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 Post subject: Graphic Novels
PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 12:20 pm 
of Vinyamar
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I've been meaning to get into these for a while. Din kindly brought over the first two volumes of Elfquest for me and I had a chance to read the first yesterday. It was strange really. Claimed to be aimed at 13+ but had really dumb trolls with names like "picknose". The style and target audience seemed to shift at will, but I'm wondering if this is maybe a "finding its feet" problem? Does it get better?

Are there graphic novels that are aimed squarely at the adult reader, like Sin City et al, but in the Fantasy genre? I have heard vague rumours of an elusive graphic novel of Raymond E. Feists Magician but I'm starting to believe its just a myth. ;)

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 12:50 pm 
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If there's one out there for Magician, I want it. :Q

Several Discworld books are out in graphic novel format. I own a copy of Guards! Guards! and it's pretty well done, although rather cartoonish.

The series I'd really recommend you take a look at is Neil Gaiman's Sandman series. I expect that's what everybody will come into this thread to say, but there you have it. It's just the best Western comic I've ever come across. :)

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 12:54 pm 
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The best fantasy graphic novel has to be 'Cerebus The Aardvark', if fantasy is the right genre.

It is also masive, being about 20 volumes from the brillient Church and State to some of the more turgid later volumes.

The first volume tells of Cerebus as a barbarian hero in the finest spoofed Conan/Fahard & the Grey Mouser style. By the second volume 'High Society', Cerebus has been corrupted by political power and is running for President... against a goat sponsored by a man who looks like Groucho Marx :LMAO: Wonderful.

In volumes 3-4 (Church and State I and II), Cerebus becomes pope, becomes the only being in history to actually speak to the voice of god, loses everything, stunning.

There is more, wonderful charictorisation, in places it is very hard work (it was written over 30 years by a man whoes 'interesting' life is mirrored in the story.

I think this would fill the niche.

But fantasy rarely transfers to graphic novels, it falls to the Elfquest curse (yup, picknose). Adult themes underneath, but covvered in candyfloss. Nice read, but I do know exactly what you are saying.

Magician, I do rememebr seeing one of the comics. It was pants, failed on many levels. You are beter off with the various D&D comics.

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 1:13 pm 
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I was just browsing through "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman the other day. It looked promising, and the artwork is much better than Sandman.

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 1:16 pm 
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From some other thread:

I wrote:
I've never been into comic books. Friends have given me stuff to read every once in a while, usually telling me it was a classic or masterpiece or whatever, but I never liked any of them.

I just finished reading the Rising Stars series. And damn if it wasn't one of the best things I've read in a while. Absolutely awesome from beginning to end. Absolutely awesome.


I thought it said soemthing of the quality that a non-comic fan would find it so compelling.


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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 3:53 pm 
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Cerebus was OK until the writer went insane the SECOND time. :D

The artwork on Sandman varied greatly, because the artists changed from story arc to story arc. Eventually this happened by design. :D Both The Kindly Ones and The Wake are magnificently illustrated, albeit in radically different styles...there's a couple of issues of The Wake in particular that I think are among the best art I've every seen in a comic book.

I like much, but not all of Alan Moore's stuff. Watchmen: seminal. From Hell: disturbed and brilliant. Promethea: transcendent. And there's that big ol' book of porn he put out last year.... :Q :cool: :D

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 4:05 pm 
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None of this sounds like Fantasy... are there no decent Fantasy Graphic Novels?

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 4:07 pm 
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There's this guy named Tolkien...he wrote some books you might be interested in. ;) :D

Anyway both my son and I got into Alan Moore's stuff after V came out. I enjoyed From Hell quite a bit.

And isn't Neil Gaiman involved with the 2007 Beowulf screenplay?

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 4:08 pm 
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I would argue that Sandman and Promethea are both gothic modern fantasy, as is Fables, in which refugees from fairy tales band together and form an exile community on the Upper East Side.

If you mean Tolkien-type high fantasy or Conan-style epic fantasy...I don't remember seeing any that were, well, worth remembering. :)

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 4:09 pm 
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The only Tolkien graphic novels I know of are the Hobbit one and the German language one. There was a filmbook of Bakshi's version using stills from the film. Unless someone knows something I don't?

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 4:21 pm 
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If you're talking adaptations, yeah, the Hobbit one was OK, but inessential. I don't recall a real graphic novel adaptation of Bakshi, but there was a book of the film thing, which in the case of an animated feature is kind of close.

