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 tried reading the moaning on s_d, actually went on my rant why Wonder Woman is not as commercial as people stupidly expect here, went back, and after much reading of whinging about how Hollywood hates women, I gave up.

I feel sorry for Adrianne Palicki, that's as far as it goes.

This was not the only chance at a new superheroine series. This might have been like the Cathy Lee Crosby Wonder Woman, which came out, fell kind of flat, but inspired a more conventional retool.

But mostly it's just a failed project like many others, that failed because of its execution, not its source material. It's the trademark power of Wonder Woman that got this as much visibility as it got. It was still a horrible horrible script, and much of Hollywood can see that.

There are lots of pilots that you don't even notice. The studio loses money, actors and techs get paid, life goes on. You just noticed this one early.

Wondy will be back I bet.

And the idea of doing a kick-butt superheroine will be as well.

The audience testing from this pilot will tell the studios some things: Probably, given the podcast I heard from someone who was in a test audience, that Steve Trevor is kind of an ass, that super-powered heroes should be smart & a little restrained about violence, and that a better-handled female character can work.

So that's good.

Meantime, watch In Plain Sight, read Nightschool, & remember that Wondy has to have a pretty good day to be as cool as either of those.

Nightschool: The Weirn Books, volume 3, or chapters 13-18 (plus bonus story!)

Mr Roi rocks.

Daemon is cool.

They are both called teachers, but they are very different.

There's a night university? Eron says he goes to university & it looks hard for him to hide his night-thing-ness. Interesting that someone like Mr Roi is at a high school.

That phrase gets used a lot in v. 3: "Night things." What the hunters call the various monsters & such. Which gets us "Nightest night thing that ever nighted" as a description of Mr Roi.

I suspect that the Sohrem-chosen & those who remember the taken are the same but I suppose I could be wrong.

The Sohrem is probably lying when it says that killing the other one will help.

I'm really not writing well when I sit down to the computer, sorry. This post feels thin to me.
I want to gush about something, but I don't have the ability right now to do the post that does justice to this.

Svetlana Chmakova's Nightschool blows so many other fantasy-outside-your-window series away. Is it what superhero comix used to be to me? Or better than they ever were?

The cast is huge. Like seriously huge, a lot to keep track of. There are many concepts floating around in the series, & each has depths, which are unexplained but which the writer seems to know. I wonder if at some point the mystery & the inventiveness will run out & I'll be bored. But for now, it's still unfolding & interesting.

And what characters! Among others: The little Russian-American (OK, Russo-Canadian) seer who was used to play the stock market by a gang of werewolves & just wants to go home; the Hunters who protect her, & the mysterious teacher who trains them. The spell scientist who teaches young witches at the school (& is always breaking holes in the classrooms) has left various large "seals" around in the past--how old is this guy anyway?--& has a sentient library who smiles with glee when he leaves it (her?) new scrolls. The comical night principal who may have swiped the percolator from the teachers' lounge; the pointy-eared "demon" teacher training young weirns (witches) in use of their "astrals" (sort of sentient assistant extensions of oneself)--who throws a snotty new pupil (previously home-schooled) straight into the final...and that pupil, about whom a mystery is brewing.

I get the impression that Chmakova at least has some idea what it all means, that this isn't JJ Abrams-style mysteries-without-solutions-yet-thought-of. I hope that the characters that are lying near death will come back so we can see more of them. I care about these strange characters.

The cast has actual ethnic diversity too. Not only are there weirns (a sort of witch), "demons" (with pointy ears), Hunters (that feels like it should be capitalized here), vamps, a mermaid, blah blah blah; but each group incorporates characters of different color, language background, etc. In the black-&-white art, character colors seem to come mostly in white & toned, but they have different face shapes & hairstyles--so if you're keeping track you can tell them apart.

I guess Chmakova has spent time around young children, maybe teaching even; the "astral training" class has that wonderful sense of understanding pedagogy. In so many ways, this reflects what people are actually like, in their wild imperfection & messiness. Not something an antisocial self-isolating nerd could manage to put in his raging power fantasy--which is why it walks all over what we get from too many "fantasy comics."



May 2017



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