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I’m going to do something a little differently than I have in past Nerdy for Newbies and write a little prelude. When I first started reading comic books, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing. As such, I have various, random comics from different series and a bunch without backs and boards, and my collection is just a mess. It took me a while to figure out what I would really commit to read as well.
I feel like this should a be pretty big topic considering all of the superhero movies and TV shows out, but I haven’t really noticed much of a change in the actual reading of them.
I have noticed an annoying trend of people scoffing at me for not liking the Batman movies when they’ve never read anything–not even the Hush arc.
That aside, there’s no right way to comic book, but there are some important factors to consider.
Choose your series wisely
Believe me when I say it is incredibly difficult to catch up on old comics; I’m currently trying to collect all of the “Teen Titans” comics, and I’m talking about all of them, not just New 52 and the 2003 run. It’s incredibly expensive and often results in me lugging around huge stacks of discounted back issues that I often never even read. It’s a pride thing.
Collecting may be your thing like it is mine, or you may want to take a more focused direction and choose a comic that is either relatively new or has a shorter run. One hundred isn’t a difficult accomplishment, and it’s actually pretty cool when you finally finish.
I’ll take more about specific comics later, but the 2003 “Teen Titans” run is perfect for this, with just over 100 issues when including annuals and crossovers. I have almost all of this, save for issue 89. My white whale…
Also, it’s seriously important to start out moderately, buying only two or three series at a time. I know a ton of people who quit collecting because they have a hundred issues from fifty different comics, and they just got overwhelmed.
Make sure you like the character
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve tried to read “Deathstroke” and just struggled with it. He’s an awesome dude, but I don’t agree with a lot of the stuff he does. I like his daughter Rose though, which is why “Teen Titans” is so perfect.
Style of writing can be a big deal, too; you can like a character all you want but end up falling out because it falls short of what it could’ve been. Kind of like dating somebody who’s pretty but isn’t the brightest hero in the Justice League.
Make sure you like the art
This one is a little more difficult, as artists often differ as the story goes on, but it can be a serious mood-killer. It’s a lot like walking around with a rock in your shoe or playing a video game with an annoying character. After a while, you just kind of give up on it.
When the New 52 “Teen Titans” changed over to [insert artist here], I still had the full intention of picking up the issues, but I just sort of petered off. I didn’t want to read it any more.
If the art is dark and gloomy when you dislike dark and gloomy, chances are you won’t like it as much. Making yourself try to like it doesn’t really work.
I would put a part here about researching the universe it’s in and whether it’s being continued, but I’ll go into that in the next blog, hopefully.
Last but not least…
Where do I buy?
This one’s a bit complicated. I myself am pretty solid on this front. I rarely, if ever, buy online. I did when I was just starting out, but there’s this whole comic book store atmosphere that really makes the whole experience for me. Also, there’s the whole struggling business thing. The digital age is killing a lot of book stores, and comic books are along for the ride.
Even in Clarksville, Comic Connections shut down a while ago, and Hero’s Legacy just closed; I may not have liked their organizational skills, but I was sad to see them go. There are a few options for you guys yet: Hastings, Books-A-Million and Great Escape in Nashville.
The Great Escape is a fantastic shop, always offering weekend deals, and it doesn’t take much to just pop on over and buy a few comics. Plus, there’s something really cool about having to hunt a comic down. I complain about issue #89, but it’ll be so worth it when I finally lay eyes on the dang thing. I feel like a really nerdy, skinny Lara Croft trying to hunt down a lost relic.
But my moral views are not getting pushed on you, promise. There are tons of online venues you can pick from; I liked Comixology before I got all particular and uppity about comic buying. Plus, they give really cool tips about what comics are hot, so that’s nice.
No space news currently, but I did hear some cool stuff about a third “Agents of SHIELD” spin-off that season two is laying the ground work for right now. There’s little word on it now, and it’s not a sure deal yet, but ooooh boy. I’m also really hoping Agent Carter still gets a second season–is this new show going to fill SHIELD’s break instead?–but am desperately trying not to get those hopes up too high because of its average ratings. Peggy’s just so, so…cool, man.
Also, if you want to nerd out with Jimmy Kimmel, some of the Avengers actors will be popping into his show on Monday, April 13. Should be spectacular; they’re gearing up for “Age of Ultron,” after all.
If you’ve been wondering what’s strayed my attention from the wonder of space, it’s the ancient past, my friends. I’ve been so wrapped up in Homer’s “Odyssey” and Bettany Hughes’ documentaries. My apologies, but you should really check out her videos; she has the voice of an angel. Here: