I started Comic Book Herald in late 2012 with naught but a hope, a dream, and a barely functioning grasp on blogging, and here we are three years later and I’m writing my 500th post on the site! Granted, we’ve had some excellent contributors (like my man Matt Lehn on the Marvel reviews this year), and that number doesn’t include the far more extensive reading order guides I’ve labored over… but still… 500 posts!
As I celebrate my likely hall of fame induction among peers such as Micky Mantle and Ron Santo (at least in my heart), I do have some exciting news for the Comic Book Herald faithful, and thankfully, it has nothing to do with childhood baseball fantasies.
Throughout 2015 I’ve been running the Comic Book Herald reading club, where once a week we all read a core selection of Marvel Comics. Over 500 of you have participated throughout the year, and we’ve had some really fun discussions about some of my favorite comics (and some where I just wanted to gauge your reaction).
My Marvelous Year – The 2016 Comic Book Herald Club
Well, in 2016 the CBH Reading Club is going to megamorph into something far less amorphous, and far more ambitious.
We’re going to read every Marvel Comic ever. Starting from Fantastic Four #1 in 1961, and onward!
Wait… every Marvel Comic… ever?
Every. Marvel. Comic. Ever.
… steps away from computer…
… coffee stars to where off….
…. Oh God, what have I done….
Ok, ok, we’re not going to try and read every issue (at least not officially). That would be some combination of suicide and euthanasia, and yes, it’s very likely those words don’t mean what I think they mean.
We will be reading a carefully selected series of 10 comic book stories each week, all from one year of Marvel Comics, starting straight from the top.
So for the first week of January 2016, we will read 10 Marvel Comics published in 1962 (starting with the final two months of 1961 since that’s when the Marvel U really begins). For the second week of January 2016, we will read 10 Marvel Comics published in 1963. And so on…
I’ll be providing carefully handpicked lists of the most relevant (ideally best) issues from the time period, and in this way we will streamline our way from 1962 to 2014 in the course of one year! It’s totally possible!
During each week, we will vote on the following:
Hero of the Year – What Marvel superhero or superhero team won the year? Who had the best comics? Who had the most meaningful comics? Who did you flat out enjoy reading the most? In this way we will decisively determine a definitive MVP / Oscar Winner / Heavyweight Champ for the entire Marvel Universe dating back to 1961.
Villain of the Year – See above, but celebrate evil.
You can sign up here!
Some answers to anticipated questions graciously provided by the voices in my head:
Is this going to be too many comics? I have a job, Dave. And a family. Jeepers H. Creepers, man!
You will have a lot of flexibility with the reading selections. I will be providing checklists for all the recommended reads, and will limit each year’s reading to 10 stories. Now, I should be clear that as Marvel progresses from single issue stories to stories that span several issues, our total number of weekly comics will expand. I will be trying to keep the total number of issues per week between 10 and 20. Remember, I have to try and read these too.
What if I don’t like old comics? This sounds old. How old are you anyway? What dinosaur was your favorite pet as a kid?
First off… you know what, never mind (kids these days).
If you’re not super psyched about starting from Marvel’s ground floor and prefer modern Marvel comics, well, that’s cool! I do a lot of times, too.
I’ll be providing modern Marvel stories that are influenced or draw from the material we’ll be unearthing in the earlier periods of Marvel history. Plus, the advantage of tackling an entire year in a week, is that by April we’ll be hitting 1975 and the birth of the Uncanny X-Men as we know them today!
So One Year a Week… Is This Going to Take Forever?
Probably not! I’m no mathematician, but if we stick to it for all 52 weeks in the year we should cover Marvel’s birth all the way through Marvel NOW in 2014.
Are There Better Ways To Do This?
Honestly? I don’t think so. Sure, you could put your faith in Marvel Unlimited and sort by publication date and try to read everything. You could do that. But by the time you hit the 8th consecutive issue of Hulk where the army captures him, loses him, and contracts the Leader to capture him again, you may wish for some curation.
Will We Get Anything To Keep Out of This? What If I Fall Behind?
I’ll be sending out detailed checklists for you to keep and follow along with, so it’s no big deal if you miss a week. The lists will also include convenient links to Marvel Unlimited for each issue, so you can customize your library accordingly.
Ok, How Do I Sign Up?
It’s easy! Click here! I’ll just ask for your name, e-mail, and rights to your first born (… that’s a joke, relax).
I look forward to tackling the entire Marvel Universe in one year with you! Happy new year everyone!