Friday, 30 January 2009

Comicy Commicson

First off; yes this is a weird as hell title for a post. Congratulations to those who read it perfectly first time. You're lying. You'll have to forgive me, I'm in a funny mood as I post this.....

Anyway, into the post.....

I'm talking about comics. Or graphic novels. As in Spider-Man, X-Men and such. Call me a geek but I've read a fair few comics so far in my 20 years. There's the problem. I said "call me a geek but..." Why are comics geeky? Is it because back in the day they were all POW! SPLAT! KABOOM! ???

Is it mostly because of that hilarious Batman show where Robin spurted out things like "Holy macaroni and cheese, Batman!"? I'm thinking yes.

But comics are a form of storytelling. They're somewhere between prose and drama. But rather than go into an argument about why comics are a good form of storytelling, I just thought I'd introduce you to a few of them. As writers, you should expose yourselves to as many stories as possible. So here we go...

As a kid, I read mostly X-Men comics. Picked them up at school, read and enjoyed. But today, if you pick up an X-Men comic, you can't understand anything unless you have a Master's degree in Mutant Politics and Current Affairs. So don't bother. Instead, go to the Ultimate universe.

Marvel launched the Ultimate universe in 2000 to get new people into their stories. It worked. I have a fair few issues and they're great.

Ultimate X-Men basically shows different stories to the original (slightly geeky) origins of the characters. It's fun. But more real. More about politics and hardcore action. In very few mediums, can you have the US President on the lawn of the White House, being told to lick some one's shoes. Take a look.

I picked up Astonishing X-Men because it's Joss Whedon. Fully expecting a great story that is true to the X-Men but with a Whedon twist, I raced through. And I was completely satisfied. The only bit of back story you need to know about it is that Colossus and Kitty were in love. Colossus died. Now you're set. Enjoy.

I never read many Avengers comics as a kid, but I knew enough. I heard about the Ultimates and leapt on board. I bought a volume and it rocked again. Slightly less realistic than Ultimate X-Men, but still big with the politics and heavy action.

Also, anyone who knows the characters understands my excitement at seeing most of the Avengers taking on Thor in an epic battle. Lightning falls, hammers fly. A bloody massacre.

Great stories with adult content. We're talking about guts flying everywhere. Wolverine: Origins is basically the Wolverine we want to see. Merciless and violent.

Not knowing anything about the Inhumans, I took a chance and it paid off. A great story about a race of aliens. To say one of the characters can't speak, we really know a lot about him. Inhumans is definitely one to catch. It's also something I'd love to adapt for screen one day. Probably never happen though. Fully expect it to come to cinemas soon though.

The hardcore motherfucker of Marvel. The guy pulls no punches at all. I bought Punisher MAX the other day and have read a little bit so far. It kicks an immense amount of ass. Castle is a mean-ass guy with some pretty dangerous bastards on his tail. In what other comic could you shoot a 100-year old man in the face and blow up a kid? Check it out if you love relentless violence, strong language and believable characters with a killer story.

Hope that opens your eyes to comics a bit more and that some of you have been turned to the geek side.

Stay shiny folks,


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