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Help me stay in the hobby...

I have a problem. Or not. I mean, it isn't really a "problem." (What an amazing life I would have if *this* was what I'd consider a real problem!) I do have an issue, though.

I have previously "dropped out" of comics a couple of times. In the late 90's, it was a natural thing. In the mid to late-2000's, it was by design. In late 2011, I came back in.

Now, here it is, early 2013, and I'm on the cusp of dropping out again. See, I buy from DCBS, and my orders are getting very small.

I don't have a real brick & mortar option, as the nearest comic shop is a 35 minute drive from where I live, and I don't know of any local book stores or even grocery stores that still carry comics. (I know, sad statement of the modern age, huh?)

So, if I want to get the comics and not feel like I'm paying more than I should for them, I have to maintain at least enough titles with DCBS to where the discount for those titles adds up to more than the $6.95 once a month shipping I'm currently getting.

I'm currently getting 9 titles at $1.79 each. I'm saving $1.20 on each of those books, so my savings is $10.80, which covers the $6.95.

The problem is, four of those titles are on the bubble, very close to me dropping them. If I drop these four titles, that drops me below the discount total to cover shipping... and I'll end up just dropping those last five books. I'll tell myself I'll pick them up in trade, but from experience I know I probably won't.

I don't want to do that. I want some good comics to read. I, therefore, come to you, my fellow forumites.

I'm looking for new titles, good stuff. Stuff I don't know about.

I enjoy my capes, but I'm not opposed to pulp style or spy stuff. Really, I'm pretty open to most genres. I'm not that into "quirky" titles. And straight-up comedy is hard to sustain on a monthly basis.

I'm looking for ongoing, monthly titles.

And, here is the big monkey-wrench - I'm not looking for any suggestions from Marvel or DC. Currently, all the titles I read are from those companies, and the Big Two have a pretty strong and steady promotion machine, so I can always find out about those titles. I want to hear about anything beyond those.

Help me out folks. I don't want give up comics again right now. Thanks in advance.


  • Prophet (Image)
    Saga (Image)
    Mind MGMT (Dark Horse)

    These are all incredibly good, enjoyable comics with a science fictional bent. You cannot go wrong with these, imho.

  • The problem with a lot of great indie books is that they don't always follow a monthly schedule. The series of mini-series is a pretty popular format these days for artists who are too slow for a monthly or who can only work on the series part-time. It's part of the reason I buy most of my indies in trade format. That being said, there are several great monthlies to choose from. Some I really like:

    Chew: Yes, it has a quirky twist, but the mystery/crime aspect is the driving force of the book. It has plenty of humor, but it's not a comedy per se, but a drama with a sense of humor.

    The Sixth Gun: A supernatural western. There’s horror, but not the blood-and-guts variety.

    B.P.R.D.: While Hellboy is not a monthly, its spin-off B.P.R.D. is, and it's excellent. It's been going on for a while, though, and you'd probably need to go back at least a few months to really know what’s going on.

    Manhattan Projects: The book begins during World War II and moves forward from there. It puts the science in science-fiction, featuring prominent real-life scientists as its main characters. Pretty crazy stuff.

    Saga may be too quirky for you, but it's a lot of fun. It's a mash-up of sci-fi, fantasy, and romantic comedy, with a touch of horror.

    It Girl!: It's a spin-off of Mike Allred’s Madman, but Mike is only doing the covers. It has more of a traditional superhero feel to it than Madman too. They have rotating artists, but Mike Norton is on his second arc, and he's doing some great work for it.

    And, like I said, there are a lot of great books that don't come out 12 times a year. But if you got enough of them, perhaps they would average out your savings enough to justify keeping your list:

    The Stuff of Legend
    Luthor Strode
    Mouse Guard
    Age of Bronze
    Mud Man

    I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but I hope you find enough to your liking to stay in the game.

  • You need to get into the habit of getting the occasional trade paperback collection or hardcover archive. One or two of these each month will make your monthly purchase worthwhile. Let me suggest...

