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What COMIC BOOKS have you been reading?

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22 Mar 2013 21:26 #148398 by bioball
Has anyone else started reading Rob Liefeld's revamped PROPHET series? I got hooked on it after reading this Slate article .

So Liefeld overturned his career—and his creations—again. In 2012 he handed many of his characters to indie writers and artists. The results are shockingly good. In the hands of Joe Keatinge and Brandon Graham, Glory and Prophet have turned into compelling sci-fi pulp heroes, disemboweling aliens who look like Miyazaki nightmares. Tim Seeley’s new Bloodstrike, about a team of undead assassins resurrected by Uncle Sam, has become an absurdist satire about past-prime heroes.


I remember the 90's era of exxxtreme comics as personified, in my head at least, by Spawn, Gen13, and Vampirella. But I thought it seems like a great idea the Liefeld turn over his IP to new artist and writers. Specifically PROPHET has a great AeonFlux/LEXX-like setting where the main character seems relateable but the world around them is gonzo in a bio-organic way:

The “new” Prophet is an enhanced but normal-looking human who crash-lands 10,000 years into the future, who hacks and fornicates and fights his way across an unrecognizable planet. The first city he locates was once an organic spaceship that crashed and got repopulated as it rotted. The planet is orbited by the corpse of “a once feared war giant who fought for this section of the cosmic ocean and lost,” now mined for delicious meat and useful bones. The violence and body horror is illustrated and designed by Giannis Milonogiannis, all of it distant from the original, generic comics.

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23 Mar 2013 20:35 - 24 Mar 2013 02:45 #148465 by Dogmatix

Dair wrote: Comixology is have a sale on all Hellblazer issues, and I mean all of them. $.99 each from number 1 to 300 (at least I think that is the last issue). I think I am going to pick up the Garth Ennis issues to free up some space in my collection. I've read the first couple trades of Delano's stuff. Anybody read the stuff after that up to Ennis? I don't know if it is worth picking up the 30 or so issues that I haven't read.


Read and collected the whole series up through about 250 (now I'll go buy the remaining 50 books just to take it to conclusion). Read the Delano books. Ennis is good but Delano made the character. His books remain *great* as they're unencumbered by all the "I'm Grant Morrison/Garth Ennis, See Me Write!" pretense that the "New Wave of British Comic Writers" Alan Moore made so very popular. He's the only one of the post-Watchmen generation I can't identify with a blind reading of 1 issue.

(Edit: Sorry, I also can't read as I totally missed that you *read* the Delano books. The stuff in between Delano and Ennis, however, only amounts to filler. Morrison had a couple, Gaiman had 1 or 2 and there were a couple of other 1- or 2-off authors. Otherwise, Delano and Ennis wrote something like 80 of the first 88 books. The other "big chunk of issues" pick up after Ennis's notable run. Of that batch, I really liked Jenkins, Azzarello and Carey's runs. I haven't read Miligan's stuff (he did the last few years to the end), and Diggle was OK but I read a lot of those books in a haphazard fashion.


I'm currently getting into the New52 books. Speaking of Constantine, I decided to randomly start with Swamp Thing.

And now I have to ask, WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO THIS BOOK?

When the hell did Swamp Thing become "Moss-covered Punisher Meets Crossed"?

Jesus wept. The book was always grim going back to its first DC run. And I can accept "dark" considering I'm an enormous Hellblazer fan and *loved* the Vertigo run.

But I just don't get what they're doing with this book now. I've just started #10 and it's about the grimmest visions of Swamp Thing I could imagine. It's not supposed to be a light and fuzzy book by any stretch but it seems to have lost its way a bit here...

And, since the crossover is kind of necessary, I've started the latest Animal Man run.

Please tell me the art gets better. Issue #1 is *awful*....
Last edit: 24 Mar 2013 02:45 by Dogmatix.
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24 Mar 2013 01:33 - 24 Mar 2013 01:42 #148479 by dragonstout

Dogmatix wrote: And, since the crossover is kind of necessary, I've started the latest Animal Man run.

Please tell me the art gets better. Issue #1 is *awful*....

The layouts and general storytelling in issue 1 boggle my mind. Unlike Howard Porter, where you look at it and it's obvious in an instant that it's a total mess, Travel Foreman has such a clean art style...married to seemingly using a dartboard to choose what to draw or focus on in each panel. I heard that he left, though, and Steve Pugh replaced him, I dunno if he's still the artist.

Bioball - yeah, Prophet is great, it convinced me to buy that big King City book! I haven't read comics in a few weeks, though, been busy in the evenings selling stuff on eBay.
Last edit: 24 Mar 2013 01:42 by dragonstout.

