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JV
Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 12:38 pm:   

I'm starting this thread for a selfish reason. I've become a graphic novel/comics junkie. It seems to me there's just a lot of wonderful stuff being done in that form. So, to start it off, here's my top 10, with honorable mentions. What else would people recommend? Does anyone else want to post their top picks?

Jeff

TOP 10
(A mix of comics, graphic novels, adaptations, etc.)

(1) Moonshadow - J.M. DeMatteis
(2) V for Vendetta - Alan Moore
(3) From Hell - Alan Moore
(4) The Luck in the Head - Harrison/Ian Miller
(5) The Incal, Jodorowsky, Moebius
(6) The Watchmen - Alan Moore
(7) Nausicaa (manga) - Miyazaki
(8) Box Office Poison - Alex Robinson
(9) Frank - Jim Woodring
(10) Sock Monkey - Tony Millionaire

Honorable Mentions (could easily be on the top 10 on a different day...)
(1) Hellboy
(2) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
(3) Squee
(4) Johnny the Homicidal Maniac
(5) I Feel Sick

I also think just about everything from Humanoids Publishing is awesome.

Jeff
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Luís
Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 04:38 pm:   

I started to compile a top 10 list, but there's simply too much good stuff to choose from, not to mention the agony of picking certain titles over others. So here's a randomly ordered list of things I like:

* Les Cités Obscures (except perhaps BRÜSEL), Schuiten + Peeters
* Maus, Spiegelman
* Sandman, Gaiman
* Top Ten, Moore
* Transmetropolitan, Ellis
* The Invisibles, Morrison
* Blade of the Immortal, Samura
* Ghost in the Shell, Shirow
* Ghost World, Clowes
* Powers, Bendis
* Red Star, Gossett
* The Dark Knight Returns, Miller (I don't usually like Miller, but I have to admit this is a very well-done book)
* Les Guardians du Maser, Frezzato
* Lone Wolf & Cub, Koike + Kojima
* "Give It Up!" and Other Short Stories, Kuper + Kafka

Plus many of the ones you mentioned, especially Moebius, Jodorowsky, Moore and Miyazaki.

Best,
Luís
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John Klima
Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 05:58 pm:   

I don't read enough graphic novels to post a list of them, and it's been years since I seriously read any comics, but here's what I've enjoyed throughout the years:

1.) Grim Jack (entire run; written by John Ostrander, illustrated by Tim Truman, Flint Henry, et al)
2.) Marshall Law (first six issues*; written by Alan Mills, illustrated by Kevin O'Neill)
3.) Grendel (1st 12 color issues* [Devil's Legacy]; written by Matt Wagner, illustrated by the Pander Bros.)
4.) League of Extraordinary Gentleman (1st series*; written by Alan Moore, illustrated by Kevin O'Neill)
5.) Jonah Hex (Two Gun Mojo*; written by Joe R. Lansdale, illustrated by Tim Truman)
6.) Jonah Hex (Riders of the Worm & Such*; written by Joe R. Lansdale, illustrated by Tim Truman)
7.) Flinch (entire run [some stories not so hot]; misc writers, misc illustrators)
8.) Grendel (War Child; written by Matt Wagner, illustrated by Patrick McEwon & Ken Henderson)
9.) Grendel (Four Devils, One Hell; written by James Robinson, illustrated by Teddy Kristiansen * Jan Solheim)
10.) Grendel (Devil's Hammer; written & illustrated by Rob Walton)

Obviously I enjoy the Grendel story and mythos. Go here and click on the Grendel section and you'll find a history of Matt Wagner's Grendel:
http://come.to/abp

JK
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John Klima
Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 06:00 pm:   

Oh, stuff marked with an asterix should be available as a graphic novel.

JK
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jeff ford
Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 06:27 pm:   

You guys are all wet(well, not really). None of your lists has Boulevard of Broken Dreams. The best of the best.
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Mastadge
Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 07:03 pm:   

I WISH they'd collect Grimjack, because I want to read those comics and they're impossible to find these days.

Ostrander fan here.

