Comic books can be intimidating. The easy solution to learning to love comics is quite clearly “read some,” but it can be a challenge to know where to start. The first time I walked into a comic book shop, I walked out with a “Flash” issue that tied into an event I knew nothing about, and focused exclusively on a Flash rogue (Boomerang) without hardly any mention of the hero.
It was weird, and confusing, and I never went back to that store!
Comic books certainly don’t have to be this way, and after several years of learning to love what I consider my favorite artistic medium in all of storytelling, I have some tips and pointers that can hopefully help.
Without further ado, here’s how to start with comic books for new readers.
- Print comics
- Trade paperbacks
- Digital comics
a) Best comics for new readers
b) Best comics of all time
c.1) DC Comics
c.3) Star Wars
c.6) Dark Horse
c.9) 2000 AD (Judge Dredd)
c.10) Archie Comics
1) Ongoing Comics (Print)
Most comic books begin as single issues that most closely resemble a magazine. You can find these issues in comic book shops (and you can find your LCS – local comic shop – usingcomicstorelocator.com).
Comic book publishers will release new issues to shops every Wednesday (new comic book day).
So, for example, a publisher like Marvel (one of the Big 2 superhero comics publishers alongside DC), might releaseAmazing Spider-Man#1 on October 7th. This is the first issue in the series, and is a great time to start collectingAmazing Spider-Man.
If you read the issue and enjoy it, you can tell an employee at your LCS to “add it to your pull list.” A pull list is all the comics you want your comic shop to order and prepare for you each week they are released. So if you add the seriesAmazing Spider-Man, when you return to your comic shop on November 7th, they will haveAmazing Spider-Man#2 ready for you at checkout. You just walk up to the cashier and say “I have a pull list for [Your Name Here].” Replace [Your Name Here] with [Your Name Here].
大多数漫画书是一个月出版一次，虽然有些是两周出版一次。You can use a site/app likeLeague of Comic Geeks看看什么时候会有漫画。
Steps To Collecting Ongoing Print Comics
- Identify a local comic book shop
- Pick out the comics you want to start with (more on this in a bit)
- Tell your comic book shop employee your name and the books on your list
- Return to the comic book shop the weeks your books are released, and prepare to spend $2.99 to $4.99 per issue (on average).
- Enjoy the heck out of comics every week!
2) Trade Paperbacks
When you start getting into comics, you’ll see the following terms used to signify what is ultimately a single story, or chapter in a larger story: Trade Paperbacks (TPBs), collected editions, or simply trades.
您通过贸易购买漫画的选择大大扩大。In addition to your local comic shop, you can find trades everywhere from Amazon toThings From Another Worldto your local library.
You can see an example of a trade paperback forAmazing Spider-Man here.
3) Digital Comics
Most new readers are going to find their digital comics fix atComixology, which is now owned by Amazon (offering easy digital comics access via Kindle devices).
For “All You Can Eat” comic book subscription services akin to Netflix or Spotify, there’s a variety of options that I explain below. Price for digital subscriptions ranges from $9.99 per month to totally free with a library card in the case of Hoopla Digital.
Ok, you have a pretty good feel for your comic book reading options, now you just need some direction on what to start reading.
漫画的领域是如此之大，仅仅是开始就会让人感觉完全瘫痪，所以我列出了一些我见过的最成功的方法来帮助你阅读。Below you’ll find a quick outline of my recommended approaches, elaborated in the following sections:
- Explore comics with a curated list of the best comics for brand new readers
- Start with the best comics of all time
- Read according to comic book publisher
- Check out thebest selling comics on Amazon’s best seller list
A) Best Comics For Brand New Readers
Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Marvel Comics masterpiece is well worth the brief moment of wondering whether Hawkeye could truly have one of the best comics for new readers.
《鼠王》是一部以刀剑和巫术为主题的脏话连篇的电影，采用了托尔金式的魔幻风格，并通过一群坏女孩先动手，后说话来为故事注入活力。Note that this Image Comics series is most assuredly for mature readers only!
For brand new comic fans, though, I’d point you to DC’s all-ages Gotham Academy, which sets the boarding school ethos of Harry Potter novels inside the universe of Gotham’s Dark Knight.
Kamala Khan, Marvel’s Ms. Marvel since 2014, restores the high school drama, romance, and heroism of the best 1960’s Spider-Man comics. While I’d recommend any serious Marvel comic reader explore the 60’s Amazing Spider-Man work of creators Steve Ditko and Stan Lee, those comics are clearly of an era over 60 years removed.
