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Published on April 7th, 2009 | by Darren Byrne


Comics for the Noob

WatchmenAll the furore over the release of a movie based on “the greatest comic of all time” had me worried I might have been missing out on something. So, the week before the Watchmen premiere I started reading the graphic novel.

Once I had learned to slow down and appreciate the artwork and not just the dialogue and exposition, I was hooked. I finished it on the morning of the film’s release and rather than ruin the movie for me, it enhanced it. It added so much. The comic was as rich , complex and intricately woven as any great novel I had read. It was a thriller that had me dart through the pages to discover the story, but then made me want to reread it immediately to appreciate the intricate universe it was creating.

V for VendettaOnce I had finished, I had no idea where to turn next in my burgeoning love for the comic book. A friend of mine tried to introduce me to comics back in school with X-Men and Wolverine. While I didn’t get hooked back then, I thought now might be a good time to revisit the mutant stories. I also thought of looking for more of Alan Moore’s work. I loved Watchmen so much that it seemed logical I should try The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta or From Hell.

The Walking DeadThen Anthony (Do You Know Anto?) introduced me to The Walking Dead, a set of graphic novels based around zombies. No, that’s not exactly true. The story is based around one man and his struggle to protect his family in a post-George Romero, Dawn of the Dead world. The human condition is examined, rather than the battle with the undead. The comics look at how people deal with life when pushed to their breaking point and beyond.

It’s been an amazing journey and though I’m still dreaming of zombies (I kid you not), I have run out of books. So, any recommendations as to what I shoudl read next? X-Men, Superman, Batman? Perhaps I should finally attack Lottie’s Sandman comics (yep, she’s a comic book geek – you heard it here first). Where do I head next?

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About the Author

Blogger, writer, movie buff, amateur dramatist and all round nice guy. When I'm not spouting about on Culch.ie, I can be found Tweeting inanities @DarrenByrne or @Culch_ie. I am the admin behind Culch.ie and if you want to contact me for anything, drop me a mail.

7 Responses to Comics for the Noob

  1. Allan says:

    So noob you’ve got the Smiley the wrong way ’round. 🙂

  2. Seanbluey says:

    Yeah what the hell’s with the anti-watchmen smiley eh??? Just kidding I won’t berate you for that….I must remember I am an Enthusiast, not a Fanboy…

    Anywho yes, definitely check out Sandman. I read the first volume ya got me, and it’s brill!! Also check out Preacher. It’s written by an irish guy and has this hilariously psycho irish-vampire in it….just very well written and drawn.

  3. Yes go for Sandman. It’s brill. Also old Judge Dredd or other 2000AD strips. Check out Slaine for a tilt at Irish leg-ends

  4. Darren Byrne says:

    @Allan @Sean Happy now? I’ve added a snazzy mouseover effect. 🙂

    @Emerging I’ll start Sandman this week. I’ve not heard of Slaine, but I’ve picked up Freakshow, which is Irish produced. Are their many Irish comics?

  5. Mark says:

    Sandman is excellent and should most defiantly be read. Although it should be noted that the first collection takes a while to hit it’s stride.

    Y: The Last Man is also excellent and benefits from being completed.

    The Scott Pilgrim books are great fun and full of geeky goodness.

    For more traditional comic book characters check out Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men (Gifted, Dangerous, Torn, Unstoppable) work and Frank Miller’s Batman work (Batman: Year One, Batman: Dark Knight Returns). You can also pick up a collection of Alan Moore’s work for DC (DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore TPB) which includes some famous works such as Superman’s Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? and Batman’s The Killing Joke.

    And for those interested in the brilliant The Walking Dead you can read the first issue online


  6. Allan says:

    Now it looks like it’s got wipers!

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