The Beginner's Guide To Comic Books
Ok, just like the title says this is mainly for those that have interest in following comics, but there are things we can all learn here. Like everyone else on Earth, some comic fans can be elitist so it's understandable why some newcomers choose to hide their ignorance. Here's where I come in. I usually write the posts I would want to read, but this is for a slightly different audience. Whenever I try out new things, there is usually a surprising lack of good information on how to start. So that's why I am here now...
Read the Basics!
Very simple first step. The benefits of the internet are bountiful. Just figure out what character you're drawn to or like at first then google some "the best stories of" lists and get reading! Most of the top 5's of these lists are usually the same titles just in different orders. Personally, I read titles I am interested in online first then purchase them after if I liked or loved them, which is roughly 80% of the time.
Credit: The AV Club
After you read one that you really love, make note of the artist and the writer. Then look them up. You can look anywhere but I find comicbookdb.com to be the most complete and organized comic bibliography online. This will lead to other names and so forth. CBR ranked the best artists and writers in a pair of long, extensive lists with samples in the artists' case. I highly recommend that.
Arguing and Banter!
One of the main pastimes we engage in is arguing with other fans (meme making I guess is a modern extension of this). Usually these are kept friendly, but sometimes not so much, so please DO NOT argue with someone if you're not confident that you pretty much know the basic points and rebuttals. A basic argument for example is "Who would win in a fight between ___________ and Superman?".
I personally hate arguing and try to avoid it because it's practically impossible that anybody is going to alter their views just because of an argument. They also get needlessly vile and personal sometimes as I said. I MUCH rather just banter with fellow fans about how great/awful this or that was and what we loved/despised about it. I love sprinkling in some little known details whenever I can too because sometimes they're hilarious. Another good thing to talk about is the big names that you've had the chance to meet and how they were.
Oh man, I love buying stuff. This is pretty straightforward. Just buy comics, statues, figures etc. featuring your favorite character and find a nice place to show it all off. I myself spend way too much time looking up others' collections online for ideas.
Go to Cons!
Credit: New York Times
Comic Cons are amazing. I love them and go to about 3 or 4 a year currently and went to a bi-monthly one in Manhattan when I was younger for a couple of years consecutively. If you truly love comics, a convention is an annual pilgrimage. The stuff for sale there alone is worthwhile. But add to that autograph signings of artists and writers, q&a panels and cosplay girls and you get an can't-miss event.
It's not work, all of this should be fun, and if it's enjoyable, it isn't really work, and if it's not enjoyable (or leading to it eventually) then you shouldn't be doing it.