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The All New Comics Thread 2017+ Edition

Started by Small Man Big Horse, October 13, 2017, 05:58:40 PM

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Small Man Big Horse

I was just on one of those dodgy sites where all comics are uploaded for free as I wanted to check out the Ennis Batman comics when I noticed there was a six issue Batman / Fortnite crossover mini-series. Now I know the mainstream comics world has had many a cynical cash in over the years but this seemed a bit much, though I thought I'd try and give the first issue a go without judging it beforehand. And surprisingly I quite enjoyed it, I mean it's very silly, as Batman is pushed through some weird gateway in to another dimension, loses his memory, and no one is able to speak in this strange new world, but at least it's not more of the grim dark Batman and for what is essentially a ridiculous idea they pull it off quite well.

madhair60

Honestly, if you haven't read Ennis' take on Dastardly and Muttley, please read it. I truly think it's one of the best things he's ever done. Quite cheap to pick up the TPB too.

Mister Six

Quote from: 13 schoolyards on October 27, 2021, 05:05:12 AM
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that Ennis wrote the script as a kind of showcase comeback for Steve Dillon after Dillon made it past some issues that had derailed his comics career for a while. And then Dillon died, Ennis left it in the drawer for a few years, found it again and thought "well, considering it's already written..."

Ah, right! That makes sense. Cheers. Ennis does seem like a good egg at heart.

Artie Fufkin

Quote from: madhair60 on October 27, 2021, 10:37:17 AM
Honestly, if you haven't read Ennis' take on Dastardly and Muttley, please read it. I truly think it's one of the best things he's ever done. Quite cheap to pick up the TPB too.
I have this in my 'to read' pile, so will have a go at that over the weekend.

Artie Fufkin

Quote from: Artie Fufkin on October 27, 2021, 03:30:35 PM
I have this in my 'to read' pile, so will have a go at that over the weekend.
Nope.
I caught up on some 2000ad instead.
There was a recent (about 2 months ago) jumping on issue, and it's been excellent so far. The return of The Out & Diaboliks. A great Judge Dredd story, and a new (to me?) strip called Scarlet Traces, which had a brilliant opening. Also the return of Pandora Perfect which is great fun. Mary Poppins if she was a high class thief kinda stuff.

Mister Six

Which prog does The Scarlet Traces open in?

Artie Fufkin


Mister Six


Artie Fufkin


Mister Six

:)

Been reading a ton of comicy stuff of late, but have been too busy to write about it - UNTIL NOW!

Cerebus, Vol. 1
All I know about this is that it's an ambitious, 300-issue odyssey that was hailed as a triumph until its author and artist, Dave Sim, took too many drugs, got divorced and started saying horrible stuff about women. I'm opposed to his views, of course, but fascinated to see how it affects the comic. This first volume is pretty dull for the first half, being a pretty repetitive string of short stories in which the titular aardvark meets a sword 'n' sorcery parody/pastiche character, almost gets some gold, then loses it all at the end. It gets a lot more interesting almost exactly at the middle point, when Sim introduces a proper arc plot concerning Cerebus' employment by the conniving politician Lord Julius (basically Groucho Marx). It's pretty funny, and gets dramatically better on every level towards the end. Interested to see where it goes, but underwhelmed for the most part. 5/10

Fun House
I'm not really familiar with Alison Bechdel's stuff outside of a few stray Dykes to Watch Out For strips, but this is a really impressive memoir about her troubled relationship with her dad, and how his death affected her life and opened up all kinds of dark secrets about her parents' marriage. It's sometimes a little bit overwrought in its attempts to be literary (sometimes a snake is just a snake, Alison), but the art and storytelling are superb, and it's genuinely affecting. 8/10

