Comic Vine News


How to Deal With Cutting Your Pull List

When your pull list has gotten out of control, what do you do to cut back?

Having a pull list at your local comic shop (LCS) is a pinnacle moment in a comic book reader's life. You've moved up from casual to regular reader. You're one step deeper into the world of comic books. It truly is this really exciting moment. Every week, you walk into the shop, and the awesome comic shop employee, behind the counter, pulls out your comics for you. The employees start to know you by name, and you may strike up more conversations with them and other costumers. Having a pull list lets the retailer know you appreciate them, and in turn, they appreciate you.

As time goes on and you start finding more and more things you like, your pull list will grow, and at some point, you'll be faced with a question every comic book reader hates: "What should I drop?" You'll panic. You'll freak out. It's the moment in your comic reading career that will haunt you for years to come. The first time you have to cut back on your pull list.

I'm fighting every urge to not buy everything in this picture, right now

My pull list is an on-going battle between my wallet and my want. At one point, I had 75 books on my list. I was reading everything and anything I could get my hands on. The obvious problem with this scenario is the cost. If I wasn't getting a discount from my LCS, I'd be shelling out $224.25 a month, if all the books were $2.99, which wasn't the case. Continuing on with the magic of math, that comes out to $2,691 a year. As this time, around 2006, I was making very little money at a dead end job and finishing up college. What I'm saying is that I ate a lot of ramen during this year. I wasn't the worst though. There were a couple of guys, at my LCS, buying almost every single issue offered through Diamond. They were spending around $200 a week. While having to shell out the cash is probably the biggest problem with having a large pull list, it isn't the only problem.

The other problem with a massive pull list is that you start to develop this collector mentality. There's this little voice in the back of your head saying "you need it all. You need to complete it!" Whether it's the completion of a volume, a writer's, or an artist's work, it's something that many, if not all, comic book readers and collectors face. The hardest thing to do when faced with an over-barring pull list with a collector mentality is figuring out how to cut back on your list without crushing your own soul.

This is an example of a book you don't drop from your list.

1. Breathe

Take a moment and take a deep breath. What you're about to do it tough, especially when you love comic books oh so much. It's not the end of the world, but it may feel like it.

2. Print out a copy of your pull list

This is your first step. This is the most important step. You need to be able to see the amount of books, in a list that you're reading. 70 books is just a number, and it really won't mean as much as seeing them all printed out in a list. It will feel overwhelming, and it will make it easier to cut books.

3. Determine what your favorite books are

These are your go-to books for a good time. Figure out what you like the most. These are the books you will not cut. Be serious about it. Don't throw your hands into the air and yell "I can't cut anything. I love all my books!" Go back to step one if you can't get out of that mindset. Don't think about numbers either. Just pick out your favorites and take it from there.

4. Determine what your least favorite books are

This should also be easy. What do you buy every single month that sits on the bottom of your reading pile that you either don't read or you just skim through? We all have a couple of those books on our pull lists. The book isn't bad enough to drop, so you can't rationalize dropping it. These are the first books coming off your pull list.

5. Realize that the rest of your list is things you refuse to give up on

This is what the rest of your list contains. Books you may or may not be enjoying that you simply won't cut because you either love the characters or the creative teams, or if you're like me, books you refuse to give up on because you have a complete run of the series. This is where that "collector mentality" gets in the way of logic. We want to cut back on comic books and on our pull lists and save some cash, yet we come up with illogical reasons why we have to continue reading them.

6. Understand you're going to miss out on some things

After you've cut down your cut list, you're going to be real tempted to jump back on once something mildly interesting happens in that book. Do yourself a favor, don't go back. You have to get used to the idea that you're going to miss out on things. Separate yourself from the "collector mentality" because that will be your downfall. Have some willpower like that darn tootin' Hal Jordan!

CAP DIED?! When in the heck did that happen?

7. Never look back

Forget this whole ordeal ever happened. It will be good for you, in the long run. Move forward as a reader and add and cut from your list when needed. Remember that you control your pull list. It doesn't control you. Only read what you love and try and step away from that collector mentality. It can be your worst enemy.

