I observed a guy walking around, looking lost at the comic shop yesterday. My first guess was that he was a newbie. A few minutes later I learned that he had not visited a comic shop in years. He wanted to get back into reading comic books, but didn’t know where to start. This guy was trying to decide whether to read a new title or pick a familiar one and wait for a point to jump in. I know that feeling all too well because I was in his shoes a little over a year ago.
Reading is easy. Deciding WHAT to read is not. A few things to consider to if you are a new reader of comic books or coming off a hiatus.
- Genre – Do you like crime, horror, mythology, romance, superhero? What about kid friendly?
- Single issues vs trade paperbacks – Single issues are released monthly and bi-monthly. A trade paperback (tpb or trade) is a collection of stories usually containing one story arc. Some, like myself, like to have both on hand to keep the singles from being handled too much. I can’t stand smudges, bends, creases and dents.
- Resources – If you have family or friends that read comics, get recommendations from them. Visit your local comic shop, they’ll be glad to give you a rundown of hot sellers. Social media is a great source to keep you up-to-date on current events in the comic industry.
The list is almost endless. I like to visit my comic shop and rummage through back issues because I occasionally come across a character, while reading my current titles, whose history I want to learn about. Back issues are also nicely discounted, depending on the retailer.
If you live far from a comic shop, try to order from an online shop or go digital. Or hop in the car and take that drive to the nearest store. You’ll get personal attention and a chance to network. Popular and anticipated top-selling titles go fast. So you may want to consider pre-ordering your comics online or have your local comic shop pull the book(s) for you. Good luck and have fun!