As comic fans we have our habits in regards to budgets and maintaining pull lists. I’m going to share mine.
BUDGET-Years ago I was spending upwards to $50 a week on comics (sometimes more) and now I’m setting about $150 a month as my budget. One of the reasons I switched to online subscription was the better discounts. Anyway I rarely spend more than $100 bucks on my monthly order before additional costs but the inclusion of books on Amazon (or elsewhere) sometimes push it closer to my budget ceiling. Part of the reason I spread purchases around is to not spend that much all at once, the other is occasionally forgetting an item or trying a book I was unsure about. Last order was only $54 (before S&H and bags an boards) for most of my current pull list. There were no trades solicited, or other merch, that interested me. The month before was $82 (before those additional costs) with the inclusion of an OGN (an indy book in which I forgot what it was about) and a cool X-Men shirt to my final order. That round of solicitations had a couple trades I decided to put pre-order on Amazon in the newest Fables and final X-Factor so the purchase of those will count towards by January budget.
MAINSTREAM VS. ALTERNATIVES-One of the rules I try to observe is to spend just as much on alternative titles (indy books, manga, non-superhero mainstream titles). One of the reasons is to battle the burn out that comes with reading too much mainstream superhero books. This use to be hard to keep up with but now I’m actually buying more alt titles than superhero books. Unless there’s an X-Men crossover going on or something. Seriously though-buy more indy books.
NEW BOOK TEST PERIOD-I usually give a book at least 3 issues. Even if I dislike it after the first issue I’m usually order up to issue 3 by the time I read the first issue. I think 3 issues is pretty good for any test period. You learn the basics of the series, meet the main characters, got a feel for the tone. Jupiters Legacy I dropped after 3 issues, the tone turned me off. Some comics you encounter leave a mixed feeling. There are things that you really like but you still feel like you’re waiting for all the pieces to come together. I felt that was of East of West. Beautiful book and interesting premise but ultimately the story itself and lack of characters I really found interesting made me drop it after issue 5.
TIME FOR A TRIM-Every once in a while its time for a trim. Sometimes its easy, like trinity War crossover left me to trim a bulk of the DC superhero titles out my list. Other times you have to think about it because you’re perfectly happy with your current pull and only trimming to tighten the budget. What I generally do is organize my comics into a reading order. The must reads on top and the others on the bottom. After a few months of this you can get a feel for what books I can drop if I decide to drop some stuff to make room for new stuff.
Thats pretty much how I buy and trim my list.