Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Readership Assistance Requested

OK, dear readers, I swear upon all that's holy I am FINALLY getting comics on Friday.

Stop laughing!

In addition to the gazillion books I have waiting for me, I've decided to man up and pick up something "critically acclaimed", as the hoi polloi say.

But I need you, dear readers, to help me decide which. I've narrowed it down to two choices:

1) Y: The Last Man

PROS: I loves me some post-apocalyptic sci-fi weirdness. I've heard rumblings of monkeys, vampires, and Shakespearean allegories. What's not to like there? Plus, BKV's work on Runaways is quite good, so there's a plus as well.

CONS: I hear the series is wrapping up soon, which will annoy me if I start to like it. Also, the trades seem to be only 4-5 issues apiece.

2) Fables

PROS: High concept gimmickry about fairy tale characters certainly is a good premise. Plus, the reviews I've read seem to indicate that there's a highly political element to the book, which sounds fascinating. Plus, I have yet to hear one single person call this comic "bad".

CONS: I can't think of any off the top of my head. Feel free to let me know if there are any.

I also briefly considered Fear Agent (too erratic on the shipping, but I'd pay 4 bucks just for the covers alone), Noble Causes (no good reason for not buying it, but didn't sound as good as the two above), and Wolverine: Origins (I am, of course, kidding).

Anyhoo, my big plan is to pick up the first two trades of either Y or Fables, and see what the big deal is. Readers, please assist in this decision in the comments section!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Y is ending soon. But it has a little ways to go still.

Still and all, I'll go with Fables. It manages to cover a bit more territory and has been more consistantly interesting.

Y is excellent, but it stays fairly narrowly focused on one major story when the apocalyptic concept has so many broader implications that are begging to be explored. Fables doesn't have as narow a focus.

6:46 PM  
Blogger CalvinPitt said...

What, you don't realize the potential of Wolverine:Origins? If we can get Joe Quesada to spend his time drawing covers, then he doesn't have time to destroy Marvel!

I guess I'll vote Fables. Of course I don't read either book, so clearly my opinion is a bit suspect.

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fables is very good, but don't judge it totally by the first tpb. It grows on you and gets really good around #3 or 4 collected.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous van Doom said...

I've been very curious about each of those as well but have been too chicken to start picking up in the middle of the run.

Look forward to seeing your verdict.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fables, hands down. Smart characterizations and a wide range of genres.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Niether damn it!

Get Cable/Deadpool Trades!

10:43 PM  
Blogger MD said...

I've read the first trade of Fables, and I read the first issue of Y (available online for free here).

I think I would lean towards Y: The Last Man, though neither really inspired me to follow up.

When in doubt, follow the monkeys.

11:54 PM  
Blogger markus said...

Definitely go with Fables. The first trade is rather unrepresentative however, so you should get at least one other. "March of the wooden soldiers" is the most critically accalimed, not sure how it reads without having read the preceding TPBs.
YtlM has some intersting character stuff in the early issues but dropped the ball afterwards. The scope of the situation never really comes into view, the character development doesn't seem to go anywhere and it now feels as if the series was stalling before the big reveal.
(Not that I think Fables is that good, but it's definitely improved over its run.)

12:39 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

If you're getting the first two trades, go with Y: The Last Man. It hit the ground running and has been consistantly good from issue one to the present.

On the other hand, every story arc in Fables is better than the previous one. I agree that March of the Wooden Soldiers is where it really hits that point of "holy shit this is awesome."

Whichever you decide on, let me know and the next time you come up here for poker, I'll let you borrow the other.

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Mark Engblom said...

Funny you should mention those two series, since I've been following them through the TPBs available at my local public library.

I'd heard good stuff about both "Y" and "Fables", and the (free) library material was the perfect venue to experiment with. I've been following both series ever since (if only my library could get new TPBs in a tiny bit faster).

I've also been following the excellent "Invincible" series through library TPBs. So maybe give your local library a look to see if they have any "Y" or "Fables" collections before you buy your own.

4:09 AM  
Anonymous Nick said...

I have read the first trade of both Fables and Y: The Last Man, and I gotta recommend Y: The Last Man hands down. For one it's Brian K. Vaughan so the writing is top notch all the way through, secondly, Fables...I don't know the first trade just doesn't seem as good as the first trade of Y: The Last Man. I will add to something another commenter said, check and see if your local library has either, believe it or not I found out (after I bought it unfortunately) that the first trade of Fables was available to check out. Who knows your public library could have both trades and then you could have your cake and eat it too. So in short, Y: The Last Man is my recommendation and check your library to see if they have either.

