You should be reading comics

I’m sure pretty much anyone who grew up geeky in the last 50 years has read a comic book at least once.  I am no different.  I read them as a kid in the mid 90’s during the Event-a-palooza times with things like the Death of Superman, Xmen comics relaunch, creation of Image comics and more.

This wasn’t exactly the golden age of comics.

Like most things, I grew out of it, still reading the occasional trade that I would borrow from a friend or I would pick up at random.  But, I always kind of felt a little jealous of those friends who knew all the backstories and had been reading them for years.

Fastforward to summer 2011 and several announcements from the big publishers and a slew of great comic book movies helped to push me over the edge and into my local comic book shop where I started my first weekly hold.

Of course that first hold was only 4 titles and it seems that with each passing week I’ve added more and more new titles.  There are just so many great stories being told right now.

If you are like me and have always wondered or wanted to get into comics, now is a great time to get started.  DC’s relaunch of there main titles (aka “The New 52”) has helped to ease people worrying about not knowing 40+ years of history and stories.  Recent Marvel events have also created several great jumping on points for there books as well.  Add to that the recent movies helping to get people a jump start on characters and backstories and you have a perfect jumping on point for new readers.

But, what if you live in an area without a local comic book store?  Well, you are in luck!  Another aspect of DC’s relaunch was putting all there titles out digitally the same day as print, Marvel is slowly following suit.  You can download them to any Android or iOS device as well as on your PC.

So there you have it, you have no more excuses!  There are so many great stories being told right now and fantastic artists and writers working today that you really are doing yourself a disservice if you are not checking them out.

Cutting the cord

Being poor sucks.  It’s a fact of life today and we all have to find our way to deal with rising costs.  Last month we realized that things were getting out of hand and we had to make a change and the one place we could make a cut was with our cable bill.

As of Nov. 1st we cut the cord.  We now watch all our TV online via Netflix, Hulu and other sites.

It is a bit of a transition and you do have to adjust your way of thinking.  Of course ever since the introduction of the DVR, people’s mindsets regarding TV schedules have been changing.  This is just that, taken to the next extreme.  There is a lot less random TV watching, so I guess fewer unwanted reruns is a good thing.

I have discovered a few issues though.  The biggest problem is that there is no one set of rules regarding shows online.  Even among the same network or “family” of shows there isn’t one rule about when and where shows will be available.  It’s a bit maddening and it’s one of the biggest things that we’ve had to adjust to.  Also, with certain shows only being available through certain outlets (Clone Wars is exclusive to iTunes) it does make things a bit more complicated.

Cost is also an issue.  Of course, this is one area where things tend to be a bit more standardized.  The majority of shows are $2.99 in HD and $1.99 in SD.  At first I didn’t like the idea of buying shows, I felt like with shows I really like (Doctor Who, Clone Wars, etc.) that I would be buying it twice.  But then I realized I’ve always been paying for the shows I wanted to watch.  Just that before I was paying my cable company and now I’d be paying Amazon, Zune or iTunes for my shows, and now I can pay for just what I want, not having to pay for a ton of crap I never watch to get the few things I do want.

All in all, I have been enjoying it so far.  We have adjusted to watching our favorite shows on a slightly different schedule and we have even discovered a few new shows to enjoy.  Is this a change that everyone could enjoy?  Probably not, it does vary from person to person and depends on which shows you watch and how much you watch things live versus on demand.

I do know that I’m going to be much happier when my next cable bill arrives and that I really am only paying for what I want and it’s on my schedule.