Author Topic: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts  (Read 11826 times)

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Offline JackFrost

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Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« on: March 25, 2010, 11:34:08 AM »
I wrote this for a friend of mine's request, but I thought I might share with the you. Granted it should probably be called Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels No One's Ever Heard Of Before, but I know there are at least two Marvel titles on there - and you might be surprised at what they are and their ranks.

Anyway, let?s be clear this list is just a matter of my opinion based on what I?ve read. And while I read quite a bit, I can?t read everything, but if you don?t see something on the list you think should be let me know I?ll take a look at it.

20. Black Summer (May 2007?July 2008)
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist(s): Juan Jose Ryp
Publisher: Avatar Press



If for nothing else, the opening salvo of the plot in this book is that a very powerful, technologically enhanced superhero named John Horus decides that for the good of humanity, the George W. Bush administration must die. The rest of the book centers around what humanity decides to do to the rest of John?s teammates in retaliation. A pretty decent book overall, especially for Warren Ellis who seems to have difficulty even finishing a story, much less having a good ending. The art is highly detailed and is sort of a cross between Geoff Darrow and Frank Quitely.

For those just interested in seeing the Bushies torn limb from limb, I've include the cover which depicts that aftermath. Cheers!

19. NIL: A Land Beyond Belief (2005)
Writer/Artist: James Turner
Publisher: Slave Labor Graphics Press



?In a world where hope is outlawed, the only crime is to believe.?

Proun Nul is employed as a deconstruction engineer by the city of Nihilopolis, where all inhabitants are devoted to the philosophical principle of nihilism, and is tasked to use his ship Derrida to destroy belief outbreaks before they can infect the population. This practice of course puts Nihilopolis into conflict with their neighbors in Optima who are responsible for the creation of the ideas being destroyed.

During a particularly arduous deconstruction, Nul accidentally kills the nephew of the Hypocripope, Nihilopolis? ?spiritual? leader, and is beset by all the bureaucracy Nihilopolis can throw at him. Once he?s had his fill, but can?t bring himself to use a suicide booth, he decides to defect to Optima, finding it to be no better ? or worse ? than Nihilopolis.

Dense, amusing and thought-provoking, Nil shows that living in either extreme leads simply to unhappiness and ennui.

18. Chronicles of Wormwood (2006)
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist(s): Jacen Burrows
Publisher: Avatar Press



Another wonderful piece of blasphemy from Garth Ennis, it revolves around Danny Wormwood who it seems is a reluctant anti-Christ. Both God and his father, Satan, would love him to get on with Armageddon as he?s been charged, but in complete defiance of them both Danny would rather remain a porn and reality-TV king and hang out with his good friend Jesus (who he calls Jay) at their favorite pub. Jay is black with long dreads and has been rendered slightly retarded by a beating he received for being mistaken as a homeless person and doesn?t actually talk much.

Eventually the Church teams up with Satan to try and force Wormwood?s hand and get him to start Armageddon like he?s supposed to. The journey takes the pair into Limbo and Hell (where they find that the road is actually paved with mimes) before Wormwood can devise a plan that naffs over both Satan and the Church equally.

A decent little breeze of a read, but be warned that there is an abundance of dirty, sexual humor in this title. Lots of richard jokes ? big, purple-veined richard jokes.

17. The Nightly News/Pax Romana/Transhuman (2006/2007/2008)
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist(s): Jonathan Hickman, J.M. Ringuet
Publisher: Image Comics



These three minis by Jonathan Hickman were pretty exceptional:

The Nightly News follows a group of revolutionaries who are determined to punish the media for all of the false reporting they do in the name of profits, rating, etc. by assassinating news anchors on-air as they report lies. The book is filled with all sorts of real-life factoids about how the media manipulates people into accepting ideologies that are detrimental to society.

In Pax Romana, the Catholic Church has discovered the science of time travel and intends to use it to send envoys back to ?fix? the past to ensure the church?s power forever. After sending a team of soldiers with a warehouse of modern weaponry to Rome circa 312 A.D., the team abandons the Pope?s plan for dominance and decides to try and make the best society possible given their knowledge of future events. It?s not all rainbows and sunshine as at one point it?s mentioned that slavery cannot be abolished (and we?re talking more than just blacks in America) because the modern world was built on slave labor.

And in Transhuman, Hickman looks at the story of companies providing super-human enhancements for sale to the public, but from the angle of the PR war between competing companies. Corners are cut to get the stuff on the market before the tech can be stolen and reverse engineered for profit by others, leading to disaster for the guinea pig consumer. In one great sequence in the book several monkeys have been given abilities and then are observed by 3 scientists. The monkeys? powers are even somewhat familiar ? one can shoot beams from his eyes, another has metal claws that pop out of his hands, etc. ? and none of the tech performs even remotely correctly. Two of the scientists stand to profit from the technology water down their reports to seem tame giving the green light, while the third is supposed to be evaluating the viability of the tech for stockholders and can?t help but freak out at the lethality of these monkeys that?s being overlooked.

Below are the two pages that make up the reports on the monkeys:



All three of these minis are really interesting stuff?

