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#52321 - 07/12/01 09:22 AM Re: Best comic books
Mistral
Ching Shih


Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 321

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Masha - I just looked on amazon.com & you can get lots of Asterix books there! Even my especial favorite - Asterix in Switzerland. They're only about nine bucks each, and, believe me, they're worth it. And if your French teacher was right, and they lose something in the translation, I'm not sure I'd live if I read them in French. I won't be going to amazon later to order lots...um, no siree...
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#52322 - 07/17/01 03:06 PM Re: Best comic books
JohnConstantine
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/13/00
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 Quote:
Originally posted by sunflow:
On a similar note, how does one get involved with a long-running series, like the X-Men? I hate to just start buying in the middle because I saw the movie and can figure out the rest of it. I'm a great believer in chronology. (Mainly because I just hate having any plot point spoiled.)

I think it may be time to brave the local comic book store and hope they aren't terribly condescending to a woman who has no idea what she is talking about (only in regard to the comics, of course).


Well, for something like X-Men, there really are a number of different starting points that work fairly well. i.e., When all the "new" X-Men (Wolvie, Storm, Nightcrawler, etc.) joined, or the first issues after the film came out. But with a serial like this, you're jumping into the middle. It's just the way it is, especially with a writer like Chris Claremont, who's written more X-Men comics than God. (He's sort of fond of long, dangling plot threads that he picks up three years later.) I say dive in with one of the trades (The Dark Phoenix Saga would be my recommendation), grab a few of the other trades when you can and just start reading the series. They've recently changed writers, and gone in different directions with some of the titles, so now's a good time.

Most stores these days are just happy to see a new face interested in comics. (the smarter ones also see this is a chance to sell a whole butt-load of product...)

fullmoon, you're right about SiP. Moore's bloody brilliant. A smart and fearless book.

Tara Tallan was doing a lovely book called Galaxion, but I haven't seen an issue in pretty much forever, so it may have died. Damn shame. Nifty space adventure stuff.

Colleen Doran is still doing A Distant Soil and her trades are usually pretty easy to find, and reasonably priced. The comics she's putting out right now are also notable for the backup features, which preview the work of some other very talented folks. She's been one of the stars of the indy world for quite a long time.

Also, and as per usual, Strega is right again.

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#52323 - 07/17/01 09:01 PM Re: Best comic books
Strega
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Registered: 06/01/00
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Loc: Maryland, USA

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Heh. Actually, I'm gonna hijack this thread now. Well, a little. But I've been thinking about this lately, and it might be an issue for new readers, so it kinda relates...

I find that a lot of comics are, well, ugly. And given how much of the story is visual, it's a problem for me. It's like watching a tv show where the story's good, but everything's badly lit or out of focus. I'm willing to believe that some of it is a style issue, since there are some books where I think, "Yeah, technically this is nice, but... I don't like it." That's fine. But it seems like I'm spending a lot of time saying, "This is a good story; pity the art's so lousy."

I'm curious if this is just me, or if everyone knows this and only I'm surprised by it, or if I'm spoiled since Arkham Asylum was one of the first things I read. Or if I'm just wrong (perish the thought). Mostly because I wonder if that turns off potential comic readers.

[This message has been edited by Strega (edited July 17, 2001).]

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#52324 - 07/18/01 01:03 PM Re: Best comic books
JohnConstantine
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Registered: 10/13/00
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Well, there definitely are some nasty-ass books floating around out there, and some pretty crappy artists still getting work (Jon Bogdanove, Bret Blevins, Erik Larsen, and Rob Liefeld, I'm glaring in your direction), but I really do think a lot of it is a matter of style. Of course, I'm not reading very many Vertigo books or their ilk lately, and I have noticed in the past that with their emphasis on "darker" storytelling occasionally have someone drawing who has a need to make the art as ugly as the actual plot...

It's interesting that you mention Arkham Asylum. From your post, I'm assuming you're a fan of the book, but Bill Sienkiewicz has been frequently ripped for his "ugly" artistic style. (you should read some of the nasty things people wrote about him when he was on New Mutants!)

