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The Thread Where We Tell Each Other What Comics to Read


Iambaytor
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Okay, so this is basically a thread where we can try and sell comics to others (metaphorically) because I have a bunch of shit that needs more love and those fussy cunts Panch and NZA won't listen I want to appeal to a broader audience.

 

So first up:

 

Criminal Macabre A/K/A The Cal McDonald Mysteries

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Cal McDonald is pretty much the American John Constantine. Which is to say he's a loud chain-smoking drug addicted prick with guns. He was created in 1990 by Steve Niles of 30 Days of Night fame. His first story was a pretty sophomoric outing called Big Head released in an anthology comic that I doubt even Logan has heard of, followed by a follow-up in Dark Horse Presents in 1996 called Hairball. Read these only if you really really want to know everything about the character as they are pretty clearly a roadmap from Steve Niles the amatuer and Steve Niles the proffessional(-ish.)

 

A good hopping on point for people who aren't completionists is the original 5 issue mini Criminal Macabre with art by (*sigh*) Ben Templesmith. Templesmith's art is the biggest hurdle here, I know some of you just shit all over yourselves and love the abstract figures covered in smudged ink but while it sort of worked for 30 Days of Night it's just distracting here. Cal McDonald is more of a Hellboy or Corpus Monstrus type comic and that requires sharp eye-catching art, not smudgy charcoal drawings. Also it's a little "meh" story-wise but it introduces you to the characters and the world and it also teaches you that Steve Niles should sue the shit out of whoever made the Dylan Dog movie because while it's a pretty skewed adaptation of Dylan Dog it's pretty much a spot-on adaptation of Criminal Macabre.

 

I reccommend the next 4 arcs: Last Train to Deadsville, Supernatural Freak Machine, Two Red Eyes, and especially My Demon Baby much more highly and that's really the point when you realize you're reading something great.

 

Why it's Great: It does the whole "world where monsters really exist" thing in such a way that it's just a shitload of fun. You've got Cal and his ghoul/sidekick Mo'Lock who is essentially a 7-foot-tall weapon of mass destruction. Cal has a haunted Chevy Nova that works like a much nicer Carrie. Cal fights a golem, zombies, werewolves, Dracula in full Count Orlock mode, a Herbert West Re-Animator type, he infiltrates a cult to save the antichrist whilst a giant zombified Crusader summoned by the Roman Catholic Church tries to kill him and the baby. It's like Hellboy if, instead of being a demon, Hellboy was a pill popping swearing asshole whose solution to just about everything is to keep shooting it until it's fixed, but not in a Rob Liefeld way. It's a great series and the beauty is that just about everything is collected in two omnibuses that go for about $17 each on Amazon.

 

 

Read it if you Like:Hellboy, Corpus Monstrum, The Goon, Atomic Robo, Dylan Dog, Constantine, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Blade

 

I'm not even a Steve Niles fan (I don't find him to be a bad writer I just really don't care for 30 Days of Night and Freaks of the Heartland just didn't do it for me) but I fucking love this book.

 

 

 

 

So there we go, I'll post more later. The general guidelines of this thread are just try and pimp something that doesn't get enough love. Try to keep it out of the big two but if it's a book/arc that nobody is reading or has read then go ahead and sell it. Just don't put "Spider-Man" or "The Walking Dead" (We all know who that's directed toward.)

Edited by Iambaytor
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Thomas Jane and John Malkovich?

 

Yeah, that would be Tim Bradstreet's doing. Cal in-book looks nothing like him and Molok looks different in every book, but Bradstreet's job pretty much entails tracing a picture of someone and then drawing a Punisher skull on their chest. So... yunno.

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HNNNGGGHHHHH another one of these threads

 

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this also includes shit ive had on my personal backburner for too long, natch - also recommendations from other friends/boards

 

do you see this shit, baytor? like half of that is your fault, man! no one else here read Ghost Rider or Moon Knight or Scott Pilgrim (okay, a few did that) on your say-so. i have a better average than most, but these queues are killing me, they're not even counting what's in the text file:

 

Duck you sucker

Squadron Supreme

Thunderbolts? - Ellis run..

