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numbat
2010-11-18, 07:02 AM
I have never been seriously into comics - partly due to the fact I have always found superheroes difficult to get in to.

However, the son of my neighbour (he's actually older than me and visits at weekends) recently insisted I read Annihilation and Annihilation: Conquest, and man, I was hooked! It took a little to get round some of the more traditional superheroes but the plot, complex characters and fantastic art meant this was no problem - by book 2 I didn't even think about it anymore.
I'm now working my way through his Nova collection, to be followed by Guardians of the Universe and Darkhawk (all his recommendations - I get a bimonthly delivery! - biut they make sense, being spin-offs of Annihilation).

I really am getting well into these comics! A bit old to be starting perhaps (28), and my wife will almost certainly take exception, but hey, iit's harmless fun.

So - the question is: what would you recommend I read?

(That said, in my teens I did read a lot of 2000AD, Aliens and Predator comics (while wholly failing to get in to the Jurassic Park sequel books). In recent years I have tended to read manga, although only a little (mostly borrowed from my brother who has a massive collection - Fullmetal Alchemist, Nausicaa and Ghost in the Shell stand out as favourites). I do read the Marvel Dark Tower comics (more because I'm a massive Dark Tower fan!), and the Crow is an all time literary masterpiece in my opinion... Plus I have read and enjoyed a handful of Transforrners Spotlight issues. Nothing serious though - and I have no intention of going back to the movie spin-offs, as they are pretty dire in my opinion.)

Sades
2010-11-18, 07:08 AM
I'm not heavy into comics either, I certainly couldn't tell you more than almost anyone else here could. But I have a few favourites- Rising Stars and Transmetropolitan are excellent imo, both are currently avail in TPB form I'd imagine (been awhile). If you like zombies I'd suggest The Walking Dead.

And I know it's not quite the same thing, but I'd also recommend any of the Calvin and Hobbes collections. :up:

edit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transmetropolitan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rising_Stars
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Walking_Dead

Halfshell
2010-11-18, 08:55 AM
Preacher
The Sandman
The Ultimates
The Authority
Nextwave
Y the Last Man
Scott Pilgrim
Fables

Not necessarily in that order, though.

Wildrider
2010-11-18, 09:20 AM
The 'X-Force'/X-Statix' series from Milligan and Allred is, in my opinion one of the best comics ever written, sumptuous pop art and a satirical view of super heroes, without falling into direct parody. The spin off 'Dead Girl' is also pretty awesome.

You can't go wrong with Abnett/Lanning 's Marvel Space stuff, it's cracking story telling.

'Irredeemable Ant Man' is also entertaining and nice to see an almost anti-hero version of one of my favourite characters, he's a dick, but he's still Ant Man.

'Avengers Forever' is a great series if you can pick it up, mostly as it involves Yellow jacket being slightly crazy, I have an Ant Man fetish if you hadn't noticed.

As for current books, I started looking into the new 'Heroic Age' stuff but of the glut of titles out there at the moment, only 'Avengers Academy' is really any good. A skewed slant again on 'super hero' teams, but hero books may not be to your taste.

Also a big Mike Allred fan, 'I Zombie' is a strange title about a female sentient zombie who investigates past crimes after inheriting memories from brains she's eaten.

It's wacky fun!

Cliffjumper
2010-11-18, 02:34 PM
Miracleman - perfectly constructed, skip the Gaiman stuff though.
Hitman - built on probably the most believable friendship in mainstream fiction, but also includes lots of violence, and will make you laugh out loud repeatedly.
The Avengers - Kang War: Kurt Busiek's straightforward "bastards are invading Earth, oh my Christ!" epic packed razor-sharp characterisation. Took something like 20 issues, but no-one cared because it was ace.
Captain Britain - the two subtitle-less trades by Moore and Davis. But especially the one by Moore.
Planetary, of course.
Counter-X - Warren Ellis is given three minor league X-Men titles, turns them superb in the space of four issues. The great unhosed were sadly too busy buying Origin, so it got ****ed.
Ministry of Space/Orbiter
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
V for Vendetta/Watchmen

Further echoes for the Authority, The Ultimates 1-2, Rising Stars and Preacher. Avengers Forever is also pretty awesome, because it works as a great big fanboy bandage to the continuity (anyone remember when comics had continuity?) and as an excellent cosmic ruck as well.

