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My mother-in-law threw down the gauntlet...

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Posts

  • JebuJebu Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    august wrote: »
    The beginning? Preludes and Nocturnes. The new covers have numbers on them.

    There's also Absolute Sandman. It has the first 4 trades, recolored. I own it and love it, but it is a lot of money.

    I'd actually recommend something besides Preludes and Nocturnes, just because it is much more like traditional comics, and a little bit sloppier than later volumes.

    Something like Fables and Reflections or Dream Country might be better, just because they're self-contained collections of short stories, so they're easier to get into.

  • SalmonOfDoubtSalmonOfDoubt Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Wait a few months until Whedon's first arc on Runaways is released as a trade then give that and the Runaways Saga thingymedoodar.

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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited April 2007
    Jeezus christ there are too many superhero recommendations in this thread. Look, guys. Do you really think the grandma is going to have her misconceptions of an entire medium totally rocked by yet another book about people in colored underwear?

    "But he's a superhero mayor..." SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.

    Look, I love the capes as much as the next guy - probably more - but man it's depressing how much trouble people are having, even in a devoted comics forum, naming decent, accessible non-capes mainstreamy books.

    But far be it from me to curse the darkness without lighting a candle.

    The Tale of One Bad Rat - win! An easily-accesible, beautiful, moving story of a homeless young girl and her attachment to Beatrix Potter.

    Whiteout - Murder and espionage in the Antarctic. A complete story in one GN. There's no reason anyone who reads airport crime novels can't read and love this.

    Queen and Country - British espionage all over the world. It's an ongoing, but each trade tells a complete story. I'd say poke around and look for the ones with the cleanest, most attractive art (I'm a big fan of the ones Steve Rolston drew - either #1-4 or #4-8, don't remember which).

    Transmetropolitan - Science fiction with an edge of social commentary. The first trade is a complete three-issue story, easily readable on the bus and probably up her Buffy-watching alley (if she doesn't mind a soupcon of adult language).

    Jon Sable, Freelance - classic 80s action thriller comic about a professional mercenary, written with a gun nut's sumptuously pornographic attention to realism and detail. "Sumptuously pornographic" also describes the artwork quite nicely.

    More to come as I think of them.

  • Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Keith wrote: »
    I doubt mainstream superhero comics are going to appeal to an older female

    I did see a woman in her 40s who clearly was not into comics buying an issue of Detective Comics last time I was in my LCS.

    Also, while I'm no fan of Buffy, considering that the comic is written by the same guy as the show, I can only conclude that the OP's mother-in-law is a dumb dummy dumbington. Or something. Gimme a break, I've had like five hours of sleep in the last 48.

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  • ZeromusZeromus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Preacher or Punisher MAX.

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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited April 2007
    I think Ex Machina wins because it's deeply rooted in real world politics and history (just like other things she enjoys), and the first issue makes it clear that superheroism is more of an embarassing footnote in the main character's life than the focus of the story. If anything, it utilizes her notions of why superheroes are an idiotic concept.

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  • Rabid_LlamaRabid_Llama Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Jeezus christ there are too many superhero recommendations in this thread. Look, guys. Do you really think the grandma is going to have her misconceptions of an entire medium totally rocked by yet another book about people in colored underwear?

    "But he's a superhero mayor..." SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.

    Look, I love the capes as much as the next guy - probably more - but man it's depressing how much trouble people are having, even in a devoted comics forum, naming decent, accessible non-capes mainstreamy books.

    I am assuming that Watchmen is an exception here...

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  • hambonehambone Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Maus.

    Just a bunch of intoxicated pigeons.
  • Herr CaesarHerr Caesar Registered User
    edited April 2007
    You could also just take her to a comic store and see if anything grabs her eye.

    Edit: SEAGUY!

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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited April 2007
    Look, guys. If someone's been turned off an entire medium by the spandex - if they think that whole shebang, that whole "kit" and "kaboodle" isn't worth their time - are they really going to have their mind changed by a book whose whole purpose is to analyze or deconstruct the spandex? Is that really going to seem like a worthwhile use of that person's time? How much money do you spend on books about feminist critical deconstructions of daytime soap operas, even if someone handed one to you and told you OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO READ THIS?

    And with that, more recommendations:

    Berlin - Jason Lutes' painstakingly detailed evocation of life in Weimar Germany in the years leading up to Hitler. Thoroughly researched (a rarity in comics), emotionally engaging, and rendered in a bright, clear style.

