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Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Tue 14th Dec '04 6:21PM
4678 Posts
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7th Apr '03
SANDMAN 10/10
Neil Gaiman's crowning achievement. This 11-volume series took him as many years to write, and it shows in this breathtaking, epic tale of gods, dreams, mortals, and fable. Each volume in the series can almost stand alone (apart from the last couple), in that each is a different slant on the whole sandman mythos. Quite possibly the greatest graphic novels ever created. Dave McKean's covers are daring and haunting, and the selection of artists Gaiman chose to carry his stories spans the whole breadth of comic art, from watercolours to sketch-style black and white. Absolutely unmissable for any lover of stories, and any graphic novel fans. These are stories that will stay with you forever.
  

Demian*
Oh Lordy, Plegaleggole
Wed 15th Dec '04 4:48PM
4678 Posts
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7th Apr '03
PREACHER 10/10
In my opinion, the only series which can compete with Sandman in terms of sheer quality and enjoyment. Preacher is certainly not for the faint of heart, being a violent, disturbing but above all, humorous, series for adults only. Presented in 10 volumes, it deals with religion (in a very literal sense!), vampirism, love, friendship, the Deep South and many, many other themes. Some parts are outright hilarious, while others will make you want to weep or vomit. An incredible story told in a slick and unputdownable way. Read at all costs, if you have the stomach for it.
Second opinion by Xander on 1st Mar '09 10/10
Brilliant and funny.
  Average Rating 10

Dregan
a flim flam is as good as a shim sham sam
Thu 16th Dec '04 10:58AM
843 Posts
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13th Apr '04
Transmetropolitan 10/10
Warren Ellis writes and Darick Robertson draws. Fantastic art, a story which seems more and more prophetic by the day, swearing and tits make for a comic well worth reading. Spider Jerusalem [still the best name ever] is a City reporter and professional horrible bastard who has spent the last five years in the mountains. He is called back to the City in the middle of a Presidential election to fulfil his book contract, and ends up writing a column for his old newspaper.

Simply fantastic. The hunt for Truth has never been more readable. The comic ran for 60 issues, and there are currently 8/10 TPBs available.

"Nobody touch that dog! I'm having that for my fucking dinner!"
    

Spanners*
Misses his big brother :(
Sun 10th Apr '05 4:16PM
4597 Posts
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7th Apr '03
Fray 8/10
Another Joss Whedon. Another Vampire slayer. Another excellently scripted and amazingly illustrated work of the graphic novel.
Set in the future in a seriously run-down Manhatten polulated by the dregs of humanity and a fair proportion of mutants, an initially unwilling slayer gets medievel on a large amount of demon asses.
    

Dregan
a flim flam is as good as a shim sham sam
Fri 20th May '05 7:02PM
843 Posts
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13th Apr '04
Sin City 10/10
Yes, the comic book that's been made into that rather stylish film.

The art is probably one of the most interesting styles you'll see. Lots of negative space, little to no colour [more in later issues] and silhouettes in the rain are the order of the day. The plots are gritty, film noir-esque tales of sex, drugs and violence. Lots of violence.

Go read them, then go see the film. You will not be disappointed. I would make a recommendation for a specific book, but they're all excellent, so start with Violent Marv and work up from there.

"I'm Shelly's new boyfriend, and I'm a psychopath. If I see you around here again I'll cut you in ways that will make you useless to a woman."
    

Amanshu*
Giggity Giggity goo
Wed 8th Mar '06 4:36PM
2708 Posts
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25th Aug '04
Ctrl+Alt+Del 9/10
http://www.ctrlaltdel-online.com/comic.php

Ctrl Alt Del follows the adventures of Ethan and Lucas, two hardcore gamers who live together and play games. Lucas is the levelheaded member of the duo, whereas Ethan is a small step from being completely overwhelmed by the world of games that he constantly plays and...

What? Why are you looking at me like that? Ah, no, see it's nothing like Penny Arcade. Seriously it's not. Well, maybe a little, but it's more about the people than the games.

Look it's actually funny okay? You'll love it, trust me!
   

Xander
The panda is the evolutionary equivalent of living off benefits.
Sun 1st Mar '09 4:19PM
169 Posts
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16th Jul '08
Complete Alan Moore Future Shocks - Alan Moore 7/10
More of a curiosity for anyone who likes Alan Moore than a graphic novel to be picked up by the layman. If you have never read any Alan Moore your probably better off reading V for Vendetta, Watchmen, From Hell or also written for 2000AD The Ballard Hallo Jones.

For those not in the know Future Shocks are one off stories that featured and feature in 2000AD. They follow an established pattern of set up a story and at the end give a final sci-fi twist usually comic or ironic.

Moore's tales are funny and at time utter genius but one can't help but think in the early days he was trying to pay the bills and make that weekly deadline. This is not to say the stories lack originality or excelence, some of them are fantastic, and it's a credit to Moore's ability that he manages to put so much story into 5, sometimes less, pages with 5 panels per page. The imagination and the ideas are excellent.