Now, it's time to take your first step into the future and change up your pull list. Whether you need to make room for a new series or just save a little green, following these steps should help out. To a non-comic book reader, this all may seem a bit out there and maybe even out-right insane, but comic fans know that sometimes, your pull list takes over, but at least now you have a way to fight back against the collector mentality.

Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring is a writer, comedian, host of the podcast "Mat & Lewis Vs The Internet," (on itunes too!) and currently has 30 books on his pull list, not counting the series he only buys in trade.

180 Comments Refresh
Posted by Catsnlynne

When do you people have time to read all your comic books? My list isn't nearly as big as some.

Earth 2

Green Arrow



Demon Knights



Hawkman and Deathstroke were cancelled and Demon Knights last issue will be in August. I dropped Stormwatch after the old Stormwatch team was replaced with the new team. I have picked up issues of Captain Atom, Red Hood and the Outlaws Grifter, and Hawkeye. I picked up an issue of Ravengers only because Deathstroke was going to be in it. That was a big mistake. Where as I thought he was going to be in the whole book, he was only at the beginning and end. So now I'm wary of getting a comic book I don't read just because a favorite of mine will be in that issue. I'm thinking of adding Black Bat and Captain Midnight to my list.

Posted by Owie

@inferiorego I think this is actually one of the best news/editorial articles I've read on this site.

You did a nice job getting at the psychology of the difficulty of choosing what to cut, especially the collector mentality, and the need to accept that you are just going to have to miss some of what is going on out there. A lot of people talk about cutting pull lists solely in terms of the quality of the books, but there's a lot more than quality that goes into our decisions about what to collect.

I actually went through this last year when I had gotten really into this site, and the battles section especially. I ended up feeling like if I missed an issue of so-and-so character, I wouldn't be able to argue effectively about them. And since I liked debating about a lot of characters, that meant trying to get an awful lot of comics, some of which I only liked tangentially if I was honest about it. It was more of a drive to know than it was to enjoy.

Eventually I got past that, and re-found my core interests in collecting again, but it took a while!

Edited by AllStarSuperman

@gotham331: no no no! Not nightwing! Its great now! The last issue was meh IMO, but its been getting better.

Thankfully I realized my lack of money right when marvel now came out because I was already reading:


Action Comics



Earth 2

Justice League

And I wanted All new x men, uncanny x men, and captain America. So I dropped justice league and later superman to read captain america. Now I'm gonna drop action comics if I don't like the next issue. And I didn't like superman unchained that much.

Did anyone else feel it was inappropriate to use Nagasaki in a comic story?

And I seem to not like the art in batman/superman. So I might cancel some and buy the trades of TMNT.

Edited by aaunderoath

Yea I already have my list down to 14 but in the next few months it may shrink. I'm also reading others via my friends so we can each save some money. I also chose to trade wait the Image books I was reading. But lemme tell you dropping Snyder's Batman was unbelievably difficult and I'm constantly rethinking it.

Edited by ThorBoy

Just buy your least favorite books during a slow week or when you have an extra $8 lying around, drop them of your pull list

Posted by inferiorego

@owie said:

@inferiorego I think this is actually one of the best news/editorial articles I've read on this site.

You did a nice job getting at the psychology of the difficulty of choosing what to cut, especially the collector mentality, and the need to accept that you are just going to have to miss some of what is going on out there. A lot of people talk about cutting pull lists solely in terms of the quality of the books, but there's a lot more than quality that goes into our decisions about what to collect.

I actually went through this last year when I had gotten really into this site, and the battles section especially. I ended up feeling like if I missed an issue of so-and-so character, I wouldn't be able to argue effectively about them. And since I liked debating about a lot of characters, that meant trying to get an awful lot of comics, some of which I only liked tangentially if I was honest about it. It was more of a drive to know than it was to enjoy.

Eventually I got past that, and re-found my core interests in collecting again, but it took a while!

Thanks for the compliments! I'm really trying to get back to writing pieces like this, just like the ones I wrote for the site when I was hired 4 years ago. There's a few more things like this coming down the pipeline as well.

Posted by DigbyKong

My advice is if you really have to make some big cuts to your pull, drop the hugely popular books on your list. Books like Batman, Green Lantern and Spider-Man aren't going anywhere any time soon so just pick them up in trade. However if you love a books like All-Star Western or an indy book they might not make it to it's next trade if pepole stop buying it monthly.

