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#598184 - 06/08/12 09:00 AM The books I'm reading thread...
Johnny Offline
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Registered: 05/10/02
Posts: 329
Per request, I'm starting a thread about stuff I'm currently reading for discussion. I don't know how interesting it will end up being, because with a new baby, I don't have a ton of spare time or cash for comics, so I can never read everything I want to...but there are a few things I am picking up regularly.

From Dark Horse:

-Buffy and Angel & Faith. As a die hard Whedon/Buffy fan, I can't not get these books. I also will grab any Serenity and Doll House minis/one-shots that come around. I pick up the occasional Hellboy one-shot, or issue of Creepy or DHP.

From Image:
-The Walking Dead and Saga. Saga has just started, 3 issues in, and it’s already one of my favorite books ever. Brian K. Vaughan obviously rules, and Y was one of my favorite books, so…no-brainer with this one. Great art too. TWD, well everyone knows about that book, and is interested or not. I love it. I loved zombies before they were the hot thing, and I still love them now that everyone else is getting tired of them. I also love Elpehantmen, but don't get to pick it up all the time. I plan to catch up on comixology.

The only other monthly book I am buying right now is Avengers vs. X-Men, but that is about to get cut. It’s pretty lackluster. I’ve actually enjoyed a good lot of the big Marvel stories over the last several years that people complained about, particularly House of M and Civil War, but I’m not really feeling this one. I don't buy all the tie-ins/spin-offs, just the main series.

From DC, I did pick up the first issue of The Minutemen mini series…but I will buy most anything that Darwyn Cooke draws. I really don’t care what it is. I was also picking up Swamp Thing and Frankenstein Agent of Shade, and really enjoying them. But comics beget comics, and the more I read, the more I want to read. I just had to make some cuts and stick with only what I really, really wanted to read. For most of my comic buying life I’ve read Batman, but I find it uninteresting now, starting with Grant Morrison’s run.

And then I will grab any indie books or OGNs that look really interesting to me.

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#598225 - 06/08/12 02:52 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Johnny]
Gerald Offline
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Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 1108
AvX does not look interesting at all to me. These big clashes between the superheroes seemed forced to me, just like Civil War.

I was going to check out Before Watchmen just to flip through but it was sold out. I saw some slight previews online though, and the art is nice, but the coloring is kind of drab and it doesn't seemt that interesting.

What I'm reading:

IDW's Rocketeer
The first two issues were okay, but it gets old after awhile. Dave Stevens really caputred the essence of that era with the short chapters like movie serials, not to mention his ability to capture expressions and Bettie Page's sauciness was a big draw as well. Thinking about dropping it.

Flaming Carrot
Buying some back issues and this comic never disappoints. The black and white took a little getting used to but truly a brillaint comic.

Green Lantern
It's good when Sinestro is the main feature. Hal Jordan and his supporting cast are totally uninteresting. The "mystery" of Abin Sur and the Indigo Tribe isn't keeping me in though. I'm just waiting to read more Sinestro moments.

Shinku
Lee Moder (Wonder Woman) and Ron Marz' take on a modern Japanese vampire story, featuring a vampire killing heroine. Nice art, and the main pull for me is the locale and how the Japanese mafia vampire clans function.

Alien Worlds, Twisted Tales
More back issues. These are two anthology series put out by Pacific with Bruce Jones writing the majority of the stories with different artists. I find the stories much more memorable and entertaining than Heavy Metal.
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#598254 - 06/08/12 06:04 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Gerald]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
I'm re-reading Powers and have just finished the Image issues. I much preferred it the 2nd time around.

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#598255 - 06/08/12 11:18 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Ted Kilvington Offline
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Registered: 05/10/99
Posts: 1080
Loc: Mason, MI, USA
New stuff I'm reading:

Justice League, Justice League Dark, Justice League International, Action Comics, Superman, StormWatch, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, All-Star Western, Suicide Squad, Earth-2, Night Force, World's Finest, Shade, New Deadwardians, Saucer Country, and of course, Before Watchmen.

Old stuff I'm reading:

Essential Spider-Man Vol. 2, Showcase Presents World's Finest Vol. 1, and Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus Vol. 2.
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#598264 - 06/09/12 11:36 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Ted Kilvington]
Ted Kilvington Offline
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Registered: 05/10/99
Posts: 1080
Loc: Mason, MI, USA
Checked the Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans GN ("Games") out of the library the other day and finished it tonight.

I was very pleasantly surprised. While I don't know if it was worth the $24.99 asking price, it was definitely worth a read.
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#598271 - 06/10/12 01:54 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Ted Kilvington]
HouseOfMisterE Offline
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Registered: 10/05/02
Posts: 268
Loc: Huntsville, AL
Originally Posted By: Ted Kilvington
Checked the Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans GN ("Games") out of the library the other day and finished it tonight.

I was very pleasantly surprised. While I don't know if it was worth the $24.99 asking price, it was definitely worth a read.


Amazon has the hardback for $13.88 and the paperback for $16.39, with free shipping on $25 or for Prime members. Recommended at that price?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1401233228


Edited by HouseOfMisterE (06/10/12 01:54 PM)

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#598281 - 06/10/12 06:40 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: HouseOfMisterE]
Ted Kilvington Offline
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Loc: Mason, MI, USA
At those prices? I would say yes.
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"I still have that comic, only now it's in liquid form!"

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#598464 - 06/15/12 04:31 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Ted Kilvington]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Showcase Presents: Unknown Soldier, Vol. 1

Stories by Joe Kubert, Bob Haney, Frank Robbins, Robert Kanigher, David Michelinie and Archie Goodwin. Art by Kubert, Jack Sparling, Gerry Talaoc and Dan Spiegle. Phonebook-sized collection of 1970s war stories from DC Comics.

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#598520 - 06/16/12 05:22 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
Joe Lee Offline
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Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 12277
Originally Posted By: Lawson
Showcase Presents: Unknown Soldier, Vol. 1
That's second to next in my reading pile, really looking forward to it.

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#599517 - 07/15/12 02:48 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Joe Lee]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Originally Posted By: Joe Lee
Originally Posted By: Lawson
Showcase Presents: Unknown Soldier, Vol. 1
That's second to next in my reading pile, really looking forward to it.


I especially liked Michelinie/Talaoc's take on the Unknown Soldier. Hard-edged I suppose but not in a Garth Ennis type of way.

Anyway, I'm re-reading Pluto by Naoki Urasawa. An Astro Boy story - The Greatest Robot in the World - reimagined by the Urasawa. Marvellous art. Urasawa is able to convey so much emotion in a simple drawing of a face. Fantastic.

Only 2 more books of Twentieth Century Boys to come out and then I can read the whole darn thing.

Also been re-reading League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 1 & 2. Again top stuff. Alan Moore, I salute you.

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#599527 - 07/16/12 12:09 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Joe Lee Offline
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Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 12277
The Unknown Soldier, Vol. 1 Showcase was great fun, I love the original stuff, it was almost as good as The Enemy Ace Showcase.

Still working my way through a huge pile of Usagi Yojimbo trades.

Up next for me is Fear Agent vol. 2 & 3. Then the Spectre Showcase and I found a copy of the Killraven Essential at Half-Price Books. I never read that book as a kid, looks like fun.

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#599559 - 07/17/12 11:06 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Joe Lee]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
UNION STATION

Written by Ande Parks
Drawn by Eduardo Barreto

An enjoyable original graphic novel, published in 2003 by Oni Press.

Set in Kansas City during the Great Depression, it's based on an actual 1933 shootout involving federal agents and gangsters at the city's magnificent train station. Always scheming, J. Edgar Hoover used this massacre to justify the formation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But as Parks shows us, the federal agents tried to keep secret their culpability in the bloody events of that day. Parks creates a newspaper reporter for the Kansas City Times to act as one of the protagonists, seeking to uncover the truth. In the end, though, the city's corrupt Pendergast political machine did not want anyone asking too many questions.

(Trivia note for U.S. history buffs not mentioned in this book: Harry Truman was placed in elected office by the Pendergast machine and remained loyal to it throughout his life, including his time in the White House. A stain on the reputation of an otherwise decent man.)