Not all the stories are future shocks, some are Time Twisters which are almost identical to future shocks but (you guest it) involve time. There are also one offs Moore wrote and vary in quality following in a similiar pattern to future shocks. The only running story is the adventures of Abalard Snazz and the quality if fantastic. Snazz known as the two story brain is a four eyed human genius whos ideas end up getting him into trouble.

Moore was writing for 200AD back when it was printed on toilet paper, apart from the cover, everything was in black and white. This shouldn't discourage you as the inking and penciling is fantastic. Indeed todays 2000AD is returning to black and white for many of it's stories. The art does vary depending on who is drawing but is all of a high quality. The likes of Steve Dillon, Ian Gibson and Dave Gibbons contribute art skils if you know who these people are. T Frame does some lovely lettering...

If you like Moore it's well worth a read and even the novice can appreciate the stories. It's good to see a comics genius like Moore having to work within limitations and yet pulling out compelling stories.
Second opinion by Demian on 6th Apr '09 8/10
Utterly bonkers. Also surprisingly dated given the futuristic nature of the stories...
 Average Rating 7.5

Xander
The panda is the evolutionary equivalent of living off benefits.
Sun 5th Apr '09 6:48PM
169 Posts
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16th Jul '08
Nemesis the Warlock Volume I 10/10
Begun as a one off story in 2000AD Nemesis is certainly one of the more strange creations and arguably a bit weird. Set 1,000 of years in the future Nemesis battles the evil Termight Empire aka the human race who wish to exterminate all alien races.

The stand out character is not actually Nemesis but the villain Thomas De Torquemada possibly the most evil character committed to comic pages. As one can probably guess from the name Torquemada is a evil sadist. He is the perfect example of the overzealous authoritarian religious figure. His motto is: Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave! A motto that managed to get itself spray painted onto the Berlin Wall when it came down. His battle motto is also rather scarily: Cleans and purify.

So the enemy of such a righteous individual can only be a demon and Nemesis the Warlock is indeed Torquemada's er... Nemesis. A demon with red eyes armed with a sword is a perfect antidote to Torquemada.

But Nemesis is a sci-fi story set in space but also a swords and sorcery story with added medieval atmosphere. Writer Pat Mills (Judge Dredd, Slaine, ABC Warriors) plays with this mixing of genres and creates something unique and entirely at home with itself.

The artwork is breathtaking and entirely in black and white (this is not a criticism). Kevin O'Neil (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Green Lantern) does some of his finest work on Nemesis filling the canvas with brilliant images. He indulges in steam punk technology particularly with portraying Termight and draws truly bizarre aliens. Jesus Redondo is a competent artist but really fails to capture the necessary medieval, steam punk, fantasy that Mill's script demands. Bryan Talbot does a much better job and worthily fills O'Neilís shoes.

It's great its genius and in volume can be read as the epic it was meant to be. I fully intend to get volumes II and III. So watch out for a future review nobody will probably read soon.
 

Xander
The panda is the evolutionary equivalent of living off benefits.
Sun 19th Apr '09 2:50PM
169 Posts
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16th Jul '08
Superman: Red Son 8/10
One of the more fun alternative universe stories out there. The whole Soviet Union angle is a little lost in the stories overall ark. Never the less it's a great little story playing with the whole of the Superman mythology.

The main rivalry is of course Lex luther vs Superman. Other characters appear from the Superman universe such as Louis Lane and Wonder Woman. But it's the central rivalry between Superman and Lex that takes centre stage. It's an interesting take on a world where things could have been a bit different.

Curiously has a guest appearence of Tony Benn, surely this was lost on any American readers?
 

General*
Windows Bob - the best!
Wed 6th May '09 1:17PM
4213 Posts
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7th Apr '03
Watchmen 10/10
Can't believe this isn't on the list!

The best, no actually THE BEST!
Second opinion by Xander on 19th Sep '09 10/10
No denying it that is a fantastic achievement in. Indeed after Watchmen we actually got to enjoy comics as adults and after this and we got to call them graphic novels to avoid any embarrassment.

The story is compelling and the way of telling it is just brilliantly imaginative. At the end of every book there is a large text from a magazine or a history book. The use of the comic in a comic 'Black Freighter' is genius and very few comic writers would be brave enough to try such techniques.

Moore gave use here a beautifully thought out world. What an imagination to create all this and wind it up so tightly with everything else to make it just fantastic.
    Average Rating 10

Xander
The panda is the evolutionary equivalent of living off benefits.
Sat 30th May '09 5:48PM
169 Posts
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16th Jul '08
Nemisis the Warlock Volume 2 10/10
More genius from the genius that is Pat Mills. In books 5-7 Mills takes another pop at racism and fascists. The analogy is obvious aliens persecuted by humans. What is so that the story focuses on the bigots or Terminators as they are such horrifyingly comic fun personified in the hate figure of Torquemada. Indeed Mills riffs off the then contemporary (1980's) Apartied system in South Africa and the National Front.

