Suggested Reading

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100 Bullets (Brian Azzarello)So life has wronged you in some way, maybe a loved one was murdered, or somebody framed you for a crime you didn’t commit, or some other event transpired and the guilty party walked… Then maybe you will meet Agent Graves, a mysterious man who will approach you when you least expect it and offer you a solution for the injustice you have suffered, in the form of a attaché case full of detailed proof of who is responsible for the crime, and a gun with 100 untraceable bullets and the guarantee that you will not suffer at the hands of the police department when using it. Sound intriguing? It is! 100 Bullets is an amazing story, combining thrilling crime fiction with suspense and action, and packaging it all together in a series of nicely priced Graphic Novels. This story comes very highly recommended.

 

Sandman (Neil Gaiman)The Sandman series reveals a gripping and in depth look at some rather unlikely characters: Death, Morpheus, Dream, Lucifer, Desire & Delerium, and how they interact in this divine soap opera… Neil Gaiman has won numerous well deserved awards for his masterful writing, & Sandman remains one of his all time most popular stories. If you want your girlfriend to become hooked on comics, hand her Neil Gaiman’s Sandman!

 

Watchmen (Alan Moore)Watchmen is commonly believed to be the best “super hero” comic ever, and has been the best selling Graphic Novel in the world for quite some time. If you’ve never ever read it, then do yourself a big favour and do so, and you will see just why it is so hugely, and universally popular. Watchmen, besides having a very gripping and complicated plot, encompasses many elements not usually found in super hero comics, like murder, paranoia, and shocking desperation. It also has also been called more of a character study the a super hero book by many, and really has the most intensely detailed and intriguing characters, which will entice and speak to any reader directly, regardless of whether they are comic fans or not. If you want to read something that will quite literally blow you away, pick up a copy of Watchmen, you’ll never look at comics the same. (Indecently, if you’ve seen the movie and not read the book, you’re missing out. Although the movie was great, you’ll never get the intricacy and detail which Moore crammed into the original book. ‘Nuff said.)

 

Nightly News (Jonathan Hickman)We’ve all heard the conspiracy theories of how the media is controlling the masses through propaganda and subliminal conditioning, but Jonathan Hickman really steps up that concept and takes it to the next level with his ground breaking book, The Nightly News. Put together by a man who obviously has a flair for design, the page to page layout has a much more personal and “real” feeling to it than most comic stories which hit the shelves these days, and the script of the book is so intense, raw, and almost clinically precise that the message of the Voice hits home with deadly accuracy. One of the things I liked about this book above a lot of others which I’ve read is, like I’ve mentioned, the original presentation which really helps to get the emotions involved, such as betrayal and desperation, across to the reader, and in so doing it justifies the brutal violence portrayed in the story. Another is the believability of it all, although it is a harsh and vicious account, Hickman has obviously put a lot of research and detail into his plot, and it shows. Gripping from the start, this is definitely one of the books I would attribute as defining modern comics.

 

Preacher (Garth Ennis)Disturbing and sometimes gory, but always entertaining, the Preacher series introduces you to three unlikely characters and a world of bizarre possibilities as ex-preacher Jesse Custer and his companions experience a dark and violent exploration of America. Preacher is one of the corner stones which define comics today, a standard to which most writers try to compare their own comic creations, but few can really come close. Although the comic may be offensive to some, as it touches on religious subjects at times, it is something of an inspiration to the comic world, and which is at least partly responsible for a lot of the more honest and untreated comics that shy away from sacrificing their stories for the sake of commercialism or toning down their ideas for fear of being too explicit, which are still being produced today.

 

Wanted (Mark Millar)  The super heroes are gone, were they ever really even real, and what happened to the villains… this is a gripping story written in a style that makes it all seem almost possible and real in this explosively thrilling and unreal setting. Sex, action, violence, and everything else you’ve been dying to see in comics. If Alan Moore changed the direction of comics with Watchmen 20 or so years ago, Millar’s Wanted will shock new possibilities into the comic business.(PS – The Wanted movie was based on the comic book in much the same way that chat rooms are based on having a social life… it’s not quite the same thing and the original is just so, so much better).

 

Hack/Slash (Tim Seeley)Hack/Slash is a horror comic that not only replicates everything we love about slasher movies, but adds its own blend of dark comedy into the mix as well. Cassie, who survived a bloody slaughter by a slasher known as The Lunch Lady, now hunts down other slashers with her partner, the strange creature known as Vlad. Blood and gore, great stories and tasty girls, that’s what it’s all about, and like any good slasher, this one will keep you coming back for more.

 

The Boys (Garth Ennis)Superheroes keep watch over the world, but who keeps watch over the superheroes. What happens to civilian casualties in their super battles, and do they even care? And what happens when all that power goes to their heads? Meet the boys, a group of special individuals working for the CIA to remind the superheroes that they’re not in charge. Garth Ennis, arguably one of the best comic writers in the industry, really ups the stakes with this book, with his brilliant plot and “in-your-face” writing, you’ll be dying to see what happens next. It won’t be long after reading this comic before you’re hooked on the monthly series. Just a note, this one is definitely rated M for mature readers!

 

Astonishing X-Men (Joss Whedon)Joss Whedon, the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, brings a vast amount of insight and character depth to the X-Men in this series, and uses his usual arsenal of witty comments and one liners thrown into the mix during serious moments or as a break in the suspense, which all combine together to make his writing on this project a masterpiece. In this the first Graphic Novel “Gifted”, collecting the first six issues of the series, Joss tells the story of how the X-Men try to turn the public opinion of mutants from such a negative light, and face the threat of a “mutant cure” at the same time. Although the “mutant cure” theme has a somewhat familiar sound to it, Joss focuses more on the characters and their own individual personalities rather than on the inevitable looming conflicts, and it only makes the story and action feel that much more real for it. The series is still going strong, giving it’s readers an excellent story, and influencing other comics and stories with its originality.

 

 

 

 

Write ups may resemble those submitted to NAG magazine. All write ups are by C. Burmeister, on behalf of Outer Limits.