I recently finished reading my first ever comic book, America’s Best Comics Primer, by Alan Moore. He is probably best known as the writer of Watchmen (also in film) and V for Vendetta (also in film). I like him because, while the films tend to water things down (a lot), he is a very philosophical writer. Watchmen, for instance, is mostly about prima facia ethics vs. absolute ethics. It also deals with the role of government — a theme that reoccurs in many of Alan Moore’s works.
America’s Best Comics Primer (I’m going to call it ABCP) doesn’t quite tackle these more heady issues, but then again it isn’t a graphic novel. It’s just a series of comics.
I enjoyed reading comics. It made me feel like a kid again, despite the fact that I didn’t read comics as a kid. It also got me saying, “Ho-ly SOCKS!” so that’s something. It’s definitely less intellectually straining than reading a novel (even a young adult novel) because the imagination is reigned in a bit by the images. You don’t have to imagine the whole scene, just the movement. It’s a lot less work, but it’s still more work than TV. I really felt like I was “vegging out” while reading.
The compilation runs through a number of styles. I liked the “Tom Strong” and “Grey Shirt” sections but found “Jonni Future” a bit cliched. I predicted everything that happened quite readily and the issue stopped long before anything interesting happened. “The Cobweb” was also pretty weak. I couldn’t tell if I was reading comedy or drama. It was just sort of stuck in between. “The First American” was much better. It’s an over-the-top satire that seems pretty spot on. “Splash Brannigan” was trying way too hard to be funny.
Of course, take my opinions with a grain of salt. This is my first ever comic book.