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Looking for some good TPB/GN recommendations

Old 09-11-07, 09:13 AM
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Looking for some good TPB/GN recommendations

I recently just started getting back into comics, specifically TPBs and Graphic Novels, after about a 10-12 year break.

On my latest Amazon order, I picked up Dark Knight Returns, Absolute Hush, Killing Joke (got lucky and found a super cheap copy in marketplace), and Kingdom Come.

I guess you could say I am on a Batman kick right now. I've been perusing the graphicnovelarchive.com site looking for recommendations on what to pick up next, but I figured I'd ask here before making another purchase.

I loved all of the books I mentioned above. I'm pretty sure my next order will be Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Year One, and possibly Death in the Family (because I feel the storyline is very significant for canon reasons as well as in the general Batman character mythology).

However, I've also been getting curious about some of the Wolverine books as well but do not know where to begin.

A little bit more background on my likes and dislikes -

I read Sandman (book 1): Preludes and Nocturnes in college and though it started out slow, really picked up for me in the end. I've been thinking about continuing the series but I'd like to skip around the books to find the best stories.

I also read Watchmen in college and found it to be a little bit too heavy handed and slow for my tastes. Yes, I know I just admitted to disliking what is arguably the greatest GN of all time, but I guess it just wasn't for me. Perhaps I'll revisit it prior to the film's release.

I also read and enjoyed Daredevil Legends Vol. II: Born Again. I had never read this character and had done so at the urging of a friend. It was good but I never really got into the DD character too much.

I'm also a HUGE zombie movie fan so I know I'll be picking up Walking Dead and Marvel Zombies in the future as well.

For what it's worth, the most indy things I have read and enjoyed have been all of the Jhonen Vasquez books such as Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Squee, I Feel Sick, and even Fillerbunny.

So there you go. Please open me up to some good stuff. Again, I'm not looking for one-shots or really obscure indy stuff, I'm looking for the most logical progression from what I have already read and enjoyed.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-11-07, 03:53 PM
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Just start buying these all, you will be eternally grateful to me & a better man for doing so.











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Old 09-11-07, 06:03 PM
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Search is your friend. Here , here and here.
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Old 09-11-07, 06:40 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by jpoppe
I recently just started getting back into comics, specifically TPBs and Graphic Novels, after about a 10-12 year break.

On my latest Amazon order, I picked up Dark Knight Returns, Absolute Hush, Killing Joke (got lucky and found a super cheap copy in marketplace), and Kingdom Come.
Dark Knight is great. Hush is OK. Killing Joke is great, but you're better off buying this than the stand-alone. Kingdom Come is great.

I guess you could say I am on a Batman kick right now. I've been perusing the graphicnovelarchive.com site looking for recommendations on what to pick up next, but I figured I'd ask here before making another purchase.

I loved all of the books I mentioned above. I'm pretty sure my next order will be Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Year One, and possibly Death in the Family (because I feel the storyline is very significant for canon reasons as well as in the general Batman character mythology).
Get Long Halloween and Year One, definitely. If you like Long Halloween, get Dark Victory as well as the other things Loeb and Sale have done together (Superman For All Seasons, Challengers of the Unknown Must Die, Daredevil: Yellow, Spider-Man: Blue, and Hulk: Grey). Death in the Family is not particularly good, although it's got some gorgeous art.

However, I've also been getting curious about some of the Wolverine books as well but do not know where to begin.
Others will have to speak to this. I've never read a Wolverine story that I felt rose above mediocre. But you might want to check out the Dark Phoenix Saga, which is an X-Men story in which Wolverine plays a prominent role.

A little bit more background on my likes and dislikes -

I read Sandman (book 1): Preludes and Nocturnes in college and though it started out slow, really picked up for me in the end. I've been thinking about continuing the series but I'd like to skip around the books to find the best stories.
Don't skip around. It's a single narrative, and you should read it from begining to end. If you want to drop some cash, there's an Absolute Sandman that reprints the first 20 issues; there will be 3 more volumes released over the next 2-3 years.

I also read Watchmen in college and found it to be a little bit too heavy handed and slow for my tastes. Yes, I know I just admitted to disliking what is arguably the greatest GN of all time, but I guess it just wasn't for me. Perhaps I'll revisit it prior to the film's release.
This is mind-boggling. I would recommend V for Vendetta, but if you found Watchmen slow and heavy-handed, you'll hate V.

I also read and enjoyed Daredevil Legends Vol. II: Born Again. I had never read this character and had done so at the urging of a friend. It was good but I never really got into the DD character too much.
Born Again is probably the single best Daredevil story ever, and one of the best superhero stories ever. Its author, Frank Miller, had a lengthy run as writer/artist on Daredevil which is available in a series of 3 TPBs (Frank Miller Visionaries) or one hardcover (Daredevil Omnibus). Well worth picking up. This TPB is also very similar in terms of the approach to the character and highly recommended for anyone who has read Miller's Daredevil and wants to read more about the character.

