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masahikotahara

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xx What should I read next?
« Thread started on: Feb 28th, 2016, 5:44pm »

The last few years I enjoyed some comic book series that were non-Batman, some even non-superhero. For me, the best were:

- Preacher
- Scalped
- DMZ
- Y: The Last Man
- 100 Bullets
- Transmetropolitan

Now, with summer slowly approaching, I would like to know which series I should buy next to enjoy while sitting in the sun; a sort of ritual I have had with reading the series I mentioned above. Obviously, it is a matter of taste, but there should be a book out there that is in some way similar to these series. I prefer to read it in trade paperback and I would like a longer series, like 60 issues.

One title I come across time and time again is Ex Machina - should that be next? Also, I still have to read Sandman (I know, shame on me) and I just bought the entire run of Alan Moore on Swamp Thing to read.

So: help me! Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #1 on: Feb 29th, 2016, 5:44pm »

My favorite creator-owned stuff:
Powers.
Lead characters are detectives who work "powers" cases. Great stuff. It's been going on for years, and it's kind of in real time. There's a kid who's introduced in the first issue who is high-school age in current issue. Sort-of ongoing. It's been relaunched (within its own continuity) several times. Same creative team throughout.

Atomic Robo.
A robot built by Nikola Tesla in the 1930s who gained US citizenship by fighting in WW2. Easily accessible. It's not an ongoing, its a series of miniseries. Each mini is set in a random time period, so you can grab any trade, read it, and know everything you need to know. Same creative team throughout.

Bone.
Single story. At first glance, it's a kiddie book, but the further you get into it, the bigger it gets. Think Lord of the Rings. It was a finite series, you can get it in a single volume. Same writer / artist throughout.

Walking Dead.
Great, great, great. If you've watched the tv series and you like it, get the comics. Same writer throughout, there was an artist change after issue 6. Same since.

Invincible.
The superhero book by the guy who does Walking Dead. Follows the kid of a superman analogue growing up, developing his powers, and becoming badass. Same writer throughout, and like WD, there was an art change after issue 6, same since.

Hack / Slash.
Horror book. The premise: the girl who survived a horror movie in real life decides she's going to kill horror movie type slashers. Very fun book. Good tone, good characters. Think Buffy, but better and more adult. Same writer throughout, art changes arc to arc.

Incorruptible / Irredeemable.
Mark Waid writes both. One's premise is the superman analogue loses his moral compass and just basically becomes a vengeful god.
The other book is a life-time villain becomes a hero. Same world, and they criss-cross a time or two, but you can read either by themselves. Passable art throughout, but not great.
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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #2 on: Mar 1st, 2016, 11:39am »

I have several recommendations for you.

- The Invisibles
This is the brain child of Grant Morrison who had a great run on Batman these last few years. To tell you what it is about is very difficult, but in essence the seven TPBs tell the story of a group that fights against oppression to preserve free will and individual thought. The Invisibles tackles many subjects and is admittedly a mind fuck when first you read it. But the characters and the changes they go through definitely speak to me. It sports several great artists such as Phil Jiminez, Philip Bond and Chris Weston. I recommend this if you want to read a varied and intricate story that you might not even understand fully at the end but definitely enjoy fully.

- Bone
As Snipe said, this looks very childish but I prefer to call it All Ages. You won't be too old to enjoy this. It is an epic story with very likeable characters. I genuinely laughed out loud at certain sections and I have also feared for and cried with these characters. This is the kind of book I can gift to others and feel pretty confident they'll like it, even if they don't read comic books.

- Sandman
One of the classics of comic book history: Neil Gaiman's Sandman. Over ten books Gaiman takes you on a vivid fantasy trip but you can read every book as a separate entity as well. But to do the series justice and give yourself the complete experience, you want to read all books. The ten volumes of the main story are enough to tell the beautiful but if you want more, Gaiman has written a couple more books.

- Watchmen
Not a series but one of comics' greatest stories. Get Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' masterpiece now! I love some of Moore's other works too such as Promethea (absolutely gorgeous art by JH Williams III) and Tom Strong (Chris Sprouse).