16. Elephantmen (July 2006-present)
Writer: Richard Starkings
Artist(s): Moritat, Marian Churchland and others
Publisher: Image Comics



Set about 200 years in the future, the North African MAPPO Corporation begins abducting African women to use in experiments that will create human-animal hybrid super soldiers. When a lethal virus destroys most of the population of Europe, Africa and China vie for the remnants and the African government commission use of MAPPO?s creations.

Dubbed Elephantmen (though they can be hybrids with several animals, zebra, giraffe, croc, boar, rhino etc.), they stomp their way through France and Scandinavia before UN security forces raid MAPPO headquarters freeing them from MAPPO?s control. Because they are intelligent and can talk and reason, they are allowed to join society.

And all of that happens before the series begins and instead it focuses on how the Elephantmen are coping with fitting into everyday life. Each issue is largely a single, self-contained story and it takes until about issue #11 before it becomes apparent the author has a tight structure behind the stories connecting them. Fans of Blade Runner should check out cover artist Ladr?nn?s cityscapes.

15. Pride of Baghdad (2006)
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist(s): Nico Henrichon
Publisher: DC/Vertigo



A fictional story extrapolated from the real-life account of 4 lions that escaped from the Baghdad zoo after it was bombed in the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

It?s told from the perspective of the animals so that the reader can take part in their conversations and so that the animals can comment on the situation, but they do not act human in any other way.

Vaughan apparently wrote it as an allegory to the fleeting freedom felt by Iraqis after the ousting of Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party before the country was plunged into the horror it has become. If this one doesn?t make you even slightly misty, you?re a hard-ass scallywag.

14. Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea (2004)
Writer/Artist: Guy Delisle
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly



The French-Canadian author, who is also an animator, spent a 2-month stint in North Korea supervising the animation team of a children?s show. This is his cartoon journal of the odd life inside the totalitarian state of North Korea. From cold, robotic concert/play performances to the forced worship of Kim Jong-il and his father to being largely confined with other foreigners to 2 floors of a 50-story high rise. In order to leave the building he must travel with ?Comrade Guide? and ?Comrade Translator? who are basically there to make sure he stays in line and doesn?t see anything that might make him ask questions.

All the while Delisle tries to keep good humor and empathy, but the jokes he cracks tend to go over most people?s heads as they drone on about their day. Because of the irony of having it, he even brings a copy of 1984 and tries to get one of his handlers to read it.

His cartoony style still manages to portray a range of emotion and the black, white and grey artwork is perfect for the depiction of the dull Communist state. Probably one of the only honest portrayals of life in North Korea you?re bound to find in mainstream media, especially given the amount of secrecy in which the country engages.

13. Persepolis (2004, English trans.)
Writer/Artist: Marjane Satrapi
Publisher: Pantheon



Persepolis is the account of the author?s childhood in Iran during the Islamic revolution and growing up during the country?s war with Iraq. Like #14, a very honest portrayal of life inside the country at that time you?re likely to find in mainstream media. I found the book goes a long way in demystifying the general idea of Iranian society often portrayed by American media.

If you saw the film adaptation, it was a sanitized version of what occurs in the graphic novel as it cuts out ?unsavory? aspects of the author?s character (like the time she spends selling pot in Vienna, for instance) and removes much of the political and religious debate/discussion. Hands down the graphic novel is better and much richer than the film.

12. Jonah Hex (November 2005-present)
Writers: Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist(s): Luke Ross, Darwyn Cooke & many others
Publisher: DC



The most current incarnation of the Western anti-hero has been a very solid title for its entire 50+-issue run so far. I?m not usually a Western fan, but this series has had pretty top-notch writing.

Jonah Hex was raised by the Apache and is a former Confederate soldier turned bounty hunter whose name is as legendary as the scar that mars the right side of his face. The scarring makes his one eye eternally open and leering and a huge hole in his cheek through which his gritted teeth can be seen. When asked how it happened, his coy response is usually ?Cut m?self shavin???. Hex was originally created in the ?70s and is clearly based on Clint Eastwood?s Man With No Name character and carries himself pretty similarly.

Hex?s luck generally runs bad, well horrible actually, and any bounty he?s hired for generally turns into a double-cross clusterfuck. But Hex is a smart scallywag that always manages to come out alive, much to the chagrin of his double-crossers.

There?ll be a flick coming out this year for the character, so read these before they ruin him, ?kay?

11. The Other Side (2006)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist(s): Cameron Stewart
Publisher: DC/Vertigo



Set in the Vietnam War, and follows the simultaneous parallel stories of an American soldier PFC Bill Everette, and a North Vietnamese soldier Vo Binh Dai, as each is indoctrinated into his respective army and eventually end up on the same battlefield together. Both stories are about blind allegiance to equally bent-up ideologies and the consequences of that allegiance.

Over the course of the 5 issues, as the two journey to their respective destiny, we are given the life of the average VC recruit, the tenacity with which they defended their country, and the austerity in which they survived. While also seeing PFC Everette egged-on by gung-ho, decomposing corpse soldier that only he can see, while his rifle ?speaks? to him giving him advice like: ?Put me in your mouth.? Both march through hell just to get the privilege of killing each other.

