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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.

182 Comments
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Posted by Chriss234

The collector in me stops me from dropping any books. I'm only on 15 at the moment though so it isn't bad.

Posted by Chriss234

Supergirl

Batman Lil Gotham

Batgirl

Catwoman

Detective Comics

Justice League

Justice League Of America

Justice League Dark

Injustice Gods Among Us

Superman

Worlds Finest

Wonder Woman

Birds Of Prey

Suicide Squad

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

X-files

Is my list.

Posted by zarrarzeez

@gotham331: Definitely drop Action Comics for Superman Unchained. It will be one of your 2013 highlights, trust me, lol

Edited by TheThe

It's hard for me to believe some people have a Pull list with more than 30 books. Before the problem of money, but WHERE do you get theTIME to read everything ?

Posted by entee

My take is that you gotta put books in your pull-list that matter by themselves. Marvel and DC's big events will always crap out and we'll only remember what was bad about them. The hype makes it so much worse because they say it'll "change" everything.

Edited by mattwing87

I've been wanting to cut my pull list down but I enjoy the books I read. I currently get:

Batwing (might get cancelled by DC eventually)

Batman

Red Hood (thinking about it since I am not too sure how I like the new writer)

Nightwing

Justice League

Justice League of America

Flash

Ultimates

Ultimate X-Men

Ultimate Spider-Man

Avengers Arena (it's up and down for me but I am a Darkhawk fan even though he rarely shows up)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I did cut out Green Lantern and Green Lantern New Guardians after issues 20. I felt that was a great stopping place and the endings felt like the ending of a trilogy so I felt it was a great jump off point and enjoy it while it was great. The new creative teams probably have a different tone but someday I plan to get back into them. I mostly get trades, especially for Marvel since I can't afford $4 twice a month for the books I want to read. The trades I get are: Spider-Man, Daredevil, X-Men books, Venom, Scarlet Spider, Uncanny X-Force, Cable and X-Force, Thunderbolts, Star Wars books and Saga books.

Online
Posted by CptPanda29

Currently I'm on anything with Daredevil in it, Justice League, regular ass Batman and Invincible. Given current hear say I might have to ditch Ultimate Spider-Man to which is a crying shame, perfectly good books getting dragged into a lame event's BS.

It got way out of hand when I realized I could kinda get everything digitally instead of waiting for collections from my local half arsed store or buying them off Amazon or something. I had a few "What the F* am I reading" moments, like when WatXM had a circus and Cap Marvel turned into a 16 year old girls idea of a feminist power fantasy.

The one that really bummed me out to drop was Captain America. I got WAY INTO the collected issues of when Bucky was Cap, and thought I'd give keeping up with a Rogers ongoing a try.

I dropped it at the Krang Cap. The art was rough as a badgers arse and the story stank of tired 80s b-list sci-fi tropes.

Edited by Meteorite

I'm picking up eight titles at the moment, but one is a mini-series so after it's finished I'll be back to seven titles. I can deal with that easily; if I ever find myself needing to save lots of money on comics I'll just stop picking up so many trades.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

How to cut down your pull list.

Right now, start writing down the books your buying. 5 minutes time, no looking online or at your stash.

Whichever books your forgot to write down? They're cut because they obviously haven't left an impression on you.

Posted by ptigrusmagus

Well its been a long time coming but I should probably take Thunderbolts off my list. And Superman is dangerously close to being cancelled if this current arc does not impress.

Posted by TheFirstLantern
Posted by bigboi100000

free downloads for you turd burglers

Posted by brentac

Great article. Thanks.

Posted by mickeyangel

Great article. Lets not also forget where the heck to put all your print comics as the long boxes take over! I've had to do some cutting back and plan to do more. I really don't need every damn Avengers and X men title (with two more on the way). Need to make room for more independents. And valiant is slowly taking over my former dc pull list.