Avoid Kingdom Come and Marvels until you've read more general DC and Marvel.

Halfshell
2010-11-18, 03:13 PM
I opted against recommending Planetary until you've more of a grounding in general superhero comics. Though it's not essential, a big part of the joy is in what traditional series is being lampooned/reinvented/awesomified in each issue. Though a lot of them are obvious to anybody with just a passing familiarity with Marvel/DC/20th Century fiction.

I'm well aware that my favourite "cape" books are the ones that take the standard formula and just throw it away/subvert it a bit. (The Authority, The Ultimates, Watchmen, Nextwave)

Cliffjumper
2010-11-18, 04:43 PM
[general directionless wibbling]

I dislike the elitism inherent in the phrase "capes"... Comics are like films. It's great to have genuine artistic merit along the lines of Once Upon a Time in the West, Les Diabolique, Akira, Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now and so on, but that doesn't somehow invalidate The Wild Bunch, Die Hard or The Rock.

Straight superhero books are fine when well-written. Not being groundbreaking doesn't equal not fun, and well-written X-Men/Avengers etc. can be great fun if your mind's open to it. Kurt Busiek's the poster child for this - there's nothing radical about his Avengers run, not one thing, but it's glorious stuff assuming you aren't predisposed to hate chatacters staying in character or a general failure to willingly, brattishly, pointlessly subvert what's gone before.[/general directionless wibbling]

For me, the main reason both The Ultimates and The Authority work is because they still have a lot of trappings - neither would work without Bryan Hitch's feel for big violent battle scenes, for instance. The reason The Ultimates works is because it's a synergy of traditional superhero stuff and more modern storytelling thecniques, and people's favourite bits tend to be the action set-pieces - Cap dropping a tank on the Hulk, Cap hitting that Nazi alien, Hawkeye shooting everyone woth his fingernails, Natasha jumping from building to building, Brian Braddock stripping off his specs and suit to reveal the Captain Britain suit...

Mind, most comics work better even with context. Providing you can stick it out, Moore's Captain Britain stuff packs a lot more impact if you've read the shite that was served up beforehand for full appreciation as Brian's turned from dull paper tiger to probably the most fitting British superhero.

Halfshell
2010-11-18, 04:48 PM
Oh, didn't mean it in a derogatory way at all. It's not a term I generally use... superhero stuff. Some of it's brilliant, some of it's awful, a lot of it's generic. But the ones I love are the ones that come along and just ignore the standard Stan Lee rulebook to create something genuinely inspired (the flashback to Jessica Jones' origin in Alias is one of those glorious moments that lovingly pokes fun at how much things have changed since the 60s).

Hound
2010-11-18, 05:10 PM
For comics not really about super heroes:
Alias
Swamp Thing
Bone
Fables
Secret Six

And if you're willing to give super hero books a try:
Invincible
Green Lantern
Birds of Prey

Plus all the stuff that's already been mentioned...

Skyquake87
2010-11-18, 11:38 PM
I've really, really, really been enjoying Invincible Iron Man by Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca. If you're familar with the two films, then this is worth looking into. I habve fallen in love with Pepper Potts because of this comic. and she gets her own suit of armour too! Its big fun and worth a look.

I'm also enjoying Batgirl, which is similarly quite a fun little book and brings a little bit of light heartedness to the serious, angsty world of the Batman. Largely free of Grant Morrison's weirdness on all the other bat books right now too.

