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Author Topic: Recommend me some graphic novels.  (Read 1331 times)
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Graham
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« on: March 13, 2008, 06:46:35 PM »

My wife is getting a bunch of Borders coupons and so it is allowing me to get some things I normally wouldn't get.  I've been looking at getting some graphic novels because I've had a passing interest in comics but never really got into collecting them.  Here are some things I'm looking at:

Transformers Evolutions: Hearts of Steel -- The idea of Optimus as a train engine is interesting, and it's a contained story.
Watchmen -- The movie is in production now and have heard nothing but good things about it, even if one of the authors/illustrators looks a bit crazy
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen -- Interesting concept and has gotten good reviews

I don't want to go overboard with this, as it would probably be picking up one once a month, but I'd like to get some that are contained stories, or ones that are contained within a couple of volumes.  The less expensive the better, but I want to see what is out there.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2008, 07:09:56 PM »

DC: The New Frontier Vols 1&2.  The recent DVD adaptation was decent but a pale, pale shadow of the greatness of the original. 

Planetary- My favorite Warren Ellis series with gorgeous John Cassaday art.  Just an awesome hodgepodge of so many influences, both recent and classic. 

The  The Ultimates 1 & 2 (each collected in two volumes).  Fantastic update to The Avengers in Marvel's Ultimate universe.   

From  Hell.  The definitive Jack the Ripper. 

  The Walking Dead- My favorite Zombie Apocalypse story. 


I definitely concur with the Watchmen and Leage of Extraordinary Gentlemen recommendations.  And while I'm ashamed to admit I haven't read them yet, Neil Gaman's Sandman is often considered some of the best work in the medium ever. 
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Darkstar One
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2008, 10:04:01 PM »

The Watchmen compilation, if you haven't already read it.
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2008, 11:38:18 PM »

Do you want men in undies only?

And I can't recommend Watchmen more highly. It's incredible.
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2008, 12:49:01 AM »

it may be a bit more expensive, but almost any of the Marvel Ultimate universe series are worth looking into.  There's Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Spiderman and Ultimate Fantastic Four.
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Graham
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2008, 12:51:15 AM »

Quote from: Darkstar One on March 13, 2008, 10:04:01 PM

The Watchmen compilation, if you haven't already read it.
I have seen a hardcover version and a softcover version.  Is there a difference between the two?
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2008, 12:52:34 AM »

Quote from: Eduardo X on March 13, 2008, 11:38:18 PM

Do you want men in undies only?

And I can't recommend Watchmen more highly. It's incredible.
I'm pretty open, but I'd like self-contained stories, or stories that are only a couple of volumes, not something that I have to get 50 volumes to get the whole thing.  That's a bigger requirement to me.
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2008, 01:00:14 AM »

Quote from: Graham on March 14, 2008, 12:51:15 AM

Quote from: Darkstar One on March 13, 2008, 10:04:01 PM

The Watchmen compilation, if you haven't already read it.
I have seen a hardcover version and a softcover version.  Is there a difference between the two?

Hard cover has a bunch of additional stuff.  Not sure it's worth the added expense though.

There are a few graphic novels I think any comic fan should have, and Watchmen is at the top of the list.  In fact, I think anyone who enjoys reading should get it.

After that, I would say Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and also Batman: Year One.  If you watched the movie Batman Begins, you are going to recognize a lot of things between the two.  I'm thinking (hoping) the portrayal of The Joker is going to be much like in DKR.

There are a bunch I like besides those, but it depends on what you like.  If you like Batman and Superman, I would check out Superman: Red Son.  Another good Batman one is Gotham by Gaslight.  Another good Superman-centric would be JLA: One Million.

You mentioned League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and those are really great.  However, I have something of a dislike of certain things Alan Moore does sometimes, so there are a few (minor) things about them which I don't like.  But definitely worth getting: despite my nitpicks, they really are great (although not as great as The Watchmen, but that's a damn high bar).
« Last Edit: March 14, 2008, 01:01:50 AM by unbreakable » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2008, 02:04:39 AM »

Definitely get Watchmen. 

Kingdom Come is another good one.
Preacher is one of my favorite comic series, but it spans more than a couple volumes. 
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2008, 03:07:46 AM »

It's more than a couple volumes, and the last collected edition isn't out just yet, but Y: The Last Man is pretty damn good. It turned me into a Brian K. Vaughn fanboy. I've also really been enjoying Fables.
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2008, 05:24:05 PM »

You ought to try out some of Joe Sacco's stuff, like Palestine or Safe Area Gorazde. They're both incredible works. There's also the classic Maus, Craig Thompson's Blankets (and the less serious Goodbye Chunky Rice), Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis(which was just turned into an Oscar nominated movie), and... shit, there's so much!
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2008, 10:20:16 PM »

Quote from: CrayolaSmoker on March 14, 2008, 03:07:46 AM

It's more than a couple volumes, and the last collected edition isn't out just yet, but Y: The Last Man is pretty damn good. It turned me into a Brian K. Vaughn fanboy. I've also really been enjoying Fables.

