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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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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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July 28, 2022
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July 27, 2022
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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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Physical copy comics

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19 Nov 2013 21:42 #165552 by Matt Thrower
My family mostly refuse, point blank, to buy me gaming stuff when Christmas and birthdays roll around because they all think I have enough. Most of the other things I like to accumulate - books, music, videos - I tend to prefer in digital format nowadays. But that makes it a bit difficult if someone wants to gift-wrap it.

But I was struck by the idea that there are certain comic books that you really need a physical copy of to properly appreciate, thanks to the artwork and layout. I'm not hugely in to comics, so it's an unexplored realm for me. And reading on a computer or tablet can be awkward and annoying.

So I'm asking for suggestions. What comics can you recommend that really benefit from having a physical copy in your hand? Of the limited selection I've read, my favourites are probably the Batman classics (Killing Joke, Dark Knight Returns, Arkham Asylum), the Judge Dredd case files and the Sin City series. I didn't care so much for Preacher and Watchmen (yes, really). That's pretty much the only ones I've ever read.

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19 Nov 2013 21:56 - 19 Nov 2013 21:56 #165556 by VonTush
Replied by VonTush on topic Re: Physical copy comics
Chris Ware is an author that I think really utilizes page layout and paneling to tell his stories. My favorite author by far. I would never want to read his stuff digital...There's something special about holding a book that mimics the Little Golden Books of my childhood.

Johnathan Hickman's Image published books I think would lose something going digital. I haven't read any of his Marvel stuff, but I've heard good things.
Last edit: 19 Nov 2013 21:56 by VonTush.
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19 Nov 2013 22:08 #165557 by Michael Barnes
Watchmen simply must have the format of its original medium, no exceptions.

All of the Moebius/Jodorowksy stuff really needs to be seen physically, preferably in larger formats.

Anything drawn by JH Williams III suffers on the screen.

I actually kind of think that 2000AD/Judge Dredd material really kind of works best printed on newsprint, as it was intended. The coloring and inking was tailored for that format...as weird as it sounds, it kind of needs to be sort of muddy.

I _LOVE_ digital format comics. I have thousands and thousands of them. They are by far the most convenient way to read comics. But they are not the best way to collect comics or fully appreciate them as a medium. My general rule is that scans/digital formats are fine, but buy the print versions of the best. I don't really worry about any kind of loss if I'm just reading current Marvel/DC continuity or catching up on an old story that I just wanted to check out. I do worry when I'm reading something like Doom Patrol, Thor, the good Daredevil stories, the top tier Batman stuff, and so on.
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19 Nov 2013 22:19 - 19 Nov 2013 22:25 #165559 by OldHippy
Replied by OldHippy on topic Re: Physical copy comics
Chirs Ware's Building Stories, more than any comic ever, needs to be in the physical form. It's amazing and the physicality of it is a part of the art.

Frank Miller's 300, although not a great work necessarily, needs to be read in the wide screen format it was sold in. The writing is piss poor but it looks amazing and Lyn Varley really outdid herself on the colours in that one. It might be the best looking book he's every produced and FM has produced some of the best looking comics of all time. Whether you like his writing or not his art is by far the most original of the major players in the industry.

Cerebus needs it's original format although some of it may work digitally there are certainly sections that need to be in a book.

Some books like The Ultimates have big six page spreads where you keep unfolding pages that would never work on an iPad (I say this as someone who reads a lot of comics on the iPad) so if you are interested in that series it needs to be in a physical form.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Lost Girls both need their physical copies to function properly. Especially the Black Dossier. Lots of people around here hate that series but I love it and know of lots of other people that do too, just not on this site. It's worth giving a chance because you just may adore it. I know I do.

Most books are probably fine in digital form though.
Last edit: 19 Nov 2013 22:25 by OldHippy.

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19 Nov 2013 22:35 #165561 by Michael Barnes
There is zero point in reading Black Dossier digital. I love those books, I think they're the last great Alan Moore material.

Good call on 300..you've got to have the wide format book though, the regular size book is useless. It's terrible though.

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19 Nov 2013 22:50 #165564 by Dr. Mabuse
Replied by Dr. Mabuse on topic Re: Physical copy comics
Hard Boiled: Geoff Darrow
El Borbah or Black Hole: Charles Burns
Marvels: Kurt Busiek & Alex Ross

That's my 3 cents.

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19 Nov 2013 23:11 #165566 by Michael Barnes
Big Damn Hard Boiled while you're at it.

