On Reading Graphic Novels discussion


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message 1: by Lily (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:44AM) (new)

Lily McGarr | 2 comments I have recently started reading the sandman series and I was wondering if anyone else knew any graphic novels that were like sandman, or any ones that had unusual heroes...

message 2: by Synchro (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:44AM) (new)

Synchro (synchro23) | 4 comments Sandman and the DC Vertigo titles all stemmed from the Alan Moore's Swamp Thing series. Some of the best writing ever in comics in my opinion.
Also the Books of Magic by Vertigo.
Both are tie ins to Sandman.

message 3: by Bryan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:44AM) (new)

Bryan Worra (thaoworra) | 3 comments The Thief of Always graphic novel adaptation by Clive Barker might be of interest along this vein. Although some might contest this, because it has appeared in an all-text version previously, if we were going to get technical.

message 4: by Don (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:44AM) (new)

Don (donfoolery) | 4 comments My favorite Sandman "spin-off," so to speak, is Lucifer. It's the example I point to whenever someone wonders how you can make a story with uber-powerful characters interesting.

message 5: by Lily (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:44AM) (new)

Lily McGarr | 2 comments thanks
i will definitely check these out...

message 6: by Cara (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:51AM) (new)

Cara (caranam) | 1 comments I don't know if I'd exactly call them *like* Sandman, but "The Books of Magic" (Vertigo) mini also by Gaiman might be a good choice.

Also, I loved the Sandman series and Bill Willingham's "Fables" is right up my alley as well.

I hope that helps!

message 7: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:53AM) (new)

Jason There are some great HELLBLAZER collections that you should check out as well. "Hardtime" by Brian Azzarello and Richard Corben is probably one of my favorites - Constantine in a maximum security prison causing riots and bloodshed until they let him out.

message 8: by Don (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:54AM) (new)

Don (donfoolery) | 4 comments The "Hardtime" arc was actually the first Hellblazer story I read, and was damn impressed with it.

message 9: by Jason (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:54AM) (new)

Jason That's a good introduction to the book, right there. I've been wanting to sit down and read the whole series - it's all collected - but it's such a tremendous undertaking. 24 trades so far...yikes. Cost alone would make it such a pain.

message 10: by Don (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:55AM) (new)

Don (donfoolery) | 4 comments It might be worth trying your local public library, nowadays...

message 11: by Alien (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:06PM) (new)

Alien  Citizen | 46 comments Mod
The Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Education compiled this list of recommended graphic novels for school classrooms and libraries:

message 12: by Ethan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

Ethan Hellblazer is probably your best bet. I also really enjoyed The Preacher series, it's not fantasy like the Sandman is, it's much more violent. But it has that unusual heroes thing that I think your talking about.

message 13: by Gavin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:11PM) (new)

Gavin (gavin9) The Black Orchid by McKean and Gaiman is one of my favorites.

message 14: by Francis (last edited Jun 04, 2009 09:15AM) (new)

Francis Jones (mingustheant) | 6 comments One day I will get through all of the Hellblazer books, I haven't finished any series of tpbs yet, I could have gotten through Sandman by now, but I milk my comics and reread them alot.

Death the Sandman spin off is meant to be good too.

message 15: by Ken-ichi (new)

Ken-ichi | 7 comments Nothing is really quite like Sandman, though as others have pointed out, the entire Vertigo line was sort of designed around the idea of "unusual heros." Cara mentioned Fables, which is certainly cut from similar cloth, as is Alan Moore's Promethea, in that they all explore how the literal subjects of myths and legends would survive in the modern world, but none of them stand up to Sandman on any point of comparison, as far as I'm concerned. Gaiman's novel, American Gods, is also about similar subjectmatter.

message 16: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8 comments I'd recommend Lucifer and Fables - both excellent -

message 17: by Christina Stind (new)

Christina Stind | 2 comments The Death spin-off is very good too!

message 18: by Nathan (new)

Nathan (jackthorn) | 24 comments If you're looking for something along the lines of the feel and substance and scale of Sandman... I'd recommend the Death books, The Books of Magic, the Lucifer books, The Dreaming, Hellblazer, Fables, Shade The Changing Man, and Promethea.