Oh, I don't read many comics . . . Sandman, Lucifer, Maus, Preacher. Alan Moore TPBs. Read Vermillion and Anima. And Star Wars comics -- my introduction to John Ostrander.
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 07:12 pm:   

i've been a junky for years now. i even once worked on a comics website, for a breif period of time.

anyhow, stuff i've found to be seriously cool:

david lapham's STRAY BULLETS series. it's up to number seven in trades, and just becomes more intricate and fascinating with every issue.

dave mckean's CAGES. perhaps one of the finest graphic novels out there, worth the huge chunk of cash it costs.

alan moore and jh williamsons's PROMETHEA. while i like FROM HELL, LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY MEN, and other stuff he has done, they've been mostly mentioned. besides which, i think PROMETHEA is one of his most personal works, and one of the most daring in many ways. (and i love moore's novel, VOICE IN THE FIRE.)

paul pope's HEAVY LIQUID.

brain michael bendis' AKA GOLDFISH and JINX are the best of his work, i find.

warren ellis and darick robertson's TRANSMETROPOLITIAN is good, but for my money ellis' best work recently has been with coleen doran on ORBITER. fine hard science fiction, which is odd, because i usually don't like hard sci-fi.

neil gaiman and dave mckean's collaborations are excellent too. SIGNAL TO NOISE and MR PUNCH are the best.

i'm also fond of james robinson's STARMAN series, mike mignola's HELLBOY, frank miller's SIN CITY work, the miller and geoff darrow collaborations in RUSTY AND THE BOY ROBOT and HARD BOILED. the cities series listed by luis is also good, and anything by scott morse that i've read has been, without doubt, excellent.

i could keep going, but that's all that leaps straight to my mind.
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GabrielM
Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 07:31 pm:   

I'm with JeffV on MOONSHADOW, V FOR VENDETTA, WATCHMEN, FROM HELL (hands down the best Moore product)and also BOX OFFICE POISON, which rocks.

And I'm with JeffF on Deitch's BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS.

I think any top list needs to include Frank Miller (DARK KNIGHT RETURNS or SIN CITY before it became a self-parody), Gaiman's SANDMAN, Spiegelman's MAUS, CITIES OF THE FANTASTIC, the Hernandez Brothers' LOVE AND ROCKETS and something from Moebius.

But I'm surprised no one's mentioned Chris Ware's JIMMY CORRIGAN, which blows everything else out of the water.
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jeff ford
Posted on Sunday, September 21, 2003 - 09:01 pm:   

Gabe: The Airtight Garage from Moebius.

Best,

Jeff
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Rick Klaw
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 01:21 am:   

Ok.. here we go.. a few selections in no particular order:

Deadface by Eddie Campbell (Similar to Gaiman's American Gods, but better. Deadface started in the 80's.)

Speaking of Eddie Campbell, I can't believe that none of you mention From Hell (with Alan Moore of course.)

Almost any Alan Moore is good with Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentleman, and V For Vendetta being among the best.

American Splendor by Harvery Pekar and various artists is a fascinating look into the average Joe. And was the basis for the Cannes award winning film.

Why I Hate Saturn by Kyle Baker is the best romantic comedy comic book. And his Cowboy Wally Show is one of the funniest. The Hamlet puppet show performed in a prison is classic.

Pedro & Me by Judd Winick. Powerful story about AIDS and friendship.

Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse is the autobiographical coming out story set during the Alabama civil rights movement in the 60's.

Camelot 300 by Mike Barr and Brian Bolland. One of the more clever re-imaginings of the Arthurian myth.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. 'nuff said

Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo. Far superior and more complex than the movie.

Essential Fantastic Four Vol. 3 by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby. Reprints FF #41-63 & Annuals 3 & 4. This is arguably the best and most important run in superhero comics. It is the finest of the Lee & Kirby collaborations.

Blueberry by Jean-Michel Charlier & Jean "Moebius" Giraud. Perhaps the best western comic.

I could probably go on all night as I own about 500 graphic novels, but it's late. As I think of more, I'll post them here.



