The Noble Art of Comics

This week we are exploring that many genre-d thing, the comic book. Or, graphic novel, if you prefer. I’m not sure what the difference is but I’m sure one of the others may be able to explain it.

I’ve talked about comics briefly here before, mentioning my first love, Tintin. Of course, no blog by me about comics could go past without even a passing mention. My last post is here and covers most of my (brief) thoughts on why I love the Tintin series so much. One of the best places I’ve ever visited (and I get about!) is the Herge Museum just outside Brussels. For me it was almost like a pilgrimage and the museum was full of things I’d never seen before and was set out in such an interesting way. They also handed out iPods with headsets with a guided tour and games on to do as you went round. I was far too excited and kept getting the answers wrong! The only downside was that they didn’t let you take photos.

Speaking of photos…

DSCF1642This is my collection of Tintin books, there are about 29 in the pile. I don’t have every album (as they are called…), but I only have three or so left to get. As much as I love Tintin, I think the books are rather expensive. I have various collectors books, such as The Complete Companion and The Art of Herge (of which I only own volume three – again because of expense).

DSCF1644

One of my favourite Tintin books (such a hard choice to make, they are all so good) is Tintin in Tibet, which I think was also one of the first ones that I owned, having borrowed them obsessively from the library up to that point. While flicking through the book to take pictures, I feel this book may have been some reason why I became interested in polar exploration recently as you will see in the following panel…

DSCF1645Tibet isn’t at the pole but the similarities are there…

Moving reluctantly on from Tintin, we come to my second favourite comic book in my possession. I think the picture will do the explaining here for me if you are a frequent reader of this blog at least.

DSCF1649This is a great adaptation of an even greater book! I love Young Bond so unashamedly that buying this book was a no-brainer. I’ve read it three or four times and I really love the artwork. I’m open to quite a lot of different styles as long as the story is good. I just wish they’d done the other four books.

DSCF1652Picking a panel I really liked was so hard because I pretty much love every page. Some near the end are a bit off putting, but that’s because that’s the storyline. Another thing I love about this book are the little references, my favourite being that during the Hellebore Cup running race (which they are about to start in the panel above) the artist has given James the race number 007. I may have freaked out a little bit when I read it for the first time.

DSCF1654Another honourable mention goes to a small series called Green Manor, which I think is Belgian. I’m not that fond of the art style, but the storytelling is quite fun. It’s made up of lots of little murder mystery stories, framed by a man in a mental institution telling of an now disbanded club called the Green Manor.

Another honourable mention goes to The Rainbow Orchid by Garen Ewing (whose website and twitter I am quite a fan of). I was SO sceptical of this series at first because I thought it was just a British attempt at Tintin but it is so good and yes, while it has similarities to Tintin, Julius Chancer is definitely his own character.

I used to be a huge anime/manga person but I’m not so into it these days. That said, I quite like Death Note and want to get the rest of the books in that series (I only have the first three) and see some of the anime version. I have quite a few manga books and would like to get more, because it’s something I used to love.

That’s all for now,

Lil

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