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Graphic novels anyone?

What's everyone reading these days, if they're reading? I just finished Scott Morse's "Barefoot Serpent" and "South Paw", which were two very different books. In spite of their differences though neither one of them was a "funny" book in the conventional sense of the word. Brilliant stuff.

I also read Blankets a while back, and loved it, thoughI haven't re-read it a dozen times the way I did with "Goodbye Chunky Rice". It was great, but I think that too much of it was on the surface. It was what it was, where GCR seemed denser and more symbollic... of course you don't have to agree.

All that being said, what are you reading?

kjc's picture

Just the trade paperbacks? Ok. In reverse order (top of the pile to the bottom) from the last month or so:

Amelia Rules:In With The Out Crowd by Jimmy Gownley. It's a really cute kids/all-ages piece.

Scary Godmother: Ghoul's Out For Summer by Jill Thompson. The first trade paperback of her comic book series, developed from her painted hardcover kids book series. Entertaining, cute, and funny. An excellent summer drink (non-alcoholic) recipe that I've used a few times.

Sidekicks: The Transfer Student, volume 1 by J. Torres & Takeshi Miyazawa. Cute (familiar) premise - teenagers with superpowers in a special high school to teach them both normal stuff & controlling their power. Cute characters, kinda choppy story transitions.

kissing chaos volume 2: nonstop beauty by Arthur Dela Cruz. I still have no idea what the hell is going on with this story, but it gets more interesting. I had to read it a couple of times to figure out the parallel time-lines (one starting with the morning and one starting with midnight of the same day, involving the same characters; who are completely different characters from Volume 1).

The Ghost of Silver Cliff written by Jai Sen and Eric Bryden, illustrated by Rizky Wasisto Edi. This is the second of The Malay Mysteries. The first is Garlands of Moonlight same illustrator, but with only Jai Sen writing. Interesting story that takes place somewhere in Asia during a time when the Dutch are trying to turn the territory into a colony. The meeting of magic & emerging scientific principles. Garlands ends on a cliffhanger resolved in the beginning of Ghost.

Death: At Death's Door by Jill Thompson. A cute anime style retelling of a story from Sandman - the other side of the story of when Morpheus ends up with the key to Hell. Primarily involving how Death handles all the wandering souls. Jill did a storybook of the "Lil' Endless" and this is in a similar vein. Edgar Allan Poe is precious.

Dial M for Monster by Steve Niles. This is a collection of Cal McDonald mystery stories. Cal's a mean, booze-swilling, pill-popping magnet for the weird and also a private detective. He swears a LOT. I love this guy. Other books include Savage Membrane (the first book) and Guns, Drugs, and Monsters (the second book). These aren't really comic books per se, but they do contain some illustrations. For a more purely comicbook experience of Steve Niles, he's got an ongoing title of Cal McDonald stories called Criminal Macabre and a creepy graphic novel called 30 Days of Night which is being continued in an on-going series called Dark Days. OH and check out for the first Cal McDonald story ever.

While I loved the show, I'm not a big fan of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer comic books. But I will pick up stuff by Joss Whedon, so I read Tales of the Slayers which has 3 Joss Whedon stories & 1 by Amber Benson as well as a couple others. Enjoyable, particularly if you like additions to the canon.

And, I'm kinda whacky for Kolchak: The Night Stalker. I loved what I saw of the series & have been picking up the single-issue trades from Moonstone. I just read the first one, called Kolchak: The Night Stalker, as well as Lambs to the Slaughter and Devil in the Details. Good fun.

johnny nemo by Peter Milligan & Brett Ewins. OLD, bizarre, rude, kinda funny kinda crappy science fiction.

Zatanna: Everyday Magic by Paul Dini, Rick Mays, with Brian Miller. Cute, fun, kinda lightweight. John Constantine is a big part of the story.

Cowboy Bebop: shooting star story & art by Cain Kuga (original concept by Hajime Yatate). I saw the movie, I was curious about the comic. It’s the origin of Ed & Poochie on the Bebop. Cute.

Zebediah the Hillbilly Zombie Redneck Bites the Dust by Scott Mills. Weird. Possibly the nicest zombie comic ever.

In the "TO READ" pile is Blankets, a pile of old Alan Moore stuff that's been reprinted, Exploitation Now by webcomicker Michael Poe, a newly collected Animal Man, Orbiter by Warren Ellis & Colleen Doran with Dave Stewart, Odd Job (volume 1) by Ian & Tyson Smith, Couscous Express and Channel Zero by Brian Wood, and tons of other stuff but this post is WAY TOO LONG now.

Kelly J.

Steve Ince's picture

I really must work towards completing my Cerebus collection. I got as far as Women. I know that his feminism stance is a bit weird in many ways, but there are so many good things about what he does it far outweighs that.