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Liz W
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 01:23 am:   

I rarely read 'em but a friend lent me the Preacher series, and I thought that was great. Alan Moore, yes, and also the Jenny Sparks graphic novels.
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Rick Klaw
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 01:25 am:   

Grimjack will probably never be collected. Back in my MOJO Press days, we tried to get the rights to collect them, but First Comics, who still owned the rights, made it virtually impossible. Not to tease, but I'm too tired to tell the story now, but I'll get to it tomorrow.
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Rick Klaw
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 01:28 am:   

Don't get me started on Preacher... some day I will write my "Why I Think Garth Ennis Is the Most Overrated Hack In Comics History" essay. I have never, ever read a story of his that I like...
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 03:23 am:   

I'm a pretty predictable Gaiman/Ellis/Moore/Wagner kind of guy. That about sums it up.
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JV
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 05:41 am:   

How could I forget The Cage by McKean!!! It actually vies with Moonshadow for my number one pick.

I like the Sandman stuff--I mean, the stories. But the interior art style, once you get past the McKean covers, I don't like at all. Which is why I can't read them.

Jeff
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Liz W
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 06:06 am:   

I'm not keen on Sandman. Just couldn't connect with it. Unfortunate, since I like his fiction.
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Chris Butler
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 06:38 am:   

Off the top of my head...

The Frank Miller & Dave Mazzucchelli collaborations (Daredevil:Born Again & Batman:Year One)

Anything written & drawn by Sam Kieth (The Maxx, Zero Girl, Four Women)

The issues of Shade The Changing Man drawn by Chris Bachalo.

The first couple of years of Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing (particularly a beautiful story called 'Pog')

And of course the Ditko/Lee Spider-man.

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Robert Devereux
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 06:48 am:   

Jeff - you might enjoy Endless Nights. It's the new Sandman graphic novel. The art is much better than the original Sandman stuff (although the stories aren't as good). I prefer Gaiman working in a format with visuals, I usually find that more compelling than his straight writing. Stardust is a great example. The graphic novel is much better than the novel - it's the same text, but with a lot of illustrations by Charles Vess.

My list of comisc and graphic novels would need to include

The Complete Moonshadow
Cages
From Hell
Sandman
Luck in the Head
Watchmen
Perseoplois
Uzumaki

I'm not sure on Cities of the Fantasic yet (I've only read 1.5 complete stories).

NogegoN is worth mentioning for the ability to write a symmetrical graphic novel.

The Dreaming was a good comic book, but only once Caitlin R. Kiernan took over as the writer.

I liked Boulevard of Broken Dreams, but it's not quite a favorite of mine.
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 08:21 am:   

What? There are other humans who enjoy GRIMJACK? I thought I was the last one (I have a collection in progress). It would be great to see the whole shebang collected in a graphic novel, or at least to have a GRIMJACK: DEMON WARS graphic novel, based on the sub-mini-series.

I'm a big fan of Matt Howarth's KONNY AND CZU, one of the only comics with no humanoids, let alone humans, appearing within it's pages - at least that's the claim. I haven't read *all* of them, though I cherish those KONNY AND CZU comics that appear in the back of the old ALBEDO ANTHROPOMORPHICS.

Shamefully missing from all these lists:

THE ADVENTURES OF TONY MILLIONAIRE'S SOCK MONKEY by Tony Millionaire.

Oh, and I just spotted this a few days back:

http://www.prophecymagazine.com

I'm ready to take out a subscription, sight unseen. This looks exciting!

I hope Stepan finds this thread, he's a graphic novel/comic afficiando of the highest order (cf his graphic novel reviews in Rain Taxi).

Forrest
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Forrest
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 08:22 am:   

Oops, sorry Jeff. I missed that you had Sock Monkey on your top 10 list - my bad!

Forrest
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GabrielM
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 08:49 am:   

There's a particularly excellent Frank Miller / Bill Sienkiewicz collaboration, ELEKTRA: ASSASIN, that would go on my list.

JeffV, the new Gaiman Sandman is illustrated by some very strong talent, including Milo Manara, Sienkiewicz and McKean.

I really enjoyed the Ennis/Dillon PREACHER graphic novels. They wouldn't quite make my top ten, but they're up there.

As is Dave Sim's CEREBUS, from the days before Sim went insane.
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John Klima
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 09:20 am:   

I remember enjoying Sienkiewicz' STRAY TOASTERS, but I have no idea what is was about anymore.
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Minz
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 09:35 am:   

I agree with many selections mentioned above (particularly Watchmen, Akira and Dark Knight Returns), and appreciate the suggestions for my reading list (okay, I also resent them: like I need more things for my reading pile!) I do have one addition that's a personal favorite: CONCRETE.
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Rudi Dornemann
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 10:34 am:   

I also enjoyed STRAY TOASTERS, and I'm pretty sure I had no idea what it was about even while I was reading it.

