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Clint M

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Thanks to you guys I decided to hold out on 1602 until the library has it.

What I'm wondering now is whether or not Joss Whedon's X-Men run is available in trade paperback somewhere? I'd love to check out his work. :)

It is out, as I saw a copy of it at the LCS (local comic book store) last week. His run isn't considered that great, however. From what I've heard, the first couple of issues were good, but it just died as it went along.

Actually, I think Whedon's Astonishing X-Men is the only good thing the mutants have going for them in comics right now. I think it's excellent.

It's easily the best X-Men series since Morrison's New X-Men which I quite enjoyed (even though some long time X-Men fans didn't).

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Jason Panella wrote:

: Analogy: if you watch a single episode of "Firefly," that's comparable to a comic book. Buying the whole

: season on DVD could be the trade paperback. Serenity is the graphic novel.

What is Watchmen, then? I'm very comfortable calling it a "graphic novel", even though by your definition it would be a "trade paperback". Lots of novels, from the works of Charles Dickens to Tom Wolfe's A Bonfire of Vanities, were published in serialized form before their chapters were collected into "novels" -- that's why their publication dates are often listed as spreading out over multiple years, e.g. Great Expectations (1860-1861) -- so I think there is room for some overlap here.

Perhaps, if Firefly had been a mini-series instead of an aborted ongoing series, the DVD set would qualify as a "graphic novel" and not just a mere "trade paperback"?

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What is Watchmen, then? I'm very comfortable calling it a "graphic novel", even though by your definition it would be a "trade paperback". Lots of novels, from the works of Charles Dickens to Tom Wolfe's A Bonfire of Vanities, were published in serialized form before their chapters were collected into "novels" -- that's why their publication dates are often listed as spreading out over multiple years, e.g. Great Expectations (1860-1861) -- so I think there is room for some overlap here.

Perhaps, if Firefly had been a mini-series instead of an aborted ongoing series, the DVD set would qualify as a "graphic novel" and not just a mere "trade paperback"?

Miss this?-- "Lots of people use trade and graphic novel interchangably."

There's nothing "mere" about a trade paperback release. I'd call "Watchmen" a graphic novel too, since it was a miniseries with a set beginning and end. Trades are usually collections from an ongoing series. If you want to tear my flimsy analogy apart, be my guest; it was the only thing I could come up with at the time. Check Wikipedia out for more, too.

Edited by Jason Panella

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Jason Panella wrote:

: If you want to tear my flimsy analogy apart, be my guest . . .

Yikes, didn't mean to give that impression. Just kicking the football about, is all.

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Just finished Whedon's "Gifted". I read it last weekend, and saw the movie at the same time. It's funny, because Whedon's book also tells the story of the cure, but he's a much better storyteller than Brett Ratner. If only he had directed X3...

I also cracked into Hellboy comics for the first time this week (I've always sort of liked the movie), and I have to say Seed of Destruction is a really awesome story. The artwork and storytelling are some of the best I've seen since I read Superman for All Seasons last summer. :) I'm looking forward to reading more of Mignola's work.

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I heard the news that Clint posted on his blog yesterday morning on NPR about Batwoman now being a lesbian. They were reading that the reason for this change was a greater diversity among the comic characters. The response of one of the commentators made was quick, "If they wanted to make Batwoman diverse, they could have just made her ugly." I don't know why that tickled my funnybone so much, but the female superhero figure has often made me giggle to myself. I appreciate the stylistic form, the bigger-than-life character and such, but they are kinda like Barbie...us females just don't really work that way. But I suppose that's just it: the comic portrayal is somebody's dream version of us.

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FWIW, I bought JLA/Avengers (the Collector's edition - BIG, hardbound) and I liked it quite a bit. The story was a bit flat - the fight feels like it drags, because there is often no reason for the shifts in the battle - why are they now able to defeat him when they've been struggling for pages upon pages? What made the difference? Dunno. But the art is magnificent, and there are a lot of cool ideas in it.

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If you are reading Marvel's Civil War storyline, then do not read this story linked here until you finish #2.

If you don't, here is the gist of it:

Peter Parker outs himself as Spider-Man to the world in a press conference.

Edited by Clint M

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I can't get behind the "Civil War" series like I was hoping I would. Main reason: The creators (Millar, and many other top Marvel writers who have imput on what goes on) are claiming to take an objective stand on the VERY political issue at the core of the story. That's great, but it ain't reading that way. Clearly, they are against super human registration. Witness: Captain America - cool defiant rebel, sneaking around, underground resistance, etc. Everyone wants to be the Rebel Alliance, right? On the other hand: Iron Man, Reed Richards - aloof, cold, secretive.

