I’d like to have this ongoing talk about comic books or graphic novels. Please share what you are reading, what you recommend…especially if you read a book with some pro-Catholic themes in it.
From the recommendation of JharekCarnelian and some others, I read Daredevil: Born Again. I really liked probably the first 85% of the story, it was pro-Catholic. There was some mystery with the nun a little bit. If anyone knows in which issues I can find out more about her, let me know.
I also recently finished the 1st Wolverine: Origin. I thought it was a good story. Lots of passion in this story, and I plan to buy the next installment.
Okay, in the last year, I know there has been a lot of hulabaloo about Spider-man: Civil War and especially Spider-man: One More Day. Ok, so who’s read this and is keeping up with it? Did OMD ruin Spider-man for you? I did not like it in the least when I read it…but since the story never ends, there is a chance to salvage it (kind of like how I think Cloverfield could be better in a sequel).
Coming up on my list: Hellboy, Swamp Thing, Ultimate Spider-man, and more!
Which run of Swamp Thing is this Marco Polo, for me the definining runs on that are the Len Wein originals or the Alan Moore one - nothing else comes close.
As for me I’m afraid in the last year or two I’ve not been reading much modern comics - I’ve not been terribly impressed by Infinite Crisis over at DC or The whole Civil War arc over at Marvel (I thought the latter had the potential to really make radical changes but the fact it’s likely to be all retconned and the reset button pushed ruined it -not that I expected any different really).
I’ve been really buying older reprints like Marvels essentials and DCs showcase editions. I’d really recommend Johan Hex for some seriously grim story telling. Also Stever Gerber’s Defenders run -this is more wacky than anything Grant Morrison ever came up with and long long before him - Howard the Duck by Gerber is also well worth a read as Is Marv Wolfman’s Tomb of Dracula stuff.
Apart from that I’ve not really been keeping up with too much new stuff. I’ve become a bit jaded on superhero comics and have been reading more none superhero stuff like Corto Maltese.
Kabuki by David Mack is something I enjoyed a lot - but I feel he has kind of lost the thread after the original stories and meandered with that project sadly. But still Masks of the Noh from that series is well worth a look.
Um about the nun in Daredevil in the Born Again Story Arc, it’s Matt Murdock’s actual mum but she’d never appeared before that period. Miller worked her in as although Matt’s dad had appeared a lot over the years nothing was ever mentioned about his mother directly till then. Although Daredevil was identified as been Catholic by Tony Isabella in a story years before that Frank Miller story (and Tony is a sadly seriously underrated writer in comicbook history).
She’s appeared a few times more over the years since then but never used with the same finesse as when Miller used her. Daredevil’s faith’s been touched upon a few times since - the only other prominent Catholic in the Marvel universe is Nightcrawler of the X-men (or he was until some real anti-Catholic idiot of a writer mucked up the subtletly and grace which that had been established with).
Of older graphic novels let’s see what else I can recommend - Dennis O’Neil’s run on Green Arrow/Green lantern which was collected up - a bit hokey nowadays but genuinely groundbreaking back then. Any of Willl Eisner’s work (one of the few comic figures I will say is unquestionably a genius - even if I don’t agree with his term sequential art for comic books!)
Alan Moore’s ABC comics most of which have been made into trade paperbacks - I particularly liked Tom Strong and Promethea (although the latter needs to be read slowly as it will play with your head it is so trippy).
I’ve seen the whole furore over Spider-man and the One More Day thing - part of what turned me off mainstream superhero stuff is the realisation that every few years the nature of the genre means they hit the reset button and any advancement of plot etc. is largely illusory. One More Day is a perfect illustration of that I think.
I’ll keep an eye on some of your recommendations. Keep us posted on what you’re reading and if you thought it was any good. For Spider-man, I hear what you are saying about the reset. A lot of people also disgruntled are recommending moving over to the **Ultimate Spider-man **series instead of the Amazing series.
The Swamp Thing I am going to read is the Alan Moore one. I read a preview of it over at DC’s preview page and thought it good enough to order. I’m not that big of a Moore fan, but the science was intriguing enough.
The first encounter I had of Jonah Hex was in a comic shop just after I saw The Dark Knight earlier this year. I thought Jonah looked an awful like a certain character in the Dark Knight…! What’s Jonah’s MO? And what’s the Dracula one about?
Jonah’s an ex-Confederate war veteran who had his face disfigured by the Indian tribe he lived with at one point during his youth. He’s a bounty hunter and pretty grim - he’s also been hinted at as been one of Batman’s ancestors btw since you mention the Dark Knight (although I know you are refering to Two-face there).
Tomb of Dracula was essentially a fairly long running comic about Dracula from the 1970’s - it was one of Marvel’s better written series from that period.
My goodness! Sorry I haven’t checked in here yet - and I had almost forgotten about Kabuki! Such potential there, ahwell.
Yeah, this is a low-content post, but I’ll get myself worked up for a textwall sometime here soon - things have been totally madness around here, guys! ^^
Yeah Kabuki had HUGE potential but Mack seemed to lose the thread and get bored with it sadly and it’s meandered of into tiresome reprints of the initial work or the odd issue now and then.
