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Author Topic: Superheroes, Comic Books, and Graphic Novels  (Read 330 times)

Donal2018

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Superheroes, Comic Books, and Graphic Novels
« on: July 02, 2019, 03:15:00 pm »
I was wondering if anyone here is a Comic Book fan. I grew up on Comic Books, Marvel, DC, and Others. Mainly a Marvel Fan though. I learned to read from comics, then later to draw a bit also. It seems to me that modern Superheroes are similar to some myths. Superman and Hercules seem to have some things in common. Anyway, I was wondering if Superheroes and related Pop Culture stuff is relevant to anyone else.

Donal2018

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Re: Superheroes, Comic Books, and Graphic Novels
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2019, 03:18:18 pm »
I was wondering if anyone here is a Comic Book fan. I grew up on Comic Books, Marvel, DC, and Others. Mainly a Marvel Fan though. I learned to read from comics, then later to draw a bit also. It seems to me that modern Superheroes are similar to some myths. Superman and Hercules seem to have some things in common. Anyway, I was wondering if Superheroes and related Pop Culture stuff is relevant to anyone else.

Also, I was just looking at Alan Moore's Watchmen again and was wondering if anyone is a fan of any particular comic book author or artist. I grew up on Claremont's X-Men (drawn mostly by Byrne) and also the Avengers, where George Perez was one of my favorite artists.

PerditaPickle

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Re: Superheroes, Comic Books, and Graphic Novels
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2019, 03:44:44 pm »
I was wondering if anyone here is a Comic Book fan. I grew up on Comic Books, Marvel, DC, and Others. Mainly a Marvel Fan though. I learned to read from comics, then later to draw a bit also. It seems to me that modern Superheroes are similar to some myths. Superman and Hercules seem to have some things in common. Anyway, I was wondering if Superheroes and related Pop Culture stuff is relevant to anyone else.

I actually really struggle to read comic books & etc - something about having different sized panels, and sometimes they don't necessarily go straight left to right (a page wide panel might lead straight down to a set of smaller panels going left to right, then it might go elsewhere...), and stuff.  I'm so used to reading text, also, that I tend to only read the speech bubbles and not look at what's happening in the artwork, then I have to go back over a page and re-read it when I realise I don't know what's going on in the story.

I did make an effort for The Walking Dead comic books, following becoming a huge fan of the TV show (and an existing fan of the zombie genre, already), but that's about it.

Sefiru

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Re: Superheroes, Comic Books, and Graphic Novels
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2019, 06:46:00 pm »
I actually really struggle to read comic books & etc - something about having different sized panels, and sometimes they don't necessarily go straight left to right (a page wide panel might lead straight down to a set of smaller panels going left to right, then it might go elsewhere...), and stuff.  I'm so used to reading text, also, that I tend to only read the speech bubbles and not look at what's happening in the artwork, then I have to go back over a page and re-read it when I realise I don't know what's going on in the story.

There's a book, Understanding Comics (a rare example of a non-fiction comic book) that does quite a lot of analysis about how comics work and that they really are a different medium than either text or pictures.

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Re: Superheroes, Comic Books, and Graphic Novels
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2019, 07:00:59 pm »
Also, I was just looking at Alan Moore's Watchmen again and was wondering if anyone is a fan of any particular comic book author or artist.

Alan Moore is amazing. I especially like some of the iconic Green Lantern stories he did (Rot Lop Fan!) and the Tom Strong series. I thought Watchmen was brilliant but not exactly light reading. I also like the pieces of Grant Morrison's work that I've been able to read. (Comics are frickin expensive ... thank the gods for public libraries)

On the manga side, I tend to have favorite titles rather than favorite authors, but one exception is Sanami Matoh. Not because of the art style so much as the characterization and dialogue.

And then there are Franco-Belgian comics, which need more attention damnit! I like Asterix and Tintin, which are probably the most familiar to non-French-speaking audiences, and I'm also fond of Lucky Luke. I recently learned of Blake and Mortimer, which seems to be a techno-noir (like a more serious Tintin), but my library doesn't have any so I'll have to wait for my budget to catch up before I can read it.

Donal2018

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Re: Superheroes, Comic Books, and Graphic Novels
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2019, 07:40:47 pm »
Alan Moore is amazing. I especially like some of the iconic Green Lantern stories he did (Rot Lop Fan!) and the Tom Strong series. I thought Watchmen was brilliant but not exactly light reading. I also like the pieces of Grant Morrison's work that I've been able to read. (Comics are frickin expensive ... thank the gods for public libraries)

On the manga side, I tend to have favorite titles rather than favorite authors, but one exception is Sanami Matoh. Not because of the art style so much as the characterization and dialogue.

