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Looking for advise on Graphical Novels

Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
edited June 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I've been recently getting into Graphical Novels, but now I've reached a point where I don't know where to go further. I've covered the Alan Moore's (Watchmen, V like Vendetta), did read the other odd book here and there and now just finished Bone by Jeff Smith. I really enjoyed Bone for a lot of reasons, and have been looking out for something that strikes a similiar tone, but so far I had no luck. What I liked about Bone was the format (one volume edition, ~1400 pages), the style of humor, storytelling (had me hooked throughout the book) and this certain donald pocket books charme is has towards it (though you'll hardly know them overseas).
So, what I'm asking you for is, start the name dropping and point me into a direction that you think will suit my taste, as my knowledge of this genre is still very limited.

Alfred J. Kwak on

Posts

  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited June 2009
    NotYou wrote: »
    Akira

    I'm not sure I'll be a fan of this - I'm certainly not of animes, and I think the only mangas I've ever read were two issues of Appleseed.

  • Psychotic OnePsychotic One Never let an alligator... Do your taxesRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Try SCUD - The Disposible Assasian - The Whole Shebang Edition. Lots of humor and wierd characters.

  • NostregarNostregar Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Off the top of my head I would recommend some Frank Miller. Not necessarily Sin City, but Ronin and his Batman comics (Batman: Year One, The Dark Knight Returns, and The Dark Knight Strikes Again) are excellent and they assume no prior knowledge of the Batman story besides the basics (who he is and how his parents died).

    If I had to pick one, I'd say get Ronin. It's pretty unique and unfortunately not very well known, but is very good.

    Akira also doesn't read like a lot of other manga, at least in my opinion, so you might want to take a look. A good way to miss a lot of great graphic novels/comics is to say "I don't think I'll like it" without at least taking a look.

    Like you I prefer one-off graphic novels to comic series, but I highly recommend the Cable & Deadpool series for the humor and story. I'm not much into extended storylines in comics that make it hard to come in later in the series - the super-long and convoluted X-Men stories, etc - but C&D is only 50 issues long and relatively self contained. You might have to look up Cable's backstory on wikipedia or something, but it's well worth it.

    Other than that, you'd be well served by going to a local comic book shop and asking them. They'll be able to go through some of the stuff they have there with you to find something agreeable.

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  • malkothmalkoth Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I dont know if it would be considered a graphic novel but I'm currently enjoying The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman. That is if you're into zombie apocalypse scenarios...

    "Be who you are, and say what you feel because those who mind dont matter, and those who matter dont mind." - Dr. Seuss
  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    actually, and this is no offense to anyone else posting here, but I haven't seen a single thing here that I would recommend other than SCUD since it is the most bang for your buck and it is amazing.

    trying to find something that mirrors the tone of Bone is nigh impossible, but I have a couple suggestions.

    If you like humor, I suggest Five Fists of Science or The Annotated Mantooth by Matt Fraction. They are ludicrous and a lot of fun, and quick reads.

    Frank Miller might not work for you since his art style is not for everyone. I love comics and I still have trouble reading Sin City or Ronin because of the art.

    If you like done-in-one style trades, I have a couple for you:

    The Filth by Grant Morrison
    Arrowsmith: So Smart in their Fine Uniforms by Kurt Busiek
    Agents of Atlas by Jeff Parker
    New Warriors: Reality Check by Zeb Wells (you need to no absolutely nothing about the characters' histories to read this)
    Doctor 13: Architecture and Morality by Brian Azzerello

    these would be good choices, especially for someone who liked Bone

  • EshEsh Tending bar. Eating out. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    WE3

    Y: The Last Man

    Mouse Guard

    I could go on. Anything that Grant Morrison writes is going to be good. I'm also a sucker for anything Hellboy/Mignola.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

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  • jeddy leejeddy lee Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    If you like the mentioned 2 Alan Moore works, but like a lengthy book, check out "From Hell" it will blow your mind.

    I would also suggest Preacher and Y:The Last Man as both incredibly good and sad character studies that have both extreme happy and extreme sad parts, and are not integrated to any other comic universe, both having plenty of action, humor and sex appeal.

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    Spoiler:
  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    NotYou wrote: »
    Akira

    I'm not sure I'll be a fan of this - I'm certainly not of animes, and I think the only mangas I've ever read were two issues of Appleseed.

    Well... I'm not really a fan of appleseed at all either. When you're perusing a book store, grab the first volume of it and take a look. Art is amazing in any case.

  • The Lovely BastardThe Lovely Bastard Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Grant Morrison is tricky

    A lot of his stuff seems to be weird for the sake of weird.

