Sorry to say this, but comic books and graphic novels are as integral and important an aspect of geek culture as video games and sci fi movies (or long-winded high fantasy books). You may call yourself a geek, but if you have not experienced these five insane and awesome graphic novels for yourself, in my opinion, you are only partially a geek. A FULL geek knows that comics are a huge part of our culture, and were essential in forming us into antisocial dreamers we are today. Though everyone may know Batman and Superman and the X-Men, there is much more to comics and graphic novels than just dudes who wear spandex and fight bad guys (though not to undermine, that is a HUGE aspect of it). Here are 5 graphic novels you all have no excuse for not reading, as they will make you better at being a geek.
With the holiday season in full swing, you might be wondering what to give to friends for Christmas. Even as we take pride in being a website for geeks, allow us to suggest a few graphic novels for you that your friends will surely appreciate (whether they be geeky or not).
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons turned the comics world upside down in 1986 with this critique on the entire superhero genre. It was violent, graphic, and confrontational, words that at that time, no one had associated with comics. Introducing a dysfunctional team of characters including the god-like Dr. Manhattan, the psychotic Comedian, the insecure Nite-Owl, the seductive Silk Spectre, the self-righteous Ozymandias, and the paranoid Rorshach, not even the 2009 film has taken the sheen off this classic. You can purchase Watchmen here.
Though we now live in a world where most blockbuster films have origins in comics, this wasn’t the case in the late 1980s. Back then, the word “comics” was associated with superheroes, kid stuff, or daily strips in newspapers. When Neil Gaiman created his landmark Sandman series that ran from 1989-1996, he helped open the floodgates for comics to be appreciated by more adults and, subsequently, mainstream society. Revolving around Dream of the Endless, the title character who rules over the world of dreams, Gaiman covered a wide range of literary genres and subjects as Dream (or Morpheus) dealt with characters both real and fictional.There are several versions of the Sandman books for you to choose from.”
3. The Dark Knight Returns
Imagine an older Bruce Wayne, retired, and not dressing up as a giant bat anymore. Imagine him being lured back into action in a Gotham City that is run by mutants and criminals. Now imagine Batman facing off against a Superman who’s become a stooge of the US Government. Writer/artist Frank Miller crafted this story of an aging Dark Knight, he dealt with Bruce Wayne’s mortality in the face of even more blatant criminality in the streets as well as a government that turns a blind eye to it. Nearly three decades since it was first published, The Dark Knight Returns continues to be a favorite story for Batman-fans of all ages. Batman deserves a worthy place in your geeky friends’ libraries.
4. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Right on time for the 2014 release of the film based on this story, this collaboration by Chris Claremont and John Byrne helped set the tone for all time travel stories that followed. In a bleak future where mutants and heroes are hunted down by giant robots known as Sentinels, the X-Man Kate Pryde transfers her mind to her younger self, the present-day Kitty Pryde. In doing so, Kitty needs to convince the X-Men to help her prevent a pivotal event that would trigger the dystopian future that the older Kate had barely survived. Originally published as Uncanny X-Men # 141 and 142 in 1980, this, together with “The Dark Phoenix Saga” also from Claremont and Byrne, made Marvel’s merry mutants into comic superstars as they embodied the persecuted and downtrodden minority that strove to overcome overwhelming adversity.Give the gift of the X-Men’s doomed future here.
5. Fables: Legends in Exile
What would our individual childhoods be like without fairy tales? These fantastic tales about beautiful princesses, magical beasts, evil witches, and forgotten realms are prevalent in every culture and have often allowed parents to teach a moral story or two to their children. Picture then a town, hidden from prying eyes but right in New York, where these characters and creatures all lived together as neighbors after they relocated from their original homeland. Writer Bill Willingham and the excellent artists he’s tapped (including James Jean, Mark Buckingham, Shawn McManus, and Steve Leialoha) brought all these elements together in an award-winning series that predates any current TV series or movies with similar concepts. “Legends in Exile” is the first of these editions and serves as a great starting point for any would-be reader. Bring your childhood fairy tales to modern life by buying this collection.
There are, of course, many other graphic novels in the market with their own great stories just waiting for you to read and share. We’ve even got ideas on what other stuff you can give right here: Gift Ideas for the Geek In your Life.
The Avengers is the movie of the year, one of the biggest hits of all time, and now a huge bestseller on home video. Check out how some fans celebrate their love of The Avengers and other geeky franchises. [Read more…]
Zack Snyder‘s stylish adaptation of the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons graphic novel has certainly taken a long time to reach the silver screen. Has it been worth the wait though? Oh yes. The film follows closely to the graphic novel, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have appeal to those who don’t know the story – it does.
Set in a very different version of the 1980s to our own, relations between America and the Soviet Union are reaching fever pitch. This culminates in a very real potential of nuclear attack. Nixon takes a historic third term in the White House, whilst costumed heroes remain a part of society – albeit an outlawed one thanks to the Keene Act – which makes their very existence illegal.
In this extremely charged climate, the Doomsday Clock creeps ever closer to demonstrating the threat of nuclear war. In this backdrop, a masked crime fighter investigates the death of a former hero which leads to the discovery of a huge conspiracy that has far-reaching consequences for the whole of mankind.
Imagine the Watchmen and Futurama mashed up. Stop imagining it, here’s the vid.
The first trailer of Alan Moore’s Tales of the ‘Black Freighter’ has been exclusively released at MTV.com.
Set for a release on March 24th on DVD, the Watchmen subplot “Under The Hood” is the recreation of the autobiographical film about the Original Night Owl, Hollis Mason.
‘Tales of the Black Freighter’ is written by Alan Moore, author of The Watchmen.
Watch the trailer below the jump.
It seems that every year more and more comic books and graphic novels are making the passage from the page to the big screen. Hollywood has cottoned on that not only are these art forms quite often full of great stories but they come complete with an already made fan base who will flock to the silver screen to see their heroes brought to life.
It is with this passion in mind that Ive pulled together a list of forthcoming (and in one case now out) movies that originated in a comic book or graphic novel.
Punisher: War Zone
The only film in this entire listing that is now available for viewing (it was only released here in the UK on Friday); its safe to say that unless youre a die-hard fan then you are probably going to be okay about missing this. It isnt to say that Ray Stevenson does a bad job at being Frank Castle or that jigsaw doesnt look cool, but the action is fairly derivative and to be honest I preferred Thomas Janes outing as the man with the black t-shirt featuring the white skull motif.