Number 4

“There is so many comics, where do I even start?”

When you're reading a book, or watching a TV series, its natural to think that you should start at the beginning. Comics are continuous stories, a lot of which started a long time ago. So its daunting to think that you have to some how read issue one of Batman. But with comics you don't have to start at the beginning.


OPTION 1

Comics try to be easy to jump into for new readers, every comic now a days pretty much starts with a recap page, explaining what you need to know to follow the story. Really, you can just buy an issue, and just keep on buying them, and in time, you'll be IN the story. Or even get the back issues to catch yourself up.

OPTION 2

OR like I explained before, get collected editions. Remember those cheap, packed with nearly 30 issues collected editions I was talking about? Well at Marvel Comics they are called 'Essentials.' DC calls them 'Showcases'. They're big, made of cheap news print, and are in black and white.
That's what kills it for most people, the fact that they are black and white. But 'Essentials' and 'Showcases' collect EVERYTHING. If you want the story from the beginning, that is where you can start.

If black and white is a deal breaker for you, which I understand, some books don't look the greatest without the colour. Then I recommend 'Marvel Masterworks' or 'Dc Archives'. Which are colour collected editions. They're more expensive, but so is printing colour.

OPTION 3

Lets get a little more complicated. You want to read newer stories, that aren't collected in 'Masterworks' or 'Archives'. Then get Trade Paper Backs or Hard Covers. What ones do you get? Just a little bit of research is needed. Go to wikipedia, type in the title you're interested in reading into the search, and scroll down... there. That shows you what issues are collected, in which volumes. Its easy.

OPTION 4

If that's to much work, and you're lazy. Then lets go SUPER simple. Read a series... with a beginning and end. Pick up a graphic novel! You don't have to read a long series, you can read something that has a straight and narrow narrative, with no shared universe, where you have EVERY detail you need to know, contained in the single book.

A great option for this, is Japanese comics, known as Manga. Japanese comics are rarely in shared universes, and are usually contained in single books. You can read them like a series of novels in collected editions. Not sure where to start there? Well the first volume, would be the volume with the number one on it.

THE FACTS

If you want to jump onto any DC titles, now is the time. DC recently relaunched their titles, they've essentially rebooted their entire universe. The first collected editions of this relaunch are just coming out. This is literally a starting point... except for Batman. Apparently parts of Batman's continuity are still intact. Which parts? I may cover that later on.

Getting into a Marvel published book? A little tougher. Marvel has a completely uninterrupted continuity... with the exception of Spider-Man... which is complicated, and I may cover that in the future. Where should you start it? Really depends on which character you're interested in reading. That is something that I will cover later, in PART THREE when I give some recommendations.




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