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 4:24 pm 
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I was just jesting about Tolkien....but who knows. COH is supposed to have some damn nice Alan Lee drawings in it.

As for Sin City...If you like Frank Miller, might as well read his stuff. 300 was ok, both as a graphic novel and as a movie. There is one of tales I like very much, but can't for the life of me remember which one. It's been too long. I have a serious case of half-timers disease, I only remember half the time.

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 5:04 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
None of this sounds like Fantasy... are there no decent Fantasy Graphic Novels?


Do you mean Tolkien-type fantasy, a la swords n sorcery stuff? Cuz otherwise, most graphic novels are probably fantasy of one sort or another.


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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 7:39 pm 
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Yeah, I mean classic Fantasy, or High Fantasy as its sometimes known. Seems like a perfect match for the graphic novel, yet very little seems to exist.

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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 7:41 pm 
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That's an interesting point. I've wondered a bit as to why the superhero genre is so dominant in the comics world.


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PostPosted: Mon 16 Apr , 2007 8:32 pm 
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Quote:
I've wondered a bit as to why the superhero genre is so dominant in the comics world.


Doctoral dissertations have been done on that question, and it's still pretty open. But there is certainly a connection between what gets published and the core demographic of young guys.

Quote:
Seems like a perfect match for the graphic novel, yet very little seems to exist.


I suspect the history of both the comic book and the fantasy genre have a lot to do with that. The people who write fantasy look at Tolkien, not Stan Lee, when they seek a role model. Or nowadays, J.K. Rowling, of course. :D

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PostPosted: Tue 17 Apr , 2007 9:27 am 
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Elfquest is... fantastic. I started reading it when I was four years old (okay, my mum was doing the reading... :blackeye:) and I now have 62 albums and a couple of books. Still love it. I know many adults do, too, and it gets so serious, bloody and tragic that it's certainly not a children's tale! But there is also humour, warmth and a playfulness that some may find childish (?). Anyway, heartily recommended.

True love. :love: And the story continues still!

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PostPosted: Wed 18 Apr , 2007 12:48 am 
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Axordil wrote:
Quote:
I've wondered a bit as to why the superhero genre is so dominant in the comics world.


Doctoral dissertations have been done on that question, and it's still pretty open. But there is certainly a connection between what gets published and the core demographic of young guys.

Quote:
Seems like a perfect match for the graphic novel, yet very little seems to exist.


I suspect the history of both the comic book and the fantasy genre have a lot to do with that. The people who write fantasy look at Tolkien, not Stan Lee, when they seek a role model. Or nowadays, J.K. Rowling, of course. :D


Even books that aren't superhero books, when analyzed critically, have many of the same attributes as the superhero books, but those attributes are sublimated into the work in a more generic way or in other ways that appear superficially different from the superhero motif.

Part of the reason for this is historical, and part of the reason is that many of the common elements lend themselves well to pictorial (or word+picture) treatment.

Things like the wearing of masks, for example, alter egos etc, psychological conflicts (often with parents or other authority figures, or between the inner and outer self as represented by the alter ego). Also, the "otherness" of important characters, often the main character or the group he represents.

My brother has taught a University level course on the Graphic Novel for several semesters and he has a lot of info on this.

To use a well-known example, Maus, a graphic novel about the holocaust.

From wikipedia:

Quote:
Maus is a text constructed with at least three levels of narrative. The innermost level is that of Vladek Spiegelman's story before, during and after the Holocaust, as told to and retold by Art Spiegelman. The level that contains that story is the narrative concerning Art and Vladek's present-day relationship (circa the creation of the text), set mostly in Rego Park, NY. The third and outermost level is the one that appears on page 41 of Maus II, with Art (and other characters) depicted as humans wearing animal masks, with Art drawing and writing Maus itself, and contemplating the task of finishing the book, the research process, and Maus I's publication. Rick Iadonisi, in his essay "Bleeding History and Owning His [Father's] Story: Maus and Collaborative Autobiography,"[2] referred to this outermost level as the "meta-meta-narrative," and Erin McGlothlin coined the system of "inner, middle, and outer" narrative in relation to this text[3].

Throughout the book, Art Spiegelman also confronts his complex and often conflicted relationship with his father; for example, Vladek exhibits racial prejudice against blacks despite his own experiences of anti-semitism. He is also presented as stingy and a person who makes life very difficult for those around him, such as his first wife Anja (Art's mother, who committed suicide) and his second wife Mala, also a concentration camp survivor.