    Also From Hell is mind-blowing but only if you can deal with the crude artwork

  • RazielRaziel Registered User
    edited June 2009
    I've been enjoying DMZ. Kind of lost track of the trades this year, but it's a solid series.

    If you're looking for some kind of gentle humour, I'd wikipedia a guy who goes by Jason. He wrote and drew a little book called I Killed Adolf Hitler, which was a nifty little yarn about lost love, hitmen, and time travel.

    Read the mad blog-rantings of a manic hack writer here.

    Thank you, Rubacava!
  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    For something completely different, I wholly recommend Fables (and the Jack spin off).
    Fables is an ongoing Vertigo comic book series created and written by Bill Willingham, starting in 2002.

    The series deals with various characters from fairy tales and folklore – referring to themselves as "Fables" – who have been forced out of their Homelands by a mysterious enemy known as the Adversary. They have traveled to our world and formed a clandestine community in New York City known as Fabletown. Fables who are unable to blend in with human society (such as monsters and anthropomorphic animals) live at "the Farm" in upstate New York.[1] It takes place in a continuity of its own, and is unrelated to the larger DC Comics continuity.[2]
    It's so, so much fun. I recently got into Vertigo's House of Mystery too, it;s got some wonderful art as well as a collection of short stories/character background mixed in.

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  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Read Sandman. Now.

    Even if it doesn't seem like your kind of genre, I think it's an amazing story and an amazing use as the graphic novel as a media for storytelling.

    camo_sig2.png
  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Creature Tech by Doug TenNapel is one of my favorites. Great artwork, funny, stylish, and a pretty quick read.

  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Year One, Dark Knight Returns, and DK2 are all fantastic.

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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    jack eddy wrote: »
    I would also suggest Preacher and Y:The Last Man as both incredibly good and sad character studies that have both extreme happy and extreme sad parts, and are not integrated to any other comic universe, both having plenty of action, humor and sex appeal.
    I was going to recommend these. Both are excellent.

    PSN: allenquid
  • RenegadeSilenceRenegadeSilence Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    Read Sandman. Now.

    Even if it doesn't seem like your kind of genre, I think it's an amazing story and an amazing use as the graphic novel as a media for storytelling.

    This^

    While I don't read manga either I thoroughly recommend anything written by Naoki Urusawa I can't stress enough how amazing his works are. However, I would start with Monster or Pluto before reading 20th Century Boys.

  • MPCanesMPCanes Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Just some things we read in our Graphic Novels course at University...

    Transmetropolitan

    Strange Embrace

    Jimmy Corrigan (hated this personally, but it is very dense, very long, and has awesome style imo)

    They may not fit your style, but you can give them a try as something different.

    Also, agreeing with those who said Sandman. It's awesome.

  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread King of the Forest Camphor TreeRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Read Berlin, because it's a fantastically-told story by a damn good comic author, and the artwork is similar to Jeff Smith's. Also read Sam & Max because it's hilarious and features anthropomorphic talking animals at their very finest. You might like some early issues of Cerebus, but beware--the author took a turn for the crazies after volume four (and I mean seriously... and just when you think the crazy can't get any worse, it does).

    The rest of the recommendations in this thread are good, if fanboyish, but honestly none of them share any similarities with Bone (especially From Hell... really, man). Then again, Bone is a pretty unique gem in the comic world, so it might be hard to find anything quite like it.

  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Thanks for all the suggestions so far, some thoughts:

    Sam & Max is one of the books I've already gotten for myself. It's awesome.
    I heard a lot of Sandman, and it's apparently the Graphic Novel to read (and the author is friends with Pratchet, so that's a huge plus in my books), but I didn't dig his style from the few pictures I saw, and there's this thing with death beeing a goth girl. Is it really such a good read then, eh?
    Transmetropolitan looks fun, I might give it a try.
    I believe Berlin probably ain't what I'm looking for - something more light-hearted perhaps? :)
    I'll have to look into Fables and Creature Tech, sounds like they're right up my alley.
    Mouse Guard actually seems to be the closest to what I'm looking for, and it looks gorgeous. I think that's something I'll definitely pick up. WE3 looks interesting too.
    I'm not really interested in superhero comics.
    Still gotta read up on the rest.

    Just on the side, what do you think of Maus? I've been meaning to pick that up for a while now.

  • BloodySlothBloodySloth Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Jimmy Corrigan is fucking great, but it's definitely not aiming for a wide audience. It's worth reading even if you end up hating it.
    I'll have to look into Fables and Creature Tech, sounds like they're right up my alley.