Other things: Vertigo's recently axed Unknown Soldier was a valiant attempt to make people give a sh*t about the mess that is the African continent, but as its now been axed, you can probably guess how that turned out. Shame really, as it tackled some very complex issues and made sense of them and was a good read to boot.

Hotwire by Steve Pugh and Warren Ellis about ghosts in a slightly facist future Britain is an interesting and visceral read. a trade of the first series is available now!

Scarlett by Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev is probably the best thing Bendis has done since the early issues of New Avengers. A counter culture revenge tale of police corruption. A bit like Brian Wood's Channel Zero (also recommended).

Preacher i always recommend to anyone, and Jason Aaron's run on Ghost Rider and Punisher Max are worth a look.

Denyer
2010-11-18, 11:50 PM
http://virtualdebris.co.uk/books/recommended-comics-series.html
http://virtualdebris.co.uk/books/other-comics-picks.html

numbat
2010-11-19, 10:09 AM
Cheers guys - that's far more of a response than I expected when I posted that up a hill at dawn yesterday, being pelted by rain and gales! (I arrived for work early, on probably the worst day to do so... around 05:30...)

Anyway - lots of good suggestions, and please feel free to give me more!

I should clarify - it's not that I don't like superheroes in particular. I think I just find them daft and dull often. I do enjoy those that have 'powers' through technology, and enjoy complex characters whether they're heroes or not. I do love Watchmen, which is a comic I read in my teens, which I forgot to mention! However, I must admit, I far prefer the ending in the film in my old age...

I do like Iron Man and Batman, but can get frustrated when their paths cross with more traditional heroes.

I do really like the sound of a lot of those comics though - I, Zombie is certainly getting a look-in! Transmetropolitan also sounds superb, and The Walking Dead could be a laugh - I have a collection of zombie films (I'm partial to Romero), and zombies are the only thing that actually creep me out. Irredeemable Ant Man sounds a laugh too. In fact, so much sounds great (and that was before I opened Denyer's links, which put even more ideas in my head - anyone read Ocean? Sounds good!).

Guess I'll through a few things out there and see what sticks, and also see what's affordable. (I do prefer the collections, as individual comics seem to be littered with adverts...)

But, yeah, feel free to keep the suggestions coming!

And can anyone recommend where to pick any comics up at decent prices?

Still working through Nova, and still enjoying!

Halfshell
2010-11-19, 10:55 AM
I should clarify - it's not that I don't like superheroes in particular. I think I just find them daft and dull often.

Give Nextwave a go. It doesn't take itself at all seriously. The closest it comes to an ongoing thematic is the joy of shit blowing up.

There's even a plot. Of sorts.

Ocean is sat in my pile of stuff to read. Might get to it this side of Christmas.

numbat
2010-11-19, 11:23 AM
Give Nextwave a go. It doesn't take itself at all seriously. The closest it comes to an ongoing thematic is the joy of shit blowing up.

There's even a plot. Of sorts.
Reading about it, Nextwave sounds hilarious. I'll look out for it at a reasonable price. What can I say? I'm Scottish.

Cliffjumper
2010-11-19, 01:09 PM
I found Ocean to be a little disappointing TBH, though that's mainly in the context of Ellis' other work.

Sades
2010-11-19, 01:54 PM
I do really like the sound of a lot of those comics though - I, Zombie is certainly getting a look-in! Transmetropolitan also sounds superb, and The Walking Dead could be a laugh - I have a collection of zombie films (I'm partial to Romero), and zombies are the only thing that actually creep me out.

Yeah, I like zombies. I'm cheap so I let my brother do the buying and just borrow his movies. :p You have to give Romero's films props, he inspired almost everyone else that came afterward.

