As popular as superheroes are, the fact is that a lot of people are limited to t-shirts and TV shows. Not everyone actually reads comics, much less go out of their way to buy them. As someone who has only recently started reading comics, I have had some experience in being “convinced” to give them a go.
Before, I used to say that I didn’t get into comics because I prefer books with more words than there are pictures. It’s still true, actually, but with the little exposure I have had, I have come to appreciate the comic-reading experience; and I am glad I gave in.
If you’re a comic buff, and you’ve been trying to get someone into comics – whoever that someone may be – then here are some things you can do. Most of them worked on me. ;)
Start with a character they can relate to.
“They” got me with Batgirl. Barbara Gordon – smart, young woman, brutally shot by the Joker, fighting fear and her own demons, intelligence provider, and sassy crime fighter. That certainly got my interest, and when I first picked up The New 52 Batgirl…well, the rest is history. I think I have spent more hours than is healthy lying on the couch reading comics because of her.
So yes, if you want to get someone into comics, choose a character that he or she can most closely relate to. The chances are it will get them hooked.
Related reading: Most Popular Marvel Superheroes
Capitalize on other interests that can be a springboard to comics.
Here’s another entry point: something that the person already is interested in. In my case, I have been
addicted enthusiastically fond of the iPad game Injustice: Gods Among Us for a while. It was but the natural progression of things when I picked up the comics. As I regularly play the game, knowing the story behind the characters gave me even more pleasure. Although it is a divergent story arc (so I am told), I still enjoy it because of its connection to the game.
Another example: I’m a Doctor Who fan, and you know how that fandom goes – you grab most anything you see that has a connection. Doctor Who comics? Yes, they exist.
You can even find comic book versions of Game of Thrones and Wheel of Time. They’re excellent springboards for fantasy readers.
Related reading: These Superhero Hoodies Will Make You a Hoodie Convert
Highlight the best artwork.
If the person you’re trying to convince appreciates artwork, I think this is a good way to go about it. I am no expert, but from the different comics I’ve seen, I have been exposed to different drawing styles. This can be a starting point of discussion, and before you know it, that you’ve gotten that someone into comics!
Visit local comic book shops together.
This is rather cautious advice, as I am embarrassed to admit that I have had an unpleasant experience at a very crowded comic book store during a sweltering afternoon; but let’s not go there. The point is, where else can you experience comics and the culture that surrounds it in all its glory?
For sure, there are at least a couple of interesting comic book shops where you can take your friend for a good time. There are even cafes/bistros which are comics-themed, so even if they don’t always sell comics, the atmosphere (not to mention the action figures!) will help get anyone in the mood. For comics.
Go digital if you have to.
Before you balk, remember you’re trying to introduce someone to comics. You’re not talking about a hardcore collector who only buys comics to keep them in mint condition. There is nothing wrong with reading comics on the iPad as far as I’m concerned, and if the person you’re trying to convince is a tablet person, then go digital! You can even go hang out at Starbucks or someplace else and read comics together – using your own tablets, of course.
Talk comics non-stop.
This could go either way, really. On the one hand, if you just keep blabbering on and on about this character and that character, or this story line and that story arc, or this awesome drawing, etc., the person you’re trying to convince might just say, “F#ck it. I’ll give it a go just to shut him up!” On a more positive note, he or she might say, “That’s actually interesting. I’ll take a look.”
On the other hand…you know where I am going…it could turn that person off of comics for the rest of his/her life.
So for this last tip, I leave it to your discretion.
Comic buffs who have successfully gotten someone into comics, what do you think of these tips? What are your own strategies?