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What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

In this section you can share your thoughts about the released issues of any other comics from Batman to Hellboy
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Nu-D
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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Nu-D » 24 Apr 2017, 11:19

Saga, v. 7.

Well, I bought it and...I was kinda bored. I haven't actually finished reading it yet but it's just more of the same. We're in a holding pattern. Bickering. Running, hiding, fighting, and lots of f@#king. The new, imaginative world-building dimensions are absent, and we're not seeing any character growth or plot advancement.

Basically, I feel like they've built the world, introduced the characters, set the scene and now it's time to advance the plot and grow the characters. But they're doing long-form soap opera, so the plot's on a treadmill and the characters are starting to feel stagnant.

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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Nu-D » 13 Oct 2017, 12:40

I just finished Y: The Last Man v. 3.

This is pretty good, but reading it in a continuous run is feeling a little meandering. I hope the story has a beginning-middle-end. Same complaint I had about Saga v. 7 above.

Here at the end of v. 3, Yorick, 355, Mann and the new team member are on an Australian submarine that's going to take them to Japan to find Ampersand, but they have to stop and refuel in Australia first. Conveniently, Yorick's fiancee Beth is in Australia and just had a dreamtime experience where she figured out Yorick is alive.

To me, this feels like acts one and two have come to a conclusion, and we need to be moving on to act three, the climax and closure. That feels right for Yorick's character. Yorick's main motivation from day one was to go to Austrailia and reunite with Beth. Act one was the scene setting and ended when he found his mom in D.C. Act two was the journey across America and sailing across the pacific. Act three should be the reunion in Australia.

But it's clear BKV is not ready to draw his other arcs to a close. First, while Yorick's journey seems well developed and ready for denouement, his relationship with Beth and her journey are underdeveloped. Second, the global story about the plague is plodding along and there's no sense of motion or development, so a resolution would feel unearned. Finally, the ultimate antagonist hasn't been fully established; we've seen a lot of episodic obstacles, but the ebb and flow of yet another band of baddies has not developed to something that can be the final threat to overcome.

And of course, I know I'm only 3/10 of the way through. So my concerns is there's going to be a lot more episodic meandering dragging out Yorick's story for too long.

Another issue is that BKV has lost my trust as a reader that he knows what he's writing about. There have been several times when I could tell the fiction was not based on actual knowledge of the topic. For example, the submarine is driving me crazy. I've only seen a handful of real subs, but I don't think there's a single sub in the world that's as spacious and large as what we're seeing here. Submarines are like prison cells or airplanes: just enough room to stand up and turn around. If you gotta get past someone in the aisle, they have to squeeze out of the way. In these panels, characters are standing three-abreast and waving around long-guns and friggin' swords. After the ship goes down, they rescue about 10 sailors and put them in a sick bay where Mann is shown treating them--submarines don't have space for an additional ten people and a separate room for a sick bay that can hold all of them. That's ridiculous.

Flaws like that make me lose trust as a reader that the writer knows what he's talking about. That lack of trust becomes acute when I read his representations of other cultures and religions. I don't know anything about aboriginal culture, but when I read about it here, it seems like a caricature. I probably wouldn't have been quite as skeptical if I hadn't already spotted BKV writing about something he doesn't know about (submarines). But he's lost my trust as a reader. Since we're about to go to Australia and then Japan, I'm on high alert for stereotypes and cliches.

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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Anna Raven » 13 Oct 2017, 15:02

To be fair, what you are talking about with the submarine is probably mostly on the artist, not the writer. I'd have to go back and read those issues, but generally a comic script isn't going to go into such detail to say things like "Yorick squeezes by 355 down a tiny corridor". That's up to the artist to do their research and get those details right.

Personally I just chalk that kind of stuff up to artistic licence usually. It has to be extremely glaring for it to bother me.
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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Blackcyclops » 13 Oct 2017, 15:05

Anna Raven wrote:
13 Oct 2017, 15:02
To be fair, what you are talking about with the submarine is probably mostly on the artist, not the writer. I'd have to go back and read those issues, but generally a comic script isn't going to go into such detail to say things like "Yorick squeezes by 355 down a tiny corridor". That's up to the artist to do their research and get those details right.

Personally I just chalk that kind of stuff up to artistic licence usually. It has to be extremely glaring for it to bother me.

Yeah I feel the same...that’s not an instance I’d take to distrust a writer.
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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Nu-D » 13 Oct 2017, 15:18

Anna Raven wrote:
13 Oct 2017, 15:02
To be fair, what you are talking about with the submarine is probably mostly on the artist, not the writer. I'd have to go back and read those issues, but generally a comic script isn't going to go into such detail to say things like "Yorick squeezes by 355 down a tiny corridor". That's up to the artist to do their research and get those details right.

