Not a huge week for me, as I’m not incredibly interested in a lot of the new DC issues coming out.1 Also, I’ve decided to drop Civil War II because this week’s issue is $5.99 and $4.99 after that. Too expensive for me, I’ll just pick up the trade.
All-New Wolverine #9 - This book has been really great. I’m a huge fan of Logan, but Laura is a great character and more than worthy replacement. Issue #7 with The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl was so freaking awesome. Highly recommended.
All-New All-Different Avengers #10 - The Avengers are going to space because Nova needs help. Hoping to see some cool crossovers.
Amazing Spider-Man #13 - Looks like another team up with Iron Man. Should be good.
Batman Rebirth #1 - I love Batman, and I’m looking forward to getting into this new run. Plus, it’s written by Tom King whom I’ve heard is an amazing writer.
What are you picking up? Let me know on Twitter.
Just as a side note, you’ll notice that the date on this post is June 1. The reason for that, is because the comic week starts on Wednesday. Wednesday is new comic book day. If you want more info, read my post on getting starting with comics. ↩
I think it’s easier to fling off some thoughtless remarks when you’re doing it on someone else’s site. I bet you that the discourse on Ev’s blog would be of a much higher quality if you could only respond from your own site. I find I’m more careful with my words when I publish here on adactio.com. I’m taking ownership of what I say.
Jeremy makes a great case. I syndicate my articles to Medium, but it made me think that I should probably be using Twitter as syndication as well.
Earning green squares on your contribution graph means celebrating the work you do in open source and public projects. Starting today, you can also celebrate the work you do in private by sharing anonymized contributions from private repositories.
The last time I picked up a comic, was when I was still a kid. I never collected, but I read the ones I could get my hands on. About a year ago, I read the whole Civil War event in anticipation of this year’s movie, and then the Age of Ultron event. I was hooked. I realized I’d been missing out on so much story absent from the movies. I learned more about characters that were friends, were romantically involved, then come together to solve a problem. I was seeing characters I’d liked in film (and some that I wasn’t too fond of) in a whole new light.
Fast forward a year, and I’m reading comics on a regular basis now. I started my collection about a month ago, and wanted to share what I was reading. But I also wanted to share how easy it actually is to get into comics, if like me, you’d been intimidated to do so in the past.
First, Let’s Start with Some Vocabulary
One of the first things you need to learn when joining a new community is the lingo! If you’ve been interested in reading comics you might have heard some of these terms before, but if not, you’ll definitely hear them as you move forward.
First off, let’s talk about the different terms for comics. From what I’ve learned, there are four different types of comic books:
Single Issue - Single issues refer to one single comic, probably the thing you think about when hearing about a comic book. They are one issue, are part of a larger story, and depending on the publisher and title, usually come out once a month.
Trade - Trades are a compilation of 5–6 issues in one book. They come out either in paperback or hardcover.1 While fun to read—because you get a nice chunk of story to digest all at once—they can be a bummer because they don’t come out until after all 5–6 issues have been published (obviously). The major drawback being, you’ll be about 5–6 months behind everyone else reading the title.
Omnibus - An omnibus is the complete run of a comic, all compiled into one book. So let’s say that a particular run of a comic had fifty-two issues, they would all be compiled into one giant book giving you the run from start to finish.
Graphic Novel - A graphic novel isn’t tied to a particular comic book run. These are a whole story from start to finish in one book. To me, they’re like the movie version of a comic, it’s a whole story from beginning to end in a book.
Another important phrase you might want to know is pull list. Your pull list is basically the list of titles that you read.
With the basics covered, let’s get to some recommendations! I should preface these recommendations by saying that I’m a huge Marvel fan, so all but one title is Marvel. If you’re not a fan of superheroes and what not, then my recommendations might not be for you. But, some of the general things I’ve learned might be.
My Pull List
These are some of the titles I’m reading, I haven’t ordered them in any specific way. I recommend each of these.
All-New All-Different Avengers
The premise is pretty great with this one: a team you wouldn’t think that’d come together, has done just that and makes up the All-New All-Different Avengers. Sam Wilson is Captain America and is dealing with race issues that come up with being in the spotlight. Tony Stark’s butler, Jarvis, struggles with understanding if he’s important to the team. Oh! And Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel is an Avengers fan-girl, just so happy to be here, and kicking butt all the same.
The younger members—Kamala Khan, Miles Morales, and Sam Alexander—help you see what it’s like to be the newest member of the Avengers, and how awesome that can be, yet the responsibility that comes with it. The chemistry between Kamala and Sam is brewing, and it’ll be interesting to see where they take that. There’s another romance going on, but I won’t spoil it for you.
Hardcore X-Men fans seem to hate the Inhumans because of the attention they’re getting these days. Because of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) not being able to use the X-Men2, there’s been much speculation that the Inhumans are being used to replace them.
Politics aside, the current run is fascinating, and sees the Inhumans battling bad guys and a bad reputation amid a huge fiasco created by their own King, Black Bolt. The Inhumans also battle discrimination, they’re misunderstood by humans and sometimes even hated as abominations of the the human race. While mutants have never had a government of their own, the Inhumans do, and therefore, the issues are risen to a global scale where they also need to tread the political landscape carefully.
