Happy day after Hallowe’en, everyone. Hope you all made sure to saturate your gullet with as much sugar as your mortal bloodstream could handle! I know I did.
What with being a big time university student at all, I find myself spending more time reading dreary, dusty authors talk about the public sphere and cybernetics and less time reading comics. Let’s face it: the comics industry moves super fast, and requires a good amount of effort to keep up with. Now, this is obviously no problem for fans of the medium, but I know from experience that, for many would-be comics enthusiasts, the prospect of finding a starting point can be like standing on the edge of a cliff and looking down at an enormous ocean. Filled with comic books. Don’t fret! I’ve prepared a list of a few graphic novels that were excellent starting points for me when I first took the plunge a few years ago.
Ultimate Spider-Man vol. 1
The original Ultimate Spider-Man series which started in 2000 is very straightforward, easy to digest and is enjoyable for any age group, kicking off with Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man. If you like the series, there’s a lot of content to continue on with; you’ll never be at a loss for reading material.
This graphic novel is not too heavy subject matter-wise, yet still gives a great sense of who and what Batman is. Where Hush really shines is that nearly every member of the Batman universe gets a moment in the spotlight, introducing new readers to characters under the umbrella of a single storyline.
Transmetropolitan vol. 1
Stepping away from Marvel and DC for a minute, Transmetropolitan was recommended to me when I first started reading comics. It follows the futuristic story of Spider Jerusalem, a disgruntled journalist who returns to the city after years away. It deals with some interesting ideas about politics, corruption and future social responsibility in the most stylish of ways.
That’s all for now, but if none of these appeal to you, hit me up and I’ll give you some more great recommendations. If you want a suggestion for a book about a specific superhero, ask away in the comments. Feel free to give this list to your friends, your children, your friends’ children and any other relations who may have an inkling to start reading comics.
Music pick: “Green Naugahyde” by Primus. Key tracks: Tragedy’s a’Comin’, Hennepin Crawler and Jilly’s On Smack