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Being a superhero/comic nerd :) – Guest post by Jeffery Simpson July 26, 2008

Posted by Raul in Blogathon 2008, superhero.


I’m going to be honest here, and this might lose me my guest blogging indie cred, but I do love myself some comic books. Yes, they’re comic books and not graphic novels. If your coffee drinking Watchmen reading friends keep insisting that they’re “graphic novels” then please slap them for me. Hard. They’re comic books or comics and they have been since Superman lifted that car on the cover of Action Comics #1 and even before that. If we want to start calling them graphic novels let’s start calling movies “motion books” and the radio “audio newspapers”.

“But Jeffery,” you say to your computer misunderstanding the blog technology and assuming that I can hear you, “I don’t want to read abot Spider-Man. I want a comic book that isn’t just a male power fantasy in spandex.”

I hear you. Well literally I don’t, because you know… technology, but I understand where you’re coming from. That’s why it’s good that I’ve got a list here of books you really should be reading. It does sort of dip into the caped crime fighting area a few times, but only when the work is really good. Very little of what follows is something to give to kids.

  • Title: Powers
  • By: Brian Michael Bendis (author), Michael Oeming (artist)
  • Publisher: Image / Icon

I could just start by saying monkey sex, but let’s get the premise out of the way; superheroes are real, and this book is about the cops who have to clean up after them. Whether murdered by their arch-villains or killed during rough sex they die like the rest of us though they’re damn hard to autopsy.

The first volume hard cover is a good place to start for this title, and beware it’s adult.

  • Title: Y: The Last Man
  • By: Brian K. Vaughn (author), Pia Guerra (artist)
  • Publisher: Vertigo

Yorick and his pet monkey Ampersand are the only male survivors of a plague that leaves females unaffected. With his girlfriend on the other-side of the world Yorick starts a journey to find her, while the governments of the world have their own plans for the last sperm donor on the planet. While it sometimes gets a bit heavy handed on the gender issues, the book is exciting, fun and packs an emotional wallop. I’ve never cried over a monkey like I cried over Ampersand.

The entire run of Y: The Last Man is available in trade paperbacks. It’s less mature than Powers, but still not something for kids.

  • Title: Astonishing X-Men
  • By:Joss Whedon (author), John Cassaday (artist)
  • Publisher: Marvel

I wanted to pick one God damn straight forward superhero book and I went to the biggest best selling superhero team on the planet, the X-Men to do it. Known far more for his work creating shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and FireflyJoss Whedon turned his attention to comic books writing Marvel Comics’ merry mutants for two great story arcs. Even if you only have a passing interest in the X-Men held over from the first two movies, you will enjoy this book. It’s accessible for anyone, and has that patented Whedon dialogue to keep things moving along at a brisk pace.

All of Whedon’s work on Astonishing X-Menis available either in hardcover or trade paperback form.



1. Marina - July 28, 2008

Jeffery – cred regained by inclusion of Astonishing X-Men. 🙂

I’ve been meaning to check-out “Y” for a while…may have to do so now sooner rather than later! Thanks for the other recommendations!

2. Maktaaq - July 28, 2008

I am of the Watchmen-reading crowd, but now that you wrote about it, I would read Powers and Y: The Last Man. Thanks for writing this, Jeffery!

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