    Scene of the Crime: A Little Piece of Goodnight - A contemporary murder mystery about a San Francisco-based crime photographer investigating a self-help cult. Lovely Michael Lark artwork and a story that feels surprisingly dense for only being 90ish pages long.

    Optic Nerve: Sleepwalk - A collection of keenly-observed and beautifully-drawn short stories - actually, "stories" may be too big a world, a better one might be "incidents" or "occurrences". Hyper-detailed freezeframes of ordinary people in apparently everyday circumstances. Tomine's lit-major instincts sometimes get the better of him and set off the pretentious-indie-rock alarms, but overall the books have this really observational, voyeuristic quality - I think I've seen it described as "like reading someone's diary."

    Torso - Fresh from catching Al Capone, Elliot Ness goes to Cleveland to pursue a serial killer terrorizing the city's homeless. Based for the most part on actual fact (and for the rest on er, actual conjecture) the book illuminates a fascinating, little-known chapter of American history in a pungent noir style.

  • Herr CaesarHerr Caesar Registered User
    edited April 2007
    You're an "indie" guy aren't you?

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  • augustaugust where you come from is gone Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Look, guys. If someone's been turned off an entire medium by the spandex - if they think that whole shebang, that whole "kit" and "kaboodle" isn't worth their time - are they really going to have their mind changed by a book whose whole purpose is to analyze or deconstruct the spandex? Is that really going to seem like a worthwhile use of that person's time? How much money do you spend on books about feminist critical deconstructions of daytime soap operas, even if someone handed one to you and told you OH MY GOD YOU HAVE TO READ THIS?

    What? No, see: Watchman is about way more that "superheroes." It's about the Cold War, it's about predestination, it's about the nature of morality and justice.

    And hell, I'd be interested in a deconstruction of daytime soap operas if I'd heard amazing things about it and it was an amazing work of art.

    Spoiler:
  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited April 2007
    You're an "indie" guy aren't you?

    Not at all. I'm a "comics" guy, and that includes superheroes. I defy anyone to stand before my frankly ridiculous store of 80's Marvel trivia; I can name like ten villains that Scourge killed just off the top of my hat. I just dropped eighty bucks on Absolute New Frontier and it's sitting on my mantel cause that's where it damn well belongs.

    But. But but but. I read other things too. And since most people don't read comics (the reliable comics-reading/comics-buying populace is probably down, to, optimistically, 400,000 people at this point) and most people think that comics are about superheroes, if we want to evangelize the medium, show off its storytelling potential and reverse all the unpleasant stereotypes that we labor under, maybe we could stretch ourselves just a tad and go further afield for the sorts of stories that we already know appeal to these people in other mediums: mysteries, thrillers, romance stories, slice-of-life, etc.

    It's also a question of accessibility. Almost all superhero books nowadays are written, at least partially, on a meta level: as an homage or riposte or response to other, sometimes decades-old, superhero stories. Marvels and Kingdom Come are lovely comics. But they rely for much of their impact on the reader's familiarity with the characters and events in question. Astro City's ground-level stories work because you're supposed to be familiar with the archetypes powering the stories: the caped savior, the bouncing trickster, the family of science adventurers. Even a big chunk of Watchmen is a critique of comics and comics readers, opaque to anyone who isn't already familiar with that scene and those personalities.

    Of course, that's not all Watchmen's about - it's also got much more universal themes like Cold War paranoia and mental illness and utopianism, which might make it seem like a good gateway book. And in some ways, it is. A reader willing to put aside their fear of capes will likely be impressed by the book's intelligence and detail. But the things that make Watchmen a great comic lie largely in its technique, and like showing Citizen Kane to someone who doesn't know dick about movies, the great unwashed are going to have a hard time noticing or appreciating that technique. You're going to rant and rave and tell them about how it's the greatest comic EVAR and they'll read it and be like "man, that was cool, I guess, but it didn't explode my head and impregnate my girlfriend like that dude said it would."