There are many other parallels, and my brother discusses these common themes and tropes in his class with regard to a large number of Graphic Novels of all kinds. The "otherness" aspect is fulfilled by the fact that the Jews were the "other", and so were made victims of the holocaust.

Superhero examples (which most of you probably know):

Superman - his mask is the person of Clark Kent and the "glasses" that hide his identity. He even adopts a different persona as Superman vs. Clar Kent-- a virtual mask of alter ego. He is an orphan, and has to deal with being a stranger in a strange world. His otherness consists in not being human, but appearing so (a play on the immigrant experience in America, perhaps)
Batman - Wears a mask to hide his identity and to preserve his anonymity as millionaire Bruce Wayne. Like Superman, Batman has a different persona. He too is an orphan. His parents were murdered, and he struggle with that memory. His otherness consists in his deliberate isolation and his great weath.
Spiderman - wears a mask, initially to hide his identity so he could make money as a performer, now to fight crime. He is an orphan in two ways: his parents are dead. His Uncle Ben, who raised him, was murdered by a criminal he failed to stop. This creates a huge psychological conflict for him. Much of Spiderman's background and persona is a clever satire on Superman (working at a newspaper---but as a photographer instead of a reporter); the colors of the costumer; the orphan thing and surrogate parents. His otherness consists in several things: intially, he was a shy wallflowerish student, outside the popular group. As Spiderman, he became more (other) than human due to the radioactive effects of the spider's bite. Personally, his otherness consists in the persecution by J.Jonah Jameson of "The Daily Bugle" (a parody of the Daily Planet in Superman) as a menace to society, when he is actually fighting crime. (This introduces more psychological conflict--am I really a menace? Is fighting crime worth it etc--which plays off the original conflict of his Uncle's death which led him to fight crime)

These attributes and many others are found even in non-superhero Graphic Novels, in part, because these things lend themselves well to pictorial exposition. The mask idea, for example. The ability to structure psychological conflict pictorially is also used to great effect. Pictorial visualizing otherness is also effective. Confronting the alter-ego can be representeed pictorially, even if it is all in the mind. Using visuals to express the "otherness" of a character is obvious.

I don't remember all of the details. But I thought that mentioning a couple of the basic ideas might be interesting.

BrianIs :) AtYou

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 Post subject: Re: Graphic Novels
PostPosted: Sat 16 May , 2009 6:18 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
I've been meaning to get into these for a while. Din kindly brought over the first two volumes of Elfquest for me and I had a chance to read the first yesterday. It was strange really. Claimed to be aimed at 13+ but had really dumb trolls with names like "picknose". The style and target audience seemed to shift at will, but I'm wondering if this is maybe a "finding its feet" problem? Does it get better?

Are there graphic novels that are aimed squarely at the adult reader, like Sin City et al, but in the Fantasy genre? I have heard vague rumours of an elusive graphic novel of Raymond E. Feists Magician but I'm starting to believe its just a myth. ;)



U should check out The Headge Knight by George R. R. Martin. It is a bit short but well done. http://www.amazon.com/Hedge-Knight-Vol- ... 459&sr=8-4

No other knowledge of Mr. Martin's fantasy books is needed to jump on board with this tale. I haven't read anything he has done but this.

I believe that some of The Dragon Lance books have been reduced to graphic novel format. And some of the Forgotten Realms books about Drizzt. The dragon lance books had decent artwork. The Drizzt books kept changing artists which was annoying. A buddy of mine had a subscription to both back when I had comic book subscriptions and both of ours came in at the same time.

Jude's mention of Neil Gaiman's book Neverwhere is apt for what you are looking for perhaps. It to is well done though somewhat odd tale. :)


I just finished reading Kingdom Come for the first time. It is set in the future DC world when all the current heroes like Superman, Flash, Batman and Wonder woman are older and retired or close to it. The world is overrun with the younger generation of Superheros without the restraint or ideals of the older generation. It deals with some of the bigger philosophical questions of power and responsibility in some ways I had not seen addressed. Both art and story were very well done. After reading a friends copy of it I am impressed enough that I had to order a copy for myself. :) I recommend it.

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 Post subject: Re: Graphic Novels
PostPosted: Thu 28 May , 2009 3:26 am 
I took the stars from my eyes, and then I made a map, And knew that somehow I could find my way back; Then I heard your heart beating, you were in the darkness too - So I stayed in the darkness with you
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*picks up the dropped ball* I swear to the lord baby Jesus there is a graphic novel of Feist's "The Magician". We couldn't sell comics to people in front of us let alone mail comics across the ocean!!! :oops: :blackeye:

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