Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Heh... "Rape-bo"

Josh writes:

Never one to bother with this originality crap when a good idea has already been thought up for me, I thought it'd be an idea to adapt Apathy Jack's latest effort (which you all should have read before continuing with this one) to the medium of comics/graphic novels/sequential art/whatever.

Note: Anyone thinking "comics are for kids" can fuck off right now. Buh-bye.

OK, first of all I want you all to do me a favour: Go down to your local comic shop and get the latest Filler Bunny comic from Jhonen Vasquez. After reading it, one of two things should happen:

  • Blood will fountain from your eyes as you spiral into the depths of insanity, abandoning all faith in the existence of hope, reason or a loving God.
  • You will laugh so hard that blood fountains from your eyes as you to spiral into the depths of insanity, abandoning all faith in the existence of hope, reason or a loving God.
That should put you in the right mood for the rest:

I'm figuring you've all read Transmetropolitan and Preacher, but just in case: Read Transmetropolitan and Preacher (by Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis respectively). Of Ellis' many other series and mini-series, Planetary is probably still my favourite -- his stated aim is to restore some of the wonder and excitement of literary characters that have become stale or forgotten over the years by reimagining them through his distinctive Ellis-O-Vision filters/eye tumours. It works.

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan is currently acting as methadone to the Preacher withdrawl I've been suffering since that series ended -- not as much fucked up humour, but the dialogue is right up there with the best.

You may want to sample the various Sin City collections, in preparation for the upcoming movie. My personal favourite is The Big Fat Kill, although That Yellow Bastard does have a certain depressing-as-all-fuck charm.

And while we're talking movie adaptations, you'd do worse than go through the various Hellboy mini-series and spin-offs. Lovecraftastic!

Obviously, when discussing comics you really should read, Alan Moore must get a mention somewhere. Although Watchmen, From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen count as required reading on any list such as this one (if only so you can see what the movie adaptations were ass-raping), my favourite of his works would probably be Top Ten -- Hill Street Blues with superheroes. I swear, his take on the "cop comforting dying victims at the scene of an accident" staple is the saddest goddamn thing I've ever read, and I've read Lucy's Drowning.

So, again echoing Jack, what would you monkeys recommend? The majority of the stuff I've mentioned has been around for a while -- what's out there that's new? My only caveat: Please don't mention The Invisibles -- my greatest fear is one day discovering that Grant Morrison isn't actually fucked up on drugs his every waking moment, and that there exists an unaltered human brain that could come up with that sort of stuff.


Apathy Jack said...

Well, while we're talking Warren Ellis, I'd recommend City of Silence - basically what Transmetropolitan would be if it was written by a drugged up twenty-year old (which is was...).

Also, the works of Sam Kieth are well worth a look. Most of his stuff has been reprinted recently:

Four Women, the claustrophobic story of four women trapped in a car with a menacing stranger outside.

Zero Girl, about a girl who is scared of squares, and whose feet mysteriously get wet when she is stressed. Also, the sequel, Zero Girl; Full Circle.

Epicurus the Sage, a take on Greek Philosophers and mythology.

My favourite though would have to be The Maxx, a very peculiar mix of superheroes, social work and surrelaism. An issue of this (to be found in the fourth trade paper back) is the only thing that has made tears spring to my eyes since I was a small child. (Of course I didn't actually cry, becuse I am All That Is Man - I just felt the need to clarify...)

Also, Love & Rockets, by the Hernandez Brothers. Basically, a collection of their various projects, so there are a few flat stories, and I must say that very little in the first trade is worth bothering with. However, once they hit their stride, it is great. Jamie tells the story of Los Locas - punkers who live in a world of robots and wrestlers. Gilbert tells the tale of Heartbreak Soup, life in a small Mexican villiage with no televisions or phones. Strangely, given my proclivitiy for robots, punks and wrestlers, I actually enjoy Heartbreak Soup more - you really feel as if you know the characters. They live on the page more than most literary characters on actual books (or, for that matter, most of my friends...).

Oh, and Filler Bunny #3, which made me laugh so hard I bled from my lymph nodes...

Josh said...

Ah, Sam Keith - takes me back. I got all of the first season of The Maxx, but he started to lose me when he went all Jungian. And Epicurus the Sage = Asterix in Ancient Greece -- you don't get much better than that.

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