Personally I just chalk that kind of stuff up to artistic licence usually. It has to be extremely glaring for it to bother me.
Yeah, I thought of that, but it seemed like there were plot elements that required the artist to treat the submarine like a spacious ship, rather than super-tight quarters. Taking on 10 wounded sailors, for example, and having a sick bay spacious enough for them all.

On the other hand, after I posted a googled around and there are definitely submarines bigger and more spacious than I've seen IRL, so maybe I'm the one who's wrong. There are some that can handle a crew of 160 people or so, so I guess it might be realistic to have space for ten people in sick bay.

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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Nu-D » 16 Oct 2017, 19:02

Soo, revised opinion:

I've finished Y: The Last Man, and it's quite good. Because I was buying the kindle editions I didn't realize I was getting the deluxe books (10-issues each), instead of the TPBs (5 issues each). So I was a lot farther into the story than I realized.

And BKV did pull it off. The arcs were well developed and defined, with a good beginning-middle-end (and epilogue). I could have done with a little happier ending for one or several of our protagonists. And I do think there was not enough focus on some of the secondary characters (Hero, Beth 1) in the early stages. But I also think this will all benefit from a re-read where I can focus less on plot, and more on some of the characters stories.

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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Anna Raven » 16 Oct 2017, 23:02

BKV is by far my favorite writer. I know sometimes he meanders, but the journey is just so darn good I rarely care about getting to the end. I recommend Ex Machina if you're ready for some more BKV goodness.
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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Nu-D » 17 Oct 2017, 11:14

Anna Raven wrote:
16 Oct 2017, 23:02
BKV is by far my favorite writer. I know sometimes he meanders, but the journey is just so darn good I rarely care about getting to the end. I recommend Ex Machina if you're ready for some more BKV goodness.
Thanks for the suggestion. Bought v.1 last night but then ended up watching Arrow and Flash.

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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Anna Raven » 17 Oct 2017, 14:36

Nu-D wrote:
17 Oct 2017, 11:14
Anna Raven wrote:
16 Oct 2017, 23:02
BKV is by far my favorite writer. I know sometimes he meanders, but the journey is just so darn good I rarely care about getting to the end. I recommend Ex Machina if you're ready for some more BKV goodness.
Thanks for the suggestion. Bought v.1 last night but then ended up watching Arrow and Flash.

Nice, you'll need to post to let me know how you like it.
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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Magnus » 09 Nov 2017, 07:26

That reminds me, I keep intending to go back and re-read Ex Machina. I loved Y: The Last Man and his Runaways stuff, and liked Saga (though I'm a few trades behind), but I just remember Ex Machina starting strong but getting really confusing at the end. I'd like to give it a fresh read with older eyes (and without a month between issues), now if I could only find where they are...

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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Nu-D » 09 Dec 2017, 00:44

Anna Raven wrote:
17 Oct 2017, 14:36
Nu-D wrote:
17 Oct 2017, 11:14
Anna Raven wrote:
16 Oct 2017, 23:02
BKV is by far my favorite writer. I know sometimes he meanders, but the journey is just so darn good I rarely care about getting to the end. I recommend Ex Machina if you're ready for some more BKV goodness.
Thanks for the suggestion. Bought v.1 last night but then ended up watching Arrow and Flash.

Nice, you'll need to post to let me know how you like it.
I’ve read two volumes. It’s pretty good. It’s clearly an immature work, and it’s pretty dated. For example, he wants to seem like his characters are edgy, so he uses a lot of profanity. That’s a pretty immature tic for a writer to use. The particular profanity he uses a lot—“faggot”—reveals how dated the work is. That was edgy-offensive 15 years ago; today it’s just offensive.

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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Anna Raven » 09 Dec 2017, 00:48

Oh man, I didn't remember that at all haha. Attempts to be edgy really just don't faze me, I curse more in my head than most comics. And I don't remember the tone of the book being anti-homosexual, but again it's been a while since I read it.
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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Nu-D » 09 Dec 2017, 02:47

Anna Raven wrote:
09 Dec 2017, 00:48
Oh man, I didn't remember that at all haha. Attempts to be edgy really just don't faze me, I curse more in my head than most comics. And I don't remember the tone of the book being anti-homosexual, but again it's been a while since I read it.
Oh, it’s not anti-homosexual. The epithet is used in neutral ways. But it’s mere use just seems outdated.

There are other aspects that are dated too. Some of the politics seem like reasonable extrapolations from 2002, but in hindsight are not quite right even for an alt-u.

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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by Anna Raven » 09 Dec 2017, 03:52

Oh well, not everything ages great I guess.
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Re: What Books Outside of Marvel Are You Reading?

Post by tokenBG1009 » 09 Dec 2017, 19:58

I wouldn't argue it's a bad thing either. Some books are just that way. For instance, Saga, coincidentally also by BKV, starts off with a woman screaming "AM I SHITTING!?"

I think he just likes profanity.
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