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What Comics would you choose.....?

Posted: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:41 pm
by Azzamckazza
If you wanted to induct a newbie into the wonderful world of comics?

Last weekend I made a bit of a Christmas showbag for a friend who is comically retarded in the hope that he'll be educated somewhat. I leant him Doug Tennapel's Creature Tech, Art Speilgelman's Maus (full volume) and Michel Gagne's Insanely Twisted Rabbits.

I thought that covered a decent spectrum that wouldn't freak him out too much.

So the question I ask is....What would you choose from your collection?

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:49 am
by Joey
I'd totally lend Bone and Goodbye Chunky Rice. Two of my favorites. And then maybe some issues of Dork by Evan Dorkin for laughs.

Finally, I'd probably show him/her Chris Ware's stuff and Kramers Ergot, but not force them to read those if they didn't want to. You know, just blow their minds a little bit to begin with...

But by then they'd be hooked and I problably wouldn't be able to stop throwing comics at them!

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 3:31 pm
by Azzamckazza
I'm with you with Chris Ware...I often tell people about the wonders of Jimmy Corrigan but then warn them that it's only for the most hardcore of the hardcore.....and those that are not easily made depressed by books.

Never heard of Kramers Ergot, but I'll check him out now

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 3:34 pm
by Kazu
Hehehe. Aaron, Kramers Ergot is an anthology. :)

As for recommendations, Bone and Nausicaa, for sure.

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 4:19 pm
by Azzamckazza
Doh! I've never heard of it.

I'm showing as much comics retardation as the people I'm trying to teach

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:15 pm
by RocketLegend
Watchmen is the gateway trade paperback.

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 9:19 pm
by Siftland
Anyone who reads Bone will like it, it's a law of the universe.

um...It sort of depends on what sort of stuff they like in other media, like movies and novels, etc. This is what I'd recommend:

Crime: Kane, Stray Bullets, Pistolwhip

Fantasy: Thieves & Kings, Nausicaa, Cave in

Drama: Jimmy Corrigan

Posted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 9:59 pm
by Ayo
ACME Novelty Library #15...

Eightball #23...

and for bigger ticket items, any of the following should do:

1) McSweeny's Quarterly Concern #13 (anthology)

2) The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics (the greatest and most important comics anthology of all time)

3) The Frank Book by Jim Woodring. This beast collects all the Frank comics (excluding the one pager in McSweeny's above, as that one came later)

4) ACME Novelty Datebook by Chris Ware--because Chris Ware is a bonafide genius. Assuming that the person wouldn't be opposed to reading a sketchbook/artbook. I should hope not.

5) Cages by Dave McKean. One of the most imaginative and well-crafted graphic novels I've ever seen.

6) The Complete Crumb Comics by R. Crumb. Any volume after Vol. 4. Another genius.

7) Any of James Kochalka's major books. Because James Kochalka's comics make people smile.

8) David Boring by Dan Clowes. Another well-crafted graphic novel.

9) Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. Why not? Its a fun book, if nothing else.

Posted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 10:42 pm
by PuzzleShift
Thus far I've used Creature Tech and Tommysaurus Rex, Flight, and Blankets, since so far those are the only graphic novels I own! But there's quite a sizable collection at the library that I work at, and I use a lot of those, too. As a testament to you Flight artists, Volume 1 has floored my friends who have never picked up a graphic novel in their lives; they LOVE it!


Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 11:19 am
by Joey
For those interested, Kramers Ergot is a beautiful anthology put out by cartoonist extrodinare Sammy Harkham at It may not be everyone's taste however, so that's why I'd be cautious. It's sorta in that whole "art comics" movement. A lot of collage and stuff drawn on lined paper and things like that. Kramers Ergot contains work from great cartoonists like Sammy Harkham, Kevin Huizenga, Anders Nilson, Souther Salazar, Chris Ware, Mark Bell, Jeffrey Brown...the list goes on! I would recomend Numbers 4 and 5, those are where they get really good.

Also, great list Ayo! Although, I think my favorite issue of Eightball was #22.

Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 11:57 am
by Phil McAndrew
I've already used Blankets, Flight, and James Kochalka's Sketchbook Diaries to get a couple of people hooked on comics. Blankets seems to have worked the best so far. It hooked my girlfriend, my roommate, and a couple other friends.

Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 8:58 am
by Spex
RocketLegend wrote:Watchmen is the gateway trade paperback.
Actually, to be fully aprreciated, you'd need to know a lot about the superhero genre and comics in general before you read it. It was the first actual big-business comic I ever read and I loved it, however, I love it even more now that I get some of the subtle hints at real life.

Hellboy would be a good start. Most of the stories can be read independant of each other. Not much need for knowing about some of the myths adressed in the stories, as the tpb's usually have commentary by Mike Mignola about what myths the stories are based on.

Tom Strong is very good to start with as well if someone is aware of how those old pulp serials were written.

The Goon is very nice as well. It's not trying to be intellectual or smart, just very, very fun to read. It has mobsters, it has zombies, it has mobster zombies and it even has a talking chainsaw. It's set in some kind of depression-era-like city, but it's not actually set in the depression era because Goon and Frankie are seen using The First Wives Club as a tool of torture.

Preacher is good, though very, very un-politically correct. It's also very funny and semi-philosophical and all that. Even if you're faint of heart it's worth picking up because of the excellent writing and fairly unique setting.

Posted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 1:23 pm
by JonS
Well, like, Flight Volume 1, duh :)

In Univ of Texas at Austin there's a actual course you can take for Comic Book History and Appreciation. one of their "textbooks" is DC's KINGDOM COME, which is probably one of the greatest men in tights books with crossover appeal (in my opinion)....most people not familiar with comics over the past decade are usually wowed by Alex Ross' stuff and the grand scale of it all.

Other good ones are: League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Watchmen, Blankets, Box Office Poison, Bone

For the sci-fi fans: defnitely Transmetropolitan or the Invisibles. Or any limited series by Morrison or Ellis. There's also a maxi series of shorts called Mortal Coils...great for the Twilight Zone fan.

For the "summer reader": Something by kocholka, clowes, brubaker would be good. Also, alternative comics' Rubbernecker.

I would say Strangers In Paradise for the girls....Terry Moore seems to be able to write women better than women can write women. (According to some women).

I know alot of non comic readers semi-knowledgable of the batman world also dig Brubaker's Catwoman, pre-Gulacy.

Crime Noir fans..I'd say Jinx by Bendis, or 100 bullets, or maybe even Sam & Twitch.

Caliber comics used to print a series of mini-anthologies called Negative Burn...these are great, great little stories for the more thought-involved type.

Posted: Sat Dec 25, 2004 10:08 pm
by Dek

And possibly Tintin - those are classic, and I didn't even realize they were comics, as a kid. They were just stories with pretty pictures.

Posted: Sun Dec 26, 2004 1:37 am
by Alex Deligiannis
I'm boarding a plane to New York in about 5 hours, and I am bringing some comics for me, and some for my girl (for this exact same reason). She's not a comic person per-se, but she likes them because I do. So she is going to be reading one of my all-time favorites, Elfquest. If I get done with Bone (full volume), she might be giving that a read also.
If the newbie is into icons, you also can't go wrong with The Dark Knight Returns.