Crisis Zone
Relive the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic in the company of a bunch of drugged-up, fucked-up, down-on-their-luck witches, wizards, cats, owls, werewolves and Draculas. It's a self-contained spin-off of Simon Hanselmann's Megg and Mogg comics, but more frenetic and silly and less squalid and depressing than they often are. Originally published on Instagram, the strips have been expanded with a couple of extra panels each, a "where are they now" coda, some full-page art and a series of annotations that look (and, as they go along, increasingly read) like the ramblings of a madman. 9/10

Batman: Arkham Asylum, Anniversary Edition
Newly re-scanned and colour-corrected images, annotations by Grant Morrison and a spine that won't immediately lose all the pages barely bound into it. Coo! But the images look tiny on these pages, and the lettering - especially the Joker's - is hard to read. Was it originally published in a bumper-sized version? I recall it being that way, but I was smaller then. Ah well. It's Morrison doing a very self-consciously edgy, arty take on Batman and I don't think it's really stood up to the test of time. McKean's art is impressive, but the whole thing reeks of exhausting 1990s "not your dad's comics" self-awareness, and the story is barely there. 4/10

A Contract With God
The first Eisner I've read, to my shame, and it's worth the plaudits - four short stories, beautifully illustrated and achingly sad, about the poor people in the Bronx's fictional Dropsie Avenue and how their desperate attempts for something, anything, more invariably end up hurting themselves and others. The third story, about a miserable and dissolute janitor, stayed with me for days. Probably doesn't help that I like dogs. There's a regressive tone to some of the stories,[nb]And - SPOILERS! - is the doctor berating the rapist for not penetrating the girl? That was oddly worded.[/nb] especially the last one, but the author was born in 1917, so what do you expect? Otherwise, stunningly good stuff. 10/10

Magnum Valentino

No, Arkham Asylum was originally published at normal size, but you CAN get it in the Absolute line which is a big massive format. Apparently the colouring on that reissue was botched so you're maybe better off with an older print.

Mister Six

Interesting, cheers. Honestly, I think a massive edition would be hugely - no pun intended - beneficial.

Ron Maels Moustache

Quote from: Artie Fufkin on November 08, 2021, 04:45:13 PM
Nope.
I caught up on some 2000ad instead.
There was a recent (about 2 months ago) jumping on issue, and it's been excellent so far. The return of The Out & Diaboliks. A great Judge Dredd story, and a new (to me?) strip called Scarlet Traces, which had a brilliant opening.

Started off as a webcomic in 2002 before it became a 2000AD property -

QuoteThe original Scarlet Traces was conceived as a partially animated serial, intended for the now-defunct website Cool Beans World. In an interview for 2000AD Review, Edginton said "The Cool Beans version was to have been like a little movie in many ways. It had music, sound effects, zooms, pans and dissolves. There was even going to be some limited animation of the War Machines. A lot of the work was done and in the can when Cool Beans shut down production..."[7]

The website ceased operation after only a fraction of the serial had been published. D'Israeli wrote in his blog:

...when Cool Beans folded, we had a comic which was only 75% complete and which was still owned by the defunct publisher... Having retrieved the property, Ian (Edginton) then managed to license our previously-unpublished comic to Rebellion's Judge Dredd Megazine as a reprint — thus giving us the funds to complete the story while retaining ownership.[8]

Revived in 2016 and they've been running new stories sporadically since then.

13 schoolyards

Quote from: Magnum Valentino on November 09, 2021, 05:35:49 PM
No, Arkham Asylum was originally published at normal size, but you CAN get it in the Absolute line which is a big massive format. Apparently the colouring on that reissue was botched so you're maybe better off with an older print.

I thought it was the other way around - the original scans in the first prints in 1989 or whenever came out too murky so there was a big fuss about getting the original art back for the Absolute edition? TBH from looking at my copy it looks a little clearer but not astoundingly so - the big improvement is with the Joker's lettering, which I found close to unreadable in the original version

Artie Fufkin

Quote from: Ron Maels Moustache on November 10, 2021, 06:43:23 PM
Started off as a webcomic in 2002 before it became a 2000AD property -

Revived in 2016 and they've been running new stories sporadically since then.
Ah. Righto. Thanks for that!