Edited by DoomDoomDoom

I limit myself to getting 12 on-going titles and never more than 3 mini-series at a time in an attempt to stay under 15 a month. I use my bonuses at the end of the month to purchase trades and back issues I want AKA a new Fables or Hellblazer trade appears or my LCS gets some Swamp Thing or 60's/70's horror comics traded in.

Posted by Doing_Wrong_So_Nicely

Excellent article Mat! I've been going to the same comic shop for 15 years now and have had to deal with the moment of cutting back the pull list a few times. I put comics into two categories: comics I need every issue of (the stuff I collect) and ones I can wait until the trade comes out. If I had the money I would buy them all! Best thing I ever cut from my pull list: Batman Odyssey. HATED that book!

Posted by Durakken

I have pretty big pull list, but I also pirate, and if I were to have to buy all those comics my pull list would be a lot smaller.

On a side note... I wonder how many people would like a Netflix style comic app where you pay around $10-20 a month and have access to all of DC's or Marvel's or Both's entire catalog, not just some small minority with large amounts of titles missing. I think you could get a lot more people interested in reading comics if that existed and thus any lose of money from people who buy a ton of comics would be overwhelmed by the increase in readership.

Posted by Darkmount1

I don't even have much of a pull list to begin with--all that's on there are Transformers: Regeneration One, Ghostbusters, and the (soon-to-be-ending) Danger Girl: Trinity mini, followed and to be replaced by its next installment, Danger Girl: The Chase.

Posted by TheFirstLantern

I just counted and I spend around $28 for 10 books. I have Aquaman,Batman,Green Lantern, Flash, Earth-2, Green Arrow, Thor:GOT, TMNT, Suicide Squad and JLA. I am also reading Daredevil but that is in trades.

Posted by lifeofvibe

im dc fan only because of these rules i dont know if thats a good thing or not but thats happen when the first thing you start reading is batman

Posted by DeMiedo

Loved the article. I'd add, get rid of pointless tie-ins.

Edited by Lvenger

@darknite32: Actually that's why I'm picking it up. The next two issues are basically one shots about Batman dealing with Damian's death along with teaming up with members of the Bat Family. I'm only getting the next two before I drop it.

Edited by AkaBoAli

I really began reading comics after DC's new52, I began with a huge list of most of the number ones. Now after nearly two years of reading comics, I'm only reading two DC books (Batman, Superman Unchained) and 21 Marvel books. #7 Never look back indeed :)

Edited by DougCL

this is exactly what i needed to read right now. as it stands, next week is going to cost me like 55 dollars. thats completely ridiculous. why am i still reading Avengers Arena? i ONLY bought the first one becuase it had that Battle Royale homage cover. i dont even like it that much.

im pulling:

Batman

Talon

Captain America

Daredevil

Deadpool

Hawkeye

FF

Star Wars

Revival

The Massive

The Wake

Superman Unchained (for now)

X-Men

Ultimate X-men

Five Weapons

Guardians Of The Galaxy

Thanos Rising

Nova

Young Avengers

Five Ghosts

Constantine

Great Pacific

Red Team

Mara (which is almost over thank god)

and i think im gonna need to start X Files season 10.

after typing it out, im kind of disgusted. thats over 20 books. i never thought i'd say this, but i wish Brian Wood was working on less books right now. He's my only real must-buy creator, and with 5 books going right now hes already taking so much of my money.

Posted by tupiaz

@dj1107 said:

Do what I do read trades

No this is not ok because then you are not a real comic book reader only people how reads floppies and go to the shop are real comic readers. The rest is just wannabies and posers. Comics are for issues only and you are like destroying the industry. It also hurt the industry that you buy comics at a place there is more expensive than the internet. You should support your LCS not the internet even though it will coast you a lot more.

Irony may have been used in earlier statement.

Posted by Ordinary_Origin

Coming back to comics after over a decade off I would never have thought my pull list would be as large as it is now (over 30 titles... wanting way more). The hardest part is when I start I don't know when to drop off a title. I imagine these tips will come in handy as time goes on and I want to add more.

Edited by sinestro_GL

NEVER!

