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Old 11-09-2011, 07:12 AM
mr. jp is offline
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Recommend graphic novels / mangas.


Living in Europe, I have no familiarity with this medium. I was thinking to buy some on Amazon to see what it's about.

On my tentative list so far:
The Watchmen
Death Note
The Walking Dead
  #2  
Old 11-09-2011, 07:14 AM
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Love and Rockets - Palomar
Ooku
A Distant Soil
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:46 AM
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League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Promethea
Sandman
Maus

There's an overlap between actual Graphic Novels (like Maus) and serial comics that have been collected into book format (like Watchmen - note, no "The")

And I find it hard to imagine Europeans are unfamiliar with the Graphic Novel medium, even if they are called bandes dessinée or stripverhalen or fumetti or whatever. Tintin, Asterix, Cordo Maltese, Valentina, Druuna - all are graphic novels.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:48 AM
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Ah yes, I know Tintin of course, and I have read all of those.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:57 AM
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Since so much of Alan Moore's stuff has been suggested already, I'll add quick mention of TOM STRONG. (Make sure to start with Book One.)
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:11 AM
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If you are just starting out, a few "high spots" make sense:

- Maus by Spigelman - won Literature awards, it describes his father's experiences during the Holocaust and the author's experiences with his father. Pivotal graphic novel as a crossover success proving that the format can be used for "grown up" themes and topics.

- The Dark Knight Returns by Miller and Watchmen by Moore - introduced a more gritty look at the superhero genre. Held up as the two pivotal mid-80's comics that changed the overall tone of the genre. Both exist as superhero stories AND as step-back commentary on the superhero genre - AND as using the genre to comment on big questions like our own sense of identity and our reactions to the 1984-like Totalitarianism both authors see our society suffers from. And both are great reads, if you are a fan of the genre. Watchmen is held up as the Citizen Kane of the genre...and IMHO deserves it.

- Ghost World by Clowes - an example of a graphic novel outside the typical genres - it explores the lives of everyday freaks and geeks trying to figure out their situations...

Plenty of others - Love and Rockets, the rest of Alan Moore's works, etc., as mentioned above - but for the time I had to post, these few seem like essential starting places...

Last edited by WordMan; 11-09-2011 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:46 AM
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The Golden Age, the Dark Knight Returns and Kingdom Come, all by DC.
Predator: Concrete Jungle.
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:57 AM
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One of my favorites is The Arrival.

A completely wordless, fantasy-allegory of the immigrant experience. I think it is pure genius, packing a genuine emotional whallop.

http://www.amazon.ca/Arrival-Shaun-Tan/dp/0439895294

Edit: it's perhaps the single best work to demonstrate that a graphic novel can, in fact, be a work of serious literature.

Last edited by Malthus; 11-09-2011 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:08 AM
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Another one by Alan Moore - The Ballad of Halo Jones I'd link to the wiki page but there are massive spoilers throughout, better to read it and figure stuff out for yourself. The "hero" is an ordinary girl, no capes!

I think this one divides people but I really enjoyed The Umbrella Academy two titles (so far) Apocalypse Suite and Dallas again no capes, but pretty much everything else.

Both of these just chuck you into their worlds with no explanation and leave you to pretty much figure out the background as you go (just how did Spaceboy get that way?) I liked that but it seems to piss some people off.

Oh, and there's Hellboy, every one loves him.
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:17 AM
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Black Hole - Charles Burns

Y: The last Man

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth

David Boring by Daniel Clowes

The Sword - Luna Brothers
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:29 AM
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My favourites are:

Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth - Grant Morrison and Dave McKean
Kabuki: Metamorphosis - David Mack
Stray Toasters - Bill Sienkiewicz
Promethea - Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III

Last edited by infinitii; 11-09-2011 at 09:31 AM.
  #12  
Old 11-09-2011, 09:43 AM
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The biggest names in graphic novels include:

Grant Morrison
Alan Moore
Frank Miller
Kurt Busiek
Art Speigelman
Alex Ross
Brian K. Vaughan
Chris Ware
Warren Ellis
Seth
Daniel Clowes
Garth Ennis
Mark Millar
Neil Gaiman
Mike Mignola
Gilbert Hernandez
Paul Chadwick
Will Eisner
Jeff Smith

Those names cover a vast distance of story-telling styles and genres and you'll have to discover those which resonate must with you, but those are some of the best storytellers in the biz.
  #13  
Old 11-09-2011, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. jp View Post
Ah yes, I know Tintin of course, and I have read all of those.
then read this if you haven't- X'ed Out - Charles Burns

and if you like that then this one

The Frank Book - Jim Woodring

these are two more of my favorites, although pretty far from manga
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:06 AM
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Graphic novels are clearly covered. It's hard to recommend manga without knowing what you like, as there are thousands for every possible genre. But, here are a few that don't run to thousands of volumes:

Wolfs Rain. The anime is better, but the manga is still beautiful
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. It goes beyond the anime and, again, is absolutely beautiful.
Pet Shop of Horrors. Sometimes disturbing, sometimes heartwrenching.
Akira. Required reading.
  #15  
Old 11-09-2011, 11:46 AM
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I'll second "Y: The Last Man" and add "Batman: The Killing Joke" and "X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills."
  #16  
Old 11-09-2011, 12:04 PM
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My favorites:

Nausicaa: This has it all, beautiful art, great characters, intricate plot. A masterpiece.
Starstruck: A space opera in the flavor of the 5th Element. Funny and detailed.
Dark Knight Returns: The only Batman that I've ever really liked
Ranma 1/2: Hilarious slapstick sitcom manga
Full Metal Alchemist: Wonderful characters and dramatic action.
Astonishing X-Men: Brilliant Joss Whedon writing, and lovely full-color art that avoids the cliche superhero feel.