The writing is very tight and the artist even travelled to Vietnam to get more authenticity to the locations and Vietnamese facial features. And even though some critics suggested that a Vietnam-era tale is ?played out? now that terrorism is the new enemy, the series shows how little really has changed between Vietnam and The War On Terror in what promises and dreams upon which The Powers That Be prey to get people to go to war for profit.

10. Astonishing X-Men #s 1-24 & Special #1 (July 2004-July-2008)
Writer: Joss Whedon
Artist(s): John Cassaday
Publisher: Marvel Comics



This series was a lot fun as Whedon was able to write the characters how I used to remember them when I liked the X-Men way back in the day. John Cassaday is among the best comics artists working and he draws his heart out on this book, the pages are very inviting.

Just a fun adventure book that might take ya back?

9. The Punisher (MAX series issue #s 1-60, March 2004-October 2008)
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist(s): Leandro Fernandez, Goran Parlov and others
Publisher: Marvel Comics/MAX



I had never even liked the character until I read these stories. Even Ennis? Marvel Universe proper run was filled with too much over-the-top black humor and superheroes to really be taken seriously. But with the MAX imprint, Marvel decided to finally grow some balls and release ?mature reader? titles. It is here that Ennis gets serious with the character and steps up Frank Castle?s war against the East Coast mafia.

As the war escalates and Frank continues to systematically slaughter mafia heads as they rise, he also gets caught up eliminating an international slavery ring, rescuing a young girl from a Russian missile silo at Nick Fury?s request (?You put The Punisher in a missile silo?! What kind of bless'ed lunatic are you?? one terrified American general asks Fury), and eliminating the heads of an Enron-style corporation. That last story introduces an unbelievable scallywag called Barracuda who is a wall of destruction and is a treat to read. Incidentally, Nick Fury is the closest the series comes to even mentioning a superhero?

Ennis, who is clearly writing these stories for himself, uses the book to make harsh commentary on many aspects of past and current events, from the root causes of mafia crime to The Troubles in Ireland; Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq; the cowpoo War On Terror in general; and how the US military has become a corporation profiting on the blood of other people?s children. Ennis is gifted at giving authenticity to numerous points of view on a particular topic and has a great sense for dialects which adds realism to the dialogue. He also has a gift for action sequences and delivers some very brutal violence with beautiful choreography. If you?re a fan of Inglourious Basterds or The Dirty Dozen or even Cormac McCarthy, you might find this is right up your alley.

8. DMZ (November 2005-present)
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist(s): Riccardo Burchielli
Publisher: DC/Vertigo



In the near future, militia groups from the Midwest revolt against the US government?s pre-emptive war policies and, in the absence of the National Guard, actually gain more ground than they thought possible. More militia groups pop up around the country come together to form the Free States Army (FSA) and make their way to Manhattan. With the city being too large for the FSA to take, and also for the US Army to defend, the battle hits stalemate and Manhattan becomes the DMZ. A setting the author has described as "equal parts Escape from New York, Fallujah, and New Orleans right after Katrina".

A photo journalism intern from Liberty News (essentially FOX), named Matty Roth flies into the DMZ with a news crew and a military escort. When the news crew and the soldiers are killed by so-called ?insurgents?, Matty is stranded in the DMZ. With all the gear largely intact, he becomes the first journalist to report from inside the DMZ, ultimately giving stories about life there that are in stark contrast to the propaganda regularly churned out by Liberty News.

As he becomes more well-known for his reporting, the FSA gains a legitimate ideological foothold and eventually they negotiate for sovereignty. Matty eventually becomes the PR head for the campaign of the DMZ?s first president, Parco Delgado, and one of Matty?s first assignments is to tell the US about the nuke Parco?s managed to acquire...

An excellent little title, especially for political/news junkies and for those that like a good post-apocalyptic yarn.

7. Ex Machina (August 2004-mid-2010)
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist(s): Tony Harris
Publisher: DC/Wildstorm



When Mitchell Hundred was a kid, he loved him some superhero comics. So when he grows up to be a New York city engineer and a mysterious, glowing green box found under a bridge explodes in his face giving him the ability to converse with machines, he has no choice but to don a costume and jet pack (voice controlled naturally) and become The Great Machine.

His time as a hero is brief and isn?t at all what he?d dreamed it might be. Criminals don?t seem afraid and laugh when they shoot at him, some people complain about how he rescues them and the police just want him stop his vigilantism. After quitting he doesn?t wear the costume again until that fateful day in September 2001 when he saves the South Tower by catching Flight 175. (Sadly, the book never really questions the Official Conspiracy Theory of 9/11, but that?s already fictional, so?)

The book picks up after 2001 when Mitchell manages to parlay his heroism into being elected mayor of New York. He?s no longer The Great Machine, but he?s still able to converse with machines and we begin to discover he ?hears? them whether he wants to or not. There?s a larger story behind everything that has Mitchell being reprimanded about not using his gift properly, but it has not yet resolved, so I?ll say no more.

It?s a very historical and political book, and Vaughan is very good at keeping the debate dialogue interesting and relevant. The book tackles racial issues, abortion rights and marijuana legalization among other topics. As it turns out, for Mitchell to shut out the machine voices, he goes into a basement hideaway with nothing but a wooden desk chair and a rolltop desk and smokes doobies. The artwork by Tony Harris is gorgeous and makes the book a breeze to read.

