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The Official Idiot Board Graphic Novel Thread

Discussion in 'Pop Culture Board' started by Sherwood, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. Sherwood

    Sherwood
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    I have a confession to make. While I'm reading Hemingway and Kesey and Steinbeck on the train? I come home and read myself some graphic novels in bed. I'm even going to admit to reading an unhealthy amount of Batman books, though the Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale ones and the Frank Miller series are series fucking books, some of it really is just crap. But enjoyable crap.

    However, I REALLY enjoy serious graphic novels. Everyone knows Watchmen is the standard bearer, but what graphic novels have you read and loved? What are you reading? What are you looking forward to? I find these things to almost be a crapshoot, and don't want to buy a book unless I know it's gonna be worth it. (Yes, I know I could download it for free, but I love owning books, it's my dream to have a library with entire shelves dedicated to GNs.)

    Me First:

    Y The Last Man Written by Brian K Vaughan, who is now a writer/producer for lost, it's a goddamn comedy/drama masterpiece about a plague that kills every male on earth except for Yorick Brown and the helper monkey he's training, Ampersand. Sometimes thought provoking, sometimes poignant and always funny, this 10 book series is one of the best things I've ever read, graphic or not.

    From Hell Alan Moore's EPIC (and by that, I mean long) examination of a theory about the Jack the Ripper Murders. I didn't understand what was going on until about 1/3 of the way through, it's graphic (yuk yuk) and violent and really complex. But it's also really good if you're able to read 20 pages on Obelisks.

    What books are you reading have you read?
     
  2. Bob Trousers

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    Re: The Official Idiot Board Picture Book Thread

    Has to be Preacher-just a fantastic series of books. Don't want to give anything away to the uninitiated, but it definately deserves all the hype it's received.

    One I've really wanted to pick up is 'The Boys' by Preacher author Garth Ennis-it's about a superpowered group of CIA agents who are charged with keeping superheroes in line, whether that involves intimidation or just plain old murder. Hell-one of the main characters is based on Simon Pegg, which gives it it's own kind of cool right away.

    One I'd recommend is 'Wanted'-the graphic novel on which that shitty Angelia Jolie film was based. The two are so unalike that you won't believe how awesome it is, and how much of a genius film it could have been if they hadn't shat all over the source material.

    For online stuff, http://www.freakangels.com -comes out every Friday and is thus far brilliant.
     
  3. cllrbone11

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    Re: The Official Idiot Board Picture Book Thread

    Long is an understatement for From Hell, thing is huge. The book that introduced me to Alan Moore and the graphic novel genre was V for Vendetta, which I thoroughly enjoyed. If like me you haven't seen the movie it's about a vigilante anarchist trying to overthrow a Big Brother-esque government that has taken power in England. The thing that impressed me with From Hell, V for Vendetta, and Watchmen was the amount of research that Moore must have put into each work. I've always thought of "comic books" as merely superhero stories, but reading Moore's books gave me a much greater appreciation for the genre. I'm interested in reading some more but like Sherwood don't feel like blowing my beer money on one if it turns out to be shit.
     
  4. Currer Bell

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    Re: The Official Idiot Board Picture Book Thread

    I checked out V for Vendetta and Watchmen from the library. Every library system is different, and mine's graphic novel section is relatively small, but it's worth a look-see.
     
  5. Proverbs

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    Re: The Official Idiot Board Picture Book Thread

    I've never seen the movie, but I bet the graphic novel for Road to Perdition is better. Hell of a fucking story.
     
  6. awwwSNAP

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    I just borrowed Sandman: Season of Mists from my buddy who actually read it for film class, and my first experience with Neil Gaiman blew my damn mind right out of my skull. I loved it. I'll probably be getting the entire collection eventually, but is there a specific collection that I should get next? Or just start from the beginning?
     
  7. mad5427

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    I tend to lump comic book compilations in with true graphic novels as for the most part, they are lengthy single stories.

    These weren't originally graphic novels, but the 75 issues of Sandman by Neil Gaiman, have been compiled into volumes based on storylines. Very good series.

    Constantine was a mediocre movie with Keanu Reeves, but the book it came from, Hellblazer, is pretty good. Also can be found in bound volumes based on storylines. My favorite stories were written by Ennis.

    Watchmen, no description needed.

    Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: The Killing Joke, any Frank Miller Batman graphic novels. For a major superhero, Batman has some fantastic graphic novels.

    For something serious, Maus. A great WWII survivor tale by Art Spiegelman.

    Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud is one of my favorite books of all time. It completely captures the essence of the medium and made every other comic book/graphic novel that I read or reread later that much more enjoyable.

    Last but certainly not least, Fun with Milk and Cheese by Evan Dorkin. It's about a small carton of milk and a small block of cheese personified. They are drunkards and just go around doing what they please, which usually involves serious violence. It's pretty funny. It's not a single story, just a compilation of one to a few page stories. Not sure if you could call it a graphic novel, but they're good comics and worth a look. "Gin makes a man mean, everybody booze up and riot." Classic.
     
  8. mad5427

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    Start from the beginning. It's much better this way. After you finish with Sandman, check out Death, which is one of Sandman's sisters. After that, start reading a few of his novels. I am a huge Neil Gaiman fan. Comics, Graphic Novels, Novels, there is very little of his that I haven't enjoyed. Dave McKean is also one of my favorite artists. He painted/created every Sandman cover, but was involved in a whole bunch of other projects. He has done a lot of stuff in and out of the comic world, even was a conceptual artist for some of the Harry Potter movies. The two are very good separate, but phenomenal together.
     
  9. clb

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    Re: The Official Idiot Board Picture Book Thread

    Preacher is great, and I'm downloading The Boys now. I'll report back.

    If you're at least passingly familiar with Victorian era fiction, give The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen a shot. It's another Alan Moore work, although not in the same league as Watchmen.
     
  10. Dufresne

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    My absolute favorite comic series is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Talk about shitty film adaptations of good comics, this one takes the cake, but really, the comic is fantastic. I love the artwork, and if you're a literature nut you can spot a subtle reference to some obscure piece of Victorian lit on just about every page.

    Some less-known stuff I've read that I've enjoyed:

    Persepolis is an autobiography about the author growing up in Iran during the Iranian Revolution. It's a great read, and pretty quick for its length. Since in the West, all we hear from that area of the world is violence and unrest, a civilian view of the region is fascinating. The sequel, Persepolis 2, is also very good, and there was an animated movie based on the comic which I haven't yet been able to see. It was apparently very good, though, since it got an Oscar nomination.

    The Golem's Mighty Swing is a story about a Jewish barnstorming team during the early days of baseball in America, when many teams had gimmicks like dressing in clown makeup. Everyone on the team is a Jew with the exception of one huge, black player. So as the team's gimmick, they dress him up like a Golem, which is a Hebrew folk legend. The focus of the book is US race relations around the turn of the century, but it's wrapped up in a pretty fun story about baseball.

    And speaking of race relations, Birth of a Nation: A Comic Novel is a pretty funny story, asking what if the 2000 Florida election disaster had happened in Illinois instead of Florida. The result is East St. Louis seceding from the United States to form the independent nation of Blackland. (Yes, Blackland.) Aaron McGruder, the man behind The Boondocks, was one of the authors.
     
  11. Glace

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    I suggest 100 Bullets and The Walking Dead.

    100 Bullets is a fairly complicated, it starts off as an Agent Graves who offers people, who have been severely wronged, with an untraceable gun, 100 bullets, and evidence of why they were wronged. They're allowed to do whatever they want with the gun and will suffer absolutely no reprecussions because of it. It evolves into a broader story, but you can check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100_Bullets for a more detailed explanation.

    The Walking Dead is a world that's been over run with zombies. It's great because it focuses more on interpersonal dynamics and trying to survive living in an isolated world, rather than focusing on shooting the hell out of zombies.
     
  12. Shoombala

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    Preacher is one of the best stories I've ever read. Comic book, novel, whatever. It's just great. Same with Watchmen.

    The Boys has my attention, but the jury's still out.

    Im on book 6 of Sandman, Ill probably finish the series within a few weeks. Love it so far.

    My favorite that has not been mentioned yet is Transmetropolitan. Take Hunter S Thompson and drop him in a futuristic Sodom and Gommorah with an unlimited supply of drugs and bullets.

    Y: The Last Man is entertainig as well. A virus has wiped out every male mammal on the planet except for one boy and his pet monkey.
     
  13. Drake

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    Batman, No Man's Land is one of the best story lines ever laid out, and is collected in 5 volumes of TPBs, I highly suggest picking them up if you want a good read.

    Arkham Asylum is a great read as well, really gets into the psychology of Batman and the Joker.

    The Killing Joke is a great read as well. Tells the Joker's back story and contains one of his most horrific crimes ever. This was required reading for heath Ledger in preparing for his part as the Joker.

