Friday, September 24, 2010

Opinions, Please

On my way in to work yesterday, I was listening to one of my favorite comics-centric podcasts--the wonderful 11 O'Clock Comics Podcast--and they had a really interesting dialogue going. And, since I'm very unoriginal, I'd like to completely steal their topic of discussion.

The question that spurred the show's premise is as follows: What comic would you recommend to a new reader?

A seemingly simple question. Until, of course, you start to think about it. Where do you start? With superhero comics? With alternative comics? Surely, it depends on the person and his or her tastes. Or does it rely more on your own, personal tastes?

Do you hand over a familiar, licensed property, like Stephen King's Dark Tower series at Marvel or IDW's GI Joe books? Certainly, one can't go wrong with Frank Miller's run on Daredevil or Batman: Year One.
And then there's Watchmen--the best of the best. But do you really want to give a newbie such a dense, intricate comics story?

Clearly, I don't have the right answers (in general, but specifically to this question). Personally, I've given new readers a wide range of books, and more often than not, I stray away from the capes initially. One Father's Day, I gave my dad a nice hardcover collection of Billy Tucci's recent Sgt. Rock story, The Lost Battalion.
But I've also given friends copies of Batman: Hush and The Dark Knight Returns. I have a couple copies of Watchmen, one for me and one to lend to others. Obviously, I've tried pushing The Goon on everyone I've ever met.

Walking Dead went over big with Exfanding reader Dr. Nick Riviera, and I got my brother to read and to love Mark Millar's Wolverine opus, Old Man Logan. When I'm trying to introduce a fan of genre TV shows or books to comics, I like to use Grant Morrison's All Star Superman. That usually does the trick.

Marvel's Ultimate line is a nice starting point for new readers, and so are some of DC's self-contained graphic novels, like the gritty Joker. Fellow horror fans will find plenty to like over at Vertigo, and Sandman is a great series to introduce to girlfriends or wives.

There's so much out there--Bone for the younger readers, The Invisibles for that eccentric friend, anything by Alan Moore...

So, in the spirit of completely ripping this off from 11 O'Clock Comics, I ask all of you--if you had to recommend just one comic book/comic series to a new reader, what would it be?

1 comment:

Scott said...

Kingdom Come. It's a good story, fantastic art, relatively easy to find, and most importantly, accessible. You don't really need to know much about anyone or who anyone is in that story. Kingdom Come was the story that introduced me to DC. My only real problem with it is that it's a bit heavy, though it does have a good ending.

Something like Watchmen is also a bit heavy for someone who's never read comics before; there are so many references to mainstream comics that make the story deeper and add meaning to characters. It really plays on archetypes, which is why I think so many comic fans like it. I thought it was good when I first read it, but definitely "oh god I need to recommend this to as many people as possible" good.