Welcome to ComicsTrove Comic Book Resources
This page exists for one main reason. To be the best centralized comic book portal filled with comic book resources, for you, the comic book reader and anyone else interested in the world of comic books.
No matter what stage you’re at as a comic book fan and collector, the comic book resources available here are intended to help you address questions that arise in the course of comic book collecting.
Stage 1 – All they do is make superhero movies now, I might as well read some of the comic books that started it all:
- Why should I read comic books?
- How do I start reading comic books?
- Where can I buy comic books?
- What is a pull-list, and why should I care?
- I’ve heard of comic book apps for my iPad. However, floppy’s, omnibuses, and absolutes. What are these?
Stage 2 – I have two long boxes at capacity and a bookcase loaded with TPB’s and Funko POP’s:
- What is the best way to store and preserve my comic book collection until it appreciates to a value where I can quit my job or give it away as an inheritance?
- I’m enjoying my weekly pull-list floppy’s however I’m thinking of only buying collected editions now, what do I do?
- Do I have a Funko Pop problem?
Stage 3 –Among my pop culture memorabilia, I’m the proud owner of some golden age and silver age first appearances and key comic books:
- What is comic book grading and why should I care?
- Is ebay a good marketplace to buy and sell my comic books?
- I feel like doing a 20+ movie marathon of the entire MCU movie universe before the next movie is released. What is the correct order to watch them all?
- I still don’t think the movie marathon is enough to occupy my time. How can I include all of the MCU tv shows in this mix?
No matter what stage you're at with your comic book collecting, the comic book resources below have something for you. Read and enjoy the material below, if you find this information useful please share with others you know who would benefit from having this resource.
Feel free to contact us with any feedback or recommendations to improve this page.
Comic Book Collecting - Stage 1
Why should I read comic books?
Like most things in life, the genre and the medium that is comic books, has seen its up’s and downs. Throughout the years comic books have been in vogue or literally burned at times.
In this current time of superhero movie madness, you would think that the tangible comic book industry would be thriving in a new renaissance era. Unfortunately, that is not case. The movie’s it turns out, are only fueling more movies. To make matters worse this is beginning to incur brain drain on the comic book industry.
For example, Ed Brubaker, an amazing comic book writer of the modern era and the writer of the iconic Captain America series The Winter Solider, is spending more time contributing and advising on the film side. You can’t really fault him as at the end of the day there is just more money to be made being part of filmmaking than comic book creation.
What could help spur great comic book talent to continue with the trade is more demand. With that being said, there are actually a few beneficial reasons you may want to consider taking up reading comic books.
According to Scribendi, an editorial company to the higher education field, comic books can help people to truly enjoy reading. This can be great if you are not naturally inclined to pick up a novel and start reading. The intense visuals combined with the flashy characters and plots may provide that spark of “interesting” that novels and other short stories never have.
Furthermore, want to think outside of the box? Comic books require readers to discern meaning in unique ways by using multiple modalities. This means that while reading a comic book your brain has to process the visual, spatial, and textual information in order to comprehend the story. The next time a friend or family member tries to discredit your comic book reading habits, you know what to tell them.
In addition to the positive benefits that reading comic books may have on the brain, comic books and graphic novels transcend the typical superheroes versus the supervillains stereotype. These stories can be just as deep by way of emotions and themes as a favorite novel.
How do I start reading comic books?
Getting started with reading comic books is a really straight forward process. That is of course, after you have decided upon the medium in which to view and read your newfound comic books.
At the end of the day, comic book reading and collecting is not a cheap hobby or past-time. The cost of sourcing this material in either digital or physical formats can add up very quickly.
There are two main questions you want to ask yourself upfront. If money is no issue for you then skip to question two.
- What is my monthly budget?
- Do I want to buy digital comic books, physical comic books, or both?
Okay, so you have identified your max comic book spend each month, now comes the hard part. Digital or physical comic books? I can’t answer that question for you (cough, cough... tangible) as it’s all a personal preference.
In the following sections I’m going to break down your best options for sourcing digital and physical comic books. All you have to do is ensure you stay within your monthly budget.
The best digital comic book resources:
- ComiXology – Certainly, the best digital library offering comic books from all the top publishers. Marvel, DC, Vertigo, Image, and Dark Horse, among many others. ComiXology is an Amazon company and above all, the leader in digital comic book resources
- Marvel Digital Comics Shop – As the name suggests, the best source for all your marvel digital comic book al la carte needs.
- Marvel Unlimited – If you are purely a Marvel comic book fan this may be a great option for you. For a low monthly fee, you gain access to Marvel’s vast library of past, present, and future comic books. Think of it like a like a Netflix subscription, only for your Marvel digital comic books.
- DC Digital Comics Shop – If DC is your publisher of choice, this functions the same way as the Marvel digital comics shop. Here you can buy individual comic books and collected editions.
- DC Universe – The innovative comic book resources from DC Comics are still in beta testing right now. This is DC’s answer to Marvel Comics Unlimited service, except, DC saw Marvel’s unlimited digital comic book resources and raised them streaming Movies and TV shows! Pre-Orders are being accepted now with 3 months free when your purchase a full year at $74.99. Not a bad deal if you’re a die-hard DC fan. Speaking of monthly budgets, that’s only $6.25 monthly!
The best physical comic book resources:
- Things From Another World – TFAW is by far the best online shop with a local feel to buy your comic books from. They have excellent prices where pre-orders are 20% off and you can always find recently released comic books they are trying to clear out for 50% off. Speaking of local feel, if you happen to be in Milwaukie, Portland, and Beaverton, Oregon, or the Universal Studios Citywalk in Los Angeles, feel free to grab your books in person. TFAW is the ComicsTrove store of choice! Did I mention they offer cheap worldwide shipping? Check them out and create your pull list today! Finally, TFAW has the premiere comic book resources for the avid comic book collector.