Other comics (I have a pet hate of the whole graphic novel term though I will use it for ease of convenience at thimes) I’d recommend hmmmm:-
Alan Moore’s run on Captain Britain.
Denny O Neil’s Ras Al Ghul Batman stories which were collected up as ‘Tales of the Demon’
Christopher Priest’s Black Panter run (some of which was collected up)
The Golden Age (which uses DC’s WW2 era heroes)
Superman:Red Son - which imagines a Superman who grew up in the USSR.
That will do for today
I want to find a good copy of The Tale of the Body Thief. I tried our local comic store and they know they don’t have it. There are a few early Sandman comics I’d like too. But I don’t have that kind of money.
Something I like hardly ever comes along. It has to have brilliant artwork, if based on a text novel it must stay close to the original, and it must have something else special, something beyond meeting a standard.
On a related note, children’s cartoons are worse every year, aren’t they? The art is so drab and flat, and the stories go nowhere.
This one? You can get it new as low as $4.65 + 3.99 shipping over at Amazon.
No, the graphic version. It’s easy to find the paperback – I see it all the time for a buck or so at second-hand stores, no shipping, but the comic is elusive unless you have money and time.
Is this it? Looks like you can get issues 1-4 for a couple bucks apiece. LINK HERE.
Ok, I just finished reading the first TPB (trade paperback) of the Saga of the Swamp Thing. There was an interesting Catholic reference when the Swamp Thing was dreaming about a man burning and he likened it to burning like “a Catholic martyr”.
It also incorporates the devil into the story, who I felt was portrayed decent, although a little campy when he turned into “costume devil.” But as a man, he was charismatic and creepy. It looks like the story will continue with some demon themes.
I’ve also started the more recent **Planet Hulk **storyline…so far, so good!
That’s not the actual Devil himself as I recall but a DC comics character the Demon (also called Etrigan) the guy he is turns into is (Jason Blood) is generally* portrayed as only the mortal shell holding Etrigan back.
The first part of that arc with the Floronic man (I presume we are talking about Swamp thing issue 21 onwards when mentioning Saga of the Swamp Thing) was one of the first really impressive American comics I read - I remember my late mum buying it and Elfquest for me at similar periods and been influenced by both and realising comics didn’t just have to be superheroes and could be a far wider art form. Um, I wonder if my mum was reading them on the quiet considering some of the ones she would produce as small gifts when coming home from work.
If you get to the bit where Swamp thing descends to hell which is a couple of books further on that’s really interesting although not in line with orthodox Christian outlooks. Also the introduction of John Constantine in the American Gothic storyline is a highpoint of the series.
*This been comics this is not always portrayed consistently and Jason Blood has been portrayed as a half brother to Etrigan and in other ways also at various times.
Here’s something I don’t get, maybe you or someone has an opinion. I listen to comic podcasts and more than once do I hear about the likes of Alan Moore especially and some of his contemporaries and how “groundbreaking” they were for comics. I don’t get this. What did they do to shake up the industry? I have heard that it was the whole heroes who aren’t “superheroes” but to me that just likens them to the old, old comics like DickTracy or some of the newspaper serials, or even Batman who is human. I can see Moore being heavy on sex maybe. In fact, I hear he wrote a pornographic work recently. I mean his stuff from the 80s is fine for what it is, I just don’t see it standing out from anything else.
I like Girl Genius. It’s an online comic, but they bind all the issues every few months.
Also like Ah! My Goddess graphic novels.
Lords of Avalon series was good. PS238, PVP, Dork Tower all favorites of mine.
I loved the CrossGen stuff when it was being published, it makes me sad when small name publishers go under
You had to be there perhaps - Moore’s influence is a bit overstated as there were people like Gerber/O’Neill/Tony Isabella etc who were capable of dealing with complex themes before Alan BUT if you look at Alan’s influence it touched nearly everyone after him for a generation or two.
Swamp Thing was groundbreaking for example in some of the themes it did handle and the way it took a fairly obscure character and reinvigorated him. In fact the Marty Pasko issues of that Swamp Thing run before Moore was on board are quite good in their own right but stories like ‘The Curse’ or the multi part ‘American Gothic’ just couldn’t have been foreseen.
I see Will Eisner for example as groundbreaking but many people can’t seem to see that either, again it’s perhaps a case of so much of what he introduced has become common currency it is now the norm.
Is there really a comic called Dork Tower or is that Dark Tower??
Eisner’s name came up in one of those podcasts too…if I remember which, I’ll post it.
No Dark Tower is based off a Stephen King thing! A “serious” comic or whatever.
Dork Tower is hilarious. here dorktower.com/ The comic will collect all the web comics to make it a comic book, every few months or so. You should start at the beginning.
Ok, the Iron Man movie. Finally saw it. Did anybody else think Gwenyth Paltrow looked an awful lot like Kirsten Dunst from Spider-man in this movie? Is Marvel trying to go for a certain look.