6. Berserk (2003-present, English translation)
Writer/Artist: Kentaro Miura
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics



A Lord-of-the-Rings-style sword-and-sorcery epic with copious quantities of explicit nudity and gore and is probably the direst comic I?ve ever read. It follows the cursed black swordsman Guts as he seeks his revenge against the personifications of evil, the Godhand, a member of which is Guts? former friend. In fact, Guts is so cursed, his only stroke of luck was to have been found barely alive after falling out of his mother?s corpse as it hangs from a tree. He is rescued and cared for by an insane woman in a passing caravan. But that sets the stage for his life to come, when he becomes branded by the Godhand and horrific monsters come out of the woodwork to try and kill him if he lingers anywhere too long.

The artwork despite being only black and white is incredibly detailed and is a sight to behold and the artist is great at coming up with hideous creatures to tear people limb-from-limb.

Honestly this is not a book that can be explained in short order as it?s complex and several thousand pages long, and really must be experienced but it is not for the faint of heart. However, I caution that the books are oriented in the original Japanese right-to-left format, so it poses a bit of a challenge at first, but it gets easier over a short time.

5. Lone Wolf and Cub (2000-2002, proper English translation)
Writer: Kazuo Koike
Artist(s): Goseki Kojima
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics



In the late 80s a small publisher named First Comics tried to publish the series, but for some reason felt compelled to run the chapters out of order. First Comics folded long before they got anywhere near completing the book. In 2000, Dark Horse Comics published a much-better-translated version and by 2002 had published all 28 volumes of the series with the chapters in the correct sequence. At about 300+ pages apiece, this samurai epic is over 8,400 pages long.

It tells the tale of Ogami Ittō, the official executioner of the Shōgun, who returns home to find his wife and household brutally murdered, except for his baby son Daigorō. He is later framed for a plot to murder the Shōgun and has to forfeit his post as a traitor. It is later revealed that this is part of a larger plot to capture the Shogunate.

But in the meantime Ittō wanders Japan with Daigorō in a baby carriage loaded with weaponry. Now rōnin, he takes assassination jobs from those he deems trustworthy and always receives payment. The series actually follows this pattern for some time before it starts becoming apparent that Ittō is gathering the money to carry out his revenge on those who destroyed his life ? which is where this epic really starts to get great. I am deliberately leaving out many plot points as to not ruin the story.

Fans of Frank Miller?s work should note that this book more than any other influenced his own comics ? in fact, he freely admits it. It?s also spawned several films of varying quality, but the manga is still far superior. A beautiful comic, the depth and scope of which really cannot be encompassed in just a few paragraphs, that is essential reading.

4. Promethea (August 1999 ? April 2005)
Writer: Alan Moore
Artist(s): J.H. Williams III & Mick Gray, with Jos? Villarrubia (painted colors)
Publisher: DC/America?s Best comics



In the mid-90s, acclaimed comic book writer Alan Moore decided to devote his life to thaumaturgy, following in the footsteps of such figures as Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare (both of whom make appearances in the series, by the by). Promethea is the by-product of what he learned on his journey.

The story centers around Sophie Bangs who is writing a school report on the supposedly fictional character Promethea, the personification of human imagination, and all of her appearances throughout history. During an interview with Barbara Shelley, a former Promethea, Sophie is told that Promethea has chosen others to be a vessel to contain her. When Sophie finally conjures Promethea, she is attacked by powerful magicians who want to kill her to stop her from causing the End of Everything.

After that the book goes heavily into revealing relationships of symbols and magick with one issue devoted to showing how the progression of cards in the Tarot not only show the evolution of all species of life on Earth, but also the long cycle of the history of man. Eventually Sophie and Barbara travel the Lightning Path up the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah with an entire issue is devoted to each Sephirot and all of the number, letter symbols, colors smells, etc. associated with each sphere. The series ultimately culminates with Promethea bringing about the most beautiful End-of-Everything scenario I?ve ever come across.

Given that this is Alan Moore, I don?t need to go into the great writing, but I will point out that the artwork is absolutely stunning and I would recommend just looking at it even if you decide not to read the series. This is a very complex book, but not impenetrable and you will learn something about ?real? magick whether or not you realize it. I poo thee not.

3. Scalped (March 2007-present)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist(s): R. M. Gu?ra
Publisher: DC/Vertigo



Dashiell Bad Horse returns to his ?Rez? as an undercover FBI agent sent to infiltrate the organization of Red Crow, the Oglala Lakota tribal chief. Red Crow is believed to be guilty of shooting 2 FBI agents decades before, and FBI Special Agent Nitz intends to see him brought to justice. Dashiell is recruited to the Rez?s police force and Red Crow sets about building his $96 million casino financed through the Hmong mafia (a decision that becomes a huge shitstorm).

As the series unfolds, we find that even though Red Crow is actually not responsible for the deaths, he is also not exactly innocent. Dashiell turns out not to be as law-abiding as one might think and gets himself a nice smack from hanging out with Red Crow?s tramp daughter. And most of the rest of the ?Rez?s inhabitants are not much better?

