Marvel-ous! Issue #20: How Do I Start Reading Comics?
Hello True Believers!
These days, it has become quite common for comic and superhero fans to be introduced to their favourite characters and teams through film and television, as opposed to the source material. While some comic fans will scoff at these (here at Omniverse, we refer to these individuals as "douche nozzles"), there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with this! Everyone has to start somewhere. If you are looking at jumping into the world of comics though, this can seem like a hugely daunting task. Here are a few tips and tricks to help make your introduction to comics a bit easier!
1: Pick a Hero/Team You Already Know
As I already said, a lot of people are getting introduced to comic book characters through other mediums. So, when you are looking to get into comics, I would recommend starting where your base knowledge is strongest. Really enjoy the X-Men films? Pick up some X-Men comics. Watch every episode of Ultimate Spider-Man? Start with Spider-Man. Excited for the upcoming Ant-Man film? Read some Ant-Man. This lets you start with a character that is already sort of familiar to you, so you aren't starting right from scratch, and being completely lost right from the start.
2. Look for #1 Issues
Comics reboot, start, end, change titles, and renumber themselves constantly. This can make things incredibly daunting for new readers. Say you want to read X-Men. Well there is Uncanny X-Men, Amazing X-Men, All-New X-Men, Wolverine and the X-Men, and many more. So while you are standing in your local comics shop, looking with glazed eyes at the wall of comics, look for issues that are low numbers. These are from the start of a title, or start of a reboot or renumbering of a title, and are often going to start a brand new story arc, so you can get in at the ground floor. If you can't find a #1, just look for a low number, as the closer to the start of the title, the less back issues you may have to get caught up.
3. Wikipedia is Your Friend
Anyone who has ever done research for school has been told that Wikipedia is not a reliable source for information. Well, when it comes to comics, it is basically your best friend. If you are confused as to what is going on in a current story arc or event, go to Wikipedia and look at the entry for the character involved. 9/10 times, you will be able to find a detailed summary of their history, which you can read in about 20min. This can help shed light on events that led to current issues you are reading, as well as help you understand why certain characters are important. With this in mind, if there is a character you don't know that appears in your comics, a quick Google search will give you any information you may need on them.
4. Follow Your Favourite Author
Pretty quickly, you will find a series or title that you really enjoy. Then, you may decide to branch out to other comics you know nothing about. A good place to start is to look at the writer of the comic you enjoy, and see what else they have written. I first started by reading Jason Aaron's run on Wolverine and the X-Men. Then I followed him to Hulk, Wolverine, Thor: God of Thunder, and Scalped. I know and enjoy his writing, and have been introduced to great characters through his work.
5. Hang Out at Your Local Comic Shop
Comic shops are not as common as they used to be, as everyone switches over to digital collections (a topic of discussion for another day). However, if you can go to a comic shop, I highly recommend it. Ask the employees what titles they recommend for new readers, and tell them what you have been reading and enjoying. Any comics fan worth their weight in issues will be able to recommend titles that have similar feels to what you are currently reading. Comic shops come in all different shapes, sizes, smells, and states of repair, but the employees there are always willing to help out new readers, either because they care, or because the more we read comics, the more money they get to buy their own.
6. The Blind Pull
This is an ancient technique of comic discovery, practiced for generations, originating in feudal Japan. A nobleman would walk to his local comic book story, and approach the rack of new releases. He would close his eyes, and let the gods direct his hand to a single issue, which he would then purchase. Basically, just pick a random current issue. Maybe it had a cool cover. Maybe it was between two issues you already wanted. Maybe it was just something you have never seen before. Get it. You never know, it could be the first issue of your new favourite series. This tried and true method has lead me to Inhuman, Moon Knight, Southern Bastards, and Silver Surfer just to name a few, and I recommend them all to you.
I hope these tips help you, and that you can use them to start reading comics! It is a great medium, and an incredible community to be a part of.
Do you have other tips for new commers? Leave them below!
Are you a new commer with questions? Leave them below!
Until next time,