    Full disclosure, there's some Christian undertones in Creature Tech, and I only say this just because I know there are some rabid anti-religion folks here on the PA boards. If you're a normal person, atheist or not, it's really nothing, and absolutely does not force its way into the story. Other than that, it features (mild spoilers about stuff you're told at the beginning of the comic)
    Spoiler:
    If there's a person in this world that isn't immediately sold by that, then they're a lost cause.

  • clsCorwinclsCorwin Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    Read Sandman. Now.

    Even if it doesn't seem like your kind of genre, I think it's an amazing story and an amazing use as the graphic novel as a media for storytelling.

    Yes, it IS that good. Just read it, seriously.

  • XagarathXagarath Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Sandman is indeed essential.
    Most other stuff Gaiman has done is well worth a look.

    As far as other series go, it's indeed hard to find anything else like Bone. The nearest I've run across is the little-known ongoing series Castle Waiting, but that's definitely not for everyone.

    On general recommendations, take a look at Preacher if you're not put off by the graphic tone of the whole thing. I'd also second Transmetropolitan and Fables, and you might want to look for anything by Brian Talbot (though it's probably best not to start with Alice in Sunderland)
    Strangehaven is also amazing (if obscure), but currently on hiatus, so I'd only recommend it if you're patient.

  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread King of the Forest Camphor TreeRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    If you think Berlin is too serious, stay away from Maus.

  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    If you liked Bone, check out the Flight compilations for other great artists. It's a quick look at a lot of shorter comic stories and if one sticks out to you, you can look up the artist and usually find more of his work.

    http://www.flightcomics.com/

    For example that's where I found out about The Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi which is really awesome, though just a single book currently that left me wanting more.

    http://www.boltcity.com/amulet/

    Also look into MouseGuard, which has great art.

    http://www.mouseguard.net/

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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I have a big love for Hellboy and so highly recommend you give him a whirl. Also seconding (tenthing? whatver) the Sandman recommendations.

  • MPCanesMPCanes Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Maus is very, very good, but like someone else said - if you are avoiding serious, stay away.

  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited June 2009
    MPCanes wrote: »
    Maus is very, very good, but like someone else said - if you are avoiding serious, stay away.

    Heh, yeah I know that, and I'm not planing to get a it anytime soon. I'll just save up for the time when my mood swings again.

  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    No one's mentioned Pride of Baghdad... the art is beautiful and the story was really engaging.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    edited June 2009
    So I just ordered Mouse Guard Vol 1 and We3 - they both appeal to me an seem to strike a less serious tone. Anyway, feel free to add more names, I'd very much like to expand my list of books to look forward to.

    edit: Hm, Pride of Baghdad does indeed look good, how is it?

  • SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    So I just ordered Mouse Guard Vol 1 and We3 - they both appeal to me an seem to strike a less serious tone, though I suspect they share their good amount of gore. Anyway, feel free to add more names, I'd very much like to expand my list of books to look forward to.

    edit: Wow, Pride of Baghdad does indeed look good, how is it?

    I think it's fantastic. Brian K. Vaughn usually produces good stuff, and this was no exception.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    wrote:
    When I was a little kid, I always pretended I was the hero,' Skip said.
    'Fuck yeah, me too. What little kid ever pretended to be part of the lynch-mob?'
  • ThylacineThylacine Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Sandman is great. The art really isn't that bad, and as far as Death being a goth girl...I'm not a particularly big goth fan myself. But think of her as more like

    brandon_lee_as_the_crow.jpg

    Than

    4g.jpg

    She doesn't need to go around shooting someone with a shotgun full of rings(from what I remember she's not particularly violent...but I mean if you're death you don't have to be)....but still pretty cool.

    I also own Y the last man and Pride of Baghdad. They are both really awesome...even if they are depressing at times.

  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Esh wrote: »
    Y: The Last Man

    Anything else by Brian K. Vaughan:

    Ex Machina
    Runaways

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Hellboy is indeed great as is Transmetropolitan

    I also suggest that if you have a few hundred spare dollars that you purchase Cerebus books from the beginning with the aptly titled 'Cerebus' and stop buying them directly after 'Guys' At the very least, Cerebus, High Society, and Church and State I and II are incredible in every way.

  • jeddy leejeddy lee Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Makershot wrote: »
    If you think Berlin is too serious, stay away from Maus.

    I was coming in here to suggest this as well.

    That said, Maus is amazing.

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  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    If you get into Fables and want to read the series, be forewarned that the art style will really change. The story gets better though.

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