I can only buy one trade from each company. Assume I already have the MillarWorld trades and the DC evergreen ones (Dark Knight, Arkham, Killing Joke, Watchmen, etc). Convince me which trade I should buy next. Genre doesn’t matter, nor do creative teams; only that no more than one trade from each company is suggested. And for this instance, Vertigo is separate from DC. What are your suggestions?
DC: Cosmic Odyssey
Vertigo: Pride of Baghdad
Marvel: The Ultimates Vol. 1 (technically not a MillarWorld title)
Dark Horse: Hellboy Seed of Destruction
Image: The Fade Out
Assuming that you have All-Star Superman, I’d probably go:
DC - Superman Birthright
Vertigo - The Wake
Marvel - Old Man Logan
Image - The Private Eye
Dark Horse - Opus
I’ve been mindful of not just recommending a list of first volumes.
I’ll go with a theme.
The Bible (Stories from the Bible) - Growing up, my church library had a copy of the original treasury sized edition of this book. It has incredible Joe Kubert and Nestor Redondo art. My only regret is that they never published further volumes as originally promised.
Punk Rock Jesus - Do you really need anymore than that title? Sean Murphy tells a great story of a future clone of Jesus set up in a reality show life and the public’s reaction to him when he rejects that life. It’s The Truman Show meets Passion of the Christ with punk rock.
Noah - Film director Darren Aronofsky teams with Pride of Baghdad’s Niko Henrichon to tell the story of Noah and the Flood that would later be adapted into the film starring Russell Crowe. There are some interesting diversions from the film and even more intriguing interpretations of the biblical narrative.
That’s an insane price ($5.69) on the Noah hardcover. You might want to snap that up ASAP.
AVATAR: Providence - it’s a horror book that’s more unsettling than it is graphically unpleasant, but it’s all the more effective for it. This really gets under your skin.
BOOM STUDIOS: Klaus - a fun, fantastical romp with Santa as a swashbuckling medieval hero. Worth buying mostly for Dan Mora’s art, which is beautiful.
DARK HORSE: Hard Boiled - again, one to buy for the art, if you like Geof Darrow’s crazy detailed style. The recent HC release has new Dave Stewart colouring that shows it off really well.
DC: The Wild Storm - a funky new take on loads of the old WildStorm properties that manages to walk the line between playing on nostalgia and being a good modern superhero comic in its own right.
DYNAMITE: James Bond: VARGR - much better than I thought it would be. Ellis writes Bond well and the tone is a good halfway house between the movies and the books. The art gets better and better as it goes along.
IDW: D4VE - this is a really silly book about a deadbeat droid in a world of robots who ends up becoming a hero. The (often fairly crude) humour worked for me and the art was surprisingly good.
IMAGE: Kill Or Be Killed - It’s Brubaker and Phillips, so you know it’s good. A fun, knowing spin on the vigilante concept that in some ways feels like a slightly more adult version of Kick-Ass, crossed with the psychological insight of something like Lemire’s Moon Knight.
MARVEL: The Vision - a bit of a cliché choice these days, but it’s really good. One of the most mature books I’ve read from Marvel in years, with genuine depth and insight into human nature.
VERTIGO: Daytripper - a bit of an older series, but one that’s been a bit forgotten in recent years. This is a charming, bittersweet book about appreciating life while you have it. A great gimmick (which I won’t give away) and some beautiful writing and art.
Some great choices Ronnie, but you really picked The Bible over Kingdom Come?
Have you read that one? It’s pretty incredible especially at its oversized dimensions.
No. I actually had no idea that it existed.
Joe Kubert art, really?
It does sound a shame that it never finished. I do have a graphic novel version of the Bible but it sure as heck ain’t drawn by any Kubert.
Vertigo: Can’t Get No - One man’s insane road-trip in the wake of Sept. 11th
Top Self: Too Cool to be Forgotten - A guy tries hypnosis to quit smoking, and ends up being sent into his younger self in high school.
Dark Horse: Vampire Boy - A story about a boy that lived 500 years as a vampire
Avatar press: Rover Red Charlie - A virus outbreak tale, seen through the eyes of three dogs. I can’t recommend this one enough.