    Space Family Robinson Archives
    Doctor Solar Archives
    Magnus, Robot Fighter Archives
    Herbie Archives
    Beasts Of Burden
    Mice Templar
    League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
    Top Ten

    ...just off the top of my head.
  • I say go digital. If you don't already buy a tablet, get one. If you wait a month, most titles will be $1.99. They'll be constant sales, a lot of titles will go free, and they'll even be a ton of sample issues. You can buy titles when you feel like it...which may not necessarily be a plus.
  • TrevTrev Posts: 310
    edited February 2013
    Agree that digital might ge a good option. Big two are the smallest in my list. Here are my non-big-two books off the top of my head:

    Star Wars (Brian wood)
    XO manowar
    Archer and Armstrong

    I do a Skype call once a month the week after previews comes out that's organized by the guys at the comic book page podcast where we go through previews and talk comics and what we are getting. Great for filling out your dcbs spreadsheet and we always talk about books in the back half that are interesting. Usually 6-10 people on the call.

    Everybody is welcome.

    PM me for details.
  • luke52luke52 Posts: 1,392
    I'd go for...

    Manhattan Projects
    Danger Club
    Atomic Robo (these are normally mini series, but worth picking up)

    All of these are really good reads.
  • CaptShazamCaptShazam Posts: 1,178
    I also say to add a trade or two to your order. I only usually get two or three floppies a month but about 7 or 8 trades with my monthly shipment.

    And if your Monthly DCBS order is really small, just go to instock trades and get some older trades.
  • I'd agree with trying Saga and Chew. Invincible too but that's post-100 so might involve some back-reading. I TPB Invincible myself.
  • There are more, but off the top of my head, here are a few that no one has mentioned yet...

    Ongoing series:
    The Activity

    Who is Jake Ellis/Where is Jake Ellis
  • MattMatt Posts: 4,457
    I've been avoiding the Big Two for the most part in the last several years. I feel like they've become very "corporate" with their approach to readers (if that makes any sense.)

    My DCBS orders have been coming from Dynamite Entertainment. They've got a niche with the iconic pulp characters (well, most of them.) I've been very happy with their lines so far. I collect the Shadow in floppies & the other pulp characters in trade (after the first storyline, which I get in floppies.)

    If you're interesting in some old school characters, I'd say it give it a try. The bulk of the titles are set in the pulp era. The Spider is more like Batman:TAS with its setting & technology.

  • Thanks to everyone for their suggestions so far! There are a lot of good suggestions here, and I'm going to make every effort to check out each of them!

    Responding to some of the suggestions/statements that popped up:

    Trades - While I do pick up trades, regularly picking up *new* trades isn't something that works for me. I tried it the last time I dropped out of monthlies. The inconsistent release of assembled material is my biggest gripe. Some months, there will be nothing I want, then, boom, my order baloons to unreasonable. Some titles release regularly, and then will stop for months. Some titles just take six or nine months to even begin trading the material, by which time I've usually lost interest.

    Most of the time, I end up going on eBay and buying trades in lots, so I can get them for under $5.00 each (when averaged with shipping included). I'm a cheapskate, so this works well for me.

    As for digital, I don't own a tablet, and even if I did, I don't have wireless internet at my home. Yeah, I know there are lots of places with free wi-fi, but on a cold, rainy day, I want to avoid having to leave my home to read. Saying all that, the truth is that I'm not ready to convert to digital for comics right now. Maybe someday, but not today.

    Feel free to keep the great suggestions coming!
  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 4,583
    Adventure Time
  • I firmly reiterate others' suggestions of Saga, Mind MGMT, and Revival. I'd add Peter Panzerfaust (this book is second only to Mind MGMT as the most exciting thing in my pull box), Conan the Barbarian, The Goon, and Black Beetle. I bet you can use sites like to at least check out previews of the recommended books in this thread to see what might appeal to you.
  • random73random73 Posts: 2,318
    there are several title that keep coming up so i'll happily re-iterate Saga, Revival, (and although it is wrapping up Tim Seely's Ex Sanguine was surprisingly good as well, grab the trade), Mahattan Projects, Luther Strode, Chew, Locke & Key, (surprised that one didn't come up yet, I get it in trades like the Walking Dead)
  • Just going to rattle off my non-major ongoing series in no particular order:

