This week, I'll have up both a movie review and a comic review.
Before hand, I wanted to talk a bit about my experience as a comic book reader : P
I've read comics for as long as I've been able to read, I think.
Living in Europe, I started up with tons of Bande dessinées, that's franco-belgium comics mostly but it also covers nowadays comics drawn in other countries such as Germany, Spain, Portugal, Poland, etc..
Since I could hand a pencil, I've been drawing tons of stuff around my school books, on my school desk, on my own arms, clothes and now at work on used copy papers. It started off probably inspired by those B.D., probably trying to emulate such classics as Lucky Luke, Astérix, Spirou, the Smurfs (Les Schtroumpfs here).
I can easily say, Bande dessinées were and are still a big part of my life.
I only had the classics as a child (those quoted up there) but now, I've been reading more Bande dessinées again and finding great readings in more adult or independent authors as well.
Around the early 90s, I finally started reading and finding out about the American artists and writers with comic book translations. The Marvel comics were the more easy ones to find. They were printed in smaller "digest" formats, mixing up many issues kinda like a trade paperback, but with soft issue-like paper and cover. Looking back at those, I kinda hate them...
They didn't hold back all those years, were easily damageable and the early translations were... pretty uneven. Characters could change names every now and then or were strangely named. Wolverine in french end-80s/early-90s? LeGlouton (The glutton?). Wolverine mid-90s? Serval!
It wasn't a great experience, but was still a decent introduction to comics.
Then, mid-90s, I didn't read anymore comics I think. I still was exposed to the genre thanks to the animated super hero shows.
It was my...sigh... anime/manga period.
(since I'm not gonna directly talk about the animes I watched, let's just say "a lot" and leave it at that)
I started buying/reading a lot of Manga, you know, japanese comics.
It was ok. But then, they really started to invade my place. A new trade every 2 months? Too much series to follow around? Most didn't end around 20/30 books or were still being published?...
I was reading them in french, and it seems the French Manga publishing was really going crazy with all the translations and series...
Finally, the genre started tire me, most shonens being so similar or rushed artwork. Plus mangas were being a big hit in Europe and I don't like the idea of following a trend... I ditched mangas and only went back for the rare original work (Bobobo? cool~)
That's when around the 2000s I went checking on the American comics again, now with imported comics, keeping them in their original publishing.
Thanks to a local comic store who imported a lot of them, and internet (ebay, amazon...), I could have my hands on the original full sized books, be it releases in issues or trades.
I went back to Marvel comics first. I quickly catched on the last years, the evolution of comics, original 60-70s stories to the modern era. The Hulk was still a favorite of mine, Spider-man had some crazy stuff going on (I did follow the clone saga in french...), the Captain America back from "hibernation", etc...
I still liked the Marvel universe. It had changed but I can accept changes!
Then I started reading lots of other stuff.
DC Comics had some great concept going on their side. I was always fascinated by their universe. Naturally I checked some classics (Bats, Supes, Green Lantern..), then went on the more obscure heroes little by little. (Hawkman, JSA, etc..).
I must admit, I really embraced the whole publisher. Those characters had a huge life (most of them going back to the old school golden age of heroes) but I wasn't scared of it.
Skipping a bit of all I originally was gonna write in this post, I've since then read many comics, from Dark Horse impressive characters who most of them have been adapted or are adaptations (The Mask, Predator, Aliens...), to Image comics and it's dark and edgy comics still living in the nineties (Rob Liefeld anyone?!), and many other more indie publishers (Devil's Due, ABC, etc..)
I'm not saying I'm the greatest comic book nerd ever or that I' got all the history and answers in mind.
I was just exposing you to my experience as a comic book reader (and wannabe cartoonist/illustrator dreams).
I think my reviews will be fair and decent enough to
a) helps you find or become interested in some comics
b) warn you from writing nightmares and catastrophic failure
and at least keep you guys and gals reading the good stuff.
I'll gladly check some stuff you want me to or find you good books for some characters/franchises.
Comments below this post,
until then, EXCELSIOR!