There are fan curated reading lists for popular comic book characters by the shed-load. And while these may be pretty in-depth resources, they’re not exactly authoritative enough for new readers who want to be certain that they truly are immersing themselves in the world of the comic book character that they’ve suddenly taken an interest in.
There is also the added disadvantage for libraries that do stock trades and graphic novels, in that they too have no resources (beyond buying lists form distributors) as to what they should be stocking for the comic reading public. Truly, I feel (and others that I have talked to) that the world needs comic book/trades/graphic novel reading lists – curated by comic book publishers – that include important story arcs for their characters.
However, this approach only makes sense if publishers either release key comic book content digitally or edit it into trade volumes that can be easily picked up. Regardless of how the content is put out into the world, there needs to be some kind of reading lists so that new readers know where to start. In fact, if I was curating such a list (not that I have the background knowledge to do so for any character) I would include links to store fronts for digital editions and/or preferred physical retail versions of the titles.
For both Marvel and DC, something needs to be done, as they have some of the longest running characters in the industry. And to people such as myself, and others, reading older content outside of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe – for instance – can seem a near impossible task. It’s almost akin to how Doctor Who and River Song keep on meeting out of sync across time and space in the Doctor Who TV series – you end up reading Hush before Cataclysm, and so on.
At the same time, with the success of many comic book films throwing new readers towards publishers, would it not make sense to enable them to buy and read their content?
And DC really need something to help people understand the New 52.
Can’t we just have something, please?
The above was the result of a Skype conversation in which at least three people cried in virtual reality due to the lack of officially curated reading lists.