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  1. #1
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    Default What would you recommend to others?

    I love sharing my books, particularly to those that “never read comics”. I usually try to find out what they like reading and start from there, as I think I’ve got enough to give them a taste of something different from what they think comics are. Well it’s more what I think they think comics are. Most the time they say something generic I already know so that doesn’t help - “I like good stories”. Yeah, wait’ll you check out Lost Girls.

    I look at my collection and always come down to the same few titles (Preacher, Books of Magic, Fables, Locke & Key, Y the last man...) but can never seem to decide which and end up overwhelming them with choice or the size of the volume. Like From Hell, that’s like “Here read this motherfucker!” Most of the time they never actually read it unless they’ve read some before or know about the titles. It’s not the same when they just want to read the book before or after they see the movie.

    Always want to recommend Lucifer but feel I should push Sandman first then I think that first volume would be a struggle as it is still entrenched in the old newsstand release style. And both these are 11 volumes. Fables I’m kinda over. Good series are only good because they are so long and developed everything over years of build up. Preacher at least is just a nice starter with a cool quick twist. I really want to share Invisibles, Promethea and Doom Patrol, but they can be a bit over the top. Transmetro might be the best for guys but it’s the ladies that are willing to try my stuff and I’d rather something more than that.

    I do try to avoid the good superhero recommend but do want people to eventually read Watchmen or Powers or Astrocity or All Star Superman. Maybe Black Hole, Persepolis or Ghostworld? However these are my nicer formats and I have to weigh the thought on how they handle these books... I have trades I lend willy nilly, then I have stuff that never goes out like omni’s. Deluxe’s and other hardcovers I guess are good to impress... Nice ones I like showing off are Asterios Polyp and Jimmy Corrigan.

    Criminal would be another if I hadn’t given that away (did I just miss a reissue?). Sweet tooth or Chew? I dunno, I overwhelm myself and think I should only choose a couple. One good series starter, one self contained and maybe one that looks nice. What else would you guys consider?

  2. #2
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    I'd recommend Y the last man, Saga or Criminal(or Fade Out) first. Those ones immediately spring to mind right now (and when I read them) for things that non comic book readers might like and are ones I'd recommend first before all others (for what I've read). Preacher is close too. And personally I'd stick to lending out paperbacks. What you consider careful handling of books is probably quite different from what a non-collector considers careful handling.
    The Invisibles is not a smooth read. I am actually finishing it now and love it but its not one I would recommend right away. I'd probably recommend Doom Patrol before it but not before something like Y-the last man or preacher. But even Doom Patrol might prove too dense and weird for a first time non-comic book reader.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Enigma's Avatar
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    As introductions go... Y: The Last Man was my introduction and I think that it is a good first choice. I would also recommend DEMO/Local and Fables.
    “We have a saying, my people. Don’t kill if you can wound, don’t wound if you can subdue, don’t subdue if you can pacify, and don’t raise your hand at all until you’ve first extended it.”

  4. #4
    Spectacular Member pjerooo's Avatar
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    Daytripper, City of glass, Maus, From hell, Blankets etc.

  5. #5
    I am the law Judge Dredd's Avatar
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    Y the Last Man have given this to many non comic readers and they usually come out wanting to read some more comics.

  6. #6
    Fantastic Member bob fett's Avatar
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    Box office Poison
    Saga
    Umbrella academy
    Parker books by Cooke.
    DC,I need Bronze Age Batman,Green Lantern,and Flash collected.Please,and thank you.

  7. #7
    Hello from the gutter Mad Hatter's Avatar
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    Bone

    (stupid 10 characters minimum rule)

  8. #8
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    You can't go wrong with The Sandman. The Sandman is what hooked me to comics. I was so blown away when i read the first volume at high school. I was reading Forgotten Realms, Dragon Lance etc. fantasy books back then and i thought to myself like ''wow... The Sandman comics is even better than all the fantasy books which i read so far... Amazing... comics is the real deal.'' and i'm hooked ever since.

  9. #9
    Moderator Balakin's Avatar
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    I've found that most non comic readers enjoy books that read like a tv series. Before the Avengers movies came out (or even had one in sight) I recommended the Ultimates to people who were interested in comics because reading it felt like watching a big budget movie being played out on paper.
    Now I usually say Locke and Key (most people like horror and gripping human drama and that series has both and it's excellent). Sleeper, Y, Ex Machina. If they want superheroes maybe USM, Daredevil if they liked the netflix stuff or the Nolan Batman movies, Gotham Central for the same reason.
    But each to their own, I have a friend who didn't much care for Sleeper but loved the Unfabulous 5 (it's a luchador comic from Humanoids). Also I recommended Preacher to him but turned out he is a devout catholic so that wasn't exactly the right movie...

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    David Petersen, creator of Mouse Guard, talked about sharing comics with readers who aren't into comics during his keynote speech at last year's Ringo Awards. He said the biggest danger is trying to sell people on your favorites without any regard for the things they like to read already, and the second is to try to hook them with a long series when they may just want a single book to read. Recommend them a 10 or 11 book series and they will be daunted and likely not start a) because it may be too long, and b) it may be too much of a financial commitment if they do like it. Start small, start with quality and find out what types of stuff they are already reading (not what they want to read or try, stuff they have read an enjoyed already and find comics that are like those things (similar genre, similar themes, similar characters, etc.). Just because you love something doesn't mean its someone else's cup of tea because they don't have the same experiences you have had to shape their tastes, particularly if they aren't already a comics reader.

    One of the books Petersen singles out that he has had a lot of success with in Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards by Jim Ottavani and company. It's a story of a rivalry between two paleontologists during the golden age of paleontology, but lots of people like dinosaurs, history, and the old west, plus it's got phenomenal art and the story focuses on a professional rivalry with compelling characters (who happen to be real people), all of which can serve as a draw and a hook for people who may not be comics readers before hand, and can provide a wonderful first experience reading a comics that will inspire them to seek out more stuff in the medium.

    There's even a trailer for it on Youtube...



    Once you have won their trust with a recommendation they have enjoyed, they will come back to you for more, and then you can try longer series or more personal favorites. but the goal should be to help them become comics readers not to get them to read the stuff you like. Always remember that, even when they say I just want to read good stories find examples of what they think are good stories in other mediums. What movies do they like? What books do they like? What TV shows do they like? And then find a single volume that hews to that.

    If they like Crime, try one of the Parker adaptations, or a volume of Criminal, or Thief of Thieves, or Torso by Bendis.

    If they like science, try something like Dignifying Science (again by Ottavani), or Genius by Stephen T. Seagle, or Feynman from FirstSecond publishing

    If they like history, try Boxers & Saints by Gene Yang Luen, or Templar (again from FirstSecond), or Shanower's Age of Bronze or March Book One or Tenements, Towers and Trash, or Kubert's Fax form Sarajevo, Yossel or Dong Xoaia, Vietnam 1965 or Eisner's Last Day in Vietman

    If they like science fiction, try Shattered Warrior by Shannon Shinn and Molly Knox Ostertag, or RASL by Jeff Smith

    If they like drama try some Eisner stuff like A Contract with God or The Building

    If they like sports try Clemente or Pele or something similar.

    If they like magic realism or relationship drama try The Sculptor by Scott McCloud.

    If they like fantasy try Bone by Jeff Smith or Gaiman's Stardust or Books of Magic or Matt Smith's Barbarian Lord (that one has a youtube trailer too).

    If they like superheroes try something like The Shadow Hero by Yang and Liew or Darwyn Cooke's DC New Frontier

    etc. etc. The point is find them comics they will like because they already like what the comic is about. Once they get a taste for comics, then you can expand their horizons and make suggestions of stuff you really dig too, but if you make a bad first recommendation they will never trust you to make another, so make the first one count and make it something that they already have a taste for outside comics.

    All the stuff recommended by OP is good, but long series are not a good first recommendation and a lot of them require some familiarity with comics as a medium already and a huge commitment to start with. Single volumes. Complete stories with a beginning, middle and end. Something they are already inclined to like. OGn rather than reprint collections make a good first step. Save the longer stuff for when they have already become a comics reader. And keep funneling stuff they are inclined to like until they do.

    -M
    Comic fans get the comics their buying habits deserve.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member MRP's Avatar
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    You can see Petersen's keynote speech if interested...



    it's cued up to just as Petersen is introduced.

    -M
    Comic fans get the comics their buying habits deserve.

  12. #12
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    In most cases, i’d go with The GOON. It’s a good “gateway” comic imho. Great art and a nice range of tone from outright comedy to fairly serious noir horror. Possibly Hellboy if I thought the person might not be as much into the gags...

    I really don’t have many (even any) occasions to try and get anyone into comics though. It’s not something that comes up for me really...

  13. #13
    Incredible Member NeathBlue's Avatar
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    If you haven’t looked at some of the British comics from the late 70’s and onwards, the Judge Dredd reprints, Origins being a pretty good one to start... Also things like A.B.C Warriors, Roque Trooper, Strontium Dog, Robo-Hunter etc

  14. #14
    I am the law Judge Dredd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeathBlue View Post
    If you haven’t looked at some of the British comics from the late 70’s and onwards, the Judge Dredd reprints, Origins being a pretty good one to start... Also things like A.B.C Warriors, Roque Trooper, Strontium Dog, Robo-Hunter etc
    All good great, but do not know if they are the best bets for new comers they are a very different beast then what people in the US expect as comics.

  15. #15
    Incredible Member NeathBlue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judge Dredd View Post
    All good great, but do not know if they are the best bets for new comers they are a very different beast then what people in the US expect as comics.
    Very true, the dialogue especially might be off putting to an American buyer... But get used to it and the style of art, and I think they’d be surprised how good they are.
    There’s plenty of epic Dredd stories, but I think Origins would be a great place to start even though he’d been going for years before it.

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