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Anders

Great Comic Books

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I seem to remember Jeffrey saying that "Other Arts" would be a good place for a thread on comic books, since I'm sure putting this in "Literature" would start some heated discussion.

ANYWAY, when I got home from seeing I, Robot this afternoon, my friend had dropped off a package for me. It seems he was out and about searching garage sales (he just recently moved into a new place) and he found something for $2.00 that he figured a big comic book fan like myself would like...over twenty Daredevil comic books from 1982-83.

Of course I was astonished, as I thought the clich

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Nice! I'm a huge Marvel fan as well, mostly Silver Age. If I had more money, collecting would definitely become a serious hobby. My all-time favorite would probably be Fantastic Four #51, "This Man, This Monster"...

A collectors story: I used to work for a large, religious non-profit org. A couple years ago, an old man bequethed his house to us. As was the practice, the house and any contents were scheduled to be gutted and trashed before we sold the property. One day a supervisor, who had been to the site earlier where our third-party cleanup crew was working, came into my office holding a small stack of $.12 Marvel comics-- Weird Tales, Fantastic Four... all in great conditon. I asked, "where the heck did you get those?" He said casually--obviously no interest in comics-- "Oh there's probably thousands of them at the house...(he motioned with his hand waist-high)... I grabbed a few for my nephew, told the cleanup crew to take what they wanted" After evacuating by bowels and changing pants, I jumped in my car and raced to the site, which was about 20 miles away. Pedal to the floor and adrenaline pumping. When I arrived at the house, there were about a dozen workers cleaning, and lo and behold, not one, single comic book on the premises! Gone. In utter frustration, I issued a loud, stinging rebuke to the workers about "taking stuff" from the property (very crappy of me in retrospect, but I was desperate!) One poor soul cracked under the weight of my guilt trip and took me to a large box he was hiding outside. It contained about a 100 vinatge Playboy's and roughly 40-50 comic books. I let him keep the Playboy's and "confiscated" the comics- some good stuff including a whole series of late 60's Green Lantern's in excellent condition. Where did the treasure trove of comics go? One of the cleanup guys told me later in broken English, that another worker had filled his truck with them earlier that morning and quickly split . Ah yes, the "big fish that got away". laugh.gif

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Hmmm. I'm not sure if I would say comics are "Literature" -- but I don't mean this in any sort of snobby way, I just mean this in the sense that I wonder if comics, like film, are primarily visual as opposed to narrative.

Are there any comic-book equivalents to Koyaanisqatsi?

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Are there any comic-book equivalents to Koyaanisqatsi?

Maus perhaps.

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I'm pretty impressed by Gareth Hinds' graphic Beowulf. Of course, the text is classic Beowulf--an out-of-copyright poetic translation by Francis Gummere. But the combined result is very...effective. Sample his work here.

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Nice going on that DD #181! I'm drooling with jealousy! Of course, my brother's got one that he picked up years ago as a kid, and he'd probably let it go to me if I made him a halfway decent offer.

This reminds me of when a friend of mine in 5th grade was given a Hulk #180, which is the TRUE first appearance of Wolverine (last page only). #181 is more valuable, but still, nice addition to any collection.

JiM T

(Who was bummed at having to miss the biggest comic show of the year in St. Louis due to car trouble.)

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Really? $60 bucks? I could almost swear that i have that issue.

I need to open up the box i've hidden away with all those old comics in it. The sucker weighs a ton. Seems there must be an issue # 181 in there somewhere.

-s.

Edited by stef

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I think the case can be made that comic books are a form of Literature, if we're going to grant that illustrated children's books are literature. Some forms of comic book, especially the superhero genre, definitely are influenced by cinematic storytelling techniques (writer Mark Millar's Ultimates series is praised for its "widescreen storytelling"), but some others are definitely literature. For example, would American Splendor, with its various artists, be the same without the writing of Harvey Pekar? What about the works of Frank Millar, or Alan Moore?

Yeah, I was pretty happy with that find. I have a bunch of Silver Age stuff that was my dad's when he was a kid, Amazing Spider-man #26, Avengers #9, Tales to Astonish, etc. Some of those would be worth upwards of $200, but unfortunately they aren't in mint condition. Still, I'm not planning on selling my collection, and it gives it an appropriate historical feel to have some comics from various eras.

