For those not in the know, a pull list typically consists of the comics you request to have held for you at the comic book store. This is a great way to make sure that you don’t miss an issue. Now, I cheated a bit with my list below, as a few of the Marvel ones are titles that my fiance buys digitally, and I just read his copies. Still, these are all the comics that I read each month, plus a few I’m considering adding to the list. This, of course, doesn’t count the titles that I’m following with the trades, like Fables, or Captain Marvel.
Angel and Faith (on hiatus)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Putting this list together has got me thinking about the type of thing I typically look for in a comic book series. There’s the predictable things of course, such as a comic starring a favorite character, or created by a favorite writer or artist. When it comes to genre, I’m pretty open minded. I’ve read superhero stories, sci-fi, horror, fantasy and espionage just to list to a few. What I really need are characters that intrigue me. I love comics that feature complex female characters, either in a lead or supporting role. I enjoy ensemble books that feature great character relationships. A comic book that makes an effort to include more diversity, or otherwise break out of the typical “white straight guy stories” is likely to grab my attention, but they need to have quality writing to keep it (hence when I dropped the all female X-men line recently). A comic that ties into a favorite intellectual property of mine might get me excited, but only if the end result consists of character development and story progression. Useless filler just feels like a cash grab.
As for artwork, I guess what’s important for me is it needs to suit the story. So while Emma Rios’s style didn’t work well for me on Captain Marvel, I love everything about her work on Pretty Deadly. I find myself drawn to vibrant, expressive art, and love artists that can be depended upon to covey characterizations just with facial expressions. At the same time, I’ve also enjoyed gritter, darker art styles. I have nothing against sexy female characters in comics, but get annoyed at comics where all of the female characters have seemingly identical bodies dressed in impractical outfits. Nothing says “we’re not marketing this comic to you” louder then a scantily clad heroine on the cover, twisting her body so all of the sexy bits are front and center.
On a less creatively-focused note, I also like comics with consistent release schedules. Don’t get me wrong, I’m okay with comics like Saga that take a hiatus every six issues, because they’re pretty consistent about it. I know that I’ll have a new Saga comic to read for six months, and then a break for a little bit. Comics where I never know when the next issue is going to be out leave be frustrated and occasionally confused with what was going on in the story.
I feel like buying comics are my one big indulgence. I know that flying through an issue in a manner of minutes is not worth the 2.99-3.99 I spent on it, but there are few things more relaxing to me then getting to sit down with a big stack of comics at the end of a long, stressful day.
Some ladies like to unwind with tabloids. I just prefer kickass spies, superheriones, and sci-fi epics. There’s nothing wrong with that I think.