A few holidays ago, I tried to read the entirety of The History Of Middle Earth, which comprised of 13 volumes and the Silmarillion. Well, I did not succeed, unfortunately, and after school started again I had to abandon the project. My problem was, I think, that I read the Silmarillion before I read the History, which meant that I already had the condensed version of events when I approached the more extensive version which included notes on revisions, and often had several different versions of each text, both in prose and poetic formatting. Thus, it was a bit tiresome, and I put the series aside to be read at a later point. I think I reached volume 5 or 6.
This holiday, I have a different goal in mind – I have recently picked up Roger Zelazny, and now find myself delving into his 6 volumes of collected poems and short stories, having finished the Amber Chronicles. I have also just finished reading the light and very racy Lucifer Box trilogy by Mark Gattis. Gattis is perhaps more known for his acting as Mycroft Holmes in the BBC Sherlock TV series, which he co-wrote with Steven Moffat. However, I found the trilogy about the bisexual and busy detective an enjoyable read, if not my usual fare. I think I liked the last line of each book best – Gattis finishes each with a witty remark that relates to Box’s name in each of the 3 books.
I am also aiming to read more comics. This has been a longer-lasting goal, as while I don’t read manga unless I am really desperate (and then I borrow my brother’s) because I dislike the general lack of plot, I love the illustrations to be found, and greatly admire the form of graphic novel storytelling. A longtime fan of Asterix and Obelix and Tintin, I have been reading Marvel and DC comics for a while now.
Unfortunately, it is proving very frustrating. Firstly, the only thing I seem to be able to lay my hands on are Spiderman comics at my local library, which are fine, but every couple of pages it seems like there is a little asterisk saying, see volume 572 and I really don’t want to go find it on the library catalogue! So I’ve read some Fantasic Four, some Daredevil, Neil Gaiman’s 1602 and The Eternals, some of Dean McKean, a bit of Alan Moore, some Thor, some Captain America, some Batman… but I can’t seem to find the start of anything! For example, I haven’t read a single Gwen Stacy Spiderman comic! And don’t get me started on trying to find a storyline from the beginning, let alone the beginning of the actual character!
So, I guess I’m asking for advise – how do you suggest I read these types of comics, whose characters have been interwoven and recreated and redone and published in magazines and then republished as graphic novels…
This is probably going to take my whole life. Well, I suppose I’d better get started 😛