5:59 AM  
Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

Fables has the richer foundation and greater storytelling potential, IMO. I've read the first three trades so far and each one has been better than its predecessor.

I also read the first Y trade and while it was a good read, it didn't really inspire me to get the next one. Of course, I also got bored with Ex Machina 20 issues in, and never liked Runaways, so I'm thinking Vaughan simply doesn't work for me.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Cap'n Neurotic said...

I suppose I'm in the minority who loved the first Fables trade, but I do agree that the series has just gotten better and better.

I also love me some Y, which has been a consistently good read, but personally I would suggest you go with Fables which is so jampacked with characters and ideas that it really has more bang for the buck.

7:06 AM  
Blogger kelvingreen said...

Hmmm... I've given both a try, and I've liked neither, to be honest. But I'd lean towards Fables.

I don't like the premise of Fables at all, but all the issues I've read have been relly well put together. Y, on the other hand, has a killer premise, but the actual storytelling bores me to tears.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Vincent J. Murphy said...

I actually was in the position to make the same choice several months back, and I picked Fables, and I don't regret it.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...

Tough call. I follow both series, and I'll grab a new trade of either whenever it comes out. And the idea of someone telling a complete story in comics appeals to me. Fables, in theory, could go on forever.

If you were only going to get one trade, I'd say Y: the Last Man -- it grabs you by the throat from the first issue. After that it's interesting but sometimes slower paced. If you've read any of Vaughan's other stuff, you know he isn't afraid to have complex characters talk out complex issues. That said, there are some moments of intense action and genuine surprises.

If you're buying the first *two* trades, I'd go with Fables. I thought the first volume was okay, but I kept hearing good things about the series, so I gave it a second chance with Book 2. Now I look forward to the next trade. The characterization isn't as deep with Fables, because Willingham is juggling many more characters. But that gives it its wonderful variety, and the cast has grown on me the more I read. Fables pays off more the more familiar you are with fairy tales, folk tales, and the like. Surprisingly, for a series about nigh-immortal characters, there are frequent and dramatic changes to the status quo. It's kind of like the beginning of 100 Bullets, in that the first volume mostly sets up a premise with some smaller stories, while subsequent arcs expand the mythology of the world and reveal a larger overall narrative.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Spencer Carnage said...

Howard Chaykin's Black Kiss

9:59 AM  
Blogger redlib said...

One, I love how your readers suggest the public library! We have both Fables and Y, at least some in trades-- thanks to crafty and persistant librarians like me!

I'm glad to hear the comments that Fables gets better. I liked Fables 1: Legends in Exile but it didn't propel me to read the rest. Just picked up Jack of Fables though.

I live for Y. I believe you would like Yorick for his smart and sarcastic remarks that are wrapped in the heart of a good guy. The supporting cast, and issues of gender, politics, relationships are all superbly done. It was the series that made me go to the comic book store in anticipation of the next issue. We've still got over a year for the conclusion!

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fables - I tend to lend out the first 3 volumes (Legends in Exile, Animal Farm, Storybook Love) as a set. Legends is fun, but it's in Animal Farm and Storybook Love where the series really begins to take off. Why all three - Legends and Animal Farm are each just a single storyline, so you don't really see the amazing variety of story goodness. Storybook Love is that sweet bit of crack, where if you aren't eager for what happens next, Fables isn't the book for you.

Y is far more of a novel. While I like Y a lot, I personally find it reads better in big chunks. With it scheduled to end in about a year, it may be worth waiting until it's finished so you can read the story intact.

I would also suggest Girl Genius by the Foglios. It has humour, adventure and mad science.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I picked up a single issue of Fables, read it, went back to my comics shop, and bought every collection they had.

Read Fables.

-- Jack of Spades

5:22 PM  
Blogger Buk said...

Fables - it has a couple weak arks in the middle, but its focus and overall quality is high throughout. Really gets a kick around the currents issues (50+) where it refocuses and you really feel it step up a notch.

Y on the other hand starts strong, with a real feel of going somewhere, telling a finite story. then, probably because of its success, there seems to be loads of padding arcs and stuff that just seeems weak. I dropped it a while back, but now that it's finishing I'll probably pick up the remainder of the issues to see how it wraps up. When I dropped it it felt like the

7:54 PM  
Blogger Big Al said...

Fables - because I flipped a coin.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fables much better. I used to pull both and Y The Last Man got really dull after awhile

4:36 PM  

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