Edited by ScarletBatman

If money, time and space were no object, here's the books I would put on my pull list:

-A+X

-Action Comics

-All-New X-Men

-Animal Man

-Aquaman

-Avengers

-Avengers A.I.

-Avengers Arena

-Avengers Assemble

-B.P.R.D.

-Batgirl

-Batman

-Batman and Robin

-Batman/Superman

-Batman: The Dark Knight

-Batwoman

-Birds of Prey

-Cable and X-Force

-Captain America

-Captain Marvel

-Catwoman

-Chew

-Clone

-Conan The Barbarian

-Constantine

-Deadpool

-Detective Comics

-Doctor Who

-Earth 2

-East of West

-Fantastic Four

-FF

-Green Arrow

-Green Lantern

-Green Lantern Corps

-Green Lantern: New Guardians

-Guardians of the Galaxy

-Hellboy

-Indestructible Hulk

-Invincible

-Invincible Universe

-Iron Man

-Jupiter's Legacy

-Justice League

-Justice League 3000

-Justice League Dark

-Justice League of America

-King Conan

-Larfleeze

-Manhattan Projects

-Mara

-Mighty Avengers

-New Avengers

-Nightwing

-Nova

-Red Hood and the Outlaws

-Savage Wolverine

-Secret Avengers

-Spawn

-Star Trek

-Star Wars

-Star Wars Agent Of The Empire

-Star Wars Dark Times

-Star Wars Dawn Of The Jedi

-Star Wars Legacy

-Super Dinosaur

-Superboy

-Supergirl

-Superior Spider-Man Team-Up

-Superman

-Superman Unchained

-Superman/Wonder Woman

-Swamp Thing

-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

-The Flash

-The Massive

-The Superior Spider-Man

-The Wake

-Thor: God of Thunder

-Uncanny Avengers

-Uncanny X-Force

-Uncanny X-Men

-Wolverine

-Wolverine and the X-Men

-Wonder Woman

-Worlds' Finest

-X-Men

-X-Men Legacy

-Young Avengers

Posted by etragedy

I just cut back to only the comics Comicvine give 4 or 5 stars to.

Posted by tupiaz

@etragedy said:

I just cut back to only the comics Comicvine give 4 or 5 stars to.

Hooray for personal taste,

Posted by ScarletBatman

@etragedy said:

I just cut back to only the comics Comicvine give 4 or 5 stars to.

What if one issue in an ongoing story gets a 3 but all the other issues get 4 or 5?

Posted by Daredevilnut

I have 4 books on my list:

Daredevil

Hawkeye

Green arrow

The Wake

I'm thinking of adding Green Lantern and I already have a subscription to Batman

Posted by etragedy

@scarletbatman: the likelihood of that happening is about equivalent to a comet hitting the earth

Posted by JoeEddie

Nice article! I mainly read trades and have only 3 titles in my pull list.

Posted by INFINITE_DOOM

i left my job recently so i had to cut my pull list :/

Every time i read reviews of the books i cut i die a little inside:'(

Posted by ChaosMarvel

Very informative article.

Posted by lykopis

I am not ready. I am not.

Edited by laflux

@lykopis Well Journey into Mystery is getting Cancelled so at least that's one down for you >:DDD

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Posted by cgarza12

My pull list:

1. Age of Ultron (only got it because I thought Ultron was in it)

2. All New X-Men

3. Batman

4. Deadpool

5. East of West

6 Morbius the Living Vampire (huge spider-man fan)

7. Nightwing

8. Scarlet Spider

9. Shadowman

10. Superior Spider-man

11. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

12. Ultimate Comics Spider-Man

13. Uncanny X-Men

14. X-Men

Pretty happy with my list aside from Morbius.

Posted by lykopis
Edited by CrazyScarecrow

I guess I don't really have a pull list. More of walk in and get the books I normally get. Currently I am reading Batman, Nightwing, Flash, Wonder Woman, and Justice Leauge. Usually the 6th comic I pick up a month is a back issue. I have a budget $20 a month. Their is going to be hard decision making though when either Captain Marvel (though I am sure they will probably do something to screw up my favorite thing about Cap! Mr. Mind and the Monster Society of Evil) or Martian Manhunter get their own ongoing. Probably would take out Justice League though.