A very rough series that illustrates the bleakness of being a Native American confined to a dirt-poor reservation and the corruption and despair that permeates life there. The writing is intricate, meticulous and a bit slow-paced and it takes until about issue #6 before the story really starts to hit its stride, but once it does you?re hooked for the long haul. I?d probably recommend this to fans of crime stories and possibly even Cormac McCarthy again?

2. The Sword (October 2007-mid 2010)
Writers/Artists: The Luna Brothers
Publisher: Image comics



Dara Brighton is a normal, relatively happy college student despite the fact she is a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair. But that all changes when 3 mysterious strangers show up at her house calling her father by the name Demetrios and demanding he turn over ?The Sword?. When he refuses, the 3 begin torturing and killing his family using abilities that allow them to control the elements of water, earth and air. When the 3 overdo it with ?Demetrios? and electrocute him, also setting the house on fire, they depart leaving Dara sprawled on the floor having fallen from her wheelchair figuring the fire will take care of her.

When she is knocked through the weakened floor by a ceiling beam she ends up under the house, staring at the hilt of a sword sticking in the ground. When she touches it, an energy races through her body repairing her every ailment, including her legs, and gives her physical abilities and strength beyond normal humans. The sword itself is extremely powerful and will slice through just about anything, and has a habit of dismembering people with the smallest flick.

At the funerals, she meets Justin a former student of her father?s history class who tells Dara that her father was a great storyteller weaving fantastic tales of a 4,000 year-old swordsman named Demetrios who kept in check powerful siblings who could control elements. Using Justin?s memories of the stories she tracks down the 3 siblings to take revenge.

As the series progresses we discover more of the true nature of the conflict between the siblings and Demetrios that spans 4 millennia and eventually Dara?s friends even begin to question her father?s motives and the person she?s become during her quest for vengeance. Well written, well paced and nice clean artwork, you?ll find that you?ve plowed through most of the story before you know it. I often refer to The Sword as ?The best comic no one?s reading.? This is some good poo right here.

1. Y: The Last Man (2002-2008)
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist(s): Pia Guerra, Goran Sud?uka with Jos? Marzan, Jr. (inks)
Publisher: DC/Vertigo



On July 17, 2002, a ?plague? hits all over the world simultaneously killing all mammals with a Y chromosome, right down to the sperm. Well, that is except for the wisecracking amateur escape artist Yorick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand. Naturally, being the last man on Earth doesn?t turn out to be the paradise one might think. Several female factions want him for their own ends including the Israelis to make sure they are the ones to repopulate the globe and the Daughters of the Amazon who want to kill him because they believe the plague was a sign from Mother Earth that males are no longer necessary. There?s even a segment where the wives of Republicans try to take the White House at gunpoint.

Yorick, who must now hide his identity by impersonating a female, is aided by Agent 355, who is part of a secret governmental society that predates the Revolutionary War, and Dr. Allison Mann, a geneticist who plans to both find out why Yorick and Ampersand survived and how to successfully clone them ? otherwise humanity is doomed. Although Yorick just wants to get to Australia to find his girlfriend Beth so he can propose to her.

Mostly a dramatic action series, but it has definite moments of humor, sadness and tragedy. Among the best graphic novels I?ve ever read. The writer was recently hired to the staff of the TV series Lost, no doubt to help them make some sense of the narrative mess they?ve got going on over there?

Cheers!
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 11:36:53 AM by JackFrost »

Offline ohcheap1

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2010, 12:15:02 PM »
18. Chronicles of Wormwood (2006) I think this will be my next venture after I finish HellRaiser.

6. Berserk (2003-present, English translation) BRILLIANT artwork! Wow!

4. Promethea (August 1999 ? April 2005) I started this didnt I? Cant remember a thing about it though. Im sure I still have it somewhere though.

2. The Sword (October 2007-mid 2010)/1. Y: The Last Man (2002-2008) From my perspective, these would be reveresed. But what the hell am I going to do next month?

Im a total novice in this category. But I have truly enjoyed the recommendations that Jack has given to me. And with alittle push, I have even ventured off on my own with the Clive Barker related series.

Thanks man.

Offline Skadi

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2010, 12:51:03 PM »
I have a comic reader at home, but not one at work, so I just installed one since I seem to spend so much time here :P

Offline dweez

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2010, 01:08:35 PM »
My favorite is ComicRack.  I need to get me some of these and read up.  Been meaning to get "The Sword" for a while now.
--dweez

Offline jackalope21

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2010, 08:46:17 PM »