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24 Mar 2013 03:00 #148482 by Dogmatix

dragonstout wrote:

Dogmatix wrote: And, since the crossover is kind of necessary, I've started the latest Animal Man run.

Please tell me the art gets better. Issue #1 is *awful*....

The layouts and general storytelling in issue 1 boggle my mind. Unlike Howard Porter, where you look at it and it's obvious in an instant that it's a total mess, Travel Foreman has such a clean art style...married to seemingly using a dartboard to choose what to draw or focus on in each panel. I heard that he left, though, and Steve Pugh replaced him, I dunno if he's still the artist.


And here I thought being able to draw the human form--particularly the face--was at least somewhat necessary to work in the comics industry. The *lettering* is better at capturing human emotion than Foreman's art. His style may be clean, but I find it affected and kind of brutal...truly brutal...on the eyes.

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24 Mar 2013 07:31 #148488 by dragonstout
Heh, I don't remember being bothered by that, I'll have to look at my Animal Man again. Mainly I remember a panel being extended purely to show more of the kitchen sink, and that panel extension blocking someone's face or something in another panel, all *for no apparent reason*.

I've gotta get back to reading Four Color Fear and Are You My Mother?, and I've gotta read My Friend Dahmer before I have to return it to the library.

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24 Mar 2013 17:32 #148521 by Jason Lutes

Dr. Mabuse wrote: I just started in on my b-day present of Building Stories by Chris Ware. There is no order per say to the myriad of booklets, newspaper and leaflet formats, so I just grabbed one of the smaller leaflets before bed.

I was near to tears when i finished. Ware's ability to capture minute, seemingly inconsequential details in everyday happenings and elevate them into heart-achingly accurate tableaus astounds me to no end.

It's the stories about parenthood that get me every time.


That stuff will just flat out devastate you. He's light years ahead of anyone else working in this medium. It's hard to take in sustained doses, but the man is a comics savant. A genius, and I don;t use that term lightly.

Years ago, I stayed at his place in Chicago once when I was there for Chicago Con, and I was in his studio checking out the page he was working on. I asked him how he approached a page, how much he worked stuff out ahead of time, and he said, "I start in the upper left and work my way to the lower right." He wasn't trying to be funny.

Have you read Lint? I think it's Acme #20. Staggering.
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24 Mar 2013 23:17 #148533 by Dr. Mabuse

Jason Lutes wrote:

Dr. Mabuse wrote: I just started in on my b-day present of Building Stories by Chris Ware. There is no order per say to the myriad of booklets, newspaper and leaflet formats, so I just grabbed one of the smaller leaflets before bed.

I was near to tears when i finished. Ware's ability to capture minute, seemingly inconsequential details in everyday happenings and elevate them into heart-achingly accurate tableaus astounds me to no end.

It's the stories about parenthood that get me every time.


That stuff will just flat out devastate you. He's light years ahead of anyone else working in this medium. It's hard to take in sustained doses, but the man is a comics savant. A genius, and I don;t use that term lightly.

Years ago, I stayed at his place in Chicago once when I was there for Chicago Con, and I was in his studio checking out the page he was working on. I asked him how he approached a page, how much he worked stuff out ahead of time, and he said, "I start in the upper left and work my way to the lower right." He wasn't trying to be funny.

Have you read Lint? I think it's Acme #20. Staggering.


Comics savant? Truly.

I haven't reading missed an issue of Acme Novelty Library, since the beginning. It's the only comic book title I have kept up on.

On another note I just finished reading The Cabbie Volume 1 by Marti Riera.

H O L Y S H I T ! Inject Chester Gould's Dick Tracy with sex, drugs and the supernatural and you get the idea behind The Cabbie. Fantastic, fantastic book. I will probably break my non-Ware comic moratorium and buy this book.

I can't wait for Vol 2.

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25 Mar 2013 02:18 - 25 Mar 2013 02:20 #148547 by Dogmatix

Jason Lutes wrote: Years ago, I stayed at his place in Chicago once when I was there for Chicago Con, and I was in his studio checking out the page he was working on. I asked him how he approached a page, how much he worked stuff out ahead of time, and he said, "I start in the upper left and work my way to the lower right." He wasn't trying to be funny.


I know *nothing* about how the comics industry works as far as the worker bees are concerned, but this blurb makes me want to go out and buy *everything* he's ever done.

I get a bad feeling of pretentious movie director from a lot of comic folks these days. I think it's always been there, but it just seems more noticeable now. I don't know how to explain it but it's a sense that a lot of writers and artists go into things with the goal of "elevating the medium." As a result, they end up forgetting the medium itself--comics are about *the page*, not the book, the arc, or some other mystical grandiose idea. It's what sets them apart from novellas, at least for me. A good story is important, of course; but stop overthinking everything at the expense of failing to both show and tell the story in the short-run.

