Convince me to like American Comics

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Convince me to like American Comics

Post by WhiteWaterWood on June 20th 2010, 12:45 pm

(Contains mild spoilers for Watchmen, and no spoilers but the realization that it sucks, for Umbrella Academy)

So, I read 'Umbrella Academy' a few night ago and daaaaamn was I impressed...

...that something so crappy could get so popular. I honestly believe that if Gerard Way had not helped write it, it would have gone nowhere. It was confusing and yet so straightforward it was boring. They expected us to care about characters and their relationships when they had spent no time setting it up or even put in enough effort into making sure we could remember who was who.

I've also read all the way through Watchmen, and while there are some extremely clever and creative ideas in it 'You're wrong. I'm not locked up in here with you. You're locked up in here with me.' (squeeeeeeee!) a lot of it was confusing, and like Umbrella Academy, lacked setup. Well, the characters had brilliant setup. It was the plot that didn't seem to have any. It was barely comprehensible. I guess as a character study, it did very well, but didn't make up for the way the plot came out of nowhere and made no sense. 'Wait, why is he trying to destroy to world? Who the hell is this guy?' And don't even get me started and the completely pointless and borderline painful scenes where a kid is reading a comic book. Really, that's it. It's not even relevant. He's reading a comic book about some sort of extremely violent end-of-the-world Greek mythology-styled comic with no plot except everyone dies. Is this some sort of incomprehensible metaphor or did the author just get so bored with the real story that he decided to start writing something that made even less sense to make the other one seem better in comparison?

And I've heard parents rail against the pointless violence in superhero comics in comics like 'Iron Man' but I hadn't expected just how right they were. Not the 'ZOMG violence is bad!' part, but the complete lack of insight into characters and the overall blandness of the plot. The movie Iron Man was funny, exciting, and full of characters with vivid personality. The comic Iron Man is what happens when you strip a James Bond movie of all characterization and give the main character mecha.

Okay, so maybe that's why Iron Man was popular, but I hope to god I just picked up a boring issue and the others are better. The comic felt like a watered down mimic compared to the witty and wonderful characters in the movie. It's like they had decided 'Well, everyone already knows what is personality is, so why bother developing it or even displaying it?'

So, these have been my forays into the world of American comics and I was very disappointed to say the least. I'm not the type of person to like manga just because it's manga or just because it's made it Japan (because there are so SO many crappy manga out there) but considering that these American Comics were supposed to be some of the best really disappointed me. Comics, novels, paintings, plays; I love all type of writing and art.

So please, because I really really want to believe there's good American Comics out there, is there any you can suggest?

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Re: Convince me to like American Comics

Post by ZombieData on June 20th 2010, 1:07 pm

Lol. The Only reason I read Umbrella Academy was because it had Gerard Way's name on it. I don't even get whats going on. I"m just like 'yay gee way"

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Re: Convince me to like American Comics

Post by Vampire_of_Death on June 21st 2010, 11:45 am

Obviously, I am gonna be talking about Batman, not because that is my obsession, but because some of the stories are so deep, and are have some for my favorite things like mystery, foreshadowing, logical plot and more.

For example, one of my top ten comics is the Long Halloween. (Stolen from wiki)
Taking place during Batman's early days of crime fighting, The Long Halloween tells the story of a mysterious killer named Holiday, who murders people on holidays, one each month. Working with District Attorney Harvey Dent and Lieutenant James Gordon, Batman races against the calendar as he tries to discover who Holiday is before he claims his next victim each month. The story also ties into the events that transform Harvey Dent into Batman's deadly enemy, Two-Face.

So, this is 13 issues combined into a graphic novel. It has a series of villains, and introduces them according to which holiday it is like Joker to April Fools but there were other times were is was deeper and Scarecrow was for Mothers Day because of a past event that is lightly explained that happened in an earlier comic, so there is a killing per holiday and as B-Man finds and catches each of em, he finds they aren't guilty, and keeps searching. Each step is logical and (I am really shortening it) when we get to the end, we found the killer, which is never obvious, and yet not so vague that it could be anyone with one change. All the characters stayed themselves, like, they weren't changed, motives or otherwise, just to fit the story. Also, each section, and there are thirteen chapters, are drawn in a slightly different styles. And all this in the seventies.

This is one of my favorite covers, Chapter 13:



Spoilers:

Spoiler:
We also get to see the mental and physical transition from Harvey Dent to Two-Face, gotta love the conflict that happens after his disfigurement and to watch him turn vigilante, and try to do a Batman thing, but kill (which Batman won't do because it will take him down to the level of his villains). It shows which way B-man would go if he started to kill. Love that part. It also offers up a twist ending that you can't see coming.


