So you want to start collecting but don’t know where to start. The obvious answer is…buy comic books! But in a typical comic book store you are surrounded (literally!) by hundreds upon hundreds of covers sitting on the new release shelves, hanging on the walls, behind the sales counter, or in the back issue section. All of the heroes and amazing art are shouting, BUY ME!
Your first reaction will likely be to do what 99% of us did when we started collecting. Walk through the new releases picking up a Punisher here, an X-men there. Oh there is a Superman. I have to have Batman, oh wait! There are 4 new Spiderman titles, man that movie was great, I think I will get those too. Before you know it you’ve purchased 9 or 10 different comic titles, gotten them home and become unbelievably lost as you read them.
Sure this method works(It’s what I did as a kid the first time around too), but it sure makes it tough to ground yourself in a title’s storyline. When I began collecting the second time around I realized that there was a better way. I mean, comic books aren’t 75 cents anymore. You can expect to shell out $2.50-$4 depending on whether its a normal or double-size issue and other factors. You want to make good choices so your early experiences are rewarding.
For your first trip, pick one title ( ok maybe two..I know it’s hard). Buy the new issue on the shelf, then go to the back issue section of the store and buy the previous 3 or 4 issues from this title, or even more if you can. Generally, the further back you go the better grounded in the continuity and current storyline you will be. On your second trip pick another title or two and do the same thing. Repeat.
After 4 or 5 trips over a period of a month or so you will have many titles that you can enjoy and have a fairly solid understanding of what’s going on. Now you can pick up the new releases monthly.
You are on your way to many years of entertainment.
Until next time…