Graphic Novels

Discussion in 'Other Media' started by MachbooSS, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. MachbooSS

    MachbooSS New Member

    I have been craving a good graphic novel for a casual read. Any recommendations? I have not read many science fiction ones, but I enjoyed many graphic novels that were a complete one story of its own. I especially like independed ones. Those that write and draw their own stuff.

    Comics are welcome too. If currently still running I wouldn't mind giving them it a try. I read some of the classics like Sandman and Preacker. Really enjoyed those.

    I am currently reading

    The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil
    Book by Stephen Collins

    Very interesting. Good art, But not a science fiction, or maybe it is and I don't know yet.
  2. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    No difference between comics and graphic novels as they're the same thing. 'Graphic novel' is just a term to give comics a little more legitimacy and appeal within the mainstream.

    I haven't read comics in a long time, but some good ones by independent single author/illustrators were:

    Age of Bronze by Eric Shannower
    • This was a retelling of the Iliad and told from as anthropologically a plausible standpoint as possible. Shannower is a very good illustrator and I loved what I read, though I never did finish the series. I only read the first collected trade (or 'graphic novel') called A Thousand Ships. It's one of those projects that I've always wanted to go back to and fully read through.
    Cerebus by Dave Sim
    • The most famous and longest running (since the 70's!) of the independents, though I believe he finally finished the epic project in the mid-2000's. This was a black and white farce of the sword-and-sorcery genre with an aardvark as the main 'barbarian' character. While it was initially quite a simple, though highly entertaining, mostly episodic comic with your Conan-like escapades, it later developed into something truly sophisticated and complex with its multiple points of view storytelling, vivid characterisations, theological and societal explorations, whilst still often maintaining an adventurous pace. I can't recommend this title enough, but it is an epically massive series that will keep you involved for a looong time.
    Louis Riel by Chester Brown
    • A biographical comic about the famous Canadian rebel Louis Riel, his strange life and opposition to the Canadian government up to his eventual hanging for treason in the 1880's.
    Finder by Carla Speed McNeil
    • This one is a science fictional post-apocalyptic comic that I was really into during my teens, but was also never able to finish - partly because I stopped reading comics for a while, and because McNeil was quite haphazard with putting out her issues. Definitely worth it if you can find the collected trades.
    Bacchus by Eddie Campbell
    • One of my favourites. It has quite a convoluted printing history, hopping from being serialised from one comic title to another until Campbell found a more permanent home with Dark Horse Comics. I had most of the original comics Bacchus appeared in and then later bought all the collected trades by Dark Horse. It's about the god of wine and revelry in the modern world and is bizarre, fantastic and funny. With the trend in collecting entire series into huge omnibus volumes since the mid-2000's, I'm sure these can be found pretty easily (though at one point they were hard to seek out).
    Miscellaneous Works by Jason
    • Jason is the pseudonym of a Norwegian comic writer/artist who focuses on silent, anthropomorphic stories that are both strange and appealing. Very good stuff and should definitely be checked out. The first one I ever picked up was called Sshhhhh!
    Berlin by Jason Lutes
    • Excellent story about life and times in Weimar Republic Germany, but I was frustrated because it was taking so long for them to be released. I had the individual issues (the first 7 or 8 or 9) until they were finally collected into a trade as volume 1. Then nothing for years and years until volume 2 came out in the late 2000's. The story's still not finished, but I highly recommend it.
    Vinland Saga by Makoto Yukimura
    • A seriously awesome, action-packed, historical manga about the Viking excursions into the island of Britain. Just insanely good and you can find these for free as fan scanlations online. I'm pretty sure they're also being published in English, so you have the option to buy them (which you should because they're worth it!). I've been reading the online scanlations since 2005/2006, but it's a series that I most definitely intend to buy for my shelves.

    These are the main ones that came to mind right now. None of them are very new even if some of them are still on-going, so I don't know if they're exactly what you're looking for. I've always loved the Vertigo imprint of DC - they almost always put out quality titles. I've also got this science fiction title Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples on my to-read list - supposed to be very, very good and I've had the first volume for some months now, but still haven't started it. Although, it's not independent - it's put out be Image.
  3. ecgordon

    ecgordon Well-Known Member

    I rarely read comics when I was younger, and when I did it was at a friend's house. I started reading a few when the Serenity comics were released, and bought some of the Buffy run but lost interest in that. Have read Watchmen, The Star Wars, and a Constantine collection that came out around the time of the movie. Also read some of Saga, since it has been nominated for Hugos, plus the others that were nominated last year, Ms. Marvel being my favorite, and I have this year's nominees waiting for me too. After watching Jessica Jones on Netflix I bought Volumes 1-3, but have only read the first one so far.
  4. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Is this a comic version of the film with Keanu Reaves? John Constantine: Hellblazer was one of my favourite comics for years and years during my teens. It's pretty sophisticated horror, and I recommend starting with the earliest stories written by Jamie Delano. The trade paperback Original Sins should collect the first 10 or so issues. The Jamie Delano and the Garth Ennis runs are probably the best in the series.

    I also have the first volume of Saga, but haven't read it. The Jessica Jones comics written by Brian Michael Bendis are good, but I would rather point you towards his hard-hitting noire stories like Jinx and a.k.a. Goldfish. Brian Michael Bendis does great dialogue. You should also read his Daredevil work that he did with the really very good, slightly impressionistic styled artist Alex Maleev. This was a dream team-up between creators, in my opinion. There haven't been such excellent Daredevil stories since Frank Miller transformed the character from cheesy superhero to a grim, internally conflicted character who would often transgress the hero boundary. The absolute best Daredevil story is Frank Miller's Daredvil: Born Again. After that, it's the Brian Michael Bendis run, which harks back in essence to Frank Miller's handling of the character, but ramps it up even more in some ways and does much better conversations between characters.

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