How to get in to comics?

Veldt Falsetto

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Dec 26, 2009
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Hello all, I thought this would be the best place to ask but I'm a 23 year old male and I have very limited experience in comic books. I read some at a young age, mostly Sonic the Comic and The Simpsons Comics and I also bought an issue of the Metal Gear Solid 2 comics but that was a one off thing.

Basically I want to get into comics but I have no idea where to start or what is for me, I wouldn't know what I like but obviously Superhero comics are the most popular and hey I like some of the films and some of the characters involved from kids TV shows and said films so where best to start.

Are there any comic books not already bogged down in so much continuity that I won't know what references what? What would you recommend as a good starting place and what exactly to get?

I know there's the New 52 stuff and I was thinking about it but advice is needed, thanks!
 

Baron von Blitztank

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For me I started off by watching the Marvel movies, playing UMvC3 and reading things on TvTropes. After that I moved into a bunch of Deadpool, Hulk and Captain America stuff. If you're looking for superheroes then I'd recommend looking at other forms of media which you're familiar with that feature comic-book heroes, find a character which interests you and then find a comic book to start reading. I'd also recommend looking up a brief timeline of events so that you can find out where you are.
 

Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
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Veldt Falsetto said:
Basically I want to get into comics but I have no idea where to start or what is for me, I wouldn't know what I like but obviously Superhero comics are the most popular and hey I like some of the films and some of the characters involved from kids TV shows and said films so where best to start.

Are there any comic books not already bogged down in so much continuity that I won't know what references what? What would you recommend as a good starting place and what exactly to get?

I know there's the New 52 stuff and I was thinking about it but advice is needed, thanks!
ok.....

so there are two ways of reading comics 1:single issues (which are the magazine books) and 2:trade paperbacks (graphic novels that eather collect the previously relased issues or are released as a stand alone product)

if the comic in question is old/long running then trade paperbacks are the place to start as they are numbered volumes, if theres somthing more recent and your impatient you can buy the issues or just wait for the trade to come out... you can probably find alot of stuff in a comicshop or if not ebay is your friend

[b/]non-super hero stuff[/b] off the top of my head
Preacher
The invisibles
Transmetropolitan
V for Vendetta (which I think is just one book and a good starting point...if a bit dark)
The Boys (it is actually about super heros but its self containted)
sandman
100 bullets
chew


a few that the first trades have come out more or less recently

saga
saga
saga
saga
saga <-seriously read saga..its friggen awsome, the first trade came out recently and its a current one with issues
Revival
Orchid <-pretty dark and full on....has potential so far
saucer country

as for super hero stuff you could find self contained volumes of well recieved story arks which should be fine and at worst keep wikipedia handy

as for the new 52 Ive heard alot of "meh" though wonder woman and supergirl are worth looking into

somtimes you can just take a chance and get somthing if the cover catches your eye, particualy if you notice its an issue 1# of a new non-superhero comic, theres not much to lose except $5 (though I once did buy a graphic novel called the twoer chronicles which was chronically stupid....stay away from that one)
 

Queen Michael

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Jun 9, 2009
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100 Bullets is great, but it requires your attention. You get 100 untraceable bullets and info about someone who wronged you. What do you do?

Y: The Last Man is good. Suddenly, every man on Earthn dies. Except for one.

Preacher... You need to read it. Transmetropolitan, too.
 

bartholen_v1legacy

A dyslexic man walks into a bra.
Jan 24, 2009
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Though it's been said already, Preacher. It's friggin awesome, some of the best characters I've seen in any fiction.
V for Vendetta
Watchmen
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Batman: The Long Halloween
Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. You'll need some prior knowledge of the Marvel universe to get all the gags, but it's hilarious nonetheless


Does manga count? Then I'd recommend at least the following:
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Berserk (though definitely not for everyone)
Hellsing (see above)
Ranma 1/2
 

Eclipse Dragon

Lusty Argonian Maid
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The Sandman trade paperbacks are a good place to start.
You can walk into a store, buy volume 1 and not have to worry about anything else. The Sandman also... ends.
Which is an important thing for comics that doesn't sometimes happen.

I would also recommend Fables, for the same reason.
 

Harley Q

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Oct 11, 2009
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I only started reading comics when I was 19 and I started with Fables, V for Vendetta, Battle Royale (I know its manga but whatever) although I stopped after book 5 in that. Judge Dredd, Terra Obscura.

I'd say see if your local library has a graphic novel section, some do, then you get the opportunity to test run some options.
 

Mr. Omega

ANTI-LIFE JUSTIFIES MY HATE!
Jul 1, 2010
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First off, a nice standalone story you can read:
Batman: The Long Halloween. If you've seen the animated series, you'll recognize all the bad guys. And even then, all the important characters are established in the story.

First off: get the DC and Marvel apps or try Comixology. I particularly recommend the Marvel app. Monday and Friday they have sales, selling story arcs for about $1 an issue.

