Interview: Chillin' with the Super Relaxed Fantasy Club
Disappearing Rabbits: Rick Kleffel interviews Jeff VanderMeer

Comics: The Metaphorical Pull List

Wake2Since I started writing here a few people have asked what I read regularly/what’s on my pull list. Strictly speaking, I don’t have a pull list any longer.  I have had them with various shops in the past, including the two most recent - The Isotope in San Francisco, and Gosh when I moved back to London, two stores I couldn’t recommend highly enough.

There are two reasons I don’t have a list any more: 1) Because of work and travel, weeks and weeks of stuff would accumulate awaiting my collection and when I finally managed to pick them up I’d often end up never getting round to reading all of them, and 2) I made a fairly serious switch to digital reading for individual issues for reasons of space and also the platform’s ability to counter reason 1. At the same time I switched a few titles to trades because I thought they read better like that - anything written by Jonathan Hickman, for example.

But there are obviously titles that I read every month (or at least most months), as well as those which I dip in and out of at least semi-regularly.  The following is a partial list of those - if I listed everything I read even semi-regularly we’d be here all week.  I’ll note stuff I read in trades on another occasion.

Two points to note:  This isn’t necessarily a list of recommendations - I enjoy all of these, but some more than others, and some because I have a history with them.  Anything I think someone could pick up and relatively easily get into gets an asterisk.  Anything marked with two asterisks is recommended, but you should grab the collection and start from the beginning.

And there’s a complete absence of DC Universe stuff here. Lord knows I’ve tried. And tried.  I know there is good stuff in the New 52, almost all of which is written by Scott Snyder, and I read his stuff in trades, but the thought of picking up most of it in monthly installments fills me with horror. I have huge runs of older DC titles, and massive respect for many of their past creators, but right now DC Editorial feels like it’s actively running a policy designed specifically to put me off. It's almost flattering. I may dwell further on that at some point in the future.

Abstract Studio

  • Rachel Rising - Terry Moore's black and white horror story; creepy, moving, and oddly amusing in equal measures

Boom Studios

  • Dead Letters - traditional noir about an amnesiac being chased by unknowns.
  • Steed and Mrs Peel* - There’s simply no way an Avengers-head like me can’t pick this up.  And the new run will be written by Ian Edgington, so; bonus. (Currently on a break but back soon.)

FataleImage Comics

  • Fatale** - ‘horror noir’ with stunning art.
  • Mind The Gap - creepy supernatural thriller that starts with an attempted murder and gets darker.
  • Morning Glories** - probably the most complex series out there not written by Jonathan Hickman: mysterious goings-on in an elite boarding school.
  • Pretty Deadly - a western/mystical/horror fable about Death’s daughter in the wild west.  The phrase ‘magical realism’ gets thrown around a lot in reviews of this but don’t let that put you off.
  • Saga** - multi-multi award-winning (for good reasons) sci-fi with wit, intelligence and heart.  And sex.
  • Sex Criminals* - see my review of the first trade - first post-trade issue release 18th June.
  • Trees* - new from Warren Ellis and Jason Howard; what if aliens invaded and then didn’t do anything?
  • Velvet - espionage thriller - I’m always surprised that doesn’t get done more in comics.

MsmarvelMarvel Comics

  • All-New Doop - Because Doop.
  • All-New X-Men** - the one that shouldn’t work but does: original teenaged X-Men brought to the present and being changed by it.
  • Captain Marvel - just great super-heroing.
  • Daredevil* - super-hero lawyer number 1 (of 2) on this list, recently, finally, brought out from thirty years of post-Frank Miller grim’n’grittiness by Mark Waid and all the better for it.
  • Elektra - an until-recent writer of Batwoman and an astonishingly good artist?  Why wouldn’t you?
  • Guardians of the Galaxy - sci-fi superheroics talking raccoon with a huge gun.
  • Loki: Agent of Asgard* - I think the title of this one says it all.
  • Moon Knight* - Ellis (again) with Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire telling six done-in-ones designed to make MK viable again, and doing it BRILLIANTLY.
  • Ms Marvel* - the one with the teenaged female Pakistani-American Muslim superhero.  You may have seen it mentioned.  Best new comic of the year.  Fact.
  • Original Sin - current Marvel summer crossover - Who killed The Watcher and why?  Also; all sorts of unfortunate secrets revealed.
  • She-Hulk* - super-hero lawyering at its finest.  Something about She-Hulk lends itself to quirky interpretations, and this is a good one.
  • Uncanny Avengers** - Writer Rick Remender is telling a properly epic story that he actually started in a totally different series back in 2010.
  • Uncanny X-Men - the one with the X-Men as wanted fugitives.
  • X-Men - the one with the all-women team.


  • Astro City* - I’ve followed Astro City since it began, three or more publishers ago, and having it back now makes me happy.
  • The Wake** - I raved about this previously - only one more issue to go:-(

Coming up stuff I’ll be checking out:  Rocket Raccoon (OBV), The Wicked and the Divine, quite a lot of the stuff announced at this year’s Image Expo that hasn’t been scheduled yet.

As I said, not a complete list, but hopefully a useful cross-section and a bit of a look at my tastes - yes, I like super-heroes, I had noticed.