Where to start with the "classics?"

Recommend books, comics, graphic novels, etc.
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Where to start with the "classics?"

Post by tomservojr » Fri May 09, 2008 10:43 am

I got back into comics maybe a year and a half ago (after maybe 15 years away), and I've spent most of that time catching up with more contemporary creators - Warren Ellis, Brian K. Vaughan, Grant Morrison, Kazu and the other Flight creators, Brian Wood...that sort of stuff. Even when I was younger, though, I was never really exposed to the classics. I don't think I've ever read a page of a Jack Kirby book. I don't really have much background with superheroes in general, but lately I've kind of been eyeballing the Fourth World Omnibus books, maybe as a summertime reading diversion. Is there a better place to start? I feel like this is stuff that I should at least be familiar with as a comics fan, and I've read a few articles lately about Kirby's art that have kind of piqued my curiosity.

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Post by William Ward » Fri May 09, 2008 7:25 pm

Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus is a good bet for catching you up on Kirby. There is really such a huge amount of material out there it is hard to have a complete list but I’ll try and give some of the usual suspects and a few other recommendations.

The Usual Suspects

The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale
by Art Spiegelman

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
by Frank Miller

Watchmen, Complete Edition.
by Alan Moore

Batman: Year One
by Frank Miller

Superman for All Seasons
by Jeph Loeb

by Neil Gaiman

Hellboy Volume 3: The Chained Coffin and Others
By Mike Mignola

Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits
by Garth Ennis

The Contract with God Trilogy
by Will Eisner

Other Recommendations

by Craig Thompson

Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 1: The Assassin's Road
by Kazuo Koike

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware

The Incal
by Alexandro Jodorowsky

These of course do not take your taste into consideration. If you have any time, post some of your favorites that you have been reading and perhaps I (and others) can direct you to something along the same lines.

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Post by kosovel » Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:50 am

I think you should also check these comics, specially if you like more alternative, european oriented comics:

Anything from Daniel Clowes, specially Ghost Word and Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron.

Max Andersson: Pixy -a highly recomended comic that represent the european comix scene from the 90's, and it is one of the most original comic stories ever told, also I consider this comic one of my favorite :) .

Paul Auster, Paul karasik, David Mazzucchelli: City of Glass

David B. : L'Ascension du Haut Mal (I don't know the english title)

Chester Brown: I never liked you -i didn't like this comic that much, but it is a classic.

Joe Sacco: Palestine and Safe Area Goražde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995

@William Ward
I liked your list (Maus is great and so is Sandman and Eisner) , but i cannot agree with the Blankets choice. Yes it is a good comic if you consider those 500+ pages and nice artwork. But i think that Goodbye chunky rice is much better. But neither of them is in my opinion a classic.

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Post by William Ward » Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:31 pm

Everyone is different I suppose in what they consider classics, obviously it is hard to say that about anything that has not been around a long time (and with 500+ pages each time you re-read in order to make a 'final judgement' it can be a slower than with short works). I still would highly recommend it, and say people can judge for themselves.

Strangely, I did not enjoy Goodbye Chucky Rice as much (though I did enjoy it quite a bit) enjoyed Craig Thompson's later work. As far as new work I just read (and posted about) Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa. I only very recently read it, so I can't say I have fully absorbed it--but I thnk it is pretty amazing.

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Post by smocksinabox » Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:16 pm

I'd vouch for the Spiegelman and Moore works too, as well as the Sandman series if you've got the cash to commit to the whole anthology ('cause once you get into 'em it's hard to stop).

If you're into the old-timey, the more obscure Adam Warlock comics from Marvel can be very entertaining in that bizarre sort of way.

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Post by Kazu » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:07 pm

If you're going to read Kirby, I suggest taking a look at the original Fantastic Four books. I only recently read the old Stan Lee/Jack Kirby material, and it left a huge impression on me. It was a good reminder that in this day and age, we have largely forgotten how to make comics "fun". We need to bring that back.

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Post by Chris Schweizer » Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:31 pm

Regarding fun, the Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge stories are fantastic. The characters are loose and animated, and the backgrounds are realistic though depicted with marvelous minimalism. If you like Bone, Indiana Jones, etc, it's worth checking out - Barks is great.

They're scattered all over the place, publishing-wise, but picking up the Greatest Duck Tales Stories collections are a good starting point.

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Post by Nofret » Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:33 pm

To me, the classics are the european books- Asterix, TinTin, Spirou, Lucky Luke...different country, different classics (reading Tezuka, which would be considered classic japanese, I guess).
It may give you a different feel reading these too, on top of the US creators.

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Post by Felix » Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:21 am

Tintin and Asterix - Definately some of the most fun to be had in a comic. Excellent art and terrific stories.

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