Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Belial » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:46 pm UTC

Heh. I was picking up what you were laying down right up until you hit the "<$50". Most of the truly great self contained stories (clear beginning and end) I'm aware of are about 10 volumes, for between $15 and $20 each: Sandman, Lucifer, Transmetropolitan, Y, Preacher, etcetera. It comes out to being about 100 bucks to get the whole series.

Anyway, since you're trying to get into comics, Watchmen and V for Vendetta are both good and contained in one volume for about 20 or 30 dollars. They're not the best, but they're good.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Endless Mike » Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:32 pm UTC

Amazon's prices are usually really good on trades and hardcovers. For instance, Watchmen is currently priced at under $14 and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns at just over $10. Even oversized hardcovers there tend to be in the $20-30 range (excluding DC Absolute books).
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby DarkKnightJared » Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:00 pm UTC

One I got yesterday and highly recommend is Batman: The Man Who Laughs--an excellent story on the first encounter between Batman and The Joker.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Jayngfet » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:17 am UTC

the runaways, just because wolverine gets one punched by a twelve year old girl name molly.

And then theres the entertainment values of a gender confused shapeshifter.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Malice » Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:01 am UTC

Speaking of Batman ones, "The Long Halloween" kicks about nine kinds of ass.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:21 pm UTC

Malice wrote:Speaking of Batman ones, "The Long Halloween" kicks about nine kinds of ass.

JEPH LOEB!!! :evil: :evil: :evil:

Although Long Halloween wasn't too bad.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby mosc » Tue Apr 29, 2008 4:27 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Heh. I was picking up what you were laying down right up until you hit the "<$50". Most of the truly great self contained stories (clear beginning and end) I'm aware of are about 10 volumes, for between $15 and $20 each: Sandman, Lucifer, Transmetropolitan, Y, Preacher, etcetera. It comes out to being about 100 bucks to get the whole series.

Anyway, since you're trying to get into comics, Watchmen and V for Vendetta are both good and contained in one volume for about 20 or 30 dollars. They're not the best, but they're good.

I can't see paying about $1 a page for this stuff. It just shouldn't cost so damn much. If the volumes are like 100 oversized pages of graphic goodness, I'm not going to have a problem plopping down $15 or $20 per but if it's a 25 page long hard cover who's spine and sides take up more width than the actual meat, I'm a much angrier person. Graphic novels read extremely quickly.

I did some browsing on amazon per suggestion and it seems they're in paperbacks? Are the pages...like... mass market paper or are the graphics acceptable? I'll probably buy these if y'all think I'll actually be getting a decent reproduction of the original works. I'm interested but feel like getting ripped off is inevitable.

http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Knight-Ret ... 139&sr=8-2
http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Dark-Knigh ... im_b_img_2
http://www.amazon.com/V-Vendetta-Alan-M ... b_title_10
http://www.amazon.com/Watchmen-Alan-Moo ... gy_b_img_b

Should I be looking hard cover? Help?
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby McCaber » Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:25 pm UTC

That's the format I read V for Vendetta and Watchmen in, and I thought both of them were amazing.

I say go for it. Those editions worked for me, and I don't think I lost anything by it.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:12 pm UTC

mosc wrote:
Belial wrote:Heh. I was picking up what you were laying down right up until you hit the "<$50". Most of the truly great self contained stories (clear beginning and end) I'm aware of are about 10 volumes, for between $15 and $20 each: Sandman, Lucifer, Transmetropolitan, Y, Preacher, etcetera. It comes out to being about 100 bucks to get the whole series.

Anyway, since you're trying to get into comics, Watchmen and V for Vendetta are both good and contained in one volume for about 20 or 30 dollars. They're not the best, but they're good.

I can't see paying about $1 a page for this stuff. It just shouldn't cost so damn much. If the volumes are like 100 oversized pages of graphic goodness, I'm not going to have a problem plopping down $15 or $20 per but if it's a 25 page long hard cover who's spine and sides take up more width than the actual meat, I'm a much angrier person. Graphic novels read extremely quickly.

I did some browsing on amazon per suggestion and it seems they're in paperbacks? Are the pages...like... mass market paper or are the graphics acceptable? I'll probably buy these if y'all think I'll actually be getting a decent reproduction of the original works. I'm interested but feel like getting ripped off is inevitable.

http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Knight-Ret ... 139&sr=8-2
http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Dark-Knigh ... im_b_img_2
http://www.amazon.com/V-Vendetta-Alan-M ... b_title_10
http://www.amazon.com/Watchmen-Alan-Moo ... gy_b_img_b

Should I be looking hard cover? Help?