- Your Local Mom and Pop Shop – These are the legendary stores of old. To walk into the sacred ground of your local comic book shop, means you should not leave empty handed. Buy at least one comic book, Funko Pop, or other memorabilia if you enter these halls. Remember, the shops still standing today have survived the 90’s, .com bubble bursts, 2008 financial crisis, and still face pressures today with the advent of digital comic books. Pay them the respect they are due.
- Amazon – First of all, not so good for single issue floppies. Excellent for collected editions such as omnibuses and absolutes. Finally they are the best source for comic book resources such as mylar protective sleeves and acid free backing boards.
What Is a Comic Book Pull-List?
Comic book subscriptions (Pull-List) are the best way to ensure that you'll never miss an issue of your favorite comic books. Even better, you'll save 20% at TFAW.com! With a few clicks, you can easily subscribe to your favorite DC Comics, Marvel Comics, or Dark Horse Comics titles--or to thousands of other comics by Image, IDW, and more.
- Benefits of TFAW's Subscription (Pull-List) Service
- Save 20-35% each month automatically
- Subscribe to mini-series, one shots, and annual issues
- No up-front payment needed--you don't pay until your books ship
- Choose your shipping schedule: weekly, bi-monthly, monthly
- Subscribe to more than single issues! Got a favorite graphic novel series? They will remember to order it for you
- Orders are expertly packed and shipped so your books arrive in great condition
- Knowledgeable and friendly customer service
- (optional) Weekly TFAW email newsletter to keep you informed of the hottest upcoming titles
Comic Book Formats:
- Single-Issue Floppy – These are your standard 30-page individual comic books available from all Marvel, DC, and various publishers.
- Trade Paper Back (TPB) - Collected runs of usually 5-10 single floppy issues.
- Omnibus Editions – Are comic book series collections offered by certain publishers such as Marvel and DC. These collections provide full color compilations of several comics, aiming at complete runs.
- Absolute Editions - series of archival quality printings of graphic novels published by DC Comics and its imprints WildStorm Productions and Vertigo. Each is presented in a hardcover, dust jacketed and slip cased edition with cloth bookmark consisting of one or more books which include restored, corrected and recolored versions of the original work, reprinted at 8 inches by 12 inches. Also included are supplemental materials regarding the creation of the work, including sketches, comic scripts and memos.
Well Done, You’ve Made it To Comic Book Collecting - Stage 2
Comic book resources for comic book collections, storage, preservation:
As a comic book collector, you are inherently a comic book conservator. The comic books you buy, hold, and sell or give away later will invariably become a part of history if taken care of properly.
This is a very extensive topic and would be too long to cover in this post. Keep checking back for when I cover this very important aspect every serious collector needs to master. In the meantime, start following these three best practices now and also reference the links below.
- Always bag and board your comic books using acid free boards.
- Handel the comic books as little as possible when reading to maintain their integrity.
- Store upright out of direct sunlight in an acid free cardboard box, such as those made by BCW.
Are collected editions better than the individual comic books?
In the life of a comic book collector this is a very personal question. If you can afford both regularly, why not. Most of us have to pick and choose. If that’s your case, then here are the pros and cons of choosing to collect floppies and collected editions.
Single Issue Comic Books:
If you are subscribed to pre-orders on your pull-list, this is the bleeding edge of being able to read each new release as they come out.
Ultimately costs more as the average comic book cover price is $3.99 per issue.
Collected Edition Comic Books (Excluding Hardcover’s, Omnibuses, Absolutes, etc.):
Waiting for collected editions to be released means just that, you have to wait. Who wants to do that? If you have the patience, these trade paper backs reward you with cost savings and the ability to read a larger block of a comic book at once.
If you troll comic book forums beware… waiting for these editions means, there are spoiler landmines at every turn.
Do I have a Funko Pop Problem?
Again, this is another personal question that needs to be answered. However here are the ComicsTrove guidelines.
Funko Pop Collecting Is a Problem If:
- You’re running out of space in your house
- You’re running out of money to “grow your collection”
- Family and friends are concerned about “your collection”
For further reading see the article below:
If you’re not already there, your quickly approaching comic book collecting nirvana. Welcome to comic book collecting - Stage 3
As a proud owner and conservator of some of comic book history’s greatest moments, what do you do with the key golden and silver age comic books in your possession? Get them graded of course. Comic book grading is the ultimate and final step (pending you or the next owner does not crack the case) to preserving and commoditizing your rare comic.
There are a few grading service companies out there, who will happily take your hard-earned money (this process is not cheap) and enshrine your cherished possession. The list below comprises the three main contenders.
- CGC Comic Grading – CGC is the pioneer of comic book grading and the only grading company used and recommended by ComicsTrove. With over two decades of experience they have their process down to a science. More importantly they are the most respected name among comic book collectors worldwide. Comic books graded by CGC will always command a higher price over a comic book with the same grade of another grading service. This is because CGC has higher grading standards.
- CBCS Comic Grading
- PGX Comic Grading
Ebay is a great outlet for buying and selling comic books, graded and ungraded (raw) alike. We buy and sell on this platform; the system is top notch for sellers from ease of listing to tracking the shipped orders. Additionally, the buyer’s protection encourages the bidding in a safe environment.
So, you have the comic book collection of your dreams. Time to kick back and watch some superhero movies and TV shows.
- Digital Spy keeps a live running update of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in the correct order. Use the link and grab some popcorn.
In conclusion, I hope you've enjoyed this compilation of comic book resources and would like to hear your comments below.
Have fun collecting!