Years ago, I did a series of articles about something hilariously dubbed “Stackology,” which dealt with my very particular routine for attacking a week’s worth of comics. They were pretty popular, and I’ve flirted with how to bring that back in a schedule friendly manner, which won’t require me to quickly read dozens of comics and then talk about them at length. I believe I have finally discovered a cool work-around, and given that this week’s stack is indeed legendary, figure it’s time.
Here are the rules/methodology I follow, and feel free to contribute your own in the comments section below—
#1- Brothers (and Sisters) First
This is going to be a long-term point of emphasis, but based on my conversations at SDCC this summer, 2016 is going to be an absolutely seismic year for black writers and artists in the world of mainstream comics. There are a number of fantastic, exciting creators that the majority of the comics reading public are about to truly discover in a very big way. The rightful ascension of David Walker, and that perfect Black Panther creative team are only the beginning.
So as something of a personal celebration of this new, long overdue landscape, anything written or illustrated by a black creator is read first.
#2- Create Balance
I have a good friend that does the exact opposite of this, but I will almost never read books from the same creator back-to-back. I feel that it disturbs the overall tempo, but that’s not the only thing I try to smooth everything out. Will also attempt to alternate solo vs. team/ensemble books, split up books by writers who I know typically use a lot of dialogue or captioning, and adjust for the occasional oversized issue. Sometimes the release list doesn’t cooperate, but like any great album built on the back of flawless sequencing, the goal is always to create the perfect little batch of comics that’ll amount to hours and hours of enjoyment.
#3- Delayed Gratification
Probably the central tenet of this entire approach is that the books you’re most excited to read cannot be touched until almost everything else in the stack is gone. This gives you something to work towards, and is the critical step in creating some dynamite sequencing for your weekly hauls.
For me, the easiest way to do this is to arrange your pile according to creator. For instance, anything written by Jason Aaron, Fraction, Brubaker, Remender, Hickman, etc., usually settles near the bottom of the stack each and every week. Final tip here is to always remain flexible and dynamic, as there’s nothing better than a book starting off in the top or middle of the stack, and then gradually moving down, as it becomes another clear favorite.
So every week, I’m going to give a little shout-out to the last seven books in my weekly stack, which will take advantage of the fact that I’ve now fully transitioned from mail order back to my preferred weekly warrior status. It’s nuts, but I really do miss talking about/reviewing comics on a regular basis, so this should scratch that itch without imploding my writing schedule.
Okay, this week offers a metric ton of things to choose from, but here’s the last seven—
Dr. Strange #1
Darth Vader #010
Southern Bastards #11
Secret Wars #6
Star Wars #010
Excited to see how this goes, and back next week…