I'm also a HUGE zombie movie fan so I know I'll be picking up Walking Dead and Marvel Zombies in the future as well.
Walking Dead is outstanding. Marvel Zombies is more of a one-trick pony.

For what it's worth, the most indy things I have read and enjoyed have been all of the Jhonen Vasquez books such as Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Squee, I Feel Sick, and even Fillerbunny.

So there you go. Please open me up to some good stuff. Again, I'm not looking for one-shots or really obscure indy stuff, I'm looking for the most logical progression from what I have already read and enjoyed.

Thanks in advance.
You can't go wrong with Astro City. Alan Moore's Swamp Thing is another good bet.
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Old 09-11-07, 07:55 PM
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Plenty of great suggestions here. The only thing I have to add is: try Watchmen again.
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Old 09-12-07, 09:28 AM
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Sessa17 -

Good call on "Fables." A few weeks ago I went into a Barnes & Noble, picked it up and started flipping thru one of the books and did not stop until I finished an entire book in store. I think I will be checking out more of the series on the future. It's got such a cool premise and the execution was really brilliant.


JasonF -

Thanks so much for really putting alot of effort into this reply. I really appreciate the time you put into replying with such good comments.

Based on what you said, the Alan Moore DC collection has been added to my wishlist. I checked it out on Amazon and saw which stories and characters were included and decided it would be a great way to open myself up to more of the DC universe.

Thanks for the input on not skipping around the Sandman books. I was told that it wouldn't matter if I did that but after further review it appears I may want to just continue with the series in numerical order.

I've heard nothing but good things on the Loeb/Sale collaborations, and I have never read a Hulk title, so Hulk:Grey is now on my wishlist as well as Daredevil:Yellow. I'll give the character another shot because he's played second banana to Spider-Man for far too long. Besides, the webhead's grown a little stale with me due to oversaturation of his charcater in various mediums.

The other Bat-books you listed are a lock for me. I'm just really digging the character right now.

After seeing the V film, and throroughly enjoying it, I may very well check out the GN.

In defense of my dislike for Watchmen, I'll just say that my initial first reading of the material was a bit of a letdown. I read it because it had such good reviews outside of the comics world that I figured I would give it a shot. Perhaps I went into it with my expectations set a little bit too high. I liken it to my experience seeing Freddy vs. Jason on the big screen (I know the example is awful, but stay with me here). After growing up with and loving the cheesy nature of both horror franchises as well as their respective main characters, I was expecting such an iconic battle that when the movie finally started playing, I was severely disappointed.

Okay, better example: Pacino & DeNiro in "Heat".

Regardless, I am willing to give Watchmen another shot before the flick comes out.

I will also definitely be looking further into Astro City as well. I have heard this title come up a lot and have just never looked into it. It's about time I do.



Also -

I am well aware of the search function and the numerous lists of "top 50/100" books, but I was looking for something a little bit more personalized based on what I had previously enjoyed. Hence my list of what I enjoyed and did not enjoy.
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Old 09-12-07, 12:06 PM
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Some more thoughts -- I'm surprised nobody (including me) thought to mention Sin City. I clicked through to your DVD list and saw you have the movie, and you mentioned enjoying Frank Miller's stuff, so that's a no-brainer. He also did 300, so you should check that out as well.

Another book that I'm surprised nobody has mentioned is Preacher. Excellent stuff that I think you'd enjoy. In fact, that would probably be my #1 recommendation.

A lot of people swear by 100 Bullets; I never really got into it, but I think it's probably up your alley.
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Old 09-12-07, 12:47 PM
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If you just want to pick up a wild ride of a Wolverine comic that stands alone, grab the Wolverine: Enemy of the State HC by Mark Millar. It is fantastically fun. The best Wolverine story in ages. Also, for Wolverine in a team setting, try Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon or New Avengers by Brian Bendis. Really fun stuff on both counts, and it showcases Wolverine better than stories that only he stares in. He can be a good character, but He works so much better with other characters to play off of.

Bats is my guy too, but you seem to have a good handle on the books to try. I am however tempted to suggest Superman/Batman vol.1 by Jeph Loeb. It isn't groundbreaking or anything, but it really is a fun romp through the DC universe with the two biggest icons in comics as your guide. JasonF is right in saying Hush is just OK, but it is one beautiful book to look at. It's like popcorn, tasty but very little substance.

I also agree with everything in Sessa's post, save for one. Planetary is fucking awesome, but I think it reads better after you've read some other books as it is as much a commentary on other comic icons and genre's as it is just a neat story. If you're going to read comics, maybe wait a year until you've read some other stuff before you pick it up. The story stands alone fine on its own, but I think it is sweeter when you have some points of reference. Or you can just read it and then read it again down the line sometime. But yeah, Planetary and Authority are about as awesome as comics can get. In fact The Authority kind of ruins superhero comics for you in a way.

