Saturday, December 11, 2004

Which Genres Do You Think Comics Are Lacking In The Most?

Alex recently asked people to name their favorite comics from a wide assortment of genres.

It was a good idea, and made me think about which genres I basically had to pick the first comic I could think of that FIT that genre, rather than having a wide choice of comics.

For instance, Alex, for romance comic, picked Hopeless Savages.

I enjoy Hopeless Savages, but to say that it my favorite ANYthing is stretching things a bit.

And that is the state, I believe, of romance comics today.

You basically have one company (Oni) who puts them if you want to pick a favorite romance comic, you're basically stuck with one of their titles, whether you like them or not.

But is romance even the most lacking genre?

Has there been a good comic biography (non-auto)? And I don't mean stuff like telling stories about your dad, or anything like that. I mean a historical narrative about a famous person.

Has there ever been a good one?

So what do you guys think...can you think of a good biography comic, or can you think of a more lacking genre of comics?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Louis Riel by Chester Brown. You can argue that since it isn't strict biography (he deviates from reality for narrative purposes), that it doesn't it count, but I think it does. Excellent comic.

However, I think you may be right that historical/biographical is the most lacking genre, since I can't think of any other off the top of my head.

12/11/2004 05:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if this counts as a strictly a biography, but Jim Ottaviani's "Fallout" was pretty good. It tells the story of two of the creators of the Atomic Bomb, Robert Oppenheimer and Leo Szilard

12/12/2004 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I'll check out both books.

Thanks for the heads up.

Anyone else have any biography selections?

12/12/2004 03:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duh, Brian. You're forgetting about the most obvious bio-comic out there.


I mean, sure, Milligan stretched a few things. But, my team and I thank him for the mostly honest portrayal of the tough life we had to live. He really helped me work through my girlfriend dying, and helped me better understand what Venus was dealing with.

The end was pure fiction, though. I never got shot in the chest!

-Dan Apodaca

12/12/2004 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Of course, how foolish of me!

Sorry, Dan!

12/12/2004 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

Um, not to pressure you, Mr. Apadoca, but I haven't received that autographed comic you promised me.

12/12/2004 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TRUE STORY, SWEAR TO GOD is an Eisner-nominated romance comic.

12/12/2004 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

The Mary Jane and Jubilee had strong romance stuff before Marvel botched their marketing.

As for Bio comics . . .what about those old comics about rock stars? I bet those were great.

12/12/2004 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger alex said...

I agree with the Lous Reil suggestion. I also think of Crumb's Kafka, and the Famous Murderer series from NBM by that really awesome cartoonist whose name I am forgetting. Let us also give mad props to BUDDHA by Osama Tezuka.

That's it off the top of my small brain.

12/13/2004 12:23:00 AM  
Blogger Max Zero said...

Those Rock and Roll comics were all pretty terrible. Except for the New Kids on the Block one. That was a fucking little cracker. It's also the most embarrassing comic I've ever spent money on.

It wasn't for me. It was for my little sister. Honest.

But that book Crumb did about Kafka is really good. Not a straight biography, with a couple of short adaptions of his stuff and commentry about the cottage industry that has sprung up around the guy thrown in for good measure, but still a bloody good read.

Crumb has also done a few stories about blues legends and the like in a whole bunch of different places. Not sure if they've ever been collected together, but they should be.

The only other boigraphical comic I can think of off the top of my head was Beto's Frida story in Love and Rockets #28. Twelve pages of biographical goodness.

12/13/2004 02:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Fixer" by Joe Sacco could be considered a biography and is great.

12/13/2004 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Rice said...

With all this rock and roll talk, it occurs to me that there are very few musicals in the comic form.

Remembering Mark Waid's dope rhymes in Fantastic Four, that is probably a good thing.

12/13/2004 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Shawn Fumo said...

This is stretching it a bit, but I just finished reading From Hell, and that is surprisingly biographical. Obviously there is a lot of stuff that just can't be known and many particular theories come out of one book, but From Hell has like 50 pages of bibliography at the end of it describing the sources of just about everything in the book. Much of it is from biographies of the various people involved. Also, most of the artwork from Campbell is from photographic references. The amount of work put into this thing is crazy.

If we're allowing comics from outside the english-speaking world, then romance certainly isn't an issue, as manga has that well-covered. Mars, Kare Kano, and countless others. Also lots of combinations like Basara is fantasy mixed with romance.

Hopeless Savages seems almost a strange choice based on the first volume (mostly a quirky family adventure), though I'm guessing later volumes must get more into romance?

12/18/2004 02:24:00 PM  

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