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So for a newbie what are some other non super hero comics? I mean something without men or women in spandex type of thingy. I'm really loving Hellblazer but you know I want to expand my comic experience. When I was younger I did read Spiderman though and also an issue here and there of Archie. I'm looking forward to Testament which sounds really interesting...I hope it turns out to be good. Suggestions?

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Read the 1st 25 issues of Preacher.

 

Transmetropolitan

 

Hellboy

 

The 1st Sin City trade

 

Get in on Fell while it's still young

 

Sandman

 

Alan Moore's Swamp Thing

 

Brooklyn Dreams

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-Usagi Yojimbo

 

-The Walking Dead

 

-Lucifer

 

-Anything from the Will Eisner Library that's not The Spirit (but thats great too)

 

-Fables

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V For Vendetta ~Everyone~ should read that.

 

Plus Sandman, Preacher & Lucifer as others have said.

 

The Girl Who Would Be Death by Caitlin R Kiernan is also a favourite of mine... but might be an aquired taste.

 

Neverwhere - You might have to wait for the trade paperback now... I hear early issues sold out.

 

At Death's Door by Jill Thompson (Manga style retelling of a Sandman story.. worth it for the art alone)

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Some of these are going to be damn hard to find, others are still in print.

 

Will Eisner is grand. I highly recommend "A Life Force", "A Contract with God", and "Invisible People". They're short story collections. I rank them as Eisner's best.

 

Anything published by Pantheon Press, they don't do superheroes, period. They have a web-site that lists all their Graphic Novels with descriptions.

 

Anything published by Piranha/Paradox Press (they're owned by DC). Especially, "Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children".

 

Almost anything from Top Shelf or Fantagraphics is gold and non-superhero.

 

"Essential Howard the Duck", "Man Thing" by Steve Gerber (Marvel)-you need some Gerber in your diet! Best comic work of the 1970s, too bad his "Man Thing" isn't Traded.....

 

Lou, "Brooklyn Dreams", nice choice! :D

J.M. DeMatteis' "Moonshadow", "Seekers into Mystery", "Blood", "The Last One", and "Mercy" (helpfully all published by Vertigo)

 

"Seven Miles a Second" (Vertigo)

 

Daniel Clowes! One of the top 3 writers in comics today.

 

Blankets by Craig Thompson

 

Box Office Poison by Alex Robinson

 

Eddie Campbell's "Bacchus" and "Alec" series.

 

Neil Gaiman's "Violent Cases", "Signal to Noise", and "Mr. Punch" (the latter two being my favourite comics work ever).

 

Alan Moore's "From Hell", "A Small Killing" (my favourite Moore)

 

Grant Morrison's "The Mystery Play", "Kill Your Boyfriend", and "Invisibles" series. (also all Vertigo)

 

Harvey Pekar's "American Splendour"! (damn good)

 

"Uncle Sam" mini-series (Vertigo)

 

"A Tale of One Bad Rat" by Bryan Talbot (Dark Horse)

 

"Tainted" by Jamie Delano (Vertigo) (have to throw in some Delano love)

 

"True Faith" by Garth Ennis (Vertigo)-pretty funny stuff

 

"Concrete" (Dark Horse)

 

DC's "Wasteland" anthology from the 1980s

 

"The Extremist" by Peter Milligan (Vertigo) (have to throw in some Milligan love)

 

If you can find it, the 1980s series "Puma Blues" (one of my all-time favourite comics)

 

"Hellstorm" by Warren Ellis at Marvel-This was much more a horror series

 

"Sandman Mystery Theatre" (the Matt Wagner issues)-I think this would safely qualify.

 

"Elektra:Assassin" by Frank Miller-I think this would qualify, as it's more a political thriller

 

My favourite Howard Chaykin was his "Blackhawk" mini for DC in the 1980s. It's full of Communism!

 

That should tide you over for now.