A nice tip for someone who wants to read more is borrow from friends who also buy and read comics if you have any. My best friend is buying Superman Unchained, Aquaman, JLA, and most recently Green Arrow. Usually after a week or two of the having the comics we bought we usually trade and borrow each others for awhile so we can read more DC.

Posted by wmwadeii

@foxxfireart: And also for Marvel don't forget their Unlimited Digital Subscription. If your like me and don't mind being a few months behind (6 on avg) this is a great way to keep up with those not so crucial series. I only wish other publishers would follow suit.

Posted by wmwadeii

@thethe: It's not too hard. It takes me apx 10min to read a comic so on my days off I can easily read 25-30 in one day.

Posted by Cakeman3000

This article is very true, and just knowing that there are others that actually go through with this foolishness lets me give up some books. The only problem is that I need ten on my pull list in order to have them saved for me, which is a problem because I don't even have the money for ten comics especially because Superior Spider-man comes out twice a month.

Edited by Dud317

"A unexpectedly steep drop in sales for the month of July baffles LCS owners."

Posted by kbrackie

I can remember back in the '70s, Every day, my mother would give me a quarter and an empty soda bottle and off to the convenience store for a Coke and a comic (or a candy bar.) The selection was definitely limited. I had about three issues to look for:

Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes

Superman

Batman

Now I'm back in comics books to some degree but, the LCS is almost a forty mile drive (round trip.) I still pick three or four issues and kind of make a day out of it.

Edited by ScarletBatman

My actual Pull List:

- All New X-Men

- Batman

- East of West

- Hawkeye

- Saga

- Star Wars

- Star Wars: Legacy

- Uncanny Avengers

- Uncanny X-Men

- X-Men

That's 10 titles, which is the minimum my local shop requires to get a 20% discount. I try to never go above 10 titles on my pull list because my shop offers the discount on all comics you buy. If Marvel wasn't killing it right now, I'd probably refrain from buying a lot of their books as I have a subscription to MDCU, which for 10 bucks a month, gives me access to all new comics published 6 months ago and thousands of back issues. I try to update my pull list once every 3 months, pulling titles off that aren't must haves and replacing them with my new favorites. Currently, I'd say Star Wars is pretty close to falling off the pull list and being replaced by The Wake or Superman Unchained.

Edited by _Marc_74

great artical, as at being almost 39 and very new to the scene i see myself spiralling with purchases when do not even read them

start with all the batman, detec comic and dark knight. never read harldy any, too many stories, too similar etc. i left the scene for a year.

now back to just batmans, got all issues but only reading up to #3 far. unsure of reading on public transport.

people give funny looks to a professional in london.

as such i never had a local comic store, suburbs are rubbish. so i have an online pull list that is growing.

trying to grab just new stuff. too much many years to catch up on many series

so im up for

batman

superman unchained

wake

ten grand

and see what else new comes along

also, im not seeing these so called weekly releases.. always seem to be monthly to me..?

but as such, getting married soon etc, i will keep my list to 5 max a month.... maybe :s

Posted by anthonygiu

So far I have 15 on my Pull List

1. Action Comics

2. Aquaman

3. Batgirl

4. Batman

5. Batman and Robin

6. Earth 2

7. Flash

8. Green Arrow

9. Green Lantern

10. Justice League

11. Justice League of America

12. Nightwing

13. Superman

14. Superman: Unchained

15. Wonder Woman

And when Batman/Superman comes out that will be on my pull list too. Is there any that anybody can recommend adding or would recommend removing?

Posted by ScarletBatman

@anthonygiu Earth 2 and Action Comics could be pulled off, it depends on how the new authors fare. Also, you should look to the future with Superman/Wonder Woman, which is coming out in October.

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