How To Start Collecting Comics
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Published by TOP4 Team
If you have been following Hollywood's recent output, you'll notice that more and more characters are popping out of comic book pages and leaping onto the big screen — from perennial favourites like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Wolverine and The X-Men. Some of your favourite action movies may also trace their origins to comic books movies like “Wanted,” “Kick-Ass,” “Scott Pilgrim,” “300,” “From Hell,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” “RIPD,” “Watchmen,” “Sin City” and “RED.”
On TV, a similar trend has emerged. Series like “The Walking Dead,” “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Arrow,” “Gotham,” “The Flash” and “Constantine” all had their start from the pages of comic books.
Even a few notable pop culture figures like The Wachowskis, Kevin Smith, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King and Joss Whedon dabbled in comics at one point of their lives.
Reading and collecting comic books will enable you to learn more about the characters you love and even their back stories, which are sometimes omitted from movies. You'll appreciate the works of emerging writers and artists or even earn from your collection. If you have always wanted to collect comics but don't know how to start, here are some helpful tips.
Dispel your misconceptions
Some people miss out on the joy of collecting comics because of a variety of misconceptions. Some think that you have to start from the beginning of a series or that you'll have a hard time searching for issues. Others have a preconceived notion that comic book stores are manned by unfriendly staff. Finally, some think that comic books are just all about superheroes.
None of these is true. You'll find that collectors are passionate about their hobby and willing to help newbies; ditto with comic book stores. There are different comic genres and you can begin collecting a particular series even if you haven't read issue number one.
Find what you like
Like toy collecting, it helps to narrow your focus down to a particular genre, character, writer, artist or series. If you are unsure of what exactly you like, you should take advantage of free comics or even borrow comics from your friends or the local library. Once you have a fair idea of what you like, you should visit comic book stores near your area.
Choosing a comic book store
Apart from proximity to your area of residence (or work), you'd want to frequent a comic book store with a wide selection of titles to choose from. You'd also want your chosen comic book store to be manned by friendly and knowledgeable staff who can help while starting out. Pay attention to the cleanliness of the store. A clean and dust-free store means that the staff understand how dust can cause comic books to deteriorate.
Making your first purchase
You know which titles to buy and you've found a comic book store. Now what?
You may want to start up with the current issue of a series that interests you and catch up by buying trade paperbacks or TPBs, which are reprinted collections of previous issues. You may also want to get back issues that are on sale. This will allow you to grow your collection quickly.
Apart from your local comic book store, you can find a few treasures in yard sales and swap meets.
Taking care of your collection
Whether you want to bequeath your collection to your future children or you think of comic books as an investment, it is crucial to learn how to take care of your collection. The simplest way to do that is to place each comic book in a plastic bag and put boards inside the bag. You should also store your comics in a box that is available in comic books stores.
These boxes will help in keeping your collection organised while shielding them from harmful sunlight. Also, you might want to carefully handle your comic books to avoid wear and minimise the transfer of oils from your hands.
Keep track of your collection
Another way to organise your collection is to maintain a list of the titles and issues you own. It does not have to be complicated but it must be organised. You can simply write down your titles on a notebook or use a spreadsheet software. Another benefit of listing down each title you own is that it will allow you to know which issues you currently have and which ones you should still hunt for.
Reach out to other collectors
Lastly, one good way to learn more about the hobby is to join online forums where fellow collectors hangout virtually. You may also want to attend comic conventions where collectors connect and interact with one another. If you are lucky enough, you might meet your favourite writers and artists.