“How Do I Get Started Reading Comics?”

Hey Everyone-

Conflicted on a topic to write about, I took to my Twitter to ask for a good topic to write about and I got this:

I got into comic books at six years old, due to my older brother leaving his comics lying around and I’d sneak into his room and read them.  The first ever comic book I ever read was:

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That was probably the first and only Spider-Man comic that my brother owned.  He was a very big fan of The Punisher and Ghost Rider which instantly catapulted me into the world of Marvel, in particular the X-Men.  Ever since high school I have been an avid indie comic reader, beginning with Hellboy published by Dark Horse.

If you want to begin reading comics but don’t know where to start here are my tips on “How To Get Started Reading Comics”:

  • Select a character you are interested in.

Did you happen to see the Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel reruns on Cable? Or did you play the new Tomb Raider reboot series and loved Lara Croft’s adventures? Maybe you saw the Mulder and Scully solve supernatural crimes on the X-Files or Frank Black try to solve similar crimes on the Millennium TV show via YouTube? Maybe you are a die hard fan of the Power Rangers?

If so, all of the above have comic books based off of their TV show counterparts.  For example, I’m a fan of both the X-Files and The Millennium TV shows that aired in the 90’s.  So, it’s no surprise that I’ve read the Season 10 X-Files Limited Series and  The Millennium Mini Series  as well as the new X-Files Origins, all published by IDW Publishing.

  • Select a writer and/or artist you may like.

Many popular writers and artists also have a place in the comic book world.  There are several different ways to go about finding a writer or artist that you may like and want to follow their work.  Stephen King (The Dark Tower published by Marvel), George R. R. Martin (A Game of Thrones published by Dynamite Entertainment) and Guillermo Del Toro (The Strain published by Dark Horse) each have comic books based off of at least one of their best selling series and novels.

I happen to like artist Colin Lorimer‘s artwork from one of his previous graphic novel Harvest, published by Image Comics.  So, when I found out about both the X-Files and Millennium, I instantly purchased both because I was a fan of both the TV shows and because Lorimer is an artist who’s artwork I enjoy and admire.

  • Select a genre.

Maybe you’re into teen drama, which you may like Archie, published by Archie Comics. Or maybe you’re into weird sci-fi stories, which Black Science published by Image Comics is for you.  Whatever it is you like, look for comics that follow the specific genre that you are into.

I like the supernatural, due to the X-Files and Millennium.  Colin Lorimer (which I have spoken about above) is an artist in this comic book genre. He is also the artist for The Hunt, a new supernatural comic book series published by Image Comics , which I recommend to anyone that doesn’t mind not getting sleep at night…

  • Read the previews of the comic to help you decide.

So now that you know the character you like and/or genre that you are into, you need to find out the latest information on the comics of that character or genre. Comic book sites like Comic Book Resources and Comic Vine are show previews of upcoming comics, the release dates for the comics and reviews of the comics once they are released.

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  • Decide whether you want to be a monthly comic book reader or a trade reader.

There are two comic readers: the monthly reader (who purchases their comics as a single issue every month) and a trade paperback reader (who purchases their comics as a book which holds five or six issues of the comic at a time).

If you choose to become a monthly reader, you’ll be collecting single issues until either the series (or mini series) ends. You’ll be up to date with the comics’ story which can be a good conversation starter, but it may cost you way more money in the long run.

If you choose to become a trade reader, you’ll be starting the comic book months later than it debuts and will be behind in the comics’ story if you ever wanted to discuss it with others.  A plus is you will be saving more money than the monthly comic reader, so there’s something to think about.

Whichever you choose, just make sure that method will allow you to enjoy the comic to your fullest potential.

  • Decide whether you want to read in print format or digital format.

This has been a debate for quite a bit now, but it all depends on preference.

If you’d prefer to either take a trip to your local comic book shop, or physically hold and turn pages, then print format is for you.  If you’d rather free up physical space in your house or apartment and are always reading or working on your computer, tablet or smartphone, digital format is your better option.

  • Start on Wednesday a.k.a. New Comic Day.

The best place to start when you are new to reading comics is on Wednesday also known as New Comic Day.  All new comics series, as well as new issues to already debuted comic book series debut on Wednesdays unless otherwise specified.

I hope these tips are helpful to any of you and I hope you enjoyed this! This blog post was fun to write and I hope to write more like this! (I didn’t talk about Marvel or DC because I don’t read many of their comics nowadays.) Let me know in the comments below (or on my Twitter) if you like this and want to read more like it.

~Taneisha

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4 thoughts on ““How Do I Get Started Reading Comics?”

  1. Every time i try to get into comics i never know where to start, some characters have so much background, sometimes over 60 years of history ! And there are so much different univers, that’s hella confusing.
    It could be very nice if all the differences between all Marvel univers or book editions were explained. Maybe for the next article ? 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you for reading! Well, with Marvel, most of the universes have had several different changes within the decades. There are the Essentials comic books that will help catch you up, that’s if you want to read through decades of stuff. If you want to get caught up quicker, either Wikipedia or the marvel wikia are good places to start.

      I can write a new blog post on this, but I won’t be able to explain ALL of the differences between ALL of the universes because I don’t know all of them. Which universe did you want to start reading?

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      1. Of course it’s pretty hard to know all of them, i meant most of the marvel univers.
        Well, Deadpool is the character that i prefere, fortunatelly his story is pretty recent, not like character as wolverine, or superman.

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      2. I’m not familiar with Deadpool’s universe. The only comic I have read with Deadpool in it is Deadpool v. Gambit.

        Try reading up on him via Wikipedia or looking up all of his trades and omnibus’ on Comixology.

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