Good thinking.

Posted by hart7668

I just concentrate on one hero. I buy Superman comics (Action Comics, Superman Unchained and Justice League). Although, the only one I'm collecting issue to issue is Action and Unchained. JL I buy in volumes. Still waiting for Vol. 3 :/

Posted by Cavemold

Great article. I havs taken these steps personel m

I have XO, archer and arm strong astro city, east of west shadowman .

Posted by Om1kron

it wasn't even a forethought to cut half of the books I read off of my pull list. I knew after the initial launch of the new 52 I was going to hate a lot of these books. Green Lantern, All Star Western, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Batman, and incredible Hulk have all been GREAT reads. And I normally never collect DC books, I always buy Invincible Hardcovers to stay current, not interested in collecting it monthly since I donate all of my books after they pile up. No point keeping any of this stuff, digital is going to be the future soon enough. Just wasting space with books that wont be worth much.

Although I'm still hella bitter you sold all of those batman books for 100 bucks and I gave them away lol.

Posted by i_like_swords

@om1kron: I'm half collector half reader. I buy books for the story but one of the best things for me is having the physical collection. It's like sentimental value instead of actual money value. I hope digital isn't the future, but incase it is, I'm keeping a tight grasp on all my comics. Lol.

Edited by AWeekInGeekdom

Great article, I recently cut down my pull list for the first time :P, from 30+ titles down to 16.

My original list when the year started... the underlined ones are now cancelled or taken of my list.

Marvel: Avenging Spider-Man, Superior Spider-Man, Scarlet Spider, Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel, Fantastic Four, Future Foundation

DC: Justice League, Batman, Aquaman, Batgirl, Teen Titans, Earth 2, World's Finest, Talon, Superboy, Supergirl, Birds of Prey, All Star Western, Blue Beetle, Team 7, Sword of Sorcery, Legion Lost, The Ravagers and Red Hood & The Outlaws.

Image: Saga, Revival, America's Got Powers, Thief of Thieves

Icon: Brilliant (if they ever plan on releasing issue 5)

Vertigo: The Wake

Posted by inferiorego

@om1kron said:

Although I'm still hella bitter you sold all of those batman books for 100 bucks and I gave them away lol.

That's on you. If it makes you feel any better, my other books aren't selling well at all.

Edited by Kal'smahboi

"Never look back." That actually made me laugh out loud. Good article. I have a couple of tough decisions to make in the next month or so. And by "tough" I mean "comic book related."

Posted by danhimself

I remember a point back when comics were still pretty cheap during and right after Onslaught when my pull list consisted of every single Marvel book that they published....EVERY SINGLE TITLE...and in the 90's they were pumping books out like crazy....that was when Spider-man had around 4 titles, there were like 7 or 8 X-books, it was ridiculous....then I realized that I didn't even like half the books I was reading...I got that collector mentality that @inferiorego was talking about in the article and it went well past books....when the made that series of Witchblade figures and most of the figures had at least one or two variant figures I had to track down and get all of them at like $20 - $30 a pop...then all of the variant covers....the only thing I was spending money on at that point was comics and I loved it...then I just snapped and dropped everything...I blame New X-men for it...I hated that book so much that I stopped reading comics completely and didn't start again until sometime after it was over and the X-men went back to spandex

now a days I'm much more composed and can easily drop things from my process is simple...if I have to force myself to read a book that has been sitting on my "to read" pile then that title needs to be dropped

Edited by Hermatt

Thank you for this article. It couldn't have come at a better time for me.

Due to life circumstances (my car died so i need to invest in a new one) I decided to cut down my pull list. I have already done it once very recently when Marvel Now! started I cut my pull list from 20 books to 15. Now my plan is to shave it to 10. it's not a lot but it's something. Marvel helped a little with the cancellation of Winter Soldier(made me sad though).

