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The UKFF Comics n Graphic Novels thread

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33 minutes ago, RedRooster said:

I’m pretty new to graphic novels, but I’m finding them a great help to cope with lockdown. For whatever reason I’m finding it much harder to concentrate on books.

I’ve read Watchmen and V for Vendetta, both of which I loved, and I’m part way through From Hell which I’m also enjoying. 

Clearly I’ve gone for some obvious choices early on, but given my love of Alan Moore, what/who would you recommend I try next? 

It looks like you are avoiding the straight up super hero genre. Sticking with Alan Moore (who admittedly I'm not his biggest fan) his Swamp thing run is good.

Is there something specifically that grabs you about what you've read so far?

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4 minutes ago, ElCece said:

It looks like you are avoiding the straight up super hero genre. Sticking with Alan Moore (who admittedly I'm not his biggest fan) his Swamp thing run is good.

Is there something specifically that grabs you about what you've read so far?

The characters are fantastically written, and Moore does a tremendous job of sucking you into the bleak worlds he’s created. 

The other thing that appeals t me is that fact the books were one-and-done. I did take a look at Swamp Thing, but it’s hard to know what to read and it also seems expensive to read it from beginning to end.

That has put me off the superhero genre more than anything else, they seem to span multiple, expensive books. I like a beginning, a middle and an end. Although I certainly wouldn’t rule out reading that genre.

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1 minute ago, RedRooster said:

The characters are fantastically written, and Moore does a tremendous job of sucking you into the bleak worlds he’s created. 

The other thing that appeals t me is that fact the books were one-and-done. I did take a look at Swamp Thing, but it’s hard to know what to read and it also seems expensive to read it from beginning to end.

That has put me off the superhero genre more than anything else, they seem to span multiple, expensive books. I like a beginning, a middle and an end. Although I certainly wouldn’t rule out reading that genre.

Sound like strong character work that is self contained and preferably not huge? 

I am far from the best at giving recommendations but what popped into my head if you are willing to try slightly newer "different" stuff 

I Kill Giants, Roughneck, Private Eye, Lazarus and if you are willing to consider something longer Scalped.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Accident Prone said:

After a bit of help, lads.

So I dropped out of keeping up with Batman right after the last New 52 TPB hit the shelves. That was quite a few years ago and I wanted to save some cash (to buy other comics).

Anyway, I lucked into a massive eBay bargain last week that I couldn't resist; all the up-to-date TPBs of Batman and Detective Comics in the Rebirth series. It also came with a Flash/Batman hardcover and a Detective Comics 1000th issue TPB, as well as this giant Green Lantern Omnibus called 'Blackest Night'. (Oh, BTW, this didn't have a dust jacket so if anyone knows where I can get one please hit me up!).

My question is; what order do I read these in and what additional trades do I need so I'm not lost? I assumed I could just read Batman/Flash and then read one volume of Batman and Detective Comics in alternating order, but according to forum posts that I've read it isn't that simple. So there's something to do with the Watchmen that I need to read apparently beforehand and a DC Rebirth omnibus, and then the whole series continues afterwards with Dark Knights: Metal and Last Knight on Earth? And where does this Green Lantern omnibus come into play?

DC isn't the most straight forward at times with making it easy to keep up so I'm at a bit of a loss here. I just want to jump into Batman/Flash and then carry on with the books but I don't want to be constantly confused and googling stuff to comprehend what's happened previously.

Any help would be appreciated (and help on that dust jacket too!).

 

If you look in the first few pages, it should give the publication date of the issues somewhere (usually on the page with the artist/writer on). That'll be a quick way to set it up. However, the DC Universe is often madly interconnected, and while you've picked up some really good stuff, there's a bunch of background inter-linking. To be honest, you can probably pick up a lot of it as you go on. You might get stuck on details, but the basic stuff should be fine.

However, in terms of order...

Blackest Night is the earliest one you mentioned there. That is mostly self-contained, and will give you a decent sense of whether you're going to get into this.

Shortly after Blackest Night, there was a reboot of the entire DC line called 'New 52'. It had some high points, but it was mostly a bit shit and not well-received. So a few years later, they rebooted it AGAIN. This was called 'Rebirth', but a lot of it was just fixing what New 52 screwed up. The Rebirth 'universe' is the current one in DC.

The set-up for Rebirth was that a character from the Watchmen series, who became a God, meddled with time. Watchmen was, before this, entirely a standalone series. The revelation that it was Dr Manhattan is the only thing you actually need to know from the DC Rebirth Omnibus. It's a mystery to everyone in the DC Universe and nobody knows who he is (or, until very recently, that he exists).

