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Old February 13th, 2008, 12:28 AM
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The Independent/"Adult" Comics Thread

Anybody else read the graphic novel Blankets by Craig Thompson? I just spent the past three and a half hours devouring it (despite being 581 pages, it's a really fast read, due to being mostly visual). Man, what an emotional tour de force! It struck a lot of cords for me and felt really close to home in a lot of ways - whether the first love stuff or the religious stuff ... I'm still reeling from it. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a good graphic novel experience outside the usual action/adventure range.

edit: Due to what appears to be demand here and the turn the conversation has taken, I've changed the title from being just about Blankets, to being an independent comics thread.

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Old February 14th, 2008, 01:01 AM
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You know, I've been wanting to read that for quite some time now. I actually saw a very good copy at a local Half-Price Books store, but I was unemployed at the time. I guess i was shopping to torture myself. Nah. You can get great deals there. I have the entire Prince Valiant animated series on hold from there, for about $15 total.

I would strongly suggest Chester Brown's "I Never Liked You", a Yummy Fur graphic novel. It deals with the same types of themes, and has trememdous emotional impact. I was really upset when I put it down...

On the flipside, did you ever check out the graphic novel Ghost World by Daniel Clownes, another coming of age story, though faith is totally absent. For me, at least, it had an unexpected, and likely unintentional effect of demonstrating just how much people need Christ, even though they don't realize it.
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  #3  
Old February 14th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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IAmBatman, I've not read Blankets yet. If it's at the Public, I may check it out to read.
It's a massive book and should make for good reading, huh!Really enjoy his style and own a few of his xerox-styled booklets.
What else do you enjoy outside of the superhero stuff and what made you read Blankets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by soberman
You know, I've been wanting to read that for quite some time now. I actually saw a very good copy at a local Half-Price Books store, but I was unemployed at the time. I guess i was shopping to torture myself. Nah. You can get great deals there. I have the entire Prince Valiant animated series on hold from there, for about $15 total.

I would strongly suggest Chester Brown's "I Never Liked You", a Yummy Fur graphic novel. It deals with the same types of themes, and has trememdous emotional impact. I was really upset when I put it down...

On the flipside, did you ever check out the graphic novel Ghost World by Daniel Clownes, another coming of age story, though faith is totally absent. For me, at least, it had an unexpected, and likely unintentional effect of demonstrating just how much people need Christ, even though they don't realize it.
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Soberman, didn't know you were a comics fan! We should start up an independent comics thread here. There's a lot of good stuff that needs to be exposed!

Yeah, I Never Liked You is a classic! If I find it for cheap on Amazon, I'm going to pick up Chester Brown's Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography. Apparently, it's really good too.
And speaking of Brown, I'll recommend Seth's It's a Good Life If You Don't Weaken. Really good read.

Ghost Story was is my public library and I checked it out about 4-5 years ago. There are a lot of laugh out loud moments. The movie was kinda 'eh'.

...There's a Prince Valiant animated series???

Oh, one more graphic novel recommendation -
Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth.
Single-handely the greatest comic being produced right now is Chris Ware's Acme Novelty Library. This collection is all the Jimmy Corrigan tale in one massive, beautiful volume.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 12:35 PM
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Bravo Bruce, Blankets is an excellent graphic novel. Now were talking grownup comics.

Here are some other works you should look up:
Why I Hate Saturn by Kyle Baker
Exit and Lost Girl By Nabiel Kanan
Halo, an Angel's Story by Chris Knowles
The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot.
The Barefoot Serpent by Scott Morse
Berlin by Jason Lutes
Breakfast After Noon by Andi Watson
The Black Order Brigade by Pierre Christian and Enki Bilal
Clockwork Angel and Cathedral Child by Lea Hernandez
Will Eisner has many great graphic novel try A Contract with GOD, Dropsie Avenue and New York:The Big City

all HEH recommendation are excellent, too. He just beat me to them.
Okay I got carried away but this stuff beets superdupers any day of the week. These are all stories of human emotion and understanding the human condition.

