Graphic Novel Reading Group discussion

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message 1: by Rob (new)

Rob | 5 comments Hi, just joined this group, pretty new to graphic novels, just want to know which graphic novels you would recommend for someone new

I have firstly bought batman year one, and v for vendetta

Half way through batman now :)


message 2: by 'kris (new)

'kris Pung | 135 comments When I first got into GN's about 5 years ago I found this list very helpful http://forbiddenplanet.com/picks/50-b...

Nowadays I find myself gravitating to more the creator owned stuff at Vertigo (Sandman, Scalped, 100 Bullets, etc.) and Image (Saga, Manhattan Projects, Luther Strode, etc.) comics.


message 3: by Rob (new)

Rob | 5 comments Thanks for that, just been and got the long halloween and dark victory in the batman novels, which other superhero books are well known for being good?

Im thinking spiderman or iron man, but i don't know if these are any good/where to start


message 4: by 'kris (new)

'kris Pung | 135 comments Any hero book can be good in the right writers hands so that said I tend to follow anything these guys do: Frank Miller, Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire, Brian Azzarello, Jason Aaron, Alan Moore, and Grant Morrison.

Lastly a Library card can be your best friend when it comes to test driving books.


message 5: by Dominick (last edited Jun 12, 2013 09:27AM) (new)

Dominick (dominickgrace) | 165 comments If you like those two, then Miller's first Dark Knight GN might be a good one to turn to
Batman The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
(not his second one, though!). Alan Moore's other work is also worth investigating. Watchmen is perhaps the obvious one,
Watchmen by Alan Moore
but I'd also highly recommend From Hell:
From Hell by Alan Moore

I'd echo the Vertigo recommendations above, especially the Sadnman stuff by Gaiman and other hands; it's very good fantasy/horror stuff. Also worthwhile in this regard is Alan Moore's work on Swamp Thing, collected in several volumes, starting with this one:
Swamp Thing, Vol. 1 Saga of the Swamp Thing by Alan Moore

Morrison and Quitely's All-Star Superman
Absolute All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison
is one of the most fun superhero comics of recent years.

For a somewhat different take on superheroics, Kurt Busiek's Astro City Stuff is fun. Volumes are more or less self-contained, but starting at the beginning is always good:
Astro City Vol. 1 Life in the Big City by Kurt Busiek

If you're interested in more than superheroics, there's a ton of great stuff as well. I'd recommend almost anything by Chester Brown, but Ed the Happy Clown is his first GN and quite impressive (but very graphic, so be warned);
Ed the Happy Clown by Chester Brown

Art Spiegelman's Maus is regarded as one of the medium's high points, and I'd agree. It's very readable but also a master class in comics technique:
Maus by Art Spiegelman

Dave Sim's Cerebus is equally innovative though perhaps somewhat less accessible to someone who hasn't read a lot of comics, given how much of it parodies familair comcis figures and tropes. The second volume is perhaps the best jumping-on point:
High Society (Cerebus, #2) by Dave Sim

For some really fun self-conscious stuff, Seth's Wimbledon Green is a highly enjoyable comic look at the world of comic-book collecting:
Wimbledon Green by Seth
His other books are also interesting, though very self-conscsious and often narratively quite elliptical.

Howard Chaykin's American Flagg, at least for the first dozen or so issues, is a lot of fun--not really superhero stuff, but high-octane SF/satire, set in a dystopian future:
American Flagg! Definitive Collection by Howard Chaykin

Jeff Lemire has done both mainstream stuff for DC and independent comics; his work is worth checking out, especially when he's the artist as well as the writer. Other mainstream figures who've done widely-praised stuff include Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Mark Waid, etc--but there's a lot of stuff from them, so you might want to do a bit of digging before diving in. Also, a lot of classic comics are available in reprints these days, though often in quite expensive omnibus or archive editions. Still, it's worht keeping your eyes open for deals on, say, Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko's 1960s work (e.g. Fantastic four, Spider-Man, Thor).

Other non-mainstream figures well worth looking at include Dan Clowes, Peter Bagge, The Hernandez Brothers, Robert Crumb (some of his stuff is pretty extreme), Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton, and Joe Sacco, who's done a lot of superlative comics reportage, notably Safe Area Gorazde Safe Area Goražde The War in Eastern Bosnia, 1992-1995 by Joe Sacco
However, I've yet to read something by him that wasn't worthwhile.


message 6: by Dominick (new)

Dominick (dominickgrace) | 165 comments Rob wrote: "Thanks for that, just been and got the long halloween and dark victory in the batman novels, which other superhero books are well known for being good?

Im thinking spiderman or iron man, but i do..."


Spider-Man: start with the beginning. The Marvel Masterworks series editions of early Marvel stuff can often be found these days in bargain boxes at stores; look for the ones with art by Ditko and/or Romita. These each collect a dozen or so issues in colour. It probably doens't really matter whether you read it all chronologically, but it's the best way to see the growth/progression of the character. I'd recommend the same for Iron Man. All this stuff--and a whack of other early Marvel stuff-is also available in fairly cheal black and white editions, in the essential series--500+ pages per volume, for under twenty bucks (also ofthe in bargain bins these days; I've got some of these for under ten bucks). (The DC equivalent is the Showcase series, collect tons of old major character stuff from prior ot the 1970s; much of this is very weird, but if you really want to see how these characters have morphed over time, these can be a hoot.)

Also worth looking for for Shellhead is the collection of the Tony Stark as alcoholic storyline, Demon in a Bottle:

Iron Man: Demon in a Bottle

If you're keen on older superhero stuff, I'd also recommend the Ditko/Lee Doctor Strange, also available in the Masterworks series--same with the Kirby/Lee stuff I already mentioned, not to mention his later DC stuff (I don't like it as much, generally, but the art is magnificent).


message 7: by Rob (new)

Rob | 5 comments Wow, thanks for the help!

As with the library tip, I'm from the uk so there isnt alot of comic book stores around, i don't even think our libraries will stock them (cant say i have noticed them) ill deffo be going checking out if they have though, GN's are really expensive!


message 8: by 'kris (new)

'kris Pung | 135 comments Rob wrote: "Wow, thanks for the help!

As with the library tip, I'm from the uk so there isnt alot of comic book stores around, i don't even think our libraries will stock them (cant say i have noticed them) i..."


You might be surprised just how many graphic novels your Library may have.


message 9: by Rob (new)

Rob | 5 comments Ill be going tomorrow, ill tell you what its like :)


message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert Wright (rhwright) | 294 comments Gaiman's Sandman
Claremont's X-Men (up to about issue 200)
The original 60s Silver Surfer
Fraction's current run on Fantastic Four & FF.
Watchmen

... and so many more ...

but that will do for a start


message 11: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Izworski | 75 comments I'm a reader (not a collector) so the library has been a valuable resource.


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