- Saga
This series started fairly recently but it's by Brian K. Vaughn (whose Y The Last Man you've read) and Fiona Staples and it's all kinds of awesome. There's six TPBs out or almost out, and I am guessing we'll see the second deluxe hardcover at the end of this or the start of next year.

I'll stick with these five. I have the first six or seven TPBs of Ex Machina. I like the book and the art but I also feel there's better stuff out there. Only if you like to have political commentary run through every issue you read, I can recommend this series.
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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #3 on: Mar 2nd, 2016, 05:28am »

Thanks guys cheesy

I just bought The Walking Dead Vol. 1-17 (trade paperbacks collecting #1-102). I've been watching the TV-series since the very beginning and I like it, sometimes love it. There are times when I'm beginning to think that I'm done with it, but then it pulls me back in. I guess it is time to read the source material. I don't know if the plot from the books is somewhat spoiled by my knowledge of what happens in the TV-series?

Also, I hope not to become one of those people who say (with fierce disdain):''Oh, I don't watch that, I've read the books.'' I've come across a lot of people who say that, also about Game Of Thrones...

I also bought Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes, but I'll probably buy the whole series before starting to read it, I can't imagine I wouldn't like it, and it just has to be on my shelf...

Watchmen goes without saying - I have it in all different versions; the original issues, multiple trade paperback and hardcover versions, the Absolute Watchmen, and even in oversized softcover versions translated into Dutch.

I'm also interested in Invincible, The Invisibles, Bone, Saga and Powers, I'll probably sample them to see if I like them.

Some other titles I like or have heard about:

- Astro City (I've read it all, now following the latest ongoing series, CLASSIC).
- Fury Max: My War Gone By - I read like the first 6 issues, LOVED it.
- Hellblazer (Also a classic, read the first issue, want more).
- Lazarus (by Rucka, I hear a lot of good stories about this one, haven't read it yet).
- Southern Bastards ( in the vein of Scalped, can't wait to read it, I loved Scalped).
- Stumptown (also by Rucka, haven't read it yet).
- Invisible Republic (Haven't read it yet).
- The Wicked + The Divine (by the guys from Phonogram, haven't read it yet).

ED BRUBAKER

I loved Criminal, Sleeper, Scene Of The Crime, Incognito, Fatale and can't wait to start on Velvet, but on The Fade Out especially, I love the setting for that one.

I have one bookshelf reserved for Frank Miller and Alan Moore books, just because. I just read some Top 10 by Alan Moore, great stuff.

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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #4 on: Mar 2nd, 2016, 4:20pm »

on Mar 2nd, 2016, 05:28am, masahikotahara wrote:
Thanks guys cheesy

I just bought The Walking Dead Vol. 1-17 (trade paperbacks collecting #1-102). I've been watching the TV-series since the very beginning and I like it, sometimes love it. There are times when I'm beginning to think that I'm done with it, but then it pulls me back in. I guess it is time to read the source material. I don't know if the plot from the books is somewhat spoiled by my knowledge of what happens in the TV-series?


You won't be disappointed. It's different enough. There's no Darryl in the comics for one...


on Mar 2nd, 2016, 05:28am, masahikotahara wrote:
I'm also interested in Invincible, The Invisibles, Bone, Saga and Powers, I'll probably sample them to see if I like them.


You can probably find some "samples" online before sinking money into them...
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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #5 on: Mar 3rd, 2016, 10:34pm »

on Mar 2nd, 2016, 05:28am, masahikotahara wrote:
Thanks guys cheesy


No problem. I'm glad I got a change to talk about comics again since I haven't kept up with Batman and other superhero comics for years!

Quote:
I just bought The Walking Dead Vol. 1-17 (trade paperbacks collecting #1-102). I've been watching the TV-series since the very beginning and I like it, sometimes love it. There are times when I'm beginning to think that I'm done with it, but then it pulls me back in. I guess it is time to read the source material. I don't know if the plot from the books is somewhat spoiled by my knowledge of what happens in the TV-series?


That's a nice collection. Image releases Compendium editions of The Walking Dead comic as well, with close to fifty issues in one bundle. It's dirt cheap. And, as snipe said, the comic and tv show only share name, universe and feel. They don't follow the same story line at all. You're in for a few surprises.