    It's the same reason I don't recommend indie books like Jimmy Corrigan to comics newcomers: technique-wise, it's a brilliant book, but how are they going to know? More than likely they'll just be confused and frustrated by the eight million panels per page - god knows I was at some points. Evangelism isn't about selling our particular tastes, it's about putting ourselves into someone else's headspace and visualising what we need to do to get them interested in something they've heretofore never had cause to be interested in. The books I've recommended aren't all my personal favorites - personally, I'd rate Flex Mentallo above just about any of 'em - but, crucially, they've been field-tested for this very purpose. They work. I've given these books to comics-hostile parents and teachers and in a few cases gotten them hooked, and in the rest at least got the person to acknowledge that the medium isn't just stupid picture books for kids.

  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Yeah, I agree with jacobkosh here. Especially on the part about superheroes being too 'meta' at this point.

    I'd recommend 'Maus', as one of the greatest comics ever made, but also the best one for comics neophytes to be interested in and relate to.

    After that, I picked up the 'Greatest Comics of 2006' hardcover, I saw somebody mention it earlier. It's definitely some of the best shit I'VE ever read, and covers a wide range of topics and styles. Extremely light comedy, extremely heavy drama, introspective musing, parody, the whole shebang.

    These should be the first things you show her, in my opinion. Maybe in reversed order.

  • Caveman PawsCaveman Paws Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Theres a good chance the mother in law just liked the Buffy show for the pretty people in pretty clothes acting all soap operaish (with monsters thrown in for fun).

  • TylerbroorTylerbroor Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Middle aged women are the anti-comic.

    I thought about this a long time, and my first educated attempt was Eisner's 'Contract with God'. She thought it was depressing, and stopped reading it after the first story.

    That discounted Maus in my mind, and all my superhero crap was already thrown out.

    Persepolis 1 worked though. But you have to be a pussy to own that already, so if you're not that won't apply.

  • Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Oh, you know what might be a good set for this sort of thing? Flight. Each trade's a couple dozen different comics with different writers and artists. And no superhero stories, that I can recall.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    If she doesn't enjoy Scott Pilgrim, then she has no soul.

    I mean, Scott Pilgrim ain't some heady philosophical tome like Maus or what have you, but it's not a superhero comic and it's fun.

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    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • guruslothgurusloth Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Blankets by Craig Thompson.

    If she doesn't like that, punch her in the mouth.

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  • PkmoutlPkmoutl Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I'm going to agree with Blankets.

    Also, I'm disappointed that all you fucking fanboys didn't start howling about V for Vendetta. Hell, my father even liked that, and he thinks comics are "for the newspaper."

    Also, while I'm at it, I'm going to put forth the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell. LoEG has literary characters in it that someone not into comics would recognize as not being caped crusaders, and From Hell is a great murder mystery done from the inside out (no pun intended).

    Maus is another one that I only saw one person mention. I'm so disappointed in you people.

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  • LuxLux Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I say go with Pride of Baghdad.

    It's outside of the Superhero genre, which should throw off some of her preconceived notions about comic books, plus it's not a wild mindfuck.

    I think We3 would be good, just to see how unique paneling can tell a story in a way that only comics can. Maybe Y: The Last Man, though I've only read the first issue, but it really really excelled at storytelling & pacing.

  • BriareosBriareos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Jacobkosh wrote: »
    Jeezus christ there are too many superhero recommendations in this thread. Look, guys. Do you really think the grandma is going to have her misconceptions of an entire medium totally rocked by yet another book about people in colored underwear?

    "But he's a superhero mayor..." SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.

    Look, I love the capes as much as the next guy - probably more - but man it's depressing how much trouble people are having, even in a devoted comics forum, naming decent, accessible non-capes mainstreamy books.

    I am assuming that Watchmen is an exception here...

    No, it isn't. Watchmen is not accessible to someone who already thinks superheroes are not interesting. It's a great graphic novel. It's possibly good literature. But it is not great literature like A Farewell To Arms is great literature. Watchmen pushed the boundaries of storytelling in the superhero genre, and it pushed boundaries in human storytelling. But the latter is diminished by the former.

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  • ServoServo Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2007
  • BriareosBriareos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Like I said, if you aren't interested in superheroes, you aren't going to be able to get past the hero stuff in Watchmen. It is, essentially, a story about costumed adventurers. If stories about costumed adeventurers aren't your thing, I don't see how you can get past that to the bits that might be universally enjoyable.

    I consider Watchmen to be a great comic book that might convince comic book readers to stretch their boundaries and explore great literature, rather than a good book that might convince non-comic book readers that comic books are worthwhile.