Wha????   A top 20 list with no Red Hulk???   I call shenanigans

j/k

20. Black Summer - loved the concept but i didn't really feel there was much of a story beyond that, it was just Ellis's political views
19. NIL: A Land Beyond Belief (2005) - never heard of it but is definately going on my ebay shopping cart :)
18. Chronicles of Wormwood (2006) - not a bad series, not sure it is top 20 worthy but fair enough
17. The Nightly News/Pax Romana/Transhuman - i love the writer Hickman is becoming and i hope he doesnt sell out too bad...looking forward to his Shield series
16. Elephantmen - for me, the surprising one on this list...seems like he got high one day and came up with the plot
15. Pride of Baghdad - any top whatever list without a BKV book is full of crap
14. Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea (2004) - no interest
13. Persepolis (2004, English trans.) - loved this , reminded me of Maus in a good way
12. Jonah Hex (November 2005-present) - one of the things i am embarassed to have never read....i guess i know what i am doing with my tax refund
11. The Other Side (2006) - wow, all your top books are really bleak....im getting kind of sad just reading this list
10. Astonishing X-Men #s 1-24 & Special #1 - not an X-men guy but Whedon not writing Kittie Pryde is a crime
9. The Punisher (MAX series issue #s 1-60, March 2004-October 2008) - they could never write a punisher book after this run and he would still have had a great comic career....Ennis was born to write this character
8. DMZ (November 2005-present) - just a good book that keeps surprising me after all this time
7. Ex Machina (August 2004-mid-2010) - started off strong but fizzled out about half way through...once BKV was seduced away to Hollywood, you can tell he just doesnt care about this book anymore
6. Berserk (2003-present, English translation) - i am conflicted.....you lost me at sword-and-sorcery then got me back with copious quantities of explicit nudity then lost me again with several thousand pages long...oh well, you cant read everything
5. Lone Wolf and Cub (2000-2002, proper English translation) - essential reading QFT
4. Promethea (August 1999 ? April 2005)- literally on my to read pile, i actually just finished his run on Supreme and it was surprisingly good
3. Scalped (March 2007-present) - the story is excellent but i am just not sure what it is, i just can't get into this book
2. The Sword (October 2007-mid 2010) - i think this book is suffering from the Luna Bros curse of not pacing a book correctly, Girls went on forever and this one is seeming to ..... c'mon guys, story structure.....if Loeb can do it, i know you can
1. Y: The Last Man (2002-2008) - just a great story, not too long, not too short...and who doesnt love monkeys throwing poop



Leaving out the obvious ones, i would have included(in no order):

Asterios Polyp(David Mazzucchelli)  - This is who Grant Morrison wants to be, the writing is amazing, the use of color and shapes in just a good old orgy of comic goodness

The title character, Asterios Polyp, is a professor and architect of Greek descent who teaches at a college in Ithaca, New York. After a lightning strike burns down the building in which he lives, he leaves the city and takes up employment in a small town (chosen seemingly at random) as an auto mechanic. The novel is interspersed with scenes from his past, including his childhood and troubled marriage, as well as more fantastical scenes (including those narrated by his stillborn twin brother, Ignazio).



Crossed (Garth Ennis/Jacen Burrows) - my one horror book for the list.....after reading one issue, i actually had to sit it down and felt ill.....from both the story and the realization that i may have done the exact same thing

The story follows survivors dealing with a zombie-like plague that causes it victims to carry out their most evil thoughts and wishes, including murder, rape, mutilation, arson, etc. Carriers of the virus are known as the Crossed since a cross-like rash appears on their faces. This contagion is primarily spread through bite wounds and rape, assuming that the victim doesn't die first, but can be spread by any bodily fluid, which the Crossed have used to great effect by treating their weapons with their fluids.

The main story takes place ten months after the first outbreaks, with flashbacks to those events. It is narrated in the past tense.



All Star Superman (Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely) - may be the best Superman story ever written and it isn't even the same Superman you may be used to...kind of an alt. take on Superman



Scott Pilgrim (Bryan Lee O'Malley) - The series is about 23-year-old Canadian Scott Pilgrim, a slacker, hero, and part-time bassist who is living in Toronto and plays bass guitar in the band "Sex Bob-Omb." He falls in love with American delivery girl Ramona V. Flowers, but must defeat her seven "evil exes"[1]  in order to date her.



The Unwritten (Mike Carey/Peter Gross) - i was a little turned off when i read the initial solicit but this has turned into one of my favorite title and usually the first one i read when it comes out

The plot revolves around Tom Taylor, son of Wilson Taylor, an author who disappeared without a trace at the height of his career. Wilson wrote a series of books about a boy wizard called Tommy Taylor, filled with fantasy, even being compared to the Harry Potter series. During a comic convention, it comes to light that Tom Taylor may not be Wilson's son at all. Conspiracy theories about identity fraud become prominent with fans of the books, becoming outraged that they may have been lied to all this time. Other fans in New Zealand that form a cult, create a theory that Tom Taylor may in fact be Tommy Taylor made flesh from words, and that he will be their messiah. This theory gains credibility when other characters from the Tommy Taylor series begin to involve themselves in the real world. Tom then sets out to find out the truth behind all of this, while a covert organization looms in the background.




I could probably add another 10 things from just what i am reading now, comics are in a new golden age right now
"Misa Misa"

Offline AlienBC

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2010, 09:33:08 PM »
I could probably add another 10 things from just what i am reading now, comics are in a new golden age right now
[/quote]

You can say that again and some very talented illustration artiest, just love the artwork ;)

Offline Skadi

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2010, 06:29:45 AM »
My favorite is ComicRack.

apparently I'm installing a different reader when I get to work ::)

Wha????   A top 20 list with no Red Hulk???   I call shenanigans

j/k

Now I have too much to read :D

Which is good, because I only have a couple of books going right now, so I was worried what I'd read after those.

