Comics/Graphic Novels

I’ve decided that going forward, on occasion, I’m going to post about comics/graphic novels that I think are particularly good and might appeal to people not normally interested in the form. I don’t remotely propose to turn this into a comics blog, nor do I intend to cover everything I read in that vein, but after reading about Guy Delisle’s Burma Chronicles on Just William’s Luck here, I think there can be value in discussing some of these works.

That doesn’t incidentally (in case any comics fans read this) suggest any negative view of those titles I read but don’t cover. This is a literary blog – I don’t cover films or tv series and with only a few exceptions I won’t be covering comics either, however excellent (and there’s some truly excellent stuff out there that I won’t be discussing). My interest here is only to shed light on some titles that might otherwise go unnoticed and that people with an interest in literary fiction might also find rewarding. At the moment, I’m expecting to write up over the next few months:

Berlin, by Jason Lutes;
Bluesman, by Rob Vollmar and Pablo Callejo;
Incognegro, by Mat Johnson and Warren Pleece;
Fahfrd and the Grey Mouser, by Mike Mignola; and
Pyongyang, by Guy Delisle.

There’ll probably be a few others too, as the interest takes me, but only a few as this is still very much a books blog.


Filed under Comics/Graphic Novels

9 responses to “Comics/Graphic Novels

  1. This sounds really interesting. I’ve always enjoyed graphic novels but don’t know how to find the good stuff in the trash which means that I end up going only on the few recommendations I get.
    Also, don’t mind if I suggest a couple of titles: Corridor and The Barn Owl’s Wondrous Capers by Sarnath Bannerjee. Perfectly fit into the description you gave.

  2. I’m delighted to hear recommendations, particularly of stuff like those which I’ve never heard of.

    To be honest, I find the good stuff mostly because I read a range of comics and so every month or so look round the store for what’s interesting and new. I don’t these days read anything with superheroes, and if you don’t read superheroes it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself in front of the more alternative titles.

  3. ———————————————————
    if you don’t read superheroes it’s only a matter of time before you find yourself in front of the more alternative titles.

    ‘Alternative’, unfortunately, is where the quality has generally stopped for me :(. I end up picking so many trash ones at bookstores(not buying them, just checking them out) that . . . let’s just stop at stating the fact that the only good ones I’ve read are Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series.
    which is the main reason I’m happy that I’m going to get recommendations from a non-fanboy, non-bookstore owner.

  4. Graphic novels struggle for coverage generally I think, they get lost in the reviews of the more popular monthly titles. There must be good blogs covering the more thoughtful stuff, but I’ve no idea what they are or how to find them, and literary blogs tend not to cover them either. They fall between the cracks a bit from my perspective.

    Now, that’s probably as much as anything else a problem with my perspective, but if you’re not part of comics fandom (and I’m not) you don’t tend to know the comics blogs, and anyway most of those will be covering stuff that doesn’t interest me and I have limited appetite trawling through them for one to my taste. Until I get round to that, covering them myself on occasion seems the best solution.

    I see you’ve written up The Outsider, I’ll be popping over this afternoon to see your thoughts, though on a quick skim I see you liked it less than I did (I’m rather fond of it) which should be interesting.

  5. I’m anxious to read your reviews, Max. I’ve only read a few graphic novels that have come highly recommended, and I really enjoyed them. Thanks for helping me expand!

  6. GB Steve

    I liked City of Stones enough to buy City of Smoke but I haven’t read it yet so I’d be interested to read what you think about it. I’m a big Mignola fan too but most of my graphic novel reading recently has been in French, quite a lot of David B whose Epileptic (available in English) is a masterpiece.

  7. Well, the French do rather excel in this area, though their does sometimes seem to be an excessive fondness for gore which sometimes seems not wholly connected to the themes of the work.

    Some bloody weird stuff too, but you’d know better than me of course. I’ll look out David B, I don’t know that at all.

    Have you read Mignola’s Fahfrd and the Grey Mouser? I was rather unkind to the first collection of their stories here, but the comic is excellent – rightly focusing on the better stories rather than some dubious chronology.

  8. Glad to see this Max and also have plans to read Berlin and Bluesman myself. I’ll second that recommendation for David B’s epileptic and also give you a heads up that a review of Alan Moore’s From Hell will be forthcoming on my blog soon-ish.

  9. I’ll pick up Epileptic next time I’m at the comic shop then. Two recommendations both of which make it sound tremendous, that’s not to be ignored.

    Looking forward to the From Hell writeup, I liked Eddie Campbell’s artwork in that, but for some reason I got bogged down and stopped reading. I need to restart it, hopefully your review will encourage me to do so.

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