Sunday, August 07, 2005

Original graphic novels you might like

First, the loss of the blog again isn't my fault, even though it happened in the middle of my post. I swear!

Okay, so I've been reading a bunch of original graphic novels and I'm going to discuss them. You wanna make something of it?

First up is The Annotated Mantooth by Matt Fraction, Andy Kuhn, and Tim Fisher, which is $12.95 and is brought to you by the fine folk at AiT/Planet Lar. Okay, this is a trade paperback, and it came out three years ago, but this new edition has annotations, for which I am a sucker. I love reading about the creative process behind the work. It's neat.

That's not to say the work itself isn't good. This is fantastic and fun and wild storytelling. For crying out loud, it's about a secret agent gorilla! Rex Mantooth is a wonderful creation, and Fraction simply throws everything he can think of at the wall and sees what sticks. The book starts with Mantooth battling ninja robots and goes crazier from there. Part of the fun is discovering where the stories go, so I'm not going to ruin it, but I will say that this is one seriously fun comic, and if you don't laugh at one page, turn it and you will surely laugh at the next one. Fraction is excellent at putting his hero into situations that seem vaguely familiar from, say, James Bond movies and then ripping them to shreds. It's wacky, sure, but Fraction observes these situations sharply and has excellent comic timing throughout.

It's truly raunchy, too, but unlike a recent raunchy work I hated (coughSuper F*ckerscough), the raunch doesn't overwhelm the story, and it fits into the story. Here's an example: Mantooth is trying to recover a plutonium battery that has been stolen. He's at Dr. Woo's casino, speaking with the good doctor, and he says, as if to inquire about buying the battery (he's undercover, you know), "So, would you know where a fella like me could buy a big-assed plutonium battery that was, you know ... stolen? It's for my girlfriend. She uses a big vibrator ... crazy big." In he second panel, in which he says it's for his girlfriend, his girlfriend Honey sits there, and the look on her face is priceless. Funny stuff.

I should mention Kuhn's art. The only other place I've seen it is in his latest work, Easy Way, and it's good there and it's good here. Fraction crowds the panels with a lot of information, but Kuhn is up to the task. There is a lot packed in here, and it's laid out well, so that we're never confused with what's going on. It's a fine complement to the insanity of the story.

I highly recommend finding this book. It's wild and wacky and completely insane, and it's a welcome reminder of what fun comics can be.

Moving on, I also recently bought Heartbreakers Meet Boilerplate by Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett, which is published by IDW and will set you back 999 cents, which is a pretty damned good deal, if you ask me. As Bennett says in the introduction, she and Guinan created Heartbreakers back in 1987, and this is its third publisher. Such a convoluted history might confuse newcomers like me, but there's a brief capsule history at the beginning of the book, and we get some nice allusions to past events that don't really clutter up the book.

This is supposedly a "cross-over," but Boilerplate, a robot created in the latter part of the 19th century, is a creation of Guinan, so I don't think it counts. The deal is that the Heartbreakers, who are all clones of a deceased geneticist, find Boilerplate, who disappeared during World War One, and fix him up. This mechanical marvel draws the attention of the Heartbreakers' enemies, the Wexler clones, who are the last survivors of clones from the company that was responsible for the Heartbreakers' template's death. The Wexlers try to take Boilerplate, and mayhem ensues.

It's not much of a story, I'll admit. It seems to take far too long getting to the action, and then the action is over too quickly. What is nice about the story is the way Guinan and Bennett create this world of clones and robots so that it feels real. The historical details are impressive, and the parts of the book going over Boilerplate's origin and "life" and marvelous. I'm a sucker for works of historical revisionism, and this is one such book. Yes, it doesn't deliver as well as it could have, but it's a fascinating read for the most part.

Guinan's art is unbelievably beautiful. The details are fantastic, and the "photographs" of Boilerplate with various historical figures look so real you may do a double-take. The magnificence of the art overshadows, just a bit, the fact that the story doesn't follow through with its climax as well as it should. That's what comics can do sometimes, and here it does.