My only previous experience with Parks was as an inker, particularly with penciler Phil Hester on GREEN ARROW in the late 1990s. This was his first outing as writer. He turned in a well-crafted tale based on a lot of research in Kansas City, which he meticulously documented in end notes.

The late Barreto produced nice black-and-white artwork here. In hindsight, I think Barreto was a solid artist -- just not necessarily my first choice for a superhero comic. But then, he had the misfortune, in my youthful eyes, of following shortly after George Perez left THE NEW TEEN TITANS in the 1980s, which were impossibly large shoes to fill.

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#599820 - 07/26/12 10:59 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
steel: A Long Departed Hero Offline
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Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 4322
Loc: The MBA (Mysterious Blue Area)...
I finished an issue of STORMWATCH. It was pretty cool. Is #11 out?

Scott
@barbariancomic
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#599913 - 08/03/12 09:31 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: steel: A Long Departed Hero]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Just finished Urusawa's Pluto again. Great art all through though the story is not the greatest.

Just started on Crying Freeman again. The art by Ryoichi Ikegami is very (early) Frank Miller-esque but is this because Miller was inspired by Ikegami. I would guess so. Anyway, it's madcap crazy.

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#599914 - 08/03/12 12:33 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
PARKER: THE SCORE

Story and art by Darwyn Cooke
(Based on the novel by Donald Westlake writing as "Richard Stark")

After much grumbling, I decided to keep buying Darwyn Cooke's comics outside of BEFORE WATCHMEN. I enjoy Cooke's work; no sense cutting off my nose to spite my own face.

THE SCORE is the third of Cooke's graphic novel adaptations of the crime-noir novels starring the amoral thief known only as Parker. It's as nicely done as the previous two. Stylish retro art. I didn't like the art's bright orange tone as much as I have the darker blue tones of the other books; but much of this book took place in a sandy canyon and/or surrounded by fires, so the color choice made sense.

The story is a great one, one of the more popular Parker novels: A dozen men rob a town. Literally, a whole town -- Copper Canyon, a small mining town in North Dakota. With careful planning, they sneak in at midnight, take over the necessary infrastructure (police station, telephone company), and then go on a quiet robbery spree. It goes exactly as planned, right up to the point that it doesn't, largely because one of the men didn't reveal his real motivation.

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#599915 - 08/03/12 04:06 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
This showed up in my downloads last week. Ugh.

There's a group of cartoonists who are mysteriously well-regarded simply because they have the ability to mix-and-match elements from actual innovators. Cooke is obviously one of the imitators, along with Ty Templeton, Kyle Baker and Frank Miller. Here, Cooke starts copying from the copiers. And much like the Xerox variety copies-of-copies, the degradation is apparent.
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"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#599916 - 08/03/12 05:10 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
This showed up in my downloads last week. Ugh.


Free or paid downloads?

I would criticize you for grabbing the man's work for free off the Web rather than paying for it -- if he hadn't surrendered his own moral high ground by cashing in on Alan Moore's hard work, without obtaining Alan Moore's permission.

As it stands, smoke 'em if you got 'em.

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#599955 - 08/03/12 11:44 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
That was pretty good!
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#599974 - 08/05/12 11:06 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
steel: A Long Departed Hero Offline
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Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 4322
Loc: The MBA (Mysterious Blue Area)...
I read the origin of Bane! It was awesome!

-Scott
@Barbariancomic
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#600023 - 08/07/12 10:14 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: steel: A Long Departed Hero]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Atomic Robo, Vol. 1: Atomic Robo & the Fightin Scientists of Tesladyne

Story by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener

What a delightful treat this is! I'd heard of ATOMIC ROBO but never sampled it until now. The premise is that Nikola Tesla invented a self-aware, smart-assed robot in the 1920s -- that would be Robo -- who remains with us today, fighting monsters and leading scientific expeditions and engaging in all sorts of crazy adventures.

The art is clean, cartoony and effective. The writing is snappy and imaginative. ROBO is a satire of all sorts of media -- science-fiction movies and superhero comics among them -- but it's a loving satire, not edgy or mean-spirited. There are moments of poignancy, as well.

Clever cameos by scientists including Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking.

For aging fanboys like me who complain that there aren't enough stand-alone comics titles anymore that are simply creative and fun, ATOMIC ROBO is a great exception.

(This being Comicon, I dread the inevitable put-down as Allen tells me why ATOMIC ROBO sucks and what 1970s Japanese or Swedish cartoonists the creators are shamelessly ripping off, in his view.)

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#600024 - 08/07/12 10:22 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
I liked Atomic Robo when it first came out. It didn't really grab me and hold me like Mark Crilley's Akiko, though. I think the main turn-off for me was the continual cycle of new #1's. That's why I can't follow Hellboy.


edit: I see they're putting "Volume" numbers under the issue numbers now. I suppose that would make it easier to follow.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#600030 - 08/07/12 11:45 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
I only buy trades these days, and most publishers dutifully put volume numbers on the spines to help me out.

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#600047 - 08/07/12 04:24 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
After seeing the disappointing new Spider-man movie, it inspired me to dig out my old Marvel Tales featuring Spidey. Hey, the art is a bit crude and not helped because they are reprints and Stan Lee is wordy to say the least but they are top stuff compared to most of the other stuff that Marvel was producing.

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#600053 - 08/08/12 12:07 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
Atomic Robo is great! Each of the volumes, or mini-series, takes place in a different time period, and each is a complete story. They haven't let me down yet.

Fun Fact: the writer, Brian Clevinger, first came to semi-public awareness writing funny, juvenile web-comics that my kids loved but which I thought were too stupid and juvenile. But he apparently grew up, and is now producing work that appeals to all generations while retaining his sense of humor.

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#600062 - 08/08/12 09:50 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
ChrisW Online   content
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Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 10034
Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
Peter Bagge's "Reset" was quite fun, although I haven't read them together and the fourth issue seemed a little disconnected from the others.

I also have several issues of PAD's "X-Factor" which continues to be entertaining, even if I really don't have much interest or affection left for the characters.

I re-read "Dropsie Avenue" recently. Still arguably the greatest graphic novel ever.
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#600064 - 08/08/12 10:25 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: ChrisW]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Posts: 7068
Currently reading the super-serious Crossing Boundaries in Graphic Narrative: Essays on Forms, Series and Genres, Jake Jakaitis and James F. Wurtz (editors). Essentially it's a study of the politics behind some of the events in comic book continuity, as well as how real-world politics have reflected on the comics. Way too much credence is given to Scott McCloud's dopey book(s), but it's an interesting read nonetheless.

_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#600072 - 08/09/12 12:48 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Flex Mentallo. I got this from library and it was very, very good. This is Quitely's best art by far, certainly better than All-Star Superman. Even the story is coherent (mostly). One of Morrison's better efforts.

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#600074 - 08/09/12 03:03 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Got a week off work and doing nothing so I read Tintin in Tibet. Lovely art, a joy to behold and the story was ok too.

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#600378 - 08/23/12 05:29 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Punk Rock Jesus 1 & 2. I loved the art and it's quite a clever, crazy idea. I think the title is cool as well.

I re-read Criminal #5 - The Sinners - a day or two ago. Though it's a gritty crime book, it really should be read as a fantasy as it bears no relation to the real world. Still, the story was good and the art by Sean Phillips is top notch. Are Brubaker & Phillips going to anymore of these?

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#600675 - 08/29/12 01:07 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
KAMANDI, THE LAST BOY ON EARTH

Story and art by Jack Kirby

Someone knowing my love of Jack Kirby recently gave me a big stack of old KAMANDI comics from the mid-1970s.

Man, this was crazy stuff! The Great Disaster ravaged the Earth at the close of the 20th century, destroying human civilization and bestowing superior intelligence on some of the animal species, such as apes and lions. Humans are now little better than grunting mammals hunted for amusement -- except for Kamandi, who somehow retains all of the brains, guts and beautiful blond hair we associate with humanity.

This is an adventure comic with plenty of action, plenty of explosive splash pages, set against a sad and kooky backdrop of a post-apocalyptic Earth as imagined by Kirby. New York City is flooded to the tops of its skyscrapers, for example, but Chicago remains a gangster's paradise, circa 1930.

