So what have I been reading lately? Comics. Mostly new comic books at that. I often mean to go back and read some long runs of old favorite comic that I have but that’s no easy for me to find time for. I won’t go into what new comics I’ve been reading since I post what comics I get every week on this very blog. It’s usually around five or six comics a week so that’s fair amount. Plus I read them all twice. I read them once and then sit them on top of my printer to be read again a week later. I find I get more out of my new comics if I read them twice before filing them away.

The first time I read a comic it’s often about the plot. What happens next. The second time I read the comic I catch more of the nuance. I’m not rushing along headlong with the plot and stop and so I appreciate the scenery. I often see different things in a comic the second time around. That second read can be a different experience from the first. I started doing this a few years ago because I was so quick filing away my comics that is was often like I never read the thing. Out of sight. Out of mind. Now a new comic hangs around in my sight for a week or two. I find it makes me more mindful of them.

One thing I’ve read a lot of lately is a magazine I have a subscription to. It’s called “The Sun” and I’d describe it as a literary magazine. A magazine that’s about writing. It’s filled with short stories, one interview an issue, essays, poems, and some photography. Some of the stories can be heartbreaking and a little depressing because the writing is all about real life and sometimes life can be a bummer. But I really enjoy the magazine and have been a subscriber since sometime in the early 1990s. That’s a long time.

For the first time ever last fall I stopped reading the magazine and let them pile up for six months. I have no idea why. I just didn’t feel like digging into it. “The Sun” is like that sometimes with me. I look at it, remember the more depressing stories, and don’t want to read it. When I get around to reading it I always love it and am a little sad when I finish it. This past summer I was also saving the magazine to read on my train rides into Manhattan when I went to take street photos. I think I was a little disappointed the summer was over. Anyway it happened I had six issues sitting there.

I read those six issues in about two weeks. Once I started I just kept going. I’d read a little here and there but mostly I stopped putzing around reading on the internet. That can really suck up reading time because it takes some time to find something worth reading. A half an hour can easily go by surfing the web. That’s a quarter of a magazine’s worth of reading time. I dedicated that time to “The Sun” and read up everything I had. It was a lot of fun.

The other magazine I’ve been reading lately is “Archeology.” That one comes out bi-monthly as opposed to “The Sun” which comes out monthly so there are half the number of issues of “Archeology.” I kept up with those and am in the middle of the latest issue. As a history fan I really like the magazine. Plus the front half of it is filled with short stories of bits of news and so is easy to read in small bursts.

Another thing I read every morning with my breakfast is a regular bunch of webcomics. “The Devil’s Panties”, “Least I could Do”, “Wondermark”, “Girls With Slingshots”, “Oglaf!”, “Something Positive”, and “Doonesbury” are all on my list. They don’t take up a whole lot of time but over the years it adds up.

I’ve given up reading paper books. With all my paper comics I don’t have the room for them. I’l sample digital comics but it I like a comic I’ll buy a paper copy of it. Regular books get read on the iPad. I really do enjoy reading text on the iPad. I have a whole bunch of books for it too that I’ve never read. Since I’m a member of Amazon Prime I get one free book a month from a handful that they send out. I always pick the one I’m most likely to read but since I don’t have a ton of book reading time I only get to one in ten. But I have read a couple of books that I bought for the iPad.

It was a while ago, maybe in the summer, that I reread “The Great Gatsby.” That was fun. I like it better than when I first read it many years ago. I’ve meant to reread “This Side of Paradise” too but haven’t yet gotten around to it. I’ve also read some books on the history of Christianity and the origins of some famous quotes. I told you I liked history.

The book I’m reading right now is a short biography of Roy Lichtenstein entitled “Lichtenstein in New York: A Pop Art Life.” Its written by a former Marvel co-worker friend of mine, Mark Bernardo, who I keep in touch with on Facebook. He posted his book was coming out and I thought it was right up my alley. As an artist I’m, of course, familiar with Roy Lichtenstein and we studied him back in art school but I’ve never read any kind of biography on him. I still have a few more chapters to go but I’m really enjoying it. It’s written well and I’m learning quite a bit. It does a good job capturing a moment in time when Pop Art broke onto the scene. It does a good job with the other times in the book too.

So that’s what I’ve been reading. What about you?