Most of my favorites have already been mentioned (Cages, Invisibles, just about anything from John J. Muth or Matt Wagner, Moore and more Moore...)

Some favorites that haven't come up yet--

BERLIN by Jason Lutes

ATOMIC CITY TALES by Jay Stephens

Jon Lewis' TRUE SWAMP and SPECTACLES

CASTLE WAITING Linda Medley
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Tim Akers
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 12:28 pm:   

Planetary. 1-10 on my list. Grendel and Jonah Hex and Gaiman all get votes, but Planetary makes me deeply happy.
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ben peek
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 04:05 pm:   

re: sandman.

there are some arcs i don't like for art. (the kindly ones springs to mind.) but then there are some i do, especially michael zulli's arc in the wake. but i don't think it's gaiman's best work in comic form, anyhow.

re: preacher.

preach i like about half of. there's a bit in the middle where ennis loses control of the story and it ends up in strange places. but when it's good, it's a pile of fun. strangely, i think i enjoyed HITMAN more, however.

i also figure i should mention eric shanower's AGE OF BRONZE: A THOUSAND SHIPS, which is a retelling of the trogan war. beautifully illustrated, with fine storytelling (though it occasionally gets confusing), it's a fascinating thing. well worth the time.
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 06:01 pm:   

Here is some stuff I am suprised no one has recomended:

The Invisibles by Grant Morrison
(http://www.barbelith.com/bomb/)

Transmetropoplitan by Warren Ellis
(http://www.transmetropolitan.com/)

100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello
(http://www.dccomics.com/features/100bullets/100bullets.html)

Hellboy by Mike Mignola
(http://www.hellboy.com/)

Lucifer by Mike Carey
(I know... Its a spin off from Sandman... but this one is GOOD, damn it! http://www.lucifermorningstar.com/galleries.html)

and for something completely different:
Box Office Poison
(http://members.aol.com/bopalex/)

These are all top notch graphic narratives, IMO.

-jl


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Jeremy
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 06:03 pm:   

sorry. Missed the top post on this thread. Hellboy, Box Office Poison, and Invisibles are accounted for. nevermind. :-)

-jl
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 06:06 pm:   

John
I don't think anybody knew what Stay Toasters was about... not even Bill S. I enjoyed it though.
-jl
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JV
Posted on Monday, September 22, 2003 - 06:18 pm:   

Yeah, but I didn't have those URLs, so, very useful.

Jeff
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 06:12 am:   

Yes Forrest, there are many others who enjoy Grim Jack. After relieving myself of BOXES of comics when I moved East (couldn't justify spending money on the storage) I held on to the following comics: Grim Jack (all of them, even the Starslayer back-of-the-issue stories) and anything written by Lansdale. Grim Jack is my all-time favorite comic ever. I hate First Comics for miring all their titles in a legal shit hole. Didn't they publish Mage, too? Or was that Comico?

I do not think I held on to my Grendels, and I regret that any time I think about comic books. I've added some since then, DC's Flinch series, LOEG, etc., but I slowed down LOTS from what I collected when I was in college.

What about Jon J. Muth's adaptation of the Fritz Lang movie 'M'? It was beautiful.

JK
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gabe
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 06:33 pm:   

If'n you like funny stuff, I definitely recommend Scud: The Disposable Assassin.

Also highly recommend Chester Brown's deliciously wicked, disgusting, extremely hilarious ED THE HAPPY CLOWN.

David Mack's KABUKI was very good. I'm quite sad to see him working on DAREDEVIL and other Marvel-ous projects.

Paul Pope is very good as well. I particularly liked THB and HEAVY LIQUID. He does tend toward the full-of-himself though.

--gabe
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John Picacio
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 06:38 pm:   

Another hearty recommendation for Dave McKean's CAGES. An amazing work.

Many of my faves have already been named....SIGNAL TO NOISE (Gaiman/Mckean); BATMAN YEAR ONE (Miller/Mazzuchelli); WATCHMEN/FROM HELL/ LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN/SWAMP THING (Alan Moore)....

