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    • CommentAuthorDouglas
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2008
     (2115.1)
    I don't read a lot of books-- Black Summer, Casanova, Fear Agent, Immortal Iron Fist, and will be picking up Final Crisis mostly because I love Morrison's Seven Soldiers... Anyway, I am starting to branch a little into the "alternative" comics scene. I'm trying to get a lay of the land, figure out what lines up with my interests-- scifi, westerns, ninjas, robots, fighting, etc. I am looking to compile a list of alternative creators and titles, get recommendations, chat about stuff, but I am not interested in bitching about the mainstream or anything like that.

    Bryan Lee O'Malley
    I am reading Scott Pilgrim currently, or waiting for books 1 and 3 to show up. I read book 1 and 2 back when they first came out, and then it kind of slipped off the radar when I moved away from the library. I have not read his other stuff.

    Corey Lewis
    I own Sharknife and think it is rad. Will get Peng! some day, not really interested in his Rival School issues... Has he done anything else?

    Paul Pope
    I read Heavy Liquid, 100% and Batman Year 100, but do not own any of them. I would like to some day, but I am trying to mostly buy things I have not borrowed from libraries.

    Dan Hipp
    Own Gyakushu vol 1, ordering 2 within a week or two, same for Amazing Joy Buzzards.

    The same order will include Brandon Graham's King City and Escalator, and James Stokoe's Wonton Soup.

    Slightly more mainstream... Casanova is almost the best thing ever, certainly the best spy comic I have ever seen. Trading in the singles for the Luxuria hc, and look forward to doing the same for this current arc.

    I've read Hellboy and really enjoy it a great deal, but am several years behind on most of it.

    So what else is out there?
  1.  (2115.2)
    Well I would suggest the Luna brothers new comic THE SWORD. It's at issue 7ish and every issue has been great. I'd also suggest Gilbert Hernandez's SPEAK OF THE DEVIL.
    Honestly Image has a lot of really good 'alternative' titles out. Non-cape books basically. Dark horse has a few as well. Fantagraphics though, has a ton of great stuff.
    If you like slice of life then Harvey Pekar's AMERICAN SPLENDOR just restarted at Vertigo. It's always fun.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFerburton
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2008
     (2115.3)
    Thank you. I was trying to figure out who did Wonton Soup. Came across them a while ago and couldn't remember them or find them again.

    Um.... as for Alternative, or Independents, or creator owned, comics, Have you read Atomic Robo by Brian Clevenger, a great read.

    There are also Brian K. Vaughan's works, like Y the last Man, Ex Machina.

    If you haven't gotten in to it yet, Young Liars is a good read, so are The Boys.

    A great alternative Anthology that Image released recently, was Pop Gun. It is very good and it has some of Dan Hipp's comics in there along with many others. A good buy.
  2.  (2115.4)
    hey, i JUST got popgun. weird.

    all of the above are good, also might want to look into the awesome, hyper stylized NIGHTLY NEWS trade by jonathan hickman. it was one of my favorite books last year.

    i also just re-read the strangely religion-centric CHOSEN from a few years back.

    (disclaimer- i despise religion and rampant corporatization of media- you may or may not enjoy these books as much as i did. both are high quality)

    i will think of more as my day goes on.
    • CommentAuthorScottS
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2008
     (2115.5)
    I highly recommend anything by Matt Howarth. THOSE ANNOYING POST BROTHERS is my personal favorite, but his other titles such as SAVAGE HENRY and KEIF LLAMA are fun too. There aren't a lot of comics out there that will combine guest appearances from members of Tangerine Dream with C'thulu (who plays synthesizers in a rock band and smokes cigars).
    •  
      CommentAuthorZ
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2008
     (2115.6)
    I second <strong>Ferburton</strong>'s recommendation of <strong><em>The Boys</em></strong>.

    I'd also suggest <strong><em>Witch Doctor</em></strong>; it happens to be <a href="http://www.witchdoctorcomic.com/2008/04/24/witch-doctor-first-incision-page-1/">available for free on-line</a>; with any luck it should be in comic stores shortly.

    - Z
  3.  (2115.7)
    I'd say anything by Jonathan Hickman as he hasn't failed to impress me yet.

    Ben Templesmith's Wormwood is really good, and being IDW has great production value.

    I picked up the first issue of Joshua Hagler's The Boy Who Made Silence which you can buy direct from him at 5minedfields, and it's made me decide to come back for more issues.
  4.  (2115.8)
    Oh, NIGHTLY NEWS was great. Also I suggest Hickmans new book PAX ROMANA, it's turning out to be awesome. I pretty much second everything else mentioned above.
  5.  (2115.9)
    ...I wonder what defines "alt comics" these days...
  6.  (2115.10)
    01 Books (First Second) put out some fine graphic novels. Three Shadows, The Black Diamond and The Professor's Daughter are all worth your time.

    David Petersen's "Mouse Guard" is a work for singular beauty. The second series is out now. It's like "Watership Down" meets Braveheart. Just fantastic stuff.

    Ted Naifeh won't steer you wrong. His work ranges from the very adult "How Loathesome" to Courtney Crumrin (which beats the shit out of Harry Potter for young adult reading) and a range between.

    Anything by Jonathan Hickman, and lord he's busy these days, is definately worth and investment.
    •  
      CommentAuthorstevewallace
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2008 edited
     (2115.11)
    ...I wonder what defines "alt comics" these days...

    Actually that's a good question. I assumed from the other stuff he'd posted he wasn't looking for Jim Woodring or Crumb type stuff.