Justified

Paranormal Activity 3

Breaking Bad (in netflix queue)

finish hip-hop/jazz-hop backlog

 

i'm clearly playing more games than anything lately, but ya'll aint playing the same shit, listening to the recommended music, etc. anyway, i'm working on these recommendations, and ya'll aren't! fall back, i says.

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CJ has Deadly Premonition which I plan to start sometime after rage. I don't think you've ever reccommended music to me ever. And as soon as I clear up some space on my computer you can consider Daredevil and Iron Fist read. Your reccomendation was also the only thing that made me read Secret Avengers.

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Man, I create good well thought-out threads and you just let them die. I'm going to go to politics and make a thread about how somebody is wrong, you'll damn sure reply to that shit.

 

Hack-Slash

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Hack-Slash is the brainchild of Tim Seely and it has been published by Devil's Due and Image comics. It started out as a series of one-shot stories about Cassie Hack a mousy teenager whose mother, a school lunch lady, killed a bunch of kids who were bullying her daughter. She was killed and came back on the anniversery of her death as an undead slasher and it was Cassie herself who offed her. Now Cassie travels the country hunting down others slashers, a special type of undead that start out as murderous humans but return to life multiple times in escalatingly more supernatural forms. Along for the ride with her is her partner Vlad, a large deformed man with resperatory issues who was raised in the basement of a Butcher shop and was initially mistaken as a slasher known as The Butcher upon first meeting Cassie.

 

Cassie is a fairly good character, she's got the slutty goth chick thing going on but she's fairly three-dimensional and they kind of sort of have a reason why she dresses and acts the way she does (though it's fairly skewed, I'll admit.) Unfortunately you have a skinny dark haired girl in a bra and fishnets and The Suicide Girls come knocking at your door and that's one thing that hurt this book. Cassie's outfits became more and more ridiculous, there was an arc where she had this lesbian romance going on with some stripper named Georgia Peaches (No there's nothing wrong with having a lesbian protagonist but when the protagonist is a daddy's girl with a lot of issues with an overbearing mother that literally killed everyone around her then came back from the dead ((twice!)) and tried to kill her again it doesn't really make much sense for her to be attracted to women moreso than men, not to mention it feels gimicky when the relationship is mainly composed of her and her girlfriend making out in their underwear in big splash pages) but Seely seemed to come to his sense and steer things back on track.

 

The rough reading order is here: Hack/Slash: Euthanized

Hack/Slash: Girls Gone Dead

Hack/Slash: Comic Book Carnage

Hack/Slash Vs. Evil Ernie

Hack/Slash: The Land of Lost Toys #1–3

Hack/Slash: Trailers

Hack/Slash: Slashing Through the Snow (previously unpublished)

Hack/Slash: Slice Hard Prequel

Hack/Slash: Slice Hard

Hack/Slash Vs. Chucky ISBN 1-934692-08-5 January 1, 2008 Omnibus Vol. 2 Hack/Slash #1–11

non-crossover parts of Hack/Slash #12–13

Hack/Slash #14–17

Hack/Slash Annual ISBN 1-934692-57-3 April 22, 2009 Omnibus Vol. 3 Hack/Slash #18-32

Hack/Slash: Entry Wound

HACKoween

Living Corpse Annual ISBN 1-607062-75-5 December 28, 2010 Omnibus Vol. 4 Hack/Slash #1-11

Hack/Slash: Annuals 2-3

ZOMBIES VS. CHEERLEADERS

2011 Holiday Special

 

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Why it's great: It's a fairly original premise. Cassie is the girl who survives at the end of every slasher movie and it's kind of interesting to see what happens after the credits roll so to speak. Not to mention all the different slashers have been really fun and interesting: a man who operates the gas chamber at a verterinary clinic who can summon zombie animals, a crossdressing pedophile preacher being controlled by a crazy little fundamental Christian girl to kill sinful teenagers, a comic book fan who straight-up kills Steve Niles, Robert Kirkman, and Skottie Young; a Demon rock band who sold their soul to gain popularity.