A lot of people say this was Kirby's best Bronze Age work at DC, compared to his Fourth World titles, THE DEMON and OMAC. I dunno if that's true, but so far, it's a lot of fun.

Unlike some of Kirby's other DC work, which was short-lived, KAMANDI sold well and evidently continued after he grew irritated with DC and jumped back to Marvel. Paul Levitz, Gerry Conway, Keith Giffin and others cranked out a couple more years of the title before it got axed in the DC Implosion of 1978. I dunno that I'd care to read KAMANDI by anyone other than Kirby, though. It was his baby.

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#600713 - 09/01/12 10:30 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Kamandi was my favourite Kirby work at DC. The best issues were issue 16 "The Hospital" (this would have been a perfect place for the series to end) and issue #23.

I've just read the first episode of Naruto. The art is not the best in the world but it's a good story.

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#600732 - 09/02/12 10:09 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
ChrisW Online   content
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Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 10034
Loc: Lincoln, Nebraska USA
I re-read "Reset" in one sitting, and it worked much better. I just wish Bagge would do an on-going sitcom/soap opera, something that gives the reader characters to come back for each month.

Jason Yungbluth's "Weapon Brown: Blockhead's War" is much better than I had expected, although the first series was better. This one carries the Charlie Brown-as-post-apocalyptic-killer-drawn-like-Sin-City joke a little too far, but includes as many other comic strip characters as possible.

I'm a couple issues behind on "Fables" but I am really getting bored. The cubs are the least interesting part of the main cast to me, and "Cubs in Toyland" is the second long storyline in a row about them. I do love Mark Buckingham's art - and kudos to the coloring, which finally integrates computers in a way that doesn't make the page resemble a plate of hurl - but the series is coming to resemble Claremont's X-Men in a bad way, a constant onslaught of dangling plot ends.
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#600784 - 09/04/12 07:08 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: ChrisW]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
The Infernal Man-Thing "Screenplay of the Living Dead Man" 1 to 3 - a sequel to "Song-cry of the Living Dead Man". I can remember reading the original as 14 year old and not actually getting it at all, though I loved the title and the combination of John Buscema & Klaus Janson was nice. It will be worth a re-read. Crazy stuff.

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#600838 - 09/13/12 04:30 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Due to being off work because of illness, I am doing some extra reading. So ...

Incredible Hulk 102 through to 114 so far. This comic fairly rattles along. Stan Lee could sure right a mean comic. To be Hulkinued.

I recently bought Tezuka's "Messge to Adolf". This is a nice hardback book. The story of three Adolf's - a Jewish boy, a German Boy and Hitler himself. Only read the first four chapters but it is good. Tezuka's art is very cartoony (if that's a word) but very good. I also like the fact that the Japanese seem to be able to do much bigger pieces of work than western comic creators.


Edited by shjonescrk (09/13/12 05:00 AM)

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#600844 - 09/13/12 09:02 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
Walter Simonson's "The Judas Coin" graphic novel came out this week. It follows a cursed coin down through the centuries, as it interacts with various DC characters in each time period. Simonson uses a variety of art styles and storytelling techniques in each chapter. Good stuff!

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#600926 - 09/19/12 05:43 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
With the new Judge Dredd movie out, I thought I buy a copy of 2000AD, issue 1800 to be precise. I haven't read it in years. Anyway, whilst the art of the Dredd Story was nice (Chris Weston), the story (Chris Weston again) itself was a total waste of time, embarrassingly bad. The other stories are not too bad but they are all the first part of their respective stories but I won't bother picking up the next issue to find out what happens.

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#600927 - 09/19/12 05:57 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Another compilation of all the Bolland material is soliciting this month. Or maybe it's the same compilation from a few years ago re-soliciting. Whatever. All of the best Judge Dredd material under one cover.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#600933 - 09/20/12 10:56 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
I read some JUDGE DREDD comics as a kid in the 1980s and thought they were a lot of fun, though I'm surprised it's lasted this long. There's only so many times I need to see a scowling Dredd shoot a hole in some mutant freak.

A collection of the Bolland material sounds worthy. I just tucked a pre-ordered copy into my Amazon shopping cart.

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#600934 - 09/20/12 11:04 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Bolland did very little art for Judge Dredd. Judge Death was great stuff but one creepy story involved a thing called Jigsaw disease drawn by Bolland.


At a convention, I went to back in the 80s, Ron Smith, one of the artists on Dredd, spoke about how he used speed to help him meet deadlines.

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#600997 - 09/24/12 07:02 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Finished the first volume of Message to Adolf by Osamu Tezuka. This is great stuff and I would recommend it. Quite brutal, especially towards the end. I can't wait for volume 2.

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#601030 - 09/26/12 11:17 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Last night, I read Powers Volume 2, issues 1 to 6. This book is much better than I remember. Anyway, Deena Pilgrim is truly an obnoxious character so much so that I feel sorry for Christian Walker. Reading the letters pages, Bendis comes across as a complete twat as well. Still, a good comic.

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#601048 - 09/27/12 06:36 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Gerald Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 1108
I'm still checking out iZombie. THE best art, coloring, and covers of any comic I've seen on the shelves. I just don't care too much about the characters or story.
_________________________
"My head's lopsided *****!"-Red Gumby

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#601050 - 09/27/12 10:34 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Gerald]
Mr. Socko Offline
Member

Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 500
Man, I felt almost the same way about iZombie. I loved to look at it, but I just kept waiting and waiting for the characters to grow on me.

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#601059 - 09/28/12 01:59 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Mr. Socko]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
DAYTRIPPER

By Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

Wow.

Just ... wow.

DAYTRIPPER was a 10-issue mini-series published by DC/Vertigo in 2010. It deservedly won an Eisner Award, a Harvey Award and an Eagle Award.

Now it's collected in trade paperback, and it's beautiful, the story and the art, beautiful, thoughtful, touching, something unique and wonderful in funnybooks.

The story is about Brás de Oliva Domingos of Brazil, the son of an acclaimed novelist who yearns to be a great author himself, though when we meet him, he writes obituaries for a newspaper. As befits an obituary writer, Brás is fascinated by death and life -- legacies -- what we leave behind, what our lives meant in the end.

Most of the chapters focus on one pivotal day in Brás' life, though not always in chronological order -- his first kiss, his first love, the disaster that launched his career, the birth of his son, the publication of his first novel, the fate of his best friend -- and at the end of that day, Brás dies. That's the end; however far he made it, whatever he got to do, that's now his legacy.

But then in the next chapter, he's back, his story advances further. And then he dies.

But then he's back, etc.

This isn't meant to be magic, it's fiction. We're supposed to overlook the concluding page or two of the previous chapter and just move onward.

Does Brás die tragically as a boy? Or an old man, fulfilled by a loving family and satisfying career? Or somewhere in between? We're never entirely sure where he really stepped out of the narrative. We're watching someone else live a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Along the way, though, we wonder, along with Brás, about what's truly important, and what we'll regret or not regret when that final moment comes.

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#601062 - 09/28/12 04:47 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Originally Posted By: Lawson
DAYTRIPPER

By Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

Wow.

Just ... wow.

DAYTRIPPER was a 10-issue mini-series published by DC/Vertigo in 2010. It deservedly won an Eisner Award, a Harvey Award and an Eagle Award.

Now it's collected in trade paperback, and it's beautiful, the story and the art, beautiful, thoughtful, touching, something unique and wonderful in funnybooks.

The story is about Brás de Oliva Domingos of Brazil, the son of an acclaimed novelist who yearns to be a great author himself, though when we meet him, he writes obituaries for a newspaper. As befits an obituary writer, Brás is fascinated by death and life -- legacies -- what we leave behind, what our lives meant in the end.

Most of the chapters focus on one pivotal day in Brás' life, though not always in chronological order -- his first kiss, his first love, the disaster that launched his career, the birth of his son, the publication of his first novel, the fate of his best friend -- and at the end of that day, Brás dies. That's the end; however far he made it, whatever he got to do, that's now his legacy.

But then in the next chapter, he's back, his story advances further. And then he dies.

