I was clearing out the back bedroom to make way for our kitchen furniture (floor sanding later in the week) and I discovered under the bed my stash of comics/graphic novels.
Some of these are comics I either grew up with or others that took advantage of my love for a certain genre or franchise.
As a fan of horror fiction and a fan of Clive Barker I had to invest time in the world of Hellraiser. I was a fan (though only a few) of the films so that was easy. Dread was an extension of that sort of universe.
Alien is up there with John Carpenter‘s ‘The Thing‘ on my all-time-great horror movie list, I won’t mention that shitty mistake of a 2011 ‘The Thing’ prequel in case I break the swear-barrier even though I just did.
Aliens was a bit silly which I grew to dislike over time but I actually really liked Alien 3 though flawed due to its production woes. Don’t tell anyone … I also really liked Prometheus too but I’d like to see a Directors cut if it gets released.
Ridley Scott did briefly mention a directors cut when talking about the film and a Blade Runner sequel somewhere in a video on YouTube.
Anyway, the comics were a bit silly too because they mainly followed the Aliens film’s modus operandi but they tried to expand on the universe which was nice.
I liked the Aliens vs Predator comics and thought, like many others did I’m sure, that an AVP film would be great. How wrong I was. The money grabbing bastards just took a giant franchise shit on our heads.
Jon J Muth was another excellent artist that I followed, he often used watercolour in his books which was quite refreshing. I’ve no idea what these comics are about because I never read them. I bought them purely as art books.
Dave McKean was another inspirational artist I followed and, yet again, I didn’t really read these comics either. I primarily bought them for the artwork. Dave Mckean went on to make a film and even kids books with his many styles including that photomontage method he often used. His Arkham Asylum book is legendary. I wonder where my copy is …?
Though these two are unrelated they were both are a visual treat and interesting to read. The New Statesman if I remember right was about flawed politico superheroes and Enemy Ace was like a treatise on war and was visually stunning thanks to the brilliant artwork by the writer George Pratt.
Akira. You can throw that into any conversation about Anime or comics and immediately gain 1000 points. It’s simply awesome. Visually stunning and not just the artwork by Katsuhiro Otomo but also in its vision. The highly celebrated animated film, and at the time a high benchmark of quality in Japanese Anime, is equally stunning in its visuals and vision. I only had about 5 or 6 volumes and a few of the smaller books but they’re amazing.
Crying Freeman, the Chinese assassin that cries after each kill was always a great read and beautifully and technically well drawn.
Although I haven’t photographed it here, because it’s gone AWOL, the Lone Wolf and Cub books are also fantastic. Goseki Kojima‘s artwork alone is worth checking out and the books are great too.
Skipping over to the dark side for a moment, these books are pretty dark bordering on offensive and starred a favourite surreal artist/writer Rick Grimes. I got these guys form artist friend Colin Dunbar.
Rick Grimes was a stand-out for his short story about syrup and eggs – two guys discuss how they will maim the other if one put syrup in their eggs. I had to find more: “GLYCEROUS AQUARIUM FOOTSTOOL“, “BREATHING IS FOR SISSIES“.
This was the ultimate experience for me at the time for surreal comic book artwork. ‘The Biologic Show‘ by Al Columbia is just intense. I’d seen his work in a wee book called ‘Bone Saw’ but to find this was simply unbelievable. One of the stories is about a guy who commits suicide to search for his girlfriend only to find she’d ‘moved on’ and that the afterlife wasn’t the party he thought it was.
That’ll do for now I guess. One day I hope to have the time to pour through all these comics again.