Since the creation of Bookidote, I’ve been meaning to create at least one introduction to comic books post so that anyone interested in the medium can plunge into it without having a heart attack. It’s pretty normal to believe you can’t jump into the comic world without making your brain explode. The number of comic issues out there, the variety in stories and the insanely confusing number of series are bound to make any mortal quiver in their pajamas.
When I first attempted to understand the world, I already had prior knowledge that superhero comic books is a hell of a mess to any newcomer. I knew beforehand that what I was about to get into is more complicated than quantum science, but one thing kept me going.
This is exactly what you’d think of if you were asked to imagine a comic book. It’s a short story (around 32 pages, sometimes more or less). It’s just like your typical magazine, so you can definitely expect random advertisements throughout the issue. They’re also numbered so readers can know if they’re in the middle of a series or not. Single issues are also released at different frequency, depending on the series you’re following (it could be bi-weekly, monthly, etc.).
Trade Paperback (TPB)
These trade paperbacks collect around 6 single issues (sometimes more or less) and form one story arc. Free of advertisements, they’re a lot easier to read through without interruptions. However, some trade paperback contain different issues from various series without ever being a continuous story line. In fact, there are single issues that are never put into a trade paperback. Another disadvantage to trades is when a series crossovers with another. Reading through a trade could then lead to some confusion, since you’d be missing on some issues. This is the part where you need to do your research and make sure you find the primordial issues/trades so you can thoroughly enjoy the series you follow. They usually come after the release of each issue it contains.
Don’t be surprised. Hardcovers are just trade paperbacks with a rigid cover. However, some hardcover contains exclusive content. It just depends on the series and the editions. It’s also a question of taste. If you’ve been collecting a series in trade paperback, you’re most likely to continue in trade paperback.
There’s a big difference between trade paperbacks and graphic novels. It’s pretty common to hear people use these terms indifferently. Graphic novel aren’t part of a series. They’re one-shot stories. They’re usually really amazing by themselves.
These are expensive. No seriously. Omnibus collect a whole series into one gigantic volume. They sometimes also collect a bunch of different series to form a bigger entity.
A pull list is exactly what you want to go for if you plan on following an on-going series. To have a pull list, you need to find yourself a comic book store or subscribe yourself to one of the major comic book distributors online that permit people to have a pull list with them. What a pull list lets you do is put comic series that you want to follow and that are on-going to be “pulled” aside just for you. That way, once the single issue is released, you’ll always have your comics waiting for you no matter what. The advantage of a pull list also lies in discounts. Some comic book stores give discounts on pull list comics and that’s always a good thing. You can also put trade paperbacks and hardcovers in your pull list (might not be a international trend though).
Now, jump on over to my Batman Guide to know more about the comic book world related to our Dark Knight.
If you have absolutely any questions, you can drop them in the comment section and I’ll gladly answer them to my knowledge.
If you see things that are wrong in this guide, please tell me so I can rectify it. I also wouldn’t mind adding things that are very important for newcomers and that I might have missed. It would be my pleasure to make this guide as right as possible.
If the guide is well appreciated, I might make a sequel to it and talk about more things to know about comics and Batman.
Thank you so much for sticking around till the end. You are the best!