It had been nearly a month since I had looked at a comic. Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, but not much of one. Between work, traveling for work, and then trying to catch up on the life I missed out on because of work, I had let a full four weeks of comics build up. Even after cutting back on the amount of books I buy each week, there were forty-one issues that I had yet to read. After realizing this, I determined that something must be done about it.
What followed was more than a few hours over the course of three days that can only be described as glorious. True, I had several other things that I should have been doing. I’m really behind on my writing, as Tracy can attest to. I’m almost quite behind on my housekeeping responsibilities. Needless to say I am running rather low on clean socks and other essentials. In spite of all this, I really felt as though I needed to relax and read for a while. I’ve been pretty stressed these past few weeks and it was high time I took a little time to forget about all the bull and lose myself in a story or two.
My efforts began Thursday evening. I hadn’t intended to do much reading that day, but that’s the way it happened. I had some errands to run and then a business dinner a couple hours later. Unfortunately, the errands that should have taken an hour or so only took fifteen minutes. That left me with over two hours of time to kill and no computer for writing. Thankfully I still had my Kindle at the ready. Loaded with my backlog, I was prepared. I started off by diving back into Marvel’s Black Vortex event. I was only able to make moderate progress as I quickly discovered that the story branched out into titles I don’t normally read and therefore hadn’t downloaded. While this is normally a quick fix, I was still downloading the last quarter of the backlog and it would be a little bit before the issues I wanted would be available on my device. My original plan foiled, I decided to pick off the low hanging fruit of one shots and books I only had one or two outstanding issues on.
Friday was pretty much a waste thanks to work. Such is life.
But then came Saturday. Glorious Saturday! With the exception of an early Mother’s Day event planned for that evening, I had the entire day to sit around and enjoy the funny books. It was a truly amazing experience. While my girlfriend watched Cutthroat Kitchen, I sat on the couch and devoured my backlog. I made quick work of the last half of Black Vortex and quickly shifted gears to catch myself up on all the new Star Wars titles. I’m a massive Star Wars fan and I always find it enjoyable to lose myself in a story from that universe. There is something reassuring about immersing myself in characters that have become so familiar. I just can’t get enough of it. Of course the feeling didn’t last because before I knew it I had finished all of those books.
Finally it was time for me to finish Johnathan Hickman’s amazing run on Avengers and New Avengers. I honestly could not have asked for a more perfect end to the story. For anyone who has not read Hickman’s work, this are some of the best comics I have ever read. But then again, I would expect nothing less from the man who blew my mind with his run on Fantastic Four. Finally, once I had finished the last Avengers issue, it was time for Secret Wars. Watching the universe end is not an easy thing, but Esad Ribic’s art makes it sting a little less.
At last came Sunday. With all of the event based books and most of the structured series out of the way, I was free to start cleaning up the last remaining items. I would like to point out that I didn’t realize Batman’s “Endgame” story line was wrapping up. I loved the issue, just as I have loved the entire run, but I was not expecting the ending that I got, nor, in actuality, any ending at all. I’m both curious and excited to see where this is going.
Then of course were my X-Men titles. I love them so much, even when they do horrible things to me. Reading X-Men is kind of like the stereotypical abusive relationship. You know you should leave and never come back, but then they’re really nice and begging you to forgive them, so you give it another try. And then you “fall down the stairs…” As usual, X-stories are hit and miss, but I had fun with them anyways.
Bottom line here is that I really, really needed this time with my comic books. Comics are something that, from time to time, get pushed to the side of my life when more important things get a little too out of control. But time and time again, they sit patiently by and wait for me to reach a near burn out point and then come crawling back, looking for the relief that they so readily offer. Comics offer an escape, and sometimes that is exactly what we all need.