The coloring is a bit strange in the book. For the most part, it's a sepia tone that looks fine. Here's an example:

 Posted by Picasa

But then, on three different and what looks like completely unrelated pages, we get glorious full color. It really pops off the page:

 Posted by Picasa

I don't understand why it was done this way, but I wish they had just left the three pages uncolored, because the colored pages make me want the whole thing to be done that way.

Anyway, this is an interesting little book. Check it out!

Last but certainly not least, we have Capote in Kansas by Ande Parks and Chris Samnee, which is brought to you by the awesome Oregonians at Oni Press and will set you back 11 dollars and 95 cents. This is a wonderful book. If ever a comic can be called elegiac, this is it. Parks shows us Truman Capote's process of writing In Cold Blood and how it changed him and the people in Kansas who had to deal with the crime. It's fiction, obviously, but it's well researched and it feels real. This is a book about growing up, as Capote goes from an urbane witticist who ignores his true feelings to someone who cares deeply about not only the victims in the crime (he has a running dialogue with the ghost of one of the victims) but the perpetrators as well. Parks refuses to give us easy answers to why someone would commit such a crime - the book is not about that. Rather, it's about someone becoming attuned to tragedy and loss, but also beauty and triumph. It's difficult to read occasionally, because Capote seems to sympathize too much with the killers (or, actually, just one of them), but as we read, we are drawn into his world, a world in which Capote, as a homosexual, might have felt as ostracized as these murderers. In the end, Capote comes to understand a little more about the human condition, which allows him to be a little more human. It's a remarkable transformation, one Parks does not bludgeon us over the head with.

Samnee's art is wonderful, too. It's vaguely reminiscent of Adam Hughes, but with a more naturalistic feel. The black-and-white works well, too, especially in the jailhouse scenes. There are a lot of actors in the book and a lot of talking, but Samnee's art makes it easy to differentiate between them and gives drama to the talking scenes. It's a tough job, but he's up to it.

This book and, to a lesser extent, Union Station make me wonder why Parks is better known as an inker. The man can write!

So there you have it. Three completely different kinds of books, all definitely worth your hard-earned ducats. Who says comics aren't a ridiculously flexible art form? Hunt these books down somewhere - you won't be disappointed.

Read More

18 Comments:

Blogger cheng said...

What do you know Metin2 gold. And do you want to know? You can get Metin2 yang here. And welcome to view our website, here you can play games, and you will get Cheap metin2 yang to play game. I know Cheap metin2 gold, and it is very interesting.Do you want a try, come and view our website, and you will learn how to Buy metin2 gold. Come and join with us. We are waiting for your coming.

3/25/2009 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger products said...

China Wholesalers has been described as the world’s factory. buy products wholesaleThis phenomenom is typified by the rise ofbusiness. Incredible range of products available with China Wholesale “Low Price and High Quality” not only reaches directly to their target clients worldwide but also ensures that wholesale from china from China means margins you cannot find elsewhere and China Wholesale will skyroket your profits.china wholesale productsbuy china wholesalewholesale chinawholesale productsbuy products

9/10/2009 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger products said...

We offer designer wedding dresses, custom wedding dress, cheap cell phonescheap wedding dressesbridal gowns, plus size wedding dresseswedding gowns, beautiful wedding dressesFlower Girl Dresses and so on. Buy tailor-made discount wedding dresses anddesigner wedding dresses designer lace wedding dresses to be a special brides now!

9/10/2009 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger products said...

Wholesale Gemstone cheap Gemstone Jewelry from China, discount wholesale jewelry Beads, wholesale Gemstone jewelry cheapest Wholesale Naruto anime and manga cheap cosplay costumes, cheap Naruto cosplay costumes on sale, buy Naruto cosplay naruto online shop.Wholesale anime and manga naruto cosplay costumes, cheap cosplay costumes on sale, buy anime cosplay costumes online shop

9/10/2009 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger shoppingugg said...

one day i went shopping outside,and in an ed hardy store,I found some kinds of ed hardy i love most they are Your website is really good Thank you for the information Abercrombie and Fitch clothing shop Abercrombie and Fitch clothing shop Abercrombie and Fitch clothing store Abercrombie and Fitch clothing store Cheap Abercrombie Fitch clothing Cheap Abercrombie Fitch clothing discount Abercrombie Fitch clothing discount Abercrombie Fitch clothing Abercrombie Fitch clothing sale

1/27/2010 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger qqq said...

