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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:49 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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To quote Sheldon Cooper, comic books are sequential art being used to tell a story. It is the oldest form of storytelling and dates back to cave paintings (though Batman is more recent Wink ) I know several people don't like comics as an art form, but I'm going to make a few recommendations based on my readings that are for a more adult audience. I'll also list a lot of things about each because some involve a lot of adult subject matter including harsh language and morally ambiguous situations.


Y: The Last Man: This is a rather odd one. Brian K. Vaughan is someone I revere as a writer and I'll be recommending more by him, but this one is rough on people who aren't prepared for it. The story itself is intriguing. All in one instant all men in the world die off except one dorky kid and his pet monkey. The only males left on earth, he is being rushed to a scientist who has illegally worked in cloning and he is now humanity's last hope. This story is beautiful and amazing, and the art is wonderful, but those who are staunch on their morals might be put off by some of the harder aspects of the story. The characters occasionally use harsh language, and some of the women in the story are very open about the fact that since there are only women left women are their only option romantically. If you can handle both of these things then this series is a must read. Its amazing and the main character's journey is tragic, funny, happy, and confusing all at the same time.

Ex Machina: This is the story of a superhero (in-universe he's the only one in the world) who runs for mayor of New York and wins. Its more of a political thriller, but there is plenty of action. The man's ability is being able to converse with machines. Any machines. Machines like microwaves, planes, phones, and other such devices. The ins and outs of the series keep it going, and while there is some harsh language there is a lot less than my previous suggestion and there is no other issue with the series that might put someone off from enjoying it. This is by the same author, and while its not as good it shows some maturity in writing.

Watchmen: Come on guys, you only have to read 12 issues and you can have participated in the most celebrated graphic novel of all time. This story has everything to it. Its deep, its wrought with easter eggs (look at all the clocks in the story), and the characters are layered and built to be connected with. It reveals a layer of humanity that we don't often get to see and pretend isn't there, but its there. Ugly, brutal, and at times beautiful, this series has an ending that will mess you up (though most have had it spoiled in a way by the film). Alan Moore knows what he's doing, and I urge you to read this one above all others.

The Umbrella Academy: This one is a bit different. Its about several children, all born at once, who are 'collected' by a rich old man and trained as superheroes to defend the world. They are dark, dangerous, and intricate. They grow up knowing they aren't related and some resent others for it, others love them through it, and overall they save the world twice. Its outstanding and for a comic written by a rookie its gotten through two arcs just beautifully.


For Star Wars comics you guys know what the good ones are. Legacy, KOTOR, and of course the new Dawn of the Jedi are all great titles (Dawn is only one issue in but the art is amazing and I love the setup so I'm plugging it). The titles I've listed are not for anyone too young to understand them (decide for yourselves) and stories that are deeper than you may have read in comics before. If there's enough interest I can recommend more comics as well, but I urge you to at least try one or so of these.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:20 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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That's not fair Cadeus, I have to limit the whole wide world of funny books that entail every different type of artist and story imaginable to just a few?

Well Ok, I guess it's not that hard.

If I had to pick only one it would be The Sandman. It's a series of stories dealing with a world governed by Gods, or Spirits, or Super Heroes (depending on your POV) that make up the the world of experiences and emotions. The titular and focal character is of course Dream. What it's really about is how people tell stories to define their reality and interact with each other. It has deep and powerful stories about humanity and it never beats you over the head with over-intellectualizing it.

My all time favorite comic is Grendel. It's a funky caped crusader story that explodes morality by posing the terrifying notion that the Devil really exists and is hard at work. The protagonist is a murderer who despises society and promotes anarchy and it's antagonist is a murderer who despises society and upholds the law (and he's also a werewolf). Later it asks you to ponder which society you'd rather live in, one ruled by a genocidal and fascist dictator, or one plagued by vampires decimating the population? One of the best stories features a future where Elvis is sainted and world religion experiences a dogmatic dilemma when a drug allowing the user to talk to God also grants monkeys the ability to speak.


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:23 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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@DPW: I wasn't suggesting you do that, list as much as you like, but I created it specifically to suggest comics off the beaten path. Not the larger, never-ending superhero comics but limited run stories that have clear beginnings and endings. So like I said, list as much as you like, that's what its for. Those are the only 4 I had time for tonight, I'll be listing tons more later.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:29 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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I know, I'm a huge comics fan and was thinking about what I'd say to someone who was interested in comics but didn't know what was out there.

I went with two of my favorites for one that I think anyone could read and like- BTW Sandman is a series of story arcs that don't really require continuity, so you can pretty much just jump into any of the individual volumes- and one that probably few people would like and appreciate.

Both contain material not suitable for all ages.

I like a lot of "adult" comics, but I'll try to think of some that are mature, but can be appreciated by teens and youngsters too.


