Graphic Novels
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
Sequential Art
by Scott Tilson

Other Sequential Art Columns
Creators
Mike Allred -- artist/writer
Kyle Baker -- artist/writer
Brian Michael Bendis -- writer/artist
Dan Brereton -- artist/writer
MD Bright -- artist
Ed Brubaker -- writer
Eddie Campbell -- artist/writer
John Cassaday -- artist
Chuck Dixon -- writer

Colleen Doran -- writer/artist
Will Eisner -- writer/artist
Warren Ellis -- writer
Stephen Geigen-Miller -- writer and Greg Beettam -- artist
Christian Gossett -- artist/writer
Paul Gulacy -- artist
Gene Ha -- artist
Stuart Immonen -- artist
J. O. Ladronn -- artist
Jae Lee -- artist
Steve Lieber -- artist
Joseph Michael Linsner -- artist/writer
Scott McCloud -- writer/artist
Carla Speed McNeil -- writer/artist
Mike Mignola -- artist/writer
Alan Moore -- writer
Scott Morse -- writer/artist
Grant Morrison -- writer
Dean Motter -- writer/artist
Jerry Ordway -- artist/writer
Christopher Priest -- writer
Steve Pugh -- artist
Darick Robertson -- artist
Steve Rolston -- artist
Alex Ross -- artist
P. Craig Russell -- artist/writer
Eric Shanower -- artist/writer
Kevin Smith -- writer
Mark Smylie -- writer/artist
Jim Starlin -- writer/artist
Bryan Talbot -- writer/artist
Tim Truman -- artist/writer
Rick Veitch -- artist/writer
Charles Vess -- artist/writer
Matt Wagner -- writer/artist
Barry Windsor-Smith -- artist/writer
Teri Sue Wood -- writer/artist

Publishers
AiT/Planet Lar -- SF
Cartoon Books -- fantasy, Bone, Rose, Castle Waiting
ComicsOne.com -- English translated manga, print and download editions
CrossGen Comics -- fantasy, SF
Dark Horse Comics -- Aliens, Buffy, Planet of the Apes, Predator, Star Wars, Tarzan, Terminator, etc tie-ins, creator-owned series
DC Comics -- Superman, Batman, JLA, etc superheroes, Vertigo horror imprint, Will Eisner library
Humanoids Publishing -- SF, fantasy, etc
Image Comics -- superhumans, adventure, humour, SF, fantasy, horror, etc
Marvel Comics -- X-Men, Spider-Man, Hulk, Avengers, etc superheroes
NBM publishing -- fantasy, horror, SF, etc
Oni Press -- adventure, humour, horror, fantasy, etc
Penny-Farthing Press -- fantasy, SF, etc
Sirius Entertainment -- fantasy, horror,SF
Viz Communications -- english translations of diverse Japanese manga

News & Commentary
Comic Book Resources

Comics Continuum
Comics Newsarama
ComicCon.com
Comic Shop News
Indy Magazine
PopImage
Wizard magazine
Sequential Tart

In The Future
DC Previews
Dark Horse Previews
Khepri Comics Diamond's Previews
Ordering Comics
The New Comic Book Releases List
Mile High First Look
Previews Picks

On-Line Comics
wowcomics.com
Astounding Space Trills
Argon Zark
Collective
Cool Beans World -- Marshal Law, Someplace Strange, etc

Finder
David Gaddis
Oni Press Free Comics
The Matrix comics

Shops
Comic Shop Locator Service
The Master List of Comic Book & Trading Card Stores
Online Comic Booksellers

Science Fiction
Give Me Liberty

Give Me Liberty

Good intentions. A fresh paved road to Hell.

