|Well if people don't own #1 then how do they know what is happening? To the best of my understanding it's a continuing narrative with a to be continued...thrown in at the end or whatever. It seems to me like buying a novel and starting at like chapter 4.
Most comics, at least within a particular story arc, have a small Cliff's Notes/ 'Here's What Happened So Far'-type recap on the first page. But you don't really have to worry that much, because these days writers (and artists) are shuffled so often that a coherent, single narrative is rare. Stories change, character personalities change, etc. I think comics are best when one team (creator/director, writer, artist) stays on the same book, at least until a major story arc is concluded.
The thing I hate most in comics is when they switch artists to someone with a completely different style, especially if it doesn't really fit the type of story being told.
Or they switch writers and a fun/goofy superhero comic becomes some grimdark, one-note, juvenile propaganda piece. Or when they get someone else to illustrate just a few pages in one book. I know they did it to make sure the comic is released on schedule, but still....Blech!
When I go to a comic book store, I usually look to see if they have back issues of Generation X (the only series I'm looking to collect anymore), then I dig through the 25¢ bin (very rarely 25¢ anymore
) for anything that catches my eye; a well done cover, or an artist I like working on the book. I almost never buy new comics because $3.00+ is too damned expensive, especially when 1/4 of the book is recap and advertisements.
But, I don't really have to worry about it much since the comic store I went to closed down (and was replaced by a gold buying-and-selling shop). There is only one comic shop left in the city (on the opposite side of the city from me), and is the only one within a hundred miles.
As for recommendations, I really like Bone
, and you can get it in an entire collection.
I also really liked the early Marvel Runaways
They started out selling good-sized collected volumes, but then switched to much smaller (yet nearly as expensive
And I liked what I've read of Invincible
, but I kind of fell out of reading it about 40 issues in...