Author Topic: Sam Reads Comics  (Read 15954 times)

philip918

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2015, 04:44:57 PM »
Also badass female-lead comics:

Rat Queens
Pretty Deadly
Fatale
Ms Marvel
Lazarus
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2015, 08:13:51 PM »
Have you done Sandman? Because if not, Sandman.
I have not. It's definitely on the list. Will probably be my next big comic after I finish Pluto.

Also badass female-lead comics:

Rat Queens
Pretty Deadly
Fatale
Ms Marvel
Lazarus
I have all of Fatale and I love it. Will definitely reread and cover that one at some point. A friend just got me hooked on Rat Queens. I thought the first arc of Ms. Marvel was overwhelmingly just okay, but I'm willing to give it another shot, especially since I own the first arc. Lazarus didn't do anything for me, don't really have the desire to read anymore. Haven't read any Pretty Deadly yet.

StudentOFilm

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2015, 08:26:55 PM »
I'm trying to think of some of my favorites. What jumps to mind first would be...

Elk's Run by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Chosen by Mark Millar
Anything by Jonathan Hickman (His Avengers run is brilliant, it's like a the narrative quality of a cable TV show but with superheroes. The Nightly News from Image is probably his best work)
DC: The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke (and his Parker books, if you like Criminal you should check them out!)

Looking forward to reading.
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Beavermoose

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2015, 05:30:50 AM »
http://www.listchallenges.com/wizard-magazine-100-greatest-graphic-novels
Did someone say list?


Also:
Blankets
Black Hole
Jimmy Corrigan - The Smartest Kid on Earth
Asterios Polyp
A bunch of Will Eisner: Life Force, Contract with God, etc.
Demon (Is not complete yet): http://www.shigabooks.com/index.php?page=001
« Last Edit: April 08, 2015, 05:41:37 AM by Beavermoose »

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2015, 08:52:11 AM »
Bone



Jeff Smithís Bone is a delightful, rare fantasy epic. While most fantasy epics regal themselves with tales of powerful heroes and fierce battles, Bone pits normal, everyday people into extreme circumstances and finds the heroism within. Itís as if Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings, but where all the heroes were Hobbits.

The titular Bone creatures are short, blobby creatures. Theyíre not particularly heroic creatures.  Three cousins begin their story after just being kicked out of Boneville. Fone Bone lectures his greedy cousin Phoney Bone whose latest get rich scheme has the two run out of town along with their easygoing cousin Smiley bone. After a swarm of locus drive them into the Valley, the trio find themselves caught up with the human locals as the nearby rat creatures begin to grow more and more aggressive.



One of the greatest merits of Jeff Smithís writing and drawing is how he makes a fantasy story thatís appropriate for all ages while still containing enough darkness and despair to give many of the conflicts a true sense of peril. There are many times where the story could have been toned down, but Smith never shies away from the darker side of the conflict.

Part of what helps counterbalance the darker tone is the playful artstyle. In many ways, the Bone characters do a good job of encapsulating Smithís artstyle, round, playful, and simple. Visual exaggeration makes creatures that might otherwise be menacing actually inviting. Take the plump rat creatures that disproportion to head to body make them rather funny looking instead of terrifying.



Itís worth noting that Jeff Smithís original run was in black and white. Later, colorist Steve Hamaker went back and added color. While not part of the original version, the color adds so much to the tone of the book. The use of primary colors along with the added sense of texture do a lot to play up the elements of Smithís inviting art style.

Smithís humor does a great job of appealing to all ages. Phoney Boneís get rich quick schemes are the kinds of things one might find in a sitcom but with the physical gags added into to make sure the joke is funny for all ages. Likewise, two rat creatures constant attempts to gain meat is made humorous by the fact one of the monsters wants to make whatever they catch into a quiche, an absurd desire for any respectable monster.



And from the humble origins and the funny gags, Jeff Smith gradually builds a dark, serious fantasy story that grows and grows in its sense of scale and peril. Itís hard to talk about this book without mentioning The Lord of the Rings because the arc is so similar. Bone is one of the great fantasy epics and any fan of the genre owes it to himself/herself to read the story.

