Front Page

Content

Authors

Game Index

Forums

Site Tools

Submissions

About

MB
Michael Barnes
August 18, 2022
427 0

Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

Board Game Reviews
T
thegiantbrain
August 18, 2022
172 0
T
thegiantbrain
August 11, 2022
370 0
W
WadeMonnig
August 10, 2022
596 1
O
oliverkinne
August 09, 2022
670 0
T
thegiantbrain
August 04, 2022
547 0
O
oliverkinne
August 01, 2022
848 0

Scout Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
O
oliverkinne
July 29, 2022
856 0
T
thegiantbrain
July 28, 2022
618 0
W
WadeMonnig
July 27, 2022
905 1
O
oliverkinne
July 26, 2022
1019 0
T
thegiantbrain
July 25, 2022
742 0

The Split - Review

Board Game Reviews
T
thegiantbrain
July 21, 2022
822 0
×
Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

Recent Topics paging, uploading images and preview bugs require a patch which has not yet been released.

Our own Jason Lutes makes Top 50 -

More
08 May 2014 09:05 #177684 by Legomancer
Thanks for the Gary Panter tip, dragonstout. I figured there had to be something to it, since everyone loves him, but I've only seen brief excerpts that didn't do much.

One odd quibble I do have, and this didn't occur to me until after I blogged about it, is the top spot going to Love and Rockets. I have no problem with that, and it deserves it, but there's so much going on with L&R that it seems almost cheating to give it only one spot, even if it's #1. To split it with Palomar and Locas would help, since both are amazing in different ways, but then that would overlook the other work in the book. It just seems like it's something too big to be contained in only one slot.

Hopped on Comixology last night and of course, not much of what I haven't read on the list is available there, though I did finally grab Alec and also Multiple Warheads (which I thought I had ordered from DCBS a couple months ago but nope, not there.) The thing with Alec is that I'm not a huge fan of Eddie Campbell's scratchy, nervous art. I appreciate what he does with it, and he uses it really well, but it's just not a style I enjoy looking at for long.

A friend of mine took a graphic memoir class recently and is loaning me Epileptic an One! Hundred! Demons!, both of which I'm looking forward to. I've been meaning to grab Epileptic for some time, but just never got around to it.

I agree with you on Sex Criminals as the most obvious wtf. I haven't read it but really, with only what, 6 issues out so far it's on a list with some truly mind-blowing and medium-defining work? It's THAT good?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
08 May 2014 14:22 #177694 by dragonstout

Legomancer wrote: Thanks for the Gary Panter tip, dragonstout. I figured there had to be something to it, since everyone loves him, but I've only seen brief excerpts that didn't do much.

Yeah, that book is the only one I'd consider a "must-have". He has some incredible artwork in "Jimbo in Purgatory", but once again it's almost completely impossible to read.

Legomancer wrote: One odd quibble I do have, and this didn't occur to me until after I blogged about it, is the top spot going to Love and Rockets. I have no problem with that, and it deserves it, but there's so much going on with L&R that it seems almost cheating to give it only one spot, even if it's #1. To split it with Palomar and Locas would help, since both are amazing in different ways, but then that would overlook the other work in the book. It just seems like it's something too big to be contained in only one slot.

But then, so is Cerebus (too big to be contained in one slot)! That's the nature of most attempts to compare comics...you've got stuff like Peanuts (50 years worth of every day work) compared to, say, Master Race (8 pages). I do agree that there should have been separate entries for Jaime and Gilbert, but then you lose the easy "Love & Rockets" tag.

Legomancer wrote: A friend of mine took a graphic memoir class recently and is loaning me Epileptic an One! Hundred! Demons!, both of which I'm looking forward to. I've been meaning to grab Epileptic for some time, but just never got around to it.

One! Hundred! Demons! is really good and is similar to her strips; I like it a lot more than What It Is, which is 75% an instruction book. If anyone has a chance to see Lynda Barry speak in person: whether you've read any of her books or not, TAKE IT. She is by FAR, not even close, the best cartoonist at speaking. As the cliche goes, "I laughed, I cried"...but literally. Laughing hysterically, blubbering hysterically.

Legomancer wrote: I agree with you on Sex Criminals as the most obvious wtf. I haven't read it but really, with only what, 6 issues out so far it's on a list with some truly mind-blowing and medium-defining work? It's THAT good?

