In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.
What are some of your resolutions for the new year?
Well, my instinct is:
(1) read more comics, on time.
(2) be more active in online comic-related communities (including my Twitter).
(3) attend comic-related conventions — preferably with fellow Fantastic Fangirls.
But then, my main resolution, the one with no ‘related to comics’ caveat is still worth mentioning here because, in a way, it is related. I’ve been waiting for years for my life and the lives of my loved ones to settle enough so I can return to school and get my Masters in Clinical Social Work. Well, I don’t think that will ever actually happen so, this being the year of ‘Yes, we can’ my resolution is to put that goal into motion anyway. Once I have my degree, and after some years working in a state hospital (something I actually want to do), I will open a private practice as a youth therapist (the 10-20 years) and use pop culture, including comic books, to help teenagers relate to this world we all share.
I’m getting more bookshelves. Either that or getting rid of a lot of books, but the truth is that I’ve culled a lot in the past few years, moving around. Even considering the long shelf of comics trade paperbacks I’ve added over the last couple years, I’m pretty sure I have fewer books than I did five years ago. Fewer books and more space, and it would make more sense to have them on display in a socially acceptable manner rather than in piles on the floor. Not that I would do that. Okay, it should be clear. . .I would totally do that.
I realize that (a) I’m a little old for ‘Get real furniture in your apartment’ to be a New Year’s resolution and (b) this really has nothing to do with reading comics. But it ties together when I think about the books I’m going to buy. In the new year I’m going to make an effort to move a bit more into trade-reading, and away from single issues. I like getting comics in single issues, I like getting little pieces of a story that my friends are also following at the same time. Good monthly comics aren’t just words and pictures, they’re artifacts for conversation. They also give me a chance to try out a story when I might not invest in the whole thing. I go through my singles and give some to charity from time to time, and almost all the time I find a lot of issue #1′s I never followed up on. But honestly, I’m happy to have those. They show me that I gave something new a try.
I don’t want to stop doing that, but in the new year, I do want to give a little more thought to what I’m buying and why I’m buying it. There are comics I know would read just as well in collected form — Daredevil, say, or Green Lantern. (I think I can safely move to trade without worrying that Ed Brubaker and Geoff Johns are going to starve — whereas the discounted prices that the Internet gives on TPB’s helps to make sure that I won’t). I need to get a little bit better about not grabbing things just because they’re there, but really thinking about what I want to have, and what I’m going to keep. Besides, if I never wait for trade, what am I going to put on all those bookshelves?
Oddly, I have a similar resolution to Caroline’s: I want to read more trade paperbacks in the new year. But not because I want to “trade wait”–I’m far too much of an instant gratification sort of person to wait for anything I can have immediately. Instead, I want to read more trades of things that came out months, or years, ago that I never would have checked out otherwise. When I first got into comics, I read a lot of back issues I borrowed from friends, and made good use of my brother’s “50 Years of X-Men” DVD. But since then, almost all of my comics reading has been new monthly issues (or random backissues picked up from dollar-or-less boxes), and that means I’ve been missing out on a wealth of good stories, particularly those from DC comics and non-superhero publishers. I like the feeling of a book in my hands, especially a book of comics, and I like how quickly I can get through a complete story by reading a trade in one sitting. Now that I’ve discovered a nearby library that has lots of trades, I have no more excuses not to read them, and it’s about time I expand my reading beyond Marvel’s monthly output. I’ve already started on this resolution–since the new year, I’ve read Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly’s Local, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim: Vol. 1, Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran’s Orbiter, and Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Phonogram. Let’s see if I can keep it up.
I have two comics-related resolutions. First, get rid of the eight longboxes of crap I don’t want and won’t file. That’s right, eight. (I won’t even tell you how many I am keeping.) I don’t know how yet, but I will. Second, stop being afraid to dump a title “because I might want it again in a year.” If I buy it and don’t read it? Dump it. Don’t “wait and see if it gets better.” Just dump it. The internet will certainly tell me if it gets better again.
What about you? What are some of your resolutions for the new year?