So you want to get into the world of comic books? You’ve either read a review, seen a movie, or read a recommendation from one of your friends. Something has triggered this interest all of a sudden and you want to delve a little deeper. That’s understandable. Maybe you want to jump onto a bandwagon, or maybe you just want to experience them in your own personal way. Either way, something happened. You need to find out what it’s all about. Jumping in to a new medium of entertainment can be dangerous. It is also very intimidating at times. Don’t worry about that. Just take baby steps. We didn’t learn to walk by trying to run a 5k when we were barely able to stand. I can help you. There are places to start where you won’t feel intimidated. Instead of teaching you how to understand the language or telling you what to avoid, I’m just going to make this incredibly simple for you. Don’t let anyone tell you what genre or genres to read. Think more about what kind of stories have already interested you in the past. Then apply that to comic books. Chances are that there is something out there in the comic book world that will interest you. And comic books are like tattoos. Once you read one, especially if it’s the right one, you’ll be hooked. Addiction is a funny thing. Once you figure out what kind of stories you want, give every genre a chance. For example, just because you may not immediately be attracted to superheros, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a superhero comic out there that isn’t or hasn’t already told the kind of story that interests you. The characters may just be a tad more colorful than you’re used to. And that also goes for comics of a different genre that may be much more entertaining than any movie of the same genre. Did you know that there are comics and graphic novels that don’t have any action in them at all? Did you know that there are superhero stories that have nothing to do with fighting crime? The more that you read, the more that you’ll learn on your own.
Sometimes it will be as simple as going on Amazon.com and searching for graphic novels. There are so many on there that even I have a wishlist of stuff that I’m still trying to get around to reading. Also, if you’re worried about money, comic book apps like Comixology or the Dark Horse Comics app have weekly sales for .99 cents an issue. You really can’t do any better than that. Try that out for a while. If you’ve decided that you’re excitement over this newly found hobby is too much to stand, and you want to start collecting, there’s nothing wrong with tracking down used books. There really is no shame in it. Sometimes just being able to pick up a comic and smell the ink on your fingers makes the whole experience that much more worth it. I’m not going to preach to you about how comics are meant to be read in print, though, because in the current market there are just too many that you’ll miss out on if you limit yourself like that. But again, I’ll say that you need to start small. Don’t let yourself get caught up in a storm of comics before you know what interests you the most. Of course, you could just end up like me. I kinda like a little bit of everything. I just can’t get enough. So far, I don’t think that there are any anonymous focus groups. Hi, my name is Erik, and I have an addiction.
I’m sure that you were hoping for some recommendations in this article, and it wouldn’t be a “Where to start with comics” article without a few, so I’m going to give you list of my favorites. Or at least a list to get you started. Remember, I’m not telling you to go out and read any of these. This list is just here to act as a guideline in case you don’t find anything that gets your attention right off the bat.
Spider-Man: Blue Genre: Superhero
This classic Spidey story exists (in my opinion) as a gateway into the world of the superhero genre. I couldn’t think of a better way to be introduced to Spider-Man or just comics as a whole.
The Underwater Welder Genre: Drama, Mystery, Supernatural
I’m a sucker for father and son stories. This graphic novel covers everything from regretting your past to being unsure about your future.
The Surrogates Genre: Science Fiction
Ever wonder what life would be like if we could live it as better versions of ourselves? This book points out that there are both positives and negatives of having that capability.
The Nightly News Genre: Political Science Fiction
An extremist cult intends on removing a career-ruining media’s influence from our lives.
Infinite Horizon Genre: Military, Action/Adventure, Mythology
A futuristic retelling of Homer’s Odyssey.
Superman: Earth One Genre: Superhero
A completely new Superman origin story told by the very talented J. Michael Straczynski. This gives new and existing Superman fans a fresh look at maybe the most popular superhero of all time.
Batman: The Long Halloween Genre: Superhero, Mystery
The reason that this particular superhero story belongs on this reading list, is because it gives us a chance to see the greatest detective in the world earn his title.
Chew Genre: Comedy, Crime
Chew is about a cop who can learn the circumstances of every crime by taking a bite out of the victims. Now come on, you should be begging Image to take your money for that one.
Locke & Key Genre: Horror
The purest form of a definitive page-turner. A house with a hundred doors, each with their own key. Behind every door is an adventure or a nightmare waiting to happen.
Punk Rock Jesus Genre: Music, Religious, Action/Adventure, Leading Ladies
Jesus Christ has been cloned for the sake of reality television. Who would’ve thought that he’d grow up to be a rebellious punk rocker?
Sweet Tooth Genre: Drama, Science Fiction
A boy with antlers is born into a post-epidemic world. No one knows what caused it. But that doesn’t stop him and his newfound friend, Mr. Jepperd, from embarking on a journey that leads to the truth.