In VERY rare instances do they may use mass market quality paper, but I can only think of a few instances, which are mostly older DC trades. In general, it's a lot better than that, and usually a nice glossy stock for color books. Black and white usually has a heavy stock matte paper. Hardcovers almost always have a high quality paper stock (I can't think of any exceptions), matte or glossy depending on how it was originally printed (i.e. the Kirby Fourth World HCs are in matte stock despite being color, since that's closer to how they were originally presented, although it's MUCH better paper than the original newsprint). If you want an idea, go to your local Borders or B&N and pick up a couple. I like the hardcovers since they're usually a bit bigger than the trade paperbacks, which helps the art a lot. Almost any collected volume will be a minimum of 100 pages, with oversized hardcovers being a good twelve or so issues of stories. The softcovers generally have a story arc or two (4-6 issues). If you want value for your buck I HIGHLY recommend the Bone One Volume Edition. It's 1300 pages (black and white, as originally published, although Scholastic is now releasing colored editions) collecting the full story for under $30. It's REALLY good both as a value and as a story.

PS: Don't get The Dark Knight Strikes Again.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Various Varieties » Thu May 01, 2008 5:11 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:
Malice wrote:Speaking of Batman ones, "The Long Halloween" kicks about nine kinds of ass.

JEPH LOEB!!! :evil: :evil: :evil:

Although Long Halloween wasn't too bad.

You know, it was a bit of a shock to me when I found out how vilified Jeph Loeb is, because I'd previously only read a couple of his collaborations with Tim Sale (specifically A Superman for All Seasons, which I really like and still seems to be a very well-regarded Superman story, and the fun Catwoman: When In Rome), and had also heard good things about his Spider-Man: Blue and Daredevil: Yellow. (Oh, and there was The Witching Hour too, but to tell the truth I really only read that for that lovely Chris Bachalo artwork. 8) )

So it wasn't until he started writing Ultimates 3 that I found out how much people seem to hate him - and judging by what I've seen of it, I have to agree: "It's not quite as subtle as when he was trying to reassemble his record collection, is it?" :(
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Endless Mike » Thu May 01, 2008 6:15 pm UTC

His work with Sale isn't all that bad, really, but then there's been stuff like Ultimates 3, Hulk, his run on Superman/Batman, Onslaught Reborn, and so on that have just been miserably bad.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Belial » Thu May 01, 2008 8:10 pm UTC

mosc wrote:I can't see paying about $1 a page for this stuff. It just shouldn't cost so damn much. If the volumes are like 100 oversized pages of graphic goodness, I'm not going to have a problem plopping down $15 or $20 per but if it's a 25 page long hard cover who's spine and sides take up more width than the actual meat, I'm a much angrier person. Graphic novels read extremely quickly.


Umm. I thought maybe I was going insane, so I checked their amazon listings to be sure. Sandman trade paperbacks weigh in at about 250 pages each, pretty consistently. The exception is vol 9: 350 pages. That's less than 1 cent a page, and in the case of vol 9, it's nearly down to half a cent per page.

Lucifer and Y paperbacks are roughly 150 on average. Transmet is about 200. None of these are abnormal lengths for graphic novel trade paperbacks. In fact, they're pretty standard.

In fact, now that I check on it, the 30 Days of Night series, which I distinctly remember thinking was kindof light and short, ran about 100 pages per book.

So....your complaint makes no sense.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Endless Mike » Thu May 01, 2008 9:01 pm UTC

Even the floppies at 22 pages (of actual comic) run $3 or so, which is still far less than $1/page.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby mosc » Thu May 01, 2008 9:22 pm UTC

I never claimed to be knowledgeable about this. That's my whole problem.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Belial » Thu May 01, 2008 9:36 pm UTC

Ahh. Okay. See, i was assuming you were complaining about that because that was something you'd experienced repeatedly.

But yeah, if you did something like buy the entirety of sandman, you'd be getting something like....5000+ pages of graphic awesome. For under a hundred dollars.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby mosc » Thu May 01, 2008 9:55 pm UTC

yeah, sorry if I gave the wrong impression. My biggest experience with graphic novels is the few w40k ones that are out there and some of em are like $50 for what is essentially about 35 oversized pages. Those are the ones that are still out there if you are lucky to find then new without needing to pay 2-5x as much for used versions.

