On Reading Graphic Novels discussion


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message 1: by Jeff (new)

Jeff (jeffbickley) I just recently joined this group. So far, I'm enjoying Sandman (up to volume 7), Anita Blake, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Y: The Last Man. I have a few other titles in my collection that I haven't gotten around to reading yet. I have Gaiman's The Eternals, and several other collections of Gaiman that are spinoffs of Sandman. I'll be getting to those soon.

message 2: by Rindis (new)

Rindis | 4 comments I've been here a while, and I'm still getting most of my graphic novel collection put in.


No, that's not even half of it yet.... (Though much of what's left is manga.)

message 3: by Fredstrong (new)

Fredstrong | 25 comments I'm a total new jack when it comes to graphic novels. So far I've read Promethea/Alan Moore, The Filth/Grant Morrison, V for Vendetta/Alan Moore. I'm currently on Swamp Thing V3/Alan Moore, Sandman V3/Gaiman, and I have From Hell/Alan Moore sitting on my shelf waiting for me. I'm really blown away by the medium.

message 4: by Purple (new)

Purple | 13 comments Hi all! I just really joined the group as well! Currently I'm reading Y: The Last Man (it's good, isn't it Jeff?!), Bone (the colour editions), David Boring, and 100 Bullets.

I love the medium, and nothing seems to be able to stop me buying more and more graphic novels. Damn you, Amazon, damn you!

What's 'The Filth' like, Fredstrong? I've read some of Morrison's other stuff (The Invisibles) and may move onto his other stuff if it's good!

message 5: by Fredstrong (new)

Fredstrong | 25 comments From what I understand, it's kind of the negetiove reflection of the Invisibles. I have not read the Invisibles, but most say it should be read first. The Filth is very dark, and very dense. I will post the review I wrote of it, (sorry if it's a bit long):

Wow, where to begin? Immediately after finishing The Filth I sought out an interview with Grant Morrison, to get the creator's take on his graphic novel. Morrison states that "the story-telling is straight forward” and that he was "trying to keep it all very clear". LOL, I can assure you, The Filth is neither straight forward, nor very clear. His words, (warnings), in the humorous introduction to The Filth, give a much better clue to the experience one is left with: readers "...are required to participate in the generation of significant content by interpreting text and images which have been deliberately loaded with overlapping meanings and scales". That sums it up nicely. If you are looking for a graphic novel that spells things out, and ties things up nicely, look elsewhere.

The protagonist is Greg Feely, a middle aged widower, with a strong attachment to his cat and a penchant for pornography. One night he finds a strange woman in his shower who explains to him, during a surprise bout of filetio, that he is not really Greg Feely, but Ned Slade, an officer in an extra-spatial police organization called the Hand. The Hand cleans up radical elements in society, be they people or a swarm of super sized sperm, which may throw off society's state of equilibrium, or Status-Q. The graphic novel's 13 volumes focus on Greg Feely/Ned Slade's navigation of these two realms/selves, and his struggle with which of these is his true self.

The Filth injects a pretty heady existentialist dilemma to the presentation of its superheroes and villains. The parallel universes, including a comic book universe called the "paperverse", provide a strange brand of postmodernism and meta-fiction. The symbolism, and clues to possible interpretations, are so dense it's virtually impossible to keep track of, and assimilate them. Some of the symbolism is Qabalistic, and the constant exploration of the dark and seedy aspects of humanity is Qliphothic in nature, (not that anyone needs to know anything about these to appreciate the work).

There are definitely flaws to the Filth. It's difficult to care very much about the characters, and none of them are very likable. The story is somewhat fragmented, and a bit self-indulgent. This being said, The Filth is a one of a kind puzzle to work out for oneself, an unflinching foray into the shadow of humanity, and ultimately, a work that forces us to question the values of self and society. I plan to read it again in the future with a more academic approach, taking notes and all. How many works do we read that can even warrant that?

message 6: by Purple (new)

Purple | 13 comments Excellent, thanks for that!

It does sound exactly like the sort of thing I like to read, and it doesn't seem as if Morrison has come down to earth yet.

I'll grab a copy next time I find myself near one, partly because I love the challenge of reading this sort of thing and seeing what I make of it; and partly because any novel - graphic or otherwise - that includes an organisation called 'The Hand' cannot fail to be good.

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