Managing Your Pull List

You know what is difficult? Managing your pull list when you move across the country, not that I recently had that experience or anything… Packing/organizing long boxes, inventorying trades, and remembering all those floppies you get every month can be kind of exhausting.

You’d have thought that writing down the pull list would have been on the top of the priority list, but alas, my memory, the Diamond lists, and flipping through past issues is how I’m remembering my pull list right now.

A comic book pull list, an automatic regenerating list of title’s you’d like to read/have put aside every time they are released, is a vital tool for many comic book readers. They are an easy way to remember which books you’ve liked and when they come out, especially when so many books take breaks, both announced and unannounced. Many comic book stores are happy to set up a pull list for readers so they always your books ready to go on Wednesdays.

There are a few different technologies you can use to organize and remember the comics on your pull list. I have three suggestions for you to help organize your weekly comic books lists.

But first, check out this photo-comic (via Comics Alliance) from the author of Wicked and Divine  and Young Avengers Kieron Gillen about, well, buying comics.

This wonderful little comic illustrates the most basic way to set up a pull list at a comic book store. First, consult the Diamond Distribution  Release List weekly to see if any titles you are interested in are coming out. Write them down and take it to your comic book shop (CBS). That’s it. Most CBS’ will put the comics you want aside for you, but if they don’t, you’ll always have a handy list available. I can’t emphasize enough how helpful the Diamond Lists are. They also release monthly statistics of the most purchased manga, graphic novels, and comic books, so they are also a great collection development tool. Plus, as the only comic book distributor in the United States, they know the market very well.

The second suggestion for keeping you single issue comic books in order is Goodreads, a website which allows you to track your book (including comic book) reading, create “want to read” shelves, and rate items you have read. Full disclosure, Goodreads is owned by Amazon, so they do include links to purchase books, but that also means they can pull from a huge database of books to suggest. It is a bit cumbersome for single issues, sometimes the numbering is off or the cover is missing, but it is great for trades and organizing stand alone graphic novels. It also boasts a huge collection of independent publishers you wouldn’t find on the Diamond list top 100 very often.

The final suggestion is also an Amazon subsidiary, Comixology. Comixology is most commonly viewed as a place to buy digital comics, but also provides a great pull list service. You can keep a list of items you want to read, write reviews, bag it (add it to your pull list), burn it (remove it from you pull list), and get a general estimate of what you might pay at your local comic book store. It’s also great if you are browsing for new titles because they aggregate the most popular items on user’s pull lists. It’s a great tool for organizing, remembering, and budgeting your comic book reading habit.

But what’s most important is finding a comic book store that will help you out. The last move I made, the comic book store I used to go to (and had my engagement pictures taken at) was willing to mail my pull list to me every week until I became established at a new store. Whether you go with a mail order subscription, buy your comics digitally, or visit a local shop every week, maintaining your weekly reading can create some much need consistency during the stresses and inconsistency of moving. There are many ways to find local comic book stores by using the Comic Book Store Locator via Comic Shop Locator Services.

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