Comic Books are Good

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of reading.

Of course, there are many people who wouldn’t call what I was reading real reading, because I’ve been reading a lot of comics lately. People who say comics aren’t real reading can go read the latest Danielle Steele novel or something equally productive.

Anyways, I started with the mini-series leading up to DC’s big Infinite Crisis from a couple of years back. I had read many of the spoilers for that big thing, but I found it enjoyable regardless. To be honest, I also enjoyed Zero Hour way back when, so maybe my opinion doesn’t count for much.

Generally, I find myself pretty non-critical (for the most part) when I’m reading a superhero comic. Still, I found the whole thing too serious.  That’s probably why I enjoyed the Day of Vengeance lead-up so enjoyable, because Bill Willingham knows how to make a comic fun and still have high stakes (go read his Vertigo series Fables.  I haven’t read it for a few years, but it was great up to issue 20, and continues that way, by all accounts).

I’m finding modern comics in general too serious, which may be why  I so thoroughly enjoyed…

DC’s experimental 52, which I have to say was quite good.  They managed to keep levity through a large part of it.  It just seemed like the writers were having fun with the the whole thing. Serious things happened, but it was still fun.

In that series’ case, I had only spoiled one thing for myself, so for the rest I thought it was entertaining. I saw two major plot points way ahead of time, but a couple of the other things honestly surprised me, so I liked that. The writers did a good job working together, but the history of the DCU segment through the first several issues was lame.

Next, I read Planetary as far as it’s been published (#26). It’s a sad indication of the state of comic publishing that the first issue of those 26 came out over 8 years ago, and the series was originally supposed to be a monthly. As it is, the last issue has a December ’06 cover date, and the next issue (#27) is supposed to be the finale to the series, but it isn’t even being solicited yet (to those who’ve never seriously collected comics, that means that the comic is, at the very least, still 4+ months away).

Regardless of how long the series is taking, it’s consistently brilliant. Filled with references and an excellent story, I recommend Planetary to anyone (and this despite the ease with which the last issue dealt with the story’s villains).

Finally, I wish to praise one of the great Vertigo series, Y: The Last Man. It just ended a month-ish ago, and it’s excellent. Go read it.

Seriously, don’t wait. If you like comics at all, and intelligent comics moreso, you owe it to yourself to read this one.

I’m putting it up with Preacher and The Invisibles here people.

Seriously, I think it’s that good.

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~ by truth9 on February 22, 2008.

6 Responses to “Comic Books are Good”

  1. I wanna read Y cuz you wouldn’t tell me what was happening over your shoulder *pouts* Oh and you should really add links or perhaps cover images for these to spice things up a bit 🙂

  2. Hmm… maybe I will.

    If this post has “Updated-” added to the title, then I’ve taken that advice.

  3. Nice title for the post.

    I’ve always found ( on a general reading level ) that comics are good. I learned to read because of comics, and I also took a major interest in everything to do with art and animation ( initially ) due to reading comics. The problem ( here in the US ) has always been that we trivialize the comic, unless a major event happens and becomes newsworthy…two examples would be pertaining to ” Death ” in comics..The Death of Superman, as far as I can remember was the first time that the news media actually ran any type of reports on comics in general that was not aimed as a major witch hunt to dig out some sort of ” subversive ” issue in the comics page. And very recently the ” Death of Captain America ” was a featured article in the news, along with a post on USA Today.com ( I believe ) just the other day about the ” New Red ” Hulk, and Marvel’s trying to get some cheap publicity for the new Hulk movie due this summer movie season.

    I could write a bit more here, but I might just save it for my blog and a nice comparision between East and West attitudes towards the Comic…

    Expect a link to your post, and thanks for bringing up a subject that will be worth continuing a discussion about!

    Lew
    http://www.fln50.com

  4. Oddly enough, they are beginning to use comic books for teaching children to read. Cunningly – or not so? – named graphic novels to disguise the fact that they are – oh no! – COMIC BOOKS!

    I think if I had the whole series of a superhero comic, if that’s possible, I’d read them. I like endings. Can anyone hook me up?

  5. I had heard Y was pretty good but now I know it’s excellent. I won’t wait.

    Is that Ellis writing Planetary? I can’t recall if someone took over or what. Having just checked wikipedia, I think I’m mixing it up with the Authority. Is that what you lent me?

    I guess this place is good as any to mention that I thoroughly enjoyed my recent reading of From Hell. From what little I’ve read of the man, I believe it’s the best that Moore has to offer. But that could be due to all the Blake references, let alone the poet actually showing up, as well as Wilde and Yeats making appearances. I recall you telling me that the movie butchered the comic but I had no idea. No idea.

    Although it is effective and disturbing,the art in From Hell isn’t exactly gripping and the framed format seems to be a precursor to Watchmen’s formal approach. In fact, much of it is, except for it lacking the whole deconstruction of the superhero genre that Moore has become famous for.

    It’s going to be a long time before I bother trying to get into regular superhero comics. Struggling with Swamp Thing and Hellblazer was bad enough. But now that I think about it, most of what I’ve read of the Ultimate universe wasn’t bad though I suspect it’ll get tangled up in a few years. Then another reset of continuity or whatever they’ll be calling it at that point.

  6. Ha! Never mind that bit of nonsense about precursors. From Hell comes after Watchmen.

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