Ms. Marvel is far more modern, and represents one of the Big 2 (Marvel and DC) superhero publisher’s most diverse comics. Best of all, creators G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona have made Ms. Marvel one of the best Marvel comics since its inception, and a great starting place for new comic book fans.
Sagais the romantic comedy space opera (classic genre!) from creators Brian K. Vaughn (Y: The Last Man《私家侦探》)和菲奥娜·斯台普斯。Saga成功地给人一种创新和新鲜的感觉，将现代讽刺和大开眼界的世界建设融入到老生常谈的太空故事中。
More than anything,Saga感觉像是一个“成人”的故事，而这个漫画系列绝对是为成熟的读者准备的。If you’ve long held the suspicion that comics are junk media for kids, Saga is the type of sophisticated yet fun adventure that can go a long way towards changing minds.
B) The Best Comic Books Of All Time!
To get you started here are the top 10 favorites from my list, with notes about the types of readers that might enjoy!
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s classic deconstruction of superheroes has been voted one of Time’s 100 best novels (not just graphic novels –novels), was developed into a feature length film from director Zack Snyder, and the inspiration for HBO’s 2019Watchmen. This comic series convinced me comic books could be intellectually rewarding and inventive, and is for mature readers.
Neil Gaiman is the author of many celebrated comics and fiction, includingAmerican GodsandCoraline. TheSandman是他的漫画杰作，颂扬了对故事的热爱，同时覆盖了无尽的大脑领域。Sandman围绕《无尽之梦》和他的梦想王国展开，在那里任何故事都是可能的，这意味着这本书从连环杀手大会到一千零一夜的印度。
Sandmanis so popular DC Comics resurrected the brand in 2019 for an expanded Sandman Universe.
In 2019, it was announced aBoneseries will (finally) be coming to Netflix, meaning it’s likely readingBoneis going to be as in demand as ever.
While I love Morrison and Case’s early 90’s DC / VertigoDoom Patrol, I’ll also be the first to admit I love it largely because of how insanely weird it can get. This is the least straightforward “superhero” comic I’ve ever read, but if you’re interested in some absolute imaginative insanity, Doom Patrol is the book for you. For mature readers only.
Miracleman is another 1980’s superhero deconstruction from Alan Moore, the best comic book writer of all time. See the Superman and Captain Marvel mythos elevated to a more “realistic” form. For mature readers only.
如果你喜欢故事中有故事的概念，或者小说变得生动并影响我们的现实世界，《防弹棺材》是大卫·海恩和艺术家抖森·凯恩的现代形象漫画杰作。This pick made Comic Book Herald’stop 10 best comics of the decade from 2010 to 2019! For mature readers.
Matt Kindt’s Mind MGMT from Dark Horse comics is another modern masterpiece, both one of the best spy / secret organization stories I’ve ever read, and one of the most innovative comics ever. Highly recommended reading, and for a PG-13 audience.
Maus是阿特·斯皮格曼(Art Spiegelman)关于他的家人在大屠杀中幸存下来的传记，以及他与家人关系的自传。它以高超的技巧讲述了大屠杀的毁灭性悲剧和一代人的创伤，令人痛心，真实。Very serious subject matter, but I’ve seen this used as text at the junior high reading level.
Frank Miller’s mid 80’s re-imagining of an aged Batman coming out of retirement sets up years of the macho, grim and gritty Batman we know today. There’s also surprising humor and inspiration here, in one of my favorite Batman comic for new readers.
“Y” is an epic, 60+ issue Vertigo comics series from the early 2000’s by comic book masters Brian K. Vaughn and artist Pia Guerra. As the title implies, “Y” explores the life of the last man on earth, in a world of all women. It’s a long running comic imbued with humor, heart, and humanity.
There are a wide variety of publishers across the comic book landscape, and the most popular among them form relatively clear guides on where to start with comics.
For example, DC Comics is home to the DC Universe of characters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, while Marvel Comics is home to characters like Spider-Man, Captain America, and Squirrel Girl. DC and Marvel are known as the “The Big 2” in the comics industry, and own the most well known superhero universes that are now reflected in some of the most popular movies every year.
Other comic book publishers like Image Comics and Dark Horse are less reliant on shared superhero universes, instead focusing on fostering the vision of unique creative talent.
Below you’ll find guides to the most commonly discussed comic book publishers, as well as suggestions and resources for how to start reading.
