And Now For Something A Little Different…

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I’ve been reading graphic novels for nearly four years now; you can say it’s become a passion of mine and so I thought I’d make it part of today’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy post. I’ve always been a bit of a geek (hence the title of le blog) but I’ve only recently incorporated fantasy novels into my collection as my mother and uncle have always been huge fans of the genre.

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When it comes to comics, I’m very much a Batman fangirl; The Joker is my all-time favourite character so I love reading comics with him as the arch-nemesis. I’ve never really been much of a Marvel person – I love the movies, however heroes such a Spiderman, Thor, Superman and Iron Man come across extremely cheesy and “All American”, compared to Batman which is way darker.

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For those who wish to get into the comic reading game, more specifically with Batman, I would recommend Year One (Link) to start you off. It’s an incredible novel which tells the story of Bruce Wayne’s first year being under the guise of the caped crusader and it features some amazing art. Frank Miller (creator and author of Sin City) is often hailed as one of the best graphic novelists of recent times and Year One definitely demonstrates this fact. A must read and one of the first novels I ever bought.

Watchmen (link) is one of the best comic books I have ever read and I would recommend it to almost everyone (unless you’re not into comics then..well..I’ll give you cookies. ^_^). Watchmen depicts an alternate history where superheroes emerged within the 1940s and 50s in order to help the United States win the Vietnam War. Fast forward a few years and these superheroes have now been outlawed, are retired or are now working within the Government. The country is heading into nuclear war with the Soviet Union and it takes the death of a superhero to bring them all out of retirement and…phew..you guys still with me? I won’t delve into it any deeper as it’s a pretty complex book, but entertaining and brilliant all the same.

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This is a new one that I’m currently trying to get into. The world and it’s mother have bee convincing me to turn my attention towards Terry Pratchett novels and I’ve resisted until now. A must-have for any science-fiction and fantasy fans alike, Terry has a distinctive writing style that is well-worded and hilarious in a balanced fashion that conveys a distinctive style of British humour that’s become his “style”.

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Where to start with Game of Thrones? Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll probably be vaguely aware of the hugely popular series of books that have now been made into a television series. It wasn’t until the end of series two that I decided to start reading the books. I’m still halfway through the second book and at this point, I cannot wait to finish. To give a brief overview, the books are set in the mythical land of Westeros (which is basically the UK) which is split into seven kingdoms, all ruled by one king who sits upon a throne of iron swords in the country’s capital, King’s Landing (let’s say, London). The King dies and the country is in turmoil as the seven noble families of all the seven kingdoms (as well as some other claimants across the sea) fight to claim the Iron throne. In a nutshell, it’s a clusterfuck of blood, war, power, .sex, death, incest, betrayal and pure ratchet fuckery. IT’S BRILLIANT AND YOU SHOULD ALL BUY IT FOR CHRISTMAS.

I’ve always been interested in the subject surrounding the Holocaust. Back in the day, I used to visit the Imperial War Museum every couple of weeks to see the Holocaust exhibition and I would spend endless hours watching documentaries and reading biographies. MAUS (link) is a beautiful yet tragic autobiography of one man’s (Vladek Spiegelman) experiences during the Holocaust, from growing up in Poland, to nearly facing certain death at Auschwitz. The man in question is actually the father of the author/cartoonist and the author depicts his father’s story in a way much like the book Animal Farm; the Germans are drawn as pigs, the Polish are depicted as Mice etc. The whole comic is drawn in back and white so once you get used to the drawings, it makes for an easy read. It’s heartbreaking and at times, funny and I would definitely recommend it if you’re into your history (beware…it gets kinda soppy at times! *wipes tear*.

So there we have it. I hope you guys enjoy the post; I wanted to mix it up a bit so please let me know if you’d like more posts like this. 🙂 Are you guys into a bit of science fiction/fantasy at all?

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  • I wouldn't actually recommend starting at the beginning with Pratchett, as his style develops and improves a lot over the novels. Try one of the Witches ones, or a City Watch one 🙂
    Also, just a minor nitpick: In Maus, the Jews are mice and the Germans are cats, not pigs.

  • Just finished reading your blog from start to finish and find this new post which as a comic geek is awesome :')
    Did you ever read the new Before Watchmen comics? I know that was pretty controversial for Watchman fans! <3