For the uninitiated, a pull list are the comics you asked your local comic book shop owner to put to the side for you. You go through the order book for the month and write down everything you want, and they make sure they order it for you.
This makes it a lot easier not only for you to get what you want, but for the actual comic shop to make sure they order an accurate amount of product. But if you’re like me, at some point you’ll end up adding way too much to your list and won’t be able to afford it all. So, I’ve come up with a couple of quick tips to help you manage your pull list.
1. Knowing When Enough is Enough
There’s a good chance—especially when you first start getting into comics—that you’ll find yourself getting a huge variety of different things you may not actually end up liking. Even if you do like most of the stuff you ordered, you probably won’t have the funds for it all. It’d be nice to read everything, but you’re going to have to cut back at some point.
Like all fun things, buying comics should be done in moderation. At least until you learn what writers, artists, creative teams, publishers, and characters you like. You can keep buying a variety of things until you get a feel for what interest you most. But don’t overdo it. It’s an awful feeling having way more books put to the side for you than you can afford.
2. Create a Monthly Comic Budget
Just like bills, you should allot a set amount of money for your comics. And try your damn best not to go over that budget. If you can maintain a proper budget, you won’t find yourself ordering over your head. I know it sucks, but it’s just part of the game.
The one unfortunate side-effect of creating a budget or monthly comic allowance is having to cut some stuff from your pull list. No matter how much of a comic book lover you are, you just can’t buy everything. Which brings us to…
3. Know What to Cut From Your Pull List
Like I said before, you have to figure out what characters you like and try to stick to them for the most part. Like, I’m a pretty big Spider-Man fan. So there’s a good chance that he’s going to be on my pull list. You can do the same for creators as well. And if there are writers or artists you really like who are doing a story or miniseries, you can follow them and drop some other stuff you aren’t enjoying that much.
It’s all about keeping a balance. If one series isn’t doing it for you, quit reading it. Then trade in the books you have for that series and find something else to replace it with. You don’t want to add more and more books without cutting other books. This will lead to overspending. Instead, keep a list of what you have and what you’re currently reading. Chances are, you won’t even have time to read all the stuff you want anyway.
4. Wait For Series to Come Out in Trade Paperback
This is especially true when it comes to the Marvel and DC stuff. Whatever you’re reading from those two, there’s a good chance at some point it’s going to come out in a trade. For those of you unfamiliar, a trade paperback (TPB) is a series or story arc put into one convenient and cost efficient volume—usually containing 1-5 issues.
It can be a little tougher with some of the independent stuff; it could take longer to come out in trade form or not happen at all. But waiting for stuff to come out in trade paperbacks can really help your monthly expenses. At least depending on the pricing and how many issues are in each volume of whatever you get. Hell, in most cases it’s even a little bit cheaper. Many trades run between $10-20 bucks. Which is usually cheaper than buying five individual comic books. Plus they’re easier to read and store.
I hope these simple tips help some of you better manage your comic spending. I’m sure it’ll make your local comic shop owner much happier knowing he or she won’t have to sit on a bunch of books you’ve ordered but haven’t bought yet.
It’s very frustrating for a comic store owner to order a million books for someone and they never buy them. Don’t be that person. Follow these tips and manage your pull list like a pro!
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