Mister Six

Quote from: 13 schoolyards on November 11, 2021, 05:03:25 AM
I thought it was the other way around - the original scans in the first prints in 1989 or whenever came out too murky so there was a big fuss about getting the original art back for the Absolute edition? TBH from looking at my copy it looks a little clearer but not astoundingly so - the big improvement is with the Joker's lettering, which I found close to unreadable in the original version

Yeah, it's been reshoot and that, it's just still awkward to read, and the art is so intricate it seems like it ought to have been reproduced on bigger pages.

Artie Fufkin

Such a huge pile of unread comics to go through, but I've finally plumped for Sandman. I read the first issue last night. It's gonna be an epic, isn't it. 10 volumes of the bastards, I think.
Anyhow. Really liked the set up, but I was a bit greedy with it, so I'm gonna read it again tonight and then plough on.

Mister Six

Sandman just gets better and better as it goes along, especially once it (mostly) ditches the DC universe references.

Small Man Big Horse

The problem I have with Neil Gaiman is that while his writing is often superb, I struggle with his persona and find a lot (not all, but too much) of what he says rather pretentious, and that puts me off re-reading things like Sandman which I loved at the time.

I'm almost at the end of Moore's Swamp Thing run, I've one volume left to go. In the lead up to issue 50 I found some of the horror elements heavy going, it was impressively written but all rather bleak, but I've found myself enjoying what came afterwards a lot, lot more,
Spoiler alert
old Swampy's attack on Gotham was extremely fun, and his antics on the blue planet
[close]
may just be my favourite issue of the entire run.

13 schoolyards

Yeah, it feels like the Swamp Thing in Space arc is a bit overlooked or dismissed but I really enjoy those issues. Done in one, almost always fun, and the organic space machine creature one was entertainingly bizarre.

Mister Six

Quote from: Small Man Big Horse on November 25, 2021, 09:30:31 AMThe problem I have with Neil Gaiman is that while his writing is often superb, I struggle with his persona and find a lot (not all, but too much) of what he says rather pretentious, and that puts me off re-reading things like Sandman which I loved at the time.

Yeah, him and Amanda Palmer are basically Elon Musk and Grimes, but for goths. You really should try to overcome that, though, because as you say, he is a superb writer.

Artie Fufkin

Re-read 1st issue, and then read 2nd issue last night. Very very good indeed.
Artwork really sits well with the writing, doesn't it? It's looking super odd.
I do know what you mean about Gaiman being a bit pretentious, yeah.

Artie Fufkin

I'll being heading into Swamp Thing once I've finished Sandman.....in about 4 years.

Mister Six

I don't think of Gaiman being pretentious (particularly as he genuinely is immensely talented as a prose and comic writer... considerably less so when it comes to screenplays) so much as pompous and self-absorbed. Which is probably inevitable if you spent the 80s and 90s being told you're a god by hordes of goth and indie girls, then spent the 00s as a New York Times Bestselling Author™️, then the 10s having smoke blown up your arse by Hollywood.

The last time I looked at Twitter he was pontificating about what it takes to be a good father. I resisted the urge to ask "Where does jumping on a jet plane to the other side of the planet, leaving your wife and newborn child behind in the middle of a global pandemic fit into your schema?" But the fact that he'd even offer that up without considering what a target he was making of himself...

13 schoolyards

It's hard to know with Gaiman - he's definitely a talented writer, but he's an even more talented networker and self-promoter, and has been since the start. He's basically a goth Mark Millar.

In the 90s there was a lot of very-thinly concealed industry bitching about the way he'd "used" comics to get his big break, with a lot of people seemingly seeing him as someone who'd used comics as an easy leg-up to the "real" writing fame he'd always wanted. He did use being a journalist to get close to a lot of big comics figures of the time for advice and photo opportunities, being best buddies with Dave McKean got him into the famous Vertigo UK talent-fishing exhibition alongside writers who'd been in comics for years, etc etc.

