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Michael Barnes
August 18, 2022
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Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

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thegiantbrain
August 18, 2022
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thegiantbrain
August 11, 2022
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WadeMonnig
August 10, 2022
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oliverkinne
August 09, 2022
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thegiantbrain
August 04, 2022
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oliverkinne
August 01, 2022
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Scout Board Game Review

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oliverkinne
July 29, 2022
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thegiantbrain
July 28, 2022
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WadeMonnig
July 27, 2022
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oliverkinne
July 26, 2022
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thegiantbrain
July 25, 2022
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The Split - Review

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thegiantbrain
July 21, 2022
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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

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comic n00b just read The Watchmen. Now what?

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10 Jan 2013 16:36 #141221 by Million Dollar Mimring

MattDP wrote: How did we get this far down the thread without mentioning Preacher?

It's overrated IMO, but since everyone raves about it that still leaves it as being pretty good. And it's exactly what the OP asked for: a long, involving story without the need for any external continuity.


Preacher is easily one of the most overrated comics on the market. With that being said, I loved it when I first read it about 10 years ago. I haven't revisited the series, but from my memory it's mostly excessive gore and swearing. Preacher is far removed from a mature grim n' gritty comic, not that some arcs don't contain that element. It's a religious western above all else, although it contains a lot of comedy. Be warned, the comedy in Preacher is incredibly juvenile.

I enjoyed the story arc with Jessie Custer's father in Vietnam. That particular story carried a good bit of emotional weight to it.

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10 Jan 2013 16:44 - 30 Nov 2015 23:31 #141222 by Cranberries
Thanks for all the recommendations. I'm not a total n00b--I've read the Hellboy compendium, The Dark Knight Rises, All Star Superman (pretty good) and a few others. I'm taking Barnes' recommendation for Super Animal Guy or whatever it's called, to begin with. Has anyone read "Crisis on Infinite Earth" ? Is it epic or just silly? And wasn't there a Marvel multiverse compendium? I find myself less interested in the stuff that's incredibly gory. I'll have to check out Jimmy Corrigan too. I assumed it was too artsy to be interesting but I trust your multiple recommendations.
Last edit: 30 Nov 2015 23:31 by Cranberries. Reason: gorey=gory

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10 Jan 2013 16:44 #141223 by Space Ghost
This thread is pretty useful, as I am in the camp of not having had much exposure to comics either.

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10 Jan 2013 16:53 - 10 Jan 2013 17:18 #141225 by Million Dollar Mimring
Crisis on Infinite Earths is fucking awful. The story contains nothing but DC janitorial work to clean up a mess of continuity and clear up any confusion about alternate DC universes.

Instead of Crisis, I would read JLA: Earth 2 by (you guessed it) Grant Morrison. It's the JLA vs. their evil counterparts.
Last edit: 10 Jan 2013 17:18 by Million Dollar Mimring.
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10 Jan 2013 17:04 #141227 by engineer Al


Heh. The coolest. . .

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10 Jan 2013 17:08 #141228 by jeb
CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS requires you to give a shit about the multiverse. Totally not worth your time.

THE WATCHMEN is a weird place to start a comics habit, as its power really comes from being so "meta" about the comics that preceded it. Prior to THE WATCHMEN, mainstream comics were littered with God-like beings gallivanting about in their tights blowing shit up and snapping spines with kicks and so forth. THE WATCHMEN turned all that on its head and looked at a world where there actually was a God amongst us--how would people react? What would comics be about if there really were superheroes? What does society do with masked vigilante criminals? It's post-modern.

Alan Moore's work, as noted, is easily found and consumed. I can fourth(? fifth?) the recommendations for his SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING, V FOR VENDETTA, and THE KILLING JOKE and I can further them with his runs on TOM STRONG and SUPREME: STORY OF THE YEAR. I would avoid FROM HELL (too... black and white), PROMETHEA (Philosophy 101 garbage), and his sexy stuff, which is fucking creepy and gross.

THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is also post-modern, on a smaller scale. I really like how it spins Superman and Green Arrow. This is an excellent comic, written by a total douchebag. I don't really like anything else he's done.

Gaiman's THE SANDMAN series also stands alone in continuity. Great series. Philosophy 201 bullshit at times, but still worth it.

HELLBOY is entertaining, but it gets one dimensional.

THE WALKING DEAD is entertaining, but also gross.

THE GUNSLINGER graphic novels are good, and better in many ways than the source material.

I can recommend Spiegelman's MAUS as a serious read. That was another one that set comic art on the course to actual literature.

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10 Jan 2013 17:18 - 10 Jan 2013 17:22 #141229 by dragonstout
My recommendations were specific to "what to read after Watchmen", if we're doing general comic recommendations it'd be a different set (which we did a few months ago last year).

Jimmy Corrigan IS artsy, if you've really got a problem with artsy then fuggedaboutit. It is the king-shit artsy comic.

Oh SHIT, I forgot another great recommendation for post-Watchmen: The Death-Ray. No comic since Watchmen has better taken up the "what if people got powers in the real world" question than the Death Ray. And like Moore in Watchmen, Clowes here and in Ice Haven writes so that you notice more and more in every read-through; like Watchmen, it is structured like a mystery. I read it twice back-to-back the day I bought it. It is also a nice bridge between superhero comics and alternative comics, being a superhero comic by an alternative cartoonist.

jeb wrote: I would avoid FROM HELL (too... black and white)

I SO wish V for Vendetta had ever been released in full in black and white, as it started. The color sucks, and the art is *clearly* made with black-and-white aims.

I'm not recommending any Moore comics because there are SO MANY other great writers & cartoonists out there that I think it's better to get a sample of each at first to get an idea of the breadth of the medium before diving down in depth.
Last edit: 10 Jan 2013 17:22 by dragonstout.

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10 Jan 2013 17:55 #141235 by Michael Barnes
Yeah, Watchmen is kind of an odd place to start since it is so meta...but I guess most people get the gist of "comic book superheroes" and understand what it's doing. Lots of folks come in through that book, so I guess it works.

but I don't have the 38 different multiverses memorized

So that completely rules out Crisis on Infinite Earths. No big loss.

I'm not a big fan of them, but you might like Busiek's Astro City books.

Hellboy is hugely overrated. Look, the art is cool as hell. But like Jeb said, after about three books you're just reading the same things over and over again.

Grimjack is cool, but I don't know that it's a good next step from Watchmen.

Marvels may be one to look into.

I loved Preacher when it was in issues too, but it DOES NOT hold up. The juvenile content gets really, really old. There's definitely some great and very brilliant parts in it, but over the long haul all the gore and poo gets old. It's also VERY 1990s. post-Tarantino.

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10 Jan 2013 18:25 #141239 by Almalik
Planetary - another meta book.

All Star Superman or New Frontier for more upbeat heroic comics - both are awesome stories and I'm not even a Superman/DC fan.

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10 Jan 2013 19:13 #141244 by NeonPeon
Now watch the Saturday morning cartoon!
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10 Jan 2013 19:18 - 10 Jan 2013 19:47 #141248 by OldHippy

Michael Barnes wrote: Hellboy is hugely overrated. Look, the art is cool as hell.


I do agree but I also think that "art is cool as hell" is highly underrated as a feature in comics. The art is at least half of the comic. At least. DKR is partly so great not because the writing is better than or even equal to Watchmen but the art and colouring is much more interesting and progressive.

Hellboy is the same thing. The art isn't just cool, it's phenomenal. In any case he's already read enough it sounds like but this is a thing I really believe in. I love a good artist as much as a good writer personally and when you're in a situation where hyper-realists like J.H. Williams seem to get all the kudos from comic fans I have to emphasize it even more. J.H. Williams really has very little to define himself apart from the herd, his style is not (excessive baroque ornateness aside) that distinguishable.

