Going Through My Graphic Novels: Cull or Keep? (SPOILERS)

I've got rather alot of graphic novels, most of which sit on my bookshelves or in boxes in my closets from one year to the next, never being looked at. So, I've decided to go through them all, re-reading each one and deciding whether to keep it or to cull it. Culls will be donated to the local public library.

 

As I re-read each one, I'm going to try to present my impression of each one, and then announce the verdict: Cull or Keep?

 

There will be spoilers here, so beware. I most likely won't read one every day, but I 'm going to try to keep up a steady pace.

 

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I felt the same way when I reread Uncle Sam a few years back. My blog entry including it is HERE.

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

As far as I'm concerned the Uncle Sam , mini is about as subtle as a sledgehammer over the head.  In retrospect isn't that good. I loved it when it first cam out.

Earth-2 barely holds up for me these days. A nice idea, but barely much more than an Elseworlds book. Seriously, this and Uncle Sam are just clap-trap material.

I liked the ending.

Last night I read Marvels, by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross. Another one that I imagine everyone here already knows about. It's the art that makes this one fo rme, really beautiful

 

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

THE MAN WHO LAUGHS: There was a time, after I had dropped Batman (partially because of the over-use of the Joker), when (ironically), I would only buy Batman "product" (specials or standalone graphic novels) which featured the Joker. This isn't the first time the Joker's origin has been retold, but (altough I've read it only once) is one of the better ones.

I don't think I've read all of The Man Who Laughs. I picked up a cheap copy I found of it a while back, and was really enjoying it. And then I learned that in the copy I had, a signature was repeated, and one was missing -- so there are about 16 pages of the story I never read.

The Baron said:

Last night I read Marvels, by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross. Another one that I imagine everyone here already knows about. It's the art that makes this one fo rme, really beautiful

I agree the art was really gorgeous. It was also mindblowing at the time because Busiek originated his man-on-the-street POV storytelling, which he has used many times since in Astro City. I'm curious if anyone here read Marvels without being familiar with all or most of the scenes shown therein. If you came to it without the background in Marvel history was it as enjoyable?



Richard Willis said:

The Baron said:

Last night I read Marvels, by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross. Another one that I imagine everyone here already knows about. It's the art that makes this one fo rme, really beautiful

I agree the art was really gorgeous. It was also mindblowing at the time because Busiek originated his man-on-the-street POV storytelling, which he has used many times since in Astro City. I'm curious if anyone here read Marvels without being familiar with all or most of the scenes shown therein. If you came to it without the background in Marvel history was it as enjoyable?

 

That's a good question. I'm not sure that someone who knew nothing of Marvel continuity would get as much out of it.

How many people that didn't know Marvel continuity would have bought it?

I bought it years after the fact because it was spoken of so reverentially. I've never been much of a Marvel fan, although I am familiar with the basic continuity. I enjoyed it, and thought it was visually stunning. It's entirely possible that I would have enjoyed it more if I had more Marvel reading under my belt. I don't doubt that there were Easter Eggs in it that I completely missed, but nothing that I found confusing.

That said, I can't imagine a total non-comics reader getting much out of it. I'd say the same of Watchmen: you need some familiarity with comics to see what they were getting at, even though you don't need to know the Charlton Comics characters they were modeled after. Of course Kingdom Come (will you be getting to that, Baron?) is basically the DC equivalent of Marvels, except it's not an origin story.

I think you'd get more out of Watchmen if  you knew, for instance, something about the Question. Same with Squadron Supreme. You'd get more if you knew, say, Hyperion's archemeny whose hair and beard won't stop growing is based on Superman's archenemy being bald. Always thought it was interesting Tom Thumb was based on Al Pratt rather than Ray Palmer. (I'm surprised DC never had Ray Palmer run into the Shaver Mystery.)

I'm pretty sure I've got a copy of Kingdom Come somewhere, wherever it is.

The Baron said:

Next I read Superman: War of the Worlds, by Roy Thomas and Michael Lark, another Elseworlds, in which the 1938 Martian Invasion occurs just outside Metropolis, just as another alien visitor makes his first appearance. This one is quite good, it really manages to evoke the feel of the earliest Superman stories. The art really suits it well, also.

When you posted this I don't think I had heard of this Elseworlds. Since the post, I ordered a copy and just finished reading it.

***SPOILERS***

At the end I enjoyed the comments ".... as many as forty million people were killed by the Martians" and "....it is inconceivable that mankind could have brought that much destruction upon itself without the invasion..." Of course, this is the same forty million that are estimated to have died in the real WW2.

Also, when FDR is killed in 1938 instead of dying in 1945 his first Vice President, a conservative Texan, becomes President. Truman, his third VP, never becomes President.

***END SPOILERS***

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