The good news is that the Batman and Detective Comics are mostly self-contained and don't really cross over with much else. The Detective Comics run is by Peter Tomasi and is all about Batman and his family/army. The Batman run is by Tom King and is one of my favourite runs in a very long time - it focuses on who Batman is psychologically. Slow-burn and takes some time, but it gets great.

Detective Comics 1000 is mostly stand-alone with various short stories. You can read that at any point. If it ties into stuff, it'll be in Detective Comics at some point in the run, but it was designed to be introductory.

Dark Knight: Metal was mostly self-contained. Same with Last Knight on Earth. These are both by Scott Snyder, who ran the New 52 Batman run, which was fun but variable. 

Don't expect to understand every reference and you'll be fine. References aren't always vital to understand. For the most part with DC, the more things change, the more they stay the same - it keeps going back to the status quo.

 

2 hours ago, RedRooster said:

I’m pretty new to graphic novels, but I’m finding them a great help to cope with lockdown. For whatever reason I’m finding it much harder to concentrate on books.

I’ve read Watchmen and V for Vendetta, both of which I loved, and I’m part way through From Hell which I’m also enjoying. 

Clearly I’ve gone for some obvious choices early on, but given my love of Alan Moore, what/who would you recommend I try next? 

You might like stuff by the writers who were very inspired by Alan Moore:

Neil Gaiman's Sandman run is gorgeous, as is Mike Carey's Lucifer series (which was a spin-off). Both fantasy/horror and self-contained series.

Warren Ellis's Transmetropolitan is funny, biting and worth your time. Sci-Fi satire - basically, Hunter S Thompson in a dystopia.

I'd also probably recommend Preacher (silly religious western gross-out adventure stuff) and 100 Bullets (noir crime).

All of the above ran for around 60 issues, which translates to roughly 10 volumes each, but told complete stories - if that doesn't appeal, I'll give some thought to stand-alones.

Edited by Chris B

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Big thanks to @Chris B, @Merzbow and @ElCece - I’m particularly keen on the Gaiman recommendation. The last book I read before lockdown was American Gods, which I thought was fantastic.

Preacher would have been a great recommendation but I’ve watched the TV show and I’m unlikely to read it for the same reason I’m unlikely to jump into The Walking Dead, I know (more or less) how it plays out removing some of the fun. 

Really appreciate the thought you put into your replies, guys!

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2 hours ago, RedRooster said:

Big thanks to @Chris B, @Merzbow and @ElCece - I’m particularly keen on the Gaiman recommendation. The last book I read before lockdown was American Gods, which I thought was fantastic.

Preacher would have been a great recommendation but I’ve watched the TV show and I’m unlikely to read it for the same reason I’m unlikely to jump into The Walking Dead, I know (more or less) how it plays out removing some of the fun. 

Really appreciate the thought you put into your replies, guys!

The first arc in particular of Sandman is very "Moorey" certain you will like it. As mentioned 75 issues for the full hog but the first trade at least is a great start.

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2 hours ago, RedRooster said:

Preacher would have been a great recommendation but I’ve watched the TV show and I’m unlikely to read it for the same reason I’m unlikely to jump into The Walking Dead, I know (more or less) how it plays out removing some of the fun. 

I would give Preacher a try, since the entirety of of the first season of Preacher ends with the destruction of Anneville. In the comics that literally the end of the first issue, it's a lot larger in scope and has a ton of stuff that's not used in the series.

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Another nod to Sandman from me. Its absolutely wonderful.

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9 hours ago, Chris B said:

If you look in the first few pages, it should give the publication date of the issues somewhere (usually on the page with the artist/writer on). That'll be a quick way to set it up. However, the DC Universe is often madly interconnected, and while you've picked up some really good stuff, there's a bunch of background inter-linking. To be honest, you can probably pick up a lot of it as you go on. You might get stuck on details, but the basic stuff should be fine.

However, in terms of order...

Blackest Night is the earliest one you mentioned there. That is mostly self-contained, and will give you a decent sense of whether you're going to get into this.

Shortly after Blackest Night, there was a reboot of the entire DC line called 'New 52'. It had some high points, but it was mostly a bit shit and not well-received. So a few years later, they rebooted it AGAIN. This was called 'Rebirth', but a lot of it was just fixing what New 52 screwed up. The Rebirth 'universe' is the current one in DC.

The set-up for Rebirth was that a character from the Watchmen series, who became a God, meddled with time. Watchmen was, before this, entirely a standalone series. The revelation that it was Dr Manhattan is the only thing you actually need to know from the DC Rebirth Omnibus. It's a mystery to everyone in the DC Universe and nobody knows who he is (or, until very recently, that he exists).

