Anyone who recommends people get into comics with Watchmen should have their computer taken away and smashed with a bat.

A general recommendation of "the one book to get into comics" is bullshit, anyway.

For some, it's gonna be Raina Telgemeier, or a single X-Men issue from 1994, or reading a Scott McCloud book, or webcomics, or a Chinese copy of Maus they found in a hotel room and can't actually understand -- there's no one-book-fits-all.

What "start with Watchmen" communicates is: "I think it's the best one, and my opinions haven't changed since 1995."

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How *I* got into comics is essentially impossible to recommend outside of the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, and 1993 -- Donald Duck comics don't tend to exist in the same way, and you're not learning to read.

How I got into superhero comics is with Ultimate Spider-Man, and though that's aged pretty well, it's extremely 2001, extremely decompressed, and not something I'd necessarily recommend to a new reader in 2019.

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Basic questions to ask someone who says they want to get into comics:

* How familiar are you with the form? Do you read any webcomics, or manga?
* What makes you say you wanna get into comics? A recent movie, or TV show? Something you read online?
* When you say you wanna get into comics, what are you talking about wanting to get into exactly? Superhero stuff?

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If somebody's not very familiar with reading comics, "start with Watchmen" is like telling someone to get into action movies by starting with six very serious Italian films.

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@Alexis @minx so ... with what shall I start then? πŸ™ƒ

@maj @minx Depends!

* What makes you want to start reading comics?
* Are we talking superheroes specifically, or comics in general?

@Alexis @minx I like storytelling and comics provide that. All superhero comics I looked into so far I didn't like though. but I would give it another shot.

@maj @minx What have you read, and what didn't you like?

First recommendations, all for if you wanna read superhero stuff but feel the overwhelming continuity gets in the way:
* Robert Kirkman's Invincible is a standalone -- indie, so not Marvel or DC -- superhero story over about ~150 issues.
* All-Star Superman is absolutely beautiful, and really sells what I like about the character.
* Nextwave, irreverent superhero action comedy juuuust off to the side of the Marvel Universe.

@Alexis @dirk when I thought about what I didn't like: I'm instant overwhelmed when it comes to classic superhero stories because I never know where to start. I always feel like that I already need all this knowledge about the hero and the universe to enjoy it in the first place. I can hardly relate to the characters because it's all references. so ... maybe I need a beginning?

@maj Yeah, that's one of the big problems with the big superhero universes, and a completely reasonable complaint -- I hope you don't mind me asking you some more questions:

* What's your, say, top three favourite non-superhero TV shows, movies?
* Are there any superheroes you're specifically interested in?
* Are you okay with me recommending comics from, say, the 1960s? Or would you prefer to read something modern, from the past few years?

@Alexis recent tv shows I love: Sense8, Star Trek, Orphan Black, Dowton Abbey, Grace & Frankie πŸ˜†, no specific Super Hero but "lonesome cowboy" stories bore me, old stuff is fine but I'm concerned that I won't find them?

long posts, recommendations 

@maj Okay, here are some recommendations.

All of these should be relatively affordable on Amazon, or are at least easily accessible on digital comics services Comixology and/or Marvel Unlimited.

* THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL -- all-ages book, still running. Comp-sci student Doreen Green fights crime with her squirrel sidekick Tippy-Toe. Fun, charming, clever, warm. Very much exists in the broader Marvel Universe without assuming you know anything.

long posts, recommendations 

@maj

* RUNAWAYS -- teen book, what the Hulu show is based on. Six teenagers run away from home when their parents turn out to be supervillains. A little darker, but fun, and the original series can be Very Mid-2000s sometimes, but I think this one holds up. Has cool canonical queer characters. Wolverine and other guest stars show up sometimes, but very much does its own thing.

long posts, recommendations 

@maj

* ALIAS -- the dark, mature audiences book the JESSICA JONES Netflix show is based on. Former superhero -- well, she tried, briefly -- turns to a life as a private investigator. Very dark, very grim, but cool and snappy, and one of the best crime stories ever told in the superhero context.

Content warnings very much apply for serious sexual violence, serious mind control, substance abuse, that kind of thing.

long posts, recommendations 

@maj

* Any collection that collects the first issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN or FANTASTIC FOUR. These are well-liked classics for a reason, and they're some of the best comics ever printed -- even if the dialogue can be a bit overly wordy sometimes. (I mean, it's the 1960s!)

long posts, some notes 

@maj With all of these, I would recommend looking up what the interior art looks like before you commit to a purchase -- there should be easy preview pages on Comixology for all of them.

If you do end up wanting to buy something, please don't hesitate to ask me exactly what to get -- there are occasionally multiple things called "volume 1" -- hardcovers, softcovers, various relaunches, original graphic novels -- and I know it can get confusing.

long posts, some notes 

@maj I don't think I've recommended anything particularly odious -- outside of ALIAS, to which, well, like I said, serious content warnings apply -- but please keep in mind that the older it gets the less socially conscious it is by modern standards.
A book from 2004 might be more male gaze-y than it would be today, and the 1960s stuff can get a little... women have fainting spells sometimes, that kind of thing.

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long posts, an additional recommendation 

@maj

Also, I wrote this rec up before I saw the Complete Collections were out of print, so you can get only get them second-hand for about double the original retail price, and I dunno what your budget is, but still:

long posts, additional recommendation 

@maj
* The Dan Slott run on SHE-HULK -- Jen Walters, turned into the SHE-HULK from a blood transfusion from her cousin Bruce Banner, juggles personal life with careers as superhero and lawyer. Revels in the continuity of the universe, but plays with it, enjoys it, has fun.
Not a beginning, so much, but think of it as -- She-Hulk was on another show, and this book is her spin-off. Accessible to a new audience, doesn't pretend the old stuff didn't happen.

not a long post 

@Alexis Oh my gosh! Thank you very much! I own an ipad so I guess an easy access would be digital editions. I googled and learned about comixology. I think I will give this a try

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