and TORCHWOOD (because it was a leap of faith anyway, I have no idea how well, if at all, John Barrowman & Sis can write). If either turns out to be decent, I can always buy them off the stand as opportunity allows, until eventually re-adding them to the pull list.
The cut books join titles dropped last month, including HARLEY'S LITTLE BLACK BOOK, from DC (No. 4 will be my last issue), SQUADRON SUPREME from Marvel (leaving after No. 9), and MICRONAUTS from IDW (off my order after No. 4).
Finally, in a last-second decision, because I had not noticed it previously, I elect to exceed budget by a few bucks in order to add SKYBOURNE, No. 1. Because Frank Cho.
The final order came to 41 comics for $144.59 retail, or $122.03 after discount and sales tax. The finally tally: DC Comics (20 books), Marvel Comics (six), Image Comics (five), Archie Comics (three), IDW (three), and one, each, from Aftershock and Boom.
The actual issues ordered:
DC Comics (20 books)
• ALL-STAR BATMAN, No. 2 ($4.99)
• AQUAMAN, No. 6-7 ($2.99, ea.)
• ASTRO CITY, No. 39 ($3.99)
• BATGIRL, No. 3 ($2.99)
• BATGIRL AND THE BIRDS OF PREY, No. 2 ($2.99)
• BATMAN, No. 6 ($2.99)
• BLUE BEETLE, No. 1 ($2.99)
• DR. FATE, No. 16 ($2.99)
• DOOM PATROL, No. 1 ($3.99)
• THE FLASH, No. 6-7 ($2.99, ea.)
• FUTURE QUEST, No. 5 ($3.99)
• GREEN LANTERNS, No. 6-7 ($2.99, ea.)
• HARLEY QUINN, No. 3-4 ($2.99, ea.)
• SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP, No. 18 ($2.99)
• SUPERGIRL, No. 2 ($2.99)
• SUPERWOMAN, No. 2 ($2.99)
• WONDER WOMAN, No. 6-7 ($2.99, ea.)
Marvel Comics (6)
• DOCTOR STRANGE, No. 12 ($3.99)
• DOCTOR STRANGE ANNUAL, No. 1 ($4.99)
• THE MIGHTY THOR, No. 11 ($3.99)
• Ms MARVEL, No, 11 ($3.99)
• PATSY WALKER, a.k.a. HELLCAT, No. 10 ($3.99)
• SILVER SURFER, No. 8 ($3.99)
Image Comics (5)
• JUPITER'S LEGACY, Vol.2, No. 4 ($3.99)
• KILL OR BE KILLED, No. 2 ($3.99)
• MANIFEST DESTINY, No. 23 ($2.99)
• PAPER GIRLS, No. 9 ($2.99)
• RED ONE, No. 3 ($2.99)
Archie Comics (3)
• ARCHIE, No. 12 ($3.99)
• CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA, No. 7 ($3.99)
• JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS, No. 1 ($3.99)
IDW Publishing (3)
• DONALD DUCK, No. 17 ($3.99)
• UNCLE SCROOGE, No. 18 ($3.99)
• WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES, No. 734 ($3.99)
Aftershock Comics (1)
• CAPTAIN KID, No. 3 ($3.99)
Boom! Studios (1)
• SKYBOURNE, No. 1 ($3.99)
As I took at the list, it does occur to me that I'm buying more comics with female leads than I ever have before in 45+ years of collecting. But those are simply, in my opinion, the best books being published right now.
Meanwhile, here's a list of some things I probably would have bought, given unlimited funds, but which, because I'm poor and spending more than I should on comics already, never even made the first draft of my order form:
• TARZAN ON THE PLANET OF THE APES, No. 1 ($3.99, Dark Horse)
• RISE OF THE BLACK FLAME, No. 1 (of 5) ($3.99, Dark Horse)
• SERENITY ADULT COLORING BOOK ($14.99, Dark Horse)
• GROO: FRAY OF THE GODS, No. 3 ($3.99, Dark Horse)
• TRINITY, No. 1 ($2.99, DC)
• SUPERMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE OMNIBUS, Vol. 3 ($75, DC)
• BLOOM COUNTY, EPISODE XI: A NEW HOPE ($17.99, IDW)
• ALTERS, No. 1 ($3.99, Aftershock)
• PINK PANTHER: TRICK OR PINK, No. 1 ($3.99, American Mythology)
• ART OF ATARI, ($39.99, Dynamite)
• SUPERNATURAL LAW: A VAMPIRE IN HOLLYWOOD ($19.95, Exhibit A)
• LITTLE TAILS, Vol. 1: IN THE FOREST ($14.99, Magnetic Press)
• NIGHT'S DOMINION, NO. 1 ($3.99, Oni)
• VIKINGS: UPRISING, No. 1 ($3.99, Titan)
• ALTER EGO, No. 143 ($8.95, Twomorrows)
• BACK ISSUE, No. 88 ($8.95, Twomorrows)
• THE QUALITY COMPANION ($31.95, Twomorrows)
• BRITANNIA, No. 1 ($3.99, Valiant)
Well, that's it. Come September, what comic books will you be buying?