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Comic Books

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Joined: Aug 04 2009
PostPosted: Feb 05 2013 07:51 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Comics are something which are pretty foreign to me. A good portion of the population knows what a comic book hero/superhero is.

People go to see movies about Superman or Batman or the X-men etc. So DC/Marvel super heroes are pretty well known and I mean personally for me I've watched films about them since I was a young child.

However i've never read a comic book before. There is one main reason for this being that there was never anywhere to buy comic books. They are essentially an "American phenomena". The idea of the comic book store was something as a kid i'd see in video games, cartoons, tv shows etc. but they just didn't exist in this part of the world - just like TV shows set in high schools which had cheerleaders, which don't exist here. I guess it was a market based thing. There were things which were never really popular here or there wasn't an appeal for it so it never set up...not to mention that the cities here were permanent war grounds which may have had something to do with them being kept away.

The only comic books that I was ever aware of, that people bought were the Beano. - Dennis the Menace which I am sure you will at least know of.

On saying that I haven't seen a Beano for years. So within the last probably 5 years or so I started to notice comics more. I became more interested in film and I think it was when I saw Watchmen that I heard it was based on a comic. So the internet being a great place I wikipedia'd it or whatever and got through to Alan Moore, who also wrote From Hell, which I am very fond of - as I enjoy victorian settings. So I bought that and had a good read.

Skip forward to a few days ago. I was walking through City Centre (actually looking for a record store) but I noticed Forbidden Planet. So I went in. The bottom floor was filled with plastic figurines (which I have zero interest in) but I went upstairs and holy fuck.

It was a comic book store. The first "comic book store" i'd ever been in, in my entire life and I don't think i've ever been in a store so daunting. It was lined with books that I had no idea what the hell they were. There were like ten different Batmans and I didn't have a clue. There was however an Alan Moore section where I picked up a copy of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - I did see Watchmen and V for Vendetta, but I'll give them a miss for now. I also saw Walking Dead - which i've read a lot of.

There was no real point into all above, just my experience with comics, I guess you could share your own tales. I actually have questions.

When you go into a store like that. They have the comics on the shelf obviously but to the best of my knowledge comics are released over time so they may not have the first copy. I don't know if this happens but it seems weird to me as a medium, picking up a comic from like the latest edition and reading from there? I mean do people do that? Why I say this is because of the thing you hear where it's like "oh my god comic #1 is so rare and expensive". Well if people don't own #1 then how do they know what is happening? To the best of my understanding it's a continuing narrative with a to be continued...thrown in at the end or whatever. It seems to me like buying a novel and starting at like chapter 4.

One of the reason why I didn't buy anything else (and because I buy Alan Moore) is because they are complete stories or you can buy them in collections. It just seems kind of disjointed to me.

Also how do you even know what is good? I mean obviously by picking it up and reading it but there seems to be so much different stuff and like they retconned one hero like ten times. Also they are expensive as fuck. I lifted up something and set it down gently because it was like a hundred quid. What's da deal?

What would people recommend reading? I mean like some superheroes more than others like Deadpool but I dunno, superhero comics also seem like they can be kind of campy.
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Title: Dorakyura
Joined: Jul 10 2010
Location: Castlevania
PostPosted: Feb 05 2013 09:46 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I can't answer all of your questions since I pretty much stopped reading comic books years ago. Forbidden Planet is a cool store, though. They have one in NYC and I had been to it many times when I lived in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Personally, I like to pick up more offbeat comics, and many times there are stories within certain number ranges on the titles. So, for instance (I am making up this example), there could be a specific storyline that goes from issue #70 to #75, so you could just pick up those books instead of buying every single comic that ever came out for that specific title.

You could always try to talk to people in the shop or browse online to find something you would be interested in or that you might consider good. Also, there are comic books about all sorts of stuff. I have Beavis and Butthead ones, Milk and Cheese (one of my favorites), Pope John Paul II, MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice, Swamp Thing, and on and on.

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2010 NES Champ
Title: 2011 Picnic/Death Champ
Joined: Mar 15 2010
Location: Las Vegas, NV
PostPosted: Feb 06 2013 02:35 am Reply with quote Back to top

I collected a ton of individual issues during the 90's, but lately I don't buy issues separately. I wait until an entire story arc is gathered in a compilation and buy that. I just don't care to go into a store that frequently and make sure I get all the correct issues. I haven't paid very close attention to what's going on in comics in the last year or two though.

Alan Moore is my favorite writer of any medium. Watchmen is definitely worth getting. That's my favorite title. You already mentioned From Hell (my second favorite graphic novel), but I was a little disappointed with V for Vendetta. His Top Ten stuff is very good as well. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is so so. If you can ever track down Moore's Swamp Thing stuff, it's great.

I also like Peter David's work, though I don't think he's as active lately. He did some great stuff with the Hulk in the 80's/90's, and later with Spiderman 2099.

If you want slightly more current superhero stuff, I like Kevin Smith's run on Green Arrow and Daredevil, but avoid his Batman stuff. He doesn't know how to write that character at all.

