Fostering New Readers

Just curious how everyone tries to foster new readers? With the comic additions, the App has been getting a lot of press and I have had some colleagues ask about it.

Publishers have rarely advertised comics so I know it falls on us to champion the art form!


Well, when I meet people who want to get into DC, I generally start by asking what characters or franchises they’re interested in and then go from there.

I try to recommend stories that are only a few issues (or a single trade) long so that they don’t feel overwhelmed. Even with a multi volume epic like The Death and Return of Superman for example, I still recommend buying one volume at a time if you’re 100% new to it.

Keeping things simple is the best approach. That way a new reader can pop into a title of interest easily, then continually pop into other titles as their fandom evolves.


At 40-something, people aren’t borrowing my comics as much. Back in the day, I’d lend out crossover comics which rely on tons of continuity. Honestly.

The reader would either not be interested at all, or they’d want to know alot more about one or two characters. Usually, I’d get bombarded by a ton of questions about backstory.

If they were interested in a particular character, I’d lend out one of the great storylines. Return of the Dark Knight, Hawkworld, Panic in the Sky, War of the Gods, something along these lines.

And again, the reader wouldn’t be interested, or they’d be intrigued with the depth of the character.

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I’ll be honest, I haven’t had much luck at all in real life. Everybody likes the characters, but nobody likes the idea (no matter how false) that the continuity is too bogged down and extensive. And it doesn’t seem to matter how many jumping on points they are told about either.
What I ended up doing is putting out some issues from free comic book day of popular number one titles and leaving them on the coffee table. Had one guest stay for four hours just reading comics, so that strategy has worked much better!! He ended up staying in my library for the majority of his visit haha.

I had a friend of mine who read some of my comics years ago and ended up having a pull list at the store I worked at a month later. He kept it for years, even well after I had to quit working there and stopped buying comics weekly he was still there every week for his by then very large pull list. Almost exclusively DC.

Also had a friend from Canada (pretty much an online friend but have kept in touch online for over a decade by now) and got to talking to him about comics in Yahoo Messenger, he finally got curious and ended up a big comic fan. He like a lot had to take a break as it got expensive (think most have been there at least once, at least long time fans) but he read comics regularly for years, mostly DC.

Only two I can think of I got into comics who were not fans before, but at least I got DC a lot of business out of those two (and the local comic shops in the area). My Canadian friend would be on here now if DCU was in Canada I have little doubt.