Belial, do you think sandman is a good introduction into the medium?
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Belial » Thu May 01, 2008 11:59 pm UTC

It's definitely a classic. It wasn't my introduction (that was Books of Magic) but I'd still feel comfortable saying it would make a pretty good introduction to the whole graphic novel scene.

Watchmen is the other classic, which I also enjoy, but not as much.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby TheAmazingRando » Fri May 02, 2008 12:26 am UTC

My introduction was V for Vendetta, followed by Watchmen. Sandman is a bit different, since it was a longer-running serial, I think it's an excellent introduction to the more episodic sort of graphic novels, which is more like most of what you'll find.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Malice » Fri May 02, 2008 6:53 am UTC

I disagree. I don't think Sandman is a good introduction at all, specifically because it's one of the most complex and innovative comics out there. Much of what's in it is deliberately there to circumvent normal comic methods and ideas. Reading it first is like saying, "I've never seen a movie before. I think I'll start with Pulp Fiction."

I'd suggest starting with something simpler. Y: The Last Man is a good choice, as it is very focused on story over style, and is very easy to get into.
In addition, the works of Scott McCloud (particularly the seminal "Understanding Comics") are a good, entertaining introduction into the medium as an art-form.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Belial » Fri May 02, 2008 3:15 pm UTC

I disagree. I don't think Sandman is a good introduction at all, specifically because it's one of the most complex and innovative comics out there. Much of what's in it is deliberately there to circumvent normal comic methods and ideas. Reading it first is like saying, "I've never seen a movie before. I think I'll start with Pulp Fiction."


See, most of the ideas seem to be present in standard, text novels too, so that didn't bother me too much. Sandman was all of the second graphic novel series I read, and it seemed to work out okay.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Dazmilar » Fri May 02, 2008 8:45 pm UTC

Sometimes it depends on what you're looking for. I enjoyed Mouseguard: Fall 1152, but it's not very impressive in terms of the story. I love the artwork, though.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby TheAmazingRando » Sat May 03, 2008 3:03 am UTC

Malice wrote:I disagree. I don't think Sandman is a good introduction at all, specifically because it's one of the most complex and innovative comics out there. Much of what's in it is deliberately there to circumvent normal comic methods and ideas. Reading it first is like saying, "I've never seen a movie before. I think I'll start with Pulp Fiction."
See, for me, I needed convincing that the graphic novel could be complex. V for Vendetta showed me it could be serious, but I still had some misgivings about the serialized type. Sandman turned everything I thought I knew about serials on its head, and that was enough to keep me interested in the medium.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby dbsmith » Mon May 05, 2008 2:04 am UTC

> Reading it first is like saying, "I've never seen a movie before. I think I'll start with Pulp Fiction."
Which would be a fantastic first movie if you ask me....
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Endless Mike » Mon May 05, 2008 2:37 pm UTC

I don't think Sandman's a bad introduction at all. It may set the bar a little high, since it is a bit complex and develops themes and such through the whole series, but I think as a reaction to comics at its time, it doesn't hold a candle to Watchmen, which I still hold as a horrible introduction to comics. I, annecdotally, have heard of lots of people who got into them because of Sandman.

EDIT: CBR did a poll leading to the top 100 comic runs (excluding miniseries). It's available here. There's some real gems in there. The majority is available in collected editions of some sort.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby mosc » Wed May 07, 2008 3:58 pm UTC

well they didn't have sandman 1 by itself (would have cost $20) but they did have a giant hardcover with 1-20 for $99 and a 21-39 for $99... a little more investment then I wanted to make. you guys didn't tell me there were 39 volumes!

I picked up the dark night returns because I like batman and the movie is coming out and all. It was OK... I think if I was ambivalent towards batman I would have liked it less. It seems extremely tied to your pre-existing appreciation of the character. It was, however, very much just 5 comics with related plots glued together in a oddly shaped soft cover for $15.

The people in the bookstore were literally like fawning over me as I shopped through the graphics novel section always coming over and talking about this or that like it's some religious text that will change my life... like Scientologists fawning over Dyanetics or the evangelical lady who catches you with left behind in your hand and wants to convince you to buy the whole series for the good of your soul. It was quite disturbing. I've never had that kind of response when I go in to buy some other random book.

