Where to start?

March 25, 2014

Often when I am talking with people and they find out that my passion for comics exceeds the occasional superhero film or odd graphic novel, they tell me something along the lines of “I’ve always been curious about comics but I’m not sure where to start.” And then, giddy with the rush of introducing a new reader to comics (one of us! one of us!), I blabber for an embarrassingly long time and insist that they read <insert title here>.

I have a list of what I call gateway comics.  These are comic books that are so tantalizingly awesome that the reader can’t help but want more.  My usual recommendation for the uninitiated is Watchmen because it is physically impossible not to like Watchmen.  Sometimes though, depending on the person (for instance, if they are young or averse to seeing blue dongs or saw the movie and loved/hated it) I will suggest something else.  The comics I suggest are loosely linked to other things that the person likes.  For instance if they say “I like Star Wars!” I might suggest they try some of Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four because of the sci-fi elements and because they are excellent comics that make you want more more more.

I put together this handy dandy flow chart to help people find a good comic book to try, depending on their other tastes.  The categories have two “If You Liked This!” suggestions and are color-coded along with the arrows.  The comics have been color-coded according to what genres they more or less align with.  Happy reading!

Comic Flowchart