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.
9 thoughts on “The Twitterverse answers my comic book question”
Your geocities link may be active if you swap ‘reocities’ for ‘geocities’.
Well, wouldj’a lookit that — it works!
Having lived with a comic book dork for a good portion of time, while having very little interest in the medium, here’s the stuff I really glommed onto:
*Whatever associations you may have, Sandman is damn fine storytelling, and remains the only comic I have gone out and purchased the whole run of since Sean moved
*Lucifer is a Sandman spinoff; different writer, slightly different style, still very very epic
*Transmetropolitan – it’s Hunter S Thompson in the future. ’nuff said?
*I second The Invisibles
*I also like Promethea, but it’s basically a grimore posing as a comic series, so YMMV
*Preacher is vile and nasty and very very fucked up and I liked it very much.
*I like the Hellboy universe (Hellboy/BPRD/lots of one-offs)
Sean was always trying to get me to read Bone and Scott Pilgrim, too.
Dude! Of all the people I know that have even the vaguest passing interest in comics, you would be the one to totally dig the Scott Pilgrim series!
I know! I’m totally chomping at the bit for the movie, but I should go read the comics.
The last issue is out TODAY.
I just picked up the last volume of Scott Pilgrim.
And I second the suggestion of Hellboy. I think you’d enjoy it.
I am actually quite surprised to discover you haven’t previously read The Sandman. It’s sort of a staple of every good diet.
Anyway, I can vouch fFor everything everyone suggests here, with these fFurther suggestions:
* Global Frequency was a short series about a world-wide group of specialized every-day people. The Cold War left all this stuff lying all over the planet, and a couple people are wranglers who pull random people out of their everyday lives to save the world. Brilliant writing by Warren Ellis.
* There have been several Ghost In The Shell stories, all quite complex. They are probably about as close to manga as I will come, because they often don’t look particularly like manga.
* ElfQuest is much lighter reading than most of the offerings here. It’s about Elves, trying to survive in an alien world.
* Scud: The Disposable Assassin is perhaps the most unique, original concept I know of. It works because it is also completely fFamiliar.
* The Maxx is weird, and I love it.
Lastly. You might be interested to know about http://www.comicbookdb.com/ the Comic Book Database. It aims to be a catalog of every issue of every title, and rewards people fFor submitting data about the latest books. I have used it to keep track of what books i have, and what I am missing.
Come to think of it, I believe I did read Global Frequency a long, long time ago. Wasn’t there some failed movie or TV deal based around it?
I think this is the second or third reference to Scud I’ve heard in a few years (though the first since I’ve started actually reading comics). I’ll have to move that one up higher in my list.
And *of course* there’s a comic book DB. I should have realized! There’s the IMDB and I just recently discovered thetvdb.com for television shows, so it makes sense that there’s a similar resource for comics!
I totally forgot about Scud!
Yes: read Scud!