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 re-read Star Trek - Klingons: Blood Will Tell, by Scott Tipton, Will Tipton, David Messina and Elena Casagrande.   This one has an interesting premise - it re-tells all of the Kirk's encounters with the Klingons from the Klingon point-of-view. Fun stuff, especially the segment where we learn more about the Klingon who became "Arne Darvin".  Worth a look if you're a Trekfan.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Next up is Albion, by Alan Moore, Leah Moore, John Reppion, Shane Oakley and George Freeman.  This story re-visits many of the old IPC characters from the 60's and 70's.

A little background here:

When I was a kid, the Old Man liked just about any sort of comics except present-day American ones. Thus, he would go to great trouble to make sure that we got to read all of the Tintin and Asterix books he could find, as well as reprints of the Golden Age DC stories.  Additionally, when he would go to Canada, he would bring me back copies of all sorts of British comics and annuals, things like Lion, Tiger, Eagle, Valiant and so on. British comics of those days tended to be anthologies, and each contained a wide variety of stories.  WWII and soccer stories were nigh-omnipresent, as were some of the most spectacularly unfunny humor strips ever written. However, the main attraction were the oddball adventure strips.  British comics didn't really do American-style super-heroes. Instead, the protagonists of these strips tended to be guys with oddball powers - villains as often as heroes - that frankly tended to have much more imagination behind them than a lot of DC and Marvel stuff.

So, when I read this comic, it was like re-visiting a lot of old friends that I hadn't seen since I was a kid. It helps that its also a fun story - even if you aren't familiar with these characters, I think you'd still find it to be a fun read.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Then I re-read Doctor Who  - Voyager, by Steve Parkhouse and John Ridgway, in which the Sixth Doctor and Frobisher battle the rogue Time Lord known as Astrolabus.  This is good stuff, with the Sixth Doctor getting a much better story than he ever did on TV.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Finally, I re-read Squadron Supreme - New World Order, by Len Kaminski, Anthony Williams and Andy Lanning, in which the Squadron returns from exile, only to find that a totalitarian government has taken over their world.  Not as good as the Gruenwald story (though Kaminski seems to be a Gruenwald fanboy), but still a fun read.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

I used to read the Doctor Who magazine in the period. I remember their work as very good.  Earlier artists included and Dave Gibbons and Steve Dillon.

I just reread this series last week. I really enjoyed it. IDW carved itself a neat niche with Star Trek: The Original Series, especially with the Tiptons and John Byrne. I plan to get to the Next Generations mini-series next week.
 
The Baron said:

I re-read Star Trek - Klingons: Blood Will Tell, by Scott Tipton, Will Tipton, David Messina and Elena Casagrande.   This one has an interesting premise - it re-tells all of the Kirk's encounters with the Klingons from the Klingon point-of-view. Fun stuff, especially the segment where we learn more about the Klingon who became "Arne Darvin".  Worth a look if you're a Trekfan.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Have either of you seen the John Byrne photomontage new Original Series stuff?

A curious new/old idea.

Philip Portelli said:

I just reread this series last week. I really enjoyed it. IDW carved itself a neat niche with Star Trek: The Original Series, especially with the Tiptons and John Byrne. I plan to get to the Next Generations mini-series next week.
 
The Baron said:

I re-read Star Trek - Klingons: Blood Will Tell, by Scott Tipton, Will Tipton, David Messina and Elena Casagrande.   This one has an interesting premise - it re-tells all of the Kirk's encounters with the Klingons from the Klingon point-of-view. Fun stuff, especially the segment where we learn more about the Klingon who became "Arne Darvin".  Worth a look if you're a Trekfan.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

The Baron said:

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

I know the feeling. I've reduced my graphic novel collection (amongst other things) quite a bit the last few months since I'm looking at moving at least 2 times next year.

The Baron said:

Next up is Albion, by Alan Moore, Leah Moore, John Reppion, Shane Oakley and George Freeman.  This story re-visits many of the old IPC characters from the 60's and 70's.

A little background here:

When I was a kid, the Old Man liked just about any sort of comics except present-day American ones. Thus, he would go to great trouble to make sure that we got to read all of the Tintin and Asterix books he could find, as well as reprints of the Golden Age DC stories.  Additionally, when he would go to Canada, he would bring me back copies of all sorts of British comics and annuals, things like Lion, Tiger, Eagle, Valiant and so on. British comics of those days tended to be anthologies, and each contained a wide variety of stories.  WWII and soccer stories were nigh-omnipresent, as were some of the most spectacularly unfunny humor strips ever written. However, the main attraction were the oddball adventure strips.  British comics didn't really do American-style super-heroes. Instead, the protagonists of these strips tended to be guys with oddball powers - villains as often as heroes - that frankly tended to have much more imagination behind them than a lot of DC and Marvel stuff.

So, when I read this comic, it was like re-visiting a lot of old friends that I hadn't seen since I was a kid. It helps that its also a fun story - even if you aren't familiar with these characters, I think you'd still find it to be a fun read.

I had no affection for these characters, and I honestly thought this sucked. If I hadn't pre-ordered the last issue I would never have finished it.

Lots of reading this weekend. First up was Kingdom Come, by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. A classic, with beautiful art by Ross.  Great in and of itself, I was less thrilled when the JSA book started bringing bits of it into what was then continuity.

 

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

 

Next I read The Golden Age, by James Robinson and Paul Martin Smith.  Another classic - a real cracker of a story, with some ingenious plot twists and nice art as well.

 

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

 

Next up was Planetary - Crossing Worlds, a collection containing Planetary/Authority: Ruling the World, by Warren Ellis, Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning, in which the two teams deal with an extradimensional incursion, Planetary/JLA: Terra Occulta, by Warren Ellis and Jerry Ordway, in which Bruce Wayne, Diana Prince and Clark Kent must deal with a dark, controlling version of the Planetary team, and Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth, by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday, in which the Planetary team must deal with several different versions of the Caped Crusader.  These are all good, tohugh I liked the Batman one best, and the Authority one the least.

 

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

 

 

Finally, I read Superman/Madman - Hullabaloo!, by Mike Allred. Lightweight but enjoyable stuff.

 

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

I read Silver Surfer/Superman, by George Perez, Ron Lim and Terry Austin, in which Supes and the Surfer get caught up in a shenanigans competition between Mr. Mxyzptlk and the Impossible Man.  The art is OK on this, but the story itself is kind of boring.  A crossover between these two characters should be much better than this. This is the first thing I can remember seeing written by Perez, and if this is typical it's a good thing for him that he's such an excellent artist.

Cull or Keep?: Cull.

Next I read Batman & Spider-Man - New Age Dawning, by J. M. DeMatteis, Grahan Nolan  and Karl Kesel, in which Bats and Spidey battle the Kingpin and Ra's Al-Ghul.  I like this one a little better than the Supes/Surfer one, but it's still pretty pedestrian.  I think we just reached a point with these inter-company crossovers where they just became too commonplace. After about the twentieth one, they just weren't that special anymore.

Cull or Keep?: Cull.

The Baron said:


I think we just reached a point with these inter-company crossovers where they just became too commonplace. After about the twentieth one, they just weren't that special anymore.

I disagree; I think the problem was that they weren't being treated as events that commanded first-rate talent working at their peak. Not that George Perez isn't a first-rate talent, but his strength IS drawing and not writing. (By the way, Perez wrote and drew the post-Crisis Wonder Woman series. Don't you remember?)

I think in the 1990s the conventional "wisdom" was that writers weren't necessary, that artists could do it all. Did the writing assignments for George Perez happen around that time?

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