Other indy titles to suggest? There are so many good books out there you really can't throw a stick without hitting something excellent. Everyone will tell you to try something different (I would say try Bendis' stuff, Sessa and others around here would tell you he's terrible), so I say you're better off finding a concept, writer, or artist you like and growing organically from there.
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Old 09-13-07, 02:28 AM
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MANHUNTER is good, old fashioned comic book heroics with a bit too many in-jokes and tired cultural references, but nevertheless enjoyable pulp.

I recommend anything by Alan Moore.

IDENTITY CRISIS was one of the best and exploitative JLA stories ever written.
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Old 09-13-07, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by DieselsDen
IDENTITY CRISIS was one of the best and exploitative JLA stories ever written.
Counterpoint: Identity Crisis was exploitative schlock that featured incompetent heroes, characters acting contrary to their establshed characterization for reasons that were poorly explained at best, and plot contrivances that made no sense. Brad Meltzer should have been fired as soon as he turned in the plot outline.
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Old 09-13-07, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
Counterpoint: Identity Crisis was exploitative schlock that featured incompetent heroes, characters acting contrary to their establshed characterization for reasons that were poorly explained at best, and plot contrivances that made no sense. Brad Meltzer should have been fired as soon as he turned in the plot outline.
All that may be true.

But I still enjoyed it, and I recommend it.
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Old 09-13-07, 05:32 PM
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If you're into Batman, check out Brubaker & Rucka's GOTHAM CENTRAL PRESENTS. The artwork and coloring is awesome and it shows a side of Gotham that's just as intriguing as the Batman stories (instead focusing on the Major Crime Units division of the police force). Both Brubaker and Rucka are extremely reliable in just about everything they do, together or separate ('Sleeper', 'Queen & Country', 'Catwoman', 'Whiteout', etc).
The Luna Brothers are pretty interesting. "Girls" was definitely worth getting, although most people thought it ran out of steam.
Although he's huge now, I think Brian K. Vaughan is great. 'Ex Machina' is always worth reading.
The Bendis run on 'Daredevil' was great (as is his own comic, 'Powers').
Punisher MAX is always solid.
'Top Ten' is Alan Moore's most underrated work.
I recently read 'Rising Stars' and thought it was awesome.
That's all for me.
-Rob
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Old 09-13-07, 09:57 PM
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I think i'm on a similar boat... I was in to comic books when I was young, but drifted off as I got older. I recently got back into Batman comics and read through Year One, Dark Knight Returns, The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, and Hush.

I thought both the Long Halloween and Dark Victory were fantastic. I'm not sure what the overall impression of the Knightfall arc is, but having owned a few issues back when it happened and browsing through the 3 compilations at book stores, I've been thinking about revisiting that recently.

I decided to shift gears to old X-Men comics as well, and recently ordered X-Tinction Agenda and X-Cutioner's Song story arcs, as I was quite fond of those; not to mention I really enjoy Jim Lee's work.

I actually agree with you about Watchmen. I read it when i was younger and didn't care for it at all. Even reading it again recently a couple months ago, I still don't care much for it, so you're not alone.
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Old 09-13-07, 11:04 PM
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Get Year ONE, before you get anything. Honestly, it is friggin perfect.
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Old 09-14-07, 12:33 PM
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What? No Millar?

No one has mentioned this one so..."Wanted" by Mark Millar. I loved this book. Ex Machina, DMZ, and Loveless are good also. I am also having a good time reading the "52" tpbs.
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Old 09-14-07, 12:35 PM
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Whoops! Forgot the wonderful book by Humberto Ramos..."Revelations". Awesome in the vein of the DaVinci Code.

Last edited by pal300; 09-14-07 at 12:35 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 09-15-07, 03:15 AM
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You might like The Goon quite a bit. The Zombie Priest is the main villain, and the hero is a surly mob enforcer who likes to beat up on stuff. Off-center humor, great art, monsters and gore make this one a winner.

Hellboy is also an excellent series, and I see you've already got the movie. You might hold off, though, because HC collections are supposed to come out next year (if you care about HC vs. SC).

You might also appreciate Brubaker's run on Catwoman (Dark End of the Street, Crooked Little Town, Relentless, Wild Ride) - great superhero noir with fantastic art by Darwyn Cooke and others. Gotham Central is good, too.

Some other classic Batman collections include the Englehart/Rogers Batman: Strange Apparitions (Laughing Fish!) and Batman: Tales of the Demon, which compiles the original Ra's al Ghul stories.

edited to mention: Matt Wagner's Batman and the Monster Men and Batman and the Mad Monk are great reworkings of classic Batman stories done in a style similar to Year One or Long Halloween.

Last edited by Cathepsin; 09-16-07 at 05:13 AM.
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