Topsy Turvy Reading Order
CBR and then get my words down for the editor to approve. My wife is so lovely that she knows Friday afternoons/nights are my comics time. I am guaranteed time to read the books and then write my reviews. Though, it must be said, my wife loves a good PDF preview because then I get to write my review earlier in the week.
Having a kid was something I knew would impact my Friday ritual. Now, instead of always heading in straight from work I usually stop at home. I take the kid from the wife, giving her a break, I make sure he gets fed and burped and all that business. Then all three of us head into town for Daddy’s little fix. It’s a family outing, it ensures wife and child leave the house at least once a week, though she goes out lots more than that usually. It prolongs the acquisition but it makes for a fun trip. There’s nothing better than walking through the store with the kid in the Bjorn in front of you. I keep hoping he’ll ‘accidentally’ bend a corner of a trade and I’ll have to buy it (oh no!...ha). But no matter how much I lean him towards the Vertigo racks he just doesn’t bite. A true shame.
So, once I get my books it’s still a crapshoot as to when exactly I will sit down with them uninterrupted. He might be unhappy and need some cuddling, or another job, like cooking dinner, might rear its ugly head. There are all these other responsibilities that occur and reading comics doesn’t always trump them, even if I do now get paid to read/review them. It can all be pushed back, no questions asked. CBR, The Weekly Crisis, deadlines aplenty will all have to wait while the wife and child are satisfied. That’s the new regime, long may it live.
Now, once I do get time to make time with my favourite four colour floppies I go through a routine. Or, at least, I used to. I would lay them all out and figure out which I wanted to read the most. The most anticipated comic for the week would go to the bottom, save the best for last. I wanted my reading to build up to the best. It was a fun way to go, and was interesting when I used to get my books in the mail at the end of every month. That was a lot of titles to rank and flip through before the reading began. It was just fun, what can I say?
Now, however, I put three books first every week, the three books I’m reviewing. No matter what the quality, these three books go first, then the reviews are written. Everything else must wait. Reading a comic takes anywhere between two and fifteen minutes. I try to take my time and soak everything up; I don’t want to miss a thing. Then I write my three reviews, if I can all in a row, so each review can take anywhere from half an hour to over an hour to write, check against the comic, leave to sit and stew, and then proof. It’s a good process, makes for good reviews, but does eat up a good deal of my Friday night.
Now imagine doing that with a baby boy wanting attention, food, love, and care. It’s hard work, that’s for sure. I love it, but it’s a whole family job. I’ve managed to keep it going every week, though I usually just get the two reviews done Friday night, one review can always wait, it’s not that important. So instantly my stack is changed due to review and father responsibilities.
But once the reviews are written, the work out of the way, the rest is just fun. But a father’s dance card doesn’t always have room for fun. There’s more work to be done, always more work. And this is where the massive change has come into play.
I figure this will also give me an idea of which comics constantly come last and so maybe I don’t need to buy them anymore. I really should only be buying comics I want to read, shouldn’t I? So perhaps this new order will facilitate a streamlining of my bloated pull list. Ultimately, it’ll just make sure I’m in the loop and reading the best stuff at the top.
It’s going to be something I need to come to grips with, I’m sure I can do it, but it will be different. Has becoming a father affected the way you read your comics? What changes have you put into place to your weekly/monthly/whenever you can fit it in ritual? Let me know in the comments.