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Graphic Novels 
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Post Re: Graphic Novels
David Lapham isn't a hateful person or anything. He's just not afraid of depicting awful, awful things. Things like beheadings, castration, rape and cannibalism. It’s a viscous, brutal series at times, something that’s somewhat compounded by the fact that it has a confusing story. I’ve only skimmed the final trade, so I’m not quite sure how everything wraps up, but things really took a strange turn from issue seven onwards.

It’s a series I just don’t know how I feel about. I might read through all three this weekend, just to see how Lapham ties everything together.


Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:00 pm
Post Re: Graphic Novels
majoraphasia wrote:
Has anyone read Young Liars by David Lapham? There was brief review in last Sunday's Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/books ... ?ref=books

Sounds fairly interesting and the price is right ($30 for all three volumes) -- a good recommendation from someone knowledgeable would be enough to earn James Berardinelli a good $.35 through his Amazon links.

I just read the first part of this book. I've got to read the rest now, though I've yet to see anything REALLY f----d up yet. I'm very desensitized to violence, so that may be a reason for this.


Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:10 pm
Post Re: Graphic Novels
I’m curious as to how far you got.


Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:15 pm
Post Re: Graphic Novels
I'm mostly curious as to whether or not it has any merit beyond the violence and confusing storyline. This would be be a good time to mention that I've read only a couple of graphic novels: Watchmen (very good), Kick-Ass (terrible), Persepolis (very good) and that's that. I am not an enthusiast by any means but can appreciate the dynamics of writing/drawing and how the story gets told. It's not my cup of tea but if there's something excellent out there, and it has to be really excellent, I'll gladly read more. Young Liars sounds fascinating but it could turn out to be hackneyed rather than genuinely interesting.

Ragnarok73:

What is your opinion so far? Worth a look?


Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:33 pm
Post Re: Graphic Novels
It’s certainly not at the top of comics I’d recommend. If you’re looking for brilliance, there are quite a few comics I’d recommend over it.


Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:48 pm
Post Re: Graphic Novels
AJR wrote:
It’s certainly not at the top of comics I’d recommend. If you’re looking for brilliance, there are quite a few comics I’d recommend over it.


AJR also wrote:
Bone and Criminal are always my first recommendations when people ask about comics.


Bone and Criminal, you say? I'm heading over to Amazon to have a look right now.


Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:53 pm
Post Re: Graphic Novels
They’re my go to, but it depends on what you like.

If you really enjoyed Persepolis, Guy Delisle’s Pyongyang might be an interesting read. It’s about Delisle’s brief time in North Korea, working at a small animation studio.


Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:17 am
Post Re: Graphic Novels
I'm amazed that no one's mentioned Priest yet.


Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:21 am
Post Re: Graphic Novels
Understanding Comics gets bandied about here and there but I'd rather wait on the criticism until I've actually read more than a small handful of graphic novels. Which brings me to the root of this post:

The Sandman
Maus
Blankets
Astro City
Transmetropolitan

All of those, from either reviews and/or descriptions and/or recommendations from respected forum members, sound like sound choices. Moreso than Young Liars. That being said, and since I've got some extra money, I'm going to pick up Young Liars (via Amazon) and another one -- something from those five on the above list. Blankets, I think. Maus is available at the local library so I'll read that relatively soon.

Sandman is fairly expensive for a blind buy so that's a no go even though it has Gaiman's name on it. Perhaps Volume I will do. Astro City looks great but it also looks as if some knowledge of superhero mythology might be needed to appreciate it -- this is something I don't have. Transmetropolitan too looks good but there's the collector/completist in me that says all the volumes must be had before starting in. Hard to decide. I'll figure something out.


Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:37 am
Post Re: Graphic Novels
Hey Major, I know it's quite an investment, but Sandman is definitely worth it. Simply one of the most satisfying artistic experiences I've had in any medium. And well worth purchasing The Sandman Companion by Hy Bender after, then re-reading with even more depth of understanding. So many levels to the masterpiece.

Unfortunantely, just Volume 1 won't suffice.

I can understand your reluctance, but as you said, it IS Gaiman. :)

Anyway, think it over, but at least rush down to the library and get Maus. That is a fantastic work. Be prepared to get emotional, though. It's quite powerful.

Transmetropolitan is just so much fun...


Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:08 am
Post Re: Graphic Novels
Grab at least the first couple volumes of Sandman. You need to give this universe some time to unfold for you.


Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:36 pm
Post Re: Graphic Novels
majoraphasia wrote:
Ragnarok73:

What is your opinion so far? Worth a look?

I'm more than intrigued enough to go seek out copies of the full series, Major. From what I understand, Young Liars is considered to be in a genre called "transgressive fiction", whereby characters try to progress in weird ways.

To AJR: I only read the first part which introduces us to all of the characters, but that was enough to get me interested in reading more.


Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:41 pm
Post Re: Graphic Novels
Amazon has shipped off the three volumes of Young Liars as well as the way-too-expensive-but-we'll-cut-back-on-Holiday-shopping The Absolute Sandman Vol. 1. As I know I like Gaiman's writing there is a little less risk involved than with some of the others. The Complete Maus was picked up first thing this morning from the local library and I'll read it tomorrow or Sunday. Thanks for the input and recommendations from everyone.


Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:22 pm
Post Re: Graphic Novels
majoraphasia wrote:
Amazon has shipped off the three volumes of Young Liars as well as the way-too-expensive-but-we'll-cut-back-on-Holiday-shopping The Absolute Sandman Vol. 1. As I know I like Gaiman's writing there is a little less risk involved than with some of the others. The Complete Maus was picked up first thing this morning from the local library and I'll read it tomorrow or Sunday. Thanks for the input and recommendations from everyone.