Now then, my best advice overall: try and find the start of a story arc. Those are always a decent enough place to start. If you live near a library, check that out. They probably have a section where you can find comics. That's how I got into it. They'll usually have a bunch of collected editions, having a bunch of issues, usually a story arc all in one book. Just find a book that looks interesting and read it.

Seriously, to anyone trying to get into comics: Libraries are your friend.
 

Veldt Falsetto

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Dec 26, 2009
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Smertnik said:
So are you looking specifically for superhero comics?
Not specifically but I guessed they'd be easier as I already know a lot of the characters from games, films, tv, cartoons etc.

Vault101 said:
Veldt Falsetto said:
Basically I want to get into comics but I have no idea where to start or what is for me, I wouldn't know what I like but obviously Superhero comics are the most popular and hey I like some of the films and some of the characters involved from kids TV shows and said films so where best to start.

Are there any comic books not already bogged down in so much continuity that I won't know what references what? What would you recommend as a good starting place and what exactly to get?

I know there's the New 52 stuff and I was thinking about it but advice is needed, thanks!
ok.....

so there are two ways of reading comics 1:single issues (which are the magazine books) and 2:trade paperbacks (graphic novels that eather collect the previously relased issues or are released as a stand alone product)

if the comic in question is old/long running then trade paperbacks are the place to start as they are numbered volumes, if theres somthing more recent and your impatient you can buy the issues or just wait for the trade to come out... you can probably find alot of stuff in a comicshop or if not ebay is your friend

[b/]non-super hero stuff[/b] off the top of my head
Preacher
The invisibles
Transmetropolitan
V for Vendetta (which I think is just one book and a good starting point...if a bit dark)
The Boys (it is actually about super heros but its self containted)
sandman
100 bullets
chew


a few that the first trades have come out more or less recently

saga
saga
saga
saga
saga <-seriously read saga..its friggen awsome, the first trade came out recently and its a current one with issues
Revival
Orchid <-pretty dark and full on....has potential so far
saucer country

as for super hero stuff you could find self contained volumes of well recieved story arks which should be fine and at worst keep wikipedia handy

as for the new 52 Ive heard alot of "meh" though wonder woman and supergirl are worth looking into

somtimes you can just take a chance and get somthing if the cover catches your eye, particualy if you notice its an issue 1# of a new non-superhero comic, theres not much to lose except $5 (though I once did buy a graphic novel called the twoer chronicles which was chronically stupid....stay away from that one)
This is very helpful thanks, stuff like this I would have never known...I'll also try and check out Saga if it's so well recommended.

Queen Michael said:
100 Bullets is great, but it requires your attention. You get 100 untraceable bullets and info about someone who wronged you. What do you do?

Y: The Last Man is good. Suddenly, every man on Earthn dies. Except for one.

Preacher... You need to read it. Transmetropolitan, too.
That 100 Bullets sounds pretty awesome, will have to check it out.

Mr. Omega said:
First off, a nice standalone story you can read:
Batman: The Long Halloween. If you've seen the animated series, you'll recognize all the bad guys. And even then, all the important characters are established in the story.

First off: get the DC and Marvel apps or try Comixology. I particularly recommend the Marvel app. Monday and Friday they have sales, selling story arcs for about $1 an issue.

Now then, my best advice overall: try and find the start of a story arc. Those are always a decent enough place to start. If you live near a library, check that out. They probably have a section where you can find comics. That's how I got into it. They'll usually have a bunch of collected editions, having a bunch of issues, usually a story arc all in one book. Just find a book that looks interesting and read it.

Seriously, to anyone trying to get into comics: Libraries are your friend.
Again, very helpful...honestly I don't think anyone thinks of libraries
 

Aeriath

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Sep 10, 2009
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I only started reading comics earlier this year. I haven't read a particularly large range but I have read a large number of comics. I might branch out when I have more money but at the moment most of the comics I've read have been from the Marvel website. They have loads of comics available digitally for £10 a month subscription and you can read as much as you like. The comics on the service only go up to about 9 months ago so you can't read the newest stuff but it's great for an archive binge.
 

ShadowDude112

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Mar 9, 2009
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I know it sounds weird, and they have a rep for being terrible, but, pick up the Archie Sonic comics. It had a pretty bad writer at one point, but it switched, and even I'll admit, it's really good. For something that expands the universe past the games and gives actual development to characters and other things, it's really good, surprisingly for a video game comic. Mega Man is also really good, although, that just recently started and has been awesome from the start because it has the current writer of the Sonic comic working on it. Deadpool is good to get into, especially the Marvel NOW! stuff since it's just starting. It's great stuff to read, the writer to Deadpool is a comedian, so you'll always laugh. I'll be honest, pick up Ultimate Comics: All-New Spider-Man. Despite it being weird having a Spidey that's not Peter Parker, Brian Michael Bendis does a fantastic job making the read awesome and making Miles work. Trust me, it's really good. I guess you could also pick up the Superior Spider-Man that comes out in January? Maybe? I dunno, read #700 of Amazing Spider-Man and if you think it's good, then pick up Superior. I'm only picking it up to see how it is. So, those are comics I really like and I've heard other people like. These are just my suggestions on what I read and what I like. Did this help answer your question? I hope it did.
 