    Oh yeah, Watchmen, blah blah blah... best graphic novel of all time... blah blah blah.
     
  14. Rudolph

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    If you're looking for ideas to get into something new I'd recommend checking this out. Comics Should Be Good! blog is doing A Year of Cool Comic Moments for 2009, and some of the moments are fantastic. Give it a look.

    I'm just about to finish the 10th trade of Y: The Last Man, and I'm interested to see how it all wraps up. My girlfriend and I have been reading it since January, and we both love it.
     
  15. awwwSNAP

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    I was just browsing around wikipedia, and maybe someone here can answer this more succinctly than hunting through 15 different articles could - is Bruce Wayne really dead?
     
  16. Drake

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    Yes... and no.

    Bruce "died" at the hands of Darkseid during the last "Crisis" (who can keep up?) However at the end of the series he was shown doing cave paintings on some netherworld.

    His actual earthly body was interred in Gotham City, and the Black Hand brought it up from the ground during the "Darkest Night" on-going story-line and is currently carrying it around, ostensibly so be cannot become a Black Lantern like the rest of the dead DCU...

    However if you believe the story written into "What happened to the Caped Crusader?" he accepted his death and went into the light with his mother.
     
  17. OdenIHY

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    I'm just echoing previous posts here, but I've read a lot of graphic novels in my day. Four have survived the culling of the bookshelf.

    The Watchmen - Requires no explanation

    From Hell - If you've seen the movie, you know it's an awesome story. It's also extremely well researched. For me, the extensive end notes made this for me. It was really nice how Alan Moore would say, "This is actually how it happened" or "This I made up for the story" or even, "This and this actually happened, and I combined them so the narrative wouldn't be confusing."

    The Preacher - This is my favorite graphic novel ever. It's pretty long (Nine trade paperbacks), but totally worth it. The artwork is really good, and the story is absolutely phenomenal.

    Life Eaters (By David Brin) - Is based off of a short story by the same author called "Thor Meets Captain America". It's an alternate history of WWII in which the Holocaust was performed so the Nazis could use necromancy to call the Norwegian Gods to come fight on their side. They win, but Loki sides with the Americans. The short story is better than the graphic novel, which is better in plot and idea than in execution, but it's still pretty cool.
     
  18. silentshadow56

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    Can't believe that no one has mentioned Frank Miller's Sin City yet. The Graphic novels are absolutely just epic hands down the best noir that I have ever come across. His art style is absolutely amazing and the stories just suck you in. The movie is also phenomenal in the way that it portrays the feel of the comics it is literally like watching the comic come to life on the screen which is just awesome. I recommened the whole set but out of the ones not involved in the first movie to hell and back was my favorite and booze, broads, and bullets was also really good. My least favorite in the series is Family Values as I don't feel it really lives up to the previous tales.

    I haven't read it yet but I def. plan on picking up Pinocchio Vampire Slayer. Essentially the plot of the novel is that after witnessing Geppetto being murdered by vampires pinocchio goes on a vampire slaying spree using his own ever growing nose as a supply of vampire stakes.


    Anyone interested on good deals on graphic novels I always rec commend http://www.midtowncomics.com the prices are always discounted no matter what and they have a sale almost every week on some items or others. Best of all if you buy in bulk any order over $75 is shipped for free. I use them all the time and can personally vouch for their amazing service.
     
  19. numeric

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    DMZ is lodged nicely in that little "what if?" section of my brain.
     
  20. Bob Trousers

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    Has anybody here read 'Crossed'?

    Wikipedia has this to say about it:

    The story follows survivors dealing with a zombie-like plague that causes it victims to carry out their most evil thoughts and wishes, including murder, rape, mutilation, arson, etc. Carriers of the virus are known as the Crossed since a cross-like rash appears on their faces. This contagion is primarily spread through bite wounds and rape, assuming that the victim doesn't die first, but can be spread by any bodily fluid, which the Crossed have used to great effect by treating their weapons with their fluids. It does not appear to affect animals in any way.

    The main story takes place ten months after the first outbreaks, with flashbacks to those events. It is narrated in the past tense.


    It's written by Garth Ennis of 'Preacher' fame, and is described by the man himself as his most fucked up work yet.

    Yesterday I read 'All Star Batman and Robin: The Boy Wonder'. From what I've read on the web it's pretty much hated by most because of the way it alters most of the characters personalities completely, but I loved it-thought it was a nice change. Batman is still the Dark Detective, but is also a complete psychotic who loves breaking bones and generally being better than everyone else.