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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Finally, I read Gen13/Fantastic Four - Queelocke's Really Big New York Adventure!, by Kevin Maguire and Karl Story. This is an amusing little story in which the two teams are caught in the middle when two monsters come together. The art's generally pretty good, except that Maguire doesn't seem to be able to draw the Thing properly.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

 

In the 70s Stan Lee and a Marvel artist (John Romita maybe) appeared in the children's show Wonderama. When asked who was the most difficult character to draw the artist said the Hulk because he had so many muscles to draw. Always thought the Thing would be more difficult.

Nobody ever drew the Thing quite as well as Kirby did, but Maguire's version seemed especially off to me.

I agree. The Thing's "bricks" looked too uniform.

Next up was Arkham Asylum, by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean, another one that I suspect you're all already familiar with. Another old favorite with alot of good dialogue. The artwork, while suitable for the story, can be a little hard to follow sometimes. Overall, good stuff.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Next I read The Pro, by Garth Ennis, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, in which an alien gives a prostitute super-powers in order to prove that anyone can be a hero. The story shows her interaction with a JLA parody,and her ultimate fate. I found this book entertaining, and maybe even a little thought-provoking. It is, however, possibly the single most vulgar book I've ever read, so if that sort of thing bugs you, you probably won't like this.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

After that, I read Ruins, by Warren Elluis, Cljff Nielsen, Terese Nielsen and Chris Moeller, in which reporter Philip Sheldon makes his way through an alternate Marvel Universe in which everything has gone to s***. A morbid little story, this is basically the anti-Marvels. For what it is, it's actually fairly well-done. Not something to read when you're depressed, that's for sure.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Finally, I read Captain America Corps, by Roger Stern and Philippe Briones, in which Captain America (Steve Rogers), the US Agent, Captain America (Bucky Barnes), the American Dream from A-Next and the future's Commander A are gathered together to face a threat to time itself. An entertaining, well-drawn story that is somewhat reminiscent of the "multiple Doctor" stories from Doctor Who. I love stories like this, and this one is carried off real well.

The collection also contains "Act of God", by Elliott Kalan and Brendan McCarthy, about the Eskimos who were worshipping the frozen Captain America back in Avengers #4. It's an interesting little story. I always wonder how actual Inuit would feel about the whole "worshipping frozen Cap" angle.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

I think it's safe to say that this is actually Ellis' Dan Dare story, rather than just one reminiscent of old Dan Dare stories.  It is 'about' Dan Dare, and imagines a scenario whereby Dan Dare's milieu of English fighter pilots continuing the British Empire in Space came about.  I thought it was a wonderful piece of speculative fiction.

One thing I had trouble with was the big reveal at the end, concerning where the wealth for all this came from.  That seemed a bit silly, and I'm not sure they could have got enough wealth in that way for a space program.

Grant Morrison did a more official updating of the old Eagle stories in a book called Dare.  It is well worth looking out for.  Garth Ennis did another one, but I haven't read it yet.

Dan Dare is UK comics' Superman or Captain AMerica, really.  He's way up there.

You have quite a respectable collection of GNs there, Baron.

The Baron said:

Next up is Ministry of Space, by Warren Ellis and Chris Weston. On the one hand, it's a wish fulfillment fantasy, presenting an alternate history where Britain wins the space race, building a new empire on the Moon and Mars, but at the same time showing that this new empire was built on blood and murder (as all empires are), and we end seeing that racial segregation still exists in 21st Century Britain in this timeline. It's all very improbable -the idea that the Americans and the Soviets would just sit back and let the British take over the solar System is absurd - but the story carries one along anyway.

The art  in this is exquisite,  and very reminiscent of the old Dan Dare stories, which suits the story perfectly.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

 



Figserello said:

One thing I had trouble with was the big reveal at the end, concerning where the wealth for all this came from.  That seemed a bit silly, and I'm not sure they could have got enough wealth in that way for a space program.

True, the story doesn't work as a "plausible alternate history scenario that would satisfy a professional historian", but then I figure that Ellis wasn't going for that so much as a "plausible enough scenario for me to hang my story on".



Figserello said:

You have quite a respectable collection of GNs there, Baron.

I used to have even more, but time, multiple moves, and considerations of space have caused my collection to shrink a fair bit.

 

The Man Who Stole Tomorrow by David Michelinie (1979) also dealt with the Eskimo tribe early on when the tribal shaman captured Cap and tried to bring him back to his tribe so that they could worship him again. Then the novel got weird when the Avengers traveled to the future to stop Kang and it turned in his own time period that Kang acts extremely childlishly. He died similar to the way he had in Avengers#143 only more graphic.
 The Baron said:

Finally, I read Captain America Corps, by Roger Stern and Philippe Briones, in which Captain America (Steve Rogers), the US Agent, Captain America (Bucky Barnes), the American Dream from A-Next and the future's Commander A are gathered together to face a threat to time itself. An entertaining, well-drawn story that is somewhat reminiscent of the "multiple Doctor" stories from Doctor Who. I love stories like this, and this one is carried off real well.

The collection also contains "Act of God", by Elliott Kalan and Brendan McCarthy, about the Eskimos who were worshipping the frozen Captain America back in Avengers #4. It's an interesting little story. I always wonder how actual Inuit would feel about the whole "worshipping frozen Cap" angle.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

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