Basic comic book info and jargon for beginners

This isn’t a comprehensive list or anything, but here’s some helpful stuff to know if you’ve just started reading/collecting comics. Feel free to add words, phrases, and info that you feel is important for beginners to know, but please keep it organized and concise.

Words and Phrases

  • Single issues aka issues or singles
    In their initial printing, comics are almost always in single issue format, like a thin magazine. That, along with their distinctive use of panels and speech bubbles, is what sets comic books apart from other types of literature. These are single issues: 

Trade paperbacks aka TPB, TP or trades
A collection of stories originally published as single comic book issues, reprinted in book format, usually capturing one story arc from a single title or a series of stories with a connected story arc or common theme from one or more titles. Trades often have a title of their own, representing that story arc or theme. These are trades:

  • Omnibus
    A volume containing the entirety of a comic series, previously published separately as singles/trades. These bad boys are well worth the wait because you get your whole story in one place. This is an omnibus:

.cbr and cbz files
.cbr and .cbz are comic book reader/archive file names (similar to a PDF). Typically if a file is in .cbr/.cbz format you will need a digital comic reader on your computer to open it. My favorite applications are ComicRack for PC and Simple Comic for Mac.


  • New comics are released every Wednesday
    The length between publication dates of issues varies depending on the series, but when that release date does roll around, it’ll always be on a Wednesday.

  • Trades vs graphic novels
    A trade is a grouping of single issue comics reprinted in book format. A graphic novel is typically a full, illustrated story (hence the word ‘novel’), either original in content or based on a movie, book, etc. Most readers will agree trades and graphic novels are not interchangeable phrases, and exist as two separate mediums. (I’m not even gonna get into manga/anime/anything like that because it all gets fuzzy at that point. Bottom line: if it’s Marvel, DC, or something similar, call it a trade.)

  • Why are there so many story arcs and universes?
    Think of the comic world as a sandbox with each character represented as a toy. A writer will get contracted to write about a certain character, so they pick up that character and write out a story for them, then put them back in the sandbox when they’re done. The next writer comes along, contracted to write that same character. They can either can pick up where the last writer left off, or come up with their own universe or story arc, and then once they’ve finished they return the character to the sandbox once more.

    While these stories share the same main character, their plots don’t ever have to intersect. It’s all in good fun, and giving us a chance to read about our favorite characters in many different kinds of worlds and settings.

Q: If a movie or a series based upon ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ was being made and you had an unlimited budget, whom would you cast? […] Do you have some particular actors in mind?

GRRM: Not really for all the roles, but I have a few people in mind. I think Nicole Kidman would be good as Cersei. I always liked Ron Perlman, the actor I worked with on 'The Beauty and the Beast’. He would be great as Sandor Clegane. Ron is very good in heavy make-up and he’s also a big, strong kind of guy. He has a great voice that he can do all sorts of wonderful things with. I think he would be terrific as the Hound. For Jamie Lannister, a couple of years ago I would have said Cary Elwes but he might be too old now. I don’t know…

interview, December 2003

hey gang- if you haven’t had a chance to read #Descender yet, our first tpb comes out this fall and available for pre-order thru your local comic shop or online now. It collects the first 6 issues and we return with issue 7 on November. (btw issue 7 kicks off STRONG. crazy. )

Trailer park boys Skyrim Builds

Race: Imperial (For Speechcraft + Coin Bonus) or Breton (dragonskin perk)

Faction: Thieves Guild + Bards College

Perks: Alchemy (For Skooma making) + Speechcraft + Pickpocket + Destruction + Light Armor*

Also: Ricky has been shown to take insanely high levels of shit. He needs to have items that let him resist shock, fire, and frost. Health levelling is perfect. Light armor would be my choice, but heavy armor could work if you want to. In terms of Speechcraft, prefer intimidation/bribe. You should have a horse, but don’t worry about it dying. It’s gotta be the equivalent of the shitmobile. Shoot first, ask questions later.

Race: Imperial (Speechcraft + Voice of the Emperor)

Faction: Thieves Guild + Bard’s College

Perks: Speechcraft + Pickpocket + Heavy Armor (for unarmed bonus) + Destruction + Archery

Also: Julian is almost always drinking, so save some of your inventory for any type of alcohol. Focus on stamina and health levelling. Prefer persuasion+intimidation whenever possible. Being the thane of most of the holds should help with your crime bounties.

