Hey so do you guys read graphic novels? do you find them too elementary? Personally I love them…How do you feel about the adaptations of 300, Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Sin City, and the newer Batman movies (Batman Begins was mostly taken from Miller’s Batman Year One, and The Dark Knight took from a lot of things like a little from Long Halloween, a lot from The Killing Joke, I heard The Dark Knight Returns too but i haven’t read that)… Has anyone read the graphic versions of famous novels or the novelization of some films? I know for novels there’s Kafka’s The Trial, and Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. For novelization of films I know there’s one Cronenberg’s A History of Violence and I just read Aronofsky’s own novelization of his film The Fountain. Personally I love this art form which I’ve discovered only very recently. Finally on a more selfish note, I was wondering if anyone read Alan Moore’s From Hell or his more obscure “Lost Girls.” Both look amazing and I was wondering if anyone had read either more specifically the latter. I know there were 1,000 questions in there. If you have answers or reactions to any please respond I’m very curious
Alan Moore is the man. Lost Girls, a collaboration with his partner Melinda Gebbie, is a visual feast, while From Hell is the best graphic novel to date. I don’t rate film adaptations alongside the books – they are two entirely different species. Check out Garth Ennis’s Preacher and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman if you haven’t already. Oh: back to Moore: get your hands on Top Ten (the funniest, most imaginative damn thing I’ve ever read!)
I love graphic novels. I have amassed a semi-respectable collection over the past four years, but, then again, when I got into movies, my comic-collecting dropped. I love Batman and Spider-Man, and Superman can be entertaining, if written correctly (mostly when Jeph Loeb writes him). Actually, I’ll read anything that Jeph Loeb writes, just because he’s that freaking good. His work with Tim Sale is just astounding.
I also love Joe Staczynski’s work on Spider-Man, although I stopped reading after John Romita Jr. stopped drawing; that man made the biggest impression on me, when it comes to comic book art. I love his work.
Personally, I think that the best Batman books are The Long Halloween and Year One. The Dark Knight Returns, while being good, is, I feel, a bit overrated. And The Dark Knight Strikes Again, while being not so good, is fun for a read. Then, though, do not read All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder. That books sucks, simply because Frank Miller’s writing does not go with Jim Lee’s art. If Miller himself had drawn it, it may have worked, but with Lee (who drew Hush) doing the artwork, it just didn’t mesh.
By the way, I am not against novels becoming comic books, but I just get pissed when it’s not me doing them. I love Crime and Punishment, the book, and I looked at that comic and I got annoyed very, very fast. There was no suspense. It should have been a hell of a lot longer, too. Oh well.
-I read graphic novels. No they are not elementary, they are a medium in itself. Don’t care much for the adaptations to film.
-“For novelization of films I know there’s one Cronenberg’s A History of Violence”
Actually the film is based on a graphic novel of the same title.
-Have not read either of Moore’s books.
Gaiman is brilliant. His Death books are inspiring.
Also, Morre’s Tom Strong is one hell of a crazy, and awesome, book. It was, he called it, a children’s story, but it works for adults, too, and it’s freaking hilarious.
I love comics. The medium is as infinitely deep as film, albeit in its own weird and addictive ways.
If I let myself, I’ll write some long-ass post that makes me look like I have Asperger’s, but for now I’ll just say “you guys need more Paul Pope in your life.”
From Hell is brilliant. Looking at your profile I would steer you away from the overrated superhero trash. Look into these
Daniel Clowes – Ghost World (very different from the film), Ice Haven, David Boring
Chris Ware – Jimmy Corrigan
Jaime Hernandez – Locas, various
Ben Katchor – The Jew of New York
Joe Sacco – Everything
Charles Burns – Black Hole
David B. – Epileptic
Emmanuel Guibert – Alan’s War
Art Spiegelman – Maus
Alison Bechdel – Fun Home
As with all things, the ones you hear most about are usually the weakest.
Hey, Mike, I know you’re referring to some good books, yes, but, trust me, what I show is not trash. I’ve read trash comics, and I don’t like them. I’m sorry, but I take enormous ofense when someone calls superheroes “trash,” for they are only trash when they’re written / drawn poorly. I was looking through my comics just the other day, and I noticed that I had one or two books that I owned that I hated. The rest of them were gold.
As far as Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale are considered, I would like to mention their Marvel books, as well: Daredevil Yellow, Spider-Man Blue, and Hulk Gray are all masterpieces in their own right (Daredevil being thebest). Those are some great books to check out.
