Saturday, February 21, 2015

Comics....Where do you even start????

It make come as a shock to some of you, but I am a comic book geek. I may not be able to win battles and arguments about every little detail that might come up, but I know my way around the block.

Whenever I start talking about a comic book, people are usually curious, and I can't blame them.  Between now and 2021, there are going to be close to 20 films based on comic books. What I love about the films is that ever since X-men's first film in 2000 made a splash, followed up by the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man film, there have been more fans that have come into the comic book universe, and that is awesome. Since then, there have been films based off of comic books, and they aren't going to be stopping with making them because of the money made. Last year (2014) Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy were two of the top grossing films around the world. Guardians did better, but man, Winter Soldier was great.

Anywho, with this big boom in people being interested in comic books, they can feel overwhelmed due to how many different comic books there are when they a walk into a store, or browse the internet and buy digital comics. (By the way, digitals are my favorites because they don't wear out and you don't have to find shelf space if you are a big collector).

It can be hard, and honestly, comic books are a lot like soap operas. Once you start one, it only takes a couple of episodes, or in this case comic books, to get caught up and understand what is going on. However comic books are almost 90 years old, maybe longer, and heroes like Superman and Batman date way back into the 30s. So where do you start? Here are a few tips on how to start getting into comics.

1. If you saw a comic book film and loved it, you should think about that character. There are exceptions, though. Green Lantern is a wonderful comic book series, and the movie was pretty lousy at best. The ideas were kind of right, but the story was bad and the actors could have been a lot better. This was also coming from the director who directed Daniel Craig's first James Bond outing, Casino Royale. It had the elements, but they weren't in line.  Anyway, that's that about Green Lantern.

2. Let's say you hear about your friends talking about comic books or whatever. Hang out, remain silent, and just listen to what they say.

3. When I recognize a hero that I don't have much knowledge of, is your friend when it comes to comics. They have all of the information on back stories and catch you up to what is going on. They may contain spoiler alerts, but are usually noted, so you can stop reading there. For example, if you don't know anything about Green Lantern, do a Wikipedia search on him. It can also be hard because not just Green Lantern, but other big heroes get changed up every now and again. The Flash was Barry Allen, but there are other people who come into play and become a new Flash.  There is a lot of history behind bigger names.

4. Go to the websites for DC and Marvel and browse and see if there is anything you like. The store owners or workers are usually friendly and will tell you about them.

5. The great thing about comics is that not all of them stick to superheroes. Some deal with horror topics, like The Walking Dead, or whatever. I love my superheroes, don't get me wrong, but there are some awesome comics out there that don't deal with superheroes. DC and Marvel are the two biggest comics competitors on the market, but my personal favorite comics come from Image. Sometimes they have a superhero, but most don't. However, when you move away from Marvel and DC the comics can get graphic. Not horrible graphic, but they swear stronger than the other two companies, but they are beautifully written and drawn.  I have been reading one lately called Day Tripper, and it's about a guy who is writing an obituary for the character in the story, then at the end of every book, there is an obituary of the writer who wrote the obituary of the character in the story. It's a ten issue story.

Also, I do have a gripe that I want to get out right here. Internet fanboys who think they are real fans because they only care about one particular character doing things that only they would want them to do is lame. The biggest thing lately is that people complain about origin story  troupes. Troupes are a simple way of saying, everyone does it and shouldn't anymore because it's already been done.

My problem with this is, for example....Who knew who The Guardians of the Galaxy even existed besides fanboys? Marvel has even come out and said, that they were nervous to do a comic book/sci-fi story that would take a lot of money to produce and actually do it, but they went for it, and the gamble paid out. My problem with the whole Origin Story is the fact that even though all of these nerdy fanboys that know the origins of the heroes make up about ten percent of the movie going public. I took a copy of Guardians of the Galaxy to my sister's house and watched it, and she had no idea that it was even a Marvel movie. My sister goes to the movies a lot and knows Marvel movies, and she didn't know.

So, you have ten percent of these dumb fanboys with tunnel vision thinking how everything is supposed to go, and when it doesn't come out exactly how they want, they get upset.  I feel that the general movie going public should see origin stories because they make up the film. If you did Guardians, but they were already together getting along and fighting side by side with each other, you would want to know how they came to be partners and friends. This summer we have Ant-Man coming out. I know a little about him, but not much. I am sure the general movie going public is going to want to know how he turns into Ant-Man. If fanboys are upset about it, Hollywood isn't forcing them to buy a ticket to go see it. If you don't like choices made, do participate and go back to watching other movies you have seen a million times and let the rest of us be.

One more thing. Online or at comic book stores, they have what they called TPBs or Trade Paper Backs. What those are are books that collect between five and seven issues at a time and put them into one book. Comics are hard to wait for every month if you are really into the story, and TPBs are great for not having to sit around waiting and when it comes out, you get five to seven issues at a time. So, those are great.

I lied, ha ha ha, two more things. Usually DC or Marvel put out DVD-Roms or CD-Roms of back issues. They might be a little pricey, but you get all of the issues from the past, so that is awesome. I have roms for Spider-Man, Hulk, Captain America and The Avengers...and Mad Magazine, lol.

Finally, I should have probably mentioned this about but Comic Book Resources or    Have reviews of things before they hit shelves so that you can get a little preview of what is coming, and they have a reviews section as well. I personally hit that site every day to go to the Reviews section to see if anyone has posted anything with a good rating. The rating goes from 1 star to 5 stars, but they are cut in half sometimes. It's a neat place to check things out.

Anyway, I hope this blog helps you at all if you are trying to get into comics. It's pretty basic stuff, but it helps a lot, especially Wikipedia and Comic Book Resources,

Happy Reading!