I want to get into the longer running superhero comics, and dont know how to go about it. Admittedly, im a bit of a noob to comics, only currently reading "locke and key" and "the walking dead". can anyone help me out?
1: Just jump in.
2: Find a recent point in the series that has been advertised as a starting point
3: Wait until previously mentioned starting point happens
4: Buy the volumes
5: Just try and read it from the beginning, issue by issue
6: If you're really desperate and morally cool with it (I'm not, really) get the previous issues illegally online.
EDIT: 7: Use the internet (Wikipedia/Wikia/Comicvine) to catch up on details and find who's who and what's what (thanks, MaccyD).
The best thing about jumping into a long-running series is the joy of discovery. You have all the wonderful back-history to unravel, and your enjoyment of the current issues increases as you start to understand what happened in the past and see the way creators integrate and change characters in the present.
I think the best advice I've ever heard on this topic is to just jump right in where ever and whenever you want. Comic continuity is extremely meticulously documented so if there's something you don't understand or someone you don't know who is you can just look it up. And if you don't care about it enough to do that, than that particular book clearly isn't the one for you.
@josephstalin: Jump in when a new story arc starts. I used to drive myself crazy trying to buy back issues, but honestly now I'm fine with jumping in on a comic series if something got a really good review. But if you have to, buy the paperback trades to catch up. If you're short on money you can always read digital.
Personally, I like to start when a particular writer starts a run. It's generally much easier to understand. If he/she references something from a past issue from another writer, they usually do a much better job giving you a proper recap. I'm not going to just "jump in" and start paying $4 a month on a story that is already halfway done. Works for some people maybe, but not me.