philippos42: (yotsuba)
From Fandom!Secrets: "If I wanted to get into comic books..."
Where should I start? I'm aware of superheroes and horror as genres, and I'm generally open to both of those. I just don't want to jump in the middle of a storyline and be all confused. Googling did not help me decide. Help.
I got in late, but agreed with the generic answer of more self-contained graphic novels. My post was just a bunch of recommendations:

Nightschool by Svetlana Chmakova is supernatural action-adventure in an urban fantasy/horror world. Some people might be annoyed by the ending, and it has a lot of less developed characters which may make it hard on some readers, but there's some clever stuff.

Human Target: Chance Meetings by Peter Milligan and Edvin Biuković (Sorry for the Amazon link; I am not recommending you buy from Amazon.) I just reread this last night. It's too British in places; some of the characters are parodies of Americans rather than Americans, if that makes sense. There are some bad-but-minor plot holes in the third chapter; one because someone chose to cut and transition to another scene at a striking moment instead of showing the embarrassing seconds afterward. So, it's more of a mess than I remembered. But Edvin Biuković did a pretty solid job on the art, and it both has some trippy psychological stuff and manages to untie it and get to a surprisingly unambiguous ending. (I think.)
There are more Milligan Human Target stories, but I haven't read them. Here's a review:

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: Not superheroes, not horror, just a memoir of an Iranian girl in the time of the rise of the Islamic Republic.

Of the superheroes, I like Captain Marvel, the current one, "Carol" to her fans. In the last few years, they've changed the artists, they've restarted the numbering a few times, and there's one issue that's just part of an X-Men crossover. should probably get the trades (that is, trade paperback collections), anyway: I started with the issues collected as "Higher, Further, Faster, More," which is the most recent "volume one" until the next "volume one." Honestly, their packaging is terrible. But these issues aren't terribly crossover-heavy, thankfully, and Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez are really cool. (And...I think they're off the book as of this November and the fourth #1 in three years.)

[Note: If you follow Carol, know that "Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps" is...really weird. I think it's still coming out in floppy form, so I don't know what it's going to be collected as. But it's part of the "There is only Secret Wars" hot mess that Marvel got into this year, and's particularly surreal for a Carol story.]

And then, and then, Rocket Girl by Brandon Montclare & Amy Reeder is an Image Comics series with time travel and stuff, and I like it, but I think the creators are having a really hard time financially. I'm supposed to have a trade of it by now, and I don't know what happened.

Oh, also Yotsuba&!. Always.
I first ran into Chuck Dixon's work when he was writing for Savage Sword of Conan. He was OK I guess.

Then he wrote the Alien Legion revival, and I bought a bunch of those. Old Alien Legion fans complained about him turning it into the Jugger Grimrod show. Maybe so. He wasn't quite the same as Alan Zelenetz. I think his last Alien Legion story was some weird mess with the characters stuck in a time distortion and coming out years later. I was annoyed by it somehow.

He moved on to DC and became the major Batman family writer, starting Nightwing and Robin ongoings. These were OK. I didn't really follow his Batman, but I liked Nightwing and Robin.

One problem with the "Dixonverse," as these titles came to be nicknamed, was that he perhaps overmuch liked the trope of having the one action hero take out a large number of foes implausibly. (His earlier Evangeline series is the same way.)

In the midst of this, he got to be the writer on a new series called Birds of Prey, a revamp of both Oracle and Black Canary. I got some of the specials before it went monthly. Some neat stuff, but his Dinah Lance seemed slightly off to me at first, because I had been a fan of Sarah Byam's Black Canary, which preceded it.

Meanwhile, there was some editor--Gorfinkel?--who shipped Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon, so that looming ship was hanging over his characters in multiple books. I wonder if he would have done something different with Dick and Clancy, or Barbara and Ted, if not for that editor. Hm. Still, a very "family"-oriented run.

And I remember now, back when Byam was doing that series, myself telling an acquaintance who was a big Jugger Grimrod fan that I liked both Alien Legion and Black Canary, and he didn't get why anyone would be a Black Canary fan. So we're full circle!



May 2017



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