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I don't know your tastes, so I'd say check these out before buying, but you might really like them:

 

Strangers in Paradise

 

Lenore (any but the last issue)

 

How Loathsome

 

Any and all of the Courtney Crumrin books

 

early Gloomcookies (when Ted Naifeh was on it)

 

various Star Wars titles

 

Any of Garth Ennis' War Stories books

 

Adventures in the Rifle Brigade

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Good timing this, I mentioned recently that one of my brothers has gotten into comics recently and he's asked me to pick him up some for Christmas. I owe him a birthday present too so I picked him up a copy of The Ultimates hardback but for Chrissymas I'm sorting him out with non-superhero stuff -

 

Stray Bullets : Quite probably the best crime comic ever published, non-linear storytelling as we get to see various characters at different points in time in done-in-one stories. Horrible things happen to nice people, even more horrible things happen to nasty people. The Amy Racecar stuff is pure brilliance.

 

100 Bullets : Starts slow but you'll be hooked before you know it and when those pieces finally start to fall into place....! Gorgeous art too. It's kinda Quentin Tarantino mixed with, oh, I don't know - someone smarter, anyway as there's a decent over-arching story in there.

 

Transmetropolitan : Socially concious sci-fi with a political bent and a healthy scooping of Hunter S. Thompsen - the first trade only collects three issues but it's a cracking tale that will hook 9/10 readers I reckon. Spider sitting on top of a strip club, writing about a violent riot playing out down below...aces.

 

I'd like to chuck in The Walking Dead Volume One too but having problems finding that here at the mo.

 

The one comic I'd put in any action-adventure fan's hands would be Hitman if DC ever bothered to collect it fully, but they haven't and it'd be mean to give someone the first collection knowing they'll never get to read it all.

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Read each comic's books in order - not everything starts off brilliantly, but you don't want to jump around in any of these, because you'll spoil plot developments and twists for yourself.

 

PREACHER

(modern-day Western with gore, guts, swearing and sick, sick humour)

1- Gone to Texas

2- Until the End of the World

3- Proud Americans

4- Ancient History

5- Dixie Fried

6- War in the Sun

7- Salvation

8- All Hell's A-Comin'

9- Alamo

 

TRANSMETROPOLITAN

(Hunter S Thompson in the future, basically; crazy sci-fi meets political intrigue and lots of drugs)

1- Back on the Street

2- Lust for Life

3- Year of the Bastard

4- The New Scum

5- Lonely City

6- Gouge Away

7- Spider's Thrash

8- Dirge

9- The Cure

10- One More Time

Special collection- Filth of the City

 

THE INVISIBLES

(Possibly one of the best comics ever made, certainly one of the best ones of the 90s; a group of fashion-conscious terrorists fight against government oppression. Mind-bending stuff that requires a lot of concentration and analysis while still being fun to whiz through on a first reading. Everyone but me hates the first book, but it gets better)

1- Say You Want a Revolution

2- Apocalipstick

3- Anarchy in the UK

4- Bloody Hell in America

5- Counting to None

6- Kissing Mister Quimper

7- The Invisible Kingdom

 

SANDMAN

(Beautiful, haunting tales from the land of dreams - one of the best works of fantasy literature in any medium; hits its stride with book 4)

1- Preludes and Nocturnes

2- The Doll's House

3- Dream Country

4- Season of Mists

5- A Game of You

6- Fables and Reflections

7- Brief Lives

8- Worlds' End

9- The Kindly Ones

10- The Wake

11- The Dream Hunters

12- Endless Nights

 

STRANGEHAVEN

(Eastenders meet The Prisoner in Twin Peaks; an odd mix of soap opera, horror and supernatural thriller. A man is trapped in an English village full of aliens, cultists, psychics, witch doctors and madmen)

1- Arcadia

2- Brotherhood

3- Conspiracies

 

DEATH

(The Sandman's sister - read up to The Doll's House before starting on these)

1- Death: The High Cost of Living

2- Death: The Time of Your Life

 

SWAMP THING

(The not-quite-a-superhero comic that begat Hellblazer and just about every other mainstream adult comic)