However, Nemesis is still a great fantasy, mind bending adventure that really pushes the boundaries of weird and wonderful. The plot follows Nemesis looking for his son Thoth and the mess Thoth makes of time and existence. The stand out is book 6 which essentially is made up of a bunch of weirdos stood on a beach at the end of time having a heated conversation. The ABC Warriors feature as does the dinosaur character Satanus if who featured in a few Judge Dredd stories in 2000AD and recently made reappeared in the Megazine.

Original creative artist Kevin O'Neil only does a few one off stories in this volume with Bryan Talbot taking main art duties. Both are great and on excellent form. John Hicklenton's artwork on book seven is an acquired taste. His pictures feel more like a series of portraits that are at once brilliant rendering of fantasy but arguably not in keeping with the established pallet of Nemesis.

Somewhat oddly there are a series of photograph stories. These have not dated well and look (because they are) very 1980's. Nemesis and Torquemada are not the easiest of characters to recreate as costumes. Torquemada looks decidedly papier-m‚chť. The overall effect is decidedly amateur. The pictures are in this volume reduced to black and white, having seen the colour versions this is a good thing.

Another curiously are the two dice man games included in the volume. 200AD briefly spawned a dice man comic allowing a bit of role play. It's the old 'if you wish to turn left go to picture 28' and monitor your hit points and score type thing. In the age before decent computer games these must have been ok. Not that artwork or story has been scrimp on but I personally couldn't be bothered to try and play them.

Still another great volume, it's funny, it's controversial, scarily contemporary (BNP), its science fiction, its great fantasy, and itís weird and outrageously imaginative. Buy it and read it.
 

Xander
The panda is the evolutionary equivalent of living off benefits.
Sun 31st May '09 9:05PM
169 Posts
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16th Jul '08
Nemesis The Warlock Volume 3 10/10
It's just great. The final in the saga ties up the Nemesis story. This volume is something of a mixed bag. Almost certainly this is because of the long gaps writer Pat Mills had between books (Nemesis started in the '70's and only finished in the 00's).

Book 8 concentrates on Purity Brown and explains her relationship with Nemesis and reveals a thing or two about the Warlock. The art by David Roach is good but feels like he is being pulled out of his depth. His very realistic artwork is not served well by an outlandish fantasy character like Nemesis. However he can draw very attractive women and Purity Brown has never looked so good.

Book 9 is set in an alternative 1980's Britain and nicely parodies the early Goth and alternative scene. John Hickleton's artwork is much improved but is probably because he is far more comfortable in the 80's setting.

Between book 9 and 10 are a one off story and a long story essentially recapping the whole of previous books (nearly 10 years had elapsed since the last Nemesis story in 200AD). Various artists take the reins and do interesting interpretations of Nemesis.

Lastly we come to book 10 which is a fun romp through the utter insanity of the saga. The billing is final battle and it builds into something suitably weird. Artist Henry Flint is a genius artist and brings the old look of the series with a fantastic update. This was how the world was meant to be drawn. Original artist Kevin O'Neil dives in for the final chapter and does his usual gorgeous artwork to finish off.

Aside from books 8-10 also included is the strip Nemesis and Deadlock. Deadlock being one of the ABC Warriors and character most like Nemesis (originally it was going to be Deadlock who piloted the Blitzspear). There adventure together is a little stilted taking place at a meeting and set solely in one room. The story outstays its welcome and feels a little pointless. Essentially it bridges the gap between Nemesis's last story and the parallel ABC Warriors story (not in this volume). I advise reading these stories after book 8 and not in the printing order.

It's been a great saga! Itís doubtful there will ever be a character quite like Nemesis or a villain so utterly evil as Torquemada. The saga is not perfect indeed the plot holes are absolutely gaping and Mills probably only got away with it because of the big gap between adventures. But the plot is rather surplus to the whole atmosphere and weirdness of the story. As usual it's a fable of human cruelty and intolerance, the fascist versus the ultimate anarchist.

However, it's not quite over. Nemesis cryptically talks about the one who is to come after him and any reader of 2000AD knows its Deadlock. Indeed a few Deadlock adventures have appeared. But alas no more Nemesis and Torquemada, they are to be missed.

Credo
 

Xander
The panda is the evolutionary equivalent of living off benefits.
Sat 19th Sep '09 10:37AM
169 Posts
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16th Jul '08
V for Vendetta 8/10
The book is a bit of a confusing read. Politically it is as bleak as it can possibly get. The real mystery is around the V character and what are his motivations. These are tentatively hinted as the story progresses.

One has not sympathy with the state in this graphic novel. They are as they say completely totalitarian, racist and utterly unsympathetic. Or are they? In many ways the bad guys in V for Vendetta are more corporeal than V. They have massive hang ups and are by and large prisoners of their own fascist system. As you would expect from an Alan Moore book his writing is fantastic at describing in short details the state of mind of every character. All of them are trapped with a crushed human spirit.

V is the very bizarre answer to all this. V is at his most sympathetic and heroic pointing out the stagnant human condition to the other characters and indeed the whole of England. V is a breath of fresh air to all this and the character is if anything an idea.

The book is not always concise as Moore admits some bits established earlier on don't ring true latter. David Lloyd's artwork is initially not inspiring but one being read really becomes part of the book.

England prevails!
 

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