  • My current list:
  • Batman
  • Batman & Robin
  • Avengers
  • New Avengers
  • Uncanny Avengers
  • secret Avengers
  • Superior spider-man
  • Ultimate Spider-man
  • Ultimates
  • Uncanny X-force
  • Wolverine & the X-men
  • Captain America
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Nova

I am thinking of dropping Secret Avengers and uncanny X-force. Those are the two that sit at bottom of my read pile right now. Ultimates was there but moved up due to new creative team. And there's not much else I want to get rid of.

Posted by impossibilly

A combination of the high price of comics and not having much time to read them forces me to keep my pull list very lean. I tend to spend more on $0.99 sales on Comixology these days than I do on new comics. There are about 5 titles I find myself buying and reading as soon as they come out, but now that I've gone digital, if I'm not going to read it right now and it's not on sale, I wait on buying it.

@projector Where do you find time to read all those comics? If you have the time, more power to you (and consider me jealous), but if they're just taking up space unread, maybe it's time to cut what you're not reading on Wednesday.

Edited by KnightofSteel

Great article. This is always a struggle for me. My pull list usually results in $20 to $25 per week budget. This is fine but it's when I pick up other books I see on Wednesday my total comes to $30 to $40. Definitely gotta discipline myself here.

Posted by Michael_Moran

I have had to go through thisnpainful scenario b4...not fun

Posted by hectorsquall

Awesome article and very well thought out! applause

I used to pick up around 30 books a month at one point, my pull list (and my collection) was really getting bigger and I had to take similar but more extreme measures... I simply got rid of every single book I didn't care much for, all the bullsh*t and even the good stuff I didn't really enjoy. surprise

It wasn't easy at first but now my pull list is down to 5 awesome books and my wallet couldn't be happier! happy

Edited by cc1738

My pull lists is currently:



Superman Unchained

The Wake

Captain America

All New Xmen

Thor God of Thunder


Green Lantern New Guardians

Green Lantern

Green Lantern Corps

Green Arrow

I have to cut back. I need to eliminate half of this list. :(

Posted by CaptainGenisVell

I had to cut Iron Man out last week, the artwork and plot just seemed to be meandering and of no significance. I was hoping it wouldn't go down hill when Larroca passed over the baton, but seems they dropped it and so must I.

Did swap it for Superman Unchained though, and always have Batman to look forward to as that just doesn't seem to fail.

It does feel nice when you can start a conversation with the people who work there. I go to a very small comic book store called 'OK Comics' in Leeds. I prefer it to the chains in my area as it feels more like a community than anything.

Edited by papad1992

I've had to cut down on my pull list severely! I was spending WAY too much!!

Posted by Michiel76

Orrrr if you are cutting back due to money constraints there are...alternative ways ;)

hehehe, i've dabbled there too from time to time

Posted by johnpariah



Batman & Robin


Superman Unchained

The Wake

Batman Beyond (Digital)

Arrow (Digital)


Scarlet Spider


Superior Spider-man


Ultimate Comics: Spiderman


The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

thats my pull list...not TERRIBLE....pretty managable...

Posted by theTimeStreamer

i have no such problem. i have a way of reading everything. past, present and future.

Posted by Vulshock

Good article. Cutting down your pull list can be so hard.

Posted by Cap10nate

Purchasing a month or two behind from Comixology can help as well. Most books drop a dollar after a couple months so you can purchase your books at a discount. I also wait for sales on Comixology for older titles that I want to read. I got the first 13 Walking Dead TPBs for $5 right before the new season started.

I just dropped Fantastic Four and Animal Man to make room for X-O Manowar for Harbinger.

Posted by thenexusrebound

I just recently cut Uncanny X-force because it just seemed disjointed to me. My current pulls though:

  • All New X-men
  • Artifacts
  • Aphrodite IX
  • Batman
  • Batman and Robin
  • Bird of Prey
  • Deadpool
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws
  • Scarlet Spider
  • Superman Unchained
  • Ultimate Spider-man
  • Ultimate X-men
  • Uncanny X-men
Posted by Dm225

That's my pull list. So far I've never had to cut anything from my pull list but it has been difficult not to let it get too big. I still have Batman/Superman to add to it along with East of West most likely and Action Comics once they get a stable creative team for it.

Edited by tomchu

*shrug* or you can wait a few months for one of your mediocre books and then go eBay it for a cheaper price when someone is selling off his issues.