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Old February 14th, 2008, 07:26 PM
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I am a huge fan of comics, and of Craig Thompson. Check out his Goodbye Chunky Rice for another read not quite as good as Blankets. I met him at Chicago ComicCon a couple times and he is always very nice. He also wrote and drew a travelogue which I recommend.

I would love an independent comics thread. I do read a few superhero books, but mostly love any good comic, and there are too many bad ones out there. For those who like a monthly fix and are looking for current books, try Criminal or The Walking Dead. Both are very solid.

I've also seen some people mention Ghost World by Dan Clowes. You should also try his other stuff from Eightball. I especially have a place in my heart for David Boring.

For those who do like great superhero stuff, check out James Robinson's Starman series. It was my favorite book while it was still going, and that is saying alot since Preacher and Stray Bullets were both going strong at the time.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the just recently concluded Y The Last Man. I won't include any spoilers, but I am sad to see it go, and I can only say that it had a fantastic ending. I'm sure I'll chime in with some of my other favorites later, because I have way too many to list in one post. (I will second the fact the Jimmy Corrigan is great, as well as Eisner's books and Talbot's Tale of One Bad Rat, which never gets enough love.)
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  #6  
Old February 14th, 2008, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdgrant
(I will second the fact the Jimmy Corrigan is great,
The latest volume of the Acme Novelty Library is 18.
Chris Ware has paused the Rusty Brown/Chalky White storyline and focused on a one-legged college girl.

I'm really impressed with this latest story arc. The Rusty/Chalky storyline felt overly forceful in depicting awkward, dorky young boys.
The switch to the female character is nice and the story is interesting.

I'm tempted to scan a bunch of ANL pages and put them up in a thread all of its own.
Each page is a truly AMAZING individual comic masterpieces as I'm sure you know.

I don't think we seen the likes of such a grand, amazing, cartoonist like Ware since Windsor McCay.

I'm proud and feel privileged to live in a day and age of Heroscape and Chris Ware.
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  #7  
Old February 15th, 2008, 12:53 AM
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Hex_Enduction_Hour wrote:

Quote:
Soberman didn't know you were a comics fan!
And I didn't realize what your December avatar was until watching some Christmas DVDs! Pretty slick. Anyhow, since you didn't know that about me, I'm assuming you missed this:

(Page 22)
http://www.heroscapers.com/community...=asc&start=315

and this:

(Page 6)
http://www.heroscapers.com/community...r=asc&start=75

BTW, you owe me $1 for that stoopid flickering tealight I bought that couldn't light a hive unless I wanted to play under cover of total darkness!

atmospro wrote:

Quote:
Berlin by Jason Lutes
I tried to follow it. I really like Jar of Fools, but this series is published too sporadically, and, sadly, I've given up on it.

Quote:
Breakfast After Noon by Andi Watson
I have it on my shelf. I never got to it as I was attempting to wade through the early volumes of Skeleton Key. My friend promised me it would get better, but I was losing patience with it. I'll have to skip them and read this, which he bought me.

Quote:
Will Eisner has many great graphic novel try A Contract with GOD, Dropsie Avenue and New York:The Big City
Boy, that is so totally on my "to buy" list, and has been for years. Sadly, the closest I've come to Eisner is reading remakes of the Spirit- the Dark Horse (?) series from years back and the current Darwyn Cooke series, but never the originals.

wdgrant wrote:

Quote:
For those who do like great superhero stuff, check out James Robinson's Starman series. It was my favorite book while it was still going, and that is saying alot since Preacher and Stray Bullets were both going strong at the time.
I loves me some Stray Bullets! I haven't tried the others, though my friend goes nuts over Robinson's stuff, as well as Y The Last Man and The Walking Dead. Preacher concerned me, being informed about the personality of Garth Ennis AND catholic, so I avoided it. Can't be as asinine as Battle Pope, though.

