My #100Comics Challenge
At the end of March, there was a challenge thrown down with the hashtag #100comics. I heard about it through the ComixTribe newsletter and the Final Issue Podcast. The idea was to attempt to read 100 comics in a week. I read a lot of comics and I figured this would be an easy challenge. After a few days into it, I realized that I was very wrong. I would need to read at least 14 comics a day in order to reach the goal of 100 within a week and I was averaging half that at best. I could have inflated my numbers a bit by counting trade paperbacks as separate issues. For example, I counted iZombie: Volume 1 as a single title, but it’s a collection of the first five issues of the series so technically it’s five issues worth of content.
Having failed at the challenge, I thought I’d turn this into something to make my Data Nerd Sense tingle. I created a spreadsheet via Google Docs to keep track of all the comics I was reading including the title, publisher, type, medium, and date. This would allow me to look at things on a daily, weekly, and monthly level to see just how much I was reading. Was it as much as I thought? Or less? I don’t really know the answer to this as I just thought I read a lot of books. Although I started keeping track of this towards the end of March, I waited until the end of April to really look at the data. That way I’d have a full month work of information to parse through. For the month of April 2015, I read 199 comics.
Of the 199 comics read, 182 (91%) were single issues. The remaining 17 (9%) were graphic novels. These include trade paperbacks and original graphic novels. Highlights for April were a re-reading of Empire by Mark Waid and Barry Kitson, Saga: Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, and iZombie: Volume 2 by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred.
This shows how much I read per day. The weekend is clearly my preferred time to read comics as that’s where the bulk of the books were read. I tend to average a couple issues in the morning and the evening of each weekday, more if I go to the gym in the morning. Yes, I’m the nerd that’s reading comics on a tablet while on the treadmill.
This information didn’t really surprise me all that much. I now read comics almost exclusively in digital. As a reviewer for HorrorTalk, I get a LOT of PDFs sent to me each week. I rarely buy physical copies of books anymore as I have come to prefer the ease of use and variety available digitally through services like ComiXology so it’s not shocking for my numbers to be skewed so heavily in that direction with 94% coming from PDFs and Comixology. The 1% linked to a website was reading the first two issues of Skullkickers online as the comic has been serialized for free. It was a great primer and I’m going to pick up the trades for the series now as a result (especially since it would be a big pain for me to find where I left off on the site as I’d have to click through at least 50 pages.
In looking at this chart, you’d think I was a DC fanboy. The truth is that almost all of that number comes from Booster Gold. I recently picked up the latest series via a ComiXology sale and I was catching up on the series. I read the first 31 issues of the series in April. Actually, now that I look at the list, I didn’t include Booster Gold #1,000,000 so that puts my number up to an even 200 comics read for April. I’m not updating these charts with that now though. I’m on the last one already! The next highest publisher was Image Comics as I was catching up on a variety of titles. Otherwise I had a big variety in terms of publisher.
This was a fun exercise that I’ve continued into May. I plan on doing this for at least another month to see if there were any changes. I’m sure this will be thrown out the window when Ferg Baby #2 arrives in June. I can’t decide if this is the nerdiest blog post I’ve ever written or not, but I think it’s probably pretty close.