But then he's back, etc.

This isn't meant to be magic, it's fiction. We're supposed to overlook the concluding page or two of the previous chapter and just move onward.

Does Brás die tragically as a boy? Or an old man, fulfilled by a loving family and satisfying career? Or somewhere in between? We're never entirely sure where he really stepped out of the narrative. We're watching someone else live a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Along the way, though, we wonder, along with Brás, about what's truly important, and what we'll regret or not regret when that final moment comes.


Daytripper was a very good comic with some very nice art indeed. Completely different from most of the stuff out there.

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#601065 - 09/28/12 09:59 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
Moonshadow for navel-gazers.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601079 - 09/29/12 06:50 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
I gave up on Moonshadow. I'll have to try again as I hate having not read something I've bought.

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#601080 - 09/29/12 08:48 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
I need to buy it again. I loaned out my copy and read it so many times myself, some of the pages have come loose.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601081 - 09/29/12 10:09 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Strenuous Teddy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 361
King City. I think it was Dylan Horrocks who once talked about how in Tolkien's books you have the feeling that you could enter the world and wander off from the action over some hill. King City feels just like that in every panel. I'm very happy to finally have gotten the chance to read the whole thing.

Naruto volume Fifty-I-Can't Believe-I've-Bought-So-Many-of-These-Something-or-Other. I don't know if anyone here is reading this series so far in but if so, has anyone else noticed a drop in the script quality for this or other Shonen titles? It seems that over the past several volumes the script has been frequently awkward and borderline incoherent at times like something was lost in translation. It's killing the book for me. Flipping through the credits I noticed that for the bulk of the series they have had separate credits for translation and adaptation and now they just have a translator credit. And that is exactly how it has been reading, like there was no effort to rewrite the script in a way that reads well in English.

Between this and the dumb way Yen Press handles sound effects in Yotsuba it really makes me appreciate the old school effort put into localizing books like Oh My Goddess.

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#601083 - 09/29/12 04:19 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Strenuous Teddy]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
Well said, Teddy. King City is great!

Naruto -- I gave up on this series when Shonen Jump went all-digital, and I had only been skimming it for a while before that. I hope you are right that the translation is responsible for the incoherent writing, since it seemed to go off the rails long ago.

It is pretty amazing how good some of the translation on some manga series used to be. Like, complicated jokes and puns that would have made no sense in a straight word-for-word translation, but the translator/adaptor managed to come up with something that was both funny and still true to the author's intent. This was an area where annotations actually were helpful, at one time.

Come to think of it, the translations on Tintin and Asterix books were brilliant, back in the day. Like remember the jungle tribe Tintin met once that spoke a gibberish language, but when you sounded it out it was all Cockney slang? Apparently that was all some kind of similarly-disguised Belgian street slang in the original French. That's real intellectual work, there, coming up with that kind of thing.

All that said, I don't mind the sound effects technique used in books like Yotsuba and others, where they leave the original Japanese characters and put translations in the margins or nearby. Since the original characters are a graphic part of the image, it makes sense to leave them there in that case.

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#601084 - 09/29/12 04:21 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Strenuous Teddy]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
Well said, Teddy. King City is great!

Naruto -- I gave up on this series when Shonen Jump went all-digital, and I had only been skimming it for a while before that. I hope you are right that the translation is responsible for the incoherent writing, since it seemed to go off the rails long ago.

It is pretty amazing how good some of the translation on some manga series used to be. Like, complicated jokes and puns that would have made no sense in a straight word-for-word translation, but the translator/adaptor managed to come up with something that was both funny and still true to the author's intent. This was an area where annotations actually were helpful, at one time.

Come to think of it, the translations on Tintin and Asterix books were brilliant, back in the day. Like remember the jungle tribe Tintin met once that spoke a gibberish language, but when you sounded it out it was all Cockney slang? Apparently that was all some kind of similarly-disguised Belgian street slang in the original French. That's real intellectual work, there, coming up with that kind of thing.

All that said, I don't mind the sound effects technique used in books like Yotsuba and others, where they leave the original Japanese characters and put translations in the margins or nearby. Since the original characters are a graphic part of the image, it makes sense to leave them there in that case.

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#601085 - 09/29/12 07:52 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Strenuous Teddy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 361
Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
I hope you are right that the translation is responsible for the incoherent writing, since it seemed to go off the rails long ago.



Heh, well there's that, too. It's probably a combination of the two.

I read up a bit on this and the particular translation problem I had apparently originates with Naruto's use of the phrase dattebayo which has no real English translation. It's just something he tags his speech with to make himself sound more aggressive or tough. That's where the phrase "believe it" apparently came from as an attempt in localization along with other phrases. In this volume they suddenly decided to translate it as Naruto saying, "ya know" a lot. It's pretty annoying but on top of that the volume starts off with Naruto saying "ya know" once for probably the first time in the series and the character Bee responding, "Man.. ya know, ya know, all the time..shaddup ya know." Which is tough enough to parse but made worse without initial context for the phrase.

So I can see the translation difficulties and continuity problem they presented but the series has had several of these types of moments for me where it seemed like an editor or someone should have stepped in and done a rewrite before sending it off to the printers.



David Brothers blogged about the Yotsuba sound effects a while ago with an interesting comments thread back and forth and since I mostly agree with his take on it I'll just post the link:

http://4thletter.net/2009/09/yotsuba-translation-issues/

Not that a bad retouch job would be better. I'd prefer a skilled retouch but I can live with leaving the effects intact. I just think the small text of romanji and parenthetical translation are distracting and kind of counter to the whole idea of of how graphic elements like sound effects work. It creates too many layers of redundant information on the page.

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#601088 - 09/29/12 11:26 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Strenuous Teddy]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
That 4th Letter post and comments were interesting; thanks for the link. Good points made all around. I think we can agree to disagree on the final verdict.

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#601117 - 10/02/12 09:09 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Tintin - The Castafiore Emerald.

Essentially, Bianca Castafiore, the famous Diva, decides to invite herself to Marlinspike for a holiday and hilarity ensures.

Basically, nothing much happens but it is so well done and funny, I think it's the best Tintin book. The artwork, of course, is fantastic.

10 out of 10.

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#601153 - 10/03/12 05:17 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
I tried to read Love & Rockets: Human Diastrophism or parts thereof last night. It's a bit of mess to be honest. It's got nice art and I like the characters but the story telling is all over the shop. Is this a flashback? A flash forward? I found it all a bit confusing. I think Gilbert could have done with an editor to make it more coherent. I'll try again another time and see if I get it then.

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#601228 - 10/08/12 05:54 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
The final book of 20th Century Boys turned up today. So for the next week or so that's all I be reading. I've read the first half, which I intend to re-read and then all the way to the end. Urasawa is amazing.

Once this is done, I can then watch the movie trilogy.

So last night, I read volume 1. Who is the friend?

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#601247 - 10/09/12 08:38 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Strenuous Teddy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 361
Originally Posted By: shjonescrk
The final book of 20th Century Boys turned up today. So for the next week or so that's all I be reading. I've read the first half, which I intend to re-read and then all the way to the end. Urasawa is amazing.

Once this is done, I can then watch the movie trilogy.

So last night, I read volume 1. Who is the friend?



Wait!! I'm several volumes behind but aren't there two more volumes, 21st Century Boys one and two? http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=21st+century+boys

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#601253 - 10/10/12 02:35 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Strenuous Teddy]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Originally Posted By: Strenuous Teddy
Originally Posted By: shjonescrk
The final book of 20th Century Boys turned up today. So for the next week or so that's all I be reading. I've read the first half, which I intend to re-read and then all the way to the end. Urasawa is amazing.

Once this is done, I can then watch the movie trilogy.

So last night, I read volume 1. Who is the friend?



Wait!! I'm several volumes behind but aren't there two more volumes, 21st Century Boys one and two? http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=21st+century+boys



You're right. I originally thought they were 24 volumes but when I checked on Amazon, I could only find 22 and Wikipedia confirmed that as well but now I see there are two extra volumes. Lucky for me you spotted this.

Anyway I am going to read the ones I've got now, it's too good to wait and pre-order 21st Century Boys volumes.

