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Binge Consumption: My Experience With TV and Comics

houseofcardsI’m seeing a bit of chatter lately about “binge” consumption–specifically referencing Netflix and their having released an entire 13-episode season all in one go–the same time the first episode is ever available, all the episodes are available.

And I’m definitely in the camp of seeing that as the way to go. I hardly ever even BOTHER TRYING a new show–I’ll just wait for the entire series, or entire seasons, to be available.

A couple years ago, I went through 7 seasons of Buffy and 4 of Mad Men and a couple seasons of Felicity. Last year, I finished the final 2 seasons of Felicity and 4 seasons of Breaking Bad. I also at some point took in an entire season of Doctor Who–whether 2011 or early 2012 I don’t recall. I just this week finished the third season of White Collar and have no clue how much/what’s available thus far of a fourth season.

I’m also noticing myself REALLY going this way with comics, though (if only to myself) it seems this is a new phrasing for how I look at it.

Last year, I snagged near-complete runs of Batman: Shadow of the Bat, of Birds of Prey, and of Nightwing, early-on. I also picked up a small stack of Detective Comics. Last week, I acquired another small stack of late-80s Detective Comics. Foolish or not, I have this vision of reading the entirety of the ’90s Batman saga, beginning with a complete shot through Batman and Detective Comics from shortly after Crisis on Infinite Earths (tentatively aiming at starting points of Batman: Year One and Batman: Year Two).

I also got into Valiant in a big way last year–first discovering a larger assortment of Valiant books already in my collection than I was aware, and taking advantage of some excellent deals at the local comic shops. I presently have at least 3 shortboxes of ’90s Valiant waiting to be read–though I’m determined to fill in some holes yet, so I can ideally start at the VERY beginning and go all the way through, with ALL the titles, to a point.

And my Valiant acquisitions got sidetracked when I pulled together all of my X-Men comics and got several great deals at the local comic shop to fill in further gaps. My goal there is to pick up with Uncanny X-Men as far back as I have a solid run into the ’90s, the entirety of X-Factor, and then the ’91 stuff through to the 2001 stuff with Morrison‘s New X Men and the corresponding run of Uncanny, at which point I’ll probably see how far I can get on the two core titles.

Even with ‘spoilers’ (after 10, 15, 20+ years, eventually a “spoiler” simply becomes “common knowledge”) there’s the enjoyment of the journey, of the details.

And with this week’s announcement of six more New 52 books getting cancelled…well, I know the old Valiant stuff includes 3-5 year runs for several titles, with multi-year runs on more. I’m looking at 8-10+ year runs on much of the X-Men stuff. And similar multi-year runs for the various core Bat-books (even Azrael made it to 75 or 100, no?).

Maybe I don’t get THE MOST CURRENT stuff this way…but it’s still a heckuva lot of story to be (eventually) consumed in a much shorter span than the original releases. And far more satisfying than waiting weeks between issues. Not to mention knowing the finite runs and what gets finished rather than having a new series just start to hold my attention only to be cancelled (I’m looking at Boom, with Extermination and Higher Earth!).


One Response

  1. I couldn’t sleep last Tuesday night. Realized House of Cards was out. Finished the entire series by Wednesday afternoon. All I know is that it’s going to be a long wait for season 2.

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