Image: Sword vol 1 - About a paralyzed girl & a magical sword. I’d tell you to get the whole story, but trust me, the first volume will hook you enough that you won’t be able to stop yourself from picking up the rest. Well worth it!
The stories in that book are all from Genesis. So they tend to be self contained. It would have just been nice to get more.
Image: The Wicked + The Divine Volume 1 - The Faust Act. Every 90 years 12 gods return to Earth in the bodies of young people, in two years all of them will be dead. In this first volume we are introduced to this generations gods (in this incarnation essentially super-powered popstars) through the eyes of self confessed fan girl Laura. By the end of issue one you will be hooked let alone the end of the volume. click
Everyone has gone for the obvious publishers, so I’ll fill in some more obscure ones:
Jonathan Cape: Grandville (Bryan Talbot)
W.W. Norton & Co: The Plot (Will Eisner)
Soaring Penguin Press: Peter Pan (Losiel)
Matt Garvey: The Adventures of Cordelia Swift (Garvey)
Freaktown Comics: Fast and Frightening (R. Hillman)
Titan Books: The Complete Ballad of Halo Jones (Moore)
Such a poor choice. Chunks is obviously the best Garveyworld book.
But Cordelia Swift is the only one collected into a trade, I thought?
Fair enough. @mattgarvey1981 just needs to get off his ass and make more Chunks.
who you calling obscure?!
You’re lucky I didn’t call you small
So what’re your recommendations, Matt? Remember you only get one Garveyworld book.
I read vision over Christmas and that was cool.
God country is great…
Also ALWAYS a great read is Moore & Bissette & Totlben’s sage of swamp thing book one
Valiant: Wrath of the Eternal Warrior. I’m foing to copy and paste what I wrote after I read the trade last year:
Wrath of the Eternal Warrior volume 1. I nabbed this in the second Valiant Humble Bundle a few months back and only got around to reading it on a plane a couple of weeks ago.
It opens in the aftermath of the Book of Death event miniseries, and Gilad Anni-Padda, Eternal Warrior, Fist and Steel of the earth is dead. He awakens in an idyllic scene, attended to by his wife - who died a thousand years ago, and various children, also all long-dead. Whenever he dies he returns here to rest and recuperate, but his pastoral respite is in fact in hell, and when the urge to return to earth and reassume his mantle overwhelms the desire to be safe and happy, he must battle a horde of demons to reach the gate home.
Robert Vendetti is a Valiant veteran, having written all 50 issues of the first X-O Manowar ongoing, Armour Hunters and Book of Death. And Wrath of the Eternal Warrior fits in with his style on X-O especially. Like Aric, Gilad is a force of nature. He can be slowed down, but rarely stopped. The physical challenges he faces are surmountable, but the biggest problems they have to contend with are emotional and logistical. After Aric brings the Visigoth descendants to Earth, he has to be their king, and that’s nothing that the X-O armour can help with. Here, Gilad has to wrench himself away from happiness. The woman he loves, and has been out of his life for a millennium. His children, notably his eldest child, stolen from him some six thousand years before, and they never have enough time to reconnect. And really, isn’t it so appropriate that this is in hell? It’s the personal tragedy of this life being so divorced from his sworn oath that drives the arc and give it an emotional core. It’s a great archetypal story, and a welcome relief from the usual Claremontian soap opera of cape books (not that there’s anything wrong with that, I read Claremont’s X-Men for years)
Raúl Allén’s art is new to me, but it’s phenomenal. It’s a very European style, with thick, simple lines that provide just the right amount of detail. The page composition is fantastic, the sections in Gilad’s home life being divided into three rows per page, with as many as five panels per row showing moments beats apart, which works incredibly well for a house teeming with children. The scale opens when he’s battling through hell, with some amazing splash pages and spreads, wide panels, but it keeps a great sense of space and motion.
This is a fantastic comic, it largely stands alone if you want to try something Valiant that’s fairly recent, but if you’re a fan of Valiant in general it’s a great addition to the line. It’s a step above the prior Eternal Warrior series, but not in a way that invalidates that book.
This is going to join Ivar, Timewalker on my list of Valiant books to recommend to casual readers to try out. It’s that good.