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Graphic Novels 101


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#21 BethR

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 09:35 AM

Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis is probably more famous for the movie adaptation at this point, but it's worth checking out. . . .

I second that nomination to say that the graphic novel should be more famous than it is--it was on one of those TIME "best graphic fiction of the year" lists not long after its publication. Link to the A&F thread on Persepolis the movie.

#22 Ryan H.

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 11:44 AM

Alan Moore's FROM HELL is probably the greatest artistic achievement the medium has ever seen, but it comes with heavy graphic sexual and violent content so I'm cautious about recommending it (in movie rating speak, it would be a strong NC-17 for sure). Still, FROM HELL deserves its accolades, and more so than Moore's other widely-recognized works like WATCHMEN or V FOR VENDETTA.

I forgot about this one and wholeheartedly agree with you. It is an astoundingly complex work that's guaranteed to a do a number on your head. Dark subject matter rarely bothers me, but the artwork and story in this one genuinely unsettled me.

Glad to see I'm not alone. FROM HELL is quite remarkable.

#23 KShaw

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 12:15 PM

Skim, by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. A slightly left-of-field bildungsroman with great characters and artwork.

#24 Scholar's Parrot

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 01:55 PM

Second Sandman, Preacher and Y: The Last Man

Grant Morrison's The Invisibles is great. I'm getting ready to start 100 Bullets as soon as I get home in May. Surrogates and Whiteout are both good. Please please please ignore their movies.

I've heard great things about Eisner's Contract with God Trilogy and have never gotten around to reading it.

#25 Andrew

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 07:50 AM

I'll second (or is it 3rd or 4th?) the kudos for Marjane Satrapi's work - I think she's written 3 graphic novels now, and they're all worth the time spent with them.

One that hasn't been mentioned thus far is David Mazzucchelli's 'Asterios Polyp' - a beautifully executed tale of the dissolution of a narcissistic architect's marriage, and the man's efforts to start anew. Uniquely illustrated, gently poking fun at human efforts to appear smarter than we really are, with meditations on aesthetics and the artistic life thrown in for good measure. One of my favorite overall book discoveries last year, that held up well upon a recent second reading.

#26 Ryan H.

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 06:20 PM

I love the comic book/graphic novel/sequential art medium, but I must confess other than a few works here and there (like the aforementioned FROM HELL), I've never been that impressed. Even some of the works folks rave about, like BLANKETS or PERSEPOLIS, strike me as merely "nice" rather than astonishingly brilliant. As a result, I've more or less given up on the medium, despite being extremely passionate about it at one point in time.

I have to say that it didn't help that I grew tired of superheroes. While they have certainly had their fine outings (SUPERMAN: FOR ALL SEASONS stands a beautiful example of how great a superhero story can be), they are often given to sloppy, immature, and genuinely dull storytelling.

One that hasn't been mentioned thus far is David Mazzucchelli's 'Asterios Polyp' - a beautifully executed tale of the dissolution of a narcissistic architect's marriage, and the man's efforts to start anew.

Sounds fascinating. I'll have to take a look. It will be the first graphic novel I've purchased in quite some time.

Edited by Ryan H., 23 April 2010 - 06:40 PM.


#27 M. Leary

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 06:34 PM

I have often had the same experience, Ryan, but Warren Ellis (not the one with the violin) keeps pulling me back in.

Edited by M. Leary, 23 April 2010 - 06:40 PM.


#28 Ryan H.

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Posted 23 April 2010 - 06:41 PM

I have often had the same experience, Ryan, but Warren Ellis (not the one that is one of my favorite live musicians) keeps pulling me back in.

What are your favorite Ellis works? I've only read his HELLBLAZER stuff, and all that inspired in me was apathy.

#29 M. Leary

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 05:29 PM

I have read some of the Planetary and Ignition City volumes, Dark Blue, Ocean, some of the Transmetropolitan. I just finished Orbiter, and really enjoyed it.

But he really appeals to my longstanding Bradbury/Heinlein/Dick/Gibson/Harrison/Noon/etc... fandom. But I am a graphic novel neophyte, so I wouldn't be the best index. I am thrilled that this thread has offered so many directions to turn though. Thanks all.

Edited by M. Leary, 24 April 2010 - 05:32 PM.


#30 Cunningham

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Posted 24 April 2010 - 10:06 PM

Global Frequency and Fell are Ellis books also well worth checking out. Both of them were experiments with more self-contained storytelling within a comic single, and so they aren't much as "graphic novels", but they both work really well as collections of short stories. I also get a strong Bradbury vibe from Ellis. He's angrier than Bradbury was of course, but he has a lot of the same sense of wonder at the amazing things in this world (especially apparent in Planetary and Orbiter).

