Thursday, September 24, 2020

How to Build a Comic Book Pull List

 I am going to apologize in advance about this post and tell you that I do more to make sure I get the comics I want than most subscribers are willing to do. My buddy Adam today asked me the question I get asked frequently. He said," How do you build your pull list?" I gave my typical start up answer of " I build my subscriptions on my League of Comic Geeks account and then do a few other things." There is a lot more to it than that. My answer wasn't complete. I thought I might provide the steps here and share them out on my social media as a public service. 

First of all, I do make extensive use of League of Comic Geeks. I use the website primarily. I think it is much more intuitive than the app though the app does have its uses. The problem with LoCG is that you need an idea of what you are currently reading, what you are interested in coming up, and you need to revisit your subscriptions on the site at least once a month to maintain your list. 

No, that is not fair. I called it a problem. LoCG is not a problem. You just need to put in the work to get maximum use out of it. I visit the site every Wednesday. The key there is that I am not looking at this week's comics. I am making my list for the next week. I have found League of Comic Geeks to be extremely accurate (around 98%) for books coming out in the next two weeks. Since I have put in the work on the site to build and correct my subscription list, I just don't miss a whole lot.

I will say right now that this is not a paid advertisement for LoCG. This really is my process. Their website is just really key. Head over to the site here. If you want to check out what I am pulling you are welcome to friend me. My username is Cantrellwrites.

The next really important thing I do came as a result of working on the podcast. Each Wednesday I pull my art for the next week's show from Previews World and DC. This works a bit as a check and balances system for me. I browse through what is coming out the following week. If something is missing on my list I add it and update my subscriptions on LoCG. I save my art for the show guessing most of what Garin will pull. I also type up a Word Document which I send over to my LCS. I don't know if they really appreciate this or if I am just being a jerk, but I keep doing it. The word doc is also what I talk from in my Previews and Reviews episodes of the show. 

The Word Doc gets copied into OneNote and turned into a checklist. That saves me carrying anything but my phone on Wednesday. My preference for two wheeled transportation has me constantly searching for ways of savings what I carry. Still, it is not safe to go alone or without a checklist. What am I an amateur? I also copy the word doc onto this blog and add art. I don't think anyone really appreciates my pull lists, but what the hell? It takes about 5 extra minutes. Also if I forget to flip things to my LCS they could pull up my blog and know exactly what I want.

So far this isn't too complicated right? Three websites. A bit of data entry. It gets just a little bit deeper. You have to get ahead of your list and make sure your LCS knows what you want ordered. This is a small chore, but it makes the LoCG website more valuable. 

I really recommend subscribing to Diamond Comic Previews and Marvel Previews with your LCS. It will cost you $3.99 per month, but if you want to be ahead of the game on your comics this is a scary good tool. Garin and I record a monthly Previews special talking about what caught our eye, but trust your own tastes. Even listening to us for an hour won't be the same as flipping through the pages yourself. 

I read through Previews twice per issue. Once to build a Word Doc that I flip to my LCS for orders. Then again to mark the pages for the show and make sure I didn't miss anything. I normally do this on different days. Once the word doc is built, you guessed it, I pull up LoCG and add everything I can to the list. 

The catch to Previews is that DC fired Diamond as their distributor. To get DC's solicitations you need to thumb through their digital catalog. You can find it here. I normally snag the PDF file and download it to my Surface. I run through it the same way I do Previews adding a DC section to my word doc. 

The last thing I do is by far the most important. I talk comics with my friends and really anyone into the hobby. I may come off as a pompous ass on the podcast, but I like nothing better than finding out about the books other people love reading. You could easily have missed Second Sight's Cult of Dracula #1 that released today if you didn't pay attention to other sources. I have found more books that I love by listening to the suggestion of others than I overlooked than I care to admit. I count on Richard, Garin, Amber, Adam, and anyone else goodly enough to talk comics to share what has them excited. I cultivate my nerdy friends. It pays. 

There's the secret all laid out for you. I don't miss much. I am fairly accurate on the podcast about what is coming out. My opinion is a different problem all together. 

Hope this helps. 

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