Race: Imperial (Speechcraft) or Khajiit (cmon b'ys y'know why)

Faction: Thieves Guild (optional but hey why break the pattern) + Bards College + College of Winterhold (Smartest of the group + to train Conjuration)

Perks: Conjuration (gotta have them kitties to help him fight) + Speechcraft (merchant perk) + Smithing (From his cart repairing and general handyman skills) + Illusion + Sneak

Also: Steal from shopkeepers and then sell their shit back to them. Use the animal allegiance shout to get your sabre kitties to follow you. Avoid confrontation as much as possible, Bubbles isn’t the type to run headfirst into a fight. Prefer Persuasion+Bribe. Be the voice of reason. If you do the main quest, try to be neutral and do seasons unending. You can do the companions if you want Eorlund for smithing training.

If anyone has any other suggestions, give a shout!

Deploy | Toledo Panic Button

The mission brief was succinct, just like Leo liked it. A mission, a timeline, and free reign for him to accomplish it in any way he so chose. This was how he hoped becoming a recognized Shield agent would go, adapting to the situation as it developed. The extra information at the beginning about obeying orders and not completing the task were non-issues, failure wasn’t an option. He’d find a way or die trying.

Zero hour, ninety six hour window begins now.

Getting to California, was the easy part; he couldn’t fly, he didn’t have a mechanical suit that would take him there, but he did have one of his father’s legacies. Shield picked his father up out of a US Air Force silo, a twenty year nuclear engineer with full access to hops and cargo travel for having retired- and transferred benefits for his family. A quick stop at the armory and the lab that he practically grew up in and he was on his way to Joint Base Andrews, just a sixty minute ride away from campus. A flash of his dependent ID and a set of falsified secure tags later, was waiting for the next plane to the west coast. Six hours after that he was up in the air, sitting next to several surly special ops on the KC-135 Stratotanker who probably just wanted to sleep in an actual bed for more than two days.

Nearly nine hours.

The best part? Aside from his backpack, the two locked Pelican cases under his jumpseat that he’d been allowed to bring on the aircraft with their false surety information. The first held his beloved modified M9, a silencer and a variety of bullets crafted in the fashion of Hawkeye’s arrows; multi-use casings including explosive, knock-out, blood spatter, along with several clips of the traditional lead and copper. The second held a piece of Stark tech that he’d borrowed from an old friend, the small computer able to connect to a variety of search engines even at twenty two thousand feet.

Thirteen hours, two more stops.

From there it was a simple matter to pull up Los Angeles’ public works drawings and the opensource Assesor’s maps, overlaying them and noting discrepancies and gaps in the city plans. A dozen or so buildings came up, but digging up on the history of the sites, only one was located on the outskirts of what had once been the Santa Susana Field Laboratory. The perfect acquisition for a company that happened to dabble in nuclear energy and the potential disasters that could result. Through the multistop flight he researched, finally hedging his bets on the collection of warehouses. Locking his equipment back up h attempted to doz for the last leg of the flight as best he could, the adrenaline pumping through his system making it incredibly difficult to keep his eyes closed.

Twenty hours gone.

Touching down, Leo picked up a series of cabs to break up his journey, paying in cash to leave no trace and always affecting a standard California drawl, just another dreamer on his way to make it big with the clothes on his back and his dreams in hand. The act dropped as soon as he was out of the last vehicle in his destination town and he hiked the last mile and a half, stopping a safe distance away to survey the warehouses, change and ready himself.

An entire day down.

Scanning the buildings, lead walls kept him from identifying a heat source but not the faint electromagnetic energy that radiated from one… very much like the signature that their own compound and Stark Tower gave off, marking it as his target. Then came the part he liked least, staking out the locale to appraise security instead of running in guns ablazing; the brief had specifically mentioned being discreet and while it wasn’t his first choice, or even his fifth, he wouldn’t fail on a technicality. Knee bouncing, darkness fell and with no movement in sight, he thankfully changed into a dark, skintight shirt with built in holster and tactical pants later, pistol loaded with a live clip and several alternates at his belt.

One day and seven hours.

The door was a simple pick, so easy that he didn’t know whether to be cocky for his skill or desperately worried as he crept in. Each step measured for silence and allowing him to test floor panels as well as scan for traps, he cleared every room. Fatigue was forgotten as he made his way through the building, sweat soaking his shirt from his heightened vigilance, the question of where his target was just beginning to enter his mind when he opened a new door to a figure sitting on a chair. Trigger finger itching, he held off, had to see exactly who it was he was supposed to execute.

He wanted to be an operator, not a mercenary.
0b. James O’Barr’s Original comic – The Crow | The Crow Comics

If you’ve never read ‘The Crow’ by James O'Barr and want to before my fic posts on Friday you can read a digital version here. If you enjoy it, please support the amazing writer and artist and buy a hard copy at your local comic or book store (used copies are as low as $5.00 on Amazon)! 

I’ve loved this book since I was fifteen.The artwork is haunting and stunning, it’s so much better than the movie most of you are probably familiar with (I love the movie but really, I promise..).