Captain Marvel is one of my new favorite characters. Until picking up the new series, I’d heard little of her. This run sees Carol Danvers taking a new job—which everyone thought would be a boring desk job, turn into something completely different. Captain Marvel has really cool powers, and the writing is a lot of fun. I found myself laughing quite a bit.
Oh and the artwork! The artwork for this comic is so good, you could almost buy it for that. Each cover feels like a collectible piece of art, and the inside is no different. I hear we’ll be seeing Captain Marvel in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movie, and after reading this, I’m really looking forward to it.
The Amazing Spider-Man
Peter Parker is now a successful businessman, and running Parker Industries. Spider-Man is no longer just the hero of New York City, but takes on threats around the world. This is a title I didn’t see myself liking anymore, yet I’m pleasantly surprised. I recently purchased the first trade, then caught up with the monthly issues, and I love what they’re doing with him! Yes, it’s a whole new take on Peter/Spider-Man, but it’s still grounded in the character we love. Nick Lowe, Editor for the book, said it best in the back of issue #7:
ANYWAY, like most of you, I can’t identify with the CEO, jet-setting aspects of what we’re doing with Spider-Man, but I still find Peter to be Peter here. Heck, while he’s thrilled by all of what’s going on and what it allows him to do in the world, I don’t think HE’S comfortable with his current status quo.
This one isn’t a monthly issue comic, it’s a graphic novel, but I had to mention it. I’m not finished with it, but it’s really great so far. I think it’ll end up being my favorite Batman story. If you love Batman—heck, even if you don’t—I think you’ll really love this one.
You see things from Batman’s perspective, and solve the mystery with him. Most of Gotham’s characters make an appearance in this story, and to me, it’s just classic Batman. He hates asking for help and receiving it, but he definitely needs it to beat Hush. I love seeing Batman work with other characters.
How to Get Started
This is where most people get scared, I know I did. People you know are talking about comics, or maybe you listen to a podcast where they talk about comics. Inside, you want to read comics too, you want to know what they’re talking about, but some comic books are on issue #200. “There’s no way I can read all of those”, you say to yourself. Well! Fear no more! It’s easier than you may think.
Do Some Research
You don’t have to start from issue one to understand the whole story. That’s what Wikipedia is for! In fact, publishers like Marvel maintain a wiki on their characters that you can reference. It’ll tell you who they are, where they’re from, what their powers are, who they’re related to, tons of stuff. It’s an easy way to get caught up, so you can pick up your first book and understand what’s happening.
Chances are, you live by a comic book store and you don’t even know it. I didn’t know how close mine was. I’m now a regular. Your comic store will have people who really love comics and can help you and answer questions.3
If you’ve picked your titles, pick up the latest issue of the comic you’re looking for. Don’t worry about starting from the first issue right now, just read the most recent one, and evaluate if you like it. Do you like the writing? Where the story is going? Is the artwork awesome?
If you haven’t picked titles, you can ask when you get there. Comic book readers love to give recommendations to those who are just starting out. All you need to know is a rough sense of what you’re looking for.
Remember, comic books are not only for those who love superheroes. There is a huge variety of comic books that touch on many different topics and tell all types of stories. It really doesn’t matter why or how you pick a title. You can pick based on the character, the writer, artist, whatever. It’s all up to you.
Where to Buy
There are tons of places to buy comics, so I’m going to only talk about a few that I’ve personally used.
Your Local Comic Book Store
I have to advocate for your local comic book store first. These stores are very under-appreciated. I love the face-to-face I get at the comic book store, they remember my name, and I have my own bin where they reserve comics on my pull list just for me. It’s a great way to support a local business too.
Sometimes you’re looking for a back issue4 that your local store just doesn’t have, so you decide to buy online. I’ve purchased from this site, and have been happy. The turnaround is pretty quick, they package your comics safely, and they come bagged and boarded.5
You won’t find the monthly single issues here, but Amazon is a great way to buy trades and graphic novels. The price is good. All of the trades I’ve purchased except for one have come from Amazon. You can even pre-order trades that you know will be coming out soon.
There are two drawbacks though. I’ve noticed that trades become available on Amazon about a week or so after they come out at the comic book store. So if you don’t want to wait, you’ll have to buy at the comic store. The other issue is that Amazon doesn’t care about comics. Only one of the trades came in a package that actually fit the book. All the other ones, have come cramped in boxes with other stuff I had ordered, bending the corner. I’m not too bothered, but I don’t like it.
I used this app once before it was acquired by Amazon. I wouldn’t recommend this route. I hear purchasing comics through this app has become very difficult, and feel it takes away from the comic book reading experience. I love to feel the comic in my hand and then put them on my shelf. But that’s just me. I’m including it as an option because I know of others who use it and like it.
New comics come out on Wednesday.
It’s like what Fridays are for movies. Not each of your titles will come out on the same week, but new titles always come out on the same day. I usually go to the comic book store on Wednesday or Thursday because I’m impatient.