Hopefully, they'll will publish Billy Bat when 20th/21st Century Boys is complete as from the few scanlations I've seen, it looks very interesting.

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#601255 - 10/10/12 07:31 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
They solicited for Billy Bat a few years ago and then cancelled it. I'm not sure what happened there. I hope they do release it here eventually.

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#601285 - 10/21/12 05:44 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
20th Century Boys - just finished volume 20. 20 books in 11 days. Great stuff. 2 more to go and then I'll have to wait til next year for 21st Century Boys.

The art is fantastic. In my opinion, Urasawa is the best comic book artist in the world. A comic book Messi!!!!

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#601288 - 10/22/12 05:11 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
Urasawa does have a great gift, which he shares with a few other manga artists and very few western artists, for making his characters distinctive and recognizable, even at different ages and in different clothing and hairstyles.

I'd love to see his version of the Legion of Super-Heroes! But on the other hand, maybe he's already done that with 20th Century Boys.

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#601366 - 11/01/12 03:29 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
I've finished 20th Century Boys but now I have to wait until next year for 21st Century Boys. As I said before it is very, very good.

Re-reading Death Note - nice art and a cracking story. L is my hero.

Just read the first two issues of the new Daredevil. It's okay, art is a bit simplistic. The British reprints of Marvel Comics are top notch - 80 pages of reprints (and mostly new stuff) in glorious colour and only 3 quid which is about 5 dollars. DC also do the same and I pick up the odd one from time to time.

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#601383 - 11/05/12 03:06 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Gerald Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 1108
Originally Posted By: Peter Urkowitz
Urasawa does have a great gift, which he shares with a few other manga artists and very few western artists, for making his characters distinctive and recognizable, even at different ages and in different clothing and hairstyles.


I just got a manga book by that artist. The line work is more simplified than the American superhero art I'm used to, and yet the faces look much more expressive and appealing. I'm going to have to get used to reading from right to left.
_________________________
"My head's lopsided *****!"-Red Gumby

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#601388 - 11/05/12 03:43 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Gerald]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
A decade or so ago, American editions of Japanese comcs were almost always flipped. Not a big deal since they had to be re-lettered anyway. You want *AUTHENTIC* Japanese comics, learn to read Japanese. But it wasn't "pure" enough for the sensitive little manga kids, so now we're stuck with all this right-to-left stuff.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601397 - 11/06/12 01:53 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Learn Japanese? You're having a laugh!

I prefer the right-to-left versions. Just read Tezuka's "Message to Adolf" volume 1 (which I highly recommend) and it had been flipped and it didn't quite look right. Characters were shown shaking hands left handed and the Nazis were doing the salute left handed which is not right. Then again I'm sure Kirby use to have Nazis saluting left handed in Captain America.

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#601400 - 11/06/12 02:51 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
There are certainly examples where flipping causes problems. All of which can be easily fixed with Photoshop. Welcome to the west, where we read left-to-right.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601401 - 11/06/12 03:57 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Strenuous Teddy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 361
I do get the impression that a lot of stuff is lost in the translation of manga just due to differences in how the languages work which seems to be a far more regrettable (and maybe unavoidable) flaw in reading English translations. So it would indeed be nice to read manga in Japanese but I doubt I will.

As to the flipping thing, I don't care one way or the other. Unflipped manga reads fairly easy to me but I was fine with having it flipped. But according to Matt Thorn, the un-flipped movement started with Tokyo Pop as part of a whole slew of corner-cutting measures designed to increase sales volume through cheaper manga. It was they who aggressively pushed the "authenticity" angle to spin it in their advertising and set the trend.


Edited by Strenuous Teddy (11/06/12 03:59 PM)

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#601402 - 11/06/12 04:12 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Strenuous Teddy]
Gerald Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 1108
That's what I was thinking. Reversing manga for a western audience for Ranma 1/2 and Crying Freeman would be fine, but since they were bringing in SO many mangas in the 2000s it makes sense to not bother with it.
_________________________
"My head's lopsided *****!"-Red Gumby

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#601427 - 11/08/12 07:18 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
Member

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
There are certainly examples where flipping causes problems. All of which can be easily fixed with Photoshop. Welcome to the west, where we read left-to-right.


Wait, what are you recommending here? Flip the panels, but then unflip the characters using the wrong hands within those panels, or what? That sounds like a recipe for disaster. It also sounds like a ton of work for no good reason. So am I misunderstanding what you are saying?

The public has accepted unflipped manga remarkably well. The biggest part of the manga boom occurred AFTER publishers stopped flipping the pages. So unless your photoshopping idea would provide some advantage that current methods don't provide, I can't imagine it ever catching on. But please elaborate, I am curious to hear more details.

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#601428 - 11/08/12 10:12 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
You got it. Flip pages to read left-to-right, then re-flip or fix only the elements that cause trouble in the narrative.

Of course there was more stuff dumped into the market when all the publisher has to do is re-letter. But translation alone renders the content non-"100% Authentic."

I used to read a fair amount of material from TokyoPop, which was not only flipped left-to-right but was also printed in the larger American pamphlet format. I tried to keep going after their shift to the backwards digests, but probably haven't bought one in four years now, largely because the format is too annoying to navigate.

Also, the pamphlets came out monthly, whereas it was harder to remember to order books that came out with six months or more between installments. I understand that the digests are sturdier products that have a longer shelf life, but that's not the way I was consuming my comics at the time.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#601586 - 12/13/12 02:46 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Not been reading many comics lately but I am going through Death Note again. Films are good too.

In terms of real books, I am 3/4's of the way through Jack Vance's Planet of Adventure which I read on the train to work - this is good stuff. I've read a lot of Vance's work but for the first time, I've really got it.

Also, reading A Tale of Two Cities, one chapter a day. Prose can be a bit convoluted to say the least but it seems to help if I read it out loud.

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#601759 - 01/13/13 07:58 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Finish Death Note. Cool book.

Read half of book six of Lone Wolf & Cub. What can one say? Awesome.

Anyway, Punk Rock Jesus (all six issues) is ready & waiting. I would read it today but too much football on the telly (proper football not the American stuff).

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#601793 - 01/19/13 05:12 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Punk Rock Jesus - very good. Art was fantastic. Story is unbelievable but hey, it's a comic but I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to make a movie out of it.

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#601797 - 01/21/13 12:31 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
jackdaw Offline
Member

Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 514
Just finished Alan Moore/ Eddie Campbell's From Hell. Very impressive.

For me it worked wonderfully well as a comic... Eddie Campbell's visuals conjured up Victorian London superbly well, and the black and white scenes worked perfectly for me. ( I found some of the action pretty disturbing even in this format, film/ TV would have been near unbearable for me.)

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#601811 - 01/24/13 02:54 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: jackdaw]
Lawson Offline
Member

Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Shortcomings

Story and art by Adrian Tomine

This falling-out-of-love story is a new graphic novel from Tomine, a popular illustrator at The New Yorker and other magazines.

The protaganist, Ben Tanaka, is a self-loathing jerk with a permanently crabby outlook on life and no social skills (I felt a kinship!) who lives in Berkeley, Calif., with his long-suffering girlfriend, Miko. Ben and Miko are Japanese-American, though Ben couldn't care less about his heritage and actually prefers white women, whereas Miko runs an Asian-American film program and speaks fluent Japanese.

The novel, in three chapters, follows Ben and Miko through the messy end of their relationship and their separate relocation -- her first, then him -- to New York City. Hilariously, Ben uses his new (and unwanted) bachelorhood to chase the great white whale: sex with a white girl! It does not go well for him.

Ben's only friend is a Korean-American lesbian named Alice who gets all the best lines, and she's the only one who gets to tell Ben to go fuck himself when he needs to hear it, which is every few pages.

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#601813 - 01/24/13 04:07 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Originally Posted By: Lawson
Shortcomings

Story and art by Adrian Tomine

This falling-out-of-love story is a new graphic novel from Tomine, a popular illustrator at The New Yorker and other magazines.