For Vertigo, I was onboard in the early days, with Books of Magic, Black Orchid, Kid Eternity, Moonshadow, Seekers: Into the Mystery and The Last One. These last 3 are from J.M DeMatteis, who wasn't afraid to put his new age spirituality front and center in his comics. The Last One, about a fallen angel trapped on earth, is one of the single best things I've ever read. These days, however, I think Vertigo comics try too hard to be weird, so I avoid them. I probably would like Fables, though.

Does anyone like Adrian Tomine's Optic Nerve? I just love the little slice of life stories with open-endness that allows you to imagine what happens next. I also like Greg Rucka's stuff for Oni Press, Whiteout and Queen and Country. (His superhero work is great as well.) Kabuki by David Mack and Shi by Bill Tucci are good reads that feature butt-kicking Asian girls. 'Nuff said.

Which reminds me, I think manga needs to be brought into the discussion, so I'll name a few. AKIRA and Domu by Katsuhiro Otomo, mainly because nobody is as adept as Otomo is at filling page after page with things blowing-up while still telling an intelligent story. Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind by anime director extraordinare Hayao Miyazaki is a small-scale epic on the order of Tolkien, if he used illustrations. 2001 Nights by Yokinobu Hoshino is the best short science fiction comic book series I've ever seen. Monster by Naoki Urasawa is a sprawling thriller that is currently being printed. Tomie by Junji Ito is a horror comic that resonates with any guy who has dated a pathological narcissist. Lone Wolf and Cub by Kazuo Koike is a wonderful fuedal-era period piece. Finally, anything by Japan's "God of Comics", Osamu Tezuka, is worth checking into. I found his Adolf series to be a simply stunning character study about 3 men named Adolf during WWII, one a Jewish boy living in Germany, another his best friend who becomes part of the Hitler youth, and the other, naturally, Hitler himself.

See ya in the funny pages!
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  #8  
Old February 15th, 2008, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soberman

And I didn't realize what your December avatar was until watching some Christmas DVDs! Pretty slick.
....

BTW, you owe me $1 for that stoopid flickering tealight I bought that couldn't light a hive unless I wanted to play under cover of total darkness!
Millions of grains of sand in the word
Why such a lonely beach?


....

and that flickering tealight thing? What, you don't play in the dark?!?
Seriously, it wasn't bright enough for you hive to make a difference?
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  #9  
Old February 15th, 2008, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hex_Enduction_Hour
Millions of grains of sand in the word
Why such a lonely beach?...
Okay, I'm thick, 'cuz I don't get it.

Quote:
and that flickering tealight thing? What, you don't play in the dark?!?
Seriously, it wasn't bright enough for you hive to make a difference?
I play in the dark sometimes, if ya know what I mean. Seriously, no. We here in Pennsylvania must have the ghettoest of ghetto dollar stores.
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Old February 15th, 2008, 01:47 AM
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To start with and as HEH already knows I was a creator in the comic industry some years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soberman
I have it on my shelf. I never got to it as I was attempting to wade through the early volumes of Skeleton Key. My friend promised me it would get better, but I was losing patience with it. I'll have to skip them and read this, which he bought me.
I love he more intricate difficult to read stuff. I liked Skeleton Key much. I'm one of the few who followed The Adventures of Luther Arkwright though from beginning to end same for Thriller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soberman
Boy, that is so totally on my "to buy" list, and has been for years. Sadly, the closest I've come to Eisner is reading remakes of the Spirit- the Dark Horse (?) series from years back and the current Darwyn Cooke series, but never the originals.
Get thee to a comic shop at once. Thou can not proclaim to know the graphic novel with out reading the master.
In all seriousness Will Eisner was the absolute best and the originator of indy comics and the graphic novel his work are second to none.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soberman
Does anyone like Adrian Tomine's Optic Nerve? I just love the little slice of life stories with open-endness that allows you to imagine what happens next. I also like Greg Rucka's stuff for Oni Press, Whiteout and Queen and Country. (His superhero work is great as well.) Kabuki by David Mack and Shi by Bill Tucci are good reads that feature butt-kicking Asian girls. 'Nuff said.
Optic Nerve is fantastic. I'm also fan Greg Rucka work. Whiteout is far superior to Queen and Country though. Kabuki is decent and Shi is not good at all.

