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Comic Books

Comic Books
March 31, 2008, 04:34:26 PM
Dare I bring up such a topic here?  I consider myself an expert.  Anybody read Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis?  Why do all the genius comic book writers come from the British Isles?  By the way I follow writers, not artists.  Has anybody read 'the Invisibles' by Morrison?  'Watchmen' of 'SwampThing' by Moore?

Reading Don Quixote would probably be time better spent, but I have to indulge in my favorite authors from time to time.  Alan Moore seems to have cooled off in recent years, but Warren Ellis is on fire - that guys' a madman.

Re: Comic Books
March 31, 2008, 05:28:29 PM
Never been a comics freak but Sandman has been my absolute favourite. Gaiman's style is highly captivating and imaginative. I love the way this character has been involved with different famous historical figures and incidents. Though there is a strong Judeo-Christian element to it, the writer explores Pagan, Nihilistic themes too.

Re: Comic Books
March 31, 2008, 05:44:07 PM
I've only ever read two comics in my life and I bought them as a joke. One was "The Flaming Carrot" and the other was "The Loaded Bible: Jesus versus Vampires." They were quite funny but I didn't like the fact that they took five minutes to read.I have heard of "The Invisibles" and I would like to read them; however, I've only been in a comic book store once and they didn't have it so...

Re: Comic Books
March 31, 2008, 06:32:05 PM
Yeah I'm wary of the Judeo-Christian element in Gaiman, too.

Invisibles is probably available on amazon.  Check your local library, too - you might be surprised.  

Let me tell you about the Invisibles:  Grant Morrison sued the Wachowski Bros (or however you spell it), over the Matrix because there is a brief scene in 'the Invisibles' where something called "The Matrix" is described and it is exactly the concept they used in the movie!  Now I don't know if Morrison really had a leg to stand on because 1st of all the Matrix is really just Plato's Allegory of the Cave, and 2nd because "The Invisibles" is just idea after idea, theme after theme, and the Matrix aspect was but one page in a 7 volume opus and not really the crux of the story.  But imagine if Morrison's tablescraps inspired the movie, how great the entire series is.  In the Invisibles, too, characters interact with famous historical figures (in fact ever since Gaiman did that in Sandman a lot of comic writers have done it - Alan Moore "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen").

Another thing I noticed is that comic books sometimes tend to be ahead of the curve in terms of bestseller novels/movies.  Case in point Garth Ennis (a Scotsman, if memory serves) wrote a series called "Preacher" and this story centered around Christ's bloodline a la 'Da Vinci Code.'  I KNOW Preacher pre-dated the Da Vinci Code.  Of course there is a book that pre-dates the DaVinci Code and Preacher and that is "Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco.  Foucault's pendulum is technically fiction but it essentially serves as a comprehensive reference of every secret-society/conspiracy-theory story/legend since the 1100s or whenever all that shit started.  Of course NOW everyone knows about the knights Templar, Illuminati, etc. etc. I mean there's specials on the History Channel, but before the DaVinci Code there was Preacher and "Foucault's Pendulum."

Re: Comic Books
March 31, 2008, 07:00:58 PM
Quote
Yeah I'm wary of the Judeo-Christian element in Gaiman, too.

Let me tell you about the Invisibles:  Grant Morrison sued the Wachowski Bros (or however you spell it), over the Matrix because there is a brief scene in 'the Invisibles' where something called "The Matrix" is described and it is exactly the concept they used in the movie!  Now I don't know if Morrison really had a leg to stand on because 1st of all the Matrix is really just Plato's Allegory of the Cave, and 2nd because "The Invisibles" is just idea after idea, theme after theme, and the Matrix aspect was but one page in a 7 volume opus and not really the crux of the story.  But imagine if Morrison's tablescraps inspired the movie, how great the entire series is.  In the Invisibles, too, characters interact with famous historical figures (in fact ever since Gaiman did that in Sandman a lot of comic writers have done it - Alan Moore "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen").

Another thing I noticed is that comic books sometimes tend to be ahead of the curve in terms of bestseller novels/movies.  Case in point Garth Ennis (a Scotsman, if memory serves) wrote a series called "Preacher" and this story centered around Christ's bloodline a la 'Da Vinci Code.'  I KNOW Preacher pre-dated the Da Vinci Code.  Of course there is a book that pre-dates the DaVinci Code and Preacher and that is "Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco.  Foucault's pendulum is technically fiction but it essentially serves as a comprehensive reference of every secret-society/conspiracy-theory story/legend since the 1100s or whenever all that shit started.  Of course NOW everyone knows about the knights Templar, Illuminati, etc. etc. I mean there's specials on the History Channel, but before the DaVinci Code there was Preacher and "Foucault's Pendulum."


