I read my first comic book in over 30 years yesterday - Inspiring stuff!

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Back when I was kid growing up in England in the 1970s, Star Wars was all the rage and like most of my friends, I collected all the comics. The main reason for doing so was not to look at the drawings (which I always thought were somewhat rubbish :redface:) and read the stories, but rather to look at the posters of the film characters and see the adverts for cool merchandising. By comic #150 or so, I stopped buying them and took to buying cigarettes with my pocket money instead :tongue:.

Recently, I'd watched the last couple of Batman movies and played an X Box game, all of which touched on the genesis of the various characters in the Batman comics over the years. I became a little curious to know more and wondered whether or not I might enjoy looking at some of this cult art work, now that I am older and more aware of the factors which make 'good pictures' (since adopting photography as a hobby a couple of years ago).

So, I bought myself a copy of "The Killing Joke" (also the name of a band who I idolised in the 1980s :smile:), which deals with an early encounter between Batman and The Joker, to see if it was worth all the hype surrounding it. I was shocked :eek: - this was ... art :cool:!

The first two pages of the book are without text - just 16 or so frames of animation per page. You know what? Each one would have made a killer photograph in its own right, but seen together, they really tell so much more than just a few words could :smile:!

Then it hit me. Being able to draw that well really is a logical extension of the photographer's art. Of course, one will never replace the other, but I could instantly see all of the compositional tricks, which we photographers use to give our pictures the impact that we want them to have, represented in these simple ink drawings. But, being so simple, they had even more impact. Reading through the book and looking at each new frame (some of which were works of art in their own right), I was left with this thought:

Budding photographers should probably read more comic books :cool:.

I could see so many examples of dramatic use of perspective, the rule of thirds, light and colour contrast (obviously) and other things which would translate easily into photography, that I felt immediately inspired :smile:. Nothing else has done that to me for a long time.

That's it! Just wanted to get that out there in the open :wink:.
 
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...represented in these simple ink drawings...

Simple, huh?

I'm sure they feel the same way about 'simple' black and white photos that some hack named Adams made.

I don't know how much many of those artists are paid. Or, if in fact, they are even drawing them by hand anymore. But some of those guys are probably not getting the amount of money they deserve.
 
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Simple, huh?

I'm sure they feel the same way about 'simple' black and white photos that some hack named Adams made.

I don't know how much many of those artists are paid. Or, if in fact, they are even drawing them by hand anymore. But some of those guys are probably not getting the amount of money they deserve.

Indeed, the illustrators have considerably more talent than most of the contestants of 'Pop Idol' and all those other 'talent' shows on TV these days, although they don't get the money or the recognition.

Incidentally, some of the drawings that I was referring to really were simple black and white images, by the standards of others in the same book, but a pair of white eyes and bared white teeth against a totally black background (for instance) can be an extremely expressive statement :wink:. That's what I was getting at.
 
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I grew up on comics and movies and can tell the influence they had on my current way of framing and composing pictures. Its a subconscious thing but when I look at old comics or an old movie I grew up on, I can see how it carried over in my style of shooting.
 
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I grew up on comics and movies and can tell the influence they had on my current way of framing and composing pictures. Its a subconscious thing but when I look at old comics or an old movie I grew up on, I can see how it carried over in my style of shooting.

Good point Jon, movies are also a great source of inspiration for photographers - especially where creative use of different focal lengths are concerned :smile:.

I guess that I'd just never made the connection to comic book art before, which is why I was so impressed with what I saw in this particular book and had to write the OP :wink:.
 
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Good point Jon, movies are also a great source of inspiration for photographers - especially where creative use of different focal lengths are concerned :smile:.

I guess that I'd just never made the connection to comic book art before, which is why I was so impressed with what I saw in this particular book and had to write the OP :wink:.

Bolland is a great artist. I do think comic artists are underrated in what they produce. Photographers could learns a great deal about composition and how tell a story with pictures by looking at comic art.
 
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If you haven't figured it out I like comics too.

Alan Moore is typically pretty good. I think it was time that called the watchmen one of the top novels of the century. I'm also a big Terry Moore fan. Strangers in paradise is terrific. Great art and great stories. Bendis probably does the best conventional superhero stuff today. His run on daredevil was epic. His ultimate spider man stuff is wonderful too.
 
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If you haven't figured it out I like comics too.

Alan Moore is typically pretty good. I think it was time that called the watchmen one of the top novels of the century. I'm also a big Terry Moore fan. Strangers in paradise is terrific. Great art and great stories. Bendis probably does the best conventional superhero stuff today. His run on daredevil was epic. His ultimate spider man stuff is wonderful too.

