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Check back here for detailed information on updates to the reading orders or database, reviews by myself or any of the other site contributors, and general comic news we find interesting! You can also subscribe to an RSS feed for updates.

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By | Monday, April 11, 2011 | 8:59 am | 3 Comments | Blog > Database Updates

Hey everyone, this is Marc!

As longtime users and forum-posters know, I’ve been an active presence here at TRO for some time, whether it’s been helping out with the Marvel reading order, suggesting adjustments for the various reading lists on the site, or adding new books and images to the database. Now I’m coming on board in a slightly more official capacity, which feels to me like a very natural transition.

For the time being, you probably won’t see much change in the site’s overall, day-to-day activities. The biggest difference is sort of an invisible one, in that I’ll have more access to the inner workings of the site. As a result, you’ll probably begin to notice my presence in more places than in comments and on the forums.

I’ve spent the last few minutes toying around with a few things in the database, so I’ll go ahead and give you a quick rundown:

The ‘Nam Vol. 2 (Added creator tags)
The ‘Nam Vol. 1 (Added creator tags)
Spider-Man: The Next Chapter Vol. 1 (Added to database)
Punisher War Journal Classic Vol. 1 (Added character and creator tags)

Ian and I have talked a lot about future plans for TRO and we’re very much on the same page about where we’d like to see the site headed from here. I think you’re going to enjoy the things we’re working on and I look forward to being a part of the growing TRO team.

Oh, and… Excelsior!

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By | Sunday, April 10, 2011 | 6:12 pm | 1 Comment | Blog > Database Updates

I’m extremely excited to announce that Marc Diefenderfer is now officially the Editor at Trade Reading Order!

Marc used to review for IGN and has an excellent comic blog at With Great Power, but you should all know him already since he’s been a constant supporter and contributor for this site.

In his new capacity, he’ll be approving new contributor submissions, organizing and posting new list content and eventually overseeing content for the blog.

We’ll be slowly gearing up for a bit, but this is all part of moving towards bringing you a regular dose of that long form review content I know you crave.

Speaking of moving forward, I’ve also got some database and code updates worth mentioning.

I updated some backend code to make things easier for the contributors when sorting books in the database. You can read more about that in the forum here, though it only applies to those already with backend access.

I also created a list called Essential Spider-Man, which is kind of like it sounds. Here’s an excerpt from the forum thread about it:

Since we’re tagging characters on every book they appear in, Marvel and DC’s main cash cows are soon going to have huge lists. While cool for the collector, they will be intimidating and possibly confusing to new readers.

So I’ve been playing with the idea of more condensed recommendation tags for the primary books for that character. Here’s the Essential Spider-Man list (which is already about 200 books shorter than the primary spider-man list!)

I haven’t really decided what to do when there are multiple formats (like Masterworks vs. Essentials) but I am trying to include the newer or more complete editions (like the Birth of Venom trade instead of the other two that collect similar material).   As for characters that probably need this treatment, I’d say almost all of the ones that are popular enough to be on the front page. Wolverine, Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, and so on.

After updating the core WordPress code and some of the plugins, I’ve had to fix a fair amount of light formatting errors. I think I’ve gotten all of them (except for the Recent Reviews in the sidebar, which I’ll be getting to shortly) but let me know if you see anything  misaligned or just looking funky in general.

The deadline for the Superman: Redemption Giveaway has been indefinitely extended, just until the next book is posted.

I’ve also finally brought the “Self Contained Series” taxonomy to life. It’s not doing much yet, but this taxonomy will hold little lists like “Preacher” or “Concrete”. You’ll be able to see the link to the whole series under “Series/Event” on the single book page for now. Once we’ve got more Self Contained books in, I’ll make the listing more accessible.

Finally, in addition to the new Spidey list, there have been a few database updates since the last update post. Here they are:

Concrete: Heights (Added to Database – Thanks Simon! – on the Self Contained list.)
New Avengers Vol. 5: Civil War (Tagged New Avengers)
Jonah Hex: No Way Back (Fixed Amazon link)
Bat Lash: Guns and Roses (Fixed Amazon link)
New Avengers Vol. 1: Breakout (Added to Essential Spider-Man list)
Spider-Man Family: Back In Black (Moved under the other two “Back In Black” books)

That’s it for now! I hope everyone is as excited as I am. You’ll hear a little hello from Marc on the blog soon.

As always, keep commenting and asking questions. Whether on the forums or the individual books, we’re happy to help.

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By | Monday, March 21, 2011 | 1:21 pm | 10 Comments | Blog > Uncle Gorby's Corner Of Free Stuff

The big news today (which you may already know if you follow me on Facebook) is that I’m moving to NYC in the next couple months. Which means that TRO is moving to NYC as well!