Clint Hollingsworth's picture

I'm on Volume 25 of Lone Wolf and Cub, though my new favorite is Vagabond (Viz)

I really liked Courtney Crumrin and the Night things too. Can't wait for the second book... :D

Clint Hollingsworth

The Wandering Ones Webcomic

Well, I'm propagandizing to the world in this case. ^^; I can't count the number of times I've had people -- more manga fans than Sandman ones -- who'd otherwise be interested in a Sandman spinoff gripe to me that they don't care about "bad pseudomanga," with a tone implying that they think they're being deliberately redundant.

kjc's picture

Well, that's nifty and good to know, thanks. But I don't know manga well enough to see any of it. Still enjoyed the book though.

Kelly J.

dunk's picture

Jason Lutes' "Jar of Fools" is a great read, and I also enjoyed "Berlin", although I have been waiting for the next collection to come out so that I can go back and re-read the first one. He has a very clean style that reminds me of some of the more european comics I've seen.

I picked up the collected "Louis Riel" this weekend, by Chester Brown. There's something very haunting about the way he renders Riel and the other characters. I can't put my finger on what it is, but there is somethign sad and stark about the way the panels are laid out. Good read.

I haven't really read much manga, but I've ordered a copy of Tezuka's "Buddha". I've heard great things about it.

I'm also quite curious about some of Jill Thompson's work. I've never read one of her books, but I've often admired the covers. she's on my list too.

I went to the US, and came back with a bitchin' tall pile of manga to plow through. It's really intimidating me, particularly the Kare Kano stack (I may leave that until I've forgotten more about the TV series and can't just play the music in my head).

Then I went to Paris, and came back with a smaller but no less intimidating pile. There's the first compiled book of Rose of Versailles sitting there, taunting me. (Volumes 1-5 in one go. It's heavier than your average bible. And I have a lot of bibles.) There's the first volume of GALS!. There's most, but not all, of my Sailor Moon gaps. I think I've only really made it through the Dr. Slump, and skimmed the Chevaliers du Zodiaque (Saint Seiya). Some titles just make more sense to me in French for some reason, so I know I will get to these.

I got through Happy Mania volume 3 pretty quick. I'm loving the Moyoco Anno, and Flowers and Bees can't slip past the embargo soon enough. The wretched adaptation of Dejiko's Champion Cup Theatre was a little harder; between the gangsta phonetics and the flyspeck footnotes, I was basically just there for my beloved Gema.

Ahh, Gema.

But mostly I've been floating around the house with Public Sex by Patrick Califia in hand, trying to get kink politics back in my brain for the Ongoing Project. Ideally, I should have some fluffy Bill Hybels book in the other hand, but they're not easy to come by here.


kjc wrote:
Death: At Death's Door by Jill Thompson. A cute anime style retelling of a story from Sandman
More specifically: At Death's Door is a spot-on homage to shoujo manga. And to various shoujo mangaka. (The Naoko Takeuchi references are the most glaringly obvious on a surface scan; check Delerium's eyes and the overt Sailor Moon stuff.) This is going to be total iconography-and-homage candy to anyone who loves shoujo manga (less so anime), and I hope it won't be hampered by the bad taste so many other "manga-style" ports of American series have left behind. God knows the art holds its own against much of Tokyopop's current shoujo B-list.

As if anyone cared, I just reread Strangers in Paradise again in preparation for the new TPB release. I do this every time there's a new TPB for some reason. I was doing it with Preacher, but it ended. Feh.

Please allow me to introduce myself...first. My name is Carla, and I've just logged in at the Forum, following a Steve Ince's other page, related to this one.
I live in Argentina, where I have a limited access to graphic novels, when they arrive the're utterly expensive. As a result of friend's travel to the US, I got to read Moore's Watchmen and V. I simply loved them. Specially V, and the world Moore created for him.
I'm looking forward to reading more graphic novels, so I'm all ears for suggestions and recommendations.

books I'm reading

I've just finished Joe Kubert's "Yossel" (which I reviewed for Graphic Novel Review, over on Modern Tales), and am about to start reading Tony Millionaire's "The Mite" (if it ever arrives).

You can read the Yossel review here this week, if you wanna:


Dave Sim's Cerebus is wonderful, especially the most recent stuff. Despite the acidic tone regarding feminism, he gives a lot of food for thought. Layout wise, say from Mothers and Daughters onwards, his is the most sophisticated in the buisness. This is a fellow pushing boundaries.

Jar of Fools by Jason Lutes, more for the substance than for the technique, though it is decieving how simple it looks. I have read it a few times now and noticed new subtlties in it each time. He's got another called Berlin that isn't complete yet last time I checked.

From Hell by Moore and Campbell is really good too. The movie (why oh why did I bother?) doesn't even come close to dealing with the psychology of the novel.


I really believe Sim hits his stride after the whole Mother's and Daughter's arc. As much as I like all the extras in the first two hundred (the roach, the albino, etc.), I was really happy to see him tie up all those plots and get to some density of storytelling again.

Sim has become something of a master of the medium now, and I will be sad to see him quit, as I suspect he will. My guess is he's going to turn novelist.

One last thing- it's not totally necessary, but I do think the last one hundred issues (of which I haven't seen the last collection out, should be soon though) is much more enjoyable if you have some Old Testament background. He uses Fiztgerald and Hemmingway like he used Wilde earlier on- to better effect I think.