View Full Version : Can anyone recommend a good comic book?
08-19-2001, 07:35 AM
I've always wanted to read a comic book series. I used to read Thor and had a brief stint with Swamp Thing, but I'm older now and was looking to commit. I'm interested in a comic book that is more literate than the average, preferably not completely escapist. Interesting themes, moral dilemmas, complex characters with more than one dimension are all good. It's tendency to be easily dissected with Freudian analysis is also fun (Please no recommendations of "Hot Dog Man and Donut Girl vs. Hermaphrondon.") Oh and did I mention it should be colorful eye candy too?
Qadgop the Mercotan
08-19-2001, 08:06 AM
Did "classic comics" do a version of "War and Peace"?
08-19-2001, 09:15 AM
Get the graffic novel of "The Watchmen".
08-19-2001, 09:38 AM
You can't go wrong with Neil Gaiman's Sandman. While it's no longer being written you can find them in comic book stores back issues.
For a taste...
08-19-2001, 09:43 AM
Well, some of these are not colourful eye candy, but I am not ashamed to admit my love of comics. I don't care for the superhero genre. I just enjoy a pictographic representation of a story due to... well... just read Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. Here are a few of my recommendations. I would summarize each, but I think it might be easier to check out summaries from people who are better at doing them. :)
Cerebus (IMO, the most intelligent, most complex comic ever created)
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
Journey: the Adventures of Wolverine McCalister
Ernie Pook's Comeek (especially The Freddie Stories... one of the most frightening and disturbing things I have ever experienced in any medium)
Also, these two web comics are extremely intelligent and thought-provoking and in many ways break the boundaries and limitations of the traditional comic form:
Magic Inkwell Cartoon Theatre (http://www.magicinkwell.com)
Everything Jake (http://www.everythingjake.com)
I think all of thse have interesting themes, moral dilemmas, complex characters, etc. and while some of them are pretty escapist (MacDougal Street for example) others are firmly grounded in the earth (American Splendor). That should keep you busy for a while.
08-19-2001, 11:09 AM
Zot! (yes, the title has the exclamation point)
V for Vendetta.
Dark Knight Returns.
Shade the Changing Man.
Now explain to me why I subconsciously ordered those from shortest to longest...
08-19-2001, 03:09 PM
08-19-2001, 04:52 PM
and then, FROM HELL. The movie makes me want to cry.
Have you been following Sim's current philosphy longueur? It's amazing, the man's lost his mind. But maybe I'm just saying that because the feminine void successfully stole my masculine light.
My favourite Cerebus is probably High Society. Jaka's story was pretty cool, and I want to read Church and State. The rest I've read didn't really wow me.
08-19-2001, 05:24 PM
"Can anyone recommend..." is the start of many an IMHO thread. Moving.
08-19-2001, 09:16 PM
I really enjoy the later works of Sim... EXCEPT for the most recent, Going Home, which broke a very good narrative with his pointless ramblings about F. Scott Fitzgerald.
What worked very well with Oscar Wilde in Melmouth became just tedious in Going Home. I think he was trying to capture a bit of the spirit of Melmouth again. I met Dave when he had just completed Melmouth and I think it was one of the few times in the man's life when he had felt satisfied. He seems to suffer from chronic depression, poor guy.
Anyway, Cerebus has so many good parts to it, IMO, that I couldn't begin to list them.
08-19-2001, 09:43 PM
Tintin (probably in the Children's Books section)
Understanding Comics (for a little comix crit.)
08-19-2001, 10:07 PM
...And now for something completely different.
Hunt down copies of Dan O'Neil's Comics and Stories or Air Pirate Funnies (the ones with the D*sn*y cartoon characters in unsavory situations, that Uncle Walt's lawyers sued over)
Also recommended, any of Gilbert Shelton's Wonder Warthog or Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers undergrounds from the late 60s or later. The later books were written as full-length stories, while the earlier ones reprint many single-pagers found in undergraound newspapers and mags of the time. Much hilarity ensues, particularly in the longer stories. I especially enjoyed the trip to Mexico in which they met Don Juan...
Which reminds me of The Adventures of Harold Hedd, another excellent artist/author (Rand Holmes).
08-19-2001, 11:10 PM
Planetary by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday fits all the points in the OP quite nicely. Especially the "colorful eye candy" part. And you can't get much more literate than a comic set in literacy. Unfortunately, the only real editions are $25 hardbacks, and I wouldn't recommend picking up the current issue off the shelf and starting there. The comic is near incomprehensible if you don't know the back story.
It's also still superheros, so that's a bit of a down side.
Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai is also fantastic. It's about a wandering samurai rabbit named Usagi. If you can get past the talking animals, which you probably will considering the story quality, you'll find a comic with interesting themes, moral dilemmas, and complex characters with more than one dimension. It is in black and white, though.
Hellboy by Mike Mignola is just plain awesome. A subtly spooky synthesis of Lovecraft and old pulp fiction with acres of style. Any comic which can feature bionic monkeys, talking Nazi heads in jars, sardonic demon superheros and the constant threat of annihilation at the end of Lovecraftian deities while still conducting itself with enough seriousness to give you the creeps is alright in my book.
Also, pick up Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo, currently being rereleased in giant paperback volumes by Dark Horse. If you in any way consider yourself a science fiction fan, then you owe it to yourself to pick these up. I can some the book up in one word: Indescribable.
Here's a link: Akira (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1569714983/qid=998280246/sr=2-1/104-6869602-5303930)
08-20-2001, 08:55 AM
Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis. Love this series, and I don't even like comics. A high-tech dystopian future as seen by a cynical journalist with a snarling sense of humor. Great fun.
08-20-2001, 09:03 AM
Ooh. Dan O'Neill. Good call. I forgot about him. If you can find collections of his Odd Bodkins newspaper strips (I have one, but I got it years ago at a garage sale) I would highly recommend them. Scathing political/social commentary and quite a sense of humour too.
08-20-2001, 10:48 AM
Thanks for the recs. Im appending my list of "wanteds" based on what I've seen
I should have mentioned that I did want to stick to a class ic comic book formula, superhero, or at least, hero or anti-hero.
1. I'd prefer comics with a past and a future. Not graphic novels or a finite length series
2. I like humanoid heros. Modesty Blaise. Tranquility looked cool but was only 4 issues long.
3. Special Powers should be based somewhat in reasonably hard SF.
I know this is a tall order, but if someone can think of one.
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