Yes MH, I think I can see the clue in your avatar :wink:.

I have another comic book waiting to be read - "Batman: Year One". I was deeply impressed with the dark plot and graphic art in the film 'Sin City' and so wanted to see something from the pen of Frank Miller (hence this purchase).

Let's just hope that this doesn't turn into an unhealthy addiction :tongue:.
 
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Yes MH, I think I can see the clue in your avatar :wink:.

I have another comic book waiting to be read - "Batman: Year One". I was deeply impressed with the dark plot and graphic art in the film 'Sin City' and so wanted to see something from the pen of Frank Miller (hence this purchase).

Let's just hope that this doesn't turn into an unhealthy addiction :tongue:.

You will want to pick up Dark Knight Returns after that, but skip the follow up.
 
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The Killing Joke rules. Back in the day, I had my cousin airbrush me a T-shirt with the joker holding a Nikon F2AS :Love:. Comics are good stuff.

Gregory
 
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What was the cost of the new comic book?

When I was younger, I gave up on the hobby when they hit $1.25-$1.50 USD for a monthly and $2.50 for a special. I still have them, but I have not added to my collection in well over a decade. This thread makes me want to go and read some of them again :)
 
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Ditto on the Dark Knight Returns. Double ditto on staying away from sequel.

Yes MH, I think I can see the clue in your avatar :wink:.

I have another comic book waiting to be read - "Batman: Year One". I was deeply impressed with the dark plot and graphic art in the film 'Sin City' and so wanted to see something from the pen of Frank Miller (hence this purchase).

Let's just hope that this doesn't turn into an unhealthy addiction :tongue:.

You'd love Sin City. It's far and away Miller's best work imho. If you're big into batman you might want to give All Star Batman and Robin a try. Most people either love it or hate it, it's certainly a different take on the DC universe. Those who hate it say it's just a sin city book with Batman characters. Those of us who love it say it's just a sin city book with Batman characters. It just had a ten issue run and the trade hardcover can be had for like... $10 on amazon or something like that. Jim Lee's artwork is stunning and worth the price of admission alone, behold:

allstarbatmanandrobin10.jpg
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I'll say it just one last time, anyone who seems to like the kind of stuff you enjoy needs to read the Brain Michael Bendis run on Daredevil. Maleev's art is moody and atmospheric, and Bendis' plotting is flawless and gripping, and his dialog is reminiscent of Elmore Leonard. This series won a couple of Eisner awards.

DD-50.jpg
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As to prices, well they vary. I get... 8 titles a month, and most of them are $3.99. Most of Marvel's better titles are $3.99. Most of the indy titles are $3.99. In an attempt to grab business DC has a big 'Drawing the line at $2.99' thing on right now. A dollar less doesn't sound like much but alot of peeps get 50-75 titles a month so that's a big deal to them.

edit: Just to add most of the trades ring in at about $12 on amazon. I don't read much of anything from DC but marvel typically puts 5 issues in a trade paperback, MSRP about $18 dollars or so, by the time they hit the retailers you can expect to pay about $12. They typically put out a bigger and nicer hardcover edition that has 10 issues, MSRP around $35 but they often get discounted down to about... $20 sometimes less. The paperbacks stay in print indefinitely (or at least the big name titles do) but the hardcovers are limited editions, usually they disappear off amazon after about 11 months.
 
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Frank Miller's stories and artwork are both superb. I loved the artwork on Sin City and was very impressed with the look of the film.

Dark Knight Returns is definitely a great Batman series and Killing Joke is very good also.

I would also agree that great comic art could teach anyone a lesson in story telling and conveying mood etc. I have one of Eisner's text books "Comics and Sequential Art" which describes how to convey things through the drawings and is well worth a read.
 
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The Killing Joke rules. Back in the day, I had my cousin airbrush me a T-shirt with the joker holding a Nikon F2AS :Love:. Comics are good stuff.

Gregory

:tongue: Cool! Actually, I thought about making myself an avatar out of that shot, but I'm sure that someone else will have beaten me to it already.

What was the cost of the new comic book?

When I was younger, I gave up on the hobby when they hit $1.25-$1.50 USD for a monthly and $2.50 for a special. I still have them, but I have not added to my collection in well over a decade. This thread makes me want to go and read some of them again :)

Well, when I said 'book', I really meant book. It's a hard back with 64 colour pages and cost around 6GBP (Link ..).

