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What COMIC BOOKS have you been reading?

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07 Jan 2019 22:42 #289397 by DarthJoJo

Shellhead wrote: I enjoyed their Fatale, which has the opposite of the Scott Pilgrim problem.



Fatale is solid, but I recently finished the fourth volume and am still waiting for something to happen. Kill or be Killed and The Fade Out are tight. They knew the stories they were telling, and they kept moving. Fatale just feels like a wheel spinning Marvel Netflix series at this point. We've seen plenty of men sacrifice themselves for Josephine and plenty of times she's just made it out. What comes next? I have every faith these guys will pull it together, but right now it feels like they could have cut a volume without losing anything.

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10 Jan 2019 22:13 #289761 by repoman
I recently discovered that all the original Elfquest is available online for free. Totally legit as it was uploaded by the Pini's themselves.

My only real exposure to Elfquest was a few issues a girl I knew in college lent me. At the time I thought it was a bit too girlie for my liking.

Re reading it now, it is certainly much more feminine than say Conan or Fafherd and Gray Mouser, and there is a bit of new age post hippie earth mother feeling to it but I'm enjoying it. Certainly it is far removed from any mainstream comics of the early 80s.

I think the recent Netflix animated show Dragon Prince has drawn some inspiration from this comic. The elf/human hatred and elves having only 3 fingers at the very least.

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11 Jan 2019 08:54 #289780 by Shellhead

DarthJoJo wrote:

Shellhead wrote: I enjoyed their Fatale, which has the opposite of the Scott Pilgrim problem.



Fatale is solid, but I recently finished the fourth volume and am still waiting for something to happen. Kill or be Killed and The Fade Out are tight. They knew the stories they were telling, and they kept moving. Fatale just feels like a wheel spinning Marvel Netflix series at this point. We've seen plenty of men sacrifice themselves for Josephine and plenty of times she's just made it out. What comes next? I have every faith these guys will pull it together, but right now it feels like they could have cut a volume without losing anything.


Fatale has a worthwhile ending, but I agree that it feels like the overall story was padded out to hit a certain quote of issues.
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11 Jan 2019 08:56 #289781 by Shellhead
I found that free archive of Elfquest several years ago, and might even have posted a link early in this thread. I read several issues, but it wasn't quite my kind of thing. The big pretty elf eyes grate on me after a while, and the stories felt a little too familiar.

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10 Mar 2019 21:36 #293621 by DarthJoJo
Richard Stark's Parker, adapted and illustrated by the inimitable Darwyn Cooke.

There's two ways to look at this: Richard Stark's story and titular character and the work of Darwyn Cooke. To begin with the original, it's a simple story. A man is wronged, he seeks revenge, he takes revenge. Nothing special about it at all. Parker, the wronged, is also simple. He is a hyper-competent professional, always the strongest, meanest, smartest, most capable man in the room. He is also remorselessly violent. He lacks charm, stiffing waitresses on tips, and beats his ex-wife and chokes another woman. He is no hero but in a refreshing way. Popular media today is rife with anti-heroes with hearts of gold, bank robbers who do it for their sick kid, but to see it all chiseled away and ground down to this Platonic ideal of a criminal who murders and steals purely because he enjoys working just once a year and otherwise living at tropical resorts is a splash of cold spring water to the face. You don't like him, you don't admire him, but maybe you're cowed by his absolute masculinity into wanting to see him triumph over those weaker and less deserving than him.

Darwyn Cooke? The man is so good. Parker appears in the very first panel. It takes another ten pages before you see his face, but you've already learned so much about the man from his body language. Probably no more than twenty lines to a face, but even in three colors, you always know whom you're looking at. Just great. And now I learn that he's been dead for coming up on three years. Disappointing.

I'll be looking into the next two books in the series, The Score and The Outfit. Maybe I should read some more of the classics. One of my podcasts covered Robert E. Howard a week or two back, and I haven't read The Maltese Falcon yet either.
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24 Mar 2019 22:16 #294386 by DarthJoJo
The Outfit and The Score by Richard Stark and Darwyn Cooke. The former is the direct sequel to Parker and the latter just another entry in the series, "the best entry" according to the dust jacket.

They're fine. Cooke's art is excellent. The stories are fine. The problem is the antagonists. Parker remains at every point the strongest, smartest, meanest, most competent man in any and every room, but his achievements are more than a little undercut when not just he but every man he's ever run a job with knocks over syndicate operations as easily as him. The mob boss even thinks at one point that his people have gone soft, that they're not hard anymore like they were back during Prohibition, and a jumped-up accountant confirms it when he says the syndicate men and women don't think of themselves as criminals anymore, just as employees.

In short, if you're interested, you're probably fine just reading Parker. The latter entries aren't bad but are inessential.

There is a board game connection! Parker writes in his notebook after hours of casing the boss' house "They just keep playing the damn game. UNBELIEVABLE!!" The game? Monopoly.