The protaganist, Ben Tanaka, is a self-loathing jerk with a permanently crabby outlook on life and no social skills (I felt a kinship!) who lives in Berkeley, Calif., with his long-suffering girlfriend, Miko. Ben and Miko are Japanese-American, though Ben couldn't care less about his heritage and actually prefers white women, whereas Miko runs an Asian-American film program and speaks fluent Japanese.

The novel, in three chapters, follows Ben and Miko through the messy end of their relationship and their separate relocation -- her first, then him -- to New York City. Hilariously, Ben uses his new (and unwanted) bachelorhood to chase the great white whale: sex with a white girl! It does not go well for him.

Ben's only friend is a Korean-American lesbian named Alice who gets all the best lines, and she's the only one who gets to tell Ben to go fuck himself when he needs to hear it, which is every few pages.


But is it any good?

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#601815 - 01/24/13 04:41 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: shjonescrk
But is it any good?


Ha! I forgot to say, didn't I.

Yeah, I'm a fan of Tomine's work. I enjoyed it. Good artwork, compelling little personal drama if you like that sort of thing.

Full disclosure: This hardcover retails for $15, and I bought it for half that much at a used bookstore -- about as much as two new comic books cost. So I'd say it was worth my $7. Dunno if I'd drop $15 on it.

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#601956 - 03/15/13 09:35 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
I've just read Rasl by Jeff Smith. Interesting stuff about Tesla Cracked have had a number of articles about him.

It was okay, I suppose, but the ending was a bit vague.

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#602053 - 04/17/13 05:31 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Last night, I read Jiro Taniguchi's "A Zoo in Winter". Not your typical manga and well worth a read.

I started to read "Lost Girls" the other week. It's a bit more explicit than I thought.

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#602063 - 04/19/13 02:26 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
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Book four of Mark Crilley's new digest sized series Brody's Ghost was the only regular comic book in my shipment this month. And frankly, I think I'm going to drop it, too. Great backgrounds would be the only real compliment I have for it. The figures don't look like the Seuss-ish style Crilley is known for, more a generic manga style; and the writing is sagging down excessively into dramatic soap operatics. It's a murder mystery, so hopefully there are only a finite number of episodes planned and Crilley can move on to something better after getting this out of his system.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#602068 - 04/23/13 07:07 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Johnny]
Michael Neno Offline
Member

Registered: 05/10/99
Posts: 45
Loc: Central Ohio
Currently reading Action Comics (though I don't know if I'll stick around after Grant Morrison leaves), Rick Remenders' Captain America (a nice Kirbyesque change from Brubacker's 24-ish noir intrigue, which was getting uninspired), the Bud Sagendorf Popeye reprints andthe Roger Langridge Popeye series (a shame it got cancelled).

Also reading Thief of Thieves, Mark Waid's Daredevil, Paul Grist's Mud Man, Brubaker's Fatale, Snyder and Morrison's Batman series and Matt Fraction's FF. Probably other series I'm not thinking of. I have a huge stack of The Avengers, The Sixth Gun and The Walking Dead to get caught up on, too.

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#602071 - 04/26/13 12:27 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Michael Neno]
Mark Allen Offline
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Registered: 10/12/01
Posts: 1677
Loc: Northwestern Oklahoma
Reliving the glory days of Marvel with Marvel Essentials volumes, primarily Avengers, Cap, Iron Man, Thor, Amazing Spider-Man and Daredevil. No new stuff to speak of.
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#602074 - 04/28/13 03:11 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Mark Allen]
steel: A Long Departed Hero Offline
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Registered: 08/29/01
Posts: 4322
Loc: The MBA (Mysterious Blue Area)...
Damage Control, Gunfire, Lost Girls
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#602081 - 04/30/13 12:56 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: steel: A Long Departed Hero]
Strenuous Teddy Offline
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Registered: 11/29/05
Posts: 361
Just picked up the AdHouse print version of Boulet's "The Darkness" retitled The Noirness for publication. http://english.bouletcorp.com/2012/02/01/darkness/

And Children of the Sea vol 4 to get caught up for the conclusion out this summer. Unfortunately it's been so long since I read the previous volumes I sort of lost the thread and I'm going to have to reread once I have them all.

And hey, new Taiyo Matsumoto is coming out soon.

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#602124 - 05/13/13 05:30 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Strenuous Teddy]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
20th Century Boys. I've got the final two volumes so it's back to volume 1 and away we go. Quite possibly, my favourite comic of all time.

Also struggling through The Black Dossier - some nice, clever ideas but not Alan Moore's greatest work.

I've read East of West 1 and 2. Quite good to be honest. I hope it is a finite series as I don't care for reading something that goes on and on.

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#602136 - 05/17/13 07:40 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
steel: A Long Departed Hero Offline
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Registered: 08/29/01
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Loc: The MBA (Mysterious Blue Area)...
I really enjoyed Black Dossier! It got so many negative reviews that I didn't buy it. When I read it at the bookstore, I was ecstatic! Lots of fun!
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#602158 - 06/03/13 11:05 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Johnny]
jackdaw Offline
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Registered: 07/26/05
Posts: 514
I'm reading prose stuff. Cancelled all my monthly pull list about 6 months ago.

Just finished reading C S Forester's Hornblower series. Good stuff. Seeing a character develop convincingly from first joining navy at 17 to ending as an admiral..... it's a refreshing change from the tripe served up in most mainstream super hero comics.

I won't say I'll never read comics again. I will... indeed I'll even read some mainstream super hero runs. But I won't go back to a monthly pull list. And I will be very selective.... I'm just going to read long runs by favourite writers where that writer has produced something worthy of them.

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#602159 - 06/03/13 05:20 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: jackdaw]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
I haven't done a comics order in a few months. I'll scan through the catalog and find a few items, but they're usually things that will be available on Amazon at a better price. The thrill of the monthly is pretty much dead.

My last shipment only included one book, the new edition of Chester Brown's Paying For It: A Comic-Strip Memoir About Being A John. I hadn't read it before. The "Ed the Happy Clown" run of Yummy Fur is still some of my very favorite comics, so it's pretty painful to witness what Brown has become since then.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#602160 - 06/04/13 05:00 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
I've enjoyed Chester Brown's stuff in the past, but I haven't yet picked up his prostitution tell-all. You didn't care for it?

For a while there, I closely followed that whole Toronto indie comix scene with Brown, Joe Matt and Seth. A few years back I quit buying new comics, though, so I've lost track of them.

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#602162 - 06/05/13 03:29 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Oh, it's pretty decent as a piece of work. There are many laugh-out-loud moments and Brown's sense of timing is as dry as ever. Pretty lengthy notes and appendices sections wherein Brown makes many good points, but some of his source materials feel a bit cherry-picked and thus his arguments sometimes a bit strawman-ish. He barely presses on the S.T.D. concerns, except to say that he never got one; and that even though healthcare is provided as an option for all Canadian citizens, it would be wrong to *force* healthcare on anyone vis-à-vis forced checkups for sex workers (I wonder if his opinion would be the same if he hadn't been so lucky).

The two major impressions that I had while reading it were that 1)Brown derives a great deal of personal satisfaction from being perceived as an emotionless robot; and 2)he's very likely not as articulate in real-life discussion as he depicts himself to be. Seth contributes an afterword and confirms my suspicions.

When I say it's painful to witness what Brown has become, I'm primarily referring to his eschewing fantastical elements in his drawing, which I always thought were one of his great strengths; and also to his physical transformation from this:




...into this:




I forget which of the Hammer Studios Frankenstein movies made the point that one's facial characteristics are shaped by the demeanor of one's mind (the point being that the monster should become less ugly as a result of the genius brain that was supposed to be transplanted into it, and mistakenly had not been), but barring external factors such as disease and disfigurement, I have often found this to be true. It's especially jarring in the moments of Brown's text when he makes judgments on women's attractiveness.

And apparently, Brown is also now an aspiring politician, having put his name on two ballots for Parliament, but not winning either race. He is affiliated with the Canadian Libertarian Party (which has no problem with prostitution, but opposes as part of their platform all forms of government subsidies), despite having at least partially funded the creation of this book with a $16,000 grant from the Canadian Council for the Arts. Perhaps hypocrisy contributed to his ugliness.