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Comics occupy a unique niche, being both visual and narrative, though I admit that I can more easily associate them with literature than film -- 'cause you read 'em. Scott McCloud wrote/drew a great book on the subject of comics' uniqueness as an art form: Understanding Comics. If you care about comics, this is must.

I don't know if they're literature ... but some are much more literary than other oft-discussed books on this forum. You know who you are, Da Vinci Code .

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Scott McCloud wrote/drew a great book on the subject of comics' uniqueness as an art form: Understanding Comics. If you care about comics, this is must.

I second that, I found it a really enlightening introduction. The section where he explains how the different panel sizes and shapes evoke certain passages of time really made my brain tingle with delight (anyone else get that?).

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Just got a bit into comics myself.

Anybody else read/like (tentatively perhaps?) the Preacher series?

Yeah, I picked up the first trade paperback when it was a really hot title. It was ok. Not really my style. Honestly I couldn't take the story about the deformed kid of the sherrif. Was his name Arseface or something like that? It was just to sad. reading that part of the comic made me react the same way I do when I see cruelty to animals. I just want to kill someone. Needless to say I didn't pick up any other issues, but I remember thinking the writing was very bold and the art was unique and above average.

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joel wrote:

: Scott McCloud wrote/drew a great book on the subject of comics' uniqueness as

: an art form: Understanding Comics.

Fabulous book, and one that I know we have discussed here before -- I always refer to it in discussions of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, for example! The section of the book that made MY brain tingle was his discussion of the difference between "iconic" art and, um, art that is more "realistic" and more full of detail -- how iconic art subjectivizes while realistic art objectivizes. Come to think of it, I believe this may have had an influence on an essay I recently wrote about The Passion ...

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Just got a bit into comics myself.

Anybody else read/like (tentatively perhaps?) the Preacher series?

For some reason, I really got into the writing of Garth Ennis. Plus, Steve Dillon is a fantastic artist.

I really liked Preacher, because the characters were so interesting. Custer and Tulip. Jesse's friendship with Cassidy. I found it strangely endearing. Watching them struggle with each other's weaknesses (especially in regards to Cassidy and his jealousy of Jesse).

My primary reading is the Ultimate books, Astonishing X-Men (Whedon and art by Cassaday?! YIKES!), District X, Liberty Meadows, PVP, Fables and Y the Last Man. Y and Fables (though, I get that in TPB form) have been especially good treats. Y tells the story of a plague that has killed every male on earth except two. A young man named Yorick and his pet monkey. What intrigued mewas it didn't pander to feminist utopian dreams...some women coped via suiced. Some restarted the government. Some formed violent gangs. And Yorick just wanted to find his girlfriend (who was out of the country when the males all died)-but the government takes over and forces him on a mission to repopulate the planet (via science and cloning). The stories have been nicely told, with many surprises.

Fables tells the storie of characters from fables and nursery rhymes(the Big Bad Wolf, Little Boy Blue, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, etc). They were chased from their lands by a creature called the adversary. They struck a deal with the governments of our world for asylum. Clever takes on the characters and their interaction with each other. Great stuff.

BTW, McCloud released a followup book called Reinventing Comics.

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I finally got around to reading Watchmen a few weeks ago and was blown away. I loved the way in which it took all of normal comic book cliches - megalomaniacal villain, outrageous plans for world domination, etc. - and played with and subverted them, and on multiple levels. As much as I like Darren Aronofsky, I understand why some people are rightly concerned with his upcoming adaptation of the title. I can't see how he'll do it without seriously dumbing it down.

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My primary reading is the Ultimate books, Astonishing X-Men (Whedon and art by Cassaday?! YIKES!), District X, Liberty Meadows, PVP, Fables and Y the Last Man. Y and Fables

As a big Whedon fan and longtime on-and-off X-Men reader, I am thrilled with "Astonishing X-Men". Two issue in, and it's already shaping up to be brilliant. Joss won't let us down.

District X was a nice surprise, and i've heard good things about the others you mention, but Vertigo was never my thing.

Anyone reading Identity Crisis? Any opinions? I provide weekly advance comic book reviews for www.imaginedat.net (although they rarely run as such), so here's my review of issue #1. Issue two is covered in the next update.

JiM T

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Fables is definitely one of my faves. Been reading it from the first issue and am yet to be disappointed. Except that I liked Lan Medina on art more than Mark Buckingham.