The good news is that the Batman and Detective Comics are mostly self-contained and don't really cross over with much else. The Detective Comics run is by Peter Tomasi and is all about Batman and his family/army. The Batman run is by Tom King and is one of my favourite runs in a very long time - it focuses on who Batman is psychologically. Slow-burn and takes some time, but it gets great.

Detective Comics 1000 is mostly stand-alone with various short stories. You can read that at any point. If it ties into stuff, it'll be in Detective Comics at some point in the run, but it was designed to be introductory.

Dark Knight: Metal was mostly self-contained. Same with Last Knight on Earth. These are both by Scott Snyder, who ran the New 52 Batman run, which was fun but variable. 

Don't expect to understand every reference and you'll be fine. References aren't always vital to understand. For the most part with DC, the more things change, the more they stay the same - it keeps going back to the status quo.

That's fantastic! Above and beyond there, Chris, Much appreciated. I assumed Blackest Night was related to Rebirth (the lack of a dust jacket and barcode doesn't help with identifying it) as it's a big thick tome that was published in 2017. Good job you answered before I just jumped in, as I would've been confused from the off.

Thanks again Chris!

4 hours ago, RedRooster said:

Preacher would have been a great recommendation but I’ve watched the TV show and I’m unlikely to read it for the same reason I’m unlikely to jump into The Walking Dead, I know (more or less) how it plays out removing some of the fun. 

I'd say Preacher is still worth a shot. It's an all-time brilliant comic series, and most people will agree that the TV show is a different (and inferior) beast to the source material. There's multiple big story arcs in the TV show that don't exist at all in the comics, and it's all for the better. The show's writers definitively wanted to a huge separation point between the two.

Scalped is fantastic but be careful what you buy. They collected all the issues into 10 or so paperbacks, which is what you want to go for. I fell for the deluxe editions that collected them all into five books; I got the first three in paperback, but then Image went and cancelled the final two volumes. I'd have to buy the last two volumes in hardback form to complete the series and because they're out of print they go for incredibly silly money. I love Image for the excellent, consistent quality in comics but fuck them forever for pulling a move like that.

I'd also recommend The Last Man. Without giving too much away, every living organism with a Y chromosome suddenly dies, leaving the Earth to be ruled by women...accept for one bloke and his pet monkey, who both survive. It sounds like the plot to a cheap porno or a shitty sitcom, but it's actually a harrowing dystopian tale. Well worth the time.

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2 hours ago, Rey_Piste said:

I would give Preacher a try, since the entirety of of the first season of Preacher ends with the destruction of Anneville. In the comics that literally the end of the first issue, it's a lot larger in scope and has a ton of stuff that's not used in the series.

Agreed with this. They're tonally quite similar, but they're very different beasts. When he's not being juvenile, Garth Ennis can do amazing stuff. His Hellblazer run is great too - with Hellblazer, pretty much each writer's stuff is self-contained.

 

1 hour ago, Divorced Dad said:

If you're into weird sci-fi love stories set during a war I'd recommend Saga. 

Saga is sensationally good. 

 

30 minutes ago, Accident Prone said:

That's fantastic! Above and beyond there, Chris, Much appreciated. I assumed Blackest Night was related to Rebirth (the lack of a dust jacket and barcode doesn't help with identifying it) as it's a big thick tome that was published in 2017. Good job you answered before I just jumped in, as I would've been confused from the off.

Thanks again Chris!

My pleasure. Blackest Night is quite continuity-heavy because characters who have died and come back is an important plot point, but if you can ignore that, it's pretty simple. The rule of thumb is that you won't get everything, but as long as you're understanding who the goodies and baddies are, you should be fine.

If you're confused, think about it like watching an old PPV. Do you need to know why Big Show was a heel at this point? Sure, you can learn, but does it add much?

DC is continuity-heavy to the point where I get confused by details, and I've been following it for decades. They really get in their own way at times, but at other times, it makes it all very rich.

Also, co-signed on Y: The Last Man. Enormously fun. 

Edited by Chris B

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Some of the jokes aspects  of Preacher has aged poorly. Personally it doesn't bother me but I have been mindful when recommending  to friends who are wanting to try comics.  

Is a great comic , debatably my favourite ever. 

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7 minutes ago, ElCece said:

Some of the jokes aspects  of Preacher has aged poorly. Personally it doesn't bother me but I have been mindful when recommending  to friends who are wanting to try comics.  

Is a great comic , debatably my favourite ever. 

This is definitely true. Same with Transmetropolitan. When they're on, they're on, but they're spectacularly late-90s in some ways. Everything was a bit Attitude-era at times.

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