LESSON 1 PT. 3: HOW TO READ COMICS

You’re almost there! First, we covered the basics, then the looks of it all, now some buzzwords you may hear in your trek into modern mythology.

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Hey and Welcome to the next Lesson.

You’re almost there! First, we covered the basics, then the looks of it all, now some buzzwords you may hear in your trek into modern mythology. May seem kind of corny, but it’s could mean the difference between knowing what “feats” means and sounding like an out-of-touch parent trying to make “fetch” happen.

Fetch is never going to happen.

BUZZWORDS for NEWBIES!

  • Alternate Universe (AU)
    • If a story takes place on another Earth/setting/timeline, they would all be considered AU.
      • Ex: Superman Red Son, Kingdom Come, Marvel Zombies
  • Canon
    • This is what is referred to continuity. All events that pertain to the overall plot and story are considered canon.
      • MARVEL NOW, ALL NEW ALL DIFFERENT, DC REBIRTH, NEW 52
  • Events
    • Much like Avengers films, comics’ stories also tend to build up to great big stories known as events
      • Ex: War of the Realms, Dark Knights Metal, Blackest Night
War of the Realms (2019)
  • Feats
    • A term used when showcasing a characters abilitiesIceman freezing to absolute zero instantly, The Flash outruns death, The Hulk holds up a mountain
  • Fridged
    • In Green Lantern #54 (1994), Green Lantern’s girlfriend is murdered and stuffed into his refrigerator. Fridged is a term used for a trope when a female character is raped, murdered or otherwise maimed to in service to a male character’s development.
  • Issue (#)
    • What is a chapter to a novel is an issue to a trade. Usually consisting of 20+ pages, issues are released bi-weekly or monthly to continue stories
      • Batman #20, Superman #3, Invincible Iron Man# 4
  • Mary Sue / Gary Stu
    • This is a term thrown around for characters who face no adversity in their story and already have strides to prove how great they are; for every problem, they already have the answer – one who can do no wrong.
      • Ex: Rey, Riri Williams, Batman
  • One-Shot
    • A story whose plot starts and stops with this its own pages: no backstory, no build up and no continuations
      • Superior, Watchmen, Supercrooks
  • Pre/Post Crisis
    • When referring to DC’s biggest, most influential reboots, you would use this to see when a specific moment took place.
  • Publisher
    • The company that that particular stories is being released under
      • DC Comics, Marvel Comics, YouNeek Studios, Etan Comics
  • Reboot
    • When canon starts anew with a newer/different direction
      • New 52, DC Rebirth, Crisis on Infinite Earths
Flashpoint (2011)
  • Retroactive Continuity
    • Retroactive Continuity (Retcon) is a term used to change what was already considered canon, post launch
      • Captain America as a Hydra Agent, Hal Jordan didn’t turn evil, Bucky didn’t die, Darth Vader knew about Luke Skywalker
  • Run
    • A term used when one is describing a particular creator on a specific project
      • Geoff Johns’ run on Teen Titans, Brett Booth’s run on Titans, Tom King’s run on Vision
  • Tie-In
    • A specific issue that runs parallel to an comic event
      • War of the Realms tie-in, Civil War II tie-in, Flashpoint tie-in
Sam Wilson: Captain America #11 — Civil War 2 Tie-In (2015)
  • Trade / Trade Paperback (TPB)
    • Also known as volumes, trade paperbacks are a collection of 5-7 issues of an overall story.

And now you’re ready! You learned how to find comics, the anatomy of a trade and now you mastered several key terms. With all these under your (utility) belt, the only question left is. . .

Where will YOU start?

Well, that’s all for now. So, until I become a millionaire or CBR answers my emails, I will see you for the next lesson.

Until then, class dismissed!

COMING SOON. . .!

Author: R.J. LEE

Over the past decade, it seems pop culture hasn’t become just “pop” anymore. Comic book movies are multi-billion dollar corporations, comics aren’t only for weekly Archie specials and video games have become an electronic sport competing with the likes of the Super Bowl! What happened? Where did the time go? It can all be a lot to take in and overwhelming at times, but what if I told you it doesn’t have to be? Like everything in life, nothing is hard to learn, you just need the right teacher and that’s where I come in. I’ll be your Lingo Liaison, your Coach for Comics, your Tutor for Trends, your Video Game Guru, your sensei from Sin City — My name is R.J. and I’m here to answer your FAQ’s of Life.

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