Also a great read is Sleeper. It's about a government agent, Holden, who's an undercover sleeper agent in an organized crime ring. The only person who knows he's an agent is his handler, who is injured and goes into a coma. Gripping read, and brings up some very interesting moral questions.

Scooter Girl is a manga style GN. Hillarious. It's about this guy who is the top cock of his school (straight A's, most popular, most athletic) and then a new girl comes who he becomes infatuated with to the extent that he becomes a complete klutz and moron. She's not impressed.

OMG! Planetary! 4 superhuman archaelogists dig up the world's secrets and try to protect them from those who would destroy or abuse them.

Hellboy, and most of the B.P.R.D. one-shots

The new Conan series from Dark Horse has been pretty good so far.

I could go on and on.

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Planetary has a strong following, and I'll get to reading it one day. (Are they still putting it out?) Casseday's work impresses me on Astonishing X-Men.

Scooter Girl and Sleeper sound interesting, but both unfortunately will probably have a tough go at staying afloat. I'll try to look into them soon.

In my reviewing, I've been reading a lot of stuff I wouldn't ordinarily pick up, and discovered a few pretty great titles in the process. Off the top of my head, here are a few:

Robin

Emma Frost

Action Comics

Cable & Deadpool

She-Hulk

Incredible Hulk

Daredevil

Fantastic Four

Ordinarily I read G.I. Joe and also Transformers, and may be getting back into Amazing Spider-Man. And Sstonishing X-Men. And I'm in for the long haul on Identity Crisis, although I remain skeptical of that.

Only Marvel & DC send out preview comics, so that's all I've committed myself to covering.

Titles that could be better:

Batgirl

Spider-Girl

Batman

Uncanny X-Men

New X-Men - Academy X

Wonder Woman

Richard Dragon

Green Lantern

There are more...

JiM T

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Yeah, I'm reading Identity Crisis right now, and I have to say, it's well written and stuff but I'm not being blown away or anything.

Comics that I read:

Batman

Gotham Central

Batman Adventures

Superman

Superman/Batman

Ultimates

Ultimate Spider-man

Ultimate Fantastic Four

Amazing Spider-man

Spectacular Spider-man

Spider-man (Marvel Knights)

Fantastic Four

Daredevil

Uncanny X-Men

Astonishing X-Men (and I agree, Whedon's book is probably the best X-title out right now, as I actually don't really like Chuck Austen at all)

X-men

Runaways

PVP

Wanted (I'm just a big Mark Millar fan, I'm juvenile I guess)

Conan

Star Wars: Empire

Star Wars: Republic

Star Wars Tales

The Goon

Y: The Last Man (again, I agree that this is easily one of the best books out there. Vaughan is another great young writer).

blink.gif I just realized I read more than 25 comics a month, on a regular basis! Is there some sort of addiction centre?

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Who are some of your favourite artists and writers? Today? All time?

I love Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Mark Millar, Brian K. Vaughan, Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Azarello, Ed Brubaker, and Paul Jenkins. Jeph Loeb can be good too.

Artists, I'm ashamedly mainstream, as I like Jim Lee alot (hey, I grew up during the "Image explosion").

But an artist that I really like, but not too many people are into is Humberto Ramos (Spectacular Spider-man). I really dig his style, every since he did the creator-owned title Crimson for Image back in the day.

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I'll buy anything with the following creators on it:

Jim Lee

Ed Brubaker

Kurt Busiek

Jeph Loeb

Tim Sale

Bendis

Michael Avon Oeming

Jim Lee

Carlos Pacheco

Neil Gaiman

Michael Turner

Grant Morrison

Brian Azzarelo

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I could start a new thread for "alternative comics" but I'll just mention my favorite artists here:Craig Thompson, James Kochalka, Greg Stump (Urban Hipster, Dwarf Attack)...

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I could start a new thread for "alternative comics" but I'll just mention my favorite artists here:Craig Thompson, James Kochalka, Greg Stump (Urban Hipster, Dwarf Attack)...

What's Craig Thompson done? His name is familiar to me....

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Who are some of your favourite artists and writers? Today? All time?

I've always liked Ron Lim's work on The Silver Surfer. I thought he did a wonderful job capturing the character's grace and power... and silvery-ness.

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