The thing is, even if he was a very canny networker and self-promoter (I mean, he basically cast himself as the lead in Sandman), he's usually able to back it up. He's clearly a nice guy, he hasn't really left a trail of bodies behind him which is pretty impressive in comics (though supposedly Mike Dringberg only found out he wasn't the regular artist on Sandman when a new team turned up on the second book), and he's done enough good work to make it clear that he's a talent.

Mister Six

I thought Moore proposed Gaiman as a potential talent, after Gaiman took over Miracleman from the bearded one?

Comics pros bitch all the time, and frankly, if The Sandman is Gaiman just using the comics industry to get into novels, then the comics industry was bloody lucky to be used like that.

He's also unequivocally not the goth Mark Millar. Putting aside the gulf in talent between them, Millar's output these days is almost entirely movie pitches in the form of very half-assed comics that Jane Goldman has to shape up into something approaching a competent and compelling story, and has been for the best part of two decades now.

If thoughtful career management and careful shaping of a public persona are the criteria on which we're judging Gaiman, then Grant Morrison or even Alan Moore are probably better examples, since they're actually talented. Of the three of them, Morrison is the only one who doesn't seem to get shit from comics fans these days, and I think that's probably just because he's still obviously in love with the medium in general and superheroics in particular, whereas Gaiman obviously had wider interests that spark feelings of inadequacy among the comics proles (not you, 13 Schoolyards) and Moore's willingness to shit-talk the big publishers for their appalling treatment of creatives makes them feel uncomfortable.

Not that I think Gaiman is unimpeachable. He's definitely coasting now, and keeps pumping out shite like that "collector's edition" American Gods that comes in a hand-carved mahogany box with a hand-written personal message and 5ccs of Gaiman's cum or whatever. Very undignified, really. If he's run out of ideas, why not just put his feet up? He's a multimillionaire. But I think at this point he can't quite bear to give up the spotlight and all the tongue baths from his acolytes on Twitter. Or he's just saving up ahead of the inevitable high-profile divorce.

13 schoolyards

I don't quite remember the exact order of Gaiman's rise to early fame, but Violent Cases was definitely first comics-wise, and that was easily good enough to mark him as a talent whatever came next. I *think* VC got him into a meeting with Vertigo where he and Dave McKean pitched Black Orchard, that got accepted but then to boost their respective profiles before it came out McKean was put on Arkham Asylum and Gaiman was asked to pitch a series and Sandman got up.

Moore was (is?) a good eye for talent but he also tended to put his mates up for high profile gigs - Jamie Delano hadn't done anything in comics before getting Hellblazer, and while Gaiman was easily up to the task of Miracleman it's not like being mates with Moore would have hurt his chances there.

I don't fault Gaiman for his career management, but at the time (the 90s) he was clearly next level when it came to self-promotion compared to those around him, especially from the UK. I'd have to dig out my old issues of Sandman to check but I have vague recollections of him touring the US a lot to promote Sandman, whereas everyone else barely stuck their head out a car window touring wise. I'm pretty sure Warren Ellis said a number of times his intensive internet profile came about because he saw how hard Gaiman toured in person to make himself a success and Ellis realised he couldn't manage that (but could manage to be a sex pest online).

Honestly, I think Gaiman's been coasting for a very long time now - in comics since Sandman, in novels since Anansi Boys (which I think was only good because he realised he couldn't coast off American Gods alone), and in general since... Coraline maybe? He's amazing at networking and people love working with him which is how he's been able to successfully pivot to television show running, where he can just mine past glories and live his best life, which is being a writer who doesn't really write much.

Then again, Garth Ennis has also done pretty well out of television and that seems to have come about largely by accident so maybe if you're a 90s Vertigo star (not named Grant Morrison) TV is your oyster

Mister Six

Ah, I'm still hoping against hope that Grant's Invisibles TV series happens.