A couple that I don't think have been mentioned yet....

I still have a big soft spot for VIOLENT CASES, the first Gaiman/McKean collaboration....that would definitely still be in my top 10 and another collection (although not a graphic novel) is the first BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE volume...there are some amazing original Batman stories in this collection....namely stories by Ted McKeever, Archie Goodwin/Jose Munoz, Kent Williams, Walt Simonson, Archie Goodwin/Gary Gianni and more...

And lastly, I'd have to put in a vote for Pete Milligan and Duncan Fegredo's ENIGMA, which is still one of more ballsy graphic novels in recent years...great Milligan writing coupled with Fegredo's illustration abilities and draughtsmanship evolving forward from issue to issue and growing right before our eyes....very inspired work....

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GabrielM
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 08:26 pm:   

I remember reading ENIGMA when it came out and thinking it was very good, although I don't remember that much about it, except that there was a bit of Dickian reality shifting going on and that the story became progressively more ambitious and interesting as it went on. I still have the original issues but didn't realize it was Milligan's work until now. I suppose he might have been less well known when it was issued. Due for a reread.

I also thought the BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE issues were excellent.
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gabe
Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - 09:19 pm:   

I've also loved just about everything that Ted McKeever has ever done, though I'm particular to Industrial Gothic and Metropol.

And yes, I agree that Enigma was pretty cool.

I'm also a glutton for anything that Ashley Wood has worked on. God, I love that guy's art.

--gabe

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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 06:25 am:   

Yes! McKeever! THat's who I was trying to remember! Thank you!

JK
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Colin Brush
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 06:36 am:   

Miracleman book 3 by Moore and Totleben is possibly one of the best books in comics and a brilliant piece of science fiction. It has some of JT's best art whilst Moore's writing reaches so high, attempts to be so grand in mirroring the Olympian world he has created that even its most pretentious flourishes are quite breathtaking.

That Gaiman hasn't so far been able to finish the story Moore started and that the books haven't been available for the last few years is a crime.

That I leant my copies of books 2 and 3 to someone who never gave them back (and who has disappeared from my life) makes me very angry indeed.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 07:51 am:   

McKeever's PLASTIC FORKS was a favorite of mine, many ages ago. Thank you Gabe for bringing it back to my memory.

JK
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Eric S
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 11:06 am:   

The complete run of Lone Wolf and Cub.

--Eric
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Yottle
Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2003 - 11:22 am:   

I have to second Luís' recommendation for Les Cités Obscures by Schuiten and Peeters. The English translations are shit, but the stories are wonderful, and the artwork is absolutely incredible.
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jtlindroos
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 06:43 am:   

Ditto on PLASTIC FORKS -- McKeever is brilliant, as was Sienkiewicz's STRAY TOASTERS. Anything by Charles Burns and Hugo Pratt. --Juha.
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jtlindroos
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 06:45 am:   

Oh yeah, and how could I forget Sokal. I don't know if he's available in English though, but somebody knows I'm sure. --J.
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fjimenem
Posted on Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 10:10 am:   

I like Enigma, I'm very fond of X-static, and I have a soft spot for Shade the Changing Man, but I think that Peter Milligan best work is the underrated "The Human Target", first series. Milligan's "mainstream" work has been sometimes disappointing, but not in this case. And this one has *great* art by the late Edvin Biukovic. He, by the way, also made my favourite Grendel non-Wagner story.
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Rajan K
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 09:37 am:   

It's great to see a lot of Grimjack love on here. Like some of you I thought I was one of a select few who remembered it. A few years back I was able to complete my collection - the full run including the Starslayer issues and the Munden's Bar annuals. Great stuff.

As to reprints, I don't know if they'll be available, but John Ostrander has said that he's close to securing the rights to the character so we may see new Grimjack comics and that could possibly lead to collections of the old material.
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Nicholas Liu
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 09:43 am:   

Is anyone familiar with Adrian Tomine's Optic Nerve? Is it worth reading?
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GabrielM
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 11:21 am:   

It's mostly Raymond Carveresque miniatures featuring slackers. Like Daniel Clowes without the surrealism. It got old for me real fast, but the artwork is very nice.
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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 11:28 am:   

I've read the first Optic Nerve collection... It was good... but not great. It seemed to be a semi-autobiographical narrative about being an indi-slacker-alternative comic book artist/writer.