Edited by jbholl

I've actually just been trying to figure out what to cut per week. I don't have a ton comics on my pull list but i'm in the middle of moving so that doesn't help.

My current pull list

  1. All new X-men
  2. Gambit
  3. Uncanny X-force
  4. X-men
  5. Venom
  6. Batman
  7. Nightwing
  8. Redhood and the Outlaws
  9. Saga
  10. East of West
  11. Dream Merchant
  12. Suicide Risk

Luckily for me Gambit has been cancelled and Dream Merchant end in October. I was thinking of dropping All new X-men after battle of the atom just cause its to slow in my opinion. Uncanny X-force has been on the chopping block as well since the series doesn't really seem to have a direction yet, but i'm waiting a couple issues (probably till 10) to see where it goes. Nightwing was going to be dropped but since it moved to Chicago its gotten a heck of a lot better. So after all that I'll be at 8 which isn't bad either.

Posted by kriminal



action comics

green lantern





justice league

superman unchained

and im adding superman batman, glc, and red lanterns for the next 2 months and see where i am plus jl dark when trinity war starts



all-new x-men

indestructible hulk


captain america


superior spider-man

thor god of thunder


and whatever effin event is going on at the time



regular show

so 24 titles after making cuts just last week. this works for me fine as i was close to 35. i decided just to buy trades whenever i have small weeks. next week is 50 bucks i have 14 of the 24 out this week

Edited by clayscarface

I do everything in trades. It's kind of sick, but my collector mentality caused me to actually create a spreadsheet to see what I'm buying, planning to buy, and spending. I also look at the number of issues collected per trade to see what kind of savings I get per issue. Right now, my per-issue cost is $2.63. Granted some books help more than others (like Saga costing only $10 per trade so far).

My must haves are (14, dropping to 11 soon):

Animal Man, Batman, Chew (limited run), Deadpool, Green Lantern, Hawkeye, Invincible, I Vampire (ending), Red Hood, Saga, Sweet Tooth (ending), Uncanny X-Men, Woverine & the X-Men, and Wonder Woman

Wants are (10, probably drop a few after first couple volumes):

Aquaman (really unsure of this one), Batgirl, Batwoman, Harbinger, Justice League (largely unimpressed so far), Justice League Dark, Supergirl, Swamp Thing, Teen Titans (perfect example of a title I just can't give up on), and Uncanny X-Force

Plan to try (most are Marvel NOW!, couple late New 52):

All-New X-Men, Avengers, Earth 2, GOTG, Justice League of America, New Avengers, New Guardians, Superman, Thor, Uncanny Avengers, X-Men, and Young Avengers

Edited by Darknite32

@lvenger: i recommend you dont replace "Batman" to "Batman and ..." because (in my opinion) its not going to well. Im about to drop that for GL New Guardians

Posted by 1darrowsmith

My Comics

- Justice league, top of my pile

- Batman, who doesn't read this

-Superman, Kenneth rocofort is my favourite artist of all time

- Wonder Woman, interesting story

- Aquaman, really bad ass!

- Green Lantern, love space storys

- The Flash, hilarious!

- Teen Titans, Love teen books!

Lot's of people read Bat-family, and I don't blame you, but it's really similar, while justice league has a lot more variety in all aspects.

Edited by Gotham331

@allstarsuperman: lol that's really not helping. I have to admit, Nightwing has been a nice surprise. Much better than I imagined. But Action is still on the cut list.

I've got :


Detective Comics

Batman and "robin" (considering cutting)

The Dark Knight

Action comics


Justice League

Justice League of America

Earth 2



Superman Uchained

Edited by zombietag

what i've realized is that you have to face the facts that there are a lot of good comics. a ton. but i don't buy good comics. i have to only buy GREAT comics and that's what keeps me going.

Edited by Reignmaker

Love the example of the book you don't drop from your list.

Edited by valerie21601

Another money saving tip for collectors is wait until you hear something great is going on with your favorite characters or writers, etc. You can easily get caught up by buying the back issues on it from the long boxes. Instead of paying $3.99 you may be able to get them for around 50 cents to a dollar.

