Recently I have talked to many people looking to get into graphic novels. Some have read pieces they have enjoyed, some have favorite characters and some are oblivious to the media. Definitely one of the best ways to get into comic books is to talk with comic nerds and read comic blogs. My friends come to me all the time with their questions, and I like to compose a sample box for them to borrow. As much as I would love to make personalized boxes for everyone, Mom says don’t trust anyone on the internet, so I’m not gonna lend out my preciouses. Advice I have so here is a simple guide to getting into the media and finding what works for you.
1. Figure out what you want to read
You already have your preferences of genres, characters, and style. A bit of internet research can lead you into a world of books for you. For example, if you like the Daredevil show you can easily find lists of the best Daredevil story lines, or similar style characters. Or if you like horror books and movies there is a comic scene for you. Even some of our favorite fantasy series’ are getting their own titles i.e. Dark Tower, Game of Thrones or Wheel of Time. Start with books that fit your interests, get it all down or cram it in your head. You are ready to get out there.
2. Finding your books and budgeting
I understand as unintimidating as comic nerds are, walking into the comic store can be over whelming. Well honestly I don’t recommend it at first. Books are expensive, especially for the value of a comic. I spend $10 on a novel, I can get 10 hours of entertainment. I spend $10 on comic books, I’m lucky to get an hours worth of reading. I had to cut the expensive habit when my first was born. There are free options, you can find websites or apps with free samples or back issues like comixology. I recommend going to the graphic novel section at your local library. Not only will it save you hundreds of dollars, they also promote a wide variety so you can try new things at no risk. I have found them quite accommodating as well, every request I’ve made my library has purchased.
It might seem obvious but sometimes it can be easy to ignore your comic tbr pile. The fact is they take no time at all, so why wait? Instead of watching a b-movie on netflix you could cram down a graphic novel or two. Usually its when I am deep in a novel that my comics get ignored. I remedy that by scheduling in a few comics between novels. And this is very important now—take your time. Graphic novels are an art form do not forget to stop and appreciate that. The depth comes from those little details or impressive splash pages. Its not worth rushing through your comics.
4. Experiment and expand
Try anything. Don’t limit your genres. You may not be into super heroes but the stories may surprise you. I have convinced almost every one of my ex-girlfriends to try a comic out of there comfort zone and they all enjoyed it. If a comic has a lot of hype chances are it is pretty awesome. There are so many gems in the media that you will miss out on if you limit yourself.
5. Find your favorites
It is like anything else, you like a certain type of t.v. show, book, or art. Find what you like in a graphic novel and go for it. Find a character that speaks to you and follow him. I think more importantly follow your favorite writers and artists and you wont be disappointed. I have a list of my favorite writers that i follow here.
6. Catch up on some history
Yes it can be difficult getting into a series that has been running continuously for decades. It is okay, publishing companies do try to make jumping on points for new readers. Then with the magic of the interweb you can easily find a quick synopsis of everything that has happened in their complete history. And its okay to stop and Google some obscure character that jumped out of no where. Even the dedicated readers get lost sometimes, there is no shame in asking why Thors a girl or how Batman has a kid.
Don’t bother. There is hardly no money left in it anymore. I have cases of books that should be worth a small fortune but nowhere to sell them. That’s not changing anytime soon and debatably paper is dead. But if you are like me, there is a simple pleasure in owning a complete series or hunting down a book that’s hard to find. There are a couple things I can recommend for you. One is to focus on one series or one character. My brother has devoted his efforts to Amazing Spiderman and sold off everything else. He still gets to hunt for treasure, he still gets the satisfaction and after he is done a complete series that big and long running will be costly and sellable. I on the other hand go for obscurity, the big names print millions of copies of every book. They are worth 3.50 today they will be worth 3.50 in fifty years. But some of the more obscure books just may make it big and those limited first printings sky rocket. I bought Walking Dead #1 fresh off the shelves, and a couple years ago at the height of its popularity, I cashed in getting me through a hard time.
We want to know what you think of what you’re reading. Even if its your first book, that is interesting to us devoted comic nerds. Its just like books, every one likes an honest review. I always appreciate new recommendations as well.
Thanks booknerds, good luck and I hope you find some treasures.