Offline Skadi

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2010, 06:59:02 AM »
Has anyone read Northlanders? Is it any good? or..  not worth bothering with?

Offline JackFrost

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2010, 02:19:10 PM »
18. Chronicles of Wormwood (2006) I think this will be my next venture after I finish HellRaiser.

Well, I hope you're not looking for Clive Barker here because there's more humor than horror going on here... :)

6. Berserk (2003-present, English translation) BRILLIANT artwork! Wow!

And it continues to get better as the series progresses. Be warned: I am not kidding about how graphically violent this book can be... ;)

4. Promethea (August 1999 ? April 2005) I started this didnt I? Cant remember a thing about it though. Im sure I still have it somewhere though.

You tried to start it but your classes ended up taking away most of your free reading time.

2. The Sword (October 2007-mid 2010)/1. Y: The Last Man (2002-2008) From my perspective, these would be reveresed. But what the hell am I going to do next month?

The only reason they didn't tie for #1 is that The Sword isn't over yet and the Lunas could still mess it up. Y is perfect the way it is...

Im a total novice in this category. But I have truly enjoyed the recommendations that Jack has given to me. And with alittle push, I have even ventured off on my own with the Clive Barker related series.

Thanks man.


No problem. I hope I've turned you on to things that are as good as if not better then stuff in movies and TV, lately...

Been meaning to get "The Sword" for a while now.

Give it until May when the last issue comes out, then you can read the whole thing. :)

Wha????   A top 20 list with no Red Hulk???   I call shenanigans

j/k

I've heard nothing but complaints about Red Hulk (and Jeph Loeb in general), so no it's not going on any Top lists any time soon. :D

20. Black Summer - loved the concept but i didn't really feel there was much of a story beyond that, it was just Ellis's political views

Yeah, but what a concept. Too bad it came out so late into Dubya second stolen term that it's impact was overlooked by nearly everyone.

And I don't mind learning about others' political views, so that didn't bother me.

19. NIL: A Land Beyond Belief (2005) - never heard of it but is definately going on my ebay shopping cart :)

His book Rex Libris about an inter-dimensional, action hero librarian (yes, you read that correctly) is pretty good, too, but I didn't like it as much as NIL.

18. Chronicles of Wormwood (2006) - not a bad series, not sure it is top 20 worthy but fair enough

Well, it's only #18... ;)

17. The Nightly News/Pax Romana/Transhuman - i love the writer Hickman is becoming and i hope he doesnt sell out too bad...looking forward to his Shield series

A buddy of mine's been trying to get me to read his S.H.I.E.L.D. stuff, but I despise Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. more than I do super-heroes, so I'm only reading his FF at the moment...

16. Elephantmen - for me, the surprising one on this list...seems like he got high one day and came up with the plot

I find that your assessment is very similar to those who've not taken the time to read the book to eventually find that it's nothing like what they were imagining. This is a much better title than credit is given...

15. Pride of Baghdad - any top whatever list without a BKV book is full of crap

Mine has 3! ;)

14. Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea (2004) - no interest

Philistine.

13. Persepolis (2004, English trans.) - loved this , reminded me of Maus in a good way

A great book with a rich story. I'm finding it kind of frustrating that some people who've seen the flick have decided they don't need to read the graphic novel.

12. Jonah Hex (November 2005-present) - one of the things i am embarassed to have never read....i guess i know what i am doing with my tax refund

I really cannot believe how much I enjoy this series. I'm not a big fan of westerns or Jimmy Palmiotti, but neither are a problem here. Just a great title...

11. The Other Side (2006) - wow, all your top books are really bleak....im getting kind of sad just reading this list

I dunno if they're ALL bleak, especially not Astonishing X-Men, Ex Machina or Promethea (and if you think Promethea's bleak, then you didn't read it properly... ;))...

10. Astonishing X-Men #s 1-24 & Special #1 - not an X-men guy but Whedon not writing Kittie Pryde is a crime

That's one of the reasons I dug this series so much is that he made Kitty back into the character I knew and loved.

9. The Punisher (MAX series issue #s 1-60, March 2004-October 2008) - they could never write a punisher book after this run and he would still have had a great comic career....Ennis was born to write this character

True dat.

8. DMZ (November 2005-present) - just a good book that keeps surprising me after all this time

I'm surprised so many are still reading it after all this time, to be honest...

7. Ex Machina (August 2004-mid-2010) - started off strong but fizzled out about half way through...once BKV was seduced away to Hollywood, you can tell he just doesnt care about this book anymore

We'll see at the end, but after the last issue, I'm starting to suspect you're right...

6. Berserk (2003-present, English translation) - i am conflicted.....you lost me at sword-and-sorcery then got me back with copious quantities of explicit nudity then lost me again with several thousand pages long...oh well, you cant read everything

I just used the terms "sword and sorcery" for lack of something better. Berserk is extremely difficult to explain, so one can really only give vague descriptors which often times do not do justice to the material...  :-\

5. Lone Wolf and Cub (2000-2002, proper English translation) - essential reading QFT

So, wait. You read this which is 8,000+ pages and you won't read Berserk because of the length? :D

4. Promethea (August 1999 ? April 2005)- literally on my to read pile, i actually just finished his run on Supreme and it was surprisingly good

Well, that explains why you thought this might be bleak... :D

3. Scalped (March 2007-present) - the story is excellent but i am just not sure what it is, i just can't get into this book

Perhaps you need to stop trying to find a character you like and with whom you identify and just come to the conclusion that these people are not role models, you might get yourself in a better frame of mind. But I dunno...