I read the first issue, and yeah: it was fun, middle-of-the-road, with that smarminess, that trying-too-hard-to-be-hipness that I associate with every Matt Fraction comic I've read (Casanova, Iron Man, Hawkeye). But regardless: the 6th issue came out like a month ago, I mean c'mon.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
08 May 2014 18:26 - 08 May 2014 18:28 #177707 by trif
I agree that Sex Criminals is too new to really make 50 best graphic novels. Hell, the first story line hasn't even been completed yet.

But the second issue was one of the best comics I'd read in ages, so I can kind of see why it was put on the list. There's a heart to it that you don't often see in Fraction's work.

And definitely "Why I Hate Saturn" over "The Cowboy Wally Show" - Saturn seemed to come out of nowhere and pointed at a direction DC sharply backed away from.
Last edit: 08 May 2014 18:28 by trif.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
08 May 2014 18:37 - 08 May 2014 18:38 #177708 by trif
Come to think of it, I probably would have swapped "Sex Criminals" out for "American Flagg". Sure it's Chaykin at his most Chaykiny but it really stretched the medium at the time and still seems quite prophetic. Having read the collected trade recently, I was shocked at how modern it still felt.

And, much as I like Morrison (for the most part), "The Invisibles" is way too high on the list - I think it's more influential than a classic.
Last edit: 08 May 2014 18:38 by trif.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 May 2014 07:59 - 09 May 2014 07:59 #177729 by Legomancer
I totally agree with Why I Hate Saturn being a better choice. And I might also go with David Boring or Ice Haven, but I'm okay with Ghost World. I also agree that any collection of Harvey Pekar's one-pagers or other short works is more gripping than Our Cancer Year.

My quibble with The Invisibles is that I guess it's not technically a superhero book, but c'mon. They have code names, costumes, powers, fight bad guys. We all love Morrison, but most of his notable work is superheroey. The biggest exception I can think of is WE3, which is a great book and a gutting read, but I don't know if I'd put it in the 50 best.

A lot of folks are holding up Bone as the most obvious miss. I can't say I completely agree, because I'm not that crazy about Bone, but I can't deny its appeal, charm, and skill.

I'd still say the biggest miss is Howard Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby. Not only is it a really good historical picture an a story of coming out during a violent time, but it also would be recognition that Crumb didn't carry all of the comix revolution on his own shoulders. Derek Kirk Kim's American Born Chinese is a close second.

As long as I'm here, I have to say that I also don't quite get the high standing of Hicksville. I read it a while back, based on how loved and cited it is and I liked it okay, but I can't figure out what the fuss is.

Meanwhile, I was also pleased by some things I didn't see. No Adrien Tomine, no Asterios Polyp, no Sandman, no Sin City.
Last edit: 09 May 2014 07:59 by Legomancer.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 May 2014 11:16 #177739 by jeb
BONE shouldn't be there because it's not that good. It's a pleasant little romp, but would I want to read that in 20 years? ~Eh~. It's like an overbaked Foglio work.

But I have to think SANDMAN isn't on there because they consider it a "superhero" book. I would put that on there just for McKean's covers.

SIN CITY is shitty garbage.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 May 2014 11:56 - 09 May 2014 12:46 #177743 by OldHippy
I would re-read Bone over Maus or Persepolis any day of the week. Or almost anything from Daniel Clowes too (except possibly David Boring). Maus I hate, it is just so heart on the sleeve obvious, even the animal selection's seem cliche to me. I hated it without passion.

Bone is an infinitely better story to me and I even prefer Sin City too.

Why?

Well, Sin City has a better visual style and looks better than anything Clowes or Spiegelman or any of these guys do. And the visuals are HALF of the appeal of a great comic. Miller deserves more recognition from these people for that. His writing is as shitty as Clowes or Spiegelman's illustration's. I'd call Sin City on par with Maus for that reason... well Ghost World anyway, Spiegelmans writing is too predictable. In fact I'd say Sin City is much better than Maus, it has almost nothing to offer me.

This is why the top two spots should both be Chris Ware, because he is one of the only dudes in the industry who truly gets this. Jimmy Corrigan is awesome, but Building Stories is his magnum opus. Ware understands that great writing is not enough, it needs to be striking and original to look at with a talented and interesting visual style that serves the story. Criticize Miller all you want but his stories are in service of his genius pencils and inks.

I'd make Cerebus High Society or Church and State fill up slots 3-4 as well.

