This does get really hard in in comic for sure because they interlink all of them so if you say want the full Superman story you have to read 5 different comics, very frustrating.
This is not quite the case anymore at the big 2. Plenty of the comics can be read on their own and you can get a "full story". Take the batman line at DC; you can read any of them on their own and get the full experience. What happens in Detective Comics one week has nothing to do with Batman Incorporated two weeks later. They each have their own story, and reading the other monthlies is not neccesary. Sometimes they have crossover events, but those aren't the norm every month.
On the other side of the coin, books like the various Avengers titles at Marvel are better when you read multiple series, but it's still not neccesary. Each title has it's own storyarcs. A lot of them are way more accessible to the casual reader than trek fiction is