The Haul: To Pull or Not to Pull

New-Comics-Header2I love creating lists.  Don’t ask me why, but I love it.  All through college I created To Do lists to keep my assignments in order, and I still do it today for my job.  One of my favorite type of lists to make are Pull Lists.  Now, I’m not talking about the short “What am I getting this week?” ones we do every Monday.  The ones I’m talking about are my monthly pull lists.  Every month after the publishers have released their solicitations, I study each one thoroughly.  I look at things like plot description.  Does the plot sound interesting?  Are they finally ending a dull storyline?  I also check out the creators.  Did they switch up the crew and is that a good thing or not?  Lastly, the cover.  I know that the cover rarely adequately reflects what’s on the inside, but if it is a kick-ass cover, some times I’ll be swayed one way or the other.

After going through them once, I go through them again and write down every series which even somewhat interests me.  It could be one I already know I’ll be buying (Batman) or one I’ve never heard of before (The Squidder).  Usually I end up with about 70 titles or so.  Here is where the hard part comes in.  Of those 70 comics, I need to narrow my list down to a more realistic number.  Sure, if I had unlimited funds I would buy them all.  But that is just not possible.  When I first began collecting, my monthly limit I set for myself was seven issues.  Today, that number seems ridiculously low.  And for the average comic collector, it probably is.  I remember looking through the pull lists on iFanboy and just be astounded by the number of books everyone was pulling compared to me.  People were buying double my monthly limit every week!  Well, the years went on and my pull list went up.  My current limit is much higher.  For example, I sent Tryke my updated list yesterday, and there were 29 issues on it.  It is currently comprised of DC, Marvel, Image, IDW, BOOM!, and Dark Horse.  Adding the titles I borrow from friends, it maxes out at about 45-50.  In about four years, my pull list has more than septupled in size.  And I believe that without it, I’d be spending more every week.

And that is my reasoning.  I know there are a few on this site boasting about not having pull lists.  They would rather just make the decision in-store.  My fear is that without a plan, I’d buy far too much.  My pull list is, for the most part, my limit.  Sure, I will break from it every once in a while if I hear good things about another series that week.  But overall, that list is exactly what I’ll be reading.  Maybe my comic collecting willpower is just lesser than others, but I can’t afford (literally) to take that chance.

Maybe one day I’ll free myself from my self-imposed pull list shackles.  But like I said…I like making lists.

14 thoughts on “The Haul: To Pull or Not to Pull”

  1. I’m with you, man. I keep a detailed list in my phone with all the monthly titles and min-series I pull. Then when the solicitations are published I group them into the weeks they are coming out so I can see how much I’ll be spending each week. I have a self-imposed limit of $20-$30 per week and I’m usually good about it since my store doesn’t carry the stock for impulse buys. It’s good to hear I’m not the only one who makes a list.

  2. Getting my comics from DCBS means that I have a monthly pull list of titles ready on their website that is used to generate a monthly order.

    Next I have to go through and add any annuals or one offs etc. And make any additions for new on-going series or mini-series that I’m adding on a regular basis.

    Finally it’s down to cover selection. Generally I stick with the regular covers as they have the good discount but there’s sometimes a choice with companies such as Dynamite that have subscription variants with the same discount as regular issues.

    Once all that is done I place my order and get an email confirmation that gives me a list to refer back to so I know what I’ve ordered. Also available to view on the website from my account.

    I generally spend around $120-$140 a month, which includes shipping and Doctor Who Magazine. This way I don’t really have bigger weeks than others because I just pay once a month.

    I guess that works out at something like 50 books a months. A lot more than I’d be buying without DCBS great discounts. Marvel’s double shipping helps pad that number out most months along with multiple Superman titles from DC.

    Like you, I look at the solicits every month but my pull list does remain pretty consistent from month to month. I tend to stick with the same characters and titles rather than following creators. Sometimes that changes as I’m picking up the first four issues of Savage Hulk because of Alan Davis on script and pencils, although the inclusion of the original X-Men in their Roy Thomas/Neal Adams era costumes is a big draw there too.

