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comment by Devac
Devac  ·  609 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Real Reasons for Marvel Comics’ Woes

I have to say that I am very surprised that there's not a single mention of piracy destroying the medium. Kudos, as it seems to be the goto cop out when it comes to something not selling well.

Here's a good question that is quite a problem for newbies like me: where do I begin?

I'm serious and probably not alone in thinking that there's no good place for someone to just start reading something. Oh, here's Good Guy: Adjective Verb but there's also this nifty looking Good Guy & Nice Fella: An Unlikely Alliance. Which one goes before the other, or are they (somehow?) completely unrelated? What's this number next to Earth? Gosh, I wish there was some sort of a wiki that would clarify it.

180768 entries?! Am I about to read a comic book or get a degree in something? Fuck it, I'll just go and do something else.

I know that I have likely committed something close to six fallacies and sound as if I have never had a comic book in my life, but it is a very discouraging place to be in. Compound it with all of the things pointed out by kleinbl00 or rd95 and the article itself and you get a very little incentive to stick around as an outsider.

Being a 40k and Warhammer Fantasy geek myself, both being very much lore-heavy universes in their own rights, I know that there must be a good way to get people like me on board. I mean, look at channels like Vaults of Terra or ArchWarhammer and you are going to get pretty damn well introduced to 40k (and also the Fantasy in the latter case) in about three hours. Every time I try to get into comic books with channels like ComicsExplained (recommended to me by many) I just grow in the conviction that the whole genre isn't for me. Which is a shame because I can clearly see how many people approach it with the passion that mirrors my geeking out about a new 40k book or a badass miniature that cost an arm and a leg but just looks so cool.

bfv  ·  609 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I have to say that I am very surprised that there's not a single mention of piracy destroying the medium. Kudos, as it seems to be the goto cop out when it comes to something not selling well.

Since you said that, I'll let you in on a secret; half the appeal of superhero comics, and most shared universes, is communal. You haven't read every relevant comic, I haven't read every relevant comic, the author hasn't read every relevant comic, but we all talk to each other so we all know the significant bits, where 'significant' means the things people talk about. This isn't relevant to comics not published by Marvel or DC, except to the extent that they're working in the context defined by Marvel and DC, but it applies to the bulk of comics being printed. If you torrented all the things and read every comic published by the big two, and 2000AD, and the head comics of the 60s and 70s, you'd still be a little confused, because people making comics are people who have been reading comics all their lives and that meta-level you miss out on if don't hang around comic shops and go to conventions and read the right/wrong sites. It's an extremely incestuous medium.

user-inactivated  ·  609 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Do you have comic shops in Sweden? I think you're in Sweden. If so, go. Talk to your comic shop guys. Tell them what kinds of things you enjoy out of stories, settings, plots, etc. Tell them what you don't enjoy. Tell them what titles tickle your fancy and why and what ones you think you want to avoid and why. Tell them your budget and what you hope to get out of your reading experience. See what they suggest.

If you're looking at reading cape comics and you know that you don't want to invest a lot of time and money into following anything in particular, ask them about stand alone stories that they'd recommend. For example, if you're interested in Batman, they might recommend the graphic novel The Long Halloween. It's a great Batman story, disconnected from the Batman universe as far as continuity is concerned, and has a large cast of characters that you can enjoy and appreciate without even knowing The Batman comics too well.

If you're looking at comics as a medium and aren't too interested in following in particular, ask them about standalone graphic novels they might recommend. There's stuff there all over the genre spectrum from science fiction to drama to mystery to crime to autobiographies. There's stuff out there that spans from the mundane to the surreal to the avant garde.

If you're really new, and really interested in comics as a medium, before anything else, I recommend you check out Understanding Comics by Scott McLeod. As crazy as it sounds, reading comics well requires a little understanding of how the medium works, and that book will help you be able to dive into comics headfirst and allow you to appreciate them than if you just went in all willy nilly.

Devac  ·  609 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Do you have comic shops in Sweden? I think you're in Sweden.

Sometimes I wish for it to be true. No, I'm in Poland, just can speak på Svenska ;).

I know of one comic book store in the whole Warsaw (that's where I currently live) as it never was a popular hobby around here. There are few places with various mangas, but those are usually in larger bookstores. But advice is advice, I'll try to hang around.

I have to say one thing, though. My university library will never cease to amaze me. I don't think that I was ever recommended a book on Hubski (and some of them were about some quite obscure subjects) that wasn't in one of the libraries. Understanding Comics is actually rented now, but I have placed a reservation for it. Thanks!