I first read The Watchmen about 6 years ago and luckily seem to have forgotten most of it already though I do remember how excellent it was, and is, now I have picked it up once more.
Are there any more graphic novels of similar theme and/or quality out there that anyone could recommend? Any particular favourites of the members here? I have searched but the threads on this topic are very old and there may have been more interesting work produced since then. (BTW, I'm not a huge fan of excessively gory productions!)
July 6th, 2006, 03:24 PM
V for Vendetta is the obvious choice for me, written around the same time by Moore with a lot of brilliant subplots and themes. Again more Moore (:)) would be Saga of the Swamp Thing, at the same time as Watchmen was the Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller but you'd have to be a little bit of a Batman fan for that. Recent Moore work of note include Tom Strong and Promethea. I'm not sure there is anything that can be said to be overly similar to Watchmen or indeed Moore's body of work during that period but recently I have started to swear by Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis. Ellis' The Authority run is superb, as is Ennis' Preacher both of which are quite gory though. I'd advocate much of what Ellis has done including Planetary, DV8, Desolation Jones, Global Frequency and all-time favourite Transmetropolitan. 100 Bullets is a fantastic on-going noir series that really did blow me away (no pun intended) with it's complexity and fantastic storyline. I also think the recent Sleeper run by Brubaker was real gritty, smart writing and fitted nicely into four small novels. The Losers is a clever dirty dozen type series by two Brit creators, Supreme Power and Rising Stars by J.Michael Straczynski creator of Babylon 5, Alias (not about Jennifer Garner's) character, 30 Days of Night (vampire horror - v.smart and stylish). I really could (and have :)) go on - hope this helps, if not narrow done what areas you'd like to look into a bit more and I'll go look at my shelves again :D
July 6th, 2006, 04:24 PM
From Hell and V for Vendetta are both Moore and excellent. As far as self-contained graphic novels go, it's tough to find anything even close for comparison (with Watchmen already mentioned, of course). The Filth by Grant Morrison is worth checking out.
If you have the time/money you might look to finite series (serialized over multiple volumes, but telling an entire story planned from the start). The Invisibles (Grant Morrison, 10 volumes) is an amazing experience, and I'd be surprised to find its equivalent in my lifetime.
P.S. Isn't there a comics forum?
July 7th, 2006, 03:30 AM
Thanks for the replies - I will check out all the suggestions. I have only read one other graphic novel and that was the collected, original Secret Wars, but now I'm looking for something a little more grown up. :)
I didn't even realise there was a comic forum!
July 7th, 2006, 03:45 AM
Ropie, a good primer on the whole subject of graphic novels as a serious art form (as opposed to just being for kids) is Scott McCloud's 'Understanding Comics'. In and of itself, it's a really great read, a sort of meditation on the industry and medium of what he calls sequential art.
In terms of personal favourite reads, I would recommend stuff like Neil Gaiman's 'Sandman' (weird, wonderful), Art Spiegelman's 'Maus' (biographical, tragic) and Alan Moore's 'From Hell' (dark, compelling).
July 7th, 2006, 05:37 AM
Ropie, a good primer on the whole subject of graphic novels as a serious art form (as opposed to just being for kids) is Scott McCloud's 'Understanding Comics'.
Looks very interesting!
July 7th, 2006, 06:05 AM
(BTW, I'm not a huge fan of excessively gory productions!)
Probably worth noting that the aforementioned From Hell is very graphic, both in terms of sex and violence. It is, nonetheless, utterly superb. Its gory nature is done intelligently, too. But if you don't like that sort of thing, bear it in mind.
I also highly recommend the Gotham Central books (though, again, you need to be a bit of a Batman fan, though not a massive one - he's hardly in them) and Fables.
July 7th, 2006, 07:42 AM
The Sandman books are majestic, genuinely fantastical stuff. I can't recommend them too highly.
July 7th, 2006, 08:49 AM
I missed that point in Ropie's original post (about gore). 'From Hell' is, as mentioned, indeed extremely adult. I think there's one chapter in particular which is rather gruesome, in which Gull conducts an impromptu autopsy.
July 7th, 2006, 11:21 AM
Don't get me wrong, I have a strong stomach but tend to do most of my reading on the pillow at night and the thought of resting my weary head to sleep where just five minutes earlier there has been an image of a bundle of dismembered cadavers probably won't give me sweet dreams ;) I will certainly have a look at From Hell when I am next in the bookshop though.