Sorry for the use of the term trash. Much like with film, I tend to want to call people’s attention to the geniuses who are being overlooked rather than those that are already in the general public’s consciousness. Also, It bothers me when people who like adult films look at the comic book medium and think that all it can produce is men in tights. I’m not saying that’s what you do, just trying to prevent Brandon from going down that path. If I had seen Christopher Nolan on his favorites list i might have included some different recommendations.
For me personally, I’m only interested in adult stories. When I read a Spider-Man book that tries to broach adult themes i wonder what insights might have been reached if the author didn’t have to insert a fight scene every 9 pages. Again, like with movies, i may miss out on some clever twists or observations but there is no way I could ever get as much out of Hulk Gray as i do out of one page of the folks I listed. I love comics as a medium more than anyone and sometimes nostalgia finds me reading some of that stuff at the stand in borders. Money being what it is, however, I can only spend mine on the creators who are truly trying to enrich the medium the way Cassavetes, Rivette and Kiarostami do in film.
And that’s fine. Basically, what you said earlier just reminded me of something that the great cartoonist Ball Waterson said of comic books; he called them “incredibly stupid,” and I got very pissed about that.
Now, Mike, I will ask, though, if you’ve read Amazing Spider-Man issue 36 from back in 2001. That is one of the most adult comics I’ve ever read, primarily because it wasn’t about a hero or a villain, but about humanity, instead, and how there are those who truly are heros, who fight the good fight every day, who should be praised more often than they really are. What a piece of brilliance. It’s one of my favorite comics I’ve read.
Also, though, since I do not tend to do an overabundance of comic shopping anymore, it’s rare for me to find something that is not in the mainstream, you know? Really, there are no good comic stores where I live, and so I get kind of screwed over about that.
That we’re like 11 posts in and no one has mentioned Grant Morrison is criminal.
If you want a bridge between “manchildren in tights hitting each other” and “disaffected snobs in berets and turtlenecks,” he’s it.
Where this bridge actually leads is another universe entirely, mind.
Ah! Grant Morrison is awesome! His work is always fascinating and entertaining. All Star Superman, while being weird as hell (and sometimes incomprehensible) is fantastic. Also, while I was not a huge fan of Arkham Asylum, I cannot deny that it is a powerhouse book (I also rerad it about five years ago, and so reading it again might do me some good).
Comic shops are basically deader than arthouse theaters. I would suggest that if you are ever interested in non-mainstream comics you get a subscription to The Comics Journal. It’s one of the best magazines period although it may make you angry at first. Waterson’s comment is idiotic. It reminds me of something Harvey Pekar of American Splendor fame said once. In responding to Charles Schutz’s assretion that the comic medium was inherently juvenile and could never reach the heights of great literature he basically said “yours maybe.” Pekar pointed out that Schultz had limited himself to overly intelligent kids and thinking dogs, highly entertaining but artistically shallow. He then brought up many creators such as Frank King, Ring Lardner, Robert Crumb, Frank Stack and a few others who had already surpassed Schultz. Schultz was assuming his on limitations were indicative of the mediums limitations. Pekar reminded him that comics begin with a blank page and that what you get out is what you put in.
The comic book medium has been held in a horrid adoelescent captivity for so long it is only just now breaking free.
I have not read the issue you mentioned.
Larry Fessenden’s The Last Winter graphic novel is an incredible companion to the actual film. In the same manner, Alex Cox’s “sequel” to Repo Man (“Waldo’s Hawaiian Hoiday”) is perfect only if you’re familiar with the original film.
Mike, the issue is about the bombing of the World Trade center. I highly recommend it; you can find it pretty much anywhere in Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2. It’s the first thing in the book.
That’s a good anecdote, and Harvery Pekar is absolutely right. I mean, Charles Schultz was an artist, and, although he may not have branched out from what he did, his work is still monumental.
Now, I will say something; if I was going to do a comic book, you can sure as hell know that I would not do super heroes, not only because I suck at writing them, but because I don’t want to do it. There are plenty of other more original stories I could tell on my own. Sometimes when I’m in a bookstore, I’ll see some form of comic book I’ve never seen before, and it will make a big impression on me; mainly the “this is awesome; I could do something like this” impression. I’d probably stick to reality in my books, but maybe not, because I love stuff that deals with the minds of people.
just to add to the topic, i rather enjoy a few graphic novels myself. i am actually excited to see how the AMC tv series of “the walking dead” will turn out. i am excited because i read that they are going to stay true to the events in the comics instead of sacrificing the content in order to have running zombies and cheap scares. the producers said they are gong to focus on the characters and how they survive (like in the novel). another great novel series i like is lone wolf and cub. i’ve seen the japanese adaptations. i enjoy shogun assassin a lot, but don’t really consider it a true adaptation, but rather film that was influenced by the novel. i think there could be a great film adaptation if they took something like yimou zhang’s art/visual direction, christopher doyle’s cinematography and johnnie to’s style/character direction. of course it would have to be in japanese with optional english subtitles (no dubbing allowed). i picture it being an epic and beautifully photographed 6 hour adventure.
Please write one. We need more non superhero comics :)
Interesting. I have a friend who has recommended The Walking Dead but I haven’t had time or money to get around to it. AMC has a fine track record so I look forward to seeing what they do.
Do any of you guys like the art of Bill Sienkiewicz? That guy is one talented individual, with images that just pulse on the page (if that makes any sense). It is some of the most inspired artwork I’ve seen from any comic book artist ever.
It depends for me. His finest work, for me, was on the unfinished Alan Moore opus, Big Numbers. This was the graphic novel that Moore was working on at the same time as From Hell. It was about a mall being created in a small british town and it’s effects on the community. Moore’s story and Sienkiewicz’s artwork was strongly inspired by Benoit Mandelbrot’s fractal theories of mathematics. Alas, Sienkiewicz went batty after the second issue and it will never be completed.
For some reason Marvel had Bill Sienkiewicz do the adaptation of Spielberg’s 1941. Oh dear.
Damn. That sucks. Sounds really good, to be honest. I liked his work for Delirium on Gaiman’s Sandman aanthology Endless Nights. The whole story takes place in one whacked out girls’ brain (Deliriums’), and the artowkr complements it very well, I feel. It’s like you’re drunk out of your mind, and you have no diea what the hell is going on, although something certainly is.
Also, his work with Frank Miller on the Elektra book is cool.
I think my reason for liking him so much is not that he can do a good job on his work (which he clearly can), but that what he does seems more like actual art art, rather than just comic art (that might sound degrading, but it wasn’t really meant to be). Basically, it reminds me of Ralph Steadman, who I think is a tremoundously talented individual.
Ralph Steadman is awesome. I kind of wish he would have done graphic novel work but i don’t think he ever saw it as anything he’d want to do.
Anyone read Spiegelman’s In the Shadow of No Towers ? I’d like to get my hands on that one.
Gaimans’ Sandman is a towering achievement with terrific artists who worked on individual story arcs. Maus was also in a league of its own. Frank Millers’ Elektra Assassin with Bill Sienkiewicz and lives again with Lynn Varley were also outstanding.
Yeah, Mike, Ralph Steadman was a true master of drawing and painting; there is just so much originalty in his work that I feel weak every time I put pencil to paper.
Chris, Sandman is awesome, yeah, but I wish I’d read more of it. I want to get the absolute editions, though, especially since they were re-colored. Elektra Assassin is awesome, indeed, and Elektra Lives? Well, that was one weird book, but I think it worked due to Miller’s solo activity on it (with Lynne, of course). It was a very odd book, with little narration (if I remember correctly); it was almost voyeuristic. I’ve never seen that done in a comic before.
Zachary, you really should hunt down the missing graphic novels on Sandman it is a terrific read. Ever try Cerebus by Dave Sim. They are collected in telephone sized novels and tells the complete life story of, well Cerebus.
@ Neil M.C.B.
I have it but haven’t read it. It’s a beautiful object though.
I am also a huge Grant Morrison fan, you should definately check him out. In addition to Arkham Asylum and All Star Superman(which is possibley my favorite comic book), Seaguy, The Invisibles, Seven Soldiers and The Filth are all wild rides. I still need to read Doom Patrol. I also love love love Alan Moore.
I’ve always wanted to check out Doom Patrol, based primarily on a picture I saw of it in this giant book I read once on DC (or something like that; can’t remember where I saw it).
Chris, I haven’t heard of Cerebrus, but I’ll check into it. Sounds fascinating. I’m not going to lie; sometimes, I just love a good old fashioned, self-indulgent work.
Doom Patrol by Grant Morrison and artwork by Richard Case is definitely a worthwhile read.