22.Jan.2013 My Year in Books: 2012

Because I’m too much of a punk to compile a “Best of” list—and never feel I’ve read enough of the year’s top contenders to make a decent one—I’m continuing what’s become a bit of an annual tradition… I’ve compiled…


Get excited!

A bunch of books and me at Emerald City Comicon.

A bunch of books and me at Emerald City Comicon.

Two years ago, I started doing this instead of a “Best of” list because I’d read a ton, but so much of it was older stuff—stuff that hadn’t come out in 2010. I liked compiling the list, seeing how much I read, when during the year I read most, what kind of trends my reading went through, etc etc… Without initially realizing it, I’d figured out a pretty interesting way to study myself as a reader. So, I did it again two years ago and again last year.

This time around, each completed book was added to a running list before I put it away on the shelf. Adding the book to a list, I think, led to an extra sense of completion and accomplishment each time I finished a book. I usually opened a new one and started reading it as soon as the old one was added to the list.

The FLCL Omnibus with a note from editor Philip Simon.

Anywho, here’s a list of the 70 graphic novels and books I read last year. It was mostly pleasure reading, but some of it was for work…

2012 Reading List: GRAPHIC NOVELS
The New York Five [DC/Vertigo]

Batman: Noel [DC]

The Authority: The Lost Year—Book One [DC/Wildstorm]

Whiteout: Melt [Oni Press]

Fire [Image] (by Bendis)

Channel Zero [AiT/Planet Lar]

Channel Zero: Jennie One [AiT/Planet Lar]

Spera [Archaia]

The New York Four [DC/Minx]

Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Promise – Part One [Dark Horse]

Phonogram: Rue Britannia [Image]

Batman: The Black Mirror [DC]

Blacksad [Dark Horse]

The Archies & Josie and The Pussycast [Archie Comics]

Archie: The Man from R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E. [Archie Comics]

Archie: Freshman Year—Book One [Archie Comics]

Betty and Veronica: Best Friends Forever [Archie Comics]

Archie: Obama & Palin in Riverdale [Archie Comics]

Superman: Reign of Doomsday [DC]

JLA Volume 1 [DC]

Screamland: Death of the Party [Image]

Three Shadows [First Second]

Infinite Kung Fu [Top Shelf]

Any Empire [Top Shelf]

Northlanders Vol. 6: Thor’s Daughter and Other Stories [DC/Vertigo]

Batman: Time and The Batman [DC]

Forming Vol. 1 [NoBrow Press]

Fight For Tomorrow [DC/Vertigo]

Dear Creature [TOR]

Doom Patrol Vol. 4: Musclebound [DC/Vertigo]

FLCL Omnibus [Dark Horse]

Xenoholics Vol. 1 [Image]

WE3: The Deluxe Edition [DC/Vertigo]

Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Promise – Part Two [Dark Horse]

Local [Oni Press]

Archie: The Married Life—Vol. 1 [Archie Comics]

Battlepug: Vol. 1 [Dark Horse]

Archie: The Married Life—Vol. 2 [Archie Comics]

The Deep: Here Be Dragons [Gestalt]

Rat Catcher [DC/Vertigo Crime]

Xombi [DC Comics]

Lucha Libre Vol. 1: Heroing’s A Full Time Job (Tips Appreciated) [Image]

Usagi Yojimbo: Traitors of the Earth—Vol. 26 [Dark Horse]

Captain America Lives! Omnibus [Marvel]

Elk’s Run [Villard Books]

Vision Machine [Pak Man Productions]

Best of Josie and the Pussycats [Archie Comics]

The Eternals Omnibus [Marvel]

Prince of Cats [Vertigo/DC]

Pang: The Wandering Shaolin Mon—Vol. 1 Refuge of the Heart

Doom Patrol Vol. 5: Magic Bus [DC/Vertigo]

Mice Templar Vol. 2: Destiny—Part One [Image]

Mice Templar Vol. 2: Destiny—Part Two [Image]

Doom Patrol Vol. 6: Planet Love [DC/Vertigo]

Hell Yeah Vol. 1: Last Day on Earths [Image]

Age of Bronze: Vol. 2—Sacrifice [Image]

Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Promise – Part Three [Dark Horse]

Sharknife: Stage First [Oni Press]

Saga Vol. 1 [Image]

Daytripper [DC/Vertigo]

Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters [DC]

Sharknife: Double Z [Oni Press]

A graphic novel I read and enjoyed in 2012.

I completed more than one prose book this year. In fact, I read seven! Bam! Been a while since I’ve been that productive in the novel reading department.

2012 Reading List: NOVELS/PROSE
A Game of Thrones [Bantam Books]

The Hunger Games [Scholastic]

The Rook [Little, Brown and Company]

A Clash of Kings [Bantam Books]
The Big Sleep [Vintage Crime/Black Lizard]

Farewell, My Lovely [Vintage Crime/Black Lizard]
Catching Fire [Scholastic]

All in all, I think this year was about consuming a lot of books and trying to make sure they were different kinds of books. I’ve had some pretty superhero-heavy years, a very Dark Horse-heavy year (I did a lot of brushing up on the DH stuff during my first year on the job.), some personal research-heavy years, but this one seemed to feature a lot of mixing it up. I don’t know if it was necessarily due to the content this year, but I enjoyed reading more this year. Throwing some prose into the mix after a long dry spell of novels really infused some life into my reading habits. It felt like I was stretching some old muscles and it felt good. It made the world of books feel a bit more infinite than it felt over the past two years when I’d become so focused on comics—something that felt essential to succeeding at work. This year, I definitely learned that disparate reading can be the most rewarding way to read, especially when reading is part of your job.

I’m curious to see what new reading habits 2013 will lead to. The current trend is grabbing any book off the shelf that has a bookmark stabbed into and finishing that sucker off. It kinda feels like cheating, adding them to the list, but it feels good to take care of unfinished business.

Here's Obi-Wan Kenobi getting arrested at Comic-Con, because why not?!

Here’s a photo I took of Obi-Wan Kenobi getting arrested at Comic-Con, because why not?!

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