Box office poison may have been semi-autobiographical, but it had a diversity and depth of character, and plot lines that seems to be lacking from Optic Nerve. Maybe Optic Nerve develops more in later books, but I wasn't compelled enough by the first one to find out. And maybe I am being unfair comparing Optic Nerve to Box Office Poison, the “Citizen Kane” of Indi-slacker-alternative comics – but that’s my benchmark.

-jl

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GabrielM
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 01:19 pm:   

BOX OFFICE POISON also happens to be hilarious. There isn't a whole lot of humor in Tomine's work.
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jeff ford
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 01:30 pm:   

Tomine really bores the bejesus out of me. I've noticed that a big theme in the newer crop of "underground" "alternative" comics is crying in one's beer. What a poozle of whiners (although I do appreciate some of the art work and some of the writing and follow what they are doing rather closely). Artists like Deitch, Crumb, Griffith, Spain, were always funny no matter what else they were doing or what truths they were rendering.
I realize that this is a classic old fart statement. But Ware, for all of his admittedly amazing draughtsmanship and ingenious subtlety often elicits a yawn from me. Give me Zippy the Pinhead any day.

Best

Jeff
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Nick Mamatas
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 02:01 pm:   

Just a note, but Prophecy Magazine folded without putting out a single issue.

Oddly enough, they couldn't find a venture capitalist ready to give them a million dollars, and just because they had no track record, no familiarity with the magazine trade, and no understanding of what it would take to get millions of non-comic buyers to suddenly start buying one.
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Luis
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 03:59 pm:   

Curse you all, people. Have you any idea how expensive comic books are?!

By the way: "Cities of the Fantastic" = "Les Cités Obscures". If you can understand French, ditch the English and Portuguese translated material. It wouldn't surprise me if they don't turn you on the right way, because the translations really suck ass. Haven't tried the Spanish versions, but I've seen them for sale here in Lisbon, so I'll give them a look and report back to you -- if I don't forget in the meantime, that is.

Jeff: I didn't mention Deitch because I haven't read him (YET). I did forget Crumb, my most abject apologies for the lapse.

Cheers,
Luís
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JV
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 06:05 pm:   

I have been "listening" to all of these suggestions plus discussion, and will be making a list of all the stuff I now have to go out and find!

Jeff
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ben peek
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 06:14 pm:   

nicholas:

i thought the optic nerve stuff was good. it's that slice of life alternative comic stuff, and tomine has a good handle on it. but that said, i can't read a whole lot of it, cause it does get a bit samish.

you should try shannon wheeler's TOO MUCH COFFEE MAN, which is absolutely fabulous. he's putting it out in a magazine of the same title now, but there are three collections, and it's just funny and cool, in the only way that a superhero dressed in a costume with a giant coffee cup on his head can be. (and a superhero who doesn't do any superheroics. just sorta sits and talks about world politics, social trends, and so forth.)

for those of you who don't know, there is a really good website called www.artbomb.net that focus' on graphic novels. it's a great place to work your way through for stuff.

(btw: has anyone noticed that the nightshade board is kind of sluggish lately? or is it just me?)
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JV
Posted on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 12:14 pm:   

Anyone know about a graphic novel called FINDER by Speed McNeil? There's a huge write up in the current Rain Taxi about it. It sounds fascinating. Anyone read it?

Jeff
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Forrest
Posted on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 01:45 pm:   

Nick:

Crap, just when it looks like there will be a great magazine, it folds before publishing. Will there ever be another EPIC ILLUSTRATED? Will HEAVY METAL ever achieve the glory days of the early '80s (well, me and my high school buddies at the time glorified it)? Is anyone doing anything like PROPHECY that has actually seen print?