    Watchmen demonstrates the inner and outer boundaries of the medium and the genre. In other words, it demonstrates that comic stories about superheroes can be far more serious and literary than people might have expected of the medium and genre. However, at the same time, Watchmen demonstrates that the genre and medium have their limits: you have to be willing to read a comic book about men and women who dress up in costumes or have superhuman abilities.

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  • Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Pkmoutl wrote: »
    I'm going to agree with Blankets.

    Also, I'm disappointed that all you fucking fanboys didn't start howling about V for Vendetta. Hell, my father even liked that, and he thinks comics are "for the newspaper."

    Also, while I'm at it, I'm going to put forth the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell. LoEG has literary characters in it that someone not into comics would recognize as not being caped crusaders, and From Hell is a great murder mystery done from the inside out (no pun intended).

    Maus is another one that I only saw one person mention. I'm so disappointed in you people.

    V and LoEG certainly smack of superhero to me.

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  • AnakinOUAnakinOU Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I love you guys.

    Seriously this is some great discussion going here. Beyond fanboyism (not that this board is usually overrun with it), y'all are actually cutting to the meat of the issue, discussing not only the medium but the art form (including all the baggage that comes with it) as well.

    Keep going!

  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    It is, essentially, a story about costumed adventurers.

    If you think it's a superhero story, you're missing the point. It's about people making decisions nobody should have to make and humanity and shit of that nature.

  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Anjin-San wrote: »
    It is, essentially, a story about costumed adventurers.

    If you think it's a superhero story, you're missing the point. It's about people making decisions nobody should have to make and humanity and shit of that nature.

    Imagine a story on the level of Watchmen, but instead of superheroes, it's about a group of magical girls ie, Sailor Moon.

    If you're already rolling your eyes and thinking 'There's no way Sailor Moon can have a deep fucking story', then you're experiencing the same thing lots of people feel about superheroes. Of course superheroes aren't the point of watchmen, but if somebody already doesn't like them, then it's just going to hamper their enjoyment.

  • Calamity JaneCalamity Jane That Wrong Love Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I’ll disagree with that too, because I’m feeling wild and crazy. The only thing that seemed to put off anyone I know from reading Watchmen was Rorschach. That, and the grim tone of the story. My ma read the part where he likens New York to a bunch of screaming retarded kids and put it down. She was all “This is depressing, Matt”.

    I was all “You gotta read up to the Kitty Genovese part and you’ll understand the crazy.”

    She declined.

    I don’t disagree with the fact Watchmen might not be a good place to start…just the reasoning that it’s a superhero tale.

  • BriareosBriareos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Anjin-San wrote: »
    It is, essentially, a story about costumed adventurers.

    If you think it's a superhero story, you're missing the point. It's about people making decisions nobody should have to make and humanity and shit of that nature.

    Watchmen does great things for you if you already appreciate the medium and genre. If you can put Watchmen in context, it's groundbreaking and amazing. But that's what makes it a poor starting point for convincing someone biased against comics that they should be reading comics. It needs context. It's just another story about men and women in capes without the context.

    Take this analogy: The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner is an unbelievably important and amazing novel. If you are a student of literature, this book is basically a must read. But if you aren't, the book is nearly torture. It makes no goddamn sense. It's impossible to follow. It's depressing as hell. If you want to convince someone that American Literature is great and important and worth reading, it's not the book to recommend.

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  • AlgertmanAlgertman Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    gurusloth wrote: »
    Blankets by Craig Thompson.

    If she doesn't like that, punch her in the mouth.


    If she does like it punch her in the mouth

    PSN; AlbertBOMB
  • The_Glad_HatterThe_Glad_Hatter Rogue Jpeg Jockey Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Pkmoutl wrote: »
    ...Also, while I'm at it, I'm going to put forth the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen .... LoEG has literary characters in it that someone not into comics would recognize as not being caped crusaders,...

    Yeah, She's going to love the part where (don't click these if you haven't read the final 2 books)
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    And, ofcourse, the true light of the medium shines ever so brightly when
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    .

    Powerfull scene, sure, but not what's gonna win her over.
    Altough the first book could be acceptable IIRC.

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  • HooraydiationHooraydiation Registered User
    edited April 2007
    The first book still has the Invisible Man masquerading as the holy spirit, sexually assaulting Pollyanna.

    "Although I've been mishandled by a demon, I'm determined to remain optimistic, no matter what."

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