The Walking Dead attempts an explanation, and (from what I remember... the ex owns the comics and I'm not really keen on borrowing them right now) I enjoyed it because it was "different". I'm pretty sure there had been at least one other zombie film that had used a similar type of explanation but details are fuzzy without reference.

numbat
2010-11-19, 04:09 PM
Yeah, I like zombies. I'm cheap so I let my brother do the buying and just borrow his movies. :p You have to give Romero's films props, he inspired almost everyone else that came afterward.

The Walking Dead attempts an explanation, and (from what I remember... the ex owns the comics and I'm not really keen on borrowing them right now) I enjoyed it because it was "different". I'm pretty sure there had been at least one other zombie film that had used a similar type of explanation but details are fuzzy without reference.
True enough, Romero didn't do a huge amount of convincing explaining. He does seem to switch between radiation from space (originally) and a virus (laterly), sort of...

But he does wonders with the genera, exploring political, philosophical and religious questions in great depth in the most unlikely way. I love the depth, and surrealism of it all!

I just love zombies though!

I will look out for those titles at an affordable price. I guess the TV show will currently be pushing the value of Walking Dead books up?

On another note, I picked up Neil Gaiman's Eternals on a break, from a secondhand store. At 39p I thought it was worth it just for the art, even if the story turns out to be pants. It's in perfect nick, bar the cover.

Wildrider
2010-11-19, 06:41 PM
I will look out for those titles at an affordable price. I guess the TV show will currently be pushing the value of Walking Dead books up?

.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Walking-Dead-Compendium-1/dp/1607060760/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1290192000&sr=8-1

It's a beast of zombiefied beauty, first eight TPBs great value for money if you ask me. I picked this up rather than individual TPBs, problem is I'm waiting for Volume 2. Stupid OCD, not letting me live my life!:wave:

Neuronutter
2010-11-19, 09:03 PM
Reading about it, Nextwave sounds hilarious. I'll look out for it at a reasonable price. What can I say? I'm Scottish.

Nextwave is great. I haven't laughed so hard in a while. There's even a handy collection of both trades on Amazon.co.uk for less than 20 quid. Perfect.

numbat
2010-11-20, 12:26 PM
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Walking-Dead-Compendium-1/dp/1607060760/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1290192000&sr=8-1

It's a beast of zombiefied beauty, first eight TPBs great value for money if you ask me. I picked this up rather than individual TPBs, problem is I'm waiting for Volume 2. Stupid OCD, not letting me live my life!:wave:
All this talking about zombies led me to watch Zombieland last night - such a good movie!

That does look a fantastic deal - I may will have to pick that up!

Nextwave is great. I haven't laughed so hard in a while. There's even a handy collection of both trades on Amazon.co.uk for less than 20 quid. Perfect.

And I notice a Marketplace seller has it for 13.59 + 2.75 P&P. Sorely tempting...

Cliffjumper
2010-11-20, 09:22 PM
On the back of this topic, I just re-read The Ultimates, and my Christ it's brilliant, especially the second volume where it just keeps topping itself every single issue. What I wouldn't pay for a Transformers comic that took that sort of approach and was anywhere near as good, honestly.

numbat
2010-11-24, 05:35 PM
Won the full set of Ocean on eBay for 50p (including postage!), and they arrived today. Look very pretty, so even if the story doesn't translate so well for comics, I think it's easily worth the money. (It cost the seller three times as much to post it! Bet they're regretting doing free postage on it now...)

:clap:

Cliffjumper
2010-11-24, 05:58 PM
Last time I tried (admittedly a little while ago), ebay made it compulsory for books, magazines and comics to have free shipping.

numbat
2010-11-24, 06:04 PM
Last time I tried (admittedly a little while ago), ebay made it compulsory for books, magazines and comics to have free shipping.
That's mental - remind me never to sell books on eBay.

That said, there are a few coming up with additional postage charges in a quick search for Ocean. I wonder if there's some weird cut-off or rule somewhere for the type of seller?

