Monday, May 9, 2011

Jumpin' Genres!!

Doug: I think I can truthfully state that all of us around these parts love super-heroes. Whether it's Silver Age or Bronze Age, and even up to some books today (although I can't say that any more), we've had a running affair with the longjohn crowd. However, today's question asks you -- what other types of comic books do you enjoy?

Are you a fan of funny animal comics, like Disney or Looney Tunes? Or maybe books like

Do you like the teen humor mags like the Archie stable?

Were you into some of the earliest Independent comics like
Cerebus, Concrete, or Love and Rockets?

Are there any R. Crumb fans out there?

Are you a fan of sci-fi?

How about sword-and-sorcery books?

Let us know -- talk about some of your favorites, and convince us to give something outside the Marvel and DC Universes a try!


Rip Jagger said...

I'm a huge Charlton fan, so it goes without saying that genre books are big part of that. Charlton at some points in time during the Bronze Age seemed to be the only house that was producing full-blown genre books in the classic ghost, war, and especially romance areas.

Marvel was overwhelmed with superheroes and DC often tried to disguise their genre heroes as superheroes.

The one genre of the Bronze Age that really blossomed though would have to be the Sword and Sorcery genre. The Barbarians, thanks to Conan's success were all over the place.

If I had to pick a genre other than superheroes that speaks to me, it would be the S&S stuff.

Rip Off

david_b said...

Great question..:

Being once a huge fan of TV/film sci-fi, I tried adaptations and even original material in comics in the 70s/80s, but typically, as far as comics go, I kept with the super-heroes.

I was never a Drac fan, but I would like to pick up the Frankenstein mags some day, just to see how they approached the characters.

I see the rise of S&S stuff as a huge milestone for the Bronze age, and wouldn't mind picking up a few for some super covers, but for the same investment, I'd typically look towards more VF-rated Silver Age.

J.A. Morris said...

I'll start by saying 'Love & Rockets' is easily my favorite series that wasn't published by Marvel or DC. Especially Jaime's Locas/Hoppers stories. The Palomar stuff is very good too, just too depressing for me to revisit too many times.

As for Marvel's non-superheroes, I enjoy Howard the Duck(70s version,natch) and Tomb of Dracula. I had a few Killraven stories too,they were pretty good. Never got into Conan/Kull, except for an issue or two. I loved the Claremont/Golden/Byrne/Austin issues of Star Lord.
I thought The 'Nam was a good series for the first year or so, until it became a joke and they had a guest spot by Frank "The Punisher" Castle.

In DC I've read some Sandman and liked it. My wife has the entire set of tpbs, so I'll tackle the rest eventually. I never got into DC's war comics, but I do find stuff like 'Jeb Stuart & The Haunted Tank' to be unintentionally funny.
The main time I read Funny Animal/Horror/Humor comics is during the Holidays. In recent years,I've become sort of a connoisseur of comic stories that focus on Christmas,Halloween and other holidays. I've gotten quite a few holiday-themed Archie & Looney Tunes comics in recent years. And I liked Captain Carrot back in the 80s, haven't read the recent series.

joe bloke said...

my all-time favourite series is probably Howard the Duck, but I'm not really sure what genre we fit that one in. can't say I have any particular favourite genre, as such, but I have loved, and still love, western ( Bat Lash & El Diablo ), war ( Enemy Ace ), horror ( DC's mystery titles ), and Crime ( particularly the old EC titles ). Sword and Sorcery was kinda lost on me, I was never a great fan of Conan and his ilk. Oh, yeah! and out-and-out sci-fi comics, like the Marvel original Planet of the Apes stories and the Chris Claremont/John Byrne StarLord.

so, yeah, in brief: I'll pretty much embrace ANY comics genre, providing it's done well.

Edo Bosnar said...

