We at the Bad Genious love comics. We love to read them, collect them, talk about them, write about them, dream about them….and we love to share them. So your Friendly Neighborhood Editor asked BG writers, how would you pop a comic virgin’s cherry? Yes, she can be rather vulgar. But only when it’s totally uncalled for. Keeping in mind that different audiences require different choices, would the BG come up with some good suggestions, or would they just get up to their usual shenanigans?
Dan - I always find this question tough because I’ve been reading comics on and off since I knew how and reading them regularly since I was 12. So, I've pretty much grown up with them. In talking with Liana (your FNE) last night, I realized I don't really know what I'd give an adult who isn't familiar with comics. Things like art make a big impact on my ability to enjoy a comic, but would it have the same effect on someone who has no idea what "good" comic art is?
So, my wonderful wife (FNE’s note: she is totally wonderful) asked what I'd give my soon to be 15 year old cousin, who is into drawing and fantasy and is a totally sarcastic smart ass. For him, Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan immediately jumped to mind. It's got that wit and sarcasm my cousin has and is a great Be Yourself/Question Authority tale with a strong overarching story. I'd even be willing to let him pour over my collection of the 11 volume series except my aunt would totally flip if she read any of it. Maybe I’ll sneak it to him soon though anyway.
Then as my eyes floated across the two bookshelves of trades and graphic novels, I realized that Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim series would be an awesome first read for just about anyone. The stories about relationships and finding your way in a post-high school world are themes everyone can relate to. The added plotline of Scott’s ridiculous lovelife, including having to fight all of his new girlfriend’s exes Street Fighter vs. Capcom-style, adds a surreal sense of fun.
It’s short one this week, so your FNE will pad with a couple of her own picks. Also, she agrees that Scott Pilgrim is an awesome choice for pretty much any audience.
If you want to get a young lady or woman into comics, you can’t go wrong with Fables. Bill Willingham’s fresh new take on what happened after “happily ever after” is filled with familiar characters living high drama (love, magic, politics and even war) in modern-day New York City. Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, Boy Blue and more trying to bring down the evil Adversary is sure to captivate any audience.
Matt - Usually, I don't bring up the topic myself, I wait until the right circumstance comes along. For instance my friend Zack loved the movie V for Vendetta and he had no idea it was a graphic novel, and when I told him it was, he wanted to read it so I let me borrow my copy. He loved it and now has picked up a ton of Alan Moore stuff. I did this with my brother when the Spider-Man movie came out, I got him the first volume of Ultimate Spider-Man. It is easy to give out recommendations and books when they are already getting huge press and hype.
When I was in college studying Political Science I was grouped with girl named Sarah. She loved Political Science and loved learning about government and how people react to other forms of government. Then I learned that she was a sci-fi freak as well. During the course of the class we became good friends and I brought her a comic to read. I gave her Nexus: The Origin. It has a lot of sci-fi, political and social aspects and she really dug it. (If any of you love politics, superheroes and sci-fi stuff, definitely check this book out! I HIGHLY recommend it.)
FNE’s note: In a blog full of whores, Matt’s special love is for
Banshee Alan Davis Nexus.
Brandon - I typically like to give people who are new to comics something like A History of Violence or Road to Perdition. I want them to read something that is more realistic and grounded rather a superhero or fantastical title.
Doug - Alex Robinson's Box Office Poison is a book that has something for everyone. Humor, romance, tragedy, everything except people in spandex (although there is male nudity if you're so inclined). The trade paperback collection is certainly not a short read, but it is a story that moves at a quick and entertaining pace, so if you have a friend who has the time to read novels (you know, those books that don't got no pictures), then they would have the time to dig into this wonderful book.
If you want to introduce someone to superheroes with something that will reverberate with their inner sense of what a superhero should be, look no further than Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson and Alex Ross’ Astro City: Life in the Big City. Any of the Astro City trades would do, really, but fanpeople have a thing about starting at the beginning. And there’s no better beginning that the story of the Superman-esque Samaritan, who’s so busy saving the world that all he wants is a little time to sleep so he can dream of simply flying. In one story, readers are hooked on the feelings of wonder and awe superheroes gave us when we were kids.
And there you have it, good readers. Now, go forth and deflower while your FNE thinks about pie. Mmm....