This is a fantastic website. I grew up on Spider-man but over time drifted away from it. I recently won a copy of the "Spider-Island" graphic novel and when I realized it was really just a collection of the newer issues I was floored at the artwork these days.
Like everyone, I love the classic stuff, but I really want to start more recent. I'm currently going through the "Utlimate" series, but want to get back to the "Amazing Spider-man" series.
Do you think there might be a good jumping off point that won't be affected too much by continuity? I intend to make my way through all the series in time, but for now want to start somewhere that I can get caught up and enjoy being on the cusp of the new releases.
Thanks for your time, Mike Halifax, Nova Scotia
Welcome back to Spider-fandom! It's a great time to rejoin the community, I think, as Dan Slott is spinning the best adventures the web-slinger has seen in recent years. I must admit that not everyone on the SpiderFan team agrees with that assessment, but if you enjoyed "Spider-Island", like I did, then I think you'll enjoy what Amazing Spider-Man (ASM) is providing to us these days.
The best jumping-off point for current Spider-Man continuity would be the "Big Time" story arc. You can find this in trade under the name Spider-Man: Big Time, or you can go back and track down the individual issues. As there were only four of them, namely ASM #648, ASM #649, ASM #650, and ASM #651, getting the back issues shouldn't strain your wallet. Failing that, read my recaps and reviews of those issues at the links in the previous sentence, though that's a pale comparison to reading the originals.
After that, I'd suggest reading "Spider-Island", which it seems you've already got covered, and "Ends of the Earth", which just wrapped up in ASM earlier this summer, between ASM #682 and #687 inclusive. There's no trade for that arc available yet, but it should be coming soon. You may also find reviews and recaps for that arc here at SpiderFan as well.
Neither "Spider-Island" nor "Ends of the Earth" are really foundational in the way that "Big Time" is, but as the biggest Spider-Man events in recent memory, they're the events most likely to receive call-backs in new issues.