    @Douglas Are you looking for stuff that's non-cape? Or stuff that would 'classically' be considered alt comics.. Jim, R. Crumbs work, other indy press stuff from the 60s-90s..

    Honestly I think with so many creator owned publishers out there now it's hard to consider much stuff 'alt' in the sense it was used 20 years ago.
  7.  (2115.12)
    As another recommendation though, there's always Dave Sim's Cerebus.
    Also Jeff Smith's Bone

    These are two of my all time favorite books.

    I second Mouse Gaurd. It's tremendous
  8.  (2115.13)
    Tales of the Beanworld. Admitted, it's almost impossible to buy at the moment due to being long out of print, but if we're talking alternative comics then I'm always willing to recommend it. Especially seeing as it's being reprinted sometime this year.

    I also liked the first issue of Jeff Smith's new series Rasl, which should be easy to find. Other than that there's not really a lot out there I'd call "alternative". If it's published in full color or from Marvel and DC I don't think the term really applies any more. It's all semantics, though, so go buy Young Liars without worrying about what random label gets applied to it.

    James
  9.  (2115.14)
    scifi, westerns, ninjas, robots, fighting, etc.


    How has no one mentioned Street Angel yet? And with those interests you mentioned, and some of those artists (O'Malley, Corey Lewis, Brandon Graham) do you read any manga? You'll be up to your man-nipples in possibilities if you open that flood gate.
  10.  (2115.15)
    James,

    What is you definition of "alternative"? I am not even sure it's a useful term anymore. Clowes, Jason, Ware and Seth have all had comics run in the New York Times Sunday Magazine for the past year.
    •  
      CommentAuthorcurb
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2008
     (2115.16)
    Don't know if either of these count as alt, but I'd reccomend:

    Gutsville - Eccentric, witty Science fantasy with beautiful art.

    2000AD - Britains only weekly anthology comic. The hits outweigh the misses just often enough to make it worth casting an eye over, and it will expose you to a range of artists and writers you don't see working many other places. Make of that what you will! The anachronistic title is due to the fact that it's been going since the seventies, and the creators didn't think the comic would still be running
    • CommentAuthorMidweeker
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2008
     (2115.17)
    It sounds like you're looking for non-superhero genre stuff, rather than what used to be defined as alternative comics (the likes of Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly), but I'll try to recommend a few things from both sides:

    Bratpack - KIng Hell - Rick Veitch's brutal look at the most twisted superhero archetypes, an enormous influence on today's indy superhero books.

    Jinx & Goldfish - Image - Brian Bendis' first great work, brilliant dialogue, a smart plot and Bendis really isn't a bad artist.

    Ultra - Image - I've seen this described as Sex in The City with superheros, and it's a pretty good description. Lovely artwork, too.

    Stray Bullets & Murder Me Dead - El Capitan - Dave Lapham's remarkable crime series, both might be a little hard to find, but are well worth it.

    Wet Moon - Oni - Ross Campbell has an odd worldview, but this quirky and compelling tale of college goths manages to stretch it's stereotypes into remarkable shapes, with a variety of twisted secrets revealed along the way.

    Box Office Poison - Top Shelf - A great big brick of a book, Alex Robinson's collected series chronicles the lives of a bunch of New Yorkers, and manages to be very funny along the way. As long as it is, it still ends too soon.

    Ghost World - Fantagraphics - You may have seen the film, but the book's even better. Two bored small-town girls slowly drift apart after graduation, with a remarkable cast of characters, and genuinely affecting dialogue.
  11.  (2115.18)
    Stray Bullets & Murder Me Dead - El Capitan - Dave Lapham's remarkable crime series, both might be a little hard to find, but are well worth it.


    two of my favorite series of all time!
  12.  (2115.19)
    ...I wonder what defines "alt comics" these days...


    Comics not published by Marvel or DC, of course.

    It's probably not a good idea for comics fans to think too deeply about what this definition says about the world that they inhabit.
    •  
      CommentAuthorstevewallace
    • CommentTimeMay 6th 2008 edited
     (2115.20)
    It's always a good idea to think.
    Honestly, I believe the 'Alternative Comics' tag is rather useless these days. I mean even people who are doing the most experimental stuff can easily get an audience via the web or the indy press scene (i.e. Staple). This is a very good thing. Just because it's no longer difficult to get the kind of books that made up the 'Alternative' scene during the 80's or the 'Underground' scene during the 60's and 70's doesn't mean that the new crop of books are any less deserving of admiration.
    Look at the audience Kochalka has been able to secure from his websites. An audience that wouldn't have existed in anywhere near the numbers 20 years ago.
    Also while companies like Dark Horse, Image, Avatar etc aren't publishing the most experimental stuff per se, they are definitely putting out books that wouldn't have had a chance in hell outside of self publishing were they released even 15 years ago.
    It's mostly semantics anyway. So many things were lumped into the 'Alternative' scene just because they weren't 'cape' books. Or were weird 'cape' books. Was it 'Alt' because stuff like it was in RAW? Effectively if you released Mouse Guard 20 years ago, it would have been considered 'Alternative'. Does it make a difference that it was released now? Is it not 'Alternative' now because it's so easy to get? I think Phonogram would have been part of the 'Alternative' scene 20 or so years ago. It was published by Image though, so does it no longer have the same 'cred'?
    Basically I think it's an almost useless term nowadays since there really aren't 'Alternative' genre's anymore. There are successful books in basically every genre, you really have to go to the far edges with super heroes formed completely out of arse eels to find a genre that isn't getting listed in Diamond these days. Honestly, even with Arse Eel man .... Avatar might print it!