Quote:
I also bought Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes, but I'll probably buy the whole series before starting to read it, I can't imagine I wouldn't like it, and it just has to be on my shelf...


Especially that last bit is a good argument. You need to have it. If you like it, you can expand the ten volumes with Sandman: Endless Nights, the newly released Sandman: Overture, and a couple of Death trades.

Quote:
Watchmen goes without saying - I have it in all different versions; the original issues, multiple trade paperback and hardcover versions, the Absolute Watchmen, and even in oversized softcover versions translated into Dutch.


Which publisher did those oversized Dutch versions? Juniorpress or are those versions newer than that? It's been a while since I've checked translated comic books back home.

Astro City is awesome, The Wicked + The Divine had a Free Comic Book Day sampler last year, and Ed Brubaker can definitely write some awesome stories as long as you don't get bogged down by his noir atmosphere (it's what numbed Fatale a bit for me after Point Blank, Sleeper and Criminal). I've never read Alan Moor's Top Ten but now I want to even more.

Keep us posted! I look forward to your experiences with the new books, both the ones I know and the ones I may want to read myself one day.
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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #6 on: Mar 4th, 2016, 5:48pm »

The Watchmen books were published in the Netherlands by Baldakijn Boeken in 1989. The book are pretty large (about 22 cm x 32 cm).

They look brand-new, and although I hate to read comics translated to Dutch, I just wanted them for the cover art alone, and because, well...it's Watchmen, right?

I recently bought Asterios Polyp by David Mazzucchelli, and when it came in through the mail I saw I bought the Dutch translation. Just doesn't seem/read right.

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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #7 on: Mar 5th, 2016, 06:43am »

Those look pretty sweet, especially with the artsy covers!

Asterios Polyp is awesome. You're not the only one on the forums to dig into that book. I recommend Mazzucchelli's take on City of Glass (original by Paul Auster) as well. Truly an intriguing book.
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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #8 on: Mar 5th, 2016, 09:15am »

on Mar 4th, 2016, 5:48pm, masahikotahara wrote:
The Watchmen books were published in the Netherlands by Baldakijn Boeken in 1989. The book are pretty large (about 22 cm x 32 cm).

They look brand-new


They look like they may be that Baxter paper that was big in the late '80s. I always thought it was awesome, and everything I've seen of it has held up really nicely.
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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #9 on: Mar 6th, 2016, 6:36pm »

on Mar 5th, 2016, 06:43am, TheMidnighter wrote:
Asterios Polyp is awesome. You're not the only one on the forums to dig into that book. I recommend Mazzucchelli's take on City of Glass (original by Paul Auster) as well. Truly an intriguing book.

I just bought Asterios Polyp in English (in hardcover) and have ordered City Of Glass; can't wait to read it! I read the Dutch version of Asterios Polyp, but I stopped somewhere halfway through because I really wanted to read it in English.

I have The System by Peter Kuper (in separate issues). I haven't read it, but as soon as I looked at the art I knew it was something special, so I bought it, years ago. Time to finally read it.

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I also have Whiteout - in trade, with a cool Frank Miller cover. Loved it. I will look out for the sequel Whiteout: Melt.

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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #10 on: Mar 7th, 2016, 5:35pm »

on Mar 6th, 2016, 6:36pm, masahikotahara wrote:
I also have Whiteout - in trade, with a cool Frank Miller cover. Loved it. I will look out for the sequel Whiteout: Melt.

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I've got that. Autographed. Found it in a bargain bin at a show I went to some years back for about 1/3 cover price.
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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #11 on: Mar 8th, 2016, 02:36am »

on Mar 7th, 2016, 5:35pm, snipe wrote:
I've got that. Autographed. Found it in a bargain bin at a show I went to some years back for about 1/3 cover price.


Same here. I had the autographed edition. I donated it after I was done with it. It doubt it would have become a valuable item in my collection. Enjoyable read, though!
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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #12 on: Mar 9th, 2016, 3:18pm »

If you haven't read it already, but want a quick done in one 'must read classic', of course there is The Crow by James O'Barr.

There are two versions. The original complete TPB with a black cover, and a newer white cover so called 'Special Edition' which is more of a 'George Lucas Edition' sadly.