Forrest
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JamesV
Posted on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 09:35 pm:   

I've read the first three Finder trades by Carla "Speed" McNeil, and am a reader of the regular series. I like it. I recommend it.
You don't have to take my word for. Look here: http://www.artbomb.net/detail.jsp?idx=4&cid=8&tid=63 and http://www.artbomb.net/detail.jsp?idx=4&cid=8&tid=64

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Minz
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 06:27 am:   

Hey Forrest:

I hate to burst your bubble, and maybe I'm wrong, but while i do agree Heavy Metal has declined over the years, I think you're looking a little bit through the rose-tinted glasses of youth. To paraphrase: the golden age of racy, sexy, intense magazines is 13.
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GabrielM
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2003 - 05:00 pm:   

One of the most annoying things about HEAVY METAL was how heavily censored it was. Not just with strategically placed word bubbles but with entire panels and even pages excised, something that's only become apparent now that the original European material is available from other sources. What people thought was cutting-edge surrealism was often no more than the fact that three or four explicit panels that were key to the story had been cut by the editor, logic and plot development be damned.
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jonathan briggs
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 11:48 pm:   

Has anyone else read Jeff Nicholson's "Through the Habitrails"? It's like suicidal Dilbert. A bleak, black, hopeless look at the workplace. I read it (in the Taboo anthologies, I think) while I was working a particularly shitty job, and it was almost too much.

I always have fun with "Hellboy" and Mike Allred's "Madman."

I'll read just about anything by Warren Ellis. I was pissed when "cutting edge" Vertigo pussed out and truncated his "Hellblazer" run over some candyass controversy or other. A scary horror comic. What a concept.

And I just collected the entire run of Peter Bagge's "Hate" TPBs, and I'm about to go back and read the entire Buddy Bradley saga again. Bitterly funny stuff.
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richard
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 04:48 am:   

Anybody read Marjane Satrapi's PERSEPOLIS? - totally brilliant kid's eye view of recent Iranian history - it's getting critical comparisons to MAUS, but it's not as grim, and the political grit is balanced out by LOL cute images of Satrapi's childhood antics. Best graphic novel I've ever read.

Meanwhile, I'd rate Preacher very highly indeed, mainly for its complete lack of restraint (we ARE talking about comics here). Still haven't found anything to touch it at the hardcore end of the genre, even Frank Miller (another favourite of mine) seems mannered and refined by comparison.
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Forrest
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 09:59 am:   

Minz:

I suppose your right. But what of Epic Illustrated? That still seems to have some merit outside of T&A and splatterpunk themes. I'd love to see another magazine like Epic - is there any such thing out now?

Forrest
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KellyRothenberg
Posted on Monday, October 06, 2003 - 05:20 pm:   

Recently I reviewed Craig Thompson's BLANKETS and thought it was very well done. Waiting on the next trilogy of Jeff Smith's BONE to arrive from Amazon.com, as well as some items of interest from Bud Plant's (like Chuck Jones' "Daffy Duck For President!").

--Kelly
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Lou Anders
Posted on Tuesday, October 07, 2003 - 06:29 am:   

Gregory, by Marc Hempel

About a retarded child and the rat that lives in his diapers. What's not to love.
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jonathan briggs
Posted on Wednesday, October 08, 2003 - 08:52 pm:   

EPIC did seem a little classier. I never had to hide those magazines from my mother (well, except for that Berni Wrightson bathtub issue).
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paulw
Posted on Thursday, October 09, 2003 - 04:10 am:   

Thanks, Lou, for mentioning Gregory! I think Hempel's work on The Kindly Ones was always way underrated. And his work with Wheatley on Breathtaker had its moments.

And to those above who mentioned Milligan's wonderful Enigma.

Anyone agree with me that James Robinson's The Golden Age kicks ass? I come back to this again and again.

Right now I've put Neal Stephenson's numbingly dense Quicksilver aside to read through all the Sandmans again . . .

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Lou Anders
Posted on Thursday, October 09, 2003 - 05:58 am:   

Actually, if they really wanted to do an Avengers movie, they should just take The Ultimates as their shooting script.
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, October 09, 2003 - 08:54 pm:   

paulw: i didn't think that much of THE GOLDEN AGE, to be honest. i think robinson's STARMAN is far better, as well as LEAVE IT TO CHANCE.
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paulw
Posted on Friday, October 10, 2003 - 09:39 am:   

What else by Robinson can you recommend, Ben?
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ben peek
Posted on Friday, October 10, 2003 - 10:00 pm:   

pretty much the starman series, the collections which start with STARMAN: SINS OF THE FATHER, STARMAN: DAY AND NIGHT, and so forth. i would also recommend the LEAVE IT TO CHANCE collections, SHAMAN'S RAIN and the second collection which i can't remember. it's a nancy drew like detective thing in a city with ghosts and goblins and all sorts of fun stuff. more for a younger audience than STARMAN, but still quite good.