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25 Mar 2019 09:42 #294401 by Colorcrayons

repoman wrote: I recently discovered that all the original Elfquest is available online for free. Totally legit as it was uploaded by the Pini's themselves.

My only real exposure to Elfquest was a few issues a girl I knew in college lent me. At the time I thought it was a bit too girlie for my liking.

Re reading it now, it is certainly much more feminine than say Conan or Fafherd and Gray Mouser, and there is a bit of new age post hippie earth mother feeling to it but I'm enjoying it. Certainly it is far removed from any mainstream comics of the early 80s.

I think the recent Netflix animated show Dragon Prince has drawn some inspiration from this comic. The elf/human hatred and elves having only 3 fingers at the very least.


Reading Elfquest in the 80's, after Marvel/Epic put them in color, was a breath of fresh air for my preteen brain. It was good to see something not only other than superheroes, but to see fantasy done in such a way, a way that feels less cynical than the common fantasy tropes in the 80's offered.

They aren't the best comics ever, but they are special in a way that most mainstream comics barely touched. Especially at that time.

They allowed me to broaden my comic reading horizons, and try something other than superheroes.

Lots of good independent stuff was released during that period. Mostly thanks to the success of the Pini's.

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25 Mar 2019 23:11 #294512 by Shellhead
The local public library finally got some new stuff in that caught my interest. I just finished reading the first four trade paperbacks for Rivers of London. Apparently there is a series of books about an alternate London where magic is known to exist and a special unit within the police department investigates crimes involving the supernatural. The first book was titled Rivers of London, and now the comics written by the same author are published under that same title. It's pitched as a cross between Harry Potter and CSI, but that's inaccurate. The supernatural elements in Harry Potter are very overt and widespread, while magic is a very low-key aspect of Rivers of London. The writing is decent and so is the art. One of the main police characters looks like a young Barack Obama, and the overall cast is very diverse. It was a moderately enjoyable read, but I'm glad that I didn't buy those trades.

I also read the third trade hardcover of The Mighty Thor, with great trepidation. The art looks good, and I really enjoyed writer Jason Aaron's savage look at a fictional Indian casino in Scalped. But I've been hearing for a few years now about how the original Thor has been stripped of his hammer and is now known as the unworthy Odinson. Meanwhile, Thor's mortal romantic interest from the '60s and '70s has been promoted into a new female Thor that is somewhat more powerful than the original. As an old-school Thor fan, I hated hearing about all that.

Even so, I had to give The Mighty Thor a try. Aaron really impressed me with Scalped, and the artwork on The Mighty Thor looked good. To top it all off, the third hardback volume feature Gladiator and the Imperial Guard on the cover. I am a big sucker for the Imperial Guard, because they are Marvel's thinly disguised version of DC's Legion of Superheroes. And if the Imperial Guard is the Legion, Gladiator is very definitely a cool imitation of Superman, with his very name a reference to the Gladiator book that inspired the creation of Superman in 1938.

And so I can report that The Mighty Thor is mighty fine. The female Thor is actually a very admirable hero, and she suffers from cancer in her civilian identity because her mortal form can't safely accomodate the powerful presence of the hammer Mjolnir. She is also engaged with political threats in Asgard through her role as the Senator from Midgard in a newly-formed Congress of Worlds. Many classic supporting characters are present, including Sif, Loki, Heimdall, Hildegarde, and the Warriors Three. Some occasional references to past continuity are in the mix, which is comforting to an old fan like myself. And there are fun new characters, like an elven dandy gunslinger and Roz Solomon, agent of SHIELD. The stories are enthralling, even though my beloved Imperial Guard was only briefly involved in the setup to a better story than any previous appearance of the Guard. I look forward to reading the rest of this run in the near future.
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09 Apr 2019 00:54 #295184 by BillyBobThwarton
Reading the first five issues of Self / Made during the past 4 months has been one of the most enjoyable comic experiences I have had. The cover of issue 1 suggested science fiction, but the bulk of the issue took place in some fantasy realm. The end was the first of several wtf’s I’ve uttered during the run. The second issue then expands the narrative to look at the events of issue one from a different light. To say much more might ruin the experience for anyone interested. The plot moves at a good clip by issue 3, with issues 3 - 5 having more plot in each than most comic arcs have in 6 issues. The team are producing a comic as if they might never get a chance to do another, and I cannot recommend it enough. A trade will likely be out in a few months, and at this point I would say to seek that out but to be sure and take a few days between the chapters to let it all sink in.
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10 Apr 2019 21:50 #295305 by engineer Al

BillyBobThwarton wrote: A trade will likely be out in a few months.


Already up for pre-order on Amazon, with a release date of 6/11. Sounds interesting. I put it in my "cart".

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11 Apr 2019 10:26 #295332 by Sagrilarus
I bumped into Sara somewhere . . . about a Russian sniper during the war. It was quite good, can't remember how I stumbled onto it. The first issue was free. I got an offer to buy the rest digitally for $11 so I jumped at it. Quite good, well-developed characters. Essentially a trade-paper's worth of material.

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