I had an Archie and funny animal phase from about the 3rd to 5th grades - Archie I've never really looked at again, although occasionally it's nice to re-read some of those classic Duck (Donald or Scrooge) stories by Barks. More recently, Don Rosa has also done a nice job on the various Disney ducks.
I like any genre in comics, SF, crime, horror, Western, etc. provided, like joe bloke noted, that it's done well. Ironically, I pretty much only like to read sword & sorcery in comics now - I say ironically, because it was stuff like Conan comics that served as a gateway to their counterpart prose books when I was a kid. The same for anything by Burroughs: I still like to read Tarzan or John Carter comics, but no longer like to read the original books.
Other stuff I like includes Love & Rockets (can't decide which are better, Jaime's Locas or Gilbert's Palomar),Asterix (but only the ones scripted by Goscinny), any number of things done by Joann Sfar, ditto for Will Eisner, Spiegelman's Maus, etc. Robert Crumb I can take in small doses, and I occasionally enjoy reading Shelton's various Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers and Fat Freddy's Cat. Then there's Jeff Smith's Bone, and geez the list could go on...

david_b said...

Ah, didn't think about ol' Howard.. I liked the Gene Colan art quite a bit, in addition to the humor and off-beat stories.

I'd consider it a 'guilty pleasure', when my other favorite titles didn't seem to excite me much. Howard would be probably the only title I semi-regularly collected.

Terence Stewart said...

Good question!

Like others here, I loved Howard The Duck growing up (and I've just started reading the whole Gerber run again). It was probably the most 'Underground' of Marvel's 70s comics, and it was my first experience of a creator being his most personal.

In the mid to late 80s I started experimenting with many other genres and styles; Love & Rockets, Beanworld, Elfquest (though not for too long). Ms. Tree - I'm just listing a few titles I can think off right now, and though I enjoyed many of them at the time, I'm a capes and powers person through and through so they never really took.

I sometimes venture into other genres now, but I don't have any particular love for 'em.

starfoxxx said...

Nah, just super-hero comics for me.

i'm actually trying to sell/trade/get rid of the non-superhero comics i have aquired over the years (mostly from relatives who thought I would like ANY comic book).

I also love the original Star Wars movies, but never got into the comics, for some reason. I did buy a lot of GIJoe comics as a kid, though.

I DID love a weird series from the early 90s called BEAUTIFUL STORIES FOR UGLY CHILDREN. Anyone remember that?

jefsview said...

Whn I began, I was all about the superhero, occasionally sampling the Marvel Western reprints. I did like Master of Kung-Fu color comic.

Even though I loved Universal monsters, I never really bought many of the Werewolf by Night or TOD, until later. Probably due to the irregularities of newstand distribution, and small allowences. Had to save money for the annuals and tabloid editions.

I never much cared for Howard the Duck when I was a kid; I did have a few, but it didn't thrill me as much as Man-thing.

I tended to try and read as many different things as possible, and I did have quite a few Archies and toon characters, but wasn't a fan of Disney comics.

Later on, one of my cousins had a received a huge amount of comics from a neighbor, and most of those were DC war, westerns and weird series. I read then and really got hooked on Jonah Hex, Scalphunter, Phantom Stranger, Rose and Thorn, Black Orchid, etc.

Late in the Bronze Age, I bought everything from Pacific and First Comics, and still have a huge devotion to Grimjack. I also enjoyed the PC Horror and Sci-fi Anthologies written by Bruce Jones, who also scripted the BEST Ka-Zar series ever for Marvel.

Even though I sampled every genre at the time, due to distribution it took years before I used a subscription service to get everything I really liked.

While always eclectic, I really nevr had full runs of most series.

Karen said...

Some interesting picks here. I'm like a lot of you -genre is less important to me than just a good story. I can read (or watch shows) in almost any genre if it grabs me.

At Marvel and DC I was mostly focused on super-heroes, but also enjoyed some horror, science fiction, and sword and sorcery titles. Outside of the big two, I think Elfquest was the first such book I tried. Love and Rockets was a big favorite for some time. I read 2000AD for quite awhile and Nexus as well.

I find now though that pretty much all my nostalgia is focused squarely on the Marvel and DC books of my early years.


Inkstained Wretch said...

Like Jefsview, I collected Grimjack back in the day. It had the coolest premise: What if Keith Richards had become a mercenary in a sci-fi distopia?

I also collected Jim Starlin's Dreadstar, although I suppose you could make the case that that was a superhero comic in a sci-fi setting.

My favorite non-superhero comic by far was Sergio Aragones's Groo the Wanderer. It was wonderfully witty and clever with great, great art. His style was pure cartoon, but wonderfully detailed and Groo was just such a loveable moron ...

Redartz said...