Alright, I'm eager to hear how they go.

If the WWII story doesn't get you in Maus, then the father-son story just might. Especially if you've ever had any daddy issues.

Ken, MunichMan or someone else might have more info, but I hear Sandman starts "merely" very good. It's not until a few books in that it reaches its greatness. I see you've opted for the Absolute version, so some of the great issues might have worked their way in there.


Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:34 pm
Post Re: Graphic Novels
ed_metal_head wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:
Amazon has shipped off the three volumes of Young Liars as well as the way-too-expensive-but-we'll-cut-back-on-Holiday-shopping The Absolute Sandman Vol. 1. As I know I like Gaiman's writing there is a little less risk involved than with some of the others. The Complete Maus was picked up first thing this morning from the local library and I'll read it tomorrow or Sunday. Thanks for the input and recommendations from everyone.


Alright, I'm eager to hear how they go.

If the WWII story doesn't get you in Maus, then the father-son story just might. Especially if you've ever had any daddy issues.



Everyone has 'issues' with their parents at one point or another -- kids are going to hate their parents at least a couple of times throughout life. These stages pass, for the most part, but in Art Spiegelman's case they don't even really look like they're subsiding even after his dad starts in on the story that makes up a good bulk of The Complete Maus.

I'd apply words like "brilliant" and "incredible" and all the rest but they wouldn't really do justice to Maus and its excellence. This was a tour de force of so many great ideas that only literature pulls off for me; the semi-meta moments where Spiegelman actively debates himself on the page over whether or not Maus is a worthwhile endeavor (the best, and most moving, of these occur at the beginning of the second volume where Spiegelman sees his psychiatrist after being -- literally, on the page -- reduced to a kid by enthusiastic press) were totally unexpected and lifted the story right into the ranks of major lit.

But it was more than the meta stuff; the relationship between Spiegelman and Françoise, and how it has some reverberations from his relationship with his present-day father, is an actual, living relationship captured on the page. This is to say nothing about the organic feeling that Spiegelman captures in his relationship with his father, a man he's drawing a biography of while contending with his uneasiness with the man. It's the lack of heroism that shocked me the most; this isn't a Rising Against or Rising Above adversity story that could have been told any number of ways. Like any brilliant epic, Maus feels married to its form and ranks among some of the more demanding literature I've read in the past 24 months.

Easily, and I mean without a single doubt, this is the best thing I've read so far in 2010. When I started out I was guility of thinking that some of the character assignments (Germans as cats, Americans as dogs, Poles as pigs) were leaden-handed but I quickly amended this view when I realized Spiegelman wasn't after assigning moral positions; he was interested only in capturing moments in history, both world and personal, that will echo into the future. As soon as I finished reading the library copy I went to the bookstore and purchased a permanent copy for the home library. Out of the book recommendations I've gotten from people on this forum this was the best. And I haven't mentioned the limpid drawing style that enriches the text on the page... . This was Something Else entirely.


Sat Jun 12, 2010 6:13 pm
Post Re: Graphic Novels
ed_metal_head wrote:
Ken, MunichMan or someone else might have more info, but I hear Sandman starts "merely" very good. It's not until a few books in that it reaches its greatness. I see you've opted for the Absolute version, so some of the great issues might have worked their way in there.
Going by the original 10 volume set, the first volume starts out as fairly intriguing Stephen King-esque fare. It's definitely a good fantasy-horror read, but it doesn't begin to hint at the scope that the series will eventually achieve until the very end. The second volume is where you really start to see where it's all going.


Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:30 pm
Post Re: Graphic Novels
I've started the 66 volume The Preacher recently...and I have to say, it is amongst the best fucking things I have ever read, graphic novels, novels, novellas, poems, and other forms of literature all included. And the artwork is so meticulous and detailed. The mind-blowing concepts. A real mindfuck about the mindfuck<b>ed</b> topic of the nature of God. Amazing in it's ability to mesh humour and bleakness seamlessly. Really, really good stuff.


Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:48 am
Post Re: Graphic Novels
Major, so glad you enjoyed Maus. It is an amazing piece of work. As far as the Sandman goes, You do start to see where it's all going from the 2nd volume, but it is such a deeply layered work, you don't REALLY know until you have read the entire thing. It all does fit together in the end. One thing about Gaiman, he is so incredibly smart, you may need a reference library to keep up with all the allusions. But he definitely doesn't hit you over the head with it. It is all very subtle, which makes it that much more challenging. I think the guy may have been channeling Joseph Campbell as well as a number of Shakespeare scholars when he wrote this one.

@Timmy. The preacher simply rocks. if you've just started, well, you ain't seen nothing yet.

I think I had Preacher at number 2 or three on my list at the beginning of the thread. It is great! Unfortunately, HBO scrapped their plans to do a full multi-part miniseries of Preacher. next, it was going to be a single film and Sam Mendes was slotted to direct, but he bowed out to do the next Bond. Thankfully, the producers got some sense and John August has written the screenplay as a 2-4 movie project. i just hope they don'T distill it down too much. I'm just salivating over the controversy that surely will ensue if they are even 25% faithful to the source material.


Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:31 am
Post Re: Graphic Novels
Preacher puts the "graphic" into "graphic novels" thats for sure. Damned good fun too.


Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:08 pm
Post Re: Graphic Novels
I'm not a great writer, dare I say I'm awful. Thus my opinions are hard for me to defend and my taste is lost because of my inability to tell why I feel a certain way or about a film, show, book, or etc. So, I'm not going to tell you what's great about it, why I liked it, or why I feel you will too, but if you are a fan of comics or graphic novels, you MUST read Preacher. It's just that simple.


Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:06 pm
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