I believe the Wachowski brothers have admitted to the Invisibles as being an influence, but I suppose they should have asked first. I never had Plato in mind when I saw the movie, but I haven't seen it in a couple years. Interesting.

chrstphrbnntt

Re: Comic Books
March 31, 2008, 07:45:10 PM
This is extremely interesting for fans of the author:

The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick

Re: Comic Books
March 31, 2008, 08:24:33 PM
Asterix was pretty fuckin' sweet  :D

Re: Comic Books
April 01, 2008, 07:49:02 AM
Grant Morrison claims that much of The Matrix was a "plot by plot, detail by detail, image by image" plagiarization of his work and its true. The comic was in fact kept on the set as a reference. There was no lawsuit though.

Re: Comic Books
April 01, 2008, 09:38:09 AM
The Wackowsky brothers used and abused of Grant Morrison's work and Ghost in the Shell as well... although they were never able to explore and put in the screen the ideas and philosophy behind these works.

Re: Comic Books
April 01, 2008, 01:07:34 PM
Quote
Grant Morrison claims that much of The Matrix was a "plot by plot, detail by detail, image by image" plagiarization of his work and its true. The comic was in fact kept on the set as a reference. There was no lawsuit though.


Gotcha, thank you to you and Hlidskjalf for clearing this up.  Let me reiterate that the Invisibles is a sprawling mind-fuck of an opus, I highly reccomend.  But just for the record, the series starts off slow:  the first 2 volumes are not as great as the last 5, and the final 2 volumes, in particular are absolutely bursting with inspiration and madness.  Morrison, himself, grew as a writer over this series and he really didn't find his groove until the middle of it.  So if you do want to read it, just be patient, it's worth it at the end.

Philip K Dick is solid.

I haven't yet read Asterix, but I know it's well respected.

And although I mainly follow writers, let me mention the artist Mike Mignola's work on Hellboy - his artwork is absolutely singular - he almost has a German expressionism thing going on.  The first few stories he wrote are great too, usually centering around Nazi Occultism and H.P. Lovecraft type monsters.

Another artist that goes withot saying is Frank Miller - the first Sin City is the best one, and Dark Knight Returns is, of course, a classic.  His writing is average, but his artwork is badass.

Re: Comic Books
April 01, 2008, 11:41:19 PM
Comic books remind me of the Bible.

Sure, they seem epic, but it's unreal moral combat between two rigid extremes that don't exist in reality.

I prefer something with more meat to it.

Re: Comic Books
April 02, 2008, 01:45:47 AM
Sandman has its moments.  Basically it wins by default for being literate and ambitious in something of an artistic wasteland.



You always want it to go just a little bit farther...

Re: Comic Books
April 02, 2008, 04:46:43 AM
^  that was an awsome mindfucking story. There are some gruesome tales and scenes in the Sandman series. And there are some highly abstract stories too.

I have read a few issues of Preacher and it seems like a satire on Religion/ Christianity(in particular).

Re: Comic Books
April 03, 2008, 05:15:10 AM
While getting into the Neo-Folk bands like Current 93 and Sol Invictus, I find Sandman comics to be a good companion.  The ideas cross back and forth and almost lead you into a strange journey that cnnnects you more closely to the humanity of the past.  

I found Sandman seems to take people further from Judeo-Christian ideas, despite what some here say.  The reason it features them at all is because of the focus on them in the old Grimoires that Gaiman is fascinated with.  Black Magic was always tied tightly with Christianity and Judaism, so it's only natural.  The way he includes all the other Gods of other belief systems makes me belief that the Christian God being the official God is just a way of saying "This is the current God and these are the old Gods".  

Re: Comic Books
April 03, 2008, 12:45:21 PM
Quote
 Black Magic was always tied tightly with Christianity and Judaism, so it's only natural.  The way he includes all the other Gods of other belief systems makes me belief that the Christian God being the official God is just a way of saying "This is the current God and these are the old Gods".  


Right.  I hear what you're saying, too.  I'm telling you, the upper tier/avant garde comic books are more than pop culture.

Another guy I should mention is Dave Sim.  He wrote Cerebus - a 6,000 page story.  It marks the longest-running originally English-language comic book series ever by a single creative team; Sim refers to it as the "longest sustained narrative in human history."