Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The DCBS Box Cometh

Well, I've been receiving the majority of my books via DCBS for about six months, maybe a little more. I figured a little examination of the changes in my habits might be in order.

I've had no complaints with my local comic shop. It's been a good place, all told. They have a pretty good selection of back issues, in the time I've had a sub-form with them, there have been very few problems, and they employ one of the internets most notorious comics bloggers, which certainly makes for some fun shop-talk. But as gas prices rose last year, I found that I needed to stretch my dollar, and the discounts provided by online servies like DCBS became too tempting to resist.

My strategy was probably a bit more complicated than most. I continue to purchase Trinity at the shop every week. I've had good experiences there, and I want a reason to stop by every week. I also purchased my big event books (Secret Invasion and Final Crisis) there, so I didn't feel I had to dodge spoilers for weeks. I experimented with subscribing to a few books directly from Marvel. I chose Amazing Spider-Man (at $1.39 per issue), Captain America, X-Factor, The Invincible Iron-Man and Daredevil (all at $1.67 per issue) since I figured those were titles I'd likely want to keep for 12 issues. The rest comes in a box shipped at the end of the month.

The plan has held up pretty well. I've been satisfied enough with my subscriptions from Marvel that I'm expanding my books from their service to include New Avengers and Thor. (This is also in response to the price increase, as the price I was able to subscribe to the books was around $0.70 cheaper per issue than DCBS' standard discount.) I plan to renew my subscriptions to Invincible Iron-Man and Captain America. I will probably renew Daredevil, and I'm debating whether to keep up with X-Factor.

I finished purchasing my major events from the local comic shop of choice, and I plan to do the same with The Battle For The Cowl. (Though I may discontinue if I don't care for it.) I'm still purchasing Trinity every week, and I like stopping by every Wednesday. I've also used them to check out new series that I contemplate ordering via DCBS, or to try to fill in the issues prior to my first pre-ordered issue. As an example, I recenly discovered Terry Moore's Echo. I managed to track down the first eight issues, but the first issue I had pre-ordered was #10. I asked the local comic shop to pull a copy of issue #9 for me. And when the issue released, they made sure I walked out with a copy. I plan to order DC's next weekly series from the local comic shop to continue this trend. I may stick with it, even if it's a turkey, just to have a reason to stop by once a week.

The gap between boxes took some getting used to for someone who was used to getting all of his new comics each week. New Comic Day was like a holiday that came every week. But now the arrival of a new box of comics really does feel more like a holiday. I get excited that when I wake up in the evening, I'll have a big box of comics to page through, and a new issue of Previews to browse. Filling the gap between boxes is helped by the books I get by mail from Marvel. I've been re-reading parts of my collection, and purchasing back-issues either on-line or from the local comic shop. Lately here at work, a friend has given me access to his wireless network, so the internet has also been a big help. It's also slowed down my reading habits, allowing me to stretch the new reads from that box out over a couple weeks. And then there's the zen experience of cataloging and filing away. So much of my life is a storm of chaos, it still strikes me dumb with the realization that I like keeping this one facet of my life organized.

Well, I have five more hours to work, and then I need to go to sleep. If I stay up, the UPS fairy might not leave my box!

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