I must say I found the "medium" over-exaggerated. It's just multiple comics thrown together.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Belial » Wed May 07, 2008 4:17 pm UTC

well they didn't have sandman 1 by itself (would have cost $20) but they did have a giant hardcover with 1-20 for $99 and a 21-39 for $99... a little more investment then I wanted to make. you guys didn't tell me there were 39 volumes!


Sandman was released as a serial, which is to say, in individual comic books, on a monthly basis. Which is what they're referring to when they say "1-20" and "21-39". It is traditionally collected into 10 "trade paperback" (bound like normal paperbacks rather than shitty comic books) collections nowadays, though, for about 20 bucks each.

Recently, they started collecting them into giant hardcover editions that are super nice and very pretty. I imagine that's what you bought. There are actually 75 serials in the series, though, so you probably have one more hardcover to buy. You will end up spending about a hundred extra dollars compared to the trade paperbacks, but.....at least the books will be really nice?

I must say I found the "medium" over-exaggerated. It's just multiple comics thrown together.


Umm. Yes. That's exactly what graphic novels are. They're comic books, often with serious or "deep" plots, collected into large editions.

Which is what they mean by "the medium": the treatment of comics as a serious medium rather than just stupid kid stuff.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Endless Mike » Wed May 07, 2008 4:39 pm UTC

Sandman was originally published in single, 22-page comics, for a total of 75 (I think?) issues. The hardcovers you saw contained ISSUES 1-20, and 21-39, and there's two more yet to come out (note you can save $30 or so on Amazon for those). The smaller softcover books usually contain 6 to 8 issues, and there's ummm...9 total? In any case, these are more accurately collections, which are, in fact, a bunch of comics reprinted in a single, bound volume. Ongoing series generally have individual storylines stuffed into these. Sandman is over and done with in its 9 volumes which make the complete story.

Graphic novels (in the Eisner sense) are generally longer-form stories in a single volume. They may or may not have sequels, but if you get an actual GRAPHIC NOVEL, you'll get the complete story. Something like Eisner's A Contract With God is a good example, or Blankets by whoever it was that made it.

EDIT: Also, at the time DKR came out, the "preexisting notions" of Batman were more along the lines of the old TV series, NOT how he is now.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby mosc » Wed May 07, 2008 6:44 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Which is what they mean by "the medium": the treatment of comics as a serious medium rather than just stupid kid stuff.

I fail to see packaging them in a single binding as being more serious than a comic book. Perhaps because it doesn't have those white boxes in the corner of the cover like the individual comics do?
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Belial » Wed May 07, 2008 7:07 pm UTC

No, the medium isn't new or different or more serious, the use of it for serious material is.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Endless Mike » Wed May 07, 2008 7:32 pm UTC

PROTIP: Comics aren't just for kids and haven't been for decades.

As a medium, comics offers storytelling possibilities that aren't possible in any other medium, and a good or great storyteller will take advantage of that.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Dusty Chalk » Thu May 08, 2008 2:09 am UTC

mosc wrote:well they didn't have sandman 1 by itself (would have cost $20) but they did have a giant hardcover with 1-20 for $99 and a 21-39 for $99... a little more investment then I wanted to make. you guys didn't tell me there were 39 volumes!
Feel free not to start at the beginning, unless you plan to read them all. Season of Mists was the first thing I ever read at that level, and I still consider it a great showpiece of what The Art can do in terms of storytelling that the simple written word cannot.

Linsner is another one who can write for the medium in a way that no-one else can, though he can get a bit abstract.

It's like the difference in watching a dub or a good sub of anime -- a good sub (Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence comes to mind) will have voice inflections that the written word simply cannot capture.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby McCaber » Thu May 08, 2008 8:28 pm UTC

Well, I just picked up volumes 1-6 of the Sandman for half-price. Neil Gaiman blew my mind, and I've only read the first three paperbacks so far.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Mabus_Zero » Fri May 09, 2008 10:18 am UTC

Agreed on Gaiman, the massive leatherbound hardbacks are awesome, and they're called 'Absolute Sandman'. Any of 'Sandman' is good, and all of Transmetropolitan. Original Gundam is excellent also, at least in manga form.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Gojoe » Sun May 18, 2008 1:17 am UTC

