Monday, December 17, 2007

Pile O' Stuff Next to my Bed

Here's stuff I hope to read in the next week or two, but right now it's just piled next to my bed:

The Rest of Last Week's Comics. This is the stuff I haven't read from last Wednesday, which probably means I should cut these comics from my pull list. That would make sense, right? But I still buy these issues and just let them pile up--although I do read everything by the next shipment, usually. Here's some of the stuff in that pile of random, not-so-eagerly-anticipated comics: Wonder Woman #15, Captain Carrot and the Final Ark #3, Black Adam #5, Simon Dark #3, Salvation Run #2, New Warriors #6, Suicide Squad #4, JLA Classified #48, DMZ #26, and Wonder Girl #4. I do want to read all of these comics, honestly, but I'm just not in much of a hurry. I'll probably cut everything off that list except DMZ and Wonder Woman once the new year hits, though. Maybe. Here's a trivia question: which one of the above titles is the best? Which is the worst? I'll let you know.

Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together. I was so looking forward to this, I pre-ordered it from Amazon because my comic shop wouldn't get it soon enough for me. Yet, here it sits, next to the bed. I really want to read it. Maybe later today. I definitely want to read it soon, since it should be considered when I'm drawing up the inevitable Best of the Year list. I don't know if it will be good enough to make the list, but it's Scott Pilgrim! It should be considered, right?

McSweeney's #25. The last issue of McSweeney's, with the Donald Barthelme tribute, was fantastic, and I read almost the whole issue. But I rarely read even 25% of these, even though I love them as art objects and I love many of the writers involved. I just never get around to reading short fiction as much as I'd like to. When The Believer comes, I devour it, but not so much with McSweeney's. I've turned into a comics and non-fiction reader, even though I teach primarily short fiction and novels. What's up with that? Cause and effect, maybe?

Marvel Masterworks Captain Marvel, Volumes 1 and 2. I literally have 50 Masterworks, Archives, and Omnibus editions on my shelves that I haven't fully read. That is ridiculous. I need to start reading these, and I'm starting with Captain Marvel because I've never read ANY of the stories in these volumes, and I know it's not considered the pinnacle of Silver Age Marvel, but I love me some space heroes and both versions of the costume (green/white and red/yellow/blue) are super-spiffy. I often tell myself: do not buy any more hardcovers until you read at least 10 that you already own. I neglect my own advice regularly.

Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus, Volume 3. I can't believe I haven't read this yet. I read the other two volumes the week they came out, but this one's still in the middle of the pile. By the way, what do you think is the best way to read this Kirby stuff? I love how the Omnibus reprints the issues in order of publication, so you can get the full-on Fourth World tapestry effect, and I want to read these books straight through, but doing so kind of fries the brain, don't you think? Maybe one story per day? Would that be better? Alternatively, I sort of want to wait for Volume Four and then read the whole series in one day and see what happens. Will I achieve transcendence, do you think?

Back Issue #25. I enjoy this magazine every couple of months, and I usually read it right away. I'll get to this soon (which probably means grabbing it from the middle of the pile). I've been contracted to write a piece for an upcoming issue, by the way, and I'll let you know more about that when it's closer to publication.

24Seven Volume 1. I know there's a new volume of this, but I still haven't read the first one. I love anthologies (see McSweeney's) but I never seem to actually read them (see also my bookshelf filled with the Brunetti-edited anthology, various volumes of Flight, and Best American Comics 2006, none of which I've read all the way through. Although I do actually read Mome every few months).

King Leopold's Ghost. This is the non-fiction account of the type of stuff Joseph Conrad wrote about in Heart of Darkness. I teach Heart of Darkness and I should really read this book, and it's sitting next to my bed, and I'm interested in it. I haven't read past page 20 and the book was given to me, by a student, two years ago.

Popgun Volume 1. Another anthology. I should probably just give up on buying these. When will I ever read it?

Best American Comics 2007. I never read last year's volume--think I'll get to this one? Actually, I've read half the stories already, when they showed up in Mome and Kramer's Ergot. But this is one of the books that I can't NOT buy, even though I might never really read it. If anything, it's going to be a fascinating historical document some day. THIS is what was considered the BEST in 2007? (Not that I disagree with the choices, but, in retrospect, all Best Of collections seem wrong--for examples, see any Best Of lists or Award-nominated books or movies from the early 20th century.)

Comic Art #9. I love this magazine. It's the best magazine about comics that I've ever read. Yet, I've skipped around and read all the parts I'm interested in, and although I want to read the rest, I just haven't. That's why it's still on the pile, though. I'll get to it eventually. Or not.

What's on your to-read-soon pile?


Chad Nevett said...

I've still yet to read Iron Man: Enter the Mandarin #2-3. I enjoyed the first issue, but, for some reason, haven't read the two since. Issue four comes out this week, so I'll probably just read all four issues then. I've also had the latest issues of Rolling Stone, Harper's and The London Review of Books sitting around, unread and unloved, for a while.

Timothy Callahan said...

Casey's Enter the Mandarin is infinitely better than Van Lente's Marvel Adventures: Iron Man. I think Action Philosophers is brilliant, but his Iron Man is lacking. Casey, however, seems to get it.

Marc Caputo said...

Danger Girl - the first series
Mr. Majestic - Casey and Canete (Iron Man)
Annihilation, books 1-3
Majestic - the DnA run (the Majestics are re-reads)
a LOT of indie/alternative stuff - Warren Ellis' 2007 output, Mark Millar's The Unfunnies

My Sister's Keeper - almost through with this
Can't Stop, Won't Stop - Jeff Chang
Love in the Time of Cholera - my wife laments the fact that we never read together and I always fall behind. Part of her Christmas present is me reading the book BEFORE I give it to her. Wish me luck...

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, Season 3 - This is the greatest show right now. Maybe ever.

Marc Caputo said...

I know what happens if you read all the Jack Kirby Fourth World stuff in one day!
No matter what you say, the listener will think you are shouting!
Do you know why?!
Because everything has exclamation points!

But, seriously, if you see those cool squiggles on metal surfaces, you've got your transcendance.

Timothy Callahan said...

People give Kirby (and Jim Shooter for Secret Wars) a hard time about using exclamation points at the end of every sentence! But go back and read any Marvel or DC comic published in the Silver Age! They ended each sentence with exclamation points too!

Timothy Callahan said...

Upton Sinclair's novels do too!

marcwrz said...

Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together is the best comic of 07.

Not even a question.

Timothy Callahan said...

I read Scott Pilgrim Gets it Together last night. It's certainly one of the top ten best comics of the year, I agree. I don't have it as #1 though. But it is quite excellent, and I'm really glad he finally got it together!

marcwrz said...

Glad to see you liked it Tim. Just curious, anything in particular you think is going to take the top spot or not sure yet?

Timothy Callahan said...

A bunch of us blogger types are going to do a Best Of 2007 cross-blog event thing in a week or two, so I've been doing a lot of thinking about my Top 10 list recently, and I have about 30 comics that are under consideration. I have a pretty good idea what will make the cut, and what will be #1, but you'll just have to wait and see...