1- Saga of the Swamp Thing

2- Love and Death

3- The Curse

4- A Murder of Crows

5- Earth to Earth

6- Reunion

7- Regenesis

8- Spontaneous Generation

(avoid ALL other Swamp Thing books)

 

HUMAN TARGET

(Tremendous tales of lost identity and shifting reality; you only need the first book, but the rest are worth reading. Strike Zones and Living in Amerika are numbered 1 and 2 respectively, but they're the third and fourth in the series)

1- Human Target

2- Final Cut

3- Strike Zones

4- Living in Amerika

 

THE WALKING DEAD

(Brilliant tales of a band of survivors in a post-zombie apocalypse America)

1- Days Gone Bye

2- Miles Behind Us

3- Safety Behind Bars

4- The Heart's Desire

 

LUCIFER

(A spin-off of The Sandman and one of the best works of ongoing fiction; funny, horrific and brilliant)

1- Devil in the Gateway

2- Chldren and Monsters

3- A Dalliance With the Damned

4- The Divine Comedy

5- Inferno

6- Mansions of the Silence

7- Exodus

8- The Wolf Beneath the Tree

9- Crux

 

HELLBOY

(Big monsters hitting bigger monsters. Lots of fun)

1- Seed of Destruction

2- Wake the Devil

3- The Chained Coffin and Others

4- The Right Hand of Doom

5- Conqueror Worm

 

SIN CITY

(Violent comic book noir - gorgeous, gorgeous artwork. Don't pass up on the big collections if you find them for a reasonable price)

1- The Hard Goodbye

2- A Dame to Kill For

3- The Big Fat Kill

4- That Yellow Bastard

5- Family Values

6- Booze, Broads and Bullets

7- Hell and Back

 

FABLES

(Modern day comic fantasy which sees children's story characters like Snow White and Little Boy Blue relocated to New York)

1- Legends in Exile

2- Animal Farm

3- Storybook Love

4- March of the Wooden Soldiers

5- The Mean Seasons

6- Homelands

 

100 BULLETS

(If you were given evidence that someone had destroyed your life and had the chance to kill them without facing the consequences... would you? A pastiche of various crime authors. Every even book is great, every odd one... not so much)

1- First Shot, Last Call

2- Split Second Chance

3- Hang Up on the Hang Low

4- A Foregone Tomorrow

5- The Counterfifth Detective

6- Six Feet Under the Gun

7- Samurai

8- The Hard Way

9- Strycnine Lives

 

THE LOSERS

(The first book is pretty much the best action movie never made; the rest are pretty poor, in my opinion, but you might like them)

1- Ante Up

2- Double Down

3- Trifecta

4- Close Quarters

 

SINGLE-BOOK SERIES:

A Contract With God

Ghost World

Black Hole

The Complete D.R. And Quinch

The Ballad of Halo Jones

From Hell

A Small Killing

David Boring

The Compleat Moonshadow

V For Vendetta

We3

Vimanarama

 

 

That should be enough to be getting on with, eh?

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Most of James' nominations are very, very good, but I'd advise definite caution with any Sin City book after the first 4, and I'd recommend giving Vimanarama a miss - you'd have to go quite a way to find a bigger Grant Morrison fan than myself, but that one is a long way from essential, despite the lovely Philip Bond artwork.

 

Most of my recommendations have already been covered, but I'll just give a quick shout-out to a recently-discovered personal favourite -Concrete, by Paul Chadwick.

 

A former speech-writer is trapped in a body made of solid concrete, immensely strong but entirely devoid of a sense of touch. It sounds a bit crap when described like that, but don't be put off - these are some of the best emotionally- and intellectually-driven comics I've come across in a long time. Particularly recommended are Killer Smile (in which one of Concrete's friends gets caught up in a lengthy police pursuit of two armed criminals - tense, gripping, and intriguing), Think Like A Mountain (Concrete becomes involved with a radical group of eco-activists - a fascinating, morally-ambiguous exploration of drastic grass-roots political activism, and the issues it raises), and Fragile Creature (a semi-autobiographical account of the complications involved in producing a low-budget film).

