I remember was first introduced to comic books by one of my first boyfriends, whom I indulged. It was, by the way, the death of our relationship: he took me the store, and reluctantly handed me She-Hulk I dumped him within a week, hoarding my own stack of X-Men. He probably looked at the comics, looked at me, and asked, ‘But why?’ He underestimated me, and I couldn’t abide by that. It killed the relationship, but struck up a life long love of comics. I’ve always loved books as well as movies and TV, so the cinematic flair of the visual aspects combined with storytelling just works for me in comics.
Let me break down the difference between comic books and graphic novels. Comics are shorter, come out monthly, and are stapled together, and thus have a more magazine like look and feel to them. Most graphic novels combine issues into a more book-like format with a spine: four to six issues tend to be fairly standard, although I’ve seen both shorter and longer graphic novels as well as original graphic novels. Comics are usually slightly more expensive than their bound counterparts, although if you’re into digital reading, I highly suggest Comixology. You can find many, many sales as well as a collection offree comics.
Finally, please let it be noted: I don’t know everything about comics. I tend to specialize. I will get into one character, or writer, or franchise and focus heavily on that. Marvel was my introduction, it’s been the publisher I’ve been most heavily invested in – emotionally and monetarily – and is my primary love.
I’m going to recommend some comics by publisher.
Wolverine, and the X-Men, were some of my first Marvel hits. Claremont’s runs are always excellent. Morrison’s New X-Men run is superb, relatively newer work. For classic Wolverine, I’d suggest Weapon X, which tells of how he got the metal in his bones. Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men is a must read (as is his Doctor Strange.) If you like your Wolverine a little more girl-powered, try Tom Taylor’s All-New Wolverine, which focuses on Wolverine’s clone, Laura Kinney.
I love the All-New Ghost Rider, as seen on Agents of SHIELD. But I loved him before he hit the small screens, from his first appearance in All-New Ghost Rider. He was a little more diverse, the car is super hot, and I loved the mastery of how he became the Ghost Rider. His new series Ghost Rider is a little less impressive to me, but it’s only a couple issues in so I’m giving it more of a chance.