2. The Sword (October 2007-mid 2010) - i think this book is suffering from the Luna Bros curse of not pacing a book correctly, Girls went on forever and this one is seeming to ..... c'mon guys, story structure.....if Loeb can do it, i know you can

You must be joking? I can distinctly remember you saying the book was very well-paced.

I think yer pullin' my leg here... ;)

1. Y: The Last Man (2002-2008) - just a great story, not too long, not too short...and who doesnt love monkeys throwing poop

Ah, Ampersand.

God damn I love that little fictional monkey...

Asterios Polyp(David Mazzucchelli)  - I've seen this around but my interest is not piqued. I've read quite a lot of Dave's indie stuff and I've been underwhelmed by all of it. Especially Cages...

Crossed (Garth Ennis/Jacen Burrows) - Really didn't care much for this title. I thought The Road (from which Ennis essentially borrows the story) was more compelling...

All Star Superman (Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely) - Yuck. The only Morrison/Quitely project that should've made the list is WE3, I'm ashamed of myself for forgetting it until after I'd written the thing... Morrison used to be my absolute favorite writer, but now he's just phoning everything in. Enough with the Batman shite already!


Scott Pilgrim (Bryan Lee O'Malley) - As much as I love Scott Pilgrim, I find it difficult to get anyone else to read it. I'm not sure what it is - maybe the cartoony style or the manga-ness of it or if it's black & white or that it's a very quirky little book.

I hear they recently released a trailer for the flick...


The Unwritten (Mike Carey/Peter Gross) - An excellent title for sure, but since it started in mid-2009, I didn't consider it for the list of stuff in the 'Naughts. But it will be on the list I'll write in 2020. :D

I could probably add another 10 things from just what i am reading now, comics are in a new golden age right now

And that all depends on what you're reading.

I'm sure readers of Blackest Night and Seige would not say the same thing.

Spoiler (hover to show)

Now I have too much to read :D

Which is good, because I only have a couple of books going right now, so I was worried what I'd read after those.

Well, hopefully my recommendations lead you to something you really like. :)

Has anyone read Northlanders? Is it any good? or..  not worth bothering with?

I like it, but it has it's ups and downs. Each tale is done in a 3-8 issue story and so far none of them has had any real tangible connection with the others. For instance, Sven, the protagonist for the first 8 issues, doesn't come back again until a one-shot in issue 20. None of the stories in between even mention Sven.

However, the current 8-part story called "The Plague Widow" has been excellent both art- and story-wise.

Offline Skadi

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2010, 02:56:57 PM »
I like it, but it has it's ups and downs. Each tale is done in a 3-8 issue story and so far none of them has had any real tangible connection with the others. For instance, Sven, the protagonist for the first 8 issues, doesn't come back again until a one-shot in issue 20. None of the stories in between even mention Sven.

However, the current 8-part story called "The Plague Widow" has been excellent both art- and story-wise.

I saw art from it I liked, but I read the first chapter and it seemed blah. I thought I'd cut to the chase and ask if it was worth reading more ::)

Offline JackFrost

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2010, 03:52:29 PM »
I saw art from it I liked, but I read the first chapter and it seemed blah. I thought I'd cut to the chase and ask if it was worth reading more ::)

Skip ahead to "The Plague Widow" starting with issue #21. It isn't over yet, but like I said, it's self-contained so you can read it without any of the other issues and still understand what's going on.

Offline Skadi

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2010, 04:07:44 PM »
I won't get lost?

I'd started reading a few of the others also. I was short on time this weekend.. but I'll likely have some time this week.

Offline JackFrost

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2010, 05:30:39 PM »
I won't get lost?

Not at all. There are no characters from any other issues in "The Plague Widow".

It's about a small Viking village that, due to the urgings of a visiting priest, has closed itself off from the outside world in order to avoid the plague. The priest tells them about the concept of germs and how the virus spreads, but most are mistrustful of him. The story is set around a woman whose husband was part of the village council, but has succumbed to the plague so she must take his place.

And nearly everyone on the council is against her...

I'd started reading a few of the others also. I was short on time this weekend.. but I'll likely have some time this week.

Yeah?

Anything catch on with you yet?

Offline jackalope21

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2010, 08:58:00 PM »


loved The Sword when it came out and literally devoured ( get it, literally...i slay myself) each issue when it was coming out.......but you know how a WR will run down field after he breaks away and then as he gets closer to the goal line, he slows down and walks across?   That is how The Sword is limping along......i didnt read the recent issue though, i plan on waiting till it is over and reading it all in one sitting
"Misa Misa"

Offline Skadi

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Re: Jack Frost's Top 20 Comics/Graphic Novels of the Naughts
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2010, 07:01:45 AM »
Yeah?

Anything catch on with you yet?

I haven't gotten far enough along to rule anything in or out yet.