So, what recent comics/graphic novel would YOU recommend?

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David Loftus
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So, what recent comics/graphic novel would YOU recommend?

Postby David Loftus » Sat Feb 07, 2009 8:02 pm

I've been clearing out boxes of stored books, papers, and other belongings from various closets in recent weeks. Today I got to a large box of comics and graphic novels. Most of them date from the late 1980s/early 1990s.

I took most of them to a store this afternoon and they were willing to take maybe a third of them. I hadn't intended to buy anything -- haven't kept up with the field since the early 90s and my primary goal was to clear space at home and make a little money -- but the cash-to-trade ratio was a lot BIGGER than I'm used to getting from Powell's for used books.

It gave me pause. For this kind of money I could get a pricey Feiffer or Watterson retrospective, or get a taste of a variety of new stuff. I didn't want to make an impulse buy, though; still prefer to winnow away the stuff in storage. I decided to postpone a decision until I figured out whether there was something I might really want to buy. Now I have a better idea what they're interested in, I might be able to part with a few more things, too.

I haven't been a steady comics and graphic novels reader since I was a kid buying Spider-Man off the rack in the late 60s. (THOSE issues, under glass, were selling between $60 and $225 at the store!) Just like genre fiction such as SF/F and police procedurals, I would dip into comics and graphic novels for a year or so every five to ten years, and check out the people or titles I'd been hearing a lot about.

As I said, I loved Spider-Man as a kid. Read some X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Batman during that period. I think I COULD have been a huge Daredevil fan, but somehow missed the boat on that one.

Later, as a grownup, what I liked a lot were The Watchmen and V For Vendetta, some of the Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz series. I missed Sandman at the start, and when I later tried to catch up, I admired and respected the work, but it didn't really grab me (not as much as Gaiman's novels, later). I'm holding on to Sin City, Stray Toasters, From Hell, and a few things like that, if that helps.

So what's been unmissable in the past decade? Got any suggestions?
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

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robochrist
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Postby robochrist » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:05 pm

Maus: A Survivor's Tale, by Art Spiegelman.

I've been planning to get it for a long time. Haven't seen it in ANY bookstores (incredibly odd, for a Pulitzer winner), so I'll have to order it.

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Ben W.
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Postby Ben W. » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:16 am

"Therefore, Repent!", by Jim Munroe and Salgood Sam.

The conclusion leaves something to be desired, but the road leading there is original and inventive.

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Ezra Lb.
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Postby Ezra Lb. » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:08 am

Unmissable?

I don't really do superheroes so I'll leave that to someone else but don't miss


http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?bindi ... with+plums

Everything Marjane Satrapi does is wonderful (by all means read Persepolis if you haven't) but this one made me cry.


http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?bindi ... a+mountain

Once again all of Paul Chadwick's Concrete series is wonderful but the apex of the series has got to be Think Like a Mountain.


I would also include Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?bindi ... league+of+

(Avoid the wretched movie at all costs.)


Checkout Eric Shanower's retelling of the Trojan War, Age of Bronze. He's telling it sequentially (not in medias res, like Homer).

http://www.alibris.com/booksearch?bindi ... c+Shanower
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FrankChurch
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Postby FrankChurch » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:39 pm

Zinn's People's History is now in Graphic Novel format.

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markabaddon
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Postby markabaddon » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:17 pm

David,

Since you already mentioned Sandman, I would suggest you looking at the Charlie Vess illustrated version of Stardust or Signal to Noise (both by Neil Gaiman).

In the non-Gaiman category, Maus is an excellent suggestion but I would also recommend purchasing some collections of comics. I have only read a couple of issues of it but I understand that Preacher is phenomenal, and one of my favorite storyline in comics in the past decade was Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men, beginning with the introduction of Cassandra Nova, Charles Xavier's twin sister.

On the DC side, picking up a collection of Identity Criss, which reads like a suspense novel, or the Sinestro Corps Wars, which spanned sveeral Green Lantern titles, are some of the best writing comics has seen in many years.

Hope you find these suggestions useful,

Mark
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

Alan Coil
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Postby Alan Coil » Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:31 pm

Let me second Concrete and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Almost anything else by Alan Moore is very good, including Promethea and Tom Strong, although not all Tom Strongstories are written by Moore.

Age of Bronze is perfect for historians, but it is not as yet completed. It is currently available as 2 or 3 trade paperbacks collections several issues per book. Shanower isn't the fastest creator, so the comic book only gets put out 3-4 times a year.

I hear, also, that Preacher is good, but I have never read it. Soon.

Another fine series is Planetary, by Warren Ellis. It is a finite series that is mostly completed, but there is a prologue issue that has yet to see print. Maybe this year, but really, schedules mean nothing to Ellis.

