Even as more and more comic book movies come out and break box office records, it’s still a struggle to get those viewers to turn their attention to the source material and see what made these stories so special in the first place.
It’s a problem the comic book industry has faced a lot over the past few decades, with marketing strategies such as the Marvel Ultimate line and DC’s The New 52 being created to bring in new readers. Even this year, the Marvel NOW! Initiative is giving new creative teams to famous characters like Iron Man and Captain America, all in hope of luring in fans of the films.
However, even if you’ve never picked up a single issue or graphic novel in your life, there are plenty of ways to get into comics other than by checking out the hot new thing. By knowing what you like and the kind of stories you want to read, you can start enjoying great comics in no time at all.
So, You’ve Seen the Movie…
It’s an obvious answer, but if you enjoyed The Avengers or The Dark Knight Rises on the big screen, you’ll have no problem finding a wealth of tales featuring Thor, Iron Man or Batman. Every character has some seminal work that truly nails who he is as a character.
Batman: Year One, Spider-Man: Big Time, Captain America: Winter Soldier; these are all great places to start with famous characters. No matter the character, a simple web search can let you know the best place to start following his adventures after the credits roll.
Just Dive In
You don’t always have to go back to the beginning to understand what’s going on in a story. Nowadays, more books than ever are striving to draw in new readers, which means plenty of jumping-on points. Books like Hawkeye and Daredevil feature plenty of one-and-done, single issue stories, while DC recently had an entire month dedicated to number zero issues for their series.
Even jumping into the middle of a story arc can be fun if you have some history with the character. You might not know exactly why Batman and Commissioner Gordon are mad at each other, but it can be interesting trying to figure it out on your own. Besides, the best writers can make things clear to readers even in the middle of a story.
Don’t Like Superheroes? No Problem
There’s a common misconception that all comic books are about dudes in tights beating on each other, and that’s just not true. Smaller publishers like Image, Dark Horse and DC’s Vertigo imprint are constantly putting out a wide variety of genre comics.
Want a sprawling space epic? Try out Saga. Looking for a romance with a backdrop of conspiracy? Grab a collection of Strangers in Paradise. Crime, horror, comedy and every other type of story are being told on the stands today, just waiting for new readers to find them.
These are just a few of the ways you can easily take interest in the comic book world. It can also be as simple as going to your friendly neighborhood comic store and picking a book off the shelf that has an exciting cover. The real fans are always excited to share their passion with newcomers, and the guys behind the counter are there to help.
No matter what, just giving comic books a try can be a unique and fun experience. Even if you’re not at the store every week buying a dozen new issues, even the occasional trade paperback can be an unexpected delight.