And then there are Franco-Belgian comics, which need more attention damnit! I like Asterix and Tintin, which are probably the most familiar to non-French-speaking audiences, and I'm also fond of Lucky Luke. I recently learned of Blake and Mortimer, which seems to be a techno-noir (like a more serious Tintin), but my library doesn't have any so I'll have to wait for my budget to catch up before I can read it.

Yes, all good stuff. I started reading Moore when I saw his Miracleman/Marvelman stuff back in the day. Then I read Watchmen and I was hooked.

I use to have an extensive collection of comics from my youth, mainly Marvel stuff, that was probably worth hundreds if not thousands of bucks. I lost them in a College move.

Anyway, I agree with you about the Public Library. Comics and graphic novels are so expensive now, I would not read much if it weren't for my local Library. Thanks god for Public Libraries!

Nothingness

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Re: Superheroes, Comic Books, and Graphic Novels
« Reply #6 on: Today at 12:18:12 am »
On the manga side, I tend to have favorite titles rather than favorite authors, but one exception is Sanami Matoh. Not because of the art style so much as the characterization and dialogue.

And then there are Franco-Belgian comics, which need more attention damnit! I like Asterix and Tintin, which are probably the most familiar to non-French-speaking audiences, and I'm also fond of Lucky Luke. I recently learned of Blake and Mortimer, which seems to be a techno-noir (like a more serious Tintin), but my library doesn't have any so I'll have to wait for my budget to catch up before I can read it.

I read franco-belges comics when I a child, in French, since I'm French-Canadian, and French is my mother language.  I read mostly Astérix,  Achille Tallon, and others I don't rememer their names.   My brother was really fond of Tintin, and managed to buy them all.

I don't read comics or graphic novels, I read mangas though.  I just finished reading Devils' Line by Ryo Hanada, which was pretty good.  My favorite artist is Tsutomu Nihey, just love everything that he does, and my favorite manga by him is Blame!.  Probably the best manga serie ever.   I recently finished rebuying his last edition in English, the much bigger and cleaner Master Edition of Blame!
« Last Edit: Today at 12:25:23 am by Nothingness »

Nothingness

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Re: Superheroes, Comic Books, and Graphic Novels
« Reply #7 on: Today at 12:29:02 am »
I read franco-belges comics when I a child, in French, since I'm French-Canadian, and French is my mother language.  I read mostly Astérix,  Achille Tallon, and others I don't rememer their names.   My brother was really fond of Tintin, and managed to buy them all.

I don't read comics or graphic novels, I read mangas though.  I just finished reading Devils' Line by Ryo Hanada, which was pretty good.  My favorite artist is Tsutomu Nihey, just love everything that he does, and my favorite manga by him is Blame!.  Probably the best manga serie ever.   I recently finished rebuying his last edition in English, the much bigger and cleaner Master Edition of Blame!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blame!

Altair

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Re: Superheroes, Comic Books, and Graphic Novels
« Reply #8 on: Today at 07:08:04 am »
Yes, all good stuff. I started reading Moore when I saw his Miracleman/Marvelman stuff back in the day.

Another Alan Moore fan here, particularly his early work. Back in my college days, the local comic book store carried an oversized black-and-white anthology comic, a British import called Warrior, which serialized 3 Alan Moore works: Marvelman [/Miracleman], Warpsmith, and V for Vendetta. I believe these were the original printings of these stories, but I'm not certain; anyway, it was heaven!

To this day, V for Vendetta is the only comic that has ever made me cry. (Evey and the toilet paper letter; as a young out gay guy in a much less tolerant era, the way that story ended moved me beyond words.)

Like you, I also came of age on Claremont/Byrne X-Men, the run that launched the X-Men into superstardom. Back then, Byrne's artwork was less cookie-cutter and rushed-looking, and Claremont was at the top of his game. It's astonishing that the seminal Dark Phoenix saga and Days of Future Past storylines came out virtually back to back. (Sadly, they haven't done justice to either in the movies, not the way the MCU has kicked ass with the Avengers.)

