This has been quite the summer movie season. It started out strong with “The Avengers,” hit a nice beat with “The Amazing Spider-Man” and just peaked with “The Dark Knight Rises.” After seeing these films, you may want to follow these beloved characters in the pages of their respective comic books.
There are numerous ways to begin reading comics but I have found a few common approaches that have been used by comic fans for years when they first get into the medium.
The first thing that I must warn you about is the prices. The base price for most comics is $2.99 in U.S. dollars; however some single issues sell for up to $5.99 when they are first released, even higher if they are specialty variant covers. I’ll advise you to read through this article carefully before beginning your journey into sequential story-telling.
The Blind Plunge
This method is to go to a comic book store, scan through all the titles they have on sale and grab the comic, or comics, that are interesting or stand out. Most comics usually have a page at the beginning that recaps any major changes or events as well as what happened in the previous issue. It’s a good way to discover titles that may not have caught your interest before.
This is also a good approach if you’re someone who likes a character that was recently featured in a movie, as you’ll have no trouble finding comics with that character.
This method is to go back and read the classic stories of any particular character. These comics feature major events that shaped the current status quo. Most people accomplish this by hunting down trade paperback collections of the issues that told that particular story while a few people may hunt down the single issues themselves.
This more social method is to get recommendations from comic shop owners, friends or websites with recommended pull lists. There are web series dedicated to this particular approach that take a look at what’s currently happening in the comics and give recommendations accordingly, such as Bleeding Cool’s “Think about the Ink.” There’s also PREVIEWS magazine that, as its title suggests, has previews of upcoming storylines in titles. Sometimes they’re just teasers, other times they feature portions of the comic within those pages.
These approaches are just generalizations, and a potential comic fan doesn’t need to stick to just one approach. Many people alternate between the three, usually starting in familiar territory and then branching out accordingly. In an era where comics have become more and more expensive, it’s all too easy to accidentally pass a good comic and purchase a bad one. It’s definitely important to get your money’s worth.
Good luck and happy reading.