Sharing is Caring: Reignite Your Love of Comics By Sharing Them

Comic books have always been such an integral part of my existence and my identity that being a fan of them is as natural and as needed to me as say – eating (I would have said breathing, but I’m pretty sure my death without comics would be slow and drawn out like starvation, except of quick and sudden like suffocation). I go through the motions every Wednesday of hitting the comic shop, I spend my Wednesday nights writing about comic books for this awesome website called iFanboy, I dust around my teetering stacks of trades and single issues (I really need to get a better system…), I spend time and money going to conventions, I have great friendships and relationships with artists that MAKE comics, on and on and on.

But do you know what? I don’t really remember the last time I was actually EXCITED about comics. Sure, I have a passion for them, a need to read them, I will go on intense rants if provoked and I will flex my trivia muscle at the first scent of a challenge. The characters in X-men are as close and familiar to me as my friends. But I haven’t had the RUSH of being so INTO comics in a long, long time.

Yeah, it’s probably because they ARE always around, because they ARE such a huge part of my life. I’ve taken them for granted. The romance is gone. The honeymoon period was gone by the time I was a teenager and since then I’ve been going through the motions – with no bitterness, but it has become habitual.

However, I didn’t realize this until very recently – when I actually DID become excited about comics again. No, it wasn’t the Avengers trailer. No, it wasn’t a particular issue I picked up on King of Days. No, it wasn’t some hot new romance with a comics creator. No, it was re-ignited with the simple act of SHARING.

They say sharing is caring, well… I hate to abuse cliches, but that statement certainly rings true in this scenario. I have recently taken a potential comic book fan under my wing, and I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking of what comics I want to have her read. She is an eager pupil and she devours anything I send her way, sending me constant ramblings about what she’s reading and her thoughts on it. I take her to comic shops and point out potentially awesome story arcs, and send her home from every visit with a staggering stack of trades from my own collection. I’ve been teaching her about the complexities of relationships in superhero comics, turning her on to my favorite indie titles, and teaching her the names of my most beloved artists.

And through all of this – these actions that I generally don’t really think about – my passion for comic books re-ignited. I realized that every time I recieve a text from my “pupil” that I get a jump of excitement to see what she is opening discussion on now. I’ve been spending a lot more time poring over my own collection, sorting through single issues that I haven’t touched in years. It’s making me all sorts of giddy about comics again… and you know what? It’s a great feeling.

So here’s my suggestion for you – if comic books are important to you but don’t give you that little jump of childish joy anymore, make a change. There are so many ways to share comic books, but below are a few ideas to “spice up” your romance with comic books.

Start a Comic Book Club

Play pretend like you’re Desperate Housewives getting together to read Oprah books and gossip endlessly, except that you’re actually way cooler and discussing comic books. This option is a great way to get a lot of friends into comics who have been curious but unsure where to start. Suggest a read like Scott Pilgrim or Blankets (don’t shock them into the insane world of superhero comics yet if they are newbies), get reading, and meet up once a week or so to eat snacks, drink, and discuss what you’ve read. I’m planning on starting one of these ASAP.

Organize a Comic Book Swap

Feel like your own library is getting stale? Read through your current trades a million times and you don’t ever want to pick them up again? Comic book swaps are a great way to share the love, profit from new material, and also keep your comics within your friend group. Put some chips in bowls, pop open some beer, and invite your guests to bring all of their unwanted comic book issues and trades. Then orchestrate the swap however you would like – throw all the comics in a pile and let everyone have at it willy nilly, or do it “auction style” with tickets awarded to people who brought things to swap. Either way, this is a good social activity and a great chance to pick up some new material.

Buy Your Friends Comics for their Birthdays

Okay, this may illicit a few winces and “thank yous” that are about as heartfelt as a six year old who just got an itchy hand knit cat sweater from Grandma, but this is certainly an option to coerce your friends into comic book fandom. Luckily, comics have such a broad range of genres that you will likely be able to find a book that has some sort of parallel theme to something your friend enjoys – so be thoughtful and share those inked pages.

For as much as we all bitch and whine about things, argue about continuity, and scoff at other’s opinions on our favorite story arcs, comic book fandom is a really great community to be involved in. Sharing the love is a favor, in my opinion.

Have other ideas on how to share the comic book love or have stories about how you got excited about comics again? Share them below in the comments.


Molly McIsaac is so sleepy right now that she has nothing clever to say. But sometimes she does say clever things, and thus you should follow her on twitter.


  1. If anyone is interested in a book swap, im in. I have a ton of trades I’m willing to part with

  2. We used to have a comic book swap of sorts on the old Rev 3 boards, and people seemed to enjoy it. I know that there are some comic shops that do a trade swapping programs as well.