I'm not sure that I'm ready to start filling my living space up with magazines and paper comics (having fairly recently thrown out years worth of music and photography magazines), but I certainly enjoyed the experience of seeing this art through 'new eyes' (as an adult and a photographer, rather than just as a child who couldn't draw :frown:).

Ditto on the Dark Knight Returns. Double ditto on staying away from sequel.



You'd love Sin City. It's far and away Miller's best work imho. If you're big into batman you might want to give All Star Batman and Robin a try. Most people either love it or hate it, it's certainly a different take on the DC universe. Those who hate it say it's just a sin city book with Batman characters. Those of us who love it say it's just a sin city book with Batman characters. It just had a ten issue run and the trade hardcover can be had for like... $10 on amazon or something like that. Jim Lee's artwork is stunning and worth the price of admission alone, behold:


I'll say it just one last time, anyone who seems to like the kind of stuff you enjoy needs to read the Brain Michael Bendis run on Daredevil. Maleev's art is moody and atmospheric, and Bendis' plotting is flawless and gripping, and his dialog is reminiscent of Elmore Leonard. This series won a couple of Eisner awards.

As to prices, well they vary. I get... 8 titles a month, and most of them are $3.99. Most of Marvel's better titles are $3.99. Most of the indy titles are $3.99. In an attempt to grab business DC has a big 'Drawing the line at $2.99' thing on right now. A dollar less doesn't sound like much but alot of peeps get 50-75 titles a month so that's a big deal to them.

edit: Just to add most of the trades ring in at about $12 on amazon. I don't read much of anything from DC but marvel typically puts 5 issues in a trade paperback, MSRP about $18 dollars or so, by the time they hit the retailers you can expect to pay about $12. They typically put out a bigger and nicer hardcover edition that has 10 issues, MSRP around $35 but they often get discounted down to about... $20 sometimes less. The paperbacks stay in print indefinitely (or at least the big name titles do) but the hardcovers are limited editions, usually they disappear off amazon after about 11 months.

A lot of good tips in there, MH :smile:. I'll keep my eye out for the Sin City stuff, although the box set is pretty expensive here :frown:.

Frank Miller's stories and artwork are both superb. I loved the artwork on Sin City and was very impressed with the look of the film.

Dark Knight Returns is definitely a great Batman series and Killing Joke is very good also.

I would also agree that great comic art could teach anyone a lesson in story telling and conveying mood etc. I have one of Eisner's text books "Comics and Sequential Art" which describes how to convey things through the drawings and is well worth a read.

That sounds like a good book, Andy. I think that I may have learned a lot already though, just from seeing how the comic artists use perspective and (artificially produced) lighting in their frames, not to mention the (often) sparse compositions themselves :wink:.

I hope to be able to take more photographs that look as though they could have come from a comic book, one day :smile:.
 
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http://www.amazon.com/Hard-Goodbye-...2937/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1302737335&sr=8-2

The first book in the series is only $13 on amazon. There are 7 volumes and they're all pretty much self contained stories. I dunno if you even need to read them in order... the movie had books 1 (the hard goodbye) 3 (The Big Fat Kill) 4 (That Yellow B@stard). At $140 odd dollars I dunno if you'll save if you do buy the whole set. Who knows, you may read the first and decide you don't like it. Although if you liked the movie I dunno how you couldn't like the books.
 
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A few years ago GitCorp scanned with license complete comic book collections from Marvel Comics and placed them on PDF's. They sold titles like Captian America, Fantastic Four, The Avengers with all the issues from number 1 to sometime around 2006. I think they sold something like ten titles. They were going to scan more into PDF's but Marvel backed out on the rest. They even did full collections of Star Trek, Mad magazine, Archie and others in the Archie titles. Comics were dying for awhile but may have started a comeback.
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2007
Messages
2,722
Location
Banff National Park, Alberta
A few years ago GitCorp scanned with license complete comic book collections from Marvel Comics and placed them on PDF's. They sold titles like Captian America, Fantastic Four, The Avengers with all the issues from number 1 to sometime around 2006. I think they sold something like ten titles. They were going to scan more into PDF's but Marvel backed out on the rest. They even did full collections of Star Trek, Mad magazine, Archie and others in the Archie titles. Comics were dying for awhile but may have started a comeback.

Marvel and dc are both pretty steadfast in their support of the comic book stores, I don't expect them to fully embrace digital for awhile.

I think that marvel and dc run their comic book divisions at a loss, they use them as a source for movie ideas.
 

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