Over the course of the past two months, most of the comic shops near me have reopened. Despite my intense desire to scope out the Twin Cities nerd scene, I did not immediately rush out to buy print comics when shops began reopening. I was jobless for three months this spring, and my wife and I still have a few big purchases to make as a result of our cross-country move. While we are doing absolutely fine and are quite well-off considering others’ situations, rushing back into a just-reopened comic shop and buying all the things felt irresponsible to me.
So I waited, until I’d received enough paychecks that I figured I could drop some money on comics. And while I waited, I thought about what I was going to buy. A lot of trades and series and OGNs floated through my mind, but as the day I was actually, finally going to get to go to a comic shop, have a look around, and buy some comics approached, only one title felt right to purchase:
When I told my wife I was planning to buy a mess of Batman comics, she rolled her eyes at me and said, “Of course you are.” This statement both does not give me enough credit for expanding my comics palette over the last eleven years, and is also extremely correct. Because when given the chance to actually enter a comic shop for the first time since we moved to Minnesota, I decided that what I really wanted was some comfort food. Something that would make the next few hours spent reading at home feel normal, exciting, and wonderful in a way that most things don’t right now. If you’ve been binging old favorites on Netflix or from your bookshelf to get through the tougher days of this pandemic, then you know why I bought Batman.
I had planned to read just the first couple of the ten issues I bought and save the rest for a camping trip I have coming up. I read all ten issues within a few hours. I will read them again on the camping trip, to catch the things I missed because I was reading too quickly. I may have started reading them again while I was writing this paragraph. I can tell you without hestitation that Batman is good right now. Which makes at least one thing that is good right now.
That feeling, that at least something is good right now, is all I wanted out of my first visit to a Twin Cities comic shop. So I consider my first mid-pandemic comics run to be a success. Next time, I likely won’t buy just Batman – but I most certainly will still be buying Batman.
A year and a half ago, I listed some of my favorite comic creator newsletters. These newsletters let me keep up with what some of my favorite comic creators are doing, gain insight into their processes, and reap the benefits of curated comic, book, article, and music recommendations. In short, they are fantastic – and they are incredibly valuable in this particular moment, when all of us are looking for ways to occupy our coronavirus quarantine.
Since publishing that first article, I’ve signed up for a few more creator newsletters, each of which is worth checking out if you’re looking for more book recommendations, process and philosophical musings, or zany nonsense. Below, you’ll find links to those newsletters, as well as an explanation of what you can expect from each.
No full post this week because I’d like to encourage you to check out the retrospective on Rebirth-era Detective Comics I recently published at Multiversity Comics. James Tynion IV and his collaborators knocked their run out of the park, and I’m sad to see this era of Detective Comics end.
If you want to learn what you can build from Batman (Answer: A lot. Almost anything.), click the link above. And if you want to start reading from the beginning of the recently concluded run, click this shamelessly inserted Amazon link.