Granted, we're only to #2 of seven, and they've still got plenty of time to remedy the isssue, but I'd personally be shocked if they did to any meaningful degree.

And to top that off, I just didn't go for the big bombshell event at the end of #2. From a storytelling angle, it was messy, and from a fan of the character in question, I'm baffled.

And regarding the whole pesky comic book/TPB/GN issue (again), the collected WATCHMEN book is technically a trade paperback. But yes, there is nothing "mere" about it. "Bonfire of the Vanities" doesn't apply since it's not a comic book. All that said, I'm trying to back off the issue, as even the big comic companies have taken to calling everything that's thick-bound a graphic novel in their solicitations, no doubt because it sounds better to people, and more "legitimate". I still say it ain't proper, but what can ya do?

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I can't get behind the "Civil War" series like I was hoping I would.

Granted, we're only to #2 of seven, and they've still got plenty of time to remedy the isssue, but I'd personally be shocked if they did to any meaningful degree.

And to top that off, I just didn't go for the big bombshell event at the end of #2. From a storytelling angle, it was messy, and from a fan of the character in question, I'm baffled.

I wanted to throw in about Jim's original post, but will add that when the collected Civil War comes out, will anyone question that it is a trade paperback?

Personally, I'm thrilled with the new development. I think it is a bold step in the right direction for that character. However, the overall story and tone is offputting to me. Millar and company are injecting such a cynical tone to these icons, and muddying their motivations with petty concerns. After years of marriage and with the biggest brain in the universe, Reed Richards is not going to recognise when his wife wants to talk to him? There's too much molding of characters to suit the latest batch of mass entertainment. Somewhere along the way, comics have become templates for their characters to vault into other media. The "compressed" style that is so hip right now is making for good storyboards, but I think we're losing story value.

That being said, I'm looking forward to developments from #2's bombshell.

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After years of marriage and with the biggest brain in the universe, Reed Richards is not going to recognise when his wife wants to talk to him? There's too much molding of characters to suit the latest batch of mass entertainment. Somewhere along the way, comics have become templates for their characters to vault into other media. The "compressed" style that is so hip right now is making for good storyboards, but I think we're losing story value.

I don't know if I'd go quite that far, WNGL, but I see your point, and agree with it for the most part. Look no further than the worst comic story I've read ia while, "War Games", which ran through 36 of the Batman titles a few years ago. Being that War Games preceeded the theatrical release of "Batman Begins" by a few months, it was, IMO, in the end, a really elaborate way to clean house in the batbooks, and get Batman to the isolated outsider figure that he would be in the film. Get rid of Robin and almost all the rest of the supporting cast, make Bats an outlaw, and poof! That ought to fit in a bit better with new readers along side of what Chris Nolan has cooked up for summer.

As for your Reed Richards observation, that scene was exactly one of the ones I was thinking of. You're dead on correct that he should recognize when it's time to talk to Sue. Obviously, she's probably going to find out the Illuminatti business, and their marriage will be in trouble. But I for one sure don't want to see that. I also surely do not want to see Spider-Man's marriage hit the skids either, which apparently there are powerful people at Marvel who do. "Civil War" is just so dark and heavy, I have a feeling we'll all be need of a good, wonderous super-hero romp to bring out the 12 years in all of us when this is all done and said. I have hope that that's where things are headed on the DC side.

"Civil War" is similar to the heavy (at times too heavy) tone of "Identity Crisis". I hung in there for all of "Infinite Crisis", but not being a Geoff Johns fan, he did little to win me over with that series. Too dense, too all over the place. That said, there were a few great moments. It was sad when Earth-2 Lois died, and the final fate of Alex Luthor was awesome. But yikes, on the whole, it was tought for someone like me who doesn't come close to reading every DC title (which felt like a requirement to get everything in the series).

In interviews, guys like Keith Giffen have promised that all this mumbo-jumbo will be totally worth it for where we end up. Earth-2 Supes was ticked off at how dark everything had gotten, and really, he's right. Dark stories are good, but the darkness and cynicism should not dominate, IMO.