Edited by Cunningham, 24 April 2010 - 10:08 PM.


#31 Ryan H.

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Posted 25 April 2010 - 07:42 AM

I have read some of the Planetary and Ignition City volumes, Dark Blue, Ocean, some of the Transmetropolitan. I just finished Orbiter, and really enjoyed it.

I've heard good things about OCEAN. If I was picking up only one of the Ellis works you mention, which one would you suggest I go for?

But he really appeals to my longstanding Bradbury/Heinlein/Dick/Gibson/Harrison/Noon/etc... fandom.

I love Bradbury and Dick. I'm a big sci-fi guy. Not familiar with Heinlein, Gibson, Harrison, or Noon, though I recognize their names.

Edited by Ryan H., 25 April 2010 - 07:43 AM.


#32 M. Leary

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 08:50 AM

He's angrier than Bradbury was of course, but he has a lot of the same sense of wonder at the amazing things in this world (especially apparent in Planetary and Orbiter).


I can't quote this exactly, but Gaiman says in the intro to The Last Temptation that he wanted to create a little "light reading for a trip to what Ray Bradbury called the October Country."

You had me at hello.

#33 M. Leary

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 04:10 PM

News on new Daniel Clowes graphic novel.

#34 Ryan H.

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 07:24 PM

On an impulse buy, I picked up the first volume of the SANDMAN spin-off, LUCIFER. Given that Gaiman's Lucifer, who abandons his duties as Prince of Hell and goes into retirement, was one of his most fascinating characters, how he would fair with solo treatment, particularly when handled by another writer (Miker Carey). But so far, LUCIFER is stellar, and reviews indicate that it only gets more interesting from here.

#35 Cunningham

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 07:41 PM

I've been reading Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World in preparation for the movie coming out this summer, and it is awesome. i just finished volume 5 today and it ends on such an emotional cliffhanger. And I just found out that volume 6 isn't due out for another few months! Curses! I've been hearing about this forever, so when I started reading it I had assumed that it was all published.

#36 N.K. Carter

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Posted 25 May 2010 - 12:02 AM

OMG OMG Jen Wang has a graphic novel coming out in September, Koko Be Good. The way she draws her characters, loose and elongated as they are, is utterly beguiling, reminiscent of what I love about Trina Schart Hyman's work, but taken farther. I don't know how she'll fare at long-form writing, but her shorts can be quite elegant. Plus, she likes Terence Malick and Wim Wenders, so I'm sure she'll get a good reception on this board.

Also, Karl Kerschl's meandering but often brilliant lives-of-the-animals story The Abominable Charles Christopher is getting its first proper print release. Kerschl's done some excellent, bright pencils for DC on series like Teen Titans: Year One, and the Wednesday Comics' Flash strips, but Charles Christopher is him at his best.

On an impulse buy, I picked up the first volume of the SANDMAN spin-off, LUCIFER. Given that Gaiman's Lucifer, who abandons his duties as Prince of Hell and goes into retirement, was one of his most fascinating characters, how he would fair with solo treatment, particularly when handled by another writer (Miker Carey). But so far, LUCIFER is stellar, and reviews indicate that it only gets more interesting from here.


I actually haven't read Lucifer, but Mike Carey's a great writer, both on genre superhero books and his personal projects. I never quite got into Unwritten, which is his current series, but I recognize that as my failing, because it's good.

Edited by N.K. Carter, 25 May 2010 - 12:03 AM.


#37 Ryan H.

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 12:29 PM

I actually haven't read Lucifer, but Mike Carey's a great writer, both on genre superhero books and his personal projects. I never quite got into Unwritten, which is his current series, but I recognize that as my failing, because it's good.

LUCIFER is definitely worth a look. I just finished the series. I liked it better than SANDMAN.

Anyway, I just read through the first installment of Darwyn Cooke's graphic novel adaptations of Richard Stark's Parker novels, THE HUNTER. Really dug it. But I've always loved Cooke's art style.

#38 Cunningham

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 06:15 PM

This struck me as something that *everyone* with the slightest interest in the comic medium would highly enjoy. Calvin and Hobbes become Lex Luthor and the Joker.

#39 CrimsonLine

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 05:09 AM

This struck me as something that *everyone* with the slightest interest in the comic medium would highly enjoy. Calvin and Hobbes become Lex Luthor and the Joker.

That's very, very cool. Love it!

#40 CherylR

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 06:33 AM

This struck me as something that *everyone* with the slightest interest in the comic medium would highly enjoy. Calvin and Hobbes become Lex Luthor and the Joker.


Loved it! :lol: