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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"Spartans were almost indistinguishable." That's why Captain America and Iron Man keep taking off their masks in the movies, because with them on they could be anybody. Even...(Gasp!)...stuntmen! Ever seen the 1933 Alice in Wonderland? Cary Grant played the Mock Turtle but it's impossible to recognize him since he wears a full face calf mask. No big actor would do that now, they'd want to be sure you saw their face.

A lot of Greek and other soldiers, Celts for instance, went into battle virtually naked. Armor was considered cowardly and could slow them down. Robert E. Howard had an Irish soldier refuse to wear magic armor his girlfriend made to protect him because his friends would have laughed at him, and died just as she'd predicted he would if he didn't use it in one of his stories. Perhaps it would have looked less homo-erotic if there had been virtually naked female soldiers with them. But that could have caused complaints of another type. While Spartan women didn't fight in the front lines, they were trained in fighting, are believed to have protected their villages while the men were at war, and other Greeks complained that Spartan women had far too much power and freedom and weren't kept under control like other Greek women were. So it wouldn't have been too inaccurate to have a few Spartan Xena types on the front lines with the men.

The artist on the manga Tokyo Mew Mew complained when she tried to read The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (a novel of Chinese history) that almost everyone in it was an old man with a beard so she couldn't understand why it was called a romance.



Ron M. said:

The artist on the manga Tokyo Mew Mew complained when she tried to read The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (a novel of Chinese history) that almost everyone in it was an old man with a beard so she couldn't understand why it was called a romance.

 

 

Yeah, I remember that throwing me when I was a kid and the only definition of "romance" that I knew that of a love story.

Last night I read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. This one is something of an exercise in world-building. Set in the 1950's, it revolves around the adventures of Mina Murray and Alan Quatermain as they retrieve the titular document, which contains a run-down of the history of their world, and of the various Leagues that have existed over the centuries. The story itself is entertaining, tying in such diverse elements as Billy Bunter, Fireball XL-5 and Big Brother. There are several text pieces - representing the contents of the dossier - some of which I personally find tedious. For example - I never liked Beat writing back when I read Kerouac, so I don't really enjoy Moore's imitation of it here.  Overall, however, an interesitng installment of the series.

 

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Heh, heh, heh... He said "titular."



The Baron said:



Ron M. said:

The artist on the manga Tokyo Mew Mew complained when she tried to read The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (a novel of Chinese history) that almost everyone in it was an old man with a beard so she couldn't understand why it was called a romance.


 

 

Yeah, I remember that throwing me when I was a kid and the only definition of "romance" that I knew that of a love story.


It's not even written in a Romance language.


How are they alive in the 1950s and why isn't that Mina Harker? 
The Baron said:

Last night I read The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier, by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. This one is something of an exercise in world-building. Set in the 1950's, it revolves around the adventures of Mina Murray and Alan Quatermain as they retrieve the titular document, which contains a run-down of the history of their world, and of the various Leagues that have existed over the centuries. The story itself is entertaining, tying in such diverse elements as Billy Bunter, Fireball XL-5 and Big Brother. There are several text pieces - representing the contents of the dossier - some of which I personally find tedious. For example - I never liked Beat writing back when I read Kerouac, so I don't really enjoy Moore's imitation of it here.  Overall, however, an interesitng installment of the series.

 

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

It's all in the books, dude!

Tonight I read The Quitter, by Harvey Pekar, art by Dean Haspiel with Lee Loughridge. This focuses on his early years, when he gave up on alot of things before he finally figured out what he was good at. Interesting stuff, particularly how Pekar doesn't hesitate to portray himself as less than perfect.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Next up was Kick-Ass, by Mark Millar, John Romita Jr. and Tom Palmer.  Well, another one from Mr. Millar that's based on an interesting idea, but which I still find distasteful,somehow. Too much blood and gore to no good purpose, I guess.


Cull or Keep?: Cull.

Next up was Kick-Ass 2, by Millar, Romita, and Palmer.  "Say, Bob", I imagine you being interested enough to ask, "considering your reaction to the first book, why in the Blue Hell did you buy the second one?" I'm afraid that it was something as mindless as "There's a sequel to something I read, I'll pick it up."

Anyway, I'd say I liked the story on this one a little better than the last one, but I don't see myself re-reading it, so off to the donations box it goes.

Also, and I hope it's not comics nerd heresy to say this, but I really didn't like JR Jr's art on these books, either.

Cull or Keep?: Cull.

After that, I re-read Dead High Yearbook, edited by Mark McVeigh and Ivan Velez, which uses the overarching device of a ghostly yearbook to tell various teen-oriented horror stories. My favorites are "Who Are You Having for Dinner?", a vampire story with sort of a happy ending, and "Head of the Class", about a girl who's determined to do well on her SAT's, no matter what obstacles life - or death - put in her way. Overall, this is pretty entertaining stuff.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

There was a video on youtube where Stan had John Sr. and John Jr. draw pictures and ink each other's work. It was obvious, and John Jr. admitted it, that John Sr. was a much better artist and John Jr. was still taking advice and learning from him. I found that interesting. Most big stars wouldn't go around telling people they weren't as good as their dad.
 
The Baron said:

Next up was Kick-Ass 2, by Millar, Romita, and Palmer.  "Say, Bob", I imagine you being interested enough to ask, "considering your reaction to the first book, why in the Blue Hell did you buy the second one?" I'm afraid that it was something as mindless as "There's a sequel to something I read, I'll pick it up."

Anyway, I'd say I liked the story on this one a little better than the last one, but I don't see myself re-reading it, so off to the donations box it goes.

Also, and I hope it's not comics nerd heresy to say this, but I really didn't like JR Jr's art on these books, either.

Cull or Keep?: Cull.

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