Because Ware and Sim understand how important the visuals are. Anybody here ever criticize Marvel for not giving Kirby his proper due? Pretending that Lee wrote everything when we all know Kirby's storyboards were done first and really he wrote it out... visually. Well, that's what is going on here, this list is biased towards writers who can't draw (and many who would only be bad writers without comics and weak unoriginal illustrations to hide their inferiorities). Sin City should be on that list, it really should, but they don't appreciate the visuals the way they should. In That Yellow Bastard there is a series of pictures in the prison from different angles that practically belong in a gallery. Nothing from Maus or Clowes will ever reach that status. I promise you.

Bone is in this category too, Jeff Smith can draw, these guys in the top twenty... mostly cannot. He deserves his spot and most people underestimate how important good drawing is.


I really don't think Sandman is any more superhero-y than the Invisibles (possibly exception for the first volume I guess) but I was surprised to see Invisibles on there as well. Even though I love the series.

All in all it was a great list though, I liked a lot of what was on there and I liked feeling indignant and upset at their selection and arguing for what I thought should have been there instead.

Thing is though, the list is almost too predictable. A lot of what showed up on the list felt inevitable. But I love the experience of getting upset at a list.
Last edit: 09 May 2014 12:46 by OldHippy.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Almalik

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 May 2014 12:59 #177748 by SuperflyPete
I like Bingo Baby and the Berlin series quite a lot. I'd have never heard of them were it not for F:AT.

Black Hole is awesome, though. Y: The Last Man is pretty decent. Criminal: Ombibus is great. Transmetro is great.

I've not read much else that's not super-hero-ey. Oh, The Graveyard was pretty good.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 May 2014 14:53 - 09 May 2014 14:56 #177760 by dragonstout

JonJacob wrote: Maus I hate, it is just so heart on the sleeve obvious, even the animal selection's seem cliche to me.

You mean, depicting Americans as mongrels, Gypsys as moths, Polish as pigs, and French as frogs are cliche? B'DUH! The point was *not* to think "hmmm, what kind of animal are this nation's people most like..."; that's basically literally the OPPOSITE of the point of the animals. Is it not clear that codifying "this person is THIS ethnicity only, and that person is THAT ethnicity only, and ALL people of the same ethnicity are completely undistinguishable from each other"...is it not clear what's going on there? I would call it "obvious", but based on many people I've spoken to, and comments like "the animal selections are cliche", apparently it's not. I feel pretty comfortable saying that Maus is the second-most misunderstood graphic novel around (after Watchmen), and the animal thing is just part of it. There's a lot more to that book than its surface; if it's been a decade+ since you've read it, I highly recommend a reread.

JonJacob wrote: This is why the top two spots should both be Chris Ware, because he is one of the only dudes in the industry who truly gets this. Jimmy Corrigan is awesome, but Building Stories is his magnum opus.

Wouldn't get any argument from me putting Building Stories as #1 and Jimmy Corrigan as #2! Hell, I'd even probably have the ACME Novelty Library Report to Shareholders at least in the top 20! And Lint, and Seeing Eye Dogs of Mars.

I agree that Invisibles has is as about as superhero-y as Sandman. I also agree that Hicksville is overrated, I love Bone, and the comics I was most pleasantly surprised NOT to see on the list was Blankets. But American Born Chinese, Legomancer - really? Has a major after-school special aftertaste to me. I thought Boxers and Saints was a big improvement, but still not my favorite or anything; really stiff art, way-too-pat ending.

I kind of like how the list is predictable but also missing some of the predictable inclusions that I dislike, like Blankets and Y The Last Man.

Also, over the past couple months I've been coming around to the idea that Sin City might be a little UNDERrated at this point, given how many many people just hate the shit out of all of it. I love looking at the That Yellow Bastard pages; really powerful images. I love looking at Dark Knight Strikes Again, too.

Speaking of Jason Lutes, here's Jasons Lutes, Little, and Shiga, drawn by Jason (though it's really more a drawing of their characters; in Lutes's case, the dude from Jar of Fools):

catswithoutdogs.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-jasons.html
Last edit: 09 May 2014 14:56 by dragonstout.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 May 2014 15:44 #177773 by Black Barney
Yeah, I didn't realize Maus was misunderstood. It's horrifying to draw or depict human beings doing these things to other human beings. It is morally incomprehensible and no one would be able to sit through a visual representation of such events. Whereas, it seems normal that cats do these types of things to mice. We see it in cartoons, it seems acceptable. What a powerful way to tell the holocaust. There was only one or two times where I completely unable to digest what was happening, the suspension of disbelief was lifted and I was very aware of what I was reading and had to take a long break from the book. It's just total genius.

