Comics are amazing – they can be funny, quick reads, but they can also be deep and thought provoking. A good comic blends art and writing seamlessly, which can add tons of extra layers to a story. Although often regarded as immature stuff for kids, they’re totally fantastic, and everyone should at least give them a shot. That said, comics can be hard to get into – which is why I’m going to show you how over this series of posts!
Unfortunately, reading comics isn’t really the cheapest of hobbies, and they can be hard to find (especially if you live in a smaller town without a comic book store). But don’t worry – there’s always somewhere you can find them! In this post, I’m going to be giving an overview of some of the most common places to find new comics to read.
I want to read comics, but I don’t know where to get them!
The most common place to get them – and probably the place with the best selection – is your local comic book store, if you have one. You can look on Yelp, just Google your city and “comic book store”. If you buy from a comic book store, you’ll most likely get single issues (the little short, floppy books – more on this later), although your store probably offers trade paperbacks as well (again, more on this later). If you don’t have a comic book store, you can also try local bookstores and video and board game stores as well.
Pros: they’re usually the best place to find a newer series if you have something specific in mind, and if you want to start collecting, they’re probably cheapest as well.
Cons: it’s not cheap to buy comics, especially in single issue format, and you’ll likely be visiting the store pretty frequently if you’re trying to keep up on a series. Also, not all cities have comic stores.
But I don’t have a comic book store/ book store/ game store in my town (or I don’t feel like visiting them all that often)!
Another popular option nowadays is buying comics online. This is usually cheaper than buying paperback copies, and you can get them instantly instead of waiting! There are several services to use, almost all of them tailored to a specific company (so if you’re reading both Marvel and DC, or Dark Horse and Image, or whatever, you’ll likely need to use multiple services). It can also be a lot harder to get your hands on indie comics this way.
Pros: it’s easy, it’s (relatively) cheaper, and as long as you have a WiFi connection, you can do this anywhere from NYC to Antarctica.
Cons: it’s still not cheap, and digital downloads of comics don’t really have the collectability factor of paperbacks.
But I don’t have any money!
Fear not! There are still options. One that I use for almost all of my comic reading is the library. Often, libraries stock plenty of trade paperbacks, and although the selection can be pretty slim, the cost (zero dollars) is worth it. It’s also a fun way to find new series – there’s no risk if you don’t like the series, because you didn’t spend any money on it!
Pros: no risk, no cost, and usually a pretty wide selection that makes it easy to find new material.
Cons: it can be really hard to find a specific series, and you’ll probably have to file a request if you’ve got something specific in mind. You’ll also have to wait quite a while to read a new series – usually six months to a year after the first issue comes out. And you’ll likely only be able to find stuff by the big companies – Marvel, DC, and possibly Dark Horse and Image if you’re lucky.
Another cost free option is borrowing books from a fellow comic loving family member. There’s probably at least one person in your family who has a few issues of something lying around, even if you need to spend some time hunting them down (are they in the closet? the attic? who knows?).
Pros: it’s easy, it’s free, and it’s fun! Just like a treasure hunt!
Cons: it’s highly unlikely that you’ll find anything specific or new, and unless your family member is a major nerd, they probably only have a couple issues in a series at most. That said, it’s a great option for someone just getting into comics.