At least he didn't sign Dave Sim's "I Am Not A Misogynist" pledge. So that's something.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#602163 - 06/05/13 09:41 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
The two major impressions that I had while reading it were that 1)Brown derives a great deal of personal satisfaction from being perceived as an emotionless robot; and 2)he's very likely not as articulate in real-life discussion as he depicts himself to be.


In my experience, comics attracts a lot of that sort. I honestly dunno why.


Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
And apparently, Brown is also now an aspiring politician, having put his name on two ballots for Parliament, but not winning either race. He is affiliated with the Canadian Libertarian Party (which has no problem with prostitution, but opposes as part of their platform all forms of government subsidies), despite having at least partially funded the creation of this book with a $16,000 grant from the Canadian Council for the Arts. Perhaps hypocrisy contributed to his ugliness.


Interesting point.

At the risk of generalizing, many Libertarians seem to like the clean simplicity of their philosophy: freedom good, rules bad. But as with any simple philosophy, it's not hard to poke holes in it when it's applied to real life. I've known Libertarian politicians who pocketed government subsidies, from Medicare payments as physicians to U.S.D.A. payouts as farmers. They shrug and insist that everyone else gets the money, so they may as well, too, never acknowledging the hypocrisy.

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#602170 - 06/07/13 02:06 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
Lawson Offline
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Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
My local library has Chester Brown's PAYING FOR IT, so I borrowed it at lunchtime. I hope to read it over the weekend and report back here.

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#602174 - 06/11/13 02:21 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
PAYING FOR IT: A COMIC STRIP MEMOIR ABOUT BEING A JOHN

Story and art by Chester Brown
Published by Drawn & Quarterly

Chester Brown is a creepy-looking guy with limited social skills and an obsession with comic books. Nearing his 40th birthday in the 1990s, Brown had no romantic prospects and realized that a future of solitude awaited him.

So he started buying sex from whores on 30-minute installments.

In this stark autobiography, Brown (an indie comix creator in Toronto) fully shares the details of his adventures in paying for sex. It's entertaining, it's informative and it's more than a little sad.

Brown doesn't see it that way. He insists that he's finally been freed from all those societal conventions, blah blah blah, the usual bullshit, he's never been happier, though by everyone's account, including his own, he's pretty much an emotionless drone.

Telling his story in pictures wasn't enough, though. Brown fills the back chunk of his book with a dense, hand-written manifesto explaining why prostitution should be legal (fine by me) but not taxed (eh?) and why marriage is actually the sick, evil institution that should be abolished, not prostitution (I'm sorry no woman wanted you, Chet, but I happen to like marriage).

As Allen noted, above: Brown is a devoted Libertarian who has unsuccessfully run for Canada's Parliament as a Libertarian candidate. His book is full of the usual property rights first, foremost and always arguments, and fooey on the gubmint, why does the gubmint have to interfere with my bidness, screw you gubmint, let the Free Market decide these things, yay Free Market.

Yet PAYING FOR IT was produced courtesy of The Canadian Council for the Arts, which supported Brown through federal grants, as it has Brown's past comics. Heh. Mother Jones magazine asked Brown about this in an interview:

MJ: Paying For It was sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts. You don't have an issue taking a grant from the government?

CB: Mmmm, no. To me, those are two different things. I'm against government giving money to artists, but I'm not against artists taking money.

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#602175 - 06/11/13 02:37 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
I love when people are fortunate enough to have one big exception in their political beliefs that happens to allow them to profit personally. It's such a crazy coincidence!
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#602176 - 06/11/13 02:52 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
I've known a decent number of Libertarians.

Most of them sucked hard on the government teat one way or the other. Either they were making a career of military service, or they worked for a defense contractor, or they collected federal disability, Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps or some other public assistance, or they pocketed farming subsidies, or they accepted Medicaid and Medicare patients, or they worked for public schools or universities, or, as is the case with Brown, they simply let the government subsidize their free market rants.

In a truly free market, one without Ayn Rand's "takers," the 53-year-old Chester Brown would have to wash dishes for a living, because there clearly is not adequate customer demand for his comic books to pay him a living wage.

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#602177 - 06/11/13 03:23 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
Yeah, I know what you mean. I've met this guy. Not him specifically, but a thousand like him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTwpBLzxe4U
_________________________
"When one says 'Africa,' it refers to Africa in the Euro-colonized sense, not the damn bush country or whatever."
- Ed Gauthier, DCP

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#602178 - 06/11/13 03:23 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
ON THE ROPES

Story by James Vance
Art by Dan E. Burr
Published by W. W. Norton & Company

Wow!

Once in a while, a sophisticated graphic novel comes along to show us the depth of storytelling you can achieve in this medium if you're skilled enough. MAUS was one example; STUCK RUBBER BABY was another.

ON THE ROPES isn't quite on that level, but it's a really good one.

Set in 1937 at the height of the Great Depression, young and socialist Fred Bloch is traveling around Illinois with a Works Progress Administration circus. Fred is apprenticed to the show's star attraction, a drunken and haunted escape artist named Gordon Corey.

In part through flashbacks, we slowly learn about the hard roads that Fred and Gordon have traveled until now and the secrets they've kept. Their revelations come against a backdrop of labor unrest, poverty and violence.

Evidently, this is a sequel to an earlier graphic novel from 20 years ago by the same creators called KINGS IN DISGUISE. I've not heard of that book, which tells about Fred's earlier life, but I'll be looking for it.

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#602179 - 06/11/13 03:26 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette
Yeah, I know what you mean. I've met this guy. Not him specifically, but a thousand like him: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTwpBLzxe4U


"Keep Government Out Of My Medicare!"

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#602186 - 06/17/13 06:26 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
Originally Posted By: Lawson
ON THE ROPES

Story by James Vance
Art by Dan E. Burr
Published by W. W. Norton & Company

[snip]

Evidently, this is a sequel to an earlier graphic novel from 20 years ago by the same creators called KINGS IN DISGUISE. I've not heard of that book, which tells about Fred's earlier life, but I'll be looking for it.


Yes, KINGS IN DISGUISE was a great series! I recommend it. Now I'll have to look for ON THE ROPES!

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#602196 - 06/20/13 02:41 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Gerald Offline
Member

Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 1108
Future Foudnation by Fraction and Allred



I tried out iZombie for a few issues, and while the art and character design was fantastic I didn't care for the characters or the story.

Future Foundation or FF is much better. My first issue was #3 I think and I didn't feel lost, and was immediately interested in what was going on. And it was a brief read like most pamphlets. It feels like reading a comic book.

Anyway that's it.
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#602202 - 06/21/13 09:30 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Gerald]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Saga Volume 1. Mental, mad and brilliant. For all it's bizarreness, it was full of characters who were believable and human. No pompous, stilted dialogue either. I am in for volume 2.

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#602215 - 06/27/13 05:45 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
shjonescrk Offline
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Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
20th Century Boys volumes 1-22 and 21st Century Boys volumes 1 & 2. As I have said before this is a great comic with brilliant art. I think I could nit pick over some aspects of the plot not being coherent at times but overall it is a magnificent achievement.

Apparently, Urasawa's work doesn't sell that well in the US and UK and this may affect whether Urasawa's current work - Billy Bat - will be available in English. If this is the case, I'll have to read the scanlations but these can be problematic with the translations as they tend to be literal translations and the quality of the scans themselves.

Also read Tintin: Flight 714. Great art as always and quite funny in parts but overall not so much to get fussed about.

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#602229 - 07/07/13 03:57 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
MESSAGES IN A BOTTLE: COMIC BOOK STORIES BY B. KRIGSTEIN
Stories by various writers
Art by Bernard Krigstein
Published by Fantagraphics Books

This is a stunning collection of 1940s/50s comics drawn by Bernard Krigstein (1919-1990), who had tremendous talent but poor timing.

Young Krigstein got in about a year of professional comics work before he was drafted by the Army to fight in World War Two.

