I have “Death of Captain America”, it’s def worth a read. Also check out “Winter Soldier” by Brubaker.
I haven’t read any of my comics in a while. The last one I read was is “It’s a Bird”.
By the way, how do you bold letters on here?
By putting the word you want bolded between * and * . As in bolded. No spaces.
I just finished Black Hole and I thought it was well-done. I think it does a really good job of authentically capturing teenagers and the things they struggle with. Plus, I like the use of STD, nightmarish images. To me, it felt like a Gus Van Sant teen film—with some consultation from David Lynch. In fact, Van Sant would be an ideal director to adapt the film.
I finished Ed Brubaker’s The Dead and the Dying and I enjoyed it. Thanks, Matt! I just realized this is the 3rd book, but the stories felt sort of self-contained. I’m guessing that some characters (like Teeg Lawless and Jake) appear in the other books.
I picked up Eddie Campbell’s Alec: Life in Pants. The humor reminds me of something I’d hear in a good sit-com (which is a good thing). I feel I might not fully appreciate the stories because of the cultural references.
Sure . . . I figured Brubaker might be your kind of thing. Yeah, the graphic novels are each stand-alone stories, so it shouldn’t make any difference what order you read them in.
So, do some of the same characters appear in the other books?
Btw, have you read Killer or Fell? Both were at Border’s, and they looked potentially interesting.
Don’t know Killer, but I’ve liked the few issues of Fell I’ve read, and Warren Ellis is generally pretty good.
You’d recommend Fell, then? (I liked the art. I assume Ellis wrote Fell.)
Yeah, Ellis writes it and Ben Templesmith is the artist. I didn’t buy beyond the first few issues, but I’ve been meaning to catch up with the trade paperback.
Trade paperback? I didn’t realize these series were in trade paperback (which is the old style comic book format, right?). I’m assuming these are much cheaper. (I hope the Criminal series are in trade paperback, too. Heading to the used bookstore if so.)
Have you read the whole thing? Did you read the Graffiti Kitchen chapter? What the hell sitcoms are you watching? The only cultural reference I can think of that affects his work is the limited debt to Kerouac.
I’m also curious how you feel about his artwork. I hate to separate the art from the stories (Campbell really hates that practice) but I’m still curious how someone who isn’t very familiar with the medium sees this stuff. His work is very loose and scratchy and miles ahead of the average mainstream type artist in getting to the heart of things. This question relates to a lot of the discussions on film aesthetics in the “mumblecore” threads. The polished artists tend to be the weaker ones.
I haven’t read the whole book—only about thirty or forty pages in. Here’s an example of the sit-com humor I mean. Alec meets Josphine and says something like, “So do you think Jackson Pollack is a legitimate painter.” And Josphine says, “I think he’s a drip.” The next caption has them sitting in silence.
As for difficult cultural references, perhaps I’m mainly referring to the language. For example, there’s a humorous conversation between Alec and Josephine’s mother about the appropriate term of Scottish people (e.g., Scots, Scotch, Scottish. And again, this is another one of those bits I’d expect in a sit-com, especially a British one). Josephine’s mom makes a reference to “Scotch eggs.” I never heard of that before, so I’m not sure what she was talking about.
As for the art, I haven’t really focused and analyzed much, so I don’t think I have anything really intelligent to say. I do like it fine so far, though—and I don’t have a problem with the less “polished” approach.
Oh, okay. You’ve got a long ways to go. I see what you mean about cultural references but, yeah, I guess you have to expect that.
The art is really important here for it’s effect on the way you read the story. I realize some people read through comics as thought the art is simply a background for the words, which in many books is unfortunately true, in work like Campbell’s one would be missing something crucial. He is one of the few artists in comics who works in an impressionist rather than expressionist style. Now, don’t get me wrong, comics panels almost never work like paintings. You’re not meant to linger on an image and the art and page layout is designed to move your eye across the page rather than get stuck in one place. However, the best artists still create a feeling with their sense of line for the world their script describes.
“Trade paperback? I didn’t realize these series were in trade paperback”
A lot of what people call “graphic novels” are actually technically speaking trade paperbacks—compilations of issues of titles that were originally published in traditional monthly comic book format.
Ehh. I like Love and Rockets.
Matt said, A lot of what people call “graphic novels” are actually technically speaking trade paperbacks—compilations of issues of titles that were originally published in traditional monthly comic book format.
Yeah, although I’ve read some that weren’t that way. I just never realized the Criminal series was like that. (Used bookstore, here I come.)
I’ll try to pay more attention to the art and the way it works with the writing as I read more. I’ll report back later.
“Yeah, although I’ve read some that weren’t that way.”
Yeah, there terms have become pretty much interchangeable at this point, but yes, most of Brubaker’s stuff is original published as monthlies (or bi-monthlies).
I finished reading the first book of Transmetropolitan. It sort of reminds me of the Alan Moore’s “hard truth” approach, which I like. I’m not that into the satire—or at least I don’t find it as biting or humorous. I like Darick Robertson’s art, which at times reminds me of George Perez and some the Heavy Metal artists. I’m into the second book now, and my favorite issue is the one about “downloading.”
I recently Ed Brubaker’s and Sean Phillips’ Inognito, which I liked quite a bit. I’m not a fan of Phillips’ art, but it’s really appropriate for the subject matter.
Didn’t know this until recently, but it’s Philips who did the cover for the Criterion release of Blast of Silence.
I kinda like his art . . . it’s got a nice pen-and-ink chiaroscuro to it.
It looks great on that cover, but I don’t care for it in the comics—but that’s because I have a preference for cleaner, brighter style (e.g., John Byrne, George Perez, Walt Simonson—the latter can have a “sketchier” style, but it’s not as “messy” as Phillips’). But this “uglier” style really fits well with the material—which is darker, seedier and “pulp-ier.” Have you read it, Matt? The construction of the story is very good, and I like the angle the book takes on super-hero genre (sort of like Alan Moore, sans the social commentary and philosophy).