As a kid, I never got into comic books all that much. I suspect that the only comics I ever read were the free Whiz Kids comics from Radio Shack. Seriously. When the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie was on the horizon, I picked up the graphic novel upon which it was based. I love Victorian scifi as well as steampunk and the comic (ahem, I guess they’re technically called “graphic novels”) did not disappoint. The allusions to existing literary works were so plentiful that someone even made a study guide (I’d link but it seems the bookmark is to Geocities and now defunct). [UPDATE: it looks like reocities holds the geocities content, so it’s still available online if I change one letter in the URL.] The movie itself — well, I cannot say I was as disappointed as others, but it could have been a bit better.
I did the same routine for V for Vendetta and The Watchmen and think I ended up appreciating the films more for having read the source material. After a marathon watch of seasons 1 through 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I picked up the season 8 comics (the TV show got cut, but the story continued in comics). It had some great moments, but also a lot of “meh.” Based on the hype for the Scott Pilgrim movie, I did the same for that comic. I found it difficult to first get into (there were a lot of characters and they were drawn very similarly), but it grew on me. I await the final issue, which should be out any day now.
I find that earlier in the evenings and on weekends I like reading texts that are a bit more brain-food, but just before bed that comics (er, graphic novels) work best. Given that I finished the last of the comics on my reading list, I asked Twitter where I should go next. The answers that I received I’m repeating here so that I can refer back to them later.
- @RobMagus suggested checking out a variety of comics from Vertigo. Knowing nothing about that, I checked Wikipedia and noted “Y: The Last Man,” about which I had previously heard good things, but had since forgotten. It’s first on my list.
- @ryanbrownstar suggested Cerebus by Dave Sim (and now that I think about it, I seem to recall @greenhiker mentioning it last year).
- @ThaJinx suggested Flight, Daisy Kutter, Paper Biscuit, Maus (the first of a couple — and also one I vaguely remember being told about in the past), Bone, and Asterios Polyp.
- @MikeyJ (also a comic newbie) suggested Sandman, which I remember friends in high school (?) talking about in the past. I’ll have to look into it, but from what I remember, it might be too dark for non-high-school-me.
- @diszaster suggested Hellblazer and seconded both Sandman and Maus.
- @misuba suggested The Invisibles.
And there you have it. This post is for me to refer back to just as much as it is for you to learn from. If you have any other suggestions or refinements on these ones, please feel free to leave a comment.