What I’m Reading

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So I signed myself up for the Goodreads reading challenge again this year, and increased my target to 50 books, theoretically almost one per week. I’ve finished nine books so far this year, and I’m nearly done a tenth. That makes me 5 books behind schedule at the moment, but it’s not because I’m not reading, it’s because of what I’m reading.

You see, a while back (last year), I started doing an X-Men re-read.

X-Men, as in the comic book.

I used to collect comic books, and I was a huge X-men fan, accumulating most issues of all of the regular series of titles (although not all of them new off the shelf, from issue 100-ish of the original series through to around 330. This is the series that most readers will know as The Uncanny X-Men.

But I also did all of the primary spin off series in the same time frame: New Mutants, X-Men, X-Force, Excalibur, Alpha Flight, and some of the mini-series too, but my budget was limited most of the time when I was younger. There were a couple of other series I read consistently, too, but not always related: New Warriors, Darkhawk, and so on.

Actually, I started the re-reads last year with Elfquest, The Tick, and Alien Legion, before moving into other things and winding up with the X-Men again.

On the re-read cycle, I’ve expanded my X-Men to include more of the mini-series, and a couple of spin offs that I hadn’t gotten into at the time. And, using some online resources in addition to my many boxes of comics, I went right back to the beginning with issue #1. In the primary series, Uncanny, I just read issue #310. There have been a lot of story arcs, more than I remembered, and it’s been pretty neat to watch the development and redevelopment of the characters.

Over the course of a little over a year, I’ve worked my way from the early 1960s origin of the team up to the mid 1990s. Forward momentum has slowed significantly as the storylines have gotten more intricate and span more titles. In the 90s, a lot more titles came out per month. And I’m getting close to the end of my own personal collection, so I’ll need to figure things out soon. I stopped collecting in mid 1996, though I went back for a scattering here and there over the next few years.

Why 1996?

We bought a house.

And in 1998, we had our first child.

Things kept building up from there.

But I’ve been devouring them lately, to the point where they make up most of my reading. Really. I’ve read more than 500 comic books this year, and pretty much all of them are X-titles. And, like I said, I’m going to run out of hard copies very soon. However, at this point, the vast majority of everything I don’t have is available online. The Marvel digital subscription price is looking pretty good at $69 for a year with unlimited access. Of course, at my current rate of consumption, it will take me three more years to get close to the present. Which means that there’s a lot of story still to come.

And that’s the way I like it.

Be well, everyone.

And don’t be afraid to read a comic book or two. If superheroes aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other genres out there. I promise, you can find something for any taste.

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