After the war, he bounced between publishers. He did a few years at EC, but then EC was wrecked by the Senate hearings on juvenile delinquency. Then he got blacklisted by DC for trying to organize a comics artists union. Then he found work under Stan Lee at Atlas, but he was just ahead of the Silver Age superhero revival -- and he didn't draw superheroes, he drew everything else -- war, Western, humor, horror, crime, history and romance comics. So there wasn't much for Krigstein to do once the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man debuted. Also, he had grown to loathe Stan Lee.

After only a dozen years of productive comics work, he quit and turned to teaching art in Manhattan city schools. He gave few interviews and did not seem to remember his comics career with much fondness. Today he's remembered as an artist's artist -- the guy the best comic book artists revere -- though he's largely unknown to fandom and to the world at large.

I didn't know this until now, but Bill Gaines' EC -- though it assembled maybe the finest roster of comic book artists ever -- used the unfriendliest format for artists. Call it the anti-Marvel method: The writer produced a full script, and then the editor did the panel layout and oversaw the lettering. What the artist got at the end of this factory line was the pages with panels and text and some blank space available for his art to be inserted.

Krigstein was always fighting with his editors for more pages (a near-impossibility) or, failing that, more panels. Sometimes he took an Exacto-blade and cut up the panel layouts he had been given so he could squeeze in better art.

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#602281 - 08/02/13 02:31 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Lazarus by Rucka & Lark, 1 & 2. I love Lark's artwork and the story looks interesting too.

East of West 1 to 4. Not so sure about this one but I think I'll stick with it.

Hard to believe but Image seems to be the place for getting decent mainstream comics and even better, the comics are not cluttered with ads.

I also read Hawkeye 1 & 2 but sorry, it was far too clever for it's own good so ended up not being very good. As far the art ... just copying another artist from what I can see ...

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#602288 - 08/11/13 02:45 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Lawson]
Defiant1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 237
Loc: Atlanta GA
Originally Posted By: Lawson
MESSAGES IN A BOTTLE: COMIC BOOK STORIES BY B. KRIGSTEIN
Stories by various writers
Art by Bernard Krigstein
Published by Fantagraphics Books

This is a stunning collection of 1940s/50s comics drawn by Bernard Krigstein (1919-1990), who had tremendous talent but poor timing.

Young Krigstein got in about a year of professional comics work before he was drafted by the Army to fight in World War Two.

After the war, he bounced between publishers. He did a few years at EC, but then EC was wrecked by the Senate hearings on juvenile delinquency. Then he got blacklisted by DC for trying to organize a comics artists union. Then he found work under Stan Lee at Atlas, but he was just ahead of the Silver Age superhero revival -- and he didn't draw superheroes, he drew everything else -- war, Western, humor, horror, crime, history and romance comics. So there wasn't much for Krigstein to do once the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man debuted. Also, he had grown to loathe Stan Lee.

After only a dozen years of productive comics work, he quit and turned to teaching art in Manhattan city schools. He gave few interviews and did not seem to remember his comics career with much fondness. Today he's remembered as an artist's artist -- the guy the best comic book artists revere -- though he's largely unknown to fandom and to the world at large.

I didn't know this until now, but Bill Gaines' EC -- though it assembled maybe the finest roster of comic book artists ever -- used the unfriendliest format for artists. Call it the anti-Marvel method: The writer produced a full script, and then the editor did the panel layout and oversaw the lettering. What the artist got at the end of this factory line was the pages with panels and text and some blank space available for his art to be inserted.

Krigstein was always fighting with his editors for more pages (a near-impossibility) or, failing that, more panels. Sometimes he took an Exacto-blade and cut up the panel layouts he had been given so he could squeeze in better art.


Interesting stuff. I like EC's and the fact that you do get more story per page. What you say makes a lot of sense, but I'd rather see a story in the EC style over anything today where artists are given almost free reign.
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#602306 - 08/15/13 06:51 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Defiant1]
Mark Allen Offline
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Registered: 10/12/01
Posts: 1677
Loc: Northwestern Oklahoma
I'm actually not reading any new stuff at the moment. I'm making my way through many of the Marvel Essentials (Silver and Bronze Age) material, and I'm just beginning to acquire Jack Kirby's DC work through their Kirby Omnibus books. My plan is to read them chronologically. I also never miss Alter Ego.
_________________________
A comics blog! How unusual!
Four Color Commentary

A YouTube page! That's..., something.
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#602307 - 08/17/13 07:36 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Mark Allen]
Defiant1 Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 237
Loc: Atlanta GA
Originally Posted By: Mark Allen
I'm actually not reading any new stuff at the moment. I'm making my way through many of the Marvel Essentials (Silver and Bronze Age) material, and I'm just beginning to acquire Jack Kirby's DC work through their Kirby Omnibus books. My plan is to read them chronologically. I also never miss Alter Ego.


I think all of that is more entertaining that modern comics.
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#602312 - 08/19/13 04:47 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Defiant1]
Johnny Offline
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Registered: 05/10/02
Posts: 329
It is crazy to me that this forum still exists.

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#602314 - 08/20/13 09:28 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Johnny]
Defiant1 Offline
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Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 237
Loc: Atlanta GA
I'm more willing to post here since Isabella quit spamming the board. grin
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#602341 - 09/18/13 02:39 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Defiant1]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Naruto 3-in-1 book 2. It's a good story and sometimes the art is great and other times, it is difficult to follow to say the least.

Also, been buying the British Reprints of Avengers vs X-Men. I have come to hate Brian Bendis, to loath his writing plus I don't like how there is always a hint that the writers are having a laugh about it all at our expense. If only they'd play it straight. I have come to like Ed McGuinness's art - nice and big.

Lazarus 3 - drop off in the quality of the art. Lark needed an art assist.

East of West 5 - best so far.

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#602414 - 11/04/13 03:42 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Velvet #1 - I got a European vibe off of Epting's art. I am not sure if I will stick with the monthlies or just get the collections.

Sex Criminals 1 & 2 - I liked this a lot. Crazy stuff.

Lazarus 4 - nice art better than the previous issue. I am stopping this one here.

Astonishing Spider-man Volume 3 issue 100, Astonishing Spider-man Volume 4 issues 1 & 2 (British Reprints) - great value for money, the equivalent of 3 monthly comics for the price of 1. These stories cover the end of Amazing & the start of Superior Spider-man. The last Amazing story is really quite good, quite touching in fact for an old time Spidey fan but the Superior stuff is a bit meh. Still the art was good.

Essential X-Men & Avengers British reprints - Avengers vs X-Men. Some nice bits - the banter between Namor and some female character was clever - but it is all over the shop. Nice art by and large. I think I won't bother with the rest of the story. I am sure there will be "shocking" conclusion and the Marvel Universe will never be the same.

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#602967 - 02/14/14 04:54 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
I've dug out some of my old Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction. Adaptations like "Behold the Man" and "Repent Harlequin, said the Ticktock man" without art by the peerless Alex Nino.

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#602994 - 02/17/14 10:44 PM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: shjonescrk]
Alexander Ness Online   shocked
Member

Registered: 09/17/03
Posts: 3840
Loc: Minnesota
Outside of reading for research I read almost nothing, but I did read Forever People by Kirby again.

That kind of funk just can't be copied and retain the funk.

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#603001 - 02/18/14 12:55 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Alexander Ness]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
Member

Registered: 05/08/00
Posts: 7068
I finally ordered the new edition of Loomis' Creative Illustration. That's the capper of his collection of important drawing texts.
_________________________
"The trouble with being a ghost writer or artist is that you must remain anonymous without credit.
If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
— Bob Kane

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#603044 - 02/20/14 02:28 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Alexander Ness Online   shocked
Member

Registered: 09/17/03
Posts: 3840
Loc: Minnesota
I just read 400 pages of studies that in the end I have no use for in my future work. I need to sit back, crack open a bunch of comics, and just enjoy.

I am thinking Inhumans with Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee.

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#603095 - 02/24/14 08:57 AM Re: The books I'm reading thread... [Re: Alexander Ness]
shjonescrk Offline
Member

Registered: 10/31/03
Posts: 1351
Loc: Airdrie, Scotland
Long John Silver by Xavier Dorison, illustrated by Mathieu Laufray. A continuation of sorts of Treasure Island, this is a great French comic. Lovely art by Laufray. His Long John Silver drips with menace.

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