And those giant-sized Marvel books from the late 70s/early 80s.

Black Hole really does need to be in print. You need the pure black of the print.

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20 Nov 2013 00:28 #165574 by dragonstout
Ooooo, great question! I'm going to have to scroll along my shelves when I get home from work to give better answer. But as has been mentioned twice already, especially Building Stories and anything by Chris Ware in general is the poster child for this. Jimmy Corrigan, the Report to Shareholders, Quimby, all *completely* incompatible with digital.

Personally, I hate reading comics at reduced size. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE. So my REAL answer would be "everything".

I mean, let's talk about Little Nemo in Slumberland for a second. Oooooooooooobviously it's completely unsuitable for digital, not even going to mention it. But even more: for nearly a hundred years since its publication, the only way to read Little Nemo was in books that were pretty darn big, but still greatly reduced from its original publication. Then a few years ago, Peter Maresca took a major financial risk to publish a book of the best Little Nemos at original size. The book is a REVELATION. Anyone who has seen these new books can attest to the fact that it's like seeing the strip anew. I'm frustrated that they're not complete, but even I, a pretty major completist, sold my complete Little Nemo book as I so greatly preferred the Maresca books.

So size REALLY matters.

In addition to Building Stories, though, naturally the books that suffer the most from the reduced size are the books that were originally the largest, or have a large number of double-page spreads. Also, books with a lot of background detail, or books with funky physical design.

So other examples:
- any of Gary Panter's Jimbo books
- any old-school Sunday comic strips
- most Franco-Belgian comics, which look really bad reduced (compare the cramped three-in-one TinTins to the original format; hell, I paid around $150 to upgrade my Incal to an original-sized book)
- J.H. Williams
- The Death-Ray (I actually think most of Clowes's other books would be pretty ok on a tablet)
- Bryan Hitch really wants to be read as large as possible (The Authority, The Ultimates)

I dunno, really I'm just going to be listing my large-sized books. From what pops into my head, that's mostly Sunday comic strips or people inspired by Sunday comics (e.g. Seth's George Sprott).

Daily comic strips, on the other hand, might actually be *better* served by a tablet. No need to shrink them down to fit in a book, no need to put three (or more!) on one page.

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20 Nov 2013 02:07 #165584 by the_jake_1973
Savage Sword of Conan needs to be in physical form.

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20 Nov 2013 06:06 - 20 Nov 2013 13:54 #165601 by SuperflyPete
1602, as well as the Conan series really must be in paper IMO. Conan's marginal, but the 1602 TPB is a must.
Last edit: 20 Nov 2013 13:54 by SuperflyPete.

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20 Nov 2013 06:38 #165604 by Dr. Mabuse
Replied by Dr. Mabuse on topic Re: Physical copy comics

Michael Barnes wrote: Big Damn Hard Boiled while you're at it.

What the fuck! How did I miss this one?

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20 Nov 2013 20:22 #165654 by Almalik
Replied by Almalik on topic Re: Physical copy comics
Darwyne Cooke's stuff in large print (absolute New Frontier).

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02 Jan 2014 21:24 #168993 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Re: Physical copy comics
Sorry that I am late with this response, but I somehow overlooked this thread at the time. One specific comic that simply must be read in physical form is Anomaly. It's a science fiction comic published in the form of a coffee table book. Open it up and you're looking at a 33" wingspan from left to right.

The artwork and production values remind me strongly of Heavy Metal, though without any nudity. The story is reasonably novel and interesting. The art is superficially good, but I think that is more the glossy paper and coloring. The faces of the characters seem different from panel to panel and page to page in a way that strongly suggests that the artist is doing heavy photo reference work instead of just drawing his own style. Might even be Greg Land-style tracing, because there were at least a couple of panels where a certain character looked a lot like Lindsay Lohan.

I'm only about a third of the way into this massive story, which is 370 pages long. Apparently there is also a lot of supplemental material that you can only get online, but I'm ignoring that until I finish the book, for fear of spoilers. Anomaly isn't perfect, but it's a breath of fresh air from a writer/artist team that seems to have appeared out of nowhere. I eventually got used to the experience of reading such a wide, heavy book, but I still wish they had gone with a slightly smaller format. Then again, the wide format does convey a bit of an epic feel to the proceedings. When I got to a freaking foldout centerfold kind of thing, it was pretty impressive to see a four-foot wide splash page.

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