Maybe it's due to the emphasis on trying to market "graphic novels" (another term/concept I find painfully pretentious); I dunno. But a cat that focuses on The Page (or no further than The Spread) as the delivery mechanism? That's just *right* in my head.

I'm not sure if I'm conveying the right sentiment here. It's clear in my head what I'm trying to say, but I'm finding it tough to capture it in any sort of accurate terms...

And, yes, you all can just get right the hell off my lawn. ;)
Last edit: 25 Mar 2013 02:20 by Dogmatix.
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25 Mar 2013 13:28 #148570 by Shellhead
The term "graphic novel" dates back to the early '80s. Pre-Watchmen, if you can believe it, and probably a creation by Jim Shooter. It's not as common a term now, because DC and Marvel are chasing dollars, and there is more money to made off of a 50-issue event crossover story than a single standalone story in a graphic novel.

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25 Mar 2013 13:52 #148574 by OldHippy
I always thought that the term Graphic Novel came from A Contract With God... but a quick google tells me it actually first surfaced more than ten years before that book (ACWG was published in 78). But I'm still pretty sure it was the first time it saw print and was applied to that print run by the author.

I don't mind it personally, but I don't really give a shit what you call it. A book is a book to me.
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25 Mar 2013 16:26 #148586 by jeb

Shellhead wrote: The term "graphic novel" dates back to the early '80s. Pre-Watchmen, if you can believe it, and probably a creation by Jim Shooter. It's not as common a term now, because DC and Marvel are chasing dollars, and there is more money to made off of a 50-issue event crossover story than a single standalone story in a graphic novel.

This first one I remember was The Death of Captain Marvel, which was explicitly called "Marvel Graphic Novel #1." This was 1982.

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25 Mar 2013 18:01 - 25 Mar 2013 18:02 #148597 by dragonstout

JonJacob wrote: I always thought that the term Graphic Novel came from A Contract With God... but a quick google tells me it actually first surfaced more than ten years before that book (ACWG was published in 78). But I'm still pretty sure it was the first time it saw print and was applied to that print run by the author.

I don't mind it personally, but I don't really give a shit what you call it. A book is a book to me.

That's correct, the general consensus is that the term was invented by Will Eisner for A Contract with God, ironic because it's a collection of short stories :-P

But huh, according to Wikipedia it was indeed invented before that, though it's not clear whether Eisner had seen that (and certainly it was ACWG that popularized the term).

It was definitely *not* invented by Jim Shooter.

Personally, you'll never catch me calling them GNs, I say "comics" or "book". But it seems to have caught on in bookstores, as well as people who feel like they need to be defensive about reading comics.

Dogmatix - please DO go out and buy everything Chris Ware ever did. 90% of his comics are better than 90% of what is *on my shelf* ("better than 99.9% of all comics" would be waaaaay too easy).
Last edit: 25 Mar 2013 18:02 by dragonstout.

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25 Mar 2013 18:04 #148600 by metalface13
I use the term mainly to make the distinction between individual issues (comics) and collected trade paperbacks (graphic novels). Of course technically graphic novel is written specifically as a stand alone story and and collected editions of running series are trade paperbacks.

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26 Mar 2013 04:18 #148634 by Jason Lutes

dragonstout wrote: Personally, you'll never catch me calling them GNs, I say "comics" or "book". But it seems to have caught on in bookstores, as well as people who feel like they need to be defensive about reading comics.

Yeah, I really dislike the term. It was coined before Eisner, and Eisner brought it into broader use, but it wasn't until the GN marketing push of the 1990s that it got popularized. Publishers were looking for a category that would get bookstores to shelve The Dark Knight Returns in a different place from Calvin and Hobbes, and they really pushed it hard. I don't blame them for using it as a wedge, and I'm happy that it did the job of broadening the idea of what a comic book could be in the eyes of the buying public, but man do I hate the term. Comics is comics!

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26 Mar 2013 14:17 #148646 by Dogmatix

Jason Lutes wrote:

dragonstout wrote: Personally, you'll never catch me calling them GNs, I say "comics" or "book". But it seems to have caught on in bookstores, as well as people who feel like they need to be defensive about reading comics.

Yeah, I really dislike the term. It was coined before Eisner, and Eisner brought it into broader use, but it wasn't until the GN marketing push of the 1990s that it got popularized. Publishers were looking for a category that would get bookstores to shelve The Dark Knight Returns in a different place from Calvin and Hobbes, and they really pushed it hard. I don't blame them for using it as a wedge, and I'm happy that it did the job of broadening the idea of what a comic book could be in the eyes of the buying public, but man do I hate the term. Comics is comics!


I was working retail bookstores in the mid-80s, and that's where I learned to hate the term.

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