Getting into reading comics can seem more daunting than other hobbies. There are a few reasons for this, but one is that there are plenty of comics out there that seem to have been running for several decades at this point.
Where do you even begin to start?
Thanks to a variety of factors, it's probably easier to get into comics now than it ever has been. That said, if you're completely new to the hobby, there are a few things you want to consider before you dive in head first.
Paper Comics or Digital Comics?
One of the first things you'll want to figure out is how you want to read your comics.
While paper can be alluring, especially if you're keen on building a collection, it's more of an undertaking. You'll need space to keep your comics, and you'll also have to be mindful of taking care of them.
If you're just looking to get into comics for the storytelling, digital comics have a lot in their favor.
To start, they're often cheaper, and you'll find sales through services like comiXology fairly often. You can easily read digital comics on tablets, Kindle Fire devices, your phone, and even on your laptop.
Do You Have a Local Comic Shop?
Before you go all-in on digital, you might want to check and see if you have a local comic shop.
Even if you're planning to read mostly digital comics, the social element of your local comic shop can provide an extra dimension that might help you enjoy the hobby even more.
This can also take some of the work out of building a paper comic collection. Give the shop your pull list of comics you want to read and they'll set them aside for you. Then all you need to do is stop by every now and then to pick up your latest haul of comics.
Where Should You Start?
Once you have how you're going to read figured out, it's time to think about what you want to read. Comics are much more than just superheroes, and even if you want to read superhero comics, there's much more to dig through than just Marvel or DC.
First, think about existing franchises. Are you a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? There are plenty of comics that may appeal to you. Do you have a favorite character or group? Chances are you've already got some nice places to start.
Catching Up With Current Series
Once you know what series you're interested in, it's time to catch up. If your choice of series is only a few issues old, you don't have much of a problem here. If it's already on issue #121, you've got some reading ahead of you.
Fortunately, you don't have to worry about picking up hundreds of individual issues to comb through. I've got one word for you: trades.
No, I'm not talking about trading with other people, but instead trade paperbacks, collections of individuals. These will save you money over individual issues, plus they make all the reading to catch up easier by combining storylines into self-contained volumes.
Though the term originated with paperbacks, you'll also find digital trades as well. You can buy these through services like comiXology or Amazon, but you'll also find them via subscription services like Marvel Unlimited or DC Universe.
Don't Care About Superheroes? No Problem
People tend to associate comics with superheroes, and there's a good reason for that. There are a lot of comics out there about superheroes or supervillains.
That said, comics have come a long way and they tell all kinds of stories from comedy to horror and even autobiographies.