Jack Kirby kind of started the whole thing. He showed people that a highly distinctive artistic style could really help define your comics... not just the art but the story and meaning as well, which is heavily impacted by the art.

Few of done this in mainstream comics since him. Miller, Mignola, Seth Fisher, Kevin O'Neill and I'm already searching my brain to find more. That's why, to me, Hellboy isn't really overrated, it's just recognized for the wrong things on occasion.

Many try to do that, few are successful in really adding to the visual dialogue of what comics can do.
Last edit: 10 Jan 2013 19:47 by OldHippy.
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10 Jan 2013 19:33 #141251 by Columbob

jeb wrote: THE GUNSLINGER graphic novels are good, and better in many ways than the source material.


Oh yeah, definitely. The art is pretty phenomenal. I stopped picking them up when they reached the novel adaptations, but I have the first 5 "prequel" hardbacks and they're great.

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10 Jan 2013 19:36 #141252 by Shellhead

JonJacob wrote:

Michael Barnes wrote: Hellboy is hugely overrated. Look, the art is cool as hell.


I do agree but I also think that "art is cool as hell" is highly underrated as a feature in comics. The art is at least half of the comic. At least. DKR is partly so great not because the writing is better than or even equal to Watchmen but the art and colouring is much more interesting and progressive.

Hellboy is the same thing. The art isn't just cool, it's phenomenal. In any case he's already read enough it sounds like but this is a thing I really believe in. I love a good artist as much as a good writer personally and when you're in a situation where hyper-realists like J.H. Williams seem to get all the kudos from comic fans I have to emphasize it even more. J.H. Williams really has very little to define himself apart from the herd, his style is not (excessive baroque ornateness aside) to distinguish himself as a stylist.

Jack Kirby kind of started the whole thing. He showed people that a highly distinctive artistic style could really help define your comics... not just the art but the story and meaning as well, which is heavily impacted by the art.

Few of done this in mainstream comics since him. Miller, Mignola, Seth Fisher, Kevin O'Neill and I'm already searching my brain to find more. That's why, to me, Hellboy isn't really overrated, it's just recognized for the wrong things on occasion.

Many try to do that, few are successful in really adding to the visual dialogue of what comics can do.


I agree that art is crucial in comic books. Good art elevates a story, and bad art undermines a story. Mike Mignola is a brilliant minimalist. His art looks like a crude imitation of Kirby at first glance, but it's surprisingly effective for such simple line work. What Mignola lacks in terms of realism, he more than makes up for with expressive storytelling technique. I don't think that J.H. Williams III is over-rated, though. He might not have an obvious style, but he has the range and flexibility to do whatever is right for the story at hand. Look at the Promethea covers and you can see a variety of obvious styles and influences, including art deco, impressionism (van Gogh), pop art (Warhol), and psychedelic art (Bill Graham's Fillmore posters).

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10 Jan 2013 19:37 #141253 by metalface13
Well said.

I've seen a big swing in what myself and comic fans appreciate since the time I was 12 and reading comics and today. In the early 1990s it was all about who the artist was and they got all the attention. Rob Liefield (I know right?), Jim Lee, Tod McFarland, Erik Larson, etc. We didn't care who was writing. Granted, I was 12 and my brother and his friends were aspiring to be comic artists, so that's probably the majority of my experience. I do realize Moore, Miller, Morrison and Claremont were all active at the time.

Now everybody talks about who's writing, with not a lot of people talking about the art. But it is a 50/50 medium. What's great is when you get somebody who can write and draw. Then you get something great (usually). Mignola's writing is not as good as his art, but he really knows how to tell a story through his art.

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10 Jan 2013 19:45 #141255 by metalface13
My general advice to people exploring comics is to ask what types of stories/genres do they like? There's super heroes, Westerns, science fiction, fantasy, crime, detective, humor, etc. And there's good and noteworthy stuff in all those genres. Or it can be if you're looking for something heady and broody or something light and fun. From there you can explore further the types of writers, artists, stories they you like.
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