Monday, February 6, 2012

5 Good Books To Read - Comic Books

1. Midnight Nation by J. M. Straczynski

To show my point, let's start with Midnight Nation, a dark and a bit religious comic book describing "the other world," a place where all forgotten and abandoned people and things go.

A police lieutenant David Grey starts to investigate what appears to be a flustering murder and ends up rather differently than he anticipated - trapped in a shadow world and faced with a challenge to fight for his own soul.

David receives a guide named Laurel, he eventually falls in love with her and this act alone will set him off of all his predecessors. After overcoming multiple tests, Grey resents the usual course of action offered by The Other Guy (the Devil) and sacrifices his own soul to prove that hope still exists.

Midnight Nation is an excellent comic book and you don't really need to be religious to enjoy it.

2. From Hell by A. Moore & E. Campbell

Jack the Ripper is famous worldwide for his murders. From Hell offers a different perspective on this whole case, combining imagination and facts from the real world.

Royal prince Albert Victor marries a woman from East End in London and fathers a child. They are separated after Queen Victoria finds out and actions are being taken to sweep this matter and its follow-ups (such as group of prostitutes blackmailing the Crown in exchange for protection) aside.

A highly ranked Freemason named Gull gets involved and as time moves on, gives birth to the famous Jack the Ripper with previously unseen brutality and bestiality of his murders - but the whole matter is still being covered up to protect the interests of the royal family.

Authors very well combine their own ideas with historical facts and have produced a marvelous comic book, that will make you read and read until you're finished - and you'll spend a plenty of time thinking when that happens.

3. The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by N. Gaiman

Chances are you already know the famous American novelist Neil Gaiman, say because of American Gods or Stardust. Gaiman is extremely good in mixing various genres, creating unusual heroes and what's most important right now, he is also good in writing comics.

Have you ever wanted to be immortal? Living up to the end of Earth, maybe seeing the Sun eating up our planet... and so an enchanter named Burgess tries to capture Death and live forever. By his mistake, he however captures Dream instead.

After decades of imprisonment, Dream manages to finally escape his captor (Burgess' son at the time) and hop on a quest to seek his lost items of power. He encounters the Justice League, John Constantine the Hellblazer and even Lucifer himself.

Well, what can I tell you? If you want to imagine Death as a pragmatic, goth girl, you are going to be more than satisfied.

Ok, seriously, Gaiman has once again done a wonderful job with creating a weird world and will push your imagination to the limit over and over again until you drop off - and you will still dream about it anyway.

4. Garfield by J. Davis

Let's switch to a less serious note, shall we? I bet you've already heard about a fat, lazy and sybaritic cat named Garfield, often accompanied by a human named Jon and a dog called Odie.

Garfield is especially known for his laziness, the only thing that will get him moving is, well, a rich lunch or something. Another common attribute of Garfield's comics is the very short story line, most usually just 3 pictures.

The stories vary greatly - you can find the heroes at the sea, in their home, at the vet; eating, lying, having a phone call; being bored, watching TV... pretty much anything you can come up with.

Garfield also had several film adaptations and it is very safe to say that he and his friends can provide quality entertainment.

5. Asterix by R. Goscinny

There was a time when the Roman Empire was vast and no one could challenge the mighty Roman Legions - expect a small Galian village in the Armorica province. Again, I'm sure you are familiar with the stories featuring Asterix, Obelix, a-lot-of-fancy-names-ending-with-ix and a magic potion.

It is the same genre as Garfield - fun. The main characters often travel outside the major theme, e.g. visit Egypt and deal with Cleopatra. At all times they keep up their high spirit, sense for goodness and Obelix also tend to be a little bit, shall we say, simpler.

The fame of Asterix and his fellow Galls may be indicated by the fact that the first French satellite ever launched was named after him - Astérix-1.


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