How Long Would It Take to Read All of DC Comics' Comic Books?

How Long Would It Take to Read All of DC Comics’ Comic Books?

A man ventures into a comic book store and in a moment of bravery or utter madness, depends on how one looks at it, that man says to the salesperson that he wants to read every comic book published by DC Comics ever. That looks like an incredibly fun task, especially if you’re a DC Comics fan, but the whole endeavor is not without its downsides. First of all, you need time. Secondly, you need the resources. And thirdly, you need around 60,000 comic books. How long would it take you to do it? We have done the math for you!

If we start from the fact that there are around 60,000 published DC Comics comics since 1934 and continue with the fact that it would take you 11 minutes on average to read every comic book (this may vary), it means that it would take you 660,000 minutes to read all of the comics. Assuming that you spend eight hours a day reading, it would take you roughly 1,375 days to finish all of them, i.e. little under four years of daily reading.

In today’s article, I am going to tell you the procedure regarding reading all of DC Comics’ comics. You are going to find out if it is even possible to read all of the comics, how many there are, and how long it would take you to read all of them. Enjoy!

How many DC Comics comics are there?

In order to give you a proper answer to this question, we have to give you a brief history lesson. DC Comics is one of the biggest and oldest comic book publishing houses in the United States. It was founded in 1934 under the name National Allied Publications, but that changed very soon. Namely, with the success of the Detective Comics title, the abbreviation DC was created and in 1937, the company changed its name to DC Comics, which it carries even today.

In order to properly determine the exact number of comics published by NAP and DC Comics, we have to go back to 1934, which is – by all means – no easy task. Why? Well, as far as it is known, there is no official record of all of DC Comics’ publications so the numbers that we are going to be dealing with in this article are really just estimates; they are quite precise and are based on some known numbers and the company’s publishing frequency, but they’re still just estimates, so the exact number might vary a bit.

Unlike Marvel, who actually published an official index back in 2009, DC Comics has never done such a thing, as far as we know. This doesn’t mean that the exact number of comics is impossible to count, but it does make our job a bit more difficult. Mike’s Amazing World of Comics, one of the best comic book databases you can find online, listed DC as having around 56,000 publications in 2019, including special issues, one-shots, and imprint publications. This means that DC publishes around 660 titles per year (this is a rough estimate, as some years are always more prolific than others, plus there was an increase in the number of titles since the Modern Age). The site gave us information for 2019 and, taking into consideration the two years that have passed since, we deduce that DC Comics has published somewhere around 57,000 titles, which we can round up to 60,000, considering that there surely are some variations in these numbers. 

To sum things up, we estimate that there are around 60,000 comic books published by DC Comics up to date and that is the number we are going to be dealing with in the rest of the article.

Can you read all of DC Comics’ comics?

Is it even possible to read all of these comics? Physically, it certainly would be, but there is one issue – not all of these publications are available for reading. Some very old issues have been lost or have never been reprinted, meaning that they’re out of print and cannot be found anywhere (except in someone’s attic or basement, but that is a question of chance, really). Some older issues are, of course, available online (both via legal sites and illegal ones), but we assume that it is, indeed, impossible to get your hands on all of DC Comics’ publications since 1934.

This means that you probably won’t be able to read all of DC Comics’ comics, but we assume that the number of these issues is not too big, and that you’ll still be able to read more than 95% of these comics in one way or another.

How long would it take you to read all of DC Comics’ comics?

Now that we have all of the numbers, let us commence with the exact calculations so that we can answer the main question of this article.

The first number we have to take into consideration is the total number of publications since 1934, which is, as we have established, around 60,000, and that is the number we are going to use in our calculations. Now, as for the individual reading time, some older issues were longer than modern ones; historically, it would have taken you a good 15 minutes to read one chapter, while modern chapters go for around eight minutes per chapter. We’re going to take an average estimate and state that it would take you 11 minutes on average to read one individual comic book.

So, where does this bring us? A total of 60,000 individual issues with 11 minutes for each issue brings us to a total of 660,000 minutes, i.e. 11,000 hours, i.e. 459 days. It would take you a total of 459 days to read all of these publications if you would read them 24/7. That’s practically a year and a half! But, seeing how one cannot read comics 24/7 (sleep, work, food, etc.), we have to adjust our calculations according to some realistic parameters.

Let us state that one can read comics between six and twelve hours per day, depending on the quantity of free time and other factors. We have done calculations based on these reading times (per day), and these are the numbers we got:

Reading Hours (per day)Total Time (in days)Total Times (in years)
61,8345.0
81,3753.8
101,1003.0
129172.5

As one can see, it would take you anywhere between 917 and 1,834 days to read all of DC Comics’ comics, i.e. between 2.5 and 5(!) years. If we take the average working time (or free time) of eight hours per day, it would take you around 1,375 days, or just a little under four years. DC Comics has a larger number of comics than Marvel, which explains the differences; comparatively, if you read DC’s publications for half a day every day, you’d reach Marvel’s eight-hour-per-day average.

And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we gave you all the information you were looking for! See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!

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