The problem with the Special Edition is that, like Lucas with the original Star Wars Trilogy, O'Barr decided to add material to his finished work years later. And the danger when anyone does this, is that they are not the same person they were when they first made it, leading to the material being at best incongruous, and at worst offensive.

The new material of The Crow falls firmly in the incongruous category. The original work was written from a place of raw grief and rage, and the main theme is revenge on those who have done you wrong. The Special Edition adds a new ending that says the message of the book is about forgiving yourself, and not about revenge at all. It is an abrupt 180 on every single page that proceeded it, it is jarring, and it is narratively without sense.

The Crow is such a personal work for O'Barr, and the message of forgiving himself is clearly true to him as he is now. But it would have really suited a brand new work fully written from this emotional place - something I would have been very interested in reading if it were to exist. Everything about the new ending completely contradicts the excellent introduction to the book that analyses the original book, discussing the psychology of O'Barr, of loss, of pain. In short, the ending is incongruous to the work that precedes it.

O'Barr could even have effectively 'remade' The Crow from scratch and used his new ending. It's not necessarily the plot that doesn't fit the new ending, it is everything else. If he used the same basic plot, but re-drew and re-wrote everything, he could have altered things in a way as to be tonally harmonious, rather than tonally dissonant. That way he could have two separate and emotionally powerful works of art, rather than the confused hybrid of the Special Edition.

Furthermore, O'Barr chose to redraw select pages to replace those he is no longer satisfied with, in true Lucas fashion in the process accidentally(?) omitting an important line of dialogue that creates a big plot hole just a few pages later, a problem not in the original book.
---

The Special Edition is certainly worth a read, the new artwork is beautiful, and the new ending is without a doubt worth reading, but it is an ending that needed a different book proceeding it written from a different perspective. The original is the definitive version to read, it makes the most artistic sense because it is true to the artist at the time he originally completed it, even if it is not true to the man he is now. Oh, and it lacks that glaring plot hole.

Personally I'd recommend reading the original first, then giving a full read to the Special Edition to see how it differs. But if you only read one, it has to be the original. It is a book that spoke very deeply to me a long time ago.
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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #13 on: Mar 9th, 2016, 3:48pm »

And briefly, a select few that spring to mind that have impressed me over the years that have not yet been mentioned:


  • The Mystery Play by Grant Morrison & Jon J Muth - Pure entrancing beauty.

  • Girls by The Luna Brothers - or 'Night Of The Living Dead With Naked Aliens Under The Dome'. Like Romero's original Dead Trilogy, it delves in social commentary and psychology. The human 'villain' (or closest to) is vile to almost infuriating levels. I can't even remember her name now, but I still remember what she looks like and I still hate her! Ha ha.

  • The Night Driver by John Cork & Christopher Mills - Haven't read this in a long time, hardly high art, but unexpectedly captivating for the short time it takes to read.

  • Moonshadow by JM DeMatteis & Jon J Muth - Just look at it, such beauty.

  • The Upturned Stone by Scott Hampton - Love Hampton's writing and art, especially when he paints, nice little story this. Probably my favourite non-Batman Hampton book.

  • True Faith by Garth Ennis & Warren Pleece - A once banned, hilarious, anti-Christian farce. There is a lot to laugh at here


I know there are more, and I'm sure I'm forgetting loads that are actually better than a few on this list, but I think this will do for now.

Must do Y The Last Man one of these days, I ended up busy and putting it down, and it got so long before I had time to pick it back up that it felt too late to pick back up where I left off and I meant to restart, but never actually did. Must correct that!
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xx Re: What should I read next?
« Reply #14 on: Mar 12th, 2016, 6:59pm »

on Mar 9th, 2016, 3:18pm, Nick wrote:
If you haven't read it already, but want a quick done in one 'must read classic', of course there is The Crow by James O'Barr.

OK, I really want to read that now. I hunted down a copy of the original trade, I think; well, actually, it is a Kitchen Sink Edition from 1994; probably a reprint from around the time the movie came out; a tragic story upon itself. I've always had a fascination with Bruce Lee, and what happened with his son was really bizarre...

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