Anyway - I do feel a little sorry for the seller of my set of Ocean... But if it were me, I would have put it up starting at the cost of postage in this case!

inflatable dalek
2010-11-24, 08:10 PM
Though IIRC apparently you can get round the postage thing by classing the books/comics ect as something else.

Cliffjumper
2010-11-24, 08:36 PM
Actually, thinking about it, Sar listed some books recently and was able to charge postage, so they must've relaxed it in some categories at least... Mind, back issues especially are very much a buyer's market in the UK.

numbat
2010-11-25, 12:59 PM
Mind, back issues especially are very much a buyer's market in the UK.
If that's the case I can see myself getting well into this comic lark!

numbat
2010-11-28, 01:56 PM
Well, finally finished reading all the recent Marvel Cosmic stuff leading up to the Thanos Imperative - I am absolutely hooked! Still, I'll either wait for the Thanos Imperative paperback next year, or look for cheap copies on eBay (is there anywhere else worth looking for cheap comics?).

Moved on to Nextwave - just finished the first issue, and don't think I've laughed so much reading anything in a long time!

:lol:

Man, I have been missing out all these years! Comics are GREAT!

Thanks for all your suggestions. I'm following up on many - particularly the zombie stuff to begin with (awaiting I, Zombie #1 and The Walking Dead Compendium 1 in the post).

:cheers:

numbat
2010-12-05, 06:55 PM
So, read the first issue of I, Zombie and am totally hooked - great stuff, and quite offbeat! Looking forward to reading the rest (although issue #2 was difficult to track down at a reasonable price, I got one in the end).

I was also very pleased when my neighbour's son knocked at the door last weekend with copies of The Thanos Imperative in hand - that was one heck of a mind-blowing and epic ride!

Also finished Nextwave - definitely the funniest thing I have ever read!

Ocean was also cool - it is extremely different in terms of pacing. It's pretty clear it was intended as a film - it's almost like a storyboard with speech bubbles (now and again...). Grand ideas though, which I would have thought only appear in novels and the rare intelligent space opera.

I am continuing to enjoy how cheaply you can pick up comics off eBay - I see this becoming a longlasting and enjoyable hobby. I don't know how I missed it all these years!

And, as a bonus, it is acceptable to my wife!

Wooooo!

Denyer
2010-12-05, 07:28 PM
It's definitely a hobby that works better if you've got friends you can physically lend stuff to / borrow from.

Although the sometimes silly prices things go for on eBay (usually from relatively new members who haven't worked out how much paper costs to post, so there is a bit of a risk sales won't be honoured) is a bonus... got ex-library copies of the first four collected volumes of Whedon's Astonishing X-Men for something like ten quid a year or two ago...

numbat
2010-12-06, 09:58 AM
It's definitely a hobby that works better if you've got friends you can physically lend stuff to / borrow from.

Although the sometimes silly prices things go for on eBay (usually from relatively new members who haven't worked out how much paper costs to post, so there is a bit of a risk sales won't be honoured) is a bonus... got ex-library copies of the first four collected volumes of Whedon's Astonishing X-Men for something like ten quid a year or two ago...

Wow - sounds a good deal!

Yeah - I can see this is something which works better with the possibility of exchanging stuff. Nextdoor neighbour's son has certainly been very helpful for this! All I could do was lend him some manga and the Marvel Dark Tower books, but hopefully it'll become a less one-sided relationship! He's lent me a few Ultimate X-Men books just now as well, which I've dipped in to - not getting a huge amount of depth from them, but they're good for action and nifty art at least.

I also have an old school friend who loves his Marvel stuff in particular across in Edinburgh, and a colleague who's well into comics (based way down in South Englandshire unfortunately, but we meet up sometimes - he tried to get me in to comics earlier in the year as it happens...) so there are opportunities...

Otherwise, I guess you are quite limited in what you're exposed to, and in what you can actually afford to buy. I gather you have to have a gazillion friends if you ever hope to keep up with the bigger Marvel picture without selling your house!