Suggested Comic Books for Grumpy Old Men (GGG4 featuring Alan Moore, Garth Ennis, JMS, Frank Miller)
Write what you know. In this case, what I know about is being a geek. Over the next few days I’ll be suggesting things that I liked. I’ll be giving ball-park prices (in Canadian dollars) and at the end of each post I’ll include a link to where you can find all of the items on Amazon.
I used to work in a comic book store, and I guess that’s never really left me. I’ve had a renewed interest now that they’ve started collecting series as moderately priced trade paperbacks (TPB). I still read comic books regularly although my tastes are much more mature. Most of the books I mention are intended for a mature audience only as they deal with adult themes (sex, swearing and violence). I’m not alone in my recommendations as a lot of these books are Eisner Award winners.
Feel free to suggest any other good comic books in the comments.
(Sorry, but this post does not contain any cosplay)
(photo by Howfy)
Comic Books – Classic Super-heroes
The Ultimates (CDN$ 14 – CDN$ 20) – Classic Marvel super-heroes like Captain America and the Avengers told with a modern adult-oriented storyline and tighter writing.
Astonishing X-Men Volume 1: Gifted Tpb (CDN$ 16.08) or Astonishing X-Men Volume 2: Dangerous TPB (CDN$ 16.08) or Astonishing X-Men Volume 3: Torn TPB (CDN$ 17.52) – Buffy/Firefly/Serenity creator Joss Whedon tries his hand at the X-men series and it’s good.
Identity Crisis (CDN$ 14.59) – Super-villans start targeting the families and friends of DC super-heroes.
Comic Books – Alan Moore
Alan Moore is probably the best writer in the comic book industry. He has been completely screwed over time-and-time again with horrible movie translations of his works.
Watchmen (CDN$ 17.00) – Alan Moore was one of the first to deconstruct super-heroes and look at what makes them tick inside. It’s a classic that every comic book fan should own.
V For Vendetta (CDN$ 17.00) – Unfortunately, the art work doesn’t stand up to the test of time. Find out why the movie sucked when you compare it to the source material. It’s “a powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V for Vendetta takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet. In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts. It’s a gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil.”
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (CDN$ 14.59) – How bad was the movie? The book is an amazing turn of the 19th century tale of a super-hero team formed of Myrna from Dracula, Allan Quartermain, the Invisible Man, Mr. Hyde and Captain Nemo. If you aren’t familiar with the classic books it might go completely over your head.
Top Ten (CDN$ 14.59) – Crime stories told from the point of view of a police department in a city full of super-heroes.
Alan Moore’s Writing For Comics Volume 1 (CDN$ 7.50) – Haven’t read this one, but it would be good for anyone who has been thinking about writing for the comic book industry.
Comic Books – J. Michael Straczynski
J. Michael Straczynski is the guy who wrote the Babylon 5 tv series.
Supreme Power Volume 1 HC (CDN$ 27.36) or Supreme Power Volume 2 HC (CDN$ 27.36) or Supreme Power: Nighthawk TPB (CDN$ 15.54) – Adults only. JMS takes the mythos of classic DC heroes like Superman/Batman/Flash and re-imagines them in the modern world. When Superman-like Hyperion falls to Earth he is taken under government control, creating an omnipotent power without the moral grounding of the Kent household. Amazing premise.
Rising Stars Volume 1: Born in Fire, Rising Stars Volume 2: Power (CDN$ 16.07), Rising Stars Volume 3: Fire And Ash (CDN$ 16.07) – Do you like the TV show Heroes? Rising Stars is the comic series from which they’re stealing most of their ideas. An asteroid hits a small US town and gives all of the children super-powers. See how that changes the world.
Comic Books – Frank Miller
Frank Miller’s Sin City: The Hard Goodbye 2… (CDN$ 13.74), Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill for… (CDN$ 14.35), Frank Miller’s Sin City: That Yellow Bastar… (CDN$ 15.40), Frank Miller Complete Sin City Amazon (CDN$ 85.79) – Hard-boiled film noir crime drama where the only difference between the good guys and bad guys is how they treat women. The three individual books cover the stories that were in the 2005 movie and are the best of the 7 book series.
300 (CDN$ 25.65) – Haven’t read it yet, but it’s coming out as a film in 2007. Classic tale of the 300 Spartan soldiers who stood against an army.
Comic Books – Other Goodies
Preacher Gone to Texas (CDN$ 15.72) or Preacher Until The End of the World : Until… (CDN$ 14.59) or Preacher Proud Americans : Proud Americans (CDN$ 16.75): The plot is ridiculous: a vampire, a female sharpshooter and a preacher with the “Voice of God” go on a road trip. But somehow it all works. Very dark sense of humour that had me laughing out-loud most of the series.
Astro City Life in Big City (CDN$ 19.53), Astro City Confession (CDN$ 17.00), Astro City Family Album (CDN$ 17.00), Astro City Tarnished Angel (CDN$ 20.76), Astro City Local Heroes (CDN$ 17.51) – Kurt Busiek writes this amazing series set in a self-contained world. Very enjoyable.
100 Bullets Vol. 1: First Shot, Last Call (CDN$ 12.37), 100 Bullets Vol. 2: Split Second Chance (CDN$ 16.75). 100 Bullets Vol. 3: Hang Up on the Hang Low (CDN$ 11.13) – What would you do if you were given a gun and 100 untraceable bullets and undeniable proof of a wrong that was commited against you? Combines hard-boiled crime story with paranoid espionage thriller. Starts off weak, but it’s very strong at the end.
Y: The Last Man Vol 1: Unmanned (CDN$ 13.30), Y: The Last Man Vol 2: Cycles (CDN$ 12.78) – What if you woke up and you were the only man left alive on the planet, but the number of women remained the same? The writing is very male-centric, but it’s a good “post-holocast” story that deals with the essential backbone of sci-fi: how people react to this event.
Fables Animal Farm (CDN$ 12.78), Fables Legends In Exile (CDN$ 12.15) – All the classic characters from children’s fables are alive and living in exile outside of New York.
The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye (CDN$ 10.16), The Walking Dead Book 2 (CDN$ 21.59), Walking Dead Volumes 1-4 Bundle (CDN$ 39.89) – I just finished reading this series back to back and it’s amazing! It’s a bit derivative of Romero/28 Days Later in places but it tells a very tight tale about a band of human survivors trying to rebuild their society in the face of a world gone mad. The zombies are just a catalyst for excellent drama about human nature when the bonds society places on us are gone.
I’ve made a list of all these comic books in one place at Amazon. Looking at the product description on Amazon.ca will bring you to the Amazon for your country.
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