One small step for mankind, one giant leap for comics.

Introducing people to comics is great fun. They're full of questions and you're bouncy with glee that you get to answer or at least give your opinion in a knowledgable way, while being stared at with starry eyed awe. The one question that isn't always quite so easy though, is;
"Where is the best jumping on point for.."

Now, jumping on points for individual characters can vary from the recent trade to a change in writer, to a specific issue a while back and some extensive Wikipedia research. Jumping on points for the big two, universally, usually varies from event to event, with Marvel coming out well ahead for being new fan accessible.

Marvel seem to have grasped the art of the jump on point fairly well, with a lot of mini series and adequate back up for their ongoings as well the recent accessible "event", Civil War, which acting as a great jumping on point and marker to read back or forward from. The X-books aren't quite as simple to just jump in to, with a wide selection of X-titles with numerous crossovers running in and out of each other over the last few years, for a strong jumping on point you'd really have to go back to House Of M.

DC on the other hand tend to opt for long running, continuity heavy series, with little explanation or reference of what has gone before. To get a grasp on the state of the DCU and what it's characters have gone through you must really head all the way back to Identity Crisis and follow it through the major events that spiralled after that, Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Infinite Crisis, 52, Countdown and now Final Crisis, seemingly the least accessible of all. DC are trapped by their own continuity, their own fan base and their own company. Catering to the silver age and a fanbase that holds them back from innovation. DC itself a subsidary of Time/Warner, a subsidary of AOL and bring in barely a portion of the profits and subsequently are falling behind to Marvel on several fronts.

Wherever you jump on, if the character catches your attention there's always ways to find out more and to find out what you should be reading to head in the right direction. All else fails you, head to Wikipedia or just ask around, like I said...introducing people to comics is, and should be, fun.
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Hi, I'm Lee and I'm a Comicaholic.

I love comics. Over the last few years I have spent literally thousands of pounds (£1:$2) on graphic novels and comics. I've been a fan of comic heroes since I was a young lad, but a comic reader...collector, over the last few years.

I grew up watching the utter epic X-Men and Spiderman animated series during the early '90s. Series with continuity, including multiple episode storylines, action, drama with stories taken from the comics with no dumbing down. I was mesmerised, nothing else gave me such a range of different characters with so much depth and maturity.

I needed more. I needed the comics, but being in England, despite the few growing Forbidden Planet stores dotted around the country, finding a comic book store was like finding life from Krypton, pretty hopeless even if you know where to look.

So my fascination with comic heroes went on a back burner, every now and then I'd see an issue of X-Men, Spiderman or Wolverine and I'd snap it up, I'd watch old re-runs of the cartoons as well as others I'd missed from the '90s such as Incredbile Hulk, Iron man and the Fantastic Four. I watched and raved about the Blade films and couldn't wait to see Spiderman in the cinema as the years flashed forward.

2005. By now I finally had money that wasn't going to the car, girlfriend, rent or pub. Not only that, but I'd been on the internet a few years and found the Forbidden Planet website. Here was a calvacade of geeky dreams which I had never seen before and me with some spare change. Let's go shopping.

I needed to find an adequate comic jumping on point, I thought I'd stick with what I know...either X-Men or Spiderman, Spidey I'd just have a friend attempt to explain the clone saga to me and I developed a 1000 yard stare any 'nam vet would be proud of. So I opted for X-Men.

The site had a section for Marvel graphic novels and a subsection dedicted to the X-titles. I had no idea how many there were. I looked for characters I recognised, I saw storylines I recognised, but I wanted something that was issue 1. I picked up Grant Morrisons New X-Men 1 - 5.

Boy can I pick 'em. I loved it. There were characters I didn't recognise and plot points I didn't, but I was able to cope and what I didn't know just made me want to learn more as I picked up more X-books, books like the Phoenix Saga and Days of Future Past as well as some Wolverine titles.

I started looking around on the internet for new things to read and where to go next and decided my next port of call would be on a whole new continent. DC comics. I knew Batman, Superman, The Flash and they had a bunch of weird colour coded characters. Green Lantern? Red Tornado? Blue Beetle? How imaginative. Apparently, thank you internet, the book of the moment was Identity Crisis. I loved Identity Crisis. All these new characters taking center stage especially one of those weird colour coded characters, Green Arrow.

I loved this witty, intelligent, yet hot headed character and had to find out more and to my amazement he has a few new books out written by Kevin Smith! I know him! I was sold and they actually turned out to be pretty good and so my foray into DC was under way, next stop Batman and then the lead up to Infinite Crisis.

Trying to find out more about comics and the top comics people have read and what I should be reading, one name constantly came up on lists, Watchmen. Who was I to argue? I ordered a copy. I opened it up excited and flicked through. It was...well...pink. Where were the bright vibrant colours I'd become rapidly attached to? I put off reading it and buried my head back into my brightly coloured, brash world of heroes until my to read pile ran dry. I took it to work with me and started reading, it was slow and still pink and I was waiting for the fight scenes. I kept reading. The characters developed, the mysteries unfolded, the plots unravelled, my mind exploded. This was it, this was my hit too far, I was now a comic junkie.

After that came the spending. I read as much as I can afford and when my to read pile runs low I'm more than happy to reread some of the epic storylines holding up my bookcase. So thank you New X-Men, Identity Crisis and Watchmen. The three hits that created an addict.
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San Diego Comic Con.

I was there. I may have been 7500 miles away, but in many ways, I was there.

I've never been to a comic convention, I've only ever been to one convention at all and it was fairly small, though hey, I met Face and Murdock from the A-Team! ...I digress, the main convention for comics in the UK is Bristol International Comic Expo closely followed by Birmingham International Comic Show.

Both of which pale in comparison to their bigger, better, brasher American counter parts, especially the Daddy of them all, SDCC.

Though thanks to the Gods of the internet I was able to be right on the floor, hearing the gossip, seeing the sights, watching the videos, hearing the panels and to the people responsible for this, I thank you. Even if you were just able to tweet a few words about who you'd met, or your instant reaction to a panel announcment I could follow it right alongside you on Twitter, Newsarama, The Weekly Crisis and perhaps most fulfillingly, the Marvel team with Jim McCann and Marvel.com editor (twitter legend) Agent M.

Marvel were brilliant, so quick to get news up online and Live Interactive Blogs for every Marvel panel, where we were drip fed news, announcements and hilarity as and when it happened as well as putting up with our stupid questions and even manage to provide us with artwork (credit to Nogs back in NYC for that!).

Altogether this may have only been a taste of the entire event, but that taste has got me hooked and from now on I'll be putting some money aside to ship this Englander o'er the Oceans to sunny San Diego for comic-con '09 where I'll keep as many people up to date as often as I can.

Hopefully some of the people who made this year so fun will be there, I owe them drink/handshake/more stupid questions.
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First post, on my first blog, on my first foray into fully embracing internet culture.

So, specialist subjects? Comics, films and gaming. Other than that posts will mostly concern Lee related things, probably me bitching about work, the weather or anything. I'm English, we complain.

Okay, you've somehow stumbled onto my blog, hopefully the pretty colours momentarily keep your attention, while you're here...tell me, what do you look for in a blog, what makes you come back and keep up to date? Don't make me do a webcomic, I have bad luck with artists.
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