A lot of people that come into a comic shop are newer readers, or ones that have fallen out of the loop. Which granted, if you haven’t visited a shop in a few months, its pretty easy to do. Comic news is as fleeting as it comes, along with books and tie-ins, its easy to miss.
So how do you bring someone into your world? Ask them about their childhood.
Everyone has fond memories of a show they watched or a comic they read as a kid. We’re at a time right now where introducing people to comics from The Big 2 is easier than ever, since Marvel Now! has started and DC’s New 52 is an easy jumping on point. Personally though, I go for the independents.
People in my age group (mid to late 20’s, early to mid 30’s) have a good recognition for certain things. Things like, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Voltron, Star Trek or Star Wars. Big names, all with current ongoing titles that are easy to jump onto. My two recommendations are these: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles current ongoing series by IDW, and Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise, also by IDW.
Now, lets face facts. I have a severely large soft spot for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT). I was 2 years old when the show aired, which granted I was not living in America at this time but it was played in syndication when I moved here. I put a lot of emphasis as to how I learned English was through television, and TMNT was one of the first shows and movie series I latched onto. So, severe soft spot. With that said, Kevin Eastman returns to the TMNT universe after legal mumbo-jumbo happened in 2008, beginning the series completely over in 2011. The most current ongoing still follows the beginnings of the Turtles, but with some slight changes (such as April O’Neil is now a scientist in the lab where the Turtles and Splinter are from) and has the same quirks that made the Turtles who they are in the first place. You’ll still feel like Shredder and Krang are out to get you, although we dive into Dimension X quicker than I remember. The only difference I don’t like? Severe lack of “Cowabunga!” being said…but you can’t have it all back I suppose! Starting up the current series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is easy as well. IDW presents awesome trade paperbacks and hardcover special editions, and if you really want to throw them back, they just put out a hardcover edition of the Color Classics line that is built like a pizza box. The current run does have 5 trades, which will get you to issue number 20. Number 22 just hit the racks last week, so if they just want to hit the current storyline without the trades, there is only two issues to pick up. Not too bad! If they really want to get interested, there are also Micro-Series tie-ins, also in trade form. They help with the story, but not a necessity. They are a lot of fun!
Honest truth, I had to be convinced to start reading Transformers, mainly for the task of it being two books instead of just one. But, trust me when I tell you that it is worth it. I start my readers off with Regeneration One a two-trade series to really get them reacquainted with the universe. If they don’t find that interesting then they won’t be interested in what is going on, also leaving me space to find what they are really looking for (usually can be filled with Saga or Locke & Key. But that’s another article.) If they do continue to be interested is when I introduce them to the two current series in that universe: More Than Meets The Eye and Robots in Disguise. The first thing I tell them is that there is no humans in this story, and really Optimus Prime is not around. This will make or break your reader, as both of these things were probably part of what they know. However, this is where your words of persuasion will come in. This is a deeply intellectual story of governments and politics, and how the world isn’t black and white but shades of grey. Coming from Transformers its different and new, but its fun. Its a way to remind us that our childhood grows up with us sometimes, and it has totally been done with this current series.
As I previously said, there are a lot of series that can bring you back to your childhood. I just wanted to give you the two I personally am most interested in. What are you reading this week? Are there series that you are reading now because it is something you enjoyed when you were younger?
Since I touched more on the Independent side of the comic universe, next I’ll head back to the Big 2 and let you know what I’m recommending for people. What are you interested in these days?