The Death books (The High Cost Of Living, The Time Of Your Life) are not only really good, they're very closely related to the Sandman series, and are from the same era. The third one (I can't remember the name) is good but not quite as good as the first two.

The Books Of Magic is one of my favorite comic / GN series overall, despite the fact that it's fairly uneven and wandering at times. The writing is great, the concept is great, it's funny and meaningful and wondrous and down-to-earth, and if had just been a bit more focused it would have been immeasurably great. It may seem a bit like a Harry Potter ripoff at first (boy wizard prodigy with an owl), but keep in mind, Tim Hunter came first! Unfortunately, this is not yet collected completely either, though 7 out of 10 books have been printed.

The Lucifer books are another one of my overall favorites. Intelligent, subtle, well-written, and very much in the style of Sandman, Mike Carey has done a wonder with this series. It is highly recommended and completely collected.

The Dreaming is another series very close in concept and style to The Sandman -- it is, after all, based on the Realm ruled by the Dream-King, and features his strange and varied subjects. There are two books published in trade, the second a bit better I think than the first. While the stories range widely in topic and theme, they are nearly all very well-written and illustrated, and are definitely worth reading if you liked The Sandman.

Hellblazer, while most certainly one of my favorite comic book series', is less like Sandman than most of the others mentioned here -- it and Sandman were Vertigo's flagship titles, and as such they represented different sides of what Vertigo was trying to do. Hellblazer is darker, leans more towards the horror mystery element, is more gritty and visceral.

Respectfully to those who suggested otherwise, however, I would most definitely NOT start with "Hard Times" or any of Azzarello's run -- first of all, it's roughly the 22nd book in the series, which is a long way in for a starting point. But beyond that, Azzarello's take on Hellblazer is not at all representative of the series as a whole. The art is frequently goofy and cartoonish, and Azzarello seems bent on saturating it with hip kinky dark wickedness, to an exaggerated extent. Finally, there are basically no demons in any of Azzarello's stories, despite dealings with demons being a main element of the Hellblazer concept -- all John does is get a nauseating tour through the worst of humanity. If you must start so late in the series, then I recommend starting with the first of Mike Carey's run, "The Red Sepulchre" (Carey is the one who wrote Lucifer). However, what I'd really recommend is starting with the start -- Jamie Delano's Book One, called "Original Sins", the story which launched the Hellblazer series. Delano's run, though marked by the gaudy coloration typical of the 80s, is one of the paragon runs of the title (the other being Garth Ennis), and the stories only improve as they go on.

Fables is a great ongoing series by Bill Willingham, somewhat similar in style and substance to Sandman, though perhaps more similar to The Dreaming. The first book is mostly setup, and while it is not at all bad, the second and third books are better, and more representative of the series in general. Collected in ongoing trades. Highly recommended!

Shade The Changing Man is one of my all-time favorite comics series, bar none, despite it's garish early coloring and general loopiness. Well, perhaps because of the loopiness. A madman from another planet/dimension who takes over the body of a serial killer and warps reality by force of will and by accident, and who strives to find balance between his poetic dreamer-nature and the strong and decisive man situations demand he make himself. Unfortunately only one trade has been published, collecting the first 8 or so issues, but perhaps they'll print more if there's more interest.

Promethea, by Alan Moore (writer of other fantastic books like V For Vendetta and Watchmen), is also somewhat similar to Watchmen in style and content. Very esoteric and mystical, even a little complex, and well worth reading.

For other titles that are very good but not so much like Sandman, I'd recommend V For Vendetta (one of the best graphic novels out there, all in one book) and Y The Last Man (also amazingly good, collected in ten books).

message 19: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8 comments Wow, that's a great sum-up, Nathan. I also enjoyed The Dreaming (too bad they haven't put all the issues in trade books for folks who haven't read them yet...)

message 20: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Jun 24, 2009 07:21AM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa Folks, Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing Vol. 1 Saga of the Swamp Thing is well worth a look, especially the American Gothic tales.
If you want to start Hellblazer anywhere start here where Johnny boy is first introduced.

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