Author Topic: Sam Reads Comics  (Read 16277 times)

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Sam Reads Comics
« on: April 07, 2015, 11:49:12 AM »
Because I need even more threads all to myself. This'll be a directory.

I'll take requests even if I've read it before. I'll read just about anything once although I will say I tend to dislike superhero stuff.
Reviews:

Criminal [Coward][Lawless]
Bone
Glitterbomb
The Nao of Brown
Sailor Twain
Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men Run
Outcast
Hellboy [Seed of Destruction][Wake the Devil][The Chained Coffin and Others][The Right Hand of Doom][Conqueror Worm][Strange Places]
Harrow County
Rasputin: The Road to the White House
Paper Girls
Providence, Act 1
Usagi Yojimbo [Fantagraphics Run]
Wild's End: The Enemy Within

I do have a ridiculously epic list of comics I want to read, but I'm just going to give you a preview of what I plan to cover in the immediate future.

Upcoming:
Hellboy
How to Talk to Girls at Parties
Rachel Rising
Maus
Red Handed
Criminal
The Work of Matt Kindt
Habibi

Recommendations:
Archie of some kind (MartinTeller)
Miracleman (verbals)
Swamp Thing (verbals)
Halo Jones (verbals)
Dr & Quinch (verbals)
Afterlife with Archie (philip918)
Rat Queens (philip918)
Pretty Deadly (philip918)
Fatale (philip918)
Ms Marvel (philip918)
ARE YOU MY MOTHER? (Totoro)
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 10:58:34 AM by Sam the Cinema Snob »

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2015, 11:52:10 AM »
Criminal: Coward



The crime drama often struggles to find equilibrium. On one end, there are crime stories that can often romanticize or glamorize the crime world. On the other end, crime dramas can often be exploitative and grimy for the sake of being sensational. Criminal: Coward is one of those rare crime stories that finds the perfect equilibrium between the two, thrilling without ever feeling adventurous and grimy without ever being exploitative.

Cowards’s protagonist is a key element in allowing the story to maintain that balance. Leo is an unusual criminal. He has a set of rules he follows at all times. It’s not this method that is strange, but the content of his rules such as he won’t do a job he doesn’t lead and he refuses to use guns. Leo’s unusual nature allows Ed Brubaker to write a story that is able to pull off something truly masterful.



As Leo navigates the world of criminals, he enters into many familiar characters. The woman with a shadow hanging over her head, the dirty cop with the skeptical partner, and the loose cannon. However, as the story unfolds, these characters do not always turn out as one might expect. These are not types, but complicated, psychologically whole characters pushed to the ends of themselves.

Part of what separates the world of Criminal from many crime stories is how the characters are often mundane, everyday people simply trying to survive. This leads to a set of character that are sympathetic and human. The world of Criminal is filled with characters in various forms of desperation. Criminal life is not so much a choice, but something they’ve felt is their only path through life, the only way to make ends meet. 



Sean Phillips’s art reinforces many of these ideas. Most of Phillips’s drawings go for a more realistic and detailed look. The attention to detail, particularly with human figures, is a strong feature of the artwork. The wrinkles of a shirt, the lines of a furrowed brow, and the glint of an eye are the kinds of tiny details that make Phillips’s work visually rich and grounded.

The coloring is also a key feature for the tone of the book. Muted purples and blues along with sickly greens and pinks permeate the book and add that sense of grime and oppression to the world of crime. Elizabeth Breitweiser’s coloring style is perhaps one of the unsung, key elements of Brubaker and Phillip’s work. She adds that extra sense of atmosphere and style that makes their comics feel uneasy.



Simple images say just as much—if not more—than any words that come out of the character’s mouth. A woman smoking a cigarette in the midst of a serious conversation or Leo descending a set of stairs in the midst of a rain convey a lot about the characters and the world they inhabit. It’s that strong adherence to the power of visual storytelling that makes Coward such a compelling and memorable work.

As a work of crime fiction, Criminal: Coward is a magnificently crafted, unusual work. The atypical protagonist and the complex characters inhabit a world that is neither romantic or pulp. It’s the mundane world where, when pushed against the walls, extraordinary means are taken. The result is something fantastic and exemplary in an often messy and complicated genre.


MartinTeller

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2015, 12:43:03 PM »
I'll take requests even if I've read it before.

Archie

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2015, 01:43:54 PM »
Is that a serious recommendation? If so, what stretch of it. Pretty sure that there are over 500 issues and tons of spinoffs.

MartinTeller

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 02:06:08 PM »
Well, it's serious in that I think it would be fun to read your comments but I don't expect you to actually enjoy it.  My lady and I both have nostalgic attachments to the Riverdale universe.

There must WELL over 500.  They put out several different titles every month and have been doing it forever.  I mean... yikes.  Just pick up a random one at the supermarket checkout.

If you ever binge on a bunch of Archie, you start to notice that they recycle stories, sometimes just giving minor updates to keep up with the times.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2015, 02:34:35 PM »
Okay, I'll keep my eyes out. I remember reading a few as a kid, but there's a lot of gaps in my memory of them.

verbALs

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2015, 02:54:30 PM »
Alan Moore: The path less followed and how I would prioritise them;

1. Miracleman Book One; Absolutely the most horrific climax in the history of art.
2. Swamp Thing, American Gothic; Moore does something similar to what Stephen King tried in his early books; touching on all the horror tropes but building towards a greater whole.
3. Halo Jones; Female heroine in a space opera. Closest in literary terms to The Forever War.
4. DR & Quinch; An unusual bawdy comedy in 2000ADs house style, just done by a genius.
I used to encourage everyone I knew to make art; I don't do that so much anymore. - Banksy

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2015, 03:25:28 PM »
Nice! I've been wanting to read more Moore.

Junior

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2015, 03:32:27 PM »
Have you done Sandman? Because if not, Sandman. If you have, just do the Hell story line (Season of Mists) again because it is so damn good.
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philip918

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2015, 04:42:59 PM »
"If God gives you lemons find a new God."