One of the things retailers have been talking about in the wake of Marvel’s latest relaunch is a tendency for some of the people who came in for Secret Wars to be staying away from new Marvel titles until the last issue of Secret Wars ships, so they can stay clear of spoilers.
Come to find out I know one such person. More interestingly, he’s also a lapsed fan recently returned to the fold, reading digitally and trying to catch up on Marvel’s continuity. How many hot button topics can one man cover?
I had a conversation with him about waiting for Secret Wars to end and his interim buying habits from a type of customer perspective I don’t think we necessarily see very often in the comics blog-o-sphere.
The Beat: What made you decide to stop buying the Marvel relaunch titles until the last issue of Secret Wars comes out?
Bruce Stuff: Originally I purchased the new Amazing Spider-Man #1 and was about to read it. I then read an unsubstantiated rumor that the first Iron Man contained a spoiler about the ending of Secret Wars. Whether this is true or not I was also, playing catch up with events that lead up to Secret Wars #1. That would entail the Jonathan Hickman run on Fantastic Four, Avengers, New Avengers (I had been completely away from comics since the early 90s). I even read the Fantastic Four Dark Reigns story about the creation of the Bridge. And I just happened have a copy of Fantastic Four #319, “Secret Wars 3”. I read all of this in a few months and in that short of time I became emotionally attached to basically a near infinite number of people who died in the multiverse so I continued to wait to honor this giant story that I did not wait years for to end.
The Beat: What have you been reading while you wait?
Bruce Stuff: Other than catch up with the Hickman story line:
Most of the other Secret Wars related comics. Like you finally get to see more than one hero lamenting the end of the multiverse in “Ultimate End”. I just read X-Men Schism so I’m heading toward the House of M and Wolverine and the X-Men. Catching up on Spider-Man post Superior Spider-Man including all that Spiderverse stuff. DKIII, Star Wars comics both Marvel and Dark Horse.
The Beat: And after the final issue drops, you’ll start picking up the current titles, more or less like you’d originally planned to?
Bruce Stuff: Yes, I’ll be continuing the catch up. I’ll most likely be reading two volumes of Spider-Man at the same time. I am looking forward to returning to Spider-Gwen. And just really wondering about how Contest of Champions will be.
The Beat: You’d mentioned to me earlier that you’re buying everything digitally. Do you think you’d be approaching everything the same way if you were reading the print editions?
Bruce Stuff: If I were in High School, yes. But the physical storage is completely impractical now. A digital comic over the cloud is already put away. I have had a storage facility since the late 90s that’s holding my collection from the 80s. Digital took that burden off the plate and then exploded it by allowing me to get back issues will near impunity. Without that I would have zero investment in the Secret Wars story line because I had completely dropped off the map 20 years ago.
The Beat: So, you’d say that being able to quickly access the backstory was necessary and a potential barrier to get back into Marvel?
Bruce Stuff: Yes, and I think Marvel has done a decent job of facilitating that “necessity” with their digital app (or Comixology). I was reading an old digital issue of Spider-Man and this particular story line went into an issue of the Punisher. Click to buy Punisher. At the end of that, click to buy a Daredevil issue. Or I could forget that story and return to Spider-Man.
The Beat: Were there any non-Marvel titles you sampled during the Secret Wars gap that’ll you’ll be adding your ongoing list?
Bruce Stuff: I’ve checked out a few of the #1s from DC’s The New 52, like Action Comics, Detective Comics, and Wonder Woman. I’ve been reading a number of comics on Image like Wytches, Invisible Republic, and Injection. Others: Paper Girls. The new Judge Dredd #1 that just came out. Just bought the black and white, digital version of Raphael: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
Want to learn more about how comics publishing and digital comics work? Try Todd’s book, Economics of Digital Comics.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.