    It takes quite a bad creator to get me dropping a title that I usually pick up. I do tend to try and get through a bad run hoping that something better is coming along. Such as Hickman’s Avengers. Thank God I read today that he should be gone around May next year. Only one more year to go!

    1. Don’t tease me, Ian. Is Hickman really leaving? Oh please let it be true because I miss the Avengers Assemble battlecry from my monthly reads.

      1. No, Jeremy. It’s true. As reported here and other sources:

        http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/04/30/jonathan-hickman-to-stay-on-avengers-for-one-year-more-but-gives-us-justice-league-vs-avengers-first-kind-of/

        Hopefully Marvel will now see sense and give the book to someone that can make it readable again and we can finally forget the horror of both the Bendis and Hickman eras.

        Great to see so many people supporting DCBS as well. Great company, highly recommend to everyone.

        1. That’s great…I can’t wait.

          In that link, Hickman is creating a team similar to the JLA to fight the Avengers. Did someone forget to inform him it’s already been done and the team is called the Supreme Squadron.

              1. DCBS do deal in both print and digital. But I don’t do digital so don’t know if there’s the same kind of discounts or what the deal is with that side of things.

  3. Yeah, I don’t usually have a problem sticking to my pull list and keeping it around $120. I don’t know about lists in general but I love making a pull list for comics( what a fun hobby we have)! Every week I go to comiclist.com and see what coming out for the week, the week after and the next month, which is about as far as they go out. Then I would list them all by the week they’re coming out so I could see how much I’d be spending. I don’t do too many impulse buys because I’ve known what I was going to get that week for awhile.
    Now tho, I’m on the dcbs wagon with Streethawkjm and I love it. It’s all paid for in one payment and I can skim all of the variant covers and pick out the ones I want, as long as they’re not more than the regular cover cuz fuck that. My last order was like $130 for 54 comics so now I can read pretty much everything I want. And like he said ^^^ you get the email confirmation list and you can go check out your list on your account.

  4. Same as above, I use DCBS to get my pull list in order. .

    Before finding this site though, my pull list was rather meek compared to the rest. I looked back at my past orders on DCBS and was getting less than a dozen comics about six months ago. Now its a respectable 20 or so.

    Of course since I live in the same town as DCBS, I normally peruse the shelves every week and have been adding about two extra titles to my weekly haul based on reviews here although I only get 35% instead of 40% off since it’s an in store and not a preorder purchase.

    I looked forward to doing the pull list every month though. It’s almost like flipping through a longbox at a convention or when I was kid with a handful of dollars for my allowance.

    By the way, the graphic that you used Ukerupp, of little Deadpool, is awesome.

  5. Gosh, I’m jealous of you DCBS guys, I know it’s a great deal, but I also really like the folks at my LCS, so I’d feel guilty jumping ship. I do however make a list every week. I try to stay around $20 a week, because I have limited funds, but some weeks I go over, some–like this week–I go way under, so it usually works out. When I first started my Wednesday trips, I just showed up and grabbed the books I liked, but I found that there’d be super light weeks, where it wasn’t worth the trip, so after that I started planning better by making a list. I agree Alex, it also works to help me monitor myself and not overspend.

    One day when I’m a wealthy Landscape Architect, I’ll buy every comic I want, regardless of cover price, and then give the floppies that I don’t love to libraries or neighborhood kids. It will be a glorious time 🙂

    1. LOL…that’s my dream too. Most people dream of winning the lottery and buying mansions and cars. In my dream, I’m buying every comic that comes out that week and any cool statues or action figures too. Heck I might just buy two copies of everything.

  6. I just went and looked at DCBS; those are some great deals, and I’m going to explore it more thoroughly.

    I’ve reduced the pull list over the past year; my LCS keeps most DC and Marvel titles in stock, so there is little risk of not getting them, and I’ve found it best not to pull/commit to a series from the BIG TWO, as the numerous events and crossovers result in comics that I just don’t care to read.

    Most of the titles on my pull list are for Image, Dark Horse, Dynamite and Boom!.

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