As Joe Bloke said, I'll go for almost any genre if it makes for a good read.

I love Barks Ducks, and recommend the current work being done by Boom!.

Science fiction is another attraction; DC's 1980 revival of Mystery in Space was enjoyable. Actually, many of DC's genre titles have appeal; House of Mystery / Secrets for example. I've recently gotten hooked on Enemy Ace; wonderful Kubert artwork.

Being rather eclectic, I still pick up the occasional Archie title; especially Life With Archie and Betty and Veronica. Perhaps my favorite humor book is Sugar and Spike ( granted, a silver age run but Sheldon Mayer was a genius!).

As for independents, many great ones have been mentioned already. Would like to add Journey, American Flagg!, Raw,and Mister X.

Finally, Will Eisner has put out many incredible stories and graphic novels. Anything he touched is worth reading...

Fred W. Hill said...

As for non-superhero stuff at Marvel, my favorites were Man-Thing, Howard the Duck, Tomb of Dracula and Master of Kung Fu. During my early adulthood in the '80s, I gradually branched out quite a bit, getting into Alan Moore's Swamp Thing; Cerebus; reprints of EC Comics, including a large, hardback edition of Mad's entire comicbook run; Pacific Comics various anthologies in the style of the old EC's. Neil Gaiman's Sandman was one of the last titles I mostly collected in single issues, aside from a few issues of Too Much Coffee Man. I also got quite a few undergrounds, including most of the run of Zap Comix as well as a several of Gilbert Shelton's Rip Off Press, and several Robert Crumb collections. By the late 90s, I also got into Love & Rockets and Harvey Pekar's American Splendor. That was when I lived in New London, CT, and there were several comics stores around that had really excellent selections, far more so than Jacksonville, FL, where I've resided since 1999.
So, yeah, although I was mostly a Marvel superhero junkie in my misspent youth, I expanded into the harder stuff in my later years.

Anonymous said...

I really loved Tintin when I was a kid. You can still enjoy them as an adult on 2 new levels: one is that you understand all the political & historical references so much better and the other is that you appreciate the imagination Herge had. Destination Moon anticipates so many of the real details of space flight about 20 years before it happened, at a time when sci fi was totally fantasist.

Likewise, Asterix is great fun and the characters are modelled on real people, so there is whole political/social commentary going on on a visual as well as written level.

As a kid, I liked Shang Chi. I really didn’t like Tomb of Dracula. It seemed wrong to me that people were actually getting killed in children’s comics. It happened very occasionally in super hero comics, but it was always a big big deal. In Dracula, people got their throats ripped out every other page, which, as a child, upset me on a level I struggle to explain. I think it was the context of seeing it in a comic. War comics never bothered me, but then you don’t really see people actually getting killed up close and personal in war comics. Or you didn’t then.

My favourite non-super hero stuff would be Alan Moore. I’d argue that Watchmen & V are not really superhero comics and I thought From Hell was excellent, especially all the verbiage and supporting notes at the back.


Fred W. Hill said...

Hi, Richard, I loved From Hell too, and got those mostly as they came out (or as I found them in the shops in New London in 1987-8). I also got several of his ABC titles, but in the collected formats.
As for Dracula, well it was a horror title staring a really nasty character, and it would have been really dopey if Drac never killed anyone. Definitely more of an "adult" comic than the typical four-color fare of the '70s. Marv Wolfman did some of his best writing on the title, managing to balance the focus between the bloodthirsty Dracula and the crew trying to take him down. I think it was fitting that the series did come to what I felt was a satisfying close, with Dracula apparently done in for good, however long that lasted. I never got the successor magazine.

William said...

I always pretty much stuck with super heroes. Most non-super hero books I tried to read just couldn't hold my attention. There are a few exceptions however. For instance I loved the early issues of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", and I really liked the original "Mage" series by Matt Wagner. I also had a couple of the "Elf-Quest" trades as well, but I thought it got boring and I didn't stick with that very long.

I knew a lot of people that were into books like "Love & Rockets", "Concrete", "Cerebus" and "Strangers In Paradise". But I just couldn't see the appeal and never got into them myself.

Comic books just seem tailor made for super heroes.

Anonymous said...

Barks' Donald Duck, Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse, Andy Runton's Owly.

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