So... I trepedatiously got into the "52" series. And, to my surprise, I'm still not only buying it, but actually enjoying it! Co-written by 4 guys, juggling a limited ensemble (rather than everyone and everything), and released weekly, I don't think I've every read a series quite like this. It's not blowing my mind or anything, but I'm just saying, I'm enjoying it. Especially the Booster Gold and Ralph Dibny stuff. I just wish there was a way to know which writer wrote what part.

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"Civil War" is similar to the heavy (at times too heavy) tone of "Identity Crisis". I hung in there for all of "Infinite Crisis", but not being a Geoff Johns fan, he did little to win me over with that series. Too dense, too all over the place.

I'm with you, Jim: Infinite Crisis was mind-boggling in its complexity. Honestly, I had no idea what was going on half the time. If anything, it raised my respect for Wolfman/Perez's work on Infinite Earths. (Actually, it was only after reading the Secret Files story by Wolfman that I began to comprehend what Johns&co were after in their series.) Anyhow, we should have known. Any series that is advertised as having a "countdown to infinite crisis" has problems from the getgo. How do you count down to infinity?!?!

I'll stick with Civil War to see where it's going. I didn't buy the DC stuff because a housemate had them on hand, but I have a morbid curiousity about where things will go in the "new" and "relevant" Marvel schism.

It would be interesting to know what you and other folks here read on a regular basis. I'm devoted to the form and will be at my comic shop every Wednesday for the rest of my life looking for the good stuff. Because there is always something good. Civil War piques my curiousity but I don't consider it "essential", the same light I cast, say, Brubaker/Lark's new run on Daredevil, which has a nice tone but depends far too much on what has gone before. (Do these talented guys forget that Frank Miller actually invented characters for his stories?)

Personally, my favorites on the rack right now are NextWave, The Goon, The Moth (if it ever comes out again!), anything by Darwyn Cooke and Solo.

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Any series that is advertised as having a "countdown to infinite crisis" has problems from the getgo. How do you count down to infinity?!?!

Yeah, but it sure sounds kinda cool! ;)

It would be interesting to know what you and other folks here read on a regular basis. I'm devoted to the form and will be at my comic shop every Wednesday for the rest of my life looking for the good stuff.

Sure, I'm game for that. Like I said, I'm committted to "52" as long as it's good. A few years ago, when comics kinda hit their stride again after recovering from the horrid 90's, (which got so bad with all the gimmicks and garbage, that I darn near quit without ever "officially" doing so) I began coming at collecting comics according to creator (mainly writer) rather than by character. (Had collected "Amazing Spider-Man" since 1985 through the Clone Saga, and still consider Spidey my favorite super hero, but still to this day don't buy regularly.) So I've gotten into the work of Brian Bendis (espeically "New Avengers", which is awfully expiramental for such a mainstream title), Brubaker (I'm late to Captain America party, but am catching up quick), and Dan Slott ("She-Hulk" and "Thing" are both breaths of fresh air).

I used to be into anything Keith Giffen did, but drew the line with his Penthouse Comix stuff. But his "Ambush Bug" and JLA were legendary to me. Even that painfully complex run he did on "Legion of Super-Heroes" in the late 80s was a good time to me. But I think even he says "Lobo" got out of hand.

I also buy any "Flaming Carrot Comics", "GI Joe", "Transformers", "Ms. Marvel", and "Astonishing X-Men". Most of those I'm way behind on my reading, but do plan to one day catch up.

I'm doing "Walking Dead" via trades, which I HIGHLY recommend to any fan of human drama and/or horror. Also, I'm slowly going back and catching up on "Powers" via HC collections, although there's only the one so far. Also, I'm slowly going back and getting the non super-hero Bendis stuff like "Jinx" and "Fire".

So I'm more of a Marvel fan than DC, but I'm also a sucker for "event" books. Both companies burned me out in the ninties with this stuff, but for the moment, they have my trust again - even if I'm critical of "Civil War" and "Infinite Crisis". I'm committed to those, if only as a spectator rather than a fan.

Personally, my favorites on the rack right now are NextWave, The Goon, The Moth (if it ever comes out again!), anything by Darwyn Cooke and Solo.

Not familiar with all of that, but I've come darn close to picking up "The Goon" Fancy Pants HC collection a few times. But I still need to get all the "Sin City", "Ultimate Spider-Man" and "Hellboy" trades, too. That'll keep my wallet busy. I should mention that I've worked on and off in a comic book store since 1990, so I've got more of a jaded inside view than most, I think. I'll still do occasional shifts when my freelance careeer isn't tying me up too much, and that way I can rack up a lot of trade credit and afford those HC collections.

