BOOK RIOT

Marvel Unlimited’s made their digital catalog really inexpensive this month. But where do you start? If you’re a newbie to comics or the Marvel universe, here are some suggested starting points. Comics for everyone!

I’m a pretty recent engager of comics. When the first movie trailer for Iron Man came out in late 2007, I was vaguely aware that it was based on a comic book character. I know a lot of people who, like me, were turned onto comics by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But when Marvel decided to revamp its universe with Marvel NOW, they opened us to a whole new world of diverse characters spearheaded by some awesome writers.
from Marvel NOW is Rocking Diversity by Jessica Pryde
I know comics are valid literature. I know they can be just as smart and deep and interesting as any other book that exists. And yet, when I stay up till 1 to finish a Michael Chabon book (or, honestly, even a John Green novel), I don’t feel nearly as guilty as I do when I’m reading about Peter Parker and Kraven’s Grim Hunt. For the most part, I’m a very open-minded reader. I grew up on fantasy and sci-fi novels, on epic adventures, and formulaic series. I didn’t think twice when all I did was read the A Song of Ice and Fire books for a month while I was a sophomore in college. But comics? I feel guilty every time I open the Marvel app on my phone when I could be picking up a novel.
from Making Peace with Comics by Preeti Chhibber
Ever been intimidated to enter a comic store? Don’t know where to begin? 
We’ve got a look at a Rioter’s first time in a comic shop and how she handled it.
Verdict? “It was very pleasant!”

Ever been intimidated to enter a comic store? Don’t know where to begin?

We’ve got a look at a Rioter’s first time in a comic shop and how she handled it.

Verdict? “It was very pleasant!”

One of our Rioters wants to get into graphic novels. What should she be reading?

One of our Rioters wants to get into graphic novels. What should she be reading?

Fan of bookish things? We’ve got a Wonder Woman lamp, composition notebook shoes, awesome YA prints, and more in Book Fetish.

Critical Linking: May 4, 2014
Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee. 

While young readers find these digital products very appealing, their multitude of features may diffuse children’s attention, interfering with their comprehension of the text, Smith and the Schugars found. It seems that the very “richness” of the multimedia environment that e-books provide—touted as their advantage over printed books—may actually overwhelm kids’ limited working memory, leading them to lose the thread of the narrative or to process the meaning of the story less deeply.

Perhaps instead of worrying that ebooks are going to ruin the ability for children to learn deep reading, this is an opportunity to teach children how to manage distraction and concentration.

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It doesn’t have to be this way. The Comics Code is dead, and comic book narratives are in the mainstream of American culture again. If comics are to retain the wide audience they have taken so long to regain — and if they are to enter into a new Golden Age — they must do better. And there are glimmers of hope. The past couple of years have seen an Arab Green Lantern and a Muslim Ms. Marvel. Writers like Gail Simone and Kelly Sue DeConnick are shifting the way superhero comics deal with women. And minded fan campaigns like We Are Comics are reclaiming the long-lost sense that comics are for everyone.

Excellent long read over at BuzzFeed about how censors killed the weird, progressive Golden Age of comics.

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“In fifth grade, our librarian picked out a book for us and had it out on the table. I was looking at it like, Hmmm. Chess. I don’t want to read it! It’s about chess! And she was like, “Read it. You’ll like it.” So we started reading Chess Rumble, and actually, I did like it! I was like Oh…this is dope! And we had to do a report on it, and we were talking about it and talking about it, and I read it a few more times, and I couldn’t get it out of my head.”

Here’s your heart-warming story about a boy who didn’t like to be known as smart because he reads and writes and how an author and a librarian changed his mind.

Comics can be literary – or not. They can be complicated and artistic – or not. All of that is debatable. But their nature as books is not.