e183. How to Read All of the Marvels

Episode artwork for "How to Read All of the Marvels"

If you’re a comic book fan, one of the things people often ask you is “I want to get into comics. Where do I start? What should I read?” This is especially true if you’re someone who reads comics for a living. It’s even more true this last decade or so of box office dominance by MCU movies. Unfortunately the answer always annoys people. We always answer with a question “well, what do you like?” It’s not really what they’re asking, but it really is the best answer to the question. After all. Marvel Comics has been publishing their shared universe of superheroes non-stop for sixty years. No one has read all of the Marvels. No one ever SHOULD read all of the Marvels. It would be insanity. The human mind is not built to endure such an experience.

Except… someone did.

So on this week’s episode, Monica, Mav and Wayne welcome Douglas Wolk, author of All of the Marvels: A Journey to the Ends of the Biggest Story Ever Told. Douglas took on the impossible task of reading literally EVERY single comic Marvel has published… and somehow survived. It’s both a Herculean task, and quite possibly the geekiest thing anyone has ever done. But also, it’s an important academic endeavor into the very nature of multi-authored, serialized, on-going, unbounded narrative. In other words, he was perfect for our show. We spoke to Douglas about his motivation, process, and what he learned through the experience about the changing landscape of the comic industry as well as the ways it reflects the society in which the comics were produced. So listen as Douglas shares his experience and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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