I don’t know the exact date, but I must have settled on the name Comic Book Herald sometime around August 2010 (that’s when my Twitter handle debuted!), a few months into my first real world job, and around a year before I’d get married. It’s strange to consider, but I’ve had nearly a full decade with Comic Book Herald now, although any site traffic data doesn’t begin in earnest until 2012.
Simply put, until my kids, Comic Book Herald was the proudest creation I’ve worked on, and remains a deeply committed work. I have too many lessons to count, but I think the primary lesson is one of patience. After years of work, I’m able to drive more visitors in a single month than I did in all of 2012 to 2013 combined.
Big picture, I’m most proud of the way the Comic Book Herald community has offered an overwhelming majority of generosity and kindness, whether through positive feedback on reading order guides, or through messages thanking me for the work. The internet is (ever increasingly) full of rage and hate, and Comic Book Herald has been nearly immune to that plague. If there’s one takeaway for me heading into 2020 it’s to maintain the culture and ethos of a helping hand. This is the place where people from all walks of life can come and find their way into the muddy messy world of comics. I never want that to change.
In terms of Comic Book Herald’s most popular articles throughout the decade, the top 10 are as follows:
- Complete Marvel reading order
- DC Rebirth reading order
- Batman reading order
- New 52 reading order
- Marvel Ultimate Universe reading order
- Marvel Knights to Avengers Disassembled guide
- Marvel Now reading order
- Thanos reading order
- Civil War 2 reading order
- X-Men reading order
The biggest surprise there – by far – is Civil War 2 demanding enough interest to crack the top 10 (My guide to the OG Civil War is 20th on the site). Never let it be said that a lazy sequel title isn’t worth the easy marketing.
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Heading in to 2020, I’ll admit to some uncertainty about Comic Book Herald. Competition for comics sites is much greater than it was at the start of the decade, and I’ll be the first to tell you I have an uneasy sense about the right way to take CBH to another level. Reading orders are my bread and butter, and I’ll continue doing them for new Big 2 initiatives, but throughout 2019 I’ve seen that approach plateau in some ways. It was simultaneously my best year of all time, and the most I’ve worried about the site’s potential flattening out.
The clearest opportunities that I see are outside the proper comicbookherald.com, with the My Marvelous Year podcast, and the work I’m doing on the Comic Book Herald Youtube channel. I spent most of 2019 kicking myself for waiting as long as I did to get into these spaces, where the chances to reach hungry new comics readers absolutely explodes.
In a lot of ways, the podcast and Youtube feel like launching CBH back in 2012, albeit with the benefits of some brand recognition. I’m confident in the content and my passion for comics, so I continue to hope that will win out in finding audiences.
All in all, though, I have to look back at this decade with pride, wonder, and gratitude. Thanks to all the readers who have made for one heck of a first decade, and I look forward to enjoying many more comics with you in the decades to come!
Dave, I weoe to you when I first started reading your Marvel reading order a few years ago. At that time I hadn’t read comics since the late 70’s. I will be 65 in a few weeks and due in large part to your blog I am happily reading tons of comics on Marvel Unlimited and subscribed to DC Universe once they opened up their comic availability. I hope you have even greater success in the future and thanks for getting me back into comics.
Hi Zeb, very cool, thanks for sharing with me. Glad CBH could be of help – enjoy the comics!
Taylor Carr says
Thanks for your hard work on everything Dave. You were my first and still #1 resource for comic book insight and recommendations. Keep up the good work.
Thank you, Taylor!!
Without this site I definitely doubt I would be very into comics. It was absolutely your reading orders that got me to consistently come here, but after a few years of reading I’ve become quite confident guiding myself. It really is the analysis, commentary, reviews that really retain me. Regardless, thanks for helping me into this marvelous medium.
I’m encouraged to hear that, thank you for the note!
Thanks again for all the work, Dave. Besides “The Comics Cannon” podcast, CBH is my only source of comics-related content (apart from the books themselves). Also, I’m likely responsible for a good portion of that Thanos reading order page 8 )>
Speaking of Civil War II, I’ve stayed completely away from it until the last two days where I got to Ewing’s “Ultimates” vol I & II. I’ve picked up on most of the Civ II story vicariously, but was surprised to find it as engaging as it was. Ewing managed to pull off a tightrope act of telling his cosmic story while bringing in some elements of Civ II. Particularly when it came to Carol.
To pose a couple questions:
– Is there any other part of the Civ II tie-ins worth reading after Ultimates?
– Ewing’s Ultimates seemed to finish up after those two volumes. How do the next two volumes compare?
Thank you Dave, for everything you’ve been doing. I’m almost 40. I quit reading comic books around 2000-2001. I don’t exactly know why, but when Secret Wars was being published and all the hype around it, I started reading again.
Your reading orders were essential to my reading: I knew what’s was going on and where to go, when I wanted to go back and fill that 10-15 gap I missed. Also I’ve been listening your “Marvel Year x” podcasts, and they are great. Right now I don’t have the time to read those classics again, but sooner or later I’m going back there. And your new Hickman-XMen podcast is so amazing, that I really want to skip (and skipped!) my “reading order”.
If you can do what you’re doing now, this is great to people like me, “european ex-comic fans, but now back in it again”. You, sir, should be proud. I really appreciate what you do and I’m donating to you again.So, greetings from Finland, and keep up the good work.
Thank you so much! I’m glad CBH has been a help, and you’ve been enjoying the content. It means a lot to hear as much, so again, thanks for taking the time!
Thanks for the note! Your feedback is quite encouraging.
I’d agree with your take on Ultimates, although certainly I’d also say it’s second act makes the best of a bad situation. Ewing actually does something similar with the 5 issue “Ulysses” mini, which is another recommended tie-in. The only other “worthwhile” tie-in that immediately comes to mind is Mockingbird, which is simply a fascinating 8 issue series.
If you dug the first series of Ultimates, I’d definitely recommend continuing. It’s not as lights out as those first six issues, but the cosmic elements are excellent!
Joe Harman says
Thanks Dave. Your site got me into comics for sure and I am likely a lifer now.
Excellent 🙂 Thanks for the note!