Seconded. I'm collecting both those series and they can't come out quickly enough. Not short though. I buy stuff mostly exclusively from the Vertigo line though, traditional superhero stories aren't my thing.
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2008, 10:28:32 PM »

Some other good ones are V for Vendetta (which was, amazingly enough, even better than the movie), Road to Perdition (have not seen the movie), and A History of Violence (really excellent, but I didn't like the movie much).

300 was also good, and was just like the movie.  Almost exactly, which was kind of cool.

I tried grabbing a bunch of Frank Miller stuff... and I would recommend avoiding his Robocop book.  Bleh.  That was just like Robocop 2 & 3, which isn't a good thing at all.  Ronin was really cool, though- I think it kind of inspired Samurai Jack, and was itself inspired by Lone Wolf and Cub.

OH!!!  OMG!!!  How could I forget? -
There are a few Manga translations you HAVE to get.  I'd recommend getting Lone Wolf and Cub, and also Berserk.  Bear in mind they are both REALLY long running series.  LW&C has an ending, but Berserk is still a work in progress (which is a moot point since the translations you can purchase through Dark Horse aren't up to current issues).

LW&C is perhaps one of the most influential comics there is.  It's had an effect on SO many comics and artists, it's really must-read for anyone serious about comics.  The ending is pretty amazing, too- it does not disappoint, at all.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2008, 10:36:37 PM by unbreakable » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2008, 11:42:12 PM »

If you're one of the Songs of Fire & Ice fans, you'll probably enjoy The Hedge Knight.
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2008, 04:47:22 AM »

For some not so edgy, but still good reads, try:

"Daisy Kutter" and "Amulet" both by Kazu Kibuishi.  I recently picked these up when the author and several other professional artists came by campus.

Shazam is by Jeff Smith, author of the Bone series.

For those that enjoy Fables, check out Crossing Midnight.  It's similar to tables in that there's the mundane world, then the world of fantasy.  Except this focuses on Japanese legends and lore.  It's not simply a fables rip off, it's very much its own work, and very, very good.  The second trade paperback recently came out.

For those who like short stories, the "Flight" series of anthologies are great collections of short comics.  They don't have an exact theme, but they're all pretty good.
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2008, 05:33:17 AM »

If you're interested in violent media criticism, try The Nightly News.
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« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2008, 03:06:17 PM »

And Hellboy is very excellent.
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Turtle
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2008, 04:24:35 AM »

I actually don't like Hellboy, despite thinking the movie was good, but not great, I thought I'd like the comics even more.  Not so.  The movie is actually written better than the books.  The main call to fame for hellboy the comic is the way the artist mixed more graphic design elements in with the comic art process, which is great.
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« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2008, 05:53:58 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on March 20, 2008, 04:24:35 AM

I actually don't like Hellboy, despite thinking the movie was good, but not great, I thought I'd like the comics even more.  Not so.  The movie is actually written better than the books.

I disagree completely.  Mignola's plotting and dialogue is much much sharper in the graphic novels.
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2008, 04:08:38 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on March 20, 2008, 04:24:35 AM

I actually don't like Hellboy, despite thinking the movie was good, but not great, I thought I'd like the comics even more.  Not so.  The movie is actually written better than the books.  The main call to fame for hellboy the comic is the way the artist mixed more graphic design elements in with the comic art process, which is great.

This is true if you've just read some of the shorter stories, but the main storyline TPBs have a really tight story, and a really well realized world.  IMO, one of the greatest Hellboy TPBs is The Conqueror Worm, which actually lays down a great deal of the framework for how that world works.  Plus, he gets to beat the heck out of Nazis!

However, I think that's TPB #5 in the series.  I would recommend working your way up to it rather than starting there.  BTW, a lot of things in the Hellboy movie are out of Conquerer Worm- Rasputin, the awakened Nazis, etc, but a lot changed from the comics to the movies (like no Von Klempt, dammit!).

If you've read some of the free web-based comics out there for Hellboy, the story is pretty much "Hellboy investigates fable, beats the hell out of it, the end".  That was one reason I was originally hesitant to order any TPBs, but I'm really glad I did.  The main storyline TPBs have a really, really great story, both in terms of that book as well as the overall story for the series.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2008, 04:36:02 PM by unbreakable » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2008, 07:22:45 PM »

The "Powers" books by Bendis and "Top 10" books by Moore are great.  Both are looks at how police forces would operate in a world with superheroes, but the series are quite different from one another.  "Powers" reads like a cross between a buddy-cop show and a detective novel with some guys in capes thrown in.  "Top 10" reminds me of Hill Street Blues if it were set in a comic fanboy's dreamworld.

"Powers" jumps the shark a bit after the "Sellouts" book and "Top 10" was pretty horrid once Moore stopped writing it, but the first few books in each series are outstanding.
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« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2008, 07:26:59 PM »

Another vote for the Watchmen.  I forced a friend of mine to read it, and he decided to read it just to humor me.  As it went along, he found he loved it, and now he owns it.
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