G.I. CombatThere have been a lot of new #1 issues in the last couple of years.  DC rebooted.  Marvel is in the middle of a relaunch.  There  are new independent titles every month.  That means you’ve probably been trying new titles.  I’ve got a question for you: how many issues do you give a new title before you decide to either keep buying it or drop it?

[poll id=”6″]


  1. One issue but that’s on average. Sometimes I start strong and my interest peters out. I rarely finish an M/DC story arc because they are too long. Eventually I lose interest or lose the plot but it’s okay.

    Meanwhile, Hawkeye is going strong because it is a confident enough series that it doesn’t *need* “to be continued” to hold readers. In short, try finishing stories instead of milking them for half a year. Anyway.

  2. It depends on the comic. Sometimes I can tell if I like it or don’t like it after reading one issue. Sometimes it takes longer. If I really don’t like what I am reading and am not getting any enjoyment at all from it I stop buying it. I don’t keep buying it hoping it will change or I will learn to like it.

    But there are a lot of books that are enjoyable enough that I would read them I had unlimited money and time. I’ll give those books a few issues to see if they can become must haves. But the number of issues vary.

  3. I’m on a budget, so if they don’t hook me within the first few pages of the first issue I might not even bother buying it in the store.

  4. Examples of great first issues: Saga and Revival. They both had me within a few pages. Justice League when it relaunched however, did not. So I never bothered reading any more of it. (All I remember is Batman running from the cops and Green Lantern showing up…assuming to say hi).

  5. I can pretty much tell if I’m going to like something from the concept, so I don’t drop very many books. As such, the number of issues gone by before I do it varies greatly.

  6. If the title impresses me with the first issue, then I usually go 4 to 6 issues deep before committing to adding it to my pull list. Then every 6 issues I re-evaluate.

  7. Depends on a lot of factors, but if I’ve got enough interest to pick up a book, I’ll usually give it one issue to set up the premise and a second to get the story moving. If I’m not hooked by then, it gets dropped.

  8. I let the story show me what it’s worth through the first arc. Reading mostly “independant” comics, I think first-time creators would do well to catch the reader with incredible ideas from issue #1, or make that comic-book incredibly fun to read.

  9. One issue, I’m pretty brutal. That said, I rarely get it wrong. I like giving new titles a try as it’s often hard to tell from concept alone, or even a couple of preview pages, but if it doesn’t hook me in that one issue then it’s out.

    Hey, I’m from Britain – if you can’t hook me in 8-10 pages à la 2000 AD it’s a miss :P

  10. It sort of works it ‘waves’.

    1.) Is the cover offensive in any way? Needlessly male-gaze oriented? If so, pass. If not, is it interesting in any way, visually or creatively? If it is, time to give it a flip.

    3.) Front to back, is there anything stupid about the interior art, like spine-snapping, boob-and-butt contortions? Helium sex-doll modeling? If so, pass. If not, is the style engrossing in any way? If so, time to read.

    3.) Randomly read bits of female dialogue. Does anything in it sound like men-with-tits talking? By hope-of-hopes, does anything in it pass the Bechdel test? Does the first few pages orient and hook me into the world (if new) or story (if the world’s established).

    Sold. But essentially repeat with each issue.

    I have no strange, absolute company allegiance (make mine Marvel, blah blah blah) or genre bias. If it passes my initial flip, I’ll try any flavor of story.

  11. Depends upon the creative team or character or the publisher. Some get more leeway. Some get less. Some get automatic tryouts. Some get automatic skips. Some are 1 issue. Some get 1 story arc. Some get the full run.
    With all the collected editions nowadays, anything and everything seems to get collected later on. So I’m not worried about missing anything “good”, as if it gets good reviews, I’ll get the book later.

  12. Generally I’ll stay on board for the first story arc, and then I decide if I’m going to put it on my pull list. That’s not as bad as it sounds, since I vastly prefer titles with done-in-one or -two issues. You launch with a six-issue arc and I’m usually gone.

    I’m VERY choosy about what I put on my pull list, because once it goes there, I usually stay with it until cancellation. Cancellation happens quite frequently to titles on my pull list from DC/Marvel, since I typically only enjoy the “fringe” titles that aren’t tied to lots of other books or crossovers, so there’s a lot of rotation to my pull list. I try to run a “zero-sum” pull, where I don’t continuously add titles, I replace ones that drop off, to keep expenses down. All of the above have steadily skewed my pull to independents rather than Marvel/DC.

    Wow, that’s really complicated when you spell it all out.

    I long ago dropped all the DC/Marvel flagship titles and never started buying them again. If I get the urge to read Fantastic Four or Superman, I might buy a trade. I’m more likely to read older material.

  13. Does anything in it sound like men-with-tits talking?

    This is a pretty vague qualifier. What kind of dialogue are you talking about?

  14. 2 issues. The only “new” book(s) that have passed my rule are Usagi Yojimbo, and the IDW Transformers books – More Than Meets the Eyes and Robots in Disguise – which have totally surprised me with how consistently good/great they are. Especially MTMTE.

  15. Typically I give it the first story-arc, unless that first issue or two is REALLY bad. If it just stinks from the get go, I’ll bail early.

  16. If they pull the ol’ bait and switch with the A-team creative guys getting traded to another comic, I’m not around for long. They then have one issue to show me the stuff. And I want my precious $4 to be spent on GOOD stuff, or else it stays in my pocket.
    Otherwise, if the team stays intact, I am relatively patient. No hurry.

  17. I bought an issue of Bionic Woman once, before I became more discriminating. There was a scene where Jaime and an old friend saw each other, and it was very ‘bro-fist-bumpy’, and then the friend asked her ‘Hey, Jaime. How’s it hangin’?’ To which she replied, ‘Like a monster.’ Or some such effect. It was horribly, cringe-inducingly bad.

    But that’s just my opinion, and don’t care to argue it if you feel otherwise. Life’s too short.

  18. Depends on the character and the creators involved. I gave Green Lantern: New Guardians way too many issues, probably like 7 or 8 of them, because I like Kyle Rayner and because Tony Bedard has a good track-record with sci fi. But it stunk and I eventually dropped it.

  19. anymore, I trade-wait for it to hit the library with mainstream titles. Unless a reliable source tells me otherwise. The issue price makes it daunting to sample any book on the shelf or rack these days.

  20. But that’s just my opinion, and don’t care to argue it if you feel otherwise. Life’s too short.

    No argument…just never seen anyone elaborate on that complaint when it is brought up and it’s always seemed vague to me.

  21. Given what sales numbers of new titles look like after their first issue it is pretty clear that quite a lot of the people who said more than one issue are probably not cognizant of their own actual buying habits.

  22. Depends how bad it is. Thunderbolts is pretty bad but I’m still reading, hoping it will get better. Iron Man was dropped after the first issue, mostly because of Land.

  23. I kind of have a sliding scale. If I definitely do or don’t like it after one issue, then I make the decision then. If I’m not sure, I pick up #2. If I still haven’t decided by #3, it’s probably not worth continuing.

  24. “Back in the day” I used to give titles months if not YEARS to improve, b/c they were so damn cheap and didnt mean much. In the end I got stuck w/hundreds of worthless comics that never, ever got better. :-(

    These days?

    I give a new title one and I mean ONE, issue to hook/intrigue me. If the creative team can’t even do that in the first issue, I’m not holding my breath they’ll be able to do it in subsequent issues. I’ve been down that road too many times before!!!

  25. It´s pretty hard for me to try new artists. Usually the cover and the concept is enough to know if I´ll keep reading it. MIND MGMT had me with the first cover. Others, I´ll inform myself a little bit with the thousands of reviews to be found online, like a year ago with the revamping of Prophet. Once every year I may try something out of the blue, sometimes is a downer, like the recent Mara, or sometimes is a winner, like Godzilla Half Century War.

  26. I get a lot of free stuff, either in single issue or trade.

    The free comics… I’ll give any Marvel or DC title a read. Of the latest monthly box of DC comics, there were only two issues I didn’t read… one was Constantine (got behind, hard to catch up), and that horrible horror comic miniseries about a house, and a family moving, and they have to stay there overnight… I’m not a big horror fan, and it just didn’t hook me.

    How many DC issues would I continue reading if I had to start buying them? Unwritten. Morrison’s Superman stories. Amethyst, just to see if it goes anywhere in a year.

    Dynamite issues, which are mostly “licensed” or “literary” characters… no interest. Alex Ross cover? Nice, but they usually fail to sell a comic. It’s artwork, not illustration. I’ll give any comic from any other publisher a look.

    Sometimes a story is so good, I’ll buy the first issue, then wait for the trade (or hardcover). But there’s so much good stuff out there, I don’t collect anything religiously, except for Astro City and any Neil Gaiman comics (because both are good, and both are so intermittent that they are worth the wait yet don’t bust my budget). Most series will come out in paperback eventually, so I know to keep an eye out for Saga, or Manhattan Projects.

    I think most comics being published today have good writers and artists on them, journeyman talent. But if there’s continuity, it makes for a harder sale. I prefer something self-contained.

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