Bells’ Pull List: The Culling

Real talk time: I recently got laid off. Yes, I’m collecting unemployment, but when you’re not making a full income, you’ve got to cut your expenses real quick. I already cancelled cable TV, I’m cooking at home more, making fewer trips to the bar. So what’s left as far as my non-necessary expenses? Yeah. Comics.

I’ve been going to the shop every week since college. And now I’m tasked with cutting my comics budget. I would have thought this would have meant some really hard decisions. But the publishers, especially Marvel are making it really easy. Not because the books are bad, but because with their Marvel NOW! promotion, which aims to give new readers a jumping on point, they’re giving me a jumping off point.

Here’s my pull list as it stands today:

  • Avengers Academy
  • Avengers Vs. X-Men
  • Dark Avengers
  • Batman
  • Batwoman
  • All the Before Watchmen stuff
  • Birds of Prey
  • Captain America
  • Winter Soldier
  • Captain Marvel
  • Daredevil
  • Fatale
  • Flash
  • Gambit
  • Invincible Iron Man
  • Punisher
  • Rachel Rising
  • Saga
  • Astonishing X-Men
  • X-Factor
  • X-Men Legacy

Now let’s get rid of anything that is a limited series, has an impending cancellation, or has a creative team or direction switch announced:

  • Batman
  • Batwoman
  • Birds of Prey
  • Captain Marvel [which sold 40,000 copies of issue #1, which is not good. And it didn’t get great reviews.]
  • Daredevil
  • Fatale
  • Flash
  • Gambit [We don’t know yet how well this sold. It could be gone in six months.]
  • Rachel Rising
  • Saga
  • Astonishing X-Men
  • X-Factor

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very excited about some of the Marvel NOW! books. Kieron Gillen’s name always get my attention. And nothing about Matt Fraction and Mike Allred’s FF has turned me off yet. I mean, a team with Ant-Man, Medusa, and She-Hulk? With Allred drawing it? I’m in.

I’m not saying that my pull list will stay around 10 items (especially with the impending Phonogram 3: The Immaterial Girl), but this is one of the unintended consequences of shakeups. I’m going to be looking to save money. Like it or not, tradewaiting saves money.

I’m not going to be some super pessimist, saying that I’m quitting books because I feel alienated or because Marvel’s trying to get us excited about the same stories over and over again. I’m enjoying Marvel’s current output. But as they wave new readers into the comic shop, I’m going to quietly sneak out the back.

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