Comics/Graphic Novels

Comics to Help You Beat a Reading Slump

Andi Miller

Staff Writer

Andi Miller is a proponent of fauxhawks, gaudy jewelry, country music, and writing. When she’s not publicly relating at her day job or teaching university English courses online, she’s a hardcore reader, social media addict, 10-year book blogging veteran at Estella’s Revenge, and host of Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon. Her favorite literary snacks are comics, literary fiction, and foodie memoirs. Her favorite real snacks are Froot Loops, fried catfish tails, and serial Twitter unfollowers. Blog: Estella's Revenge Twitter: @EstellasRevenge

Hi, there! I’m Andi…erm, a writer here…and I’ve been in a reading slump and almost completely MIA. I know I can’t be the only one this happens to, so in trying to break my own slump, I thought I’d throw some tips and recommendations your way that might help yours.

A slump can come on when I feel like I’m not reading fast enough or making any reading “progress.” This is all self-pressure and largely caused by life responsibility, I realize, but it’s not any less of a thing that happens semi-regularly. For a quick jolt of progress and reading self-esteem, I like to pick up something marketed for children or all-ages.

princessdecomposiaI get a lot of all ages comics from First Second because the writing, art, and print quality are always pretty amazing. Most recently, I read Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula by Andi Watson. The princess of the underworld is beaten down by taking care of her lazy father’s tasks until she hires Count Spatula as the castle chef. The two become friends and the princess finds some extra oomphf to stand up for herself.

Another great route is to read a comics anthology. I do this with traditional prose as well, picking up a book of short or interconnected stories to dip into and out of.

I recently purchased Legends of Red Sonja by Meljean Brook, Blair Butler, Nancy Collins, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Devin Grayson, Naniiebim, Jim Calafiore, Valentine De Landro, Doug Holgate, Jack Jadson and others. Gail Simone hand-picked her favorite female writers and anthologized their Red Sonja stories. Being new to this character, this feels like an especially good way to get a variety of takes on the same heroine.

Fables1001NightsFables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall written by Bill Willingham and illustrated by James Jean, Jill Thompson, Mark Buckingham, John Bolton and others, is one of my all-time favorite comics. This book is ridiculously gorgeous, and whether you’re a seasoned Fables reader or just getting into the series, this is a great book. Snow White is captured by a Sultan and weaves her stories Arabian Nights style. Each tale gives some insight to one of the Fables characters offering back story or maybe just a different approach. The artwork runs the gamut from neat to messy, realistic to cartoony, and it was like finding a new treasure in every new sequence.

When free comics day rolls around, I make sure to pick up all of the available options in digital format, so I can try some new things. Only having one issue on the ol’ e-reader is nice for a slump because I can work my way through some things I’m excited about without a big commitment.

fadoutThe Fade Out by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips was one of the issues I picked up on the last free comics day, and I had my doubts. I tend to shy away from books and comics about the film industry, but I was really surprised that I was quickly sucked in by this story noir murder mystery.

Here’s hoping that if you’re slumping, you can find your way out soon, and I’d love to know what recommendations you have when your own comics reading slows to a trickle.