You can check mycomicshop.com’s new releases page to see what’s coming out. I always check to see what comics that are already on my pull list are coming out, and if there are any others I might be interested in. You can even look at next week to see what’s coming.
If you want to see what other people are picking up that week, you can check the r/comicbooks subreddit or YouTube “pull list for [whatever week here].” I personally really like Nerd Burger,6 and have gone on to like stuff she recommends. There’s no shortage of people who want to share what they bought that week, and which comics you should be reading. It’s a matter of finding people that have similar tastes.
I would absolutely love to help you if you have questions. If I don’t know the answer to something, we can always look it up together. ↩
A back issue is any issue that is not the current issue of a title. So if Spider-Man is one issue #8, issue #7 would be a back issue. ↩
A comic book that is bagged and boarded means exactly what it sounds like. The comic comes in a bag with an acid-free board to keep the comic from bending, will allow for secure storing, and won’t turn your comic yellow as the years go by. This is very important if you plan to collect comics and want to see if you can make a profit from them later. Even if you want to be able to come back and read past issues, it’s a good idea to try to store them in a way that won’t ruin or tear them. ↩
Riley started with Magic and Kareem. Jackson began with Kobe and Shaq. Walton gets the kid who videotaped a team-mate nicknamed Swaggy P talking about cheating on his fiancée. The worst of the Clippers never seemed as bad as these Lakers. The team Walton takes over is nothing like the Warriors, who are one of the most cohesive, unselfish teams the NBA has ever seen. Any reasonable person would stay far away from the Lakers(sic)
But Walton also played on Lakers teams that won championships. And because of this he understands a truth that made his choice simple. There is nothing better anywhere in sports than to be a Laker when the Lakers are winning. And the coach who brings the winning back to LA, whether next year or in 10 years, will be rewarded with eternal love in a city where popularity runs as far as your last Golden Globe.
When Byron Scott was fired, I had a feeling Luke Walton would take the job. New York is enticing because Phil Jackson is there, but as this article points out, there’s nothing like winning in LA.
The Lakers will be a challenge for Luke, they’re coming off one of—if not the worst—seasons in their history. Kobe was a character, yet a reliable one which you could count on. Who will replace him? I doubt it’ll be D'Angelo Russell. At least not right now. The kid is very immature, and his production is inconsistent at best.
The Lakers have a lot of questions to answer this summer, and I think they’re years away from title contention at this point, but hiring Luke Walton, to me is a step in the right direction. I hope they’re able to land someone in free agency (hoping for Kevin Durant might be a stretch though), because last season was painful to watch.
Karolina Szczur on “I can’t get this ASAP,” one of the excuses against remote work:
Circling back to Basecamp and their earlier publication, “Rework”, we can bring in a killer quote:
“ASAP is poison.”
There are very few things that require instantaneous reply or attention, such as a service being down or a major security flaw. Most of the questions, doubts or bugs can be resolved at later notice. We are an attention hungry generation, but it’s disrespectful to assume that anyone we ping will immediately drop whatever they’re involved in. With multilayered communication we can choose an appropriate medium for the severity and urgency of the message where about to convey. We need to value each others time and attention.
Karolina really understands remote work. Remote doesn’t allow for the “hovering manager”, and that’s scary for people who love to hover. As with anything, there are benefits and drawbacks to working remotely. This article does a great job at describing how it should work, without being unrealistic. A great resource to see how the company you’re working for (or planning to work for) measures up.
You might’ve noticed the site went dark this week. Last Monday, May 9, was my one year wedding anniversary with the most amazing woman I’ve ever met.
We had a great week. We’d already taken some time off to go up north in April1. But this week we had the chance to go out to dinner, watch a play, go watch Captain America: Civil War (for a second time), and spent some time with family.
I thought I’d share one thing I learned in one year of marriage:
Make time for each other. Everyday life can easily get in the way of a relationship. We both work, and man! There’s always so much to do. I’m glad we’ve made time to spend with each other, connect, and become even better friends.
Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Which, holy moly!! It was so cold up north! However, the lake was beautiful with some ocean-like waves. ↩
Damn, Chris. Little dogmatic isn’t it? There are lots of ways to do things, especially on the web. Why be all prescriptive?
You’d be right. What I actually want is for everyone creating content on the web to create that content in a clean way that will serve them long into the future. Markdown, I feel, highly encourages that.
I just love Chris’ writing style, and I completely agree with his argument. Reason one and five are especially important to me, it’s why I’ve been using Markdown since 2012.
I write HTML all day, but writing in it sucks. And text files go anywhere you go; put them on Dropbox, or version control them with git. Mix them together with Jekyll, and you’ve got yourself a blog. If you love to write, Markdown is definitely your friend.
I have no ill will toward SoundCloud, but they have never seemed to see podcasting as anything but a way to capture users and draw them in to their own ecosystem. Podcasting is a side business for SoundCloud, and linking to episodes of podcasts hosted by SoundCloud is usually a gigantic pain, because SoundCloud tries very hard to suppress file URLs. I don’t know whether they do it because they don’t get how podcasting works, or because they do get how podcasting works and want to try to break that approach so that people are driven to SoundCloud.
In any event, I don’t recommend that podcasters use SoundCloud.