Comics for Newbies: IDW, Archie, Boom! Studios & Dark Horse

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these huh? Well I’m back with more suggestions for all the comic newbies out there. In previous posts I offered suggestions for where to start with Marvel ComicsDC Comics, Image and Graphic Novels, this time around we’ll be taking a look at IDW, Archie, Boom! Studios and Dark Horse.

Publishers like IDW, Archie, Boom! Studios and Dark Horse may not be the first publishers you think of when you head to your local comic shop to pick up a few single issues, or trades but they also shouldn’t be overlooked. All of these publishers have been putting out great content consistently over the last few years and are an especially great place to start for comic newbies!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

1. Jem and the Holograms

image source: IDW Publishing
image source: IDW Publishing

This is such a fun comic, there’s so much diversity, strong female characters, the art is vibrant and eye-catching and it truly is a title that can be enjoyed by everyone. I just cannot say enough awesome things about Jem.

A revamp of the popular ’80s TV show, Jem follows Jerrica Benton and her sisters as they make a name for themselves in the music industry by overcoming Jerrica’s crippling stage fright with help from a special gift left by her father.

Honestly, this is the comic I look forward to getting in my pull most each month. Whether you watched the TV show growing up or you’re new to the world of Jem and the Holograms, I promise you’ll love this comic!  I highly recommend this to everyone, but this is a particularly awesome title to introduce kids and younger audiences to comics.

2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Angel & Faith

image source: i talk comics on Youtube
image source: i talk comics on Youtube

Okay, so if you’re a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and you’re looking to start reading comics, the only logical place to start HAS to be with Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer which picks up where the series ends. The creative team for the books changes but with Joss Whedon as executive producer and writers from the show on board, you know that these comics do the series justice.

The comics begin with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 and it’s now in it’s tenth season so you’ve got plenty to catch up on, but if that wasn’t enough there are also one-off titles like Spike and Willow, as well as a long-running Angel & Faith spin-off.

Seriously though, these comics are SO GOOD. These were the first trades that I collected when I started reading comics again; I now have all the Buffy trades collected and I’m working on collecting Angel & Faith, If you’re a Buffy fan like me, this is definitely the way to go.

….and let’s be honest, if you weren’t aware of it before, just knowing Buffy continues on in comic form you’re going to HAVE to read them, it’ll be torture not knowing what happens!

3. Archie / Jughead Reboot

image source: The Outhousers
image source: The Outhousers

Remember getting those Archie digests at the grocery store growing up? That was always the best part about having to go shopping with your parents wasn’t it? Well lucky for us Fiona Staples, Mark Waid (Archie), Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson (Jughead) are playing the nostalgia card and bringing us an Archie and Jughead reboot!

The Archie reboot is now three issues in and opens with Archie and Betty having broken up due to a mysterious “lipstick incident”. While Jughead is only one issue in but started off with a story about something that couldn’t be more Jughead…fighting back against the new principle for getting rid of his beloved school lunches. Both of these titles still manage to feel like the digests, and the art does just enough to update the characters and world of Riverdale without losing the iconic look of the Archie digests we love. 

While these titles are still fairly new, overall, they are a great place to start reading if you’re looking for something a little more nostalgic and light. Another bonus, you won’t have many back issues to catch up on so you’ll be following along issue, by issue in no time!

4. Lumberjanes

image source: Bloody Disgusting
image source: Bloody Disgusting

Okay, so Lumberjanes is one of those books that comes along and you just want EVERYONE to read. I don’t care if you’re eight or 98, you NEED to read Lumberjanes. Aside from the diversity and the endless number of strong female characters; two things that I get particularly excited about seeing in comics, this book is just such a good time. It feels more like you’re watching a TV show than reading a comic.

Lumberjanes is the story of Jo, April, Molly, Mal and Ripley, the girls of Roanoke cabin at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, a scout-type summer camp. The story centers around the girls seeing some strange and supernatural things (think shape-shifting, and eventually some hipster sasquatch) happening in the woods outside of the camp. We follow the girls as they try to investigate what they saw, not annoy Jen their scout-leader too much, and acquire Lumberjane patches in the process.

via my post on IGGPPC – Women in Comics: Ensembles


The great thing about publishers like IDW, Archie, Boom! and Dark Horse is that they have something for everyone. They offer a wide range of titles for all ages, everything from My Little Pony (IDW) to Adventure Time (Boom! Studios) and the newly announced upcoming How to Train Your Dragon series (Dark Horse). So why not make comic reading a family activity and grab something for your kids or siblings next time you’re at the comic shop picking up something for yourself?

Do you have a favourite IDW, Dark Horse, Archie or Boom! Studios title? Let me know in the comments.

Signature Geeks and Lattes


Check out more Comics for Newbies:

Comics for Newbies: Graphic Novels FI Comics for Newbies DC FI Comics For Newbies_Marvel FI comics-for-newbies-image-FI Comics for Newbies Webcomics FI


9 thoughts on “Comics for Newbies: IDW, Archie, Boom! Studios & Dark Horse

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