Every time I do a personal survey of the good and bad things in my life reading comics always comes up as one of the best things that ever happened to me. It’s simply one of those things I’ll never regret – a source of joy. And we can all use more of that, can’t we?
The core attraction of comics is the fundamental, and primeval, attraction of stories. The art of storytelling is as old as humanity and will always be with us. That’s what comics are, words and pictures that make up a story.
If you are not into reading comics but want to try it, the entry point is easy. It’s how I got into this hobby when I was eight years old. It’s how it took hold of me and never let go – a sublime addiction that will be with me all my life.
It starts with one issue. A typical comic book issue is 32 pages of full color art and story.
Pick up a comic book, any comic book. Maybe the cover catches your eye, maybe somebody recommended it, maybe you read something good about it in a website, maybe somebody gave one to you, or you found one. Pick it up and read it.
Read it. Set is aside. Let it settle. Heck, try to forget about it.
Chances are it will work its magic on you just like it did on me. Then you try another. Then another. Issue after issue.
The time will come when you will become aware of the comic book concept of universes. That comics published by a particular company like Marvel or DC or Image all happen in the same space, and a story in one issue affects characters in another – a shared universe where the stories occur building up on top of each other forming rich histories out of the contributions of all the writers and artists, editors and colorists, letterers and inkers who have worked in comics through the years. The older the publishing house the richer the universe. The richer the universe the more interesting the stories become. The more you know about a particular universe the more you’ll appreciate the issues you read that happen in that universe.
Without any effort, your hobby becomes even more engaging. You find yourself logging on to websites and participating in online forums. You buy not just the comic books but publications about comic books. You get to know the biographies of favorite artists and writers and find yourself interested in the goings-on within the comic book industry. All this happens without effort; it all just naturally follows, creating an aspect of your life that was not there before. A place of fun, a place where you can get excited, and, dare I say it? Happy.
And who doesn’t want to be happy?