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A. Heathen

Special Ales Kot Approvals

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Well that's my Hellblazer-sized gap filled.

 

A cracking story of Constantinian magic, where LA is London and con artists on tubes are taught a lesson.

 

And this guy is interesting

http://www.vulture.com/2015/07/ales-kot-wolfe-material.html

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jul/22/ales-kot-interview-comics-writer-wolf-material-zero

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2015/07/guest-list-ales-kot-haunts-los-angeles-with-wolf.html

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Oh, bloody hell! I saw that cover at the comic store, and thought it was that Wolfmoon book that Vertigo was publishing!

I enjoy Kot's work, for the most part. It should be interesting to see him do a Hellblazer style story.

I hope the store will have copies left next week.

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Wolf Moon was great too.

Would make a great one off series which would then be ruined by pointless additional seasons.

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I'm going to bring this thread back up, because it's been discussed in the new Constantine thread. Fans of Hellblazer who aren't happy with the current state of our John might want to pick up Wolf. Kot is really doing a great job on this series.

I'll admit that I read the first issue and wasn't too impressed. I didn't really get a feel for the book, and thought it wasn't going anywhere interesting. I decided to actually bother to read Kot's interview discussing the title (Adrian's first link), and it got me interested in giving the book a second chance. I bought issues #2 and #3 at once, and I'm really enjoying the series now. Issue #4 was released this week.

For those who miss the social commentary of the early days of Hellblazer, Wolf has an abundance of that.

So, if you have tried the book and gave up after issue #1, you might find yourself enjoying the book by giving it another chance.

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I'm not the biggest fan of action sequences carrying a story, myself, but that's ok.

Kot's New World (Image) may soon join this list, after it's completed. It's a five-issue min-series, which is still on-going though, and unlike my first recommendation, I'd like to see where it goes before I give it my nod. Right now though, it is looking like it'll make the list. It's another dystopian future science fiction comic, but not as dark and despairing as his Days of Hate.

OK, Ales Kot recommended reads.....

I think Days of Hate (Image) may be his best work, but that's still on-going, so you'll probably want to wait until the series finishes before picking it up. It's pretty obviously meant to be a critique of the current Trump America, but it's not topical. It's more of a dystopian science fiction story, about a future America that is always possible and just around the corner, rather than some ham-fisted whining about how bad Trump is.

Probably after Days of Hate, I'd recommend Wolf (Image), with some reservations. If you love John Constantine, if you love political Hellblazer stories, and if you feel that JC stories have been bland and ill-fitting for about a decade now, you'll love Wolf. So, what are the reservations? Well, Kot never finished the book. However, if you like Ellis, once again, there are a lot of similarities between Ellis and Kot!

Going back further....one of Kot's earliest series (and the first one that caught reader's attention) was Zero (Image). It's a meditation on human violence, filled with an increasing psychedelic plot-line.

On the same wavelength is Winter Solder (Marvel). Now, I know what you may be thinking about a Marvel comic, but this is not a superhero comic. It's a far future science fiction story that is just plain weird, and it serves as Kot's appeal to peace. It's truly a beautiful piece of work. You don't really need to know anything about the Winter Soldier as a character either, other than it's Bucky Barnes.

Your mileage may vary, but James Bond: The Body (Dynamite) is pretty much the best Bond story I've ever read. I'm not really a fan of Bond, and once again, I thought Ellis' work on James Bond was pretty much the high-point of the character in comics....until I read Kot's mini-series. It's very political.

OK, moving back to Marvel for one more series is Kot's run on Secret Avengers. OK, I know. This may be a hard sell, but trust me. It's insane! The entire story ends up being one big homage to a Jorge Luis Borges story. I am not kidding. It's about as far from typical Avengers fare as you can get, while still being nominally a superhero comic book.

Generation Gone (Image) is another unfinished Kot series, but he plans to return for a second story-arc to wrap up the book next year. I didn't think I'd really enjoy this one, but it's quite good. It takes place in an economically depressed dystopian future, and deals with the rage and frustration of younger people facing an uncertain future. It also mixes science fiction and superhero comics. It's something of a deconstruction of the superhero genre, ala Alan Moore.

Now, these next two are Kot comics I did not enjoy, but that you may want to check out, if you like Warren Ellis and hard science fiction. These two series are science fiction comics done right, but I'm not the biggest fan of these types of plots, myself.

The Surface and Material, both from Image.

So, if you like hard science fiction stories, with lots of future tech, that will remind you of Warren Ellis, I would not hesitate to recommend these two series, even though I did not find them really my cuppa.

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How would you rate Change by Kot? I picked up issue 1 secondhand, but haven't read it, nor have I chased up the remaining issues.

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It's been a long time. I think I did enjoy it at the time, but I also believe it was Kot's first comic book work (or at least anything worth noting). I think he definitely outgrew some of his tendencies that were found in Change. There's nothing wrong with the series. It was pretty wild. It just had the marks of a writer starting out and trying really hard to put as much as he could in to his first project.

He'd channel that manic insanity and turn in a lot better work later, but Change is definitely a fun romp, although I found it somewhat inconsequential also.

I wouldn't judge Kot by that series though. If you hate it, don't hesitate to give something else by him a chance. If you absolutely love it, imagine a writer taking all those ideas he's throwing at the page, and crafting it down to a comprehensive quality.

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Material was an interesting experiment by Kot. Four separate stories playing out page by page over four issues. He cancelled it after those four issues though, though he has said that his plan for the series was to do a new set of stories every four issues so there's nothing that's left unresolved compared to say, Wolf.

I wouldn't say make it your first Kot book, but if you read his longer works and enjoy them, Material might be worth checking out. The trade probably goes for cheap these days.

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Oh, I don't think I even realized it was canceled. I thought that Kot intended it as a mini-series. I wasn't really enjoying it. I don't think I was really paying attention after the first issue. I thought it was meant to have the four different plots converge and make some sort of whole statement, and it never really came together.

I could see people enjoying Material a lot, it just left me feeling alienated from most of the plots. Not because they didn't all work together, like I thought, but because most of the plots didn't interest me, and I didn't get enough of the one plot which I did find worth following.

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On 10/15/2018 at 4:06 PM, Christian said:

Cool. Hope you enjoy Kot as much as I do.

Just a quick update - currently reading the first Days Of Hate collection, four issues in and it's been really good so far.  

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I tried out that first collection of Wolf and just could not get into it, I gave up about halfway through and moved on to reading something else.  It was the art that really killed it for me, I didn't like it all.  I might have been able to look past it if the story had engaged me more, but again, just couldn't get into it.  Kot may not be to my tastes, but I'd be open to reading something else by him in the future.

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Huh. Well, what did you not like about Wolf, as far as the story? I do think that Wolf is one of Kot's best series, and thought it would greatly appeal to fans of Hellblazer.

John, glad you're enjoying Days of Hate! I think it's Kot's best work yet.

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On 11/26/2018 at 12:37 PM, Ixnay by Night said:

It was the art that really killed it for me, I didn't like it all.

Different strokes and all but, like I said earlier in the thread, I'm a big fan of Žeželj's work and think his style really compliments Kot's story here.

Finished that first collection, could see where it was going early on but still enjoyed the journey.  There was a real TV series vibe to the whole thing, especially in later issues where we get a lot of 'montage' scenes.  

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John, Ixnay was talking about Ales Kot's series Wolf, not Days of Hate, when he said he didn't like the artwork.

Lee Loughridge did the artwork on Wolf.

I can see that being a harder sell to someone than Zezelj, but I did still like the artwork on Wolf too.

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