Basically, I rely on customer reviews when I'm shopping for my comics. I don't even order from a comic book store (blasphemy!)...I just stick to Amazon. The reviews on there usually help me figure out if I'll enjoy something.

Also, ask Andrew if you ever get the chance. He still actively follows what's going on in the Marvel Universe.

Pretty much the greatest thread of all time:

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Title: Intermittent Scribbler
Joined: Mar 15 2011
Location: Texas
PostPosted: Feb 08 2013 04:02 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Alowishus wrote:
Well if people don't own #1 then how do they know what is happening? To the best of my understanding it's a continuing narrative with a to be continued...thrown in at the end or whatever. It seems to me like buying a novel and starting at like chapter 4.

Most comics, at least within a particular story arc, have a small Cliff's Notes/ 'Here's What Happened So Far'-type recap on the first page. But you don't really have to worry that much, because these days writers (and artists) are shuffled so often that a coherent, single narrative is rare. Stories change, character personalities change, etc. I think comics are best when one team (creator/director, writer, artist) stays on the same book, at least until a major story arc is concluded.

The thing I hate most in comics is when they switch artists to someone with a completely different style, especially if it doesn't really fit the type of story being told. Sadly no Or they switch writers and a fun/goofy superhero comic becomes some grimdark, one-note, juvenile propaganda piece. Or when they get someone else to illustrate just a few pages in one book. I know they did it to make sure the comic is released on schedule, but still....Blech!

When I go to a comic book store, I usually look to see if they have back issues of Generation X (the only series I'm looking to collect anymore), then I dig through the 25 bin (very rarely 25 anymore Razz ) for anything that catches my eye; a well done cover, or an artist I like working on the book. I almost never buy new comics because $3.00+ is too damned expensive, especially when 1/4 of the book is recap and advertisements.

But, I don't really have to worry about it much since the comic store I went to closed down (and was replaced by a gold buying-and-selling shop). There is only one comic shop left in the city (on the opposite side of the city from me), and is the only one within a hundred miles.

As for recommendations, I really like Bone, and you can get it in an entire collection.

I also really liked the early Marvel Runaways.
They started out selling good-sized collected volumes, but then switched to much smaller (yet nearly as expensive Mad ) books.

And I liked what I've read of Invincible, but I kind of fell out of reading it about 40 issues in...

It is a waste of politeness to be courteous to the devil ~ William L. Garrison
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Title: :O � O:
Joined: Feb 01 2008
Location: St. Louis, MO
PostPosted: Feb 08 2013 07:49 pm Reply with quote Back to top

My dad has always been into comics, and when I was a kid he'd occasionally get me one because I wanted to be passionate about them like he did. Not being able to buy my own and follow any series in particular made me lose interest, though I still have some old Street Fighter 2, Pokemon, Castlevania, Mega Man, and Zen: Intergalactic Ninja comics laying around.

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Title: FAKE
Joined: Feb 23 2013
PostPosted: Feb 23 2013 09:12 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I, too, like comic books.
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Title: The nip killer
Joined: Feb 08 2013
Location: Northeast MS
PostPosted: Feb 24 2013 05:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top

When I was about seven years old me and my Dad lived next to a guy who became good friends with my Dad. The guy eventually handed down all his old comics to me which was amazing. Comics showed me my first cuss word and naked woman.
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Title: Sporadic Poster
Joined: Nov 19 2009
Location: Kissimmee, FL
PostPosted: Jun 07 2013 12:26 am Reply with quote Back to top

I just won the miniseries Thor: For Asgard in a FCBD trivia contest (which I won by answering a Jack Kirby New Gods question of all things), and I was going to give it to my nephew, who is ten. Then I read it, and yeah... way too bloody. It's a really good series, but yeesh! Hangings, decapitation, implied rape! Once I read through, I felt pretty stupid for not noticing the Marvel Knights logo on the front cover.

Who likes role-playing games? Me. Way too goddamn much.
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Joined: Mar 04 2015
PostPosted: Mar 04 2015 08:56 am Reply with quote Back to top

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Ross Rifle
Title: Rock N Roll God
Joined: Oct 29 2006
Location: Chilliwack, BC
PostPosted: Mar 11 2015 09:39 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I too enjoyed this post and think you have a nice site.

I recommend getting a graphic novel to start with specific heroes. That way you get a complete story arc and can get a feel for the story.
Also, definitely buy Watchmen, because it's incredible. Are there any characters you're particularly interested in?

Does anybody here have a Ross Rifle?
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Joined: Dec 17 2014
PostPosted: May 30 2015 02:55 am Reply with quote Back to top

I'd recommend the Neil Gaiman "Sandman" books. They might be the best stories ever put on paper. Honorable mention goes to Alan Moores run of Saga of the Swamp Thing, his other stuff is more notable, Watchman, V for Vendetta ect, but Swamp Thing was his best. Also check out Preacher by Garth Ennis, Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis, and Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn, (who was also a writer for the best TV show ever made, Lost.)
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Title: Dorakyura
Joined: Jul 10 2010
Location: Castlevania
PostPosted: May 30 2015 01:00 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'll second the recommendation of Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Excellent books.

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