C.1) Where To Start With DC Comics
The DC Universe fully rebooted during the summer of 2016 with a linewide initiative titled DC Rebirth. This Rebirth sparked new #1 issues and jumping on points for all DC comics, from Superman to Blue Beetle.
Of course, you could also dive into DC with comic book storylines of the past, fromDC classics到2000年代的重要故事。
Below you’ll find Comic Book Herald’s resources for getting started with the DC Comics universe.
DC Comics Resources:
C.2) Where To Start With Marvel Comic Books
In general terms, Marvel has been on strong footing since 2018, and is really stabilizing its line of comics after a few years of rockiness followed2015’s Secret Wars mega event(My favorite Marvel event of the 2000’s). Between comics likeImmortal Hulk,House of X/Powers of X, andVenom/Absolute Carnagethere are a lot of major series at Marvel firing at a very high level of quality right now.
As always, over 65 years of publication history means there’s plenty to read, whether you’re invested in the newest Marvel material, or want to enjoy the publisher’s greatest hits.
Marvel Comics Resources:
Marvel Fresh Start(2018 – Present)
C.3) Where To Start With Star Wars Comics
Star Wars fans have a couple options for diving into the vast world of Star Wars comics. Starting in 2015, Marvel Comics obtained the license to publish Star Wars books (Disney ownership has its perks), and rebooted the Star Wars comics line immediately following the events of “A New Hope.” This results in great jumping on points for aStar Wars comic series, alongside solo character series likeDarth VaderandHan Solo. The Marvel Comics are largely the only stories considered Star Wars canon now.
Interested fans should also be made aware that the entirety of Star Wars comics are made available via theMarvel Unlimited digital comics app.
Star Wars Comics Resources:
C.4) Where To Start With Image Comics
Over the course of the 2000’s, Image has established itself as the bastion of creator-owned, critically acclaimed projects. The most famous of these is the mega popularWalking Dead, which become the most watched show on television, and also officially concluded its comic book run in 2019.
Diving in to Image Comics is a great way for new readers to get started, as individual series are typically self-contained and don’t rely on the in-universe continuity of the major superhero publishers.
Below you’ll find a detailed complete guide to the best Image Comics.
Image Comics Resources:
C.5) Where To Start With Vertigo Comics
Vertigo Comics is the (now defunct) mature readers imprint of DC Comics, and for most of the 1990’s and early 2000’s wasthe在这里可以找到广受好评的伟大漫画。睡魔、传教士、约翰·康斯坦丁、地狱开拓者等都出自《迷魂记》。
Below you’ll find a comprehensive guide to every great Vertigo comic of all time!
Vertigo Comics Resources:
C.6) Where To Start With Dark Horse Comics
Dark Horse is a wonderfully consistent comic book publisher, with well known properties likeBuffy the Vampire SlayerandHellboy, in addition to video game comics adaptations likeMass EffectandDragon Age.
My favorite ongoing comic book at Dark Horse is the Black Hammer universe. If you’re looking for my favorite current place to jump in with any Dark Horse books, it’s with the Comic Book HeraldBlack Hammer reading order.
Below you’ll find a complete guide to all the best Dark Horse comics through the publisher’s storied history.
Dark Horse Comics Resources:
C.7) Valiant Comics
For a good chunk of the decade, Valiant was my favorite alternate superhero universe, modernizing many familiar superhero universe tropes.
If you’re looking to enjoy superhero comics without the decades of baggage that come with DC and Marvel Comics, I highly recommend you check out the Valiant Universe guide below.
Valiant Comics Resources:
C.8) Where to Start With IDW (Transformers & TMNT)
IDW has done wonders with licensed content from 80’s and 90’s cartoon favorites like Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and GI Joe.
You can dive in to my favorite IDW series below with complete guides to Transformers comics (shockingly great) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
IDW Comic Book Resources:
C.9) Where To Start With 2000 AD (Judge Dredd)
2000 AD is a mainstay of British Comics, best known for excellent science fiction and Judge Dredd.
You can find Comic Book Herald’s complete Judge Dredd comics guide below.
2000 AD Comics Resources:
C.10) Where To Start With Archie Comics
With the launch of the CW’s Riverdale, there’s never been a better time to explore the 2015 relaunch of Archie Comics. Below you’ll find a complete guide for new readers wondering how Archie can fit in with modern comics.
Archie Comics Resources:
Welcome To Comics!
Reading comics is a blast, so as you get started, remember that this should be fun! If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the amount of material, just know most comic book readers have felt the same at some point, and the best thing you can do is find a starting place above and dive in.