Comic Books, Graphic Novels, Sequential Art, & you


Copperhead was one of the best new Image books this year. It’s strong but the delays might end up killing this book which would be tragic. I like the cast but i’m wondering how it will continue.

Shutter is a fun book but honestly i’m getting it solely for the art(ist) at this point.



I just picked up GWENPOOL #0. It is written by CHRIST HASTINGS, who you know, wrote like, DR. MCNINJA or something. HIs writing is still top notch but u can tell the Marvel Editorial has him scale it back a little bit there. GWENPOOL herself is more DR MCNINJA than Howard The Duck is, which seems surprising coming from him.

next up is


this is like weird bio-punk hardcore dick-lopping off orc fantasy and its really really fun to look at. the writing is fantasy thru and thru though, but the orcs in this book are more fun and alien than anyone has ever made them. if you liked PROPHET you would probably like ORC STAIN


I read Seraphim 266613336 Wings, a manga from Mamoru Oshii and and Satoshi Kon. I’ve never watched either or their work, so this was my first real exposure. It really really reminds me of the manga Eden: It’s an Endless World - the pandemics, the biblical stuff, the plight of Chinese ethnic minorities becoming a major factor in world politics, etc. Maybe Hiroki Endo was disappointed it never got a conclusion and decided to do his own take on it. Seraphim is pretty cool though. It looks a lot like Akira, although its gun battles are much harder to read than Akira’s. It’s too bad it never really went anywhere because it’s pretty enjoyable and had a lot of interesting stuff going on. I guess Mamoru Oshii and Satoshi Kon just butted heads too much to finish it. Some of the imagery in it is really great - huge birds flying alongside fighter jets, a night assault on a witch trial, etc. I dig anything that fuses fantasy and modern military stuff like that.


I liked DrMcNinja but Hastings Deadpool mini from forever ago was pretty bad so I didn’t even look at Gwenpool

Orc Stain is just great. DJ orwell I know was a big fan too.


I don’t read many comics besides Japanese ones. I’m not opposed to it though. If anyone wants to recommend me stuff I’m down. I really like Akira and Alita, and some others.

I don’t mind superhero stories inherently, but I want to read something self-contained, with a defined start and end. I’ve read some of those like Watchmen and Batman: The Killing Joke but I didn’t think much of them. That glossy, photoshoppy look a lot of the superhero comics have now is anathema to me. James Harvey did a post on his tumblr where he recolored some Frank Miller art and it looked so much better.

I have that Old Man Logan thing on my to read list. The only European comics I have written down are Moebius and Alejandro Jodorowski. I always thought Preacher sounded interesting but I couldn’t stand looking at it. I’m pretty judgy about how a comic looks - if I don’t like it I don’t want to read it.


You like what you like! There is a lot of schlock superhero stuff, that’s gonna be the norm when the push all kinds of crap.
As far as self contained superhero stories Batman the Long Halloween is a personal favorite. There are 2 more trades that follow it but that stands on it’s own. All Star Superman is one I’d push you to read regardless, I think it’s very important in a lot of ways. Then X-men God Loves Man Kills stands on it’s own. Honestly I’m hesitant to recommend superhero stuff to anyone anymore. I feel like if you wanted to you would of picked something up and tried it on your own.

Beyond that, I’m a little shocked to hear you’re not down with Steve Dillion. I guess it can be a bit acquired but Preacher is a hell of a work. If that’s not your thing, maybe Transmetropolitan would be more your taste art wise? Also in Vertigo DMZ, Fables, Y the Last Man are all classics. Of course thee is Sandman in a class it’s own artists and stories always rotating. Also since you mentioned Watchmen, V for Vendetta is the sister book in my mind. Also far away from any of that, and something that’s more slice of life/using comics as a medium in a fascinating way is DayTripper
which forever reason is the main book is this diatribe I’d recommend to you, buried in the middle here :slight_smile:

Have you looked into the Image stuff at all? A fair amount of artistic variety among sci-fi, crime, and horror stories there.

Beyond that I don’t know if you’ve checked out any Will Eisner Stuff. There’s also a translated comic called Okko that I think would be your speed, it’s very pretty.

**edit- BTW @mothmanspirit I love the bits you’re writing here for manga I’ve never heard of, keep it up it’s always appreciated. And while I have nothing against Old Man Logan it’s hardly a golden gem either.


Brandon Graham and James Stokoe are buds irl, it’s kinda fitting that you mention them together

Speaking of Stokoe, did anyone read the 6 issue Godzilla In Hell thing that came out sometime in the last year? Each issue was by a different artist, but they were all just incredible. Lots and lots of full page spreads and crazy panel work. Being entirely art-focused really let the artists really show off and it ended up being totally gorgeous overall

Thinking about an artist that really stands out with a distinctive look, Andrew MacLean comes to mind. Right now he’s doing this big quarterly comic called Head Lopper about this gigantic warrior forced to carry around an immortal witch’s decapitated head:

His first book was a graphic novel put out by Dark Horse called Apocalyptigirl about a girl and her cat searching through a ruined city full of abandoned mecha


CG coloring, especially lazy CG coloring, is indeed a bane on comic book art. Especially awful is when old stuff is reprinted in a collection and they slap that lame shading on all the colors.