Watchmen I hated, personally. And don't even get me started on Ironman or Mavel for that matter. I have not read a single comic of theirs that I like. And as far as DC goes, I don't like too many other than Batman. Green Lantern is okay, but I prefer the more realistic Batman. No super powers, just pure will and power and money, Teeheehee

So most of the American comic aren't that great, but Batman and a few of the others are an exception. Let me know if you are interested, I send you some names of my favorites.

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Re: Convince me to like American Comics

Post by ooga booga on June 21st 2010, 9:09 pm

i'm gonna be brutally honest, if you think the only plot to Watchmen was everyone dying, you just haven't quite understood it yet, Alan Moore is praised by the world for a good reason, being the best damn writer comics have ever seen, the scene of the kid reading the comic was meant to be a parallel to ozymandias. Watchmen is complicated, but it all makes sense when you read into it (especially the plot), if you aren't prepared to do that than just don't read Alan Moore's comics, but this isn't the only time you won't understand something if you don't think about it, and i'm not just talking about comic books. on the subject of comics in general, yes, the writing sucks 90% of the time. even the great usually don't deliver. all you've really done is to contradict yourself, you say you want deep, complex plots, yet you put down watchmen which has a plot you failed to understand.

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Re: Convince me to like American Comics

Post by WhiteWaterWood on June 21st 2010, 9:34 pm

The thing is, I understood it, but I think that overall, it just wasn't up to par. I never once said the plot was 'everyone dies'. I love stories with deep complex plots, but Watchman was more confusing and rushed than it was 'deep'. I mean, why on earth was he doing a parallel of Ozymandias? How many people have heard of that? How many people who have heard of that would understand the reference? It's the artistic equivalent of putting an inside joke in a book. It's not common knowledge, and even if it was, it wasn't really adding anything to the plot.

I respect those who like it, but to me, it's flaws far outweighed the positives. There are lots of great things in the book, parts I loved, parts I squeed at, parts I wouldn't mind reading again, but in the end I think it didn't have enough set up and conversely what they did set up to never really explained the ending to any satisfaction.

In my opinion, almost any time you stop in a book and think 'Umm... what?' it's a bad thing. Not in the confused, suspenseful way when a plot point has not yet been explained and you're itching to know more. I'm talking about when you honestly have no clue what's going on, who's talking to who, or why a scene is relevant. You can find deeper meaning in anything, but that doesn't necessarily make it entertaining. Deeper meaning or flimsy grasp of metaphors, either way, it didn't make enough sense the first time, and it's not something I find worth a second trip.

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Re: Convince me to like American Comics

Post by Vampire_of_Death on June 21st 2010, 10:25 pm

I completely agree. I didn't go into detail, and there were parts that I liked, and I completely understood it, I just didn't like it. At all. And its a bit insulting to assume because I didn't like it, I didn't understand it. I love complexity and unpredictable plots but this was too fast (as in rushed) and I had to reread some of the pages because I was completely lost because it jump around so much or because it was painfully boring that I started to drift.

I see where the Ozymandias reference came from with Adrian Veidt and all, but that must have been lost on so many and I honestly didn't know it the first time I read it, so it was one of those times where I drifted off.

I hated all the planetary travel. TOO much jumping around.

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Re: Convince me to like American Comics

Post by ZombieData on June 22nd 2010, 12:22 am

You know whats a cool show? Kappa Mikey.

I mean, the show itself is stupid, but I love the idea of an american cartoon in an anime.

And this post has absolutly nothing to do with the thread.

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Re: Convince me to like American Comics

Post by WhiteWaterWood on June 22nd 2010, 3:11 pm

It's okay Sayde, we love you anyway! We will be upset when we burn you at the stake for derailing the thread. We will miss you. *cheerfully starts piling wood up at his feet*

Avatar is an amazing American cartoon, but maybe because it's in the style of anime? I don't think that anime really has a set 'style' though. Art-wise? Of course! But it's hard to lump things like Death Note in with Naruto or Naruto in with Hikaru No Go or Hikaru No Go in with Sailor Moon and Pokemon etc. etc.

That's why I suspect I'm just missing some really great American Comics.

But oh! Totally forgot! Read the Batman 'Mad Love' comic and I LOVED IT TO DEATH. So, yeah, I am totally capable of loving American comics outside Avatar. :3

And the Avatar movie is coming out soon! Squeeee! I don't care how crappy it looks, I can't wait to see it!

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Re: Convince me to like American Comics

Post by ZombieData on June 22nd 2010, 3:58 pm

Dude I LOVE AVATAR!

I wish it had been based off books or something so I could read them.

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Re: Convince me to like American Comics

Post by Vampire_of_Death on June 22nd 2010, 4:09 pm

MAD LOVE, second favorite of them all. Glad you found something you like! Very Happy

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Re: Convince me to like American Comics

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