Another great tip is if you have a local book store that sells and BUYS books, magazines, comic books, cd's, dvd's etc. Just wait anywhere from a couple of weeks or a month for them to start to show up and often you can find the current issue for around 50 cents or so. My local Half Price Books sells their comic books for 50 cents and when they get too many they have a comic book sale. It is a crap shoot but it can be quite rewarding if you can get there on a regular basis. If you sale items to them, sometimes they give you discount coupons for your next purchase. In my case (for example) it's 10% so I save 5 cents but it's easily eaten up by taxes, making it 50 cents again.

I hope my two tips help my fellow comic book collectors.

Posted by Raiden1106

It's things like that make me feel glad to be a picky reader

Posted by Eternal19

Wow. How do you guys afford all those books. I only read mainstream books sadly.


2.Batman and.....

3.Superman Unchained

4.The Wake

5.Superman /Batman

6.Swamp Thing

Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose

I don't have an official pull list, but I do make my own list of things to buy every month, and I stick to it strictly, so that kind of counts.

The idea of dropping titles is something I've thought about, but it's been tricky trying to decide what would need to be dropped if I needed to free up some money. If a favourite creator or character left a title I was reading, I'd probably try and drop it as quickly as possible, just to make sure I didn't get sucked into continuing.

I'm currently getting 9 ongoings, rising to 10 next month, and to 11 in September, so I can afford things for now.

Posted by sasquatch888

i have to cut down im spending $100 some weeks and buying the collected hardcovers for issues i already have and im reading every event from marvel and a bunch of 52 stuff about half the titles.... plus i read a bunch of dynamite stuff and avatar press ...lucky for me my wife and I have a great jobs and she doesnt involve herself in my finances i know shed think i was crazy

Edited by Xwraith

My pull list only has five ongoings (X-O Manowar, Green Arrow, TMNT, X-Men, Star Wars, and Regular Show) and one limited series (TMNT Villain Micro-series).

Edited by Metric_Outlaw

I try to do this about every 4 or 5 months. When I stop getting excited about a book I cut it and try out another series I'm interested in. I'm down to 8 books now.

Posted by MrMiracle77

I'm a 15 to 20 book a month guy. I try not to go beyond that, mainly as a way to practicing self-control. But I take different steps when it comes to a pull list.

1. Focus on what you really enjoy. If this means a writer, an artist, character or team, follow them around. This can be expensive if you're into Batman or Wolverine, or whatever character the company is trying to push at the time. But for me, this is Mister Miracle and Darth Vader. Pretty easy to do.

2. Leave room in your budget for surprises. Every once in a while I'll pick up a book just because I like the cover art, or I just want to give something new a try.

3. Recognize when it is time to swap. Once I realized that Streets of Gotham was becoming nothing more than yet another Batman book (instead of the supporting cast book that I was hoping for), it fell off the list pretty quickly.

Posted by benblanks86

It took my fiance' getting pregnant to finally make me do this. This would have been a good article to read then if for no other reason than I may have been inspired not to drop Batman haha. But actually, the reason I did and the extra advice I give is the fact that you can get last months DC books for a buck less on comixology, at least I'm pretty sure, it's better than waiting for their trades, and hey a bucks a buck and you're saving on space..which reminds me, I have some Batman issues to buy. But yeah, I'm getting about 25% of the titles I used to and it realistically it's not so bad, when you look at your list it's easy to say "Ok, Walking Dead and Saga are consistently good...but Animal Man has had this same story dragging way to long and Wolverine and the X-Men took a circus themed dip in quality...I'll get back to those later." It's all about what you absolutely NEED to keep up with, and you just look at the rest as "I can live without knowing what's happening this very second, and catch up with them later in trade and save myself a shitload of money."

Edited by kingjoeg

My pull list at the moment:


1. Avengers

2. New Avengers

3. Uncanny Avengers

4. Superior Spider-man

5. Scarlet Spider

6. Ultimate Spider-man

7. All New X-men

8. Hawkeye

9. Guardians of the Galaxy

10. Daredevil


11. Batman

12. Aquaman

13. Justice League

14. The Flash

15. Superman Unchanied

16. JLA (dropping after trinity war)


17. Saga

18. Jupiters Legacy

Posted by ekrolo

Or just read in trades, gives you the full story arc and its cost efficient.