Geek Girl on the Grid – A Beginners Guide to Comics

By Meghan Sullivan

Meghan Sullivan
Meghan Sullivan

It’s DC Week on the CW Network with two returning shows (Arrow and The Flash), the premiere of a new show (Legends of Tomorrow), and a special about the upcoming DC Universe on the big screen. In addition to all that DC fun, we’ve got the return of Marvel’s Agent Carter this week and the debut of Lucifer next week.

That’s a whole lot of comic based television (and it’s not even all of it – who wants to talk about Jessica Jones?).

With all that comic love on both the big and small screens, you may be thinking about diving into the original print world of comics. And I say, do it! But you also may be wondering where to start given the 70+ years of comic book history from the two major publishing houses (DC and Marvel) and all the other great publishers (Image, Dark Horse, IDW, etc.).

Here are my tips on how/where to get started in the world of comics. But fair warning, diving in can become a downward spiral of addiction with so much great reading. You’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner (and you may spend lots of money catching up on what you’ve missed)!

  1. Pick a favorite character or favorite fandom

My gateway into comics began with Season 8 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and quickly sprawled far and wide). Maybe yours is Doctor Who or The Flash. Or maybe you love Wonder Woman or Black Widow. Whatever you are drawn to, start there. Believe me, it’s easy to get hooked and then start exploring related books. You can even start with a favorite writer. Neil Gaiman and Diana Gabaldon are just a few of some very well-known authors who have also penned comics. Once you’ve chosen a place to start, head over to Comixology and search/browse away.

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  1. Check out the comic related articles on GeekGirlPenPals.com

Not only is there usually a weekly pull list article, there are also lots of other comic related posts including a series called “Comics for…” which provides recommendations catered to a particular category. Check out the most recent entry for “Those Who Want To Believe.” (I highly support the recommendation of Southern Cross).

  1. Browse the Comics Apps

Most of the big publishing houses have digital applications that include lots of free titles you can explore without fear of wasting money. The apps even include helpful collections and volumes to guide you through a particular character arc. And most have a section specifically dedicated to those who are new to comics.

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  1. Talk to a Friend

I guarantee that you probably know at least one person who is a fan and reads comics. Find out who that is and start asking questions. They can tell you what they like and why, and help you find your niche. And if you really don’t think you know anyone, you can always ask me. I’m always happy to talk comics with anyone!

  1. Visit a local comic shop

We are actually very lucky here in Sacramento. We have some great comic shops both on and off the grid with staff that are more than willing to help a newbie. There is no reason to be intimidated walking into our local comic shops. Take a gander and just strike up a conversation. Staff will be more than happy to suggest some comics to get you started. Try starting out at Big Brother Comics on 17th and J street.

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Comics aren’t just for kids of a bygone era. There is a lot of very smart writing and extremely amazing art in today’s comics. There really is something out there for everyone. And I’m happy to help you find it!

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