And yeah, "Infintie Crisis" made "Infinite Earths" look all the better, didn't it? That "Secret Files" story was better than most of the actual "Infinite Crisis", IMO.

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I've not read the Walking Dead books! After laughing myself into hysterics with every issue of Marvel Zombies (if you haven't read it, I can't recommend this book strongly enough, especially if you have been reading Marvel Comics for a few years: Kirkman writes the most scintillating dialogue without ever resorting to cheap gross outs. Not to say the book isn't disgusting -it is, at a Giffen-esque level (which is praise)- but he also nails the characters. The end of the third issue is one of my favorites in comics for all time.), I am looking forward to reading more of Kirkman's writing.

Also forgot to mention that I adore what Morrison and Quitely are doing on All-Star Superman. I've always gone out for an intelligent Superman -his father, after all, was a brilliant scientist- and Morrison really has a good feel for the character in his traditional mode. (Keep in mind this is coming from someone that does not read any other Superman title and is not a real fan of the character -I've always deferred to Green Lantern as my favorite DC icon.)

If you like Warren Ellis at all, Nextwave is him at his best. The first four issues in particular are priceless. The last couple issues show signs of slipping, and I worry the book will not end as strongly as it started.

I haven't read Brubaker's Cap either. The whole "Winter Soldier" thing sort of rang false to me (funny how it coincided with the return of Jason Todd. Coincidence?) but it sounds like you enjoyed it. Maybe I'll pick up an issue or two when I visit my local comic seller today. ;D

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Here's another thumbs up for Kirkman's Walking Dead. I'm also collecting them in trades, and I'm getting antsy waiting for the next installment. It's just a great series all around.

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I've not read the Walking Dead books! After laughing myself into hysterics with every issue of Marvel Zombies...

The folks at the comic shop I sometimes work in have been telling me the same thing about "Marvel Zombies", which I simply missed the boat on. I hadn't yet read "Walking Dead" at the time, and thought "Zombies" looked like another goofy gimmick, and nothing more. Guess I was wrong! I will be gettting the trade at first opportunity. But yeah - likewise, based on what you say about "Zombies" - I think you'd really love "Walking Dead". It not funny zombies, but man is it good.

Also forgot to mention that I adore what Morrison and Quitely are doing on All-Star Superman.

Yes! I realized I too forgot to mention that series. I didn't care much for the third issue, but I really loved the other three for the reasons you say. I thought Morrison's take on Doomsday in #4 was ingenious. If only the real Death of Superman event would've been even a third as good. Ah well, that's ancient history. I'm one of those people who, like David Carradine's Bill, loves the idea of Superman, but can't quite get on board any of the monthly publications. I really do love and admire the messianic elements of the big guy, (and hence, loved "Superman Returns" - just saw it last night) but the movies (ones that matter) actually resonate more with me than most of his comic stories. Although "Superman for all Seasons" was awfully good...

If you like Warren Ellis at all, Nextwave is him at his best.

Never got into him, although he's one of those writers that other writers I do like really dig. All I really know oif him is his bizarrre guest spot in the early issue of "Powers". That was nutty!

I haven't read Brubaker's Cap either. The whole "Winter Soldier" thing sort of rang false to me (funny how it coincided with the return of Jason Todd. Coincidence?)

I didn't read the whole Jason Todd thing, since I thought it was wrong on principle to bring him back. I was a little relieved to read that that it was an Infinite Crisis manipulation, and not just another "he was never dead at all!" thing. But yeah, the comparison has been made to me before. But is the timetable exact? "Winter Soldier" has been going for a year and a half now, whereas I'm not sure about the return of Jason Todd. "Hush" did precede everythng else I'm talking about, so there is that, if that counts. (Don't know.) I guess I'm not opposed to

Bucky

returning since that death was so long ago, and didn't affect me as personally like Jason Todd's death did. (I called that 1-900 twice to vote for him to live.)

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I didn't realise Jason Todd came back as part of the Crisis... I suppose everything in DC is wrapped up in that somehow. ;D

Boy, All Star Superman is just the best. Don't ask me what's going on his regular titles, I haven't read one since Stern and Guice were doing Action Comics. I like Morrison telling encapsulate tales, it harkens back to Weisinger/Schwartz days, when every Superman comic was a self-contained adventure. Continuity has become such a chain around the necks of so many mainstays. It's refreshing just to see the character being who they are without trying to figure out what kind of real life problem they can tackle this month.