Lalo Lomeli

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Sep 9, 2011
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DC realunched everything with the new 52, so there isn't a lot that you need to know before-hand, my favorites are:
Action Comics (By grant Morrison)
Swamp Thing, Animal Man y Frankestein has a grat saga called Rotworld.
Justice League Dark
Batman Incorporated

The other forms can be hit or miss, I must be forgetting something

The Tall Nerd is right, Marvel is in a pretty good point right now, Marvel is in a really good spot, they are proactively listening to the fans and getting the best writers, like DC they are restarting their books with number ones, and shifting writers.

My best advice for Marvel, DC and such it's kind of tricky, but it has a lot of sense, don't focus in the character focus in the writer, even an Awesome character is gibberish in the hands of a hack. Ill try to make a list of writers, a quick review of their quirks and maybe you find something that you like, I'm going to put some of their works, and take in mind even if I put "superman" that doesn't mean they worked in all the superman books, you should google from what issue to what issue they wrote)

Grant Morrison (Series: Animal Man, The current Action Comics, Justice League, Batman RIP, Final Crisis New X-men): If you like great, amazing, larger than life ideas, in a broken crazy way, grant Morrison is for you, there's a lot of context between lines, schemes and such... I advice you that you get into him until you get used to most characters.

Greg Rucka (Wonder Woman, Punisher, Gotham PD) Focused in the characters and their relationships and well story telling, story, tend to write Strong, female characters.

Kieron Gillen (Journey into mystery) Humor, drama, characters and well, look read his journey into mystery saga, ok?

Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spiderman(the whole thing), the avengers) If you liked the Avengers movie you can thank this guy he made them relevant again. A lot of fun, a lot of characterization. He's going to start writing about the xmen

Jonathan Hickman (fantastic Four) It's like Morrison following great ideas, but more grounded, he's going to start writing the avengers.

Neil Gaiman (Sandman, Whatever happened to the caped crusader), weird great ideas.

Alan Moore (V of Vendetta, Watchmen, Batman: The Killing Joke) Dark, gritty and lovely written stuff, that molded the 90's )that somehow forgotten the well-written character driven part for the grim and violent one)

Geoff Jhons (green lantern, flash, teen titans, the current justice league) Geoff work it's like someone playing with a box of toys, you can expect a lot of action, twist, characters, but it isn't the deepest sea.

Jeph Loeb (Superman/Batman) Like Geoff there's a lot of fireworks but avoid his work after the death of his son (In other words, don't buy his marvel work) , it sounds cruel but it broke him .


That's the ones at the tip of my tongue, there's several more that has make me actually look for them, even when they arent as famous, Frank Cho, and other works that are more remembered by the comic itself.
 

saintdane05

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Try to find a trade paperback that others recommend. Something simple. Batman: Hush, Green Lantern: Sinestro Corp War, Spiderman: The Other, Gotham City Sirens, Final Crisis, etc.
 

Remus

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Nov 24, 2012
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Marvel is mid-reboot atm, so if you're going to start there now would be a good time. Old teams have been more or less canned and remixed as a result of the latest Big Event so new introductions are there as character team swaps are rampant. Cap's even got the helmet and body armor now like he had in the movies, a result of being shot in the head in a prior story arc and recently getting his ass kicked.

I wouldn't recommend Spider-Man atm. It is getting a reboot but only due to a convoluted story involving him and Doc Ock. I am curious how this will play out in the Avengers books as he is a member.
 

Queen Michael

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saintdane05 said:
Final Crisis.
It's a Grant Morrison comic book event. No offense, but I can't think of anything harder to get into if you're not a veteran comics reader. You need to know about the Fourth World, about Kamandi, about... Well, about a ton of stuff, basically. Great series, but full of continuity nods that require you to know your comics.


One good miniseries is Wolverine: Not Dead Yet. It's about to be rereleased, or maybe it already has, but my point is that as long as you know who Wolverine is you'll get it. All the other characters are new, so there's nothing for you to not understand because you're new. If you think "I don't know who any of these other characters are!" it's because you'r not supposed to know who they are; they're new. Good art, great writing... Oh, and it takes place during a time when Wolverine had had his adamantium removed from his bones. There -- Now you know everything you need to know.
 

Dr Hammer

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The old stuff by Alan Moore is good (he wrote Watchmen and V for Vendetta) as is a lot of the older stuff in DC's Vertigo imprint. The Manhattan Projects is a pretty good newish series. If you are looking for more 'mature' stuff the work of Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes and Craig Thompson is worth a look.
 

V8 Ninja

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I'm in the same position you are in and the best strategy I've found is to buy comics which contain themselves in a single book/novel/issue. Trying to jump from having nothing to do with comics to keeping up with new issues is a pain and probably not worth your time as whatever you read will most likely get retconned within a year or two. It's also more satisfying to know that the story you're reading will end rather than continue until the writers get bored of dragging it out.