My favorite Claremont/Byrne X-Men moment is in issue #113, when Magneto has the X-Men trapped under a volcano in neural-jamming chairs that leave their minds intact but reduce their bodies functionally to infancy. Unbeknownst to Magneto, however, Storm at six months old had the coordination of a young girl, so in a series of beautifully drawn and crisply written panels, she proceeds to pick the lock on her chair...with her teeth!



I was a Storm devotee from Day 1, but that just cemented it permanently. Years later, when I worked for Marvel and was writing Star Trek: Starfleet Academy for them, I paid tribute to that moment by having cadet Nog--a Ferengi, a people whose relentless pursuit of profit gives them crafty and sometimes burglary skills--discover that ancient issue of Uncanny X-Men and swoon over Storm's feat.

Anyway, yeah, I'm another longtime Marvel guy. I'll tackle your deeper points in a separate post.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Altair

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Re: Superheroes, Comic Books, and Graphic Novels
« Reply #9 on: Today at 12:30:55 pm »
I was wondering if anyone here is a Comic Book fan. I grew up on Comic Books, Marvel, DC, and Others. Mainly a Marvel Fan though. I learned to read from comics, then later to draw a bit also. It seems to me that modern Superheroes are similar to some myths. Superman and Hercules seem to have some things in common. Anyway, I was wondering if Superheroes and related Pop Culture stuff is relevant to anyone else.

I've long maintained that in our modern Western culture, in which myth has seriously atrophied (to our detriment), superhero comics are the last bastion of mythmaking. Even putting aside the direct, superficial borrowing from mythology (Thor, for example), the superhero genre carries myth forward in some essential aspects:

--Archetypal protagonists and antagonists with fantastical powers who stand for different principles
--Larger-than-life stories that often reflect the underlying concerns of the culture in this moment
--The way the storytelling is collective in mainstream superhero comics--passing through the hands of different writers/artists through the years, with new interpretations added--mirrors how myth was handed down over the centuries, from storyteller to storyteller

The superhero genre has conquered the big screen (oversaturated it, I would say at this point) and is all over the small screen as well, and I think that's in part reflective of the hunger for myth in our culture.

And while I don't consider my superhero obsession to rise to the level of worship, there are a very few characters who occupy a similar spot to deity in my psyche; one might think of them avatars for some force I consider sacred. The X-Man Storm is one; I even once had a little action figure of her for a makeshift altar, to stand in for the feminine divine. The fact that in my previous post I referred to myself as her "devotee" suggests a she's already got god-like iconic status for me.

So I definitely think there's a connection between superhero comics and myth.

The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Donal2018

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Re: Superheroes, Comic Books, and Graphic Novels
« Reply #10 on: Today at 02:24:37 pm »
Another Alan Moore fan here, particularly his early work. Back in my college days, the local comic book store carried an oversized black-and-white anthology comic, a British import called Warrior, which serialized 3 Alan Moore works: Marvelman [/Miracleman], Warpsmith, and V for Vendetta. I believe these were the original printings of these stories, but I'm not certain; anyway, it was heaven!...

Like you, I also came of age on Claremont/Byrne X-Men, the run that launched the X-Men into superstardom. Back then, Byrne's artwork was less cookie-cutter and rushed-looking, and Claremont was at the top of his game. It's astonishing that the seminal Dark Phoenix saga and Days of Future Past storylines came out virtually back to back. (Sadly, they haven't done justice to either in the movies, not the way the MCU has kicked ass with the Avengers.)...

My favorite Claremont/Byrne X-Men moment is in issue #113, when Magneto has the X-Men trapped under a volcano in neural-jamming chairs that leave their minds intact but reduce their bodies functionally to infancy. Unbeknownst to Magneto, however, Storm at six months old had the coordination of a young girl, so in a series of beautifully drawn and crisply written panels, she proceeds to pick the lock on her chair...with her teeth!

Anyway, yeah, I'm another longtime Marvel guy. I'll tackle your deeper points in a separate post.

Yes, we must be about the same age. The Claremont/Byrne era was a major influence on me. I remember that scene with Storm picking the lock. Issue #113, my lucky number (I used to work a security job and 113 was my Supervisor code. I was always drawn to that number).

Anyway, those comics were incredible. My favorite artist was George Perez in his run on the Avengers. When I was a kid my favorite superhero was Captain America. Later I switched to Wolverine in my adolescence.

Alan Moore was also a big influence. I remember reading the Miracleman stuff first. I think it was Dark Horse that published them here in America? All of his work is great. I appreciate your connection to V for Vendetta. What did you think of the movie?

 

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