A beginner’s guide to start reading comic books

Parker Otto

Within the last 20 years, many comic books that were thought unfilmable have been given large budget blockbusters. Both well known superheroes like Batman and Captain America and obscure characters such as Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy have been making billions of dollars at the box office. However, many who see these movies have yet to read the original source material. While comics have been around for several decades and have years of continuity, it is fairly easy to get into the habit of reading comics.


  1. Know which characters are interesting to read

With so many titles that come out each week in the comic book store, getting started can seem rather daunting. However, with the rise of the DC Extended Universe, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the X-Men franchise, viewers can easily tell which characters they would like to read about every month.


  1. Find the start of new story arcs

When finding a comic series to read, starting with Amazing Spider-Man number 13 could seem hopeless. But most comic series have stories within, usually comprised of three to five parts. To find when the next story arc will begin, research on the publisher’s website or ask those that work at the comic store. The people who work there are some of the best resources to purchase new comics. While not the best source, Wikipedia has nearly 100% accurate information on the past continuity of comic books. Sometimes a series will produce a one-shot comic in which all of the story is in one issue rather than spanning four.


  1. Read trade paperbacks

While going to the comic store every week is good for reading new comics, the best resource to read older comics are trade paperbacks. Trade paperbacks are collections of past issues, usually surrounding one story arc, that are bound together in a book format. Purchasing trade paperbacks can give readers fantastic stories from the past as well as show how artwork and storytelling has changed through the decades. Instead of paying thousands for comics from the 1960s, being able to spend 35 dollars for a collection of 12 reprints is quite the bargain.


While comic books may seem like childish things, they are actually an art form that allows for wonderful artwork to coincide with groundbreaking ideas and charming stories. The comics industry has grown significantly with the rise of adaptations, but it’s always good to see where all of these cinematic universes got their start.