 

EDIT: Oops, apparently Concrete had already been mentioned. Ah, well.

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Most have already been mentioned here are a few more award winning non-superhero comics

 

Hate: PEter Bagge fantastic comic that follows an angst ridden teen through adult hood.

 

Love and Rockets: Hernandez Brothers available now in complete collections cheap

 

Maus: ARt speigalman

 

Maniac Strikes AGain: Richard Sala sort of a twisted crime noir meets Gorey.

 

PAlestine and Safe Area: JOe SAcco comic book reporting on the ground in the WEst Bank and Kosovo

 

Lone Wolf and Cub: epic samurai comic

 

You may also wish to try out the quarterly Blab from Fantagraphics it has short stories from the best comic book artists working today.

 

Cerebus: High Society and Church and sTate

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Speaking of this, I just found out they are Trading the entire "Omaha the Cat Dancer" as we speak!

The first Trade is already out and the next one is coming out early-2006.

They're pretty damn cheap Trades too!

Needless to say, I am excited!

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Many good suggestions here. I'll add these:

"Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi, an autobiographical comic about a girl's life in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution

"The hunting party" and "The black order brigade" by Enki Bilal and Pierre Christine. Modern European political comics.

"The adventures of Adele" by Tardi. Slightly surreal mystery stories set in early 20th century France.

 

and, of course:

"Asterix" by Goscinny and Uderzo. Brilliant comic about the last holdout gaul village in the roman empire.

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Speaking of this, I just found out they are Trading the entire "Omaha the Cat Dancer" as we speak!

The first Trade is already out and the next one is coming out early-2006.

They're pretty damn cheap Trades too!

Needless to say, I am excited!

I'd also say Secret Plot (but not Secret Plot: Deep).

 

And Slut Girl (a title with a lousy name that obscures how good the book is).

 

Both of these are hentai titles, and are just fun reads. I think the unfortunately-titled Slut Girl has an interesting and complex character in its female protagonist, who must make her way through the treacherous shoals of the Japanese corporate world.

 

The early Housewives at Play, before the series went from B&W to color, are good, too, very amusingly written if you like that sort of thing.

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Forgive an ignorant for a minute, but what's the distinction between Hentai and Manga?

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Guest spiderlegs

All of the above. I can add nothing except that the above work out into a pretty comprehensive list of what to read. And for a non-traditional superhero book, I love The Authority. I'm not into super hero comics, but own a few.

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Love and Rockets: Hernandez Brothers available now in complete collections cheap

 

indeed. I heartily recommend getting the LOCAS hardcover by Jaime Hernandez and the Palomar hardcover by Gilbert Hernandez. awesome stuff.

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I got nothin' that hasn't been said before, but if we're trying to establish a majority, here are my votes for The Tale of One Bad Rat, the first few Sandman & Lucifer trades, most of Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen volume 1, Preacher.

 

Oh wait, did anyone say Tintin?

 

Josh, I didn't care much for Adventures In The Rifle Brigade. I'd even say it's inferior to the boys' own war comics it lampoons. At least Commando and Battle Picture Library have the decency to be printed in B&W on pulpy paper; Rifle Brigade was disposable content at a prestige price.

 

— Jason

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Josh, I didn't care much for Adventures In The Rifle Brigade. I'd even say it's inferior to the boys' own war comics it lampoons. At least Commando and Battle Picture Library have the decency to be printed in B&W on pulpy paper; Rifle Brigade was disposable content at a prestige price.

 

— Jason

Fair enough. Anyway, no one should buy any book in this thread without checking it out beforehand. One can always be disappointed, even by something that's universally acclaimed.

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JOSH:

Anyway, no one should buy any book in this thread without checking it out beforehand. One can always be disappointed, even by something that's universally acclaimed.

 

 

Yes, good advice. Hell, there's another thread right there.

 

— Jason

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