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#52325 - 07/18/01 01:56 PM Re: Best comic books
Strega
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Dave McKeon did Arkham Asylum. Or are we talking about different things?
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#52326 - 07/19/01 12:35 PM Re: Best comic books
JohnConstantine
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/13/00
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Loc: Minneapolis, MN

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Nope, you're right. My addled brain got it mixed up with a different book. Of course, McKean gets ranted on for being "ugly" too, on occasion.

*note to self: McKean did Arkham, Sienkiewicz did Elektra...*

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#52327 - 07/19/01 01:25 PM Re: Best comic books
Joy
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Registered: 06/02/00
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Loc: London

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An important tip for anyone getting into the Asterix world: originally, Asterix was written by Goscinny, and drawn by Uderzo. Then Uderzo died, and Goscinny started writing and drawing them, with a significant decline in quality.

So make sure whatever you buy doesn't just say "Goscinny and Uderzo's Asterix", but makes clear that the text is by Goscinny.

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#52328 - 07/24/01 04:06 AM Re: Best comic books
Bear
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Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 1954
Loc: Dublin, Ireland

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Oh, I love Dave McKean. When I applied to art college, many years ago, I put his name on the application form as an example of an artists I admired.

I agree with Strega that so much comic book art is bad, bad, bad. I think that's the reason why I don't really like superhero comics (I love the '60s and even '70s ones, when the art is cheesy but not so '17-year-old-in-a-life-drawing-class'). But of course, htere's still plenty of amazing art there. Marc Hempel, who did all but one issue of the art for 'The Kindly Ones', from Sandman is amazing. I've been a Sandman fan since, jesus, about 1990, but I always hated most of the internal art (not, of course, the covers). Then in 1995 along came Marc Hempel and made me very happy.

Then of course there's Peter Bagge (yeah, it's nasty but Hate is still one of the funniest comics ever), whose art I adore. Ditto Jaime Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame. And the wondrous Dan Clowes. Anyone who doesn't think comic books can be literature should get Clowes's Ghostworld and any Love and Rockets book now.

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#52329 - 07/24/01 08:19 AM Re: Best comic books
Almeda
Ching Shih


Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 47
Loc: Chicago, IL, USA

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In re getting started on X-Men:

IMHO, a lot of their best stuff happened in the 80s, but that's just 'cause that's when I was reading it most compulsively, in all likelihood. :-> Marvel *is* doing something rather cool, though - they're pubbing big compilation volumes with huge masses of continuity (in black and white, alas, on newsprint), so if you want to see where X-Men, Captain America, The Avengers, the Fantastic Four, etc, started, go get yourself 'The Essential ...' All major comic shops ought to carry them, or you could try Amazon.

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#52330 - 07/24/01 02:57 PM Re: Best comic books
JohnConstantine
Ching Shih


Registered: 10/13/00
Posts: 520
Loc: Minneapolis, MN

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 Quote:
Originally posted by Bear:
Oh, I love Dave McKean. When I applied to art college, many years ago, I put his name on the application form as an example of an artists I admired.

I agree with Strega that so much comic book art is bad, bad, bad. I think that's the reason why I don't really like superhero comics (I love the '60s and even '70s ones, when the art is cheesy but not so '17-year-old-in-a-life-drawing-class'). But of course, htere's still plenty of amazing art there. Marc Hempel, who did all but one issue of the art for 'The Kindly Ones', from Sandman is amazing. I've been a Sandman fan since, jesus, about 1990, but I always hated most of the internal art (not, of course, the covers). Then in 1995 along came Marc Hempel and made me very happy.

Then of course there's Peter Bagge (yeah, it's nasty but Hate is still one of the funniest comics ever), whose art I adore. Ditto Jaime Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame. And the wondrous Dan Clowes. Anyone who doesn't think comic books can be literature should get Clowes's Ghostworld and any Love and Rockets book now.


Interesting. I really liked the work that Mike Dringenberg did on Sandman and Kelley Jones always does nice, if weird, work. I've never cared too much for Shawn McManus's work as a rule (what was up with all the grins?), and Jill Thompson's wasn't her best work (check out the Lil' Endless book she just did for some really nifty stuff, though; it's a gorgeous book), but overall I always thought Sandman had pretty terrific interior work.

I give you P. Craig Russell's work on "Ramadan". Great story, terrific art. Nice, nice, book.

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