Are you a fan of Marvel Comics? What is your background with comics in general?

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I didn't realise Jason Todd came back as part of the Crisis... I suppose everything in DC is wrapped up in that somehow. ;D

Kind of. He came back in the Jeph Loeb penned "Hush" storyline, which ran for 13-14 issues in Batman. It wasn't until Crisis (Batman Annual #25, actually) that we found out Superboy-Prime was behind part of it.

Boy, All Star Superman is just the best. Don't ask me what's going on his regular titles, I haven't read one since Stern and Guice were doing Action Comics. I like Morrison telling encapsulate tales, it harkens back to Weisinger/Schwartz days, when every Superman comic was a self-contained adventure. Continuity has become such a chain around the necks of so many mainstays. It's refreshing just to see the character being who they are without trying to figure out what kind of real life problem they can tackle this month.

Yeah, but it's very very trippy. One person I talked to said it was like reading Superman while tripping out on acid. It's nice to see some originality, unlike Frank Miller's All-Star Batman + Robin, which is a bit silly at points.

Civil War... I don't know. I think the Spider-Man titles handled the

unmasking

fairly well, and keeping Jameson's reaction in character was perfect. Hopefully this won't end up like another House of M debaucle, where everything goes back to normal in a few months time.

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It's nice to see some originality, unlike Frank Miller's All-Star Batman + Robin, which is a bit silly at points.

I cannot tell you all the ways I despise All Star Batman+Robin. The worst thing about it? It is totally boring to read and look at, and with such potential too...

I think the Spider-Man titles handled the

unmasking

fairly well, and keeping Jameson's reaction in character was perfect. Hopefully this won't end up like another House of M debaucle, where everything goes back to normal in a few months time.

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Remember how they resolved Captain America revealing his identity? After experiencing loads of problems as Steve Rogers, he simply faked his death and left behind a mask, as if Steve Rogers had been a disquise under his mask. Somehow I don't think Peter Parker can resume his secret identity that neatly, especially seeing how intrinsic it is to his life and friends.

I'll have to look at the Spidey titles to see how they're handling it. The sooner they get him back in webs, the better!

I'm not the biggest Marvel guy, so I'll have to visit the Captain America wikipedia page and catch up. As far as Spidey goes, they should have revealed it in Amazing Spider-Man, and not in Civil War. Straczynski did a nice job on the follow up story, although he's going to have his hands full with freaking out the readers. Remember the Sins Past storyline? Gwen was quite tarnished after that.

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I also read Walking Dead in trades. Along with that one I get Fables and Ex Machina in trade.

I get the monthlies for Runaways, Y: the Last Man, Ulitmate, Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate Fantastic Four, Ultimate X-Men, X-Factor, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man and Astonishing X-Men. There are a couple others, but my memory is foggy...

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Oh man, I wanna echo the praise that All Star Superman has been getting. Easily the most enjoyable Superman related storytelling in ages and ages (just for the record I disliked Superman Returns but don't really have anything to add to the debate).

If I had to narrow my comic book buying down to two titles a month (not that that's likely to happen given my willpower), I would have to say that superheroes can say goodbye: Conan and Y: The Last Man are far and away my favourite titles out there in terms of consistent writing, art and sheer entertainment (Note: Both titles might reasonably be given an R-rating; they're not for kiddies).

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If I had to narrow my comic book buying down to two titles a month (not that that's likely to happen given my willpower), I would have to say that superheroes can say goodbye: Conan and Y: The Last Man are far and away my favourite titles out there in terms of consistent writing, art and sheer entertainment (Note: Both titles might reasonably be given an R-rating; they're not for kiddies).

Of course, Y is in it's last year or so. So one should not have to worry about making that sacrifice. :)

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Anders:

Conan and Y: The Last Man are far and away my favourite titles out there in terms of consistent writing, art and sheer entertainment

I've been wondering when Y: The Last Man would be brought up here... This rag is better than TV.

Seriously, I haven't been this entertained by a comic since I was 13. It's funny and has got a premise as addictive as the first season of Lost... I don't presume to ask for more.

Nezpop:

Of course, Y is in it's last year or so.

And speaking of Lost... This might even have a satisfactory conclusion.

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Anyone else read Runaways? Anyone else excited that Joss Whedn is taking the reigns in a few issues?

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