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:33 am Reply with quote  
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  DannikJerriko
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I'm a SW comic fan, and really want to get into Marvel and DC and stuff, but have no idea where to start. There's way too much content.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:29 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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You'd be surprised DJ. The Big Two are pretty easy to get into because they have a pretty small list of characters that Have ten million comics about. The thing is to find out which character you find interesting and then what kind of stories you want to see. If you can figure that out, then you can just pick and choose which you want to read. There are tons of stories that are self-contained as long as you know the basic idea and you don't need to catch up on 700 issues to know what is going on.

I'm having a hard time coming up with PG rated comics. The only ones that come to mind are Bone by Jeff Smith, and Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai.


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:49 am Reply with quote  
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  VileZero
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My MOST ESSENTIAL would be:

- Calvin & Hobbes
- The Watchmen
- The Walking Dead


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:21 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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@VileZero: Calvin & Hobbes - forming sound philosophical ideas better than anything else since 1985 Smile

Also, the Walking Dead will be in my next set. Its a more difficult to describe book and it deals with some darker themes than some others. Excellent series for about 50 issues, then its just a good book after that.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:38 am Reply with quote  
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  DannikJerriko
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Oh yeah, I've read loads of Calvin and Hobbes.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:56 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Watchmen is easily the best comic series I've ever read.

I've recently started reading John Ostrander's Grimjack series. So far it's pretty good. I'd recommend checking it out. They're self contained stories with decent art (for the time period) and they're enjoyable.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:07 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Caedus_16 wrote:
This story is beautiful and amazing, and the art is wonderful, but those who are staunch on their morals might be put off by some of the harder aspects of the story. The characters occasionally use harsh language, and some of the women in the story are very open about the fact that since there are only women left women are their only option romantically.


It's not that I'm morally opposed to reading things with that sort of thing in it. It's not like I condone every action of every character I like to read about. It's more that I generally dislike ugliness or vulgarity in art. For example, if someone says the s-word in a book, it's not that I think its wrong to read it, I just feel like the book has been polluted. I'd feel the same way about less severe potty words. There are always exceptions. For example I like Watchmen, but like you said there's also moments of beauty in it. It helps balance it for me.

I guess that's why I like old (i.e. pre-17th century) art. It's all about conveying beauty or majesty. Nowadays, I feel like someone could vomit on a canvas, say "That's how the world looks to me" and it would be considered fine art.

I want to give Y: The Last Man and The Umbrella Academy a try though.
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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:41 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Reepicheep wrote:
I feel like someone could vomit on a canvas, say "That's how the world looks to me" and it would be considered fine art.


There's actually an artist who swallows paint, vomits it on a canvas, and sells it for in the tens of thousands. This world's art community has gone to crap.

The visuals for Watchmen were beautiful, and the visuals for Y: The Last Man are similar in style. The Umbrella Academy is a different style, but again I think its one that works really well with the story.
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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:07 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Caedus_16 wrote:
There's actually an artist who swallows paint, vomits it on a canvas, and sells it for in the tens of thousands. This world's art community has gone to crap.


And there you have it. I was oozing sarcasm and it turns out I was right on the money. Confused

I don't know if I'd call the visuals of Watchmen beautiful. The philosophy is what sells it for me.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:46 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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For anyone wanting to get into your typical superhero comic, I recommend some of DC Comics' New 52 titles. Specifically Batman and Justice League. The Volume 1 TPBs are probably coming out soon, and issue #1 only came out in September, so you're at worst 7 issues behind. Not terrible.

Otherwise, pay attention to various review sites. I listen every week to IGN Assemble! (a podcast by IGN.com's comic review staff).

One recommendation: if you want to get into cape comics new: do NOT start with the old-old-old material, unless you genuinely like the old stuff. I buy the Marvel Essential books (black-and-white TPBs of 1960s/70s/80s comics). I love it, because I love the old Silver Age style. But it does not age well. Someone who isn't sure if they like comics or not might get turned off by them.

So stick with new things, find issue #1s where you can (if they look good), and find websites to tell you where/when to jump in. For example, you might be able to jump into Amazing Spider-Man #6XX if it turns out that's issue 1 of an arc, or an event.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:46 am Reply with quote  
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  comanderbly
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The new GI Joe: Cobra books are really good especially if you were a fan of the old Larry Hama series. It's a re-imagining so you don't need to know very much of the past.

Along with Caedus's recommendations for off the main stream books I will throw out:
Wanted (the movie is not as crazy as the comic)
Incognito (Ed Brubaker is super awesome)

If you want to get into comics you are not very familiar with check out the trade paperbacks - they usually cover large story arcs and include intros to get you up to speed. I have not been collecting regularly for years but I picked up a TPB for Captain America - Winter Soldier and had no issue following. I also started on some of the Green Lantern volumes the same way.


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