    Hack Slash (but it is about to end... :()
    Executive Assistant books (Aspen)
    The Crossed (Avatar - it is a bi-weekly ongoing now)
    Ferals (Avatar - although I am not sure how much more story Lapham will squeeze out of it)
    Fly (Zenescope)
    Ghost Town from Action Lab (I can't stress this one enough...I was dinner after a con...with Dave Dwonch and Rob Ruddell, Neutron11, when Rob explained the concept...and then they went and got Justin Greenwood to draw it...just trust me...GET THIS BOOK!!! I think it is in the next Previews.)
    Jenifer Blood (Dynamite Ent.)
    Artifacts (Top Cow)
    Cyberforce (Top Cow)
    Morning Glories
    Orchid (Dark Horse - just finished its 12 issue run, but if feel like a trade...I highly recommend it!)
  • Why not dive into back issues and reprints? Being a comics fan doesn't mean you have to buy new stuff. I know a LOT of people who have decided the new stuff isn't for them, and they spend their time buying older stuff. I love just about everything First put out, and Marvel and DC both had a lot of forgotten gems of the 70's that didn't last long enough to get traded.

    And there's ALWAYS throwing yourself into getting the EC reprints of the 90's and reveling in the art.
  • Dude, read the Valiant books:

    X-O Manowar
    Archer & Armstrong

    They have all been really good, and they are creating a cohesive universe where you get more out of reading each title, without needing to read any of the other titles.
  • I don't think that Rachel Rising has been mentioned yet. I've liked Happy too, though I think that one's almost done.
  • And, although it hasn't hit yet, you might want to check out Mark Waid's Green Hornet from Dynamite (as Matt was mentioning above). I fondly remember the old NOW Green Hornet series from Ron Fortier, Jeff Butler, and others, and Waid has really been doing some top-notch work in recent years and I expect this to be more of the same.

  • LibraryBoyLibraryBoy Posts: 1,803

    Why not dive into back issues and reprints? Being a comics fan doesn't mean you have to buy new stuff. I know a LOT of people who have decided the new stuff isn't for them, and they spend their time buying older stuff. I love just about everything First put out, and Marvel and DC both had a lot of forgotten gems of the 70's that didn't last long enough to get traded.

    And there's ALWAYS throwing yourself into getting the EC reprints of the 90's and reveling in the art.

    Agreed. The past few times I've found myself not enjoying current output, I sink more time and money into finding comics from the past I've missed out on. That's how I've found books like the Christopher Priest Black Panther, reprints of the old Harvey Comics Black Cat, some of Marvel's 90s Star Trek books (Early Voyages, following Christopher Pike's Enterprise crew, is a great read), DC Western books like Bat Lash and Jonah Hex, old Dennis the Menace travel comics, and all sorts of other great stuff.
  • EarthGBillyEarthGBilly Posts: 362
    Alright, folks, I want to thank you all for your suggestions, and I thought I'd give you an update.

    After looking into each of the titles, I decided on a group that I thought I'd enjoy most.

    I then factored in how long the title has been around. I'm a completist at heart, so I knew I'd want to go back and get all the issues. This helped me eliminate titles that are over a year old, which, if I really want to read, I can pick up in trade.

    As a result, I have added SEVEN brand new titles to my pull list. They are:

    The Shadow - This was a natural. Love the old radio show (own most of it on audio cassette - yeah, I am old), enjoyed the movie (back off, I know it misses the mark, but I like it anyway), and I decided that I should check out the comic.
    The Spider - Someone compared it to Batman: The Animated Series. I'm in.
    It Girl & The Atomics - Good creative team and helps with my need for capes.
    Archer & Armstrong - Superhero Buddy Cops? I want to love this!
    Deathmatch - Newest and untested. Giving it a go.
    Revival - This looks like it is going to be amazing.
    The Manhattan Projects - So much positive word of mouth on this one, I decided to jump in.

    And, there you have it. I have already secured all the back issues to these titles (and only one for more than cover price, and even then less than 50 cents over cover price), so I'll be catching up with these at a steady pace.

    Again, thanks for all the great suggestions. It is awesome to have a community that I can go to for advice in this matter!
  • luke52luke52 Posts: 1,392
    You're in for a fun few weeks!
  • John_SteedJohn_Steed Posts: 2,087
    one thing is certain:

    @EarthGBilly will stay in the hobby

  • jaydee74jaydee74 Posts: 1,526
    Star Wars
    Any of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coming out right now are pretty good.
    Black Beetle
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