In Give Me Liberty author Frank Miller and artist Dave Gibbons introduce their popular character Martha Washington, following her life from birth to adulthood. Through her hard times and rare moments of joy, the reader also gets a tour of a near future America that has slipped down the proverbial slippery slope. At times darkly farcical, this is a cautionary tale of where certain political attitudes may lead if given untempered sway. The poor all have homes. But locked in massive block "housing facilities" that are surrounded by barbed wire fences. Schools have no shortages of computers. Because children are packed like sardines in front of terminals, to be dominantly "educated" by skewed multiple-guess quizzes. There has been Constitutional reform. President Rexall has repealed the 22nd Amendment, so he can remain in office indefinitely. When an attack takes out the top chain of command, the Presidency falls to Acting Secretary of Agriculture Howard Nissen. He means well. He tries. He's not quite up to the job.

Yet throughout this, Martha grows up a good kid, thanks to a loving mother, a sympathetic teacher, and some threadbare luck. She loses her father in a rights riot, before she even had a chance to know him. She's abducted by a known local thug, for someone worse. Her brother goes missing in military action. Martha endures. But everyone has their limits. When she survives one more loss, she also loses herself. She gets committed. Surrounded by the criminally insane, she finds her strength again.

And this is still just the beginning. Martha ends up joining the PAX, going to war in the Amazon rain forest. And who she meets ends up drawing her into intrigues at the highest levels of power.

Both Miller and Gibbons are well known and praised for their work, together or separately. While Give Me Liberty may not have the same renown as The Dark Knight Returns or The Watchmen, it easily stands with them as one of the most consummately conceived and passionately executed stories both have done. The script is crisp and distinctive. The visualization detailed and expressive. They succeed beyond the biting political satire, creating drama that leaves the reader solemnly moved, yet looking forward to more Martha.

For more info, check out http://www.blacksuperhero.com/exh-misc-marthawash.html.

More info about Frank Miller and his other works can be found at http://hem.passagen.se/fm4/theFM.html and for info about Dave Gibbons and his art, try http://www.chaoscitycomics.com/dave/Newdave1.htm.


Fantasy

Preacher: Gone To Texas

Preacher

Ever dared hazard a theological debate? Asked the well-worn but eternal mutually unresolved questions? Sometimes it seems easier to just avoid the issue. And don't even think you might lighten things by making a joke.

Author Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon do not take the path of least resistance, with their series, Preacher, starting with the first of an epic nine books in Gone To Texas. Thematically and dramatically contentious, it's often coarsely humorous, as well as massively violent. Not for the faint of heart, but if you enjoyed the movies Monty Python's Meaning of Life or Jabberwocky or the books of Joe R. Lansdale (who does the introduction), then you may just have a thick enough skin for this too.

The book introduces us to the lead character Jesse Custer, a disillusioned small-town preacher with his regular companions, abandoned ex-girlfriend Tulip and... the unusual Cassidy, trying to figure out where Jesse's search should head next and get things straight about how they all came together in their mess. Jesse had become a Man of God, but was losing his faith, in the face of the hypocrisy and corruption of his congregation. The bottle beckoned, and he heard it well. Tulip had become so desperate that she took on a whack job, and worse, failed it. And Cassidy? He happened to be in the wrong place at the right time to be "forced" to save Tulip's life. Jesse went through the motions of giving a sermon when the spirit -- or something -- moved him. Explosively. Something that got lose on high, that was never meant to be. While putting distance between themselves and trouble, Cassidy and Tulip saw an explosion. They find Jesse in the ruins. His faith was restored. And he was angry. He had questions. And now a voice to demand answers. But someone had been awakened to see that he doesn't get them.

Preacher is a modern take on the classic road trip, mixed with the darker side of Americana, and a big twist of the supernatural. Stirred and shaken. The search takes the characters across the nation, and beyond. They're run through the ringer, secrets shocked and dragged out of them, and they get into whole worlds of unexpected conflicts on the way.

Garth Ennis is a natural storyteller, spinning yarns of subversive and evolving creativity. Nasty, bizarre, thrilling, and funny adult yarns. And Steve Dillon brings it all to life, with a subdued sense of layout and a sharp realistic line work, masterfully crafted and acted storytelling. Gone To Texas is quite a gratifying ride, and the roads still untravelled just makes one want to go for the next spin.

More about the series at Preacher's Divinity at http://www.preachersdivinity.com.

