Monday, April 23, 2007

A new vice


Last night, I did something I've never done before. No, not that. And not that either. What I did was, I read a comic book. Before last night, the closest I ever got was reading Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and laughing at Spy vs. Spy in Mad magazine. The siren call, however, of a season 8 Buffy the Vampire Slayer penned by Joss Whedon was too much to resist.

I'd missed out on the first issue and am now too poor to shell out the $50 they want for it on Amazon, but I was lucky enough to find issue #2 yesterday. And while I admit to having had some difficulty with narrative transitions and also figuring out which panels to read first -- I'm such a newbie -- I enjoyed the visuals and the dialogue, which was very Whedonesque. The jokes were flying, the action and tension were palpable and the character likenessess were very good. My maiden comic book voyage was a good one, and I'm glad Joss was at the helm. And now I'm thinking that's a weird metaphor....

Anyway, now I'm curious as to what other comic book goodies are out there, especially after reading about two intriguing titles in Entertainment Weekly. One, called Alias the Cat, "features a smack-talking cat, superheroes and midgets commingling," which sounds promising indeed although I might have to try The Salon by Nick Bertozzi, which centers on "a crime-fighting gang composed of art-world all-stars like Gertrude Stein, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso." I will give my money to any individual who envisions Gertrude Stein as a crime fighter. And I think right there is the reason why I could easily be converted to a comic book fan: the ability to put the unimaginable front and center before our eyes. That's a pretty beautiful thing.

Also, if you'd like to read about comics from someone who knows what they're talking about and is very entertaining at the same time, try Chris' Invincible Super-Blog, which I discovered a couple days ago. Very good reviews with a satisfying dose of humor. And now if you'll excuse me, I have to go find out who this "super man" is that everyone talks abouts...

6 comments:

Shan said...

I was a huge comic fan "back in the day," but hadn't really purchased any of the monthly titles since the 80s. But I waded back into the medium because of the whedonverse and enjoyed myself immensely. If you haven't read "Fray," you should definitely pick that up (story of a future slayer, where a certain scythe made its first appearance). Also, I subscribed (via Dark Horse website) to Buffy Season 8, and it's just as good as expected. Joss's run on Astonishing X-Men is also top notch.

If you're looking for something outside the whedonverse, I HIGHLY recommend the Alan Moore classic "Watchmen." It's now gathered in a single tome, and readily available. It's a seminal take on the superhero genre and wonderfully thought-provoking and literate (Zac Snyder is adapting it into a movie as we speak). Also, the TV show "Heroes" also owes a great debt to this book (and apparently, several major plot points, too, which we'll learn more about tonight). Let me know if you need some other recommendations. There's some great stuff out there.

Jessica said...

I was going to suggest "Fray" as well, it is PERFECT Whedon writing. I also missed the first issue of Buffy Season 8. *very sad*

As a non-comic reader who dabbles only when Joss Whedon is involved, I do have very comic-heavy friends, and they have shown me the delights of such books as "Bone" and "Y The Last Man", probably the only thing outside Whedon and Kevin Smith comics I'd buy on my own.

But look up Fray, you will not be disappointed!!

Nick said...

The "biggie" in comics, that everyone HAS to read, the real monolith of non-superhero graphic novels, is Sandman by Neil Gaiman.

I also highly recommend Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis.

jemiah said...

I highly recommend anything written by Brian K. Vaughan, who will be writing the next Buffy comics story arc. I'm actually more excited about that than I was about Joss writing it, although I have to say that I love the Buffy Season 8 a whole lot so far. Then again, it's my job...

I sincerely hope that you find that you like comics. They are one of the best artistic media out there. And we need more women to read them, anyway - I am getting really tired of the whole "fanboy" debate. Having the geek-lady existence be parenthetical is becoming increasingly insulting.

Liz said...

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I'm definitely going to try and read more comics, and am especially intrigued by graphic novels. I really thought Art Spiegelmann's Maus was amazing, and I think I like the concept of longer works. And I'm putting Fray on the list because I've heard great things about it for years.

Kevin Church said...

The Salon is a hoot and a holler. Great fun for litgeeks and those who don't normally dive in alike.