It’s not a local server, so there won’t be any service interruptions or anything like that, but I hope to get more involved in the day to day comics community, not just the online side of things. I’m also hoping being around such a creative center will help me make some useful connections – like a similarly excited-about-comics mobile programmer ;)

It’s going to be a big crazy move, but I’m very excited. For today, I hope you’ll join me in enjoying some more classic Marvel Animated content!

Today’s Link:

The Silver Surfer Animated Series originally showed on Fox Kids in 1998. You can view the thirteen episodes up at 

I’ve never felt that the cosmic hero enjoyed the same kind of mainstream success as many of Marvel’s other properties, but the company seems to have a history of dedication to the Kirby creation. The show itself, even, is quite Kirby-esque at times.

And it’s quite cool to see characters like Warlock and Drax The Destroyer getting animated screen time.

Still Bored? Visit Uncle Gorby’s Archive for More Links or Visit Uncle Gorby’s Corner in the Forum!

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By | Tuesday, March 8, 2011 | 9:35 pm | 1 Comment | Blog > Database Updates

Just a little update with some recently changed books.

First of all, I moved the Earth X Trilogy. The Earth-X books were all moved way up the list to right after Heroes Reborn: The Return.

This is because it’s a big heft of pages and doesn’t really need to be anywhere in particular, as far as I can tell. Anywhere we placed it by date would be a little weird, and it should be read together (doesn’t need to be broken up by regular continuity.)

It starts in 1999, but putting it right there puts it right after the “Vol. 1” book of several primary ongoings, so I just moved it to the start of 1998.

That way, you basically take a break from 90s marvel and go into the new Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and Inhumans ongoings as soon as you get back from your Earth-X journey.

I may be wrong about this placement, as it’s possible the books do get influenced by main continuity later. If so, let me know?

Here are the other updates – including some tweaking so Marvel Cosmic flows better. Thoughts?

Secret Invasion: Inhumans (Added “Marvel Cosmic” tag)
Annihilation: Conquest Book 2 (Moved it up against Annihilation: Conquest Book 1)
X-Men: Emperor Vulcan (Moved before A: Conquest Book 1)
Uncanny X-Men: Rise And Fall Of The Shi’ar Empire (Moved Before Annihilation Book 1)
The Dark Tower Book 1: The Gunslinger (This is the prose book, the others will be up soon. Thanks Simon!)
The Aladdin Effect (Added Cover)
Spider-Man: The Saga Of The Alien Costume (Added Cover)
New Mutants: The Demon Bear Saga (Added Cover)
Power Pack: Origin Album (Added Cover)
Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne (Deluxe Edition) (Tagged Jonah Hex)
Superman / Batman: Absolute Power (Tagged Jonah Hex)
Thor: I, Whom The Gods Would Destroy (Added Cover)
The Best Of Marvel Comics (Added Cover)
Elektra Saga (Added Cover)
Thing Classic Vol. 1 (Added Temporary Cover)
Spider-Man: The Origin Of The Hobgoblin (Added Cover)
Conan: Newspaper Strips Vol. 1 (Fixed typo in contents)

That’s it for now!

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By | Saturday, March 5, 2011 | 4:03 pm | 4 Comments | Blog > Features

So I just came back from the SCAD Mini-Comics Expo (where I dropped off a few flyers for TRO) and thought I’d share what I found.

My budget was pretty limited but I still got some great stuff.

The first is Another Stupid Cat Comic by Alyssa Ciaccio ( It’s actually a little handmade flipbook with an adorably animated cat and some scatological humor.

Though it must be reprinted, it still somehow looked like it was drawn with pencil right in the book.

The second book, Boogers #1 by Kevin Burkhalter ( was a bit of unexpected high fantasy with low.. well, high in the nostril… er, characters. I made sure to get #1, since you guys know what a continuity freak I am. Don’t want to accidentally read Boogers out of order.

I liked how the pages counted with little boogers in this one.

The last one there is Inkdick #5, where I felt ok getting out of order since I also read the comic online. Pranas T. Naujokaitis ( has been doing his journal comic for a long time and it was kind of weird getting this one, which contains a bit about the Obama election, and realizing it’s the happiest thing in the book.

Such a feeling of hope, something it doesn’t seem has stuck with us. In any case, I always enjoy Pranas’ work because his honest depictions of down times help keep me from feeling really alone when I’m sad.

Finally, I also picked up a bitchin’ shirt from Nate Marsh (, who also had some awesome books that were a little out of my price range… well, if I wanted the shirt that is.

I always love these kinds of things and I always feel bad that I don’t plan ahead to bring more to support the indie peeps. There was a lot of other interesting looking stuff there, but I ran out of the cash in my pocket quick.

I like that I came home with little books featuring three different binding techniques. There was even more ingenuity on display at the tables. It just goes to show – if you wanna make comics, you’re gonna make comics. No reason to let anything stand in your way.

Like many artists, I highly doubt any of these guys are breaking even on the printed stuff shown at the actual expo, but I hope they do well through their websites.

So check em out, show em some love!

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