 

And then there's the cross-overs. While some of them are dumb that's usually the fault of what they're crossing over with like the character Bomb Queen who makes Tarot: The Witch of the Black Rose read like feminist literature:

 

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But most go over fairly well. She's crossed over with Evil Ernie (surprisingly good), Chuckie of Child's Play fame (decent), Herbert West Re-Animator (good), Fantomah, a public domain superheroine who is like a cross between Swamp Thing and Sheena (weird, but good), Hatchet's Victor Crowley, and even Milk and Cheese (very briefly and apparently there's some rites problems because the Milk and Cheese bits are not in the Ominbi.) And even Dexter and Jason Voorhees! Kinda... not really... see below for elaboration.

 

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That's a one-pager that was done for shits and giggles and will probably never see print due to rights issues but it's still cool.

 

Let me also be the first to say I'm surprised Dynamite hasn't found a way to cross her over with Army of Darkness but I'm sure it's in the pipes as I'm sure Hellboy, The Goon, and Cal McDonald are (they're circling the block, I'm sure.)

 

Bottom-line. If you can get past the Suicide Girl pandering it's a pretty fun and great series that exploits, embraces, and mocks horror tropes. It has a great ensemble cast, the writing is good (the worst it ever is is mediocre), and a winning premise.

 

Read it if You Like: Jack Staff, Bloodstone, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Slasher Movies, Suicide Girls, Jerking Off To Dita Von Tees while listening to The Smiths in Your Closet

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i remember reading a series or two of hack/slash after what i wanna say was a not-so-great one shot (was there a FCBD edition or something?) and the concept still kinda grabbed me...it was enjoyable, but i wasn't invested enough to keep at it. part of this comes from several costly indie binges/tryouts in college where i was finally able to get my hands on all kinds've shit we never got down here (thank you, ebay) and i ended up narrowing my list down to the stuff i loved best: bone, scud, hellboy, etc. :piggylover: did the rest of dark horse with ghost, grendel, sin city (thank god he had these) and all the alien/predator stuff.

 

we both tried a bit've cerebus, but didn't know where to start/got thrown off by the cockney etc, though i recall him finding one misogynistic rant he particularly loved.

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Yeah, mileage on Hack-Slash varies from story to story but like I said I've not read anything that was just flat bad (except maybe anything that involves Bomb Queen, but once again not Tim Seely's fault) when it's good it's really good but when it's bad it's not terrible.

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  • 6 months later...

RASL by Jeff Smith

 

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Did you ever say to yourself? Boy Bone was really good, I wonder what that Jeff Smith fellow is up to these days? Well the answer is NOTHING!

Well... he did do a Captain Marvel book for DC which I haven't read, but otherwise nothing. BUT he's got a new book out, and it's really fucking great you guys, and it's finished and it's only fifteen issues you can breeze through in an afternoon so you have no excuse not to read this shit NICK!

 

 

So, taking a sharp left-turn away from the all-ages appeal of Bone, Smith tackles the science fiction genre. Specifically parallel universes, shady government agents, and hard drinking whore fucking antiheroes.

 

Our main character is RASL (actual name Robert) a scientist and Nikola Tesla fanatic, who has apparently at least earned a bachelors in bad motherfuckery as he smokes, drinks, wears a sleeveless t-shirt and jeans, rides a motorcycle, and has Kenshiro's haircut. He has built a means to travel between universes. That's not what it was intended for but if I tell more I'll spoil it. On the eve of military testing, RASL saw the horrible things that could be done with his invention so he sabotaged it and sped off into the multiverse where he now plys his trade as an art thief.

 

On one such excursion he is a attacked by a man with a face like a lizard and realizes that the government organization he gave the "fuck off" too has found a way to track him and the lizard-man is their agent. He then sets a plan in motion, flitting through the universes trying to stop everything from being destroyed forever.