I didn't like Watchmen, mostly due to the dry noir narrative style and the simplistic uninteresting (IMO) artwork.
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Old 11-09-2011, 12:48 PM
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Keweenaw, you have excellent taste. Chris Ware's work in general and "Jimmy Corrigan" in particular are among the finest works the genre has ever seen. Jim Woodring is one of my all-time favorites as well. Phreesh's list contains many excellent artists too.
I'll add an American and recommend a few European and Japanese works: David Mazzuchelli's "Asterios Polyp", Jiro Taniguchi's "A distant neighborhood", David B's "Epileptic", Didier Comès' "Silence", and Koike & Kojima's "Lone Wolf and Cub" are all highly recommendable. And in case you haven't been there: Hugo Pratt's stories of Corto Maltese are simply superb, in my opinion.
For something much older, you could try Lynd Ward's "novels in woodcut" (from the thirties). They are not really graphic novels, but quite fascinating none the less. "Gods man" is the most well-known and easiest to get your hands on, I think.

Last edited by Panurge; 11-09-2011 at 12:48 PM.
  #18  
Old 11-09-2011, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malthus View Post
One of my favorites is The Arrival.

A completely wordless, fantasy-allegory of the immigrant experience. I think it is pure genius, packing a genuine emotional whallop.

http://www.amazon.ca/Arrival-Shaun-Tan/dp/0439895294

Edit: it's perhaps the single best work to demonstrate that a graphic novel can, in fact, be a work of serious literature.
I have read this; this is cool.

Have the Yotsuba&! stories made it to your country? It's a bunch of episodes, not a novel, about a 5-year-old in small-town Japan, and her very real-world adventures. Commonly described as joy on the page, or the like.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yotsuba&!
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:36 PM
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Also I feel the need to correct for the fact that Gilbert (or 'Beto') Hernandez has been mentioned twice, and no one mentioned his brother Jaime (or 'Xaime'). I am much more in the Xaime camp than the Beto camp, if there are such things. Beto has some interesting characters, but Xaime may be the better artist, and his writing style is less rushed, somehow.

Look for "Locas," "Penny Century," "Maggie," etc.
But Los Bros. Hernandez are cool in general.

I also like Paul Chadwick.
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Old 11-09-2011, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panurge View Post
David Mazzuchelli's "Asterios Polyp"
Seconded. Enthusiastically.

I'll also add:
Pride of Baghdad
The Surrogates (read the book, don't see the movie)
Ruse: Enter the Detective
The Unwritten
Or, if you're looking for something that's just flat-out fun, Jeff Smith's Bone

The last four were originally published in periodical form, then later collected into paperbacks. But as they're ongoing stories, it really makes no difference.
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:04 PM
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Plenty of favourites already mentioned, so other Miller works then: Give Me Liberty, and its (first) sequel Martha Washinton Goes to War -- both illustrated by Dave Gibbons who also drew Watchmen.
  #22  
Old 11-09-2011, 05:17 PM
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Graphic novels:

Sandman
Y: The Last Man
Fables

Manga:

Nausicaa
20th Century Boys

(both these have flaws, but overall are worth reading)
  #23  
Old 11-09-2011, 05:39 PM
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Batman: The Long Halloween is the only one I'd recommend that hasn't been yet.
  #24  
Old 11-09-2011, 06:26 PM
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I basically learned Vietnamese by reading translated manga. The ones I read were:

Doraemon
Ranma 1/2
Inuyasha
Conan (maybe called "Case Closed" in English)

I like Doraemon the best, especially the first few volumes. To me, they're still comics, and I want them to be funny and generally light-hearted.
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Old 11-09-2011, 06:45 PM
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Several good recommendations so far and I'll add two of my favorites:

Astro City by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson. There are a few volumes, all excellent, but start at the beginning with Life In The Big City. It's a fresh take on some traditional superhero archetypes, breathing a new sense of wonder after the "grim & gritty" era.

The Chuckling Whatsit by Richard Sala. A black-and-white mystery that captures the look and feel of a slightly twisted noir film from the '30s, with some mildly bizarre elements. Just brilliant.
  #26  
Old 11-09-2011, 07:21 PM
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Moonshadow, written by J.M. DeMatteis, is a whimsical fairy-tale adventure story, beautifully illustrated.

Frank Miller's Sin City books. The first collection is now being sold with the title "The Hard Goodbye."

V For Vendetta by Alan Moore
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Old 11-09-2011, 09:03 PM
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One more manga to recommend:

Cross Game

Probably better than the previous 2 I mentioned.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:24 PM
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The Maxx by Sam Kieth, a surreal, trippy send up of superhero tropes that evolves into a deep and personal psychological drama. My favorite comic of all time. I don't think all of it ever made it into Trade Paperback, but most of the run did.

Scud: the Disposable Assassin Their tagline says it all: "Surreality just got funky!"
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:46 PM
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Perhaps you might want to read some predecessors to graphic novels:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynd_Ward

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frans_Masereel
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:06 AM
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Thank you people. A lot to choose from.
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