  3. So true!! I started by selling my comics online, and throwing in an extra comic. I enjoyed sharing so much I changed tactics to donating them to a local library. Then I discovered one of my friend’s son was an avid comic book fan, and started “passing down” the comics I didn’t want to add to my collection.

    Some day, someone smart will start a charity to give comics to orphanages and hospitals…

  4. Sign me up for the Toronto area comic book swap

  5. or there is also a thread on the Comic Book Resources forums for trading only no sales.

    These are the only 2 I have found so far online.

  6. Every one of my friends ends up with trades for either Christmas or their birthday. The funny thing is, I rarely give superhero books as trades. My thinking is, if they dig superheroes they’re probably already regular Wednesday folks so instead I give them books like Phonogram (lotsa DJ friends, so this is easy) or Jonah Hex (most of my friends are fans of Westerns) or Planetary.

  7. This is how I got started back into comics. A buddy at work gave me a box of books he thought I would enjoy.
    Plus with the new 52 it was great to get back into it. Now I have a box I can share with someone new.
    Thanks Adam!

  8. How I wish the comic book swap idea made its way to the conventions! It would be great to see a booth/section where folks can swap titles with other convention goers.

    I bet folks could organize an “unsanctioned” one at C2CE with a little Twitter action.

    Anyone game?

  9. Comic book club is a really fucking good idea. It never even occurred to me. Thanks for that!

  10. Nice article! 🙂 I also have a friend whom was a casual comic book reader (he reads mostly european stuff), but recently I started lending him some of my trades and single issues to read. He absolutely loves Walking Dead and the Daredevil run by Mark Waid! In return, he started buying Irredeemable in trades by Waid also and after loving them he lent them to me. It’s a win-win situation!

  11. i’ve been doing this with a few friends on and off for a while now. Its how i was able to catch up on things like Walking Dead and Ultimate Spiderman, and try out some other things.

    This seems like a slippery slope doesn’t it? We all probably own enough tradable trades that we’d never have to buy many if any new ones ever again.

    • Good comics are worth buying, even if you’ve already read them from some other place. I bought Dark Knight Strikes Again even though I had read it at our local library.

  12. I thought about starting a comic club in my town, haven’t decided if I will or not yet.

  13. My girlfriend is currently in the process of seeking a faculty advisor to begin a comic book club at her University.

    Kinda makes me want to go back to school again!

  14. My personal suggestion for comic book swapping is You can post trades, single issues, full runs, whatever you want in whatever way you want it. Look me up on there. I have the same username as I do on here. Follow me and send me a message and let me know you’re from iFanboy if you join.

  15. I love to share comics with my friends and turn them on to new things. But I’ve learned something in doing so that I want to share – keep a list of what books you loan to whom. I share comics with my friends all the time, but sometimes people forget they have them, I forget they have them, they get misplaced… These are not casual acquaintances either, I break bread with these people several times a week. I’m currently out Invincible trades 1-6 and issues 1-6 of The Boys, and one friend keeps forgetting to bring in Walking Dead trades 1-6. it might feel like the library, and your friends might give you some crap about it, but it will avoid problems and arguments down the road.

  16. Alot of my friends have read comics directly because I said they would like this or that, but getting my Dad to read Maus is what I am most proud of… He liked it aloy. Odly enough my nephew got his dad (my brother) to read it too and he loved it

  17. Any chance of an iFanboy-sanctioned swap program?

    If not, my list can be located here:

  18. Right now I have a friend at school whos never read a comic in his life right? So he sees how excited I am for the Avengers movie coming out in May. This convinces him to rent all the movies leading up to it, Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, etc. So every 2 weeks or so we have a conversation about how cool Whiplash was in Ironman2 or something.
    And your right Molly, this totally gets me more pumped about my media of choice. So now I’m slowly introducing him to the world of Avengers comics, it’s really hard to explain everything “Wait, there’s HOW many Avengers teams?!” But I think I’m slowly getting there with him. His birthdays coming up in April so I thought how perfect that AvX comes out that same month! All I’m doing is buying him issue 1 and hopeing this will jump start a new found love for Comic Books!

  19. I’m sort of shocked no one has mentioned this yet, but I’ve traded tons of trades on (in the media section, NOT the market) and

  20. I guess I’m still a kid.

    I get excited every Wednesday.


    • Same here! That feelings still there for me, cept instead of comic store its mailbox for me.
      Sadly the closet comic store to me is roughly an hour away.

  21. ANY NYC/BK fanboys/fangirls here interested in swapping or donating im all game.

  22. I share my books with my co-workers. Once people opened up and showed me how much they loved them I brought some in. Rarely do I find someone that doesn’t like them. I pick up their favorite comics so they can share in my subscription discount. In return I’ve been given Season TV show collections to watch like Smallville or other books.