To buy discount Louis vuitton handbags on line,cheap Louis vuitton bags on sale~! buy this louis vuitton Purses online,discount discount Louis vuitton handbags for sale cheap Louis vuitton handbags online sale Louis Vuitton replica handbags cheap sale Louis Vuitton handbags sale fake discount Louis vuitton bags online,buy replica cheap Louis vuitton bags for cheap,discount Louis Vuitton replica bags on sale.buy replica Louis Vuitton bags sale on line. to buy discount Louis Vuitton Stephen Sprouse on line,cheap louis vuitton Wallets on sale~! buy this Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas online,

3/14/2010 01:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buy Chanel handbags online, best Chanel bags on sale! Chanel Wallets for sale chanel replica handbags on sale chanel replica bags for cheap Cheap Chanel handbags online for sale! discount Chanel bags onlie store. best Cheap Chanel bags on sale.discount Chanel handbags for sale. Chanel handbags sale online. Chanel bags sale for cheap. buy Chanel handbag online, best Chanel bag on sale! Chanel Wallet on sale chanel replica handbag for sale chanel replica bag for cheap Cheap Chanel handbag online for sale! discount Chanel bag onlie store. best Cheap Chanel bag on sale.discount Chanel handbag for sale. Chanel handbag sale online. Chanel bag sale for cheap.

3/21/2010 02:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Find Rolex Watches online sale, cheap Rolex Watches for sale, Rolex Watches sale for cheap, discount Rolex replica Watches on sale, Rolex Watch online sale, cheap Rolex Watch for sale, Rolex Watch sale for cheap,Rolex replica Watch on sale, cheap rolex mens watches online for sale, Rolex Ladies Watches cheap on sale.cheap rolex mens watch online store, Rolex Ladies Watch on sale.

3/21/2010 02:47:00 AM  
Blogger shoppingugg said...

To buy Lida daidaihua online.discount lida daidaihua slimming on sale~! cheap lida daidaihua slimming capsules for sale~!buy discount lida daidaihua slimming capsule news online.buy 5 box daidaihua weight loss capsules online.5 box lida weight loss on sale~!buy 3 box lose weight lida online.lida daidaihua weight loss capsules cheap sale.discount buy lida capsules online sale.10 boxes lida products for sale.buy lida capsules for cheap.20 boxes daidaihua slimming on sale~! buy Daidaihua online.cheap daidaihua capsules for sale~! buy 5 boxes lida daidaihua diet capsules online.daidaihua slimming capsules online sale.buy daidaihua slimming capsules for sale.buy Lida Pills online.buy Lida daidaihua for cheap buy lida slimming capsules on sale~! discount lida slimming capsules on sale~!lida daidaihua capsules online sale.buy lida daidaihua capsules online.buy lida diet pills online.buy lida daidaihua slimming capsules for cheap.buy lida daidaihua diet capsules online.cheap lida daidaihua diet pills on sale~!buy lida slimming pills online.discount lida daidaihua slimming pills online.cheap daidaihua weight loss capsules on sale 5 boxes lida on sale online.buy lida daidaihua weight loss capsules for cheap cheap lida on sale online.

4/03/2010 04:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we offer Gucci handbags online sale, Gucci bags for cheap, Gucci wallets on sale, Gucci Purses for sale cheap Gucci handbags for sale, cheap Gucci bags online sale, discount Gucci handbags online store, Gucci replica handbags for sale, cheap Gucci handbags sale on sale, discount Gucci bags sale, buy Gucci bags sale,cheap Gucci replica bags on sale. Gucci handbag online sale, Gucci bag for cheap, Gucci wallet on sale, Gucci Purse for sale cheap Gucci handbag for sale, cheap Gucci bag online sale, discount Gucci handbag online store, Gucci replica handbag for sale, cheap Gucci handbag sale on sale, discount Gucci bag sale, buy Gucci bag sale,cheap Gucci replica bag on sale.

4/10/2010 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger qqq said...

Buy designer Hermes handbags online. Hermes bags buy Hermes Wallets for cheap Hermes Purses online cheap hermes handbags on sale.buy discount hermes handbags for sale.hermes replica handbags onlie sale.Hermes handbags sale for cheap.discount hermes bags on sale.cheap hermes bags for sale. Hermes bags sale for cheap.hermes replica bags on sale. designer hermes handbag online.to buy Hermes bag online. Hermes Wallet on sale Hermes Purses online cheap hermes handbag on sale.buy discount hermes handbag for sale.hermes replica handbag onlie sale.Hermes handbag sale for cheap.discount hermes bag on sale.cheap hermes bag for sale.Buy onlie.Hermes bag sale for cheap.hermes replica bag on sale.

4/11/2010 09:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is Breitling? Do you know

5/09/2010 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger qqq said...

Although the world has seen beautiful, you have not truly experienced the wonder of beauty and glorious creation if you have not seen a uk Tiffany
lamp. Created by Louis C. Tiffany earrings
each lamp is a design of eclectic charm with fragile and near breathtaking detail. Not relying on the normal precedence for creating and designing stained glass lamps, silver earrings
took the task a level higher and introduced a now sought after type of glass staining. Louis Tiffany necklaces
introduced the copper foil technique which includes putting the colors and varying hues desired, into the glass.

5/31/2010 09:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is Breitling? Do you know Breitling Watches? Buy these Breitling Watches sale on line.More cheap Breitling Watches for sale! Breitling replica Watches looklike a wonder.
Please dicount Breitling Watches for yourself. Breitling Watch is your best friend. Breitling Watch sale well.Looking these cheap Breitling Watch online. Because Breitling replica Watch is a wonder! So do please dicount Breitling Watch for youselves!!!

6/01/2010 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger daiyanren said...

coats & jackets
If one knows where to, the world will give way.
north face jackets
moncler
World-class brands
moncler jackets
The top fabric produced in France is 100%
duvetica
Italy's top outdoor brands
peuterey
Good quality and function, more accord with fashionable design
spyder jackets
High-grade, innovation, the trend of the brand
Columbia Sportswear
The quality is so good
quiksilver jackets
Young and creative style
ski jacket


You can have a look at it.
jordan shoes
Wow.
newest jordans
jordan 7
Wonderful!
air yeezy
jordan true flight
If you like,you can contact us.
jordan 3
jordan 4
We offer different styles.
jordan 1
jordan 2
Thanks.
jordan 5
jordan ajf shoes
There are cheap shoes to choose
nike footwear
jordan flight 45
Good quality with low price.
air jordan 2010
Air Jordan 2009
Enjoy it!
jumpman
nike trainers

6/14/2010 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger songsong_like said...

NewStreetFashion
Ed Hardy
stylish design
Ed Hardy Wholesale
fashion excellent quality
wholesale Ed Hardy
ED Hardy clothing bring you a super surprise!
ed hardy wholesale clothing
The quality is so good
christian audigier
if you really want it
jordan 8
jordan 9
jordan 10

6/14/2010 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger songsong_like said...

Young and creative style.
abercrombie and fitch
abercrombie & fitch
You can have a look at it.
Abercrombie and fitch outlet
ED Hardy clothing bring you a super surprise!
ed hardy wholesale clothing
If you really want it.
nike outlet

6/22/2010 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger longge said...

http://phish-pd-ugg.info/user/history/christian111/
http://phish-pd-ugg.info/user/history/hoganscarpe111/
http://phish-pd-ugg.info/user/history/hoganscarpes222/
http://phish-pd-ugg.info/user/history/louis%20vuitton/
http://phish-pd-ugg.info/user/history/viagra111/

7/14/2010 04:52:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home