I didn't know what Watchmen was largely considered misunderstood, 'stout. What do people not get from that?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 May 2014 16:06 #177777 by Not Sure

Black Barney wrote: I didn't know what Watchmen was largely considered misunderstood, 'stout. What do people not get from that?


They made an entire movie about what people don't get from that.
The following user(s) said Thank You: dragonstout, Legomancer, Black Barney

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 May 2014 16:20 - 09 May 2014 16:22 #177779 by DukeofChutney
many people seem to think that Watchmen is a cooky Superhero comic and not a lot more. They miss the questions it raises over the rationality of the superhero idea. At least thats how i see it. The film plays up the violence, art style, and sex, and plays down "Who Watches the Watchmen?"

Also never read Maus. But i think it is in the Uni Library.
Last edit: 09 May 2014 16:22 by DukeofChutney.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 May 2014 16:23 #177780 by Legomancer
Oh man, Blankets. Yes, that's another one I was happy not to see.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 May 2014 17:18 #177787 by OldHippy

dragonstout wrote:

JonJacob wrote: Maus I hate, it is just so heart on the sleeve obvious, even the animal selection's seem cliche to me.

You mean, depicting Americans as mongrels, Gypsys as moths, Polish as pigs, and French as frogs are cliche? B'DUH! The point was *not* to think "hmmm, what kind of animal are this nation's people most like..."; that's basically literally the OPPOSITE of the point of the animals. Is it not clear that codifying "this person is THIS ethnicity only, and that person is THAT ethnicity only, and ALL people of the same ethnicity are completely undistinguishable from each other"...is it not clear what's going on there? I would call it "obvious", but based on many people I've spoken to, and comments like "the animal selections are cliche", apparently it's not. I feel pretty comfortable saying that Maus is the second-most misunderstood graphic novel around (after Watchmen), and the animal thing is just part of it. There's a lot more to that book than its surface; if it's been a decade+ since you've read it, I highly recommend a reread.


I get that, and believe me that since I read it so long ago I've heard this a thousand times from it's defenders. But that can't save bad writing. The proof to me that I'm right about this is that he's created literally nothing else. He is the Harper Lee of comics and that book is a fluke with mediocre writing and a topic that screams "give me literary prizes". I may go back and give it a another chance, it has been a long time but I did find it too obvious and poorly written. If too obvious is part of the point... perhaps the writing should be better.

Thing is, with all the kudo's it gets, I'm probably wrong.

It's worth noting that I read Maus 2 recently (found it in our laundry room) and it is REALLY, really bad. Shockingly so in fact. He's not a good writer and he carries on his heart on the sleeve style.

I'm surprised that the folks around here don't support (other than Andy) good drawing a little more. Everyone seems to be all about the writing. I still say it's only half the battle.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
09 May 2014 17:44 - 09 May 2014 17:48 #177788 by dragonstout

Not Sure wrote:

Black Barney wrote: I didn't know what Watchmen was largely considered misunderstood, 'stout. What do people not get from that?


They made an entire movie about what people don't get from that.

Not Sure's got it pretty well covered (and by extension, so does Zach Snyder).

In addition, many people see Rorschach as an unequivocal hero in the story, who always does the right thing; his refusal to allow Veidt to get away with it at the end is purely noble. If people acknowledge that Rorschach is not the "right-thinking" character in the story, then they'll say "no, because he's too violent", which really isn't the problem. I hear constant wrong-headed complaints about the ending: 1) a tentacle-monster? How unrealistic! 2) Veidt saved the world! I'd say that believing any of the above things means you're missing *fundamental* arguments the book is trying to make.

But Snyder covered the misunderstandings pretty extensively, even the "tentacle monster? How unrealistic! I'll replace it with something more realistic", which is probably the change made by the movie that gets the most praise from the book's fans, and that praise convinces me that the book's fans are mostly clueless.

BTW, about Art Spiegelman "creating literally nothing else": I HIGHLY recommend his book Breakdowns. The success of Maus obviously froze him up, so yeah, he's done absolutely nothing significant since. But he would have been an important figure in comics history *even if he'd never done Maus*; read Breakdowns, his pre-Maus stuff (combined with a good post-Maus introduction), to find out why. I think, if you haven't seen it, it'll probably be a big "WTF, this doesn't even look like the same cartoonist who did Maus!"

Edit: don't go by Amazon's preview pages for Breakdowns. Those primarily show his comics-format introduction to the book which, while a valuable part of the new book, is indeed in his post-Maus style.
Last edit: 09 May 2014 17:48 by dragonstout.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Gary Sax
Time to create page: 0.179 seconds