Writing a story that appeals to both children and adults is always a difficult proposition. Bone manages to make something for all audiences while doing backflips and making wisecracks. In terms of story and comedy, few comic books are as imbued with such impeccably building conflict and delightfully witty comedy. Itís the type of comic that would make a nice quiche. Every bit is juicy and delightful, lacking any of that filler crust nonsense.

Junior

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2015, 12:04:26 PM »
Great review. I read the black and white one volume edition and I enjoyed the simple style it employs. I think it's pretty remarkable that the Bone characters and the humans can coexist and feel entirely natural together. The book gets pretty dark, too, which is quite impressive given the opening sections with the cow race and all that jazz.
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2015, 05:34:58 PM »
Got this beast through ILL today:


Junior

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2015, 06:58:38 PM »
Awesome. I got both volumes for Christmas. Maybe IPL crack em open and read along. I hope you enjoy them. The opening storyline isn't great, but it gets amazing quickly.
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2015, 07:30:18 PM »
Probably gonna read the first 5 books of Usagi Yojimbo first, but I'll be starting it soon.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Sam Reads Comics
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2015, 08:53:21 AM »
The Nao of Brown



At first glance, The Nao of Brown is a cute, unassuming book. The vibrant, earthy tones mixed with the story of a Nao Brown, a Japanese/English woman who works at a novelty toy shop. However, as the book develops, the dark underbelly of the characters and story begins to unfold, and the book becomes something far more, nuanced, complicated and unsettling.

Nao has an intense case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Her urges arenít so much the endearing compulsion of keeping everything neat and just so, but more the having urges to commit horrible, violent acts on people who intrude upon her sense of order. She seeks some sense of peace in the local Buddhist Center, but even there sheís not without her dark compulsions.



Later on, she meets Gregory, a washing-machine repair man whose face reminds her of a popular Japanese plush. The two start dating, but Nao quickly learns that Gregory has his own dark compulsion: alcoholism. Most dates end with Gregory in a drunken stupor and Nao finds herself more and more struggling with her violent compulsions.

The Nao of Brownís key success is its ability to blend the everyday lives of people with personal insights into the darkness that lies within each person. Everyone is struggling with some inner-darkness that can often be controlling and overwhelming. These traits do not make the characters abhorrent as much as it makes them sympathetic and tragic.
 


Writer and artist Glyn Dillon often uses sharp, intrusive images in order to show how Naoís compulsions interrupt her live and disturb her sense of balance. While the novel is often effective at allowing readers a peek into the minds of characters, Dillon uses the graphic novel to use both words and images to show the jarring and intrusive effects of Naoís OCD.

On its own aesthetic merits, The Nao of Brown is a gorgeous book. Dillonís pencil work is fantastic and detailed. It alone has a sense of texture and visual richness that many solid books lack. His use of colors adds to that. Instead of simply filling in, he often allows the colors to have different shades, adding an extra sense of depth to the artwork.



And while itís the art that stands out the most in this book, Dillonís writing is fantastic. Heís able to give the characters in the story an idiosyncratic nature without resorting to trite quirk. Nao is rather shy, but often brashly enthusiastic about her passions, sometimes a bit on edge when she gets anxious and prone to a bit of irrationality. Any of these traits could be used as simple whimsy, but Dillon knows how to balance them in order to make them appear in the right moments.

Dillon uses certain scenes and sequences to build the overall story into something rich. A lot of the conversations in the book seem to be about incidental things, but Dillon always uses it to tease out something compelling about the characters or use it to catapult the character into an action. Much like real life, most of what is said is not to substance of a conversation, but the ideas behind it.



The book often drifts off into areas another book might have removed. Naoís relationship with her roommate is one of her key emotional anchors of the story, but her roommate often fails to drive the story forward. Likewise, the story is also interrupted by occasional interludes into an unusual sci-fi story that doesnít have a clear connection to the plot or themes, but feels like the kind of story Nao would enjoy.

There are plenty of stories that connect to the audience through mundane life, but what makes The Nao of Brown resonate is that jarring look at the darkness within all of us. Without that, The Nao of Brown would still be a good book, but its willingness to recognize that interior darkness of humanity and the journey every person faces with that sense of hidden darkness makes the book an astounding, masterful work.