they're about all i recommend. he did a short run on WILDCATS, if you can find it, which is good, and i've heard some okay things about some of his earlier work, most of which is a bit hard to find. an early graphic novel called LONDON'S DARK is reportedly quite good.

the problem with robinson is that, after STARMAN, he's often worked with substandard cowriters. hacks, as i like to call them. david s. goyer, more well known as the scriptwriter for BLADE, is one such writer. he also has some input into the new HAWKMAN series, but it's minimal, and without charm.

also, it appears that robinson doesn't really want to write comics full time anymore. he's more interesting in films--and bad films, at that. he wrote the script for the truly awful LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, and wrote and directed a film called COMIC BOOK VILLIANS, which i've not seen, admittedly. so his good stuff, the work worth finding, is mainly contained within those first two series. (and i have no real love for the GRENDAL thing he did, and i found WITCHCRAFT, a small series, to be easily forgettable.)
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paulw
Posted on Saturday, October 11, 2003 - 04:16 am:   

Huh, too bad. I have some of his first Starman comics, but not the collected set. I also think I remember reading one or two fo the Leave it to Chance, but I'll give them both a look next time I visit Forbidden Planet!

Thanks!

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Jeremy Lassen
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 05:41 pm:   

Just a note to those of have enjoyed the work of comic book artist/writer Gilbert Hernandez... there is a HUGE, big ass collection of all of the Palomar stories out in hardcover from Fantagraphics... and its only $40. Run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore/comic shop and get it.

In fact, even if you have never read this stuff before, you should still check it out. Its THAT good.

Here is an interview with Gilbert from Publishers weekly, ostensibly about the collection
http://publishersweekly.reviewsnews.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=CA330 757
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Matthew
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 07:07 pm:   

I got a copy of a black and white comic called Demo. It is published by Ait/Planet Lar comic books. It's pretty good. Each issue from is going to be stand alone. The first is about a teenage girl with telekinetic powers, but she is not a superhero just someone trying to get by in life. The story is good and the artwork is excellent.
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William Lexner
Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 12:22 am:   

At different times, I've liked different things.

However, here's what my favorites have been over the years...

-Persepolis: Marjane Satrapi
-The Dark Knight Returns: Frank Miller
-Summer Blonde: Adrian Tomine
-Blankets: Craig Thompson
-Preacher: Garth Ennis
-Stray Bullets: David Lapham
-Box Office Poison: Alex Robinson
-Y: The Last Man: Brian K Vaughan (some of the best new sf to come out in a while)
-Bone: Jeff Smith
-Strangers in Paradise: Terry Moore
-The Elsewhere Prince: Moebius
-X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills: Chris Claremont
-Ghost World: Daniel Clowes
-Maus: Art Spiegelman
-The Invisibles: Grant Morrison
-Transmetropolitan: Warren Ellis
-Anti-Christ Comics: Joseph Michael Linsner

Contrary to popular opinion, I loathe Alan Moore. I've thought Watchmen overrated for 15+ years, and both the LXG and From Hell are stolen in large part from Kim Newman's Anno Dracula. You can argue with this assertion, but not with conviction if you've read Newmans work.
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mastadge
Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 06:01 pm:   

And LXG completely ignores that last few pages of DRACULA!

I'm surprised to see Linsner on your list -- I read DAWN: LUCIFER'S HALO, and especially after all the hype was quite profoundly disappointed.`
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2005 - 07:08 pm:   

William, I've never read Anno Dracula, but there's a big hole in your theory about From Hell copying Anno Dracula. AD was first published in 1992, while the first 6 chapters of From Hell were published from 1989 to 1992. In other words, the first few chapters appeared several years earlier, and the middle chapters came out at the same time.

If you want to claim Moore's copying somebody, look at Stephen Knight, who's conspiracy theory Moore took for From Hell. It first came out in 1974. From Hell was largely taking Knight's ideas and putting them in comic form. It seems more likely Moore and Newman both drew from Knight.

From the descriptions I've read of Anno Dracula, I would be willing to beleive Moore was inspired by it for League.

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