If you are looking specifically for super-hero comics, just about anything done by Geoff Johns is very good. He works solely for DC, and is the writer of the aforementioned Sinestro Corps War, a Green Lantern story involving the entire universe of Green Lanterns.
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Donald Petersen
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Postby Donald Petersen » Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:47 pm

David, Alan (and you too, Mark): run, do not walk, to wherever you have to go to lay yer mitts on every last frame of Ennis & Dillon's Preacher books. Remember your state of mind at its most apocalyptic as the turn of the millennium approached, steel your stomach against some truly nasty violence, and prepare for the most entertainingly foul examination of God, vampires, Texas, heroin, guns, angels, demons, and literal mayhem I've ever clapped an eye to. Best opus I've ever read in the entire medium, though your own mileage will no doubt vary. But it absolutely will not bore you.

I also liked what Joe R. Lansdale did with Jonah Hex back in the '90s. I don't know if they were collected in paperback, but his 1993 Two Gun Mojo and 1995 Riders of the Worm and Such were each five issues of foulmouthed weird-ass Western joy that I wasn't to experience again until Deadwood came out. I somehow missed his 1999 Shadows West 3-issue run, though I do mean to track it down someday. I've read a wee bit of earlier and later Jonah Hex, and somehow nobody but Lansdale comes even close.

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markabaddon
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Postby markabaddon » Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:28 pm

Donald, you are about the 4th person who has given Preacher a glowing review. I will have to look for a copy at the library to decide if I like it before buying it.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is amazing, my only problem with it is that I now picture Nemo as an Indian when I re-read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

Donald Petersen
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Postby Donald Petersen » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:26 pm

Mark, if your local library carries Preacher, then I'll be quite impressed. I do love public libraries in the abstract, though I haven't had occasion to set foot in one in years and years... my memories of them feature card catalogs, spectacles on chains, beanbag chairs in the kids' section, and no technology any more recent than microfiche. The idea of Vertigo graphic novels filling the shelves makes me feel... oddly tingly. Like dear, sweet Miz Russell has been stocking the shelves with things that I would have thought would make her faint.

Are ya local to LA? I'll lend you my Preacher books if you are, and I'll bet you a root beer that once you've read 'em, you'll wanna buy 'em so you can re-read 'em now and then.

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markabaddon
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Postby markabaddon » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:36 pm

Sorry Donald, I am in the Great White North of Minnesota, and I have been pleasantly surprised at the breadth and depth of materials the libraries around here have been stocking.

You might want to check a library out in the near future if you get a chance. I think you will be shocked at how far they have evolved in a relatively short period of time
Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristrocratic forms. No gov't in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, gov't tends more and mroe to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class

Donald Petersen
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Postby Donald Petersen » Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:57 pm

No doubt. I guess it is somewhat appalling how my idea of libraries is so firmly rooted in the mid-twentieth century, even though I'm not yet forty.

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David Loftus
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Postby David Loftus » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:10 pm

markabaddon wrote:Sorry Donald, I am in the Great White North of Minnesota, and I have been pleasantly surprised at the breadth and depth of materials the libraries around here have been stocking.



What the hell ELSE is there to do up there?

:lol:



markabaddon wrote:You might want to check a library out in the near future if you get a chance. I think you will be shocked at how far they have evolved in a relatively short period of time


I haven't looked at the main library in downtown Portland for this -- too busy checking out 40 books and DVDs (which I almost never end up watching) -- but when I worked down in the tony 'burb of Lake Oswego I noticed THEIR library had an impressive array of graphic novels on the shelf, doing a brisk business.
War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off. - Karl Kraus

Alan Coil
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Postby Alan Coil » Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:02 pm

Alan Moore's The Saga of the Swamp Thing.

I just bought the first of the newest reprinting of Swamp Thing. $25 hardcover that contains the first 8 issues of the highly acclaimed series. I don't know how many of these hardcovers there will be, but I think this is the way to buy this series.

Also, I saw in the February solicitations from DC Comics that Preacher will be getting the hardcover treatment starting in April. I think it's time I bought that series.

Donald Petersen
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Postby Donald Petersen » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:01 pm

Preacher is another one of those comics that, like Watchmen, has been in and out of movie development for years. For a while, it looked like Garth Ennis himself would script it. Then, last year, it looked like it would be an HBO series scripted by Mark Steven Johnson (of Ghost Rider and Elektra fame... or infamy, if you prefer). That fell apart in August. Now it looks like John August (Titan A.E., Charlie's Angels, Big Fish, Corpse Bride, etc.) will be scripting, with Sam Mendes (!) directing for Columbia.

Personally, I think the moment to make Preacher as a movie has come and gone. I really do love the book, and the movie woulda been great as a pre-millennial blowout, but somehow I don't think audiences will be in the mood for it anymore.

But I'll go see it.


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