To preview some of Steve Dillon's art at Andy's Preacher Art, try http://www.andy.org/comic/preacher.


Name Dropping

George R.R. Martin

Here are some suggestions from George R.R. Martin:

Fantastic Four
Spiderman
X-Men
Daredevil

"Some comics I have loved...

Watchmen. What can I say about this that hasn't been said already? Simply the best superhero story ever told. Nothing else is even close.

The Elektra issues of Daredevil. Frank Miller made his name when he took over this book, and raised it to heights it had never previously obtained. Dark, dramatic artwork and fine storytelling. I have always liked Miller's Daredevil much better than his later Dark Knight take on Batman.

The X-men in the late 70s. The Dark Phoenix storyline was the heart of that run, but the storylines before and after that were pretty damned good as well. Although I have a soft spot in my heart for the original Lee/Kirby X-Men, the new version of the team created by Len Wein presented us with a richer cast of characters, and Chris Claremont and John Byrne did wonderful things with them... for a while.

Grimjack. The first version, from First Comics. Ostrander and Truman. A great character and a wonderful blend of SF, fantasy, and superhero. Roger Zelazny was a big Grimjack fan as well.

Omaha, the Cat Dancer. Good wholesome sexy fun. Omaha was one pretty hot pussycat, and the scripting was excellent as well. Somehow they made you care about this cast of chickens, goats, and horses.

Uncle Scrooge. As long as we're talking about talking animals, no one will ever match Carl Barks. The terries and the firmies, Gyro Gearloose, the Junior Woodchuck Manual, King Solomon's mines... classic stuff.

Indian Summer. We're talking seriously adult material here. Milo Manara's women are the sexiest things in comics, and Click and Butterscotch and his other erotica are great for what they are, but in Indian Summer Manara teams with Hugo Pratt to tell a powerful, brutal, and gut-wrenching tale. The best comics combine strong art with strong storytelling.

The Ditko Spider-Man and Dr. Strange. We're going back to the 60s now. The contributions of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to the Silver Age and the birth of Marvel have become a hallowed part of comic folklore, but in those early days Steve Ditko's work was just as important. Ditko gave Spider-Man and Doc Strange a distinctive look that no other artist has ever been able to match, and the stories captured much of that strange off-kilt flavour as well.

Fantastic Four #4. It was the first FF I ever saw, and it has stayed with me all these years. Johnny Storm's discovery of Prince Namor in the flophouse, the interaction between him and the Thing... after so many years, we have forgotten what an incredibly powerful and original concept the Thing once was. There had never been a character like him, and once upon a time, before they made him a cuddly orange rock, he had a genuine tragic dimension. I had just about decided I was too mature for comics (I was in high school, after all) when I found this one on the rack in the candy store at First Street and Kelly Parkway in Bayonne. The FF took comics to a whole new place, and won me back for long decades to come."

Official sites:
Reed Waller's & Kate Worley's Omaha, the Cat Dancer.

Fan sites:
History on Grimjack.
More to see and read on Uncle Scrooge and Carl Barks at this tribute site.
Ditko's Spider-Man gets the spotlight and his body of work overall.
Summaries of the early Fantastic Four issues and covers listed.

George R.R. Martin is the bestselling well-reviewed author of the A Song of Ice and Fire epic Fantasy series, begun with A Game of Thrones, several other SF and Fantasy novels such as The Armageddon Rag, Fevre Dream, and Windhaven (co-written with Lisa Tuttle), and the driving force behind the popular Wild Cards shared-world series of anthologies.


Copyright © 2001 Scott Tilson

In over two decades of reading science fiction & fantasy, prose or sequential art form, Scott has come to see there's an inversion of Sturgeon's Law: ten percent of everything is at least good or better. He is also a regular panelist at Canada's largest SF convention.

Will Eisner is the creator of Spirit and one of the founders of the original graphic novel form. He called comics "The Sequential Art" and it is to him this column is dedicated.


SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or other stuff worth mentioning, please send it to editor@sfsite.com.
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide