I’ve been reading comics off and on for several years now, but I still consider myself a bit of a newbie. Mostly because I haven’t been reading them consistently. I thought it’d be fun to periodically talk about comics here….because why not? Since I’m still getting the hang of how comics work, today I want o talk about three things I’m embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know about comics until relatively recently.
- Pull lists are a thing.
I had no idea what a pull list was the first time I set foot in a comic book shop. I thought that you had to show up every Wednesday and hope that the issue(s) you wanted hadn’t been sold out. If you couldn’t make it into the shop on Wednesday, you were screwed, I thought. Imagine my surprise to learn that you could request titles in advance! And your shop would hold them for you! And doing this could help keep a struggling series afloat!
- Trades are also a thing.
There was this one time a few years ago when I decided I really wanted to read the New 52 run of Wonder Woman. By that point, there was already a ton of issues out and I thought I’d have to buy each issue individually. Because I didn’t realize that trades were a thing that exists. So I went to the comic book shop prepared to take my chances and spend quite a bit of money. The shop ended up having many, but not all, the issues that were out. When I took the issues I could find to the counter, the very helpful employee I encountered said, “you know, there’s a trade of this over there.” And pointed to a shelf on the wall opposite from where I’d been looking. Whoops. My mind was blown.
Don’t have access to a comic book shop? Not enough space? Digital comics can help with that.
You guys. It wasn’t until very recently that I even discovered that things like Comixology and Marvel Unlimited even existed. And while these services have their limitations (I think buying comics a la carte from Comixology can get expensive – I feel that there should be some discount on buying a comic digitally; Marvel Unlimited’s selection is obviously limited to Marvel comics), they make it possible to read comics if you don’t have access to a comic book shop or a place to store physical comics.
What are some of the things about comics that took you time to figure out?