The Key to Getting Into Comics… Start Reading
Getting into comics can seem like a daunting task, especially for someone who doesn’t like to miss anything. Someone who likes to go from start to finish without any interruptions. For instance, I am the type of person who, when playing a video game, must enter each and every hallway; open every single chest, urn, lock box, spider egg, human corpse, alien corpse, locker and basement hatch hidden under the carpet. It takes me months to finish games. So you can see why I had to let go of that mentality when jumping into comics. As someone new to comics, I am compiling all of my best advice into this post, so don’t skip it! Or do, I’m a podcast writer, not a cop.
When you’re staring at the vast boxes of comics before you in a comic shop you’re thinking, “Where do I even start?” Not the A’s, that’s for sure. You’d be there till you starved and the employees would have to kick you out when you started eating the merchandise. The great thing about comics is that there are so many genres! So many topics! Any hobby you may have probably has a comic for it. Do you enjoy history and war? There are comics for that! ‘Maus’ by Art Spiegelman, ‘Fever Ridge’ a collaboration. How about Disney Comics? Don’t even get me started. IDW Publishing has an endless supply for you! Video games? Please. You’ve got your ‘World of Warcraft’,‘Doom’, ‘Legend of Zelda’ Manga and Comics, ‘Witcher’, and ‘Mass Effect’.
Not to mention indie comics, self published and online comics. You can find comics about knitting with ‘Knit Princess’ by Allison Sarnoff and Melody Moore, comics about the apocalypse with ‘Romantically Apocalyptic’ by a collaboration of wonderful people and so, SO much more. If you want to get into comics and you feel intimidated by the comic shop, think of all the things you like and start at that letter. From there it’s just a wonderful, colorful, crazy spiral downwards to thinking you can pen your own comic all by yourself while you eat rice for a week because you spent all your money on comics.
The next thing I advise against is this; Don’t wait to find the first issue before picking up a comic. If it looks like something you’d be interested in, buy it! Consider it a place marker for the rest of the series. Make a list of what issues you have and carry it with you in your wallet or purse when you scope out Half Price Books or your local comic shop. Show it to the workers, they will be happy to help you out if you go in on a slow day. I am lucky enough to have Johnny Pottorf to reel me in when I get too… Enthusiastic, and guide me in the right direction. (We can definitely get the makers of EverQuest to pick the comics back up, right Johnny?…. Right?!) You may not always be able to find the first issue of a series you like, so you’ll have to pick up a trade (or TPB/TP). A trade is a collection of comics – usually starting from the first issues and going from there – in book form. In a lot of ways, this is better than having single issues. It’s cheaper, easier to store and you don’t need to worry about losing or damaging a single issue. Now you can just accidentally drop the whole thing in the bath tub!
Lastly – and this advice goes for most of life – don’t worry about snobs. There are always going to be people who tell you, “You read [insert comic here]?! UGH!!!” What you’re reading is none of their business. If you enjoy it, you read it. Everyone is going to have their opinion, and they have every right to it! But you don’t have to listen to it, and you certainly don’t need to be effected by it. In the wise, wise words of my cousin Kelsie, “You do you, boo boo.”
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The music in this episodes is Pomade by Silent Partner. The Infamous Podcast is Johnny Pottorf and Brian Tudor, and is produced and edited by Brian Tudor.
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