 

 

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Why It's Great:

 

The concept is fairly original in both idea and application. You only get bits of the story as it goes along, but they all come together as you read along, filling in a puzzle and helping you understand what's happening. It gives you a little bit at a time so you keep coming back to find out what happens but the cliffhangers at the end of each issue never feel forced.

 

The way the multiverse works is also an interesting mechanic, there's not large differences in them. In most universes Nikola Tesla died in 1901 in a train wreck, in one universe Bob Dylan is named Robert Zimmerman, subtle things. Sometimes RASL's stuff is where he left it in another universe, sometimes it isn't. All the things are small and seem fairly insignificant which is what makes the book feel more "real" and organic.

 

Like I said, it's only 15 issues with not an ounce of fat on it, I read through it in a day and even by comic standards it reads pretty fast and smooth. The art seems off at first but by the 4th issue I was with it entirely. It's an offbeat classic that hopefully will get the recognition it deserves. If you're looking for something different this is definitely it.

 

It's also a great source of hilarious out-of-context screencaps:

 

RASL.jpg

 

I will give one warning, this is not Bone, it's not epic or majestic, it reads entirely different which is a turn-off at fist. Give it a couple issues to really flip that switch in your brain where you can enjoy it properly.

 

Read it if you Like: Warren Ellis, Back to the Future, Bone, good comics.

 

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Edited by Iambaytor
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  • 2 months later...

Nick and I were reminiscing over how great Paul Jenkins' INHUMANS mini was in another thread and it got me wondering about his other work. Anyone got recommendations on other "essential" Jenkins books/arcs I should read? It seems he had a hit-or-miss run on HELLBLAZER people were mentioning in the same thread.

Edited by Mr. Hakujin
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Sleeper

 

sleeper.jpg

 

Holden Carver, a.k.a. The Conductor (although he prefers going by his real name), is placed undercover in Tao's criminal organization by John Lynch, the director of International Operations after being fused with an alien artifact that makes him impervious to pain, gives him a powerful healing factor, and allows him to store pain he receives and pass it on to others through skin contact. Holden hates these abilities and constantly wishes to be rid of them. Lynch falls into a coma after being shot by Grifter, leaving Holden with no link to the outside world.

 

Criminal

 

 

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The series' story arcs are self-contained and focus on different characters, but these central characters inhabit the same world, grew up in fictional Center City, frequent the same bar, and share a common history of two generations of crime. With his partner Ivan, Tommy Patterson ran the city's most proficient crew of pickpockets and taught the trade to his eight-year-old son, Leo. When Tommy was arrested and imprisoned for the murder of Teeg Lawless, Ivan took care of Leo and explained to him how following certain rules can keep a criminal "out in the world," out of both prison and the morgue.

 

Incognito

 

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The comic is set in a world in which larger-than-life pulp heroes and villains have existed since the early 19th century. The original super was an escaped convict named Kenneth Lee who went by the name the Black Death. His powers came from a radioactive object which landed in New England over 200 years ago. Other notable supers include the descendants of the soldiers who were chasing him including the Doc Savage-esque "Professor Zeppelin," the Shadow-esque "Lazarus". After WWII, the SOS agency created by Zeppelin has kept most stories about the supers out of the news.
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Added RASL & Incognito to my never ending queue of comics to read.

 

Whatt say the Hondo's comicbook elite on Flex Mentallo? I came across this vid and even though she's fond of misusing the word penultimate, the chick makes it sound interesting. I tapped out around the 8 minute mark as it was getting spoilery.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5k6ipF__XM&feature=share&list=PLBF95254D29BEAE15

Edited by Mr. Hakujin
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I kind of hate her with every fiber of my being, and I'm going to try to forget that you ever brought her into my life. Tapped out at the 2 minute mark.

 

Flex Mentallo is pretty kewl, and it was recently reprinted in a nice hardcover (which I've been meaning to grab). I hear they fucked with the colors, but I can't imagine that I'd care that much.

 

I really can't say if you'd like it or not. You're kind of an enigma for me.

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