Adventures of a Comic Book Newbie: Where Do I Find Comic Back Issues?

Adventures of a Comic Book Newbie: Where Do I Find Comic Back Issues?

Hey everyone. It’s Swapna and I’m the managing
editor of If you aren’t familiar with Panels, we’re Book Riot’s sister website
and we are all about all things comics. We try to cater to new readers of comics. That
means we don’t gatekeep and we try to explain the more difficult aspects of comics. Comics
can be a really intimidating world to come into as a new person. It’s hard to find resources
to help you navigate it. So what we are trying to do is make that a little bit easier. If
you haven’t visited us, come over to You can also find us on Twitter @HeyPanels
and on Facebook at Paneldotnet with d-o-t spelled out. So we’re always happy to hear
your questions or requests for posts and things like that. So I’m going to be doing a few
videos here on Book Riot in this series, Adventures of a Comic Book Newbie just explaining different
things about the comics world and how to navigate it. Today I’m gonna talk about finding back
issues of comics. Let’s say you’ve gone into a new comic in trade, um, I’m going to use
Jem and the Holigrams as an example. This is from IDW. It’s by Kelly Thompson, Sophie
Campbell, and M. Victoria Roboto and it is amazing. If you haven’t read it or you haven’t
heard of it, um, it’s based on the you know, the 80s television series. But it is incredible
and inclusive, POC characters, LGBTQ+ characters. Um. So it’s, it’s an incredible comic. I love
it. So if you aren’t reading it you should be and the art is just incredible. OK I’m
going to stop talking about this comic. So let’s say you’ve read the first trade of Jem
and the Holigrams and you think “well, I love that series and I want to start reading the
issues.” So you go into your local comic shop where you buy comics but they’ve only got
the couple more recent issues and so you’re missing a few. Where do you go to find them?
It’s a really good question and it’s one that all comics lovers face, whether you’re a die
hard person who follows comics regularly or you’re new to comics. The first thing you
would do is if you already have a local comic shop, that’s actually your best bet. Go to
someone who works there and just tell them that you’re catching up on the series and
you want to order a few issues and they can order it for you. And it’s a simple easy way
to do it. You’re still supporting your local shop and, you know, everybody wins. Let’s
say you don’t have a local shop and you got this trade from the library or you ordered
it online or you got it at a bookstore. What do you do then? OK so there’s a few options
here. Uh. The one I would recommend that is easiest is Comixology. Read it digitally.
If you don’t want to support Comixology because they’re owned by Amazon, which is, you know,
fair and I know a lot of people who feel that way. You can, uh, you can usually find the
comics you’re looking for through the publisher themselves. They have, uh, most publishers
have a digital option you can buy directly from them. But what if you have been reading
in print and you prefer print? You don’t want to read digitally. That is also fair. So if
you don’t want to go into a local comic shop then I would suggest you turn online. You
can buy issues on places like eBay. You can usually find back issues pretty easily on
sites like that. If you’d rather order through a, let’s say, more reputable seller than like
an online auction site or third party site, some comics shops have online offerings. The
biggest of which is probably Midtown Comics. They’re a comic shop based in New York, so
you’re still support a local store. And you can usually find a lot of back issues on their
website. Another option is Discount Comic Book Service. It’s a online comic book shop.
And what’s interesting about Discount Comic Book Service is, um, as well as Midtown Comics
actually, they’re both really good options if you don’t have a local comic shop but you
still want to read in print and have a print pull list. They will actually mail your comics
to you. And Discount Comic Book Shop, as its name implies, you might not get things right
after they release, but you will get them at a discount. Those are just some options
available to you if you want to find some back issues. If you’re talking about stuff
that’s never been collected into trade or stuff that’s older, that’s really difficult,
um, I will be honest. If it’s not a current run, the issues probably aren’t being printed
anymore. You can get stuff in trades. If it’s never been collected into a trade, good luck.
I mean, this is stuff that comic book fans scour shops and comic cons for. It can be
difficult to find but there are a lot of options and resources out there for you to fill in
those back issues. Generally if you don’t have a comic book shop, it is just easier
to read in trades. That’s the nature of comics because trades are so much more widely accessible.
But if you want to support a comic, an inclusive comic or a comic by women or POCs or queer
creators, buying in issues, print issues from a comic book store is the best way to support
it. If that’s something you’re interested in, which the comic book industry — which
I’m not going to go into here — that is the best way to support it. And it can be frustrating
if you don’t have a local comic book shop and you want to read in issues. If you don’t
have a local comic shop and you’re looking for newer issues, a lot of uh, comics. local
comic book shop actually do have a pull list feature where they’ll just — they’ll order
the issues for you and mail you the issues. So this doesn’t work for back issues, but
if you’re looking for current issues. Like for example, one of my local comic shops,
Phantom Comics, which is an amazing, queer and feminist comic book shop. I would encourage
anybody, if you don’t have a great local shop that’s supportive of these types of communities,
I would definitely recommend that you check out Phantom and subscribe to their pull list
service. They will mail you new issues and you’re supporting a great local store that
promotes community and inclusivity. So if this was helpful, I realize there’s a lot
of different places you can go to find back issues of comics, but I’m hoping that one
or two of these resonated with you and you will try them out. And I’m going to plug Jem
and the Holigrams again because I love this comic so much. It’s so good and the art is
just beautiful and it’s everything, you know, it’s pink, and it’s, it’s so wonderful. Check
out this comic. And come check out Panels. You can, as I said, you can find us at Twitter
@HeyPanels or at Uh, you can find me on Twitter @skrishna and I’m always happy
to hear from you. If you have an idea of a future video you want to see here on Book
Riot that is aimed at new people to comics, please let me know and I will do what I can.

David Anderson

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2 thoughts on “Adventures of a Comic Book Newbie: Where Do I Find Comic Back Issues?

  1. Prarthana Seth says:

    I really wanna get into comics but I live in India and many of the popular ones are not available here and the comics that are available are too expensive…. So where I get started?

  2. Jean Cormac says:

    What is the difference between issues and trade?

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