Why CG though specifically? CG jumped coloring forward by leaps and bounds especially when printing was more limited. I mean Oliff’s work on the Akira coloring was no less than phenomenal and that was the proof the color separation using computers could do more than by hand.

Not for nothing but manga is hardly spared from bad coloring, when they bother to do it as well.

I know the whole DK3 posting with recoloring along with other recoloring of Franks work has been a hot topic (or as hot as comic book coloring gets) Yes, that guy did do some cool stuff with covers, no question. But to say the stupid DK3 covers are indicative of anything beyond why Miller should stop charging for his cover work? I think on some level even DC knows that coloring is crap, the hardcover issues only have B&W covers.

So blah bblah blah…


Come to think of it, I don’t quite rememeber what my problem with Preacher ever was. I’m looking at some scans now and while I don’t love how it looks, it doesn’t repulse me in any way. I’ll take another swing at it. And I’ll definitely try your other recommendations.


well. er, It’s Preacher. Some pages better damn well repulse you.


Rather than “especially”, I should have said “specifically”, because of the lazy part is the main thing, the kind of CG coloring where shading done with gradients and such are just slapped on with no real thought put into it. Which doesn’t seem to happen quite as much anymore, I will admit. The worst of the mid-late 90s stuff just kind of sticks with me.

And to be fair, where reprints are concerned even faithful flat coloring can have problems too, since without the imperfections of the old print quality breaking the colors up some, they can be too bright sometimes.


Ha I’d take that over the MiricleMan re coloring.

But the 90’s had an army of people using shitty desktops to turn out colors in record time.

I’ve heard similar complaints for digital lettering. It doesn’t have the nuance, the human touch. Truly GREAT lettering is usually hand done, but most and perfectly fine lettering is just digital. If they’re just trying to get it done I’d take digital over hand, because average hand lettering and be near illegible like just ok hand coloring can be muddy and overly by the numbers. At least average CG color has gradients.

If you’re looking only for greatness this is all irrelevant. But the bi weekly american comics or what comes from the painful turn of the manga-zines is not greatness. But I wub it all in some way. Except Marineman. Fuck Marineman.


I’ve never tried to appreciate lettering. I don’t think I would even notice good lettering, any more than I notice the font in a novel.

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I read Usamura Furuya’s Lychee Light Club today. It’s a horror story about a cult of Nazi teenagers fixated on beauty. It’s gruesome, with rape and scenes of bodies torn apart, spilling out detailed viscera. It’s also sort of funny - it reminds me a bit of Junji Ito, where there are no real jokes but the art is so gruesome it becomes funny. It’s good something like this gets translated and published, although it’s depressing how much work is out there I can’t read, i.e. Prince Shotoku (extreme NSFW images).


Started reading this thing today

It’s a crazy trip with so far basically nothing to do with Gilgamesh. It’s a crazy trip were the world went to shit in the 90’s so baby alien Gilgamesh takes over in the name of the corporations, but corporations work like governments anyways so it’s not a ‘branded’ thing. Super weird.


So, the Humble Bundle people are doing a big Garth Ennis bundle over the next couple of weeks (no Preacher included). Preacher is all I ever read of his, is any of this other stuff worth reading or did he sort of fall off by this time?


As a guy who knows nothing about comics, my recommendations are 1) Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing and 2) Punisher MAX.


@Godamn_Milkman That sounds fascinating. Not to harp on my Kazuo Koike affection too much but it reminds me of Offered, where the myth of Gilgamesh is background for all kinds of cool stuff. Any pictures?

@Father.Torque I was just thinking, CubaLibre sounds like he wouldn’t stand for the shit why I don’t read superhero comics. I think a good standard for me is “could or would a dad read this?”


Hah! I’m not so much representative of the dad vote as I am representative of the guy who don’t have time for this shit vote, but I guess there’s significant overlap.

I should specify that I recommend Garth Ennis’ run on Punisher MAX, i.e. the first six arcs or whatever it was. Plus two or three one-shots that really round out the character, including giving him his most fitting end (willfully annihilating the human race because it is too evil to live).


I read Satoshi Kon’s Tropic of the Sea today. It’s incredibly reminiscient of Hayao Miyazaki’s work, about a kid who has to save his small fishing town from corporate thugs threatening their covenant with a mermaid. It’s a sweet story. In the afterword, Satoshi Kon talks about how he spent his spring cramped in his apartment working on it - maybe the beautiful coastal panoramas were his escapism. He didn’t seem to like his own manga. I thought it was pretty good though.