Blog Template Update for January
This is the latest monthly update to the left column of the blog, listing my Favorite Comics of the Month, which is my counterpart to Current Favorite TV series, as well as my ten favorite graphic novel reads of the month. With my Fourth Rail commitments more or less gone, this is the closest thing I have anymore to regular "reviews."
A couple things of note in how I organize these things, for those who care. These listings are alphabetical, not by rank of how much I liked them in comparison. My criteria for what makes the list is when I read them, not necessarily when they were published. And each month, I'm recommending twenty things that I read in the month instead of 10 ongoing series and 5 first issues. It's less useful as a gauge of my overall tastes, but more useful as a "must-read" for the month. Oh, and graphic novels won't be listed in Favorite Comics... that's strictly for issues.
Some interesting patterns emerged for me in looking at the Top 20 for January. Despite my disdain for most of what Marvel and DC publishes right now, DC and Marvel made up 14 of the 20 titles I read (6 Marvel, 4 DC, 3 Vertigo and 1 Wildstorm). Only 1 of those DC books is actually in "Infinite Crisis" style continuity, though, and all of the Marvel books are on the lower end of the sales scale. I think this is a pretty good indicator of the market dominance that DC and Marvel have, that despite my disliking a good 90% of their output, more than 70% of my reading still comes from those two companies. However, my favorite book of the month was an Oni book, as Local #3 was the best issue of that exceptional series thus far.
The graphic novel pattern is more reflective of my tastes, and that probably has something to do with the graphic novel being my format of choice. On that list, one book is Marvel (and it's a reprint from the '80s) and one book is from DC's Vertigo imprint. If I had to pick my favorite of the month, I'd say it was probably Fables, although 99 Ways to Tell A Story is damned close.
Finally, the updates are for the month of January... February just barely started. So all my favorites will be anywhere from a week to a full month old, but these are meant to be sort of "standing" preferences anyway.