Top 5 Books I Lie About Reading

By | Wednesday, February 24, 2010 5 comments
Sadie Mattox recently posted the top five books she's claimed to have read in the past, but really hasn't. I'd actually been thinking about posting a sort of confessional along those lines myself, so I'm going to treat it as a meme.

Except, of course, I don't think I've ever actually claimed to have read something I haven't. So here's the top five comics that I really should have read by now.
  1. Tintin -- I've thumbed through a few of Herge's books, but I've never actually sat down and read any of them. In fact, I've spent more time reading ABOUT Herge than I have reading his actual work. Doubly atrocious is that I have digital versions of ALL these books for a couple years now and I've never read any of them. I don't have a good explanation for this.
  2. Hernandez Bros. -- Not strictly true; I have read the handful of Mister X issues they did under Dean Motter's direction, but that was only in the past year or so. But that has been it. I've never even picked up, let alone browsed through, Love & Rockets or any of the reprints; I've just always seemed to find other things that struck me as more intriguing.
  3. Dave Sim -- Never read anything by him at all, comics or otherwise. I do have a copy of Spawn #10 that he worked on, but I've never cracked it open. That's the primary reason I've never weighed in on any debates about Sim's socio-political views; I have absolutely no first-hand knowledge or experience to base my opinions on. I think I've largely been dissuaded from reading any of it precisely because of all the vitriol that's been thrown against Sim himself.
  4. Scott Pilgrim -- I've seen some of Bryan Lee O'Malley's work on web sites and whatnot, but it never sparked that much interest for me. I honestly don't even know what the hell Scott Pilgrim is about. For some reason, this has absolutely not captured my attention in any capacity.
  5. Popular manga -- I have read some manga, but primarily somewhat "off the beaten path" series that have only lasted a handful of books. I've never looked at Naruto or DeathNote or Bleach or anything along those lines. I flipped through One Piece once, but not enough to get a good sense of anything. Too daunting to try taking on such long works, perhaps? I haven't exactly jumped on to any long-running superhero books either, and I suspect that if I really understood how much I'd missed before I started reading Fantastic Four I might well have decided to give it a pass. To be fair, I have read the 28 volumes of Dark Horse's Lone Wolf & Cub reprints, but those are really in a class by themselves; it'd be like comparing Watchmen to... well, anything else DC published.

So there's what I haven't read. Anyone else?
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Mike Leung said...

If you're, say, Will Eisner, you're accepted as the standard-bearer for your medium, and your work says something about life. About the pernicious consequences of control.

If you're Dave Sim, everything you have to say is about self-publishing a vehicle that only speaks of self-publishing off-medium, in his essays. In-medium, he seemed to instead scapegoat others for why no one else was able to replicate his success, the inability of anyone else to reproduce his success making it harder for him to take credit for his accomplishment in the first-place. At least that's how it seems to me.

Jim Shelley said...

Like you, I don't recall ever claiming to have read something I haven't, but I will cop to having given up on quite a few books:

Frank Miller's Ronin - just too wacky for me in the 80's. I should probably go back and reread it. I will never do that.

Transmetropolitan and Planetary (right up until the bitter end too. Somehow I just gave up the ghost on both books.)

Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.
I'll probably have to wait until my daughter is interested in this to give it another try.

Fables - just didn't grab me.

Matt K said...

Well, I haven't read anything on your list or hers, except for Eisner, and Cerebus. I think I got a copy of... "Flight?" (was that the name of a Cerebus volume?) years back in a store contest. I read it.

It was interesting. I'm certainly not sympathetic to Sim's political views, but either this was relatively muted or else it's the (uncollected) text features that really created his reputation, and people just attached that to the comics anyway. I don't know. The artwork was magnificent.

I still got rid of it during one of my collection purges, though.

Otherwise, hmmmm... it seems like I've read at least a little of quite a lot. I suppose I've never read The Invisibles or any of Morrison's most noted work, though I've read some and don't really feel an urgency to track down more. (Then again, I do own an original copy of "Kill Your Boyfriend" which I do find highly amusing.)

Oh, I got it. I've never read Acme Novelty Library or any of that.

Marc Sobel said...

You should definitely read Love & Rockets.

Sadie said...

This made my day. I love that you don't know who Scott Pilgrim is. I like your blog too. I'm stalking you now.

Sadie (from Extremely Graphic)