One thing that has not been brought up as of yet is the work of the Hernandez brothers. Love and Rockets along with the now lengthy stand a lone books is a great body of work.

And for soberman because everyone seem to love superhero book some that I think are worth reading

MiracleMan – 1982 version by Alan Moore/Neil Gaiman and art by Alan Davis , Chuck Beckum, Rick Veitch, John Totleben, Barry Windsor-Smith and Mark Buckingham, the list of creators is astounding and all the way from the UK. This is the way the ultra Superman types should be portrayed.

Power and Glory -Howard Chaykin's mini series turned graphic novel, a very different look at who(i)s (what makes) a hero.

Mage: The Hero Discovered by Matt Wagner (of Grendel fame) is Story of Kevin Matchstick a modern day King Arthur well maybe.

Heroes – This indy by John Nordland maybe hard to find its by Blackbird Comics and its for all you X-men fans, mutant as they should be done nuff said. Oh its B&W multi tone penciled artwork, beautifully render.

Madman - Mike Allred’s strange and unique three-stooge style jab to the eye superhero is one of a kind.

“X” – By Steven Grant a vigilante hero unlike any you have seen before or since

Nexus – Mike Baron and Steven Rude - Judge, Jury, and intergalactic Executioner, hero/villain, savior/terrorist tiring to cope with the gift/lot that has been bestowed on him.

Marshall Law created by Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neill.

Northguard co-created by Mark Shainblum and Gabriel Morrissette is one of the most sophisticated depictions ever of a national superhero. Issued by Matrix comics here in Canada, Northguard and Fleur-de-Lys (major supporting character) were depicted on national stamps.

MoonKnight – created by Doug Moench and Doug Perlin is the most p.s.y.cologically complex superhero Marvel has ever produced (even beyond Jim Starlin’s Adam Warlock). The original series run is a sight to behold with Bill Sienkiewicz on the art chores and deep brooding stories of a tortured soul with multiple personality disorder. This book was one of a very few direct sales only Marvel books at the time.

The Death of Captain Marvel – Powerful story in GN format, by Jim Starlin as a way to work though his own fathers death, that happened month before starting work. This work returned Jim to comics after a long absence.

When I start talking comic it hard to stop.

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  #11  
Old February 15th, 2008, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atmospro
Optic Nerve is fantastic. I'm also fan Greg Rucka work. Whiteout is far superior to Queen and Country though. Kabuki is decent and Shi is not good at all.
I liked "Heaven and Earth". That was good Shi. Yes, it quickly fell apart after that...but the whole internal conflict of christian vs killer was wonderful.

Quote:
Madman - Mike Allred’s strange and unique three-stooge style jab to the eye superhero is one of a kind.

Nexus – Mike Baron and Steven Rude - Judge, Jury, and intergalactic Executioner, hero/villain, savior/terrorist tiring to cope with the gift/lot that has been bestowed on him.
I loves me some Madman and Nexus!
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  #12  
Old February 15th, 2008, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hex_Enduction_Hour
IAmBatman, I've not read Blankets yet. If it's at the Public, I may check it out to read.
It's a massive book and should make for good reading, huh!Really enjoy his style and own a few of his xerox-styled booklets.
What else do you enjoy outside of the superhero stuff and what made you read Blankets?
I actually, quite shamefully, haven't explored many graphic novels outside of superhero stuff - though I've come to find that graphic literature is my favorite form of storytelling.
I read Blankets as part of a great Graphic Novel class I'm taking in graduate school right now. We've been reading a lot of other stuff, but none moved me quite so much as this one so far.
Though Lynda Barry's "The Freddie Stories" was a twisted, fun little masterpiece all its own.

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