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Saga, The Wicked + The Divine and The Fade Out are all really good!


I've gotten somewhat into comics in the past few years. My library has an OK comics collection, but not a great one. There's a comics shop just a few blocks from my office, but I've tried to avoid it because comics get expensive, and I don't have space to collect ongoing series. I was subscribed to a few series on Comixology, but they've all ended or are on hiatus, and I haven't picked any new ones to follow. It is fun to follow a series.

As for series to recommend, you might want to look into Fables. It's a clever modernization of many different fairy tales. I also like Ms Marvel a lot--I think it's enjoyable even if you aren't into superheroes.


I tend to think of "comic books" as something like "Archie" which is funny or the stuff we had when we were kids (Donald Duck, Lassie, Little Audrey, Casper, etc.) and "graphic novels" as one that tells a more adult story, whether it's original like the superhero universes (DC or Marvel) or adaptations of books, TV and movies, but I'm not even sure that's a correct definition. I wouldn't call "Archie" a graphic novel, though, or a Dresden Files illustrated story a "comic book." I used to get "Elfquest" regularly in the 1980s and still love the story (and I'm not a big fantasy person). Only one I've bought lately was a illustrated version of some of the Christopher Fowler Bryant & May stories.


For me when I think of comic books I think of superheroes. Whereas graphic novel I think of more "serious" type stories perhaps? The Berlin graphic novel definitely looks interesting to me! Hope you enjoy it!


I can totally see why you read graphic novels/comics--these stories are totally addicting. I just need to get straight how they are serialized as it looks like they come out first as thinner comics and then are collected into larger volumes and then run to several of the larger collections! So I have started with Saga, which I bought over the weekend and then got a copy of Alex + Ada (have you read that one, too?) and am nearly finished with both and now know I am going to have to keep going with the stories as I hate to be left hanging! ;)


Same with me and library collections. The library where I work has a bigger graphic novel collection and the public library has a number of comics, but when I went to look yesterday all the stories that appealed the most were missing the first volume--either it was checked out or at a different branch, so it will take a little planning, I see. And I can see how it would be expensive if you got into a long running series--you do get addicted to a story and then once you are hooked want to keep reading. I did manage to go to the comic book store on Saturday but by the time I got there so much was picked over that if I wanted to start with a new series there was not anything really from the list I came with. I did get a deluxe (and only because they were having a great sale and it was the only edition available) copy of Fables, but it looks like a long running series and lots of off shoots, so I am not sure what it actually contains. I am reading the first volumes of Saga and Alex + Ada right now and think I will have to keep going with both! I will look into Ms. Marvel--I thought the superhero thing might not be up my alley, but I do like the idea of reading a comic with a strong female lead character. Thanks for the suggestions!


That makes sense and the distinction seems right. I used to love the Archie comics and I see from a freebie I got that they still exist and look rather different! I think I would love the Bryant and May stories but they see OOP. Do you know off hand what the first title is? I am not sure how easily obtainable they would be-maybe I could try ILL, but I am not sure about comics and whether lots of libraries would even have something like that?


Sorry for having been absent here so long. I tend to forget every year how much fun and how exhausting birthdays are. Especially if you spread the celebrating out - like we did this year - over five days. Phew. Needed a rest after that:) On topic now: I read comic books years ago
but so far haven't read a graphic novel. It is a genre I know little to nothing about. Another hiatus in my reading?


I think you're right. I think someone like Alison Bechdel is a graphic novelist. This is all so new to me and I had better be careful as I think it would be easy to get really absorbed into it all!


No worries--I feel like I have been absent as well--work has been crazy busy and it leaves me so tired at the end of the day and then I feel so disjointed with blogging and all my online friends. So I can sympathize! I am glad you had a lovely celebration! Isn't it funny how we often need a rest after anything celebratory! I used to read comics when I was a kid, too and forgot how fun they are. I think my favorite (so far) graphic novelist is Rutu Modan who has only written a few books. I think the genre is huge--did you ever read the Maus novels? I think they must be some of the most famous books in the genre and maybe they sort of began it all? They are really good books if you have not gotten to them. I think this is a huge gap in my reading, too. I have been trying to read graphic novels more of late--Photobooth which I read a while back was an interesting one, too, as it was nonfiction! I've tried to tag what I have read and written about here:


I do like graphic novels - well some of them - but I'm not sure that comics are really my thing although to be fair I don't think I have actually read any for a very long time indeed.
If they are addictive I think that maybe it would be wiser for me to steer clear as I can't afford any more temptations!


Squirrel Girl! Rat Queens! Nimona! For me the distinction between comics and graphic novels is small but I generally go with the one you made, a story published serially in a magazine or the internet is usually a comic. Graphic novels do tend to be standalone but not always, though it seems the story is usually published in book form all at once instead of serially like The Invention of Hugo Cabret or Persepolis. But the distinctions are fuzzy.


I didn't think comics would be my thing at all--my library has a few, though more graphic novels and I have never even so much as opened the comics and flipped through them. I am still particular over what I pick up with comics, but I will say I have found a few stories that I am now addicted to. Scary considering my personality--when I find something new I like I totally obsess over it. So I can appreciate your desire to avoid new temptations!! The thing with comics is they come out serially and then a number of issues will be collected into one larger volume. But then a story might be three volumes or it might run into numerous volumes if the story is ongoing--yes, deadly when you start wanting to own them!


My library has the run of Rat Queens and I had them in my hot little hands just yesterday, but then put them back knowing I am in the middle of two stories (Saga and Alex + Ada) and have another one just checked out from ILL (Fade Away, or Fade Out...), so must pace myself. You are right about those distinctions. I think Rutu Modan calls herself a comic book artist but I had her in my head as a graphic novelist, so I guess it all just overlaps! And I have read Persepolis (and loved those books as well as her book Embroideries) and now much check out Nimona and Hugo Cabret! And to think I took your suggestions for my library's Pop Fic collection but then didn't think I would be interested and so just sent them to the shelf! Funny how some books will all of a sudden appeal!


Marjane Satrapi's stuff is wonderful (Persepolis, which was made into a terrific film, is probably her best-known). As far as webcomics with serialized stories, I really like Strong Female Protagonist, Gunnerkrigg Court, and O Human Star.


I love Marjane Satrapi's books--though I've never seen the film version and really must do so. Have you read Embroideries? That was excellent, too. I have added Strong Female Protagonist to my wishlist as well as Gunnerkrigg--all your suggestions are new to me (so it is exciting to find some new stories that appeal). I can't find O Human Star on Amazon so will have to investigate a little further--maybe it has not been published here yet? Or maybe it will give me an excuse to go back to the comic store I discovered last week. The guy who helped me gave me all sorts of suggestions but it was so crazy busy I didn't write them down and now will have to ask again. I am sure they could order it for me!


As far as I know it's only a webcomic.


I will look for it online--thanks! I never quite think of comics as being as good digitally, but on computer screen it probably works just as well and maybe even better...

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