Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bracketology: Round One, Part Two

Doug:  Welcome back to our voting -- this time on the right side of the bracket!  We had a lot of fun running through the first 16 match-ups, and I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that this week we'll have the same outcome.  So check 'em out (if you haven't already -- the new polls went live late last night) and be sure to cast that vote before Wednesday evening. Updated brackets are below, in case you're just coming to our fun.

Doug:  Last week in the comments section, we asked you to comment on stories you wished that you'd have suggested.  Today we'd like to know the following --

If you were going to recommend one Essentials, Masterworks, Archives, Showcase Presents, or trade paperback, which one would it be?  And only one -- which is the first book you'd offer or buy for a friend?




david_b said...

Which would I recommend..? If I had a LOT of dough, and he/she's a dear friend, the Marvel DVDs with the entire title collection.

Next best, and MUCH more reasonable..? The Masterworks series. Like someone said about comics being ultimately a visual media, some comics are superb only in b&w; most, you have to go with color, if as originally replicated as possible. Plus they always have super Forewords and closing thoughts by the creators, and original sketches..

'Course Omnibuses would be an even better way to go. I will of course provide my mailing address to any and all regulars feeling a bit generous this Christmas.

(.."never hurts to ask....")

Edo Bosnar said...

Wow, can't believe no one's taken the plunge on this topic yet. I saw the post early this morning (Central European time) but I was in a rush (work-related) so I didn't comment - thought there'd be about a dozen by this time.
Anyway, my answer to the question:
since you didn't specify to whom or for whom the recommendation/purchase of the collection is being made, I have a two-part response. 1) If it's for a non-comics fan, or someone who's mainly into European comics, it would have to be any of the editions that collects the entire Manhunter saga that we're voting on in the brackets (rather than the usual Watchmen that is usually recommended in such situations). I think that one has it all: great story, fantastic art - the whole package, which will appeal to those not generally used to American super-hero stories, and serve as a means to spark further interest in American super-hero comics (even though I'll admit it's not really typical of the genre).
2) If it's for a lapsed comic reader, esp. a fellow Bronze Ager, I suppose pretty much any phonebook reprinting stuff from the '70s through early '80s would do, but specifically: the Howard the Duck Essentials, or vol. 1 of Dark Horse's Savage Sword of Conan phonebooks - just to remind him/her of what it was we liked so much about the comics back then.

Edo Bosnar said...

Hmmm, I see david_b beat me to the punch. Oh, well.
I just wanted to say that I'd like to get in on his Christmas mailing list action, in case someone has an extra copy of the Simonson Thor Omnibus laying around...

Garett said...

Brave and Bold Showcase! For a casual or non-comic fan the art is realistic and understandable, the writing is not too cluttered and not too sparse/decompressed. Plus everyone knows Batman. Just right!

I'd have to pick #2 or #3...uh, I'll pick up both on half price day! ; )

humanbelly said...

OMG-- First of all, let me give a heartfelt shout-out to those kind other souls who bravely voted for Werewolf by Night. I was fully prepared to be the lone holder of that torch. Having never read the Great Darkness Saga, WWBN was able to take the point on my card by default. I'm touched to have a few other folks standin' with me-!

As far as the which-reprint-compilation question goes. . . I'd have to go with the original DARK PHOENIX SAGA TPB-- which was really one of the first mass-market offerings, IIRC. It's an absolutely fantastic run of a title that was in its artistic prime. It reads very well as a single-volume entity. It manages to capture that particularly "Marvel" trait of earlier years, where coming in in the middle of a story doesn't leave you lost, but rather lures you into wanting to learn more about the characters and their prior lives and circumstances. The art and clarity of the colors looks particularly grand in reprint. There are some interviews as well that give you a nice behind-the-scenes view of the process. I've not been an X-fan for many, many years-- but this is a collection that I would easily hand to someone to show them how good the medium is (was) capable of being.


Garett said...

Since not many posts today, I'll pick a runner up: new Justice League by Jim Lee, Geoff Johns. I just read the collection of first 6 issues--fun, and the characters seem more distinctive than in the bronze era.

Lee's art has grown more welcoming since his Image days, when it was impressive but too rigid. I'd read this every month if they could keep up this quality. It's like my B+B review--not too packed, not too sparse, just right comics!

pete doree said...

If you wanted to inspire a new fan, the team-up books would be the best way to go, so I'd say the 3rd volumes of Essential Team-Up & Brave & Bold Showcase.
Everybody knows Spidey & Bats, so it wouldn't be a hard sell, and the law of averages means our hypothetical new reader would find at least one character they'd be interested in and want to read more about.
After that; Manhunter, Essential X-Men 2, and then a real curveball like Tales Of The Zombie. a) It's a complete story and b)it'd be a lead in to how different & strange comics can get. Howard The Duck for the same reason.

J.A. Morris said...

What humanbelly said. The Dark Phoenix saga tpb is the way to go. Great story, gorgeous art,definitive era of the series.

Anonymous said...

If we’re choosing something that is specifically a TPB/graphic novel type thing....i.e. a comic book story presented as a proper grown up book, I’d go Alan Moore all the way. First choice: Watchmen, second choice: V for Vendetta, third choice: From Hell.
I think the movies make them more accessible to the non-cognoscenti. I thought the Watchmen movie took a fair swing at the nearly impossible, the V movie, which I think Moore disowned, I thought was actually better than the comic, and From Hell, well, the movie did no justice to the book, but then it couldn’t. The book is actually quite a scholarly work, especially if you read all the sources, bibliography and back up material at the end. To anyone who avoided the book based on the film.....don’t !


PS Doug, thanks again. I’m really enjoying the huge sweep of the Bracketology and I hope it goes on for weeks.....before we inevitably arrive at K/S vs DP! ( BTW, I never noticed before how the numbers harmonise: Avengers 89-97 vs Xmen 129 – 137, both ran nine issues from a nine to a seven).

Chris said...

If I was recommending a collection and just one to a brand new reader I would recommend Spider-man masterworks Vol 1. Classic stuff.

But I really wanted to say, my God, there are some tough choices on the votes this week!!!

I really struggled with the Thanos Vs Hobgoblin and Project Pegasus vs Dark Phoenix. Not to mention Laughing Fish vs Celestial Madonna.

All angonising choices whereas others I'd not read either so I wasn't inclined to vote.

Redartz said...

You are right, Chris. Spiderman Masterworks is a fine reocmmendation. Vol. 1 is full of classic intro's; one actually might consider Vol. 2 as well. Lee and Ditko were really on a roll! Mysterio, Green Goblin, Kraven, Doc Ock's return; what an incredible 10 issue run. Hard to think of another consecutive run of such quality stories.

You are also correct about this week's choices being very tough. Celestial Madonna vs. Laughing Fish- I voted a couple days ago and am still second-guessing myself...

humanbelly said...

Wow, rarely could a first-round elimination still feel like a victory. . . but 21 votes for WWBN in Marvel Spotlight?!? Who would ever have guessed-?

I wonder where Mike Ploog is now? His odd-but-moody tenure was far too short, IMO. . .


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