So pretty much you got
Sandman - Pure awesome but complex (i personally think the only real way to read this is by candle light at night)

Preacher - Garth Ennis is awesome, this series is worth the money and time

Watchmen - I agree with Rodan, one of the best

V for Vendetta - Awesome story, screw the movie

Transmetropolitan - Crazy, but awesome

Y the last man - Story about a man and his monkey (but honestly this is what got me "back" into comics a while back)

Fables - Brilliant story full of lovable and hatable(the opposite of lovable) characters. Very well written, love most of the art (i own the series and don't regret spending the money for once :D plus my girlfriend likes it (and she is not a comic fan)

Pride of Baghdad - Yes it is cartoony,but i liked it (and got it autographed) a good story about whats going on "over there"

Sin City - Very good, best comic movie i have seen (yes iron man was good, but Sin City was a better mix of media) If you liked the movie your want to read the comic

Runaways - Good if you like super heroes and mysteries. I loved the first run... the second one.. not so much for some reason

Maus - Heard its good, the only one on this list i have not read (don't worry when i get money ill check it out)

Now to add my own:
If you know your heroes, Marvel Zombies is genius. Invisible is pretty awesome. 30 days of night has amazing art work and i loved it long time (plus vampires going to the artic circle so they can be outside for 30 days... why the hell didn't i think of that!). Plus The dark knight returns is a classic... And The Death of Superman (is that what the trade is called?) i loved growing up.

Well there is my 2 cents and my longest post.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Zombor » Sat May 24, 2008 5:16 am UTC

ive seen collections of the Sandman, and they were excellent. Id also recommend trying to find any Kabuki: The Alchemy by David Mack, even just for the artwork, stunning and so mind broadening. every section, every mind-pause/break, every page turning is new ways of artistic expression . . . plus i like mental ramblings a lot. Plus I also picked up the utterly awesome combo of Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean in The Comical Tragedy or Tragical Comedy of Mr Punch, creepy in a both immediate and slow way as what the meaning is about crawls up on you, but completely luscious.
Though I do have to say, maybe the people kept on walking over to you while you were looking at books was cause maybe they don't get a lot of customers, every time iv'e been in my local comic book store there has been no one else there, except maybe friends of the owners. just a thought.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Vaniver » Sat May 24, 2008 6:42 am UTC

Belial wrote:Umm. I thought maybe I was going insane, so I checked their amazon listings to be sure. Sandman trade paperbacks weigh in at about 250 pages each, pretty consistently. The exception is vol 9: 350 pages. That's less than 1 cent a page, and in the case of vol 9, it's nearly down to half a cent per page.
I think you mean less than 10 cents a page.

I own Maus, I'm reading through a friend's copy of Sandman as quickly as he'll lend me the volumes, and I think I'll read Watchmen after that. Other than those, I haven't found any I find particularly interesting.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Mimi » Sat May 24, 2008 6:34 pm UTC

I would recommend The Amazing Screw On Head, which is really hilarious and almost became a television show on the Sci-Fi Channel but then didn't. ):There's only one volume and it's very short, though, so that's just a fun little thing to read in a half an hour on the train or something.

Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine is beautiful and thoughtful, but again just one volume, albeit a longer one.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Gojoe » Mon May 26, 2008 8:21 am UTC

I just thought of a great comic for people that don't like comics.... Barry Ween. I loved that book hard! My copies circulated my circle of friends at High School like you would not believe... Took me 6 months to get them back... But yah, Barry Ween by Judd Winick. Awesome.
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Though in this fora I serenade you
I really only do it to aid you.
*Various positive comments on your masculinity
That continue on into infinity*

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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby JayDee » Mon May 26, 2008 11:24 am UTC

Glancing back over this thread, I realised that while Alan Moore has been mentioned, From Hell hasn't. It's one of the graphic novels I recommend / show to people who don't take comics seriously. The size / detail blew me away when I first read it. 572 b&w pages speculating on Jack the Ripper. The collected edition has indepth annotations by the writer and artist.
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Re: Recommend me an awesome graphic novel

Postby Zohar » Mon May 26, 2008 12:43 pm UTC

From Hell is indeed serious. In fact, I think it's so serious that no one except avid comics fans should read it. :) Yes, it's an example of a well researched work with incredible detail, but it's also very tedious to read. I'd never give it to a beginner in comics.
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