About Us

This is the official blog for the comic book club held in the book lounge of Waterstone's Liverpool One.

The group meet at 6pm on the third Monday of the month to discuss their thoughts and opinions on the comics selected.

It's a fun and friendly atmosphere and all are welcome: from those who have never read comic books, manga, or graphic novels before (call them what you like), to those who never read anything else.

The group, and this blog, are administered by Glyn Morgan, the Bookseller responsible for the Graphic Novels and Manga sections of the store and a big comic book fan who is currently studying for his PhD at the University of Liverpool.

If you would like to comment on any of the comics we've read, this month or in the distant past, please feel free to contribute to the comments section of the relevant posts.

Visit this club's big sister: The Science Fiction/ Fantasy Book Club

A Note on the Blog

Although this blog may appear slow paced and close to death in fact the group is very much alive and now entering its second year. Most of the group discussion (not done in person in Waterstone's of Wagamama's) takes place in the Facebook group - feel free to join. In the meantime I will try to keep a copy of the reading list here for general consumption. - G

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Suggestion Box

This post represents the suggestion box for books for the group to discuss in the future. There will be a permanent link to it in the right column so that long after it sinks into the depths of the blog you can find it and add your suggestions in the comments section below.

If you're unfamiliar with the procedure, essentially we'll read anything that could be called a graphic novel or manga. I'd prefer stuff that's in print (so we can actually get hold of it), and self-contained stories are also preferable (some books are great as part of a series, but don't work as well if you only read volume 1)

All suggestions are taken on board and the final reading list is drawn by blind ballot in club meetings.

So without further hesitation - let the recommendation begin!


  1. Just off the top of my head. :D

    The Sandman: Dream Country, Neil Gaiman and a bunch of great artists.

    Goodbye Chunky Rice, Craig Thompson.

    We3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.

    Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth, Chris Ware.

    Marvels, by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross.

    Violent Cases, Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean.

    It's A Bird, Steven Seagle.

    The Tale Of One Bad Rat, Bryan Talbot.

    Beanworld, Larry Marder.

    Bone, Jeff Smith.

    Mouse Guard, David Petersen.

    The Filth, Grant Morrison.

    Animal Man (Book One), Grant Morrison. For The Coyote Gospel, of course.


  2. Some superb suggestions in there, and some interesting ones that I've been meaning to read for ages!

  3. Likewise - I've not read Violent Cases or Bone but I know I really _should_. =)

  4. Thanks for organising that, Glyn! That was a superb evening. =)

  5. An excellent first meet and I can't wait for the next one now :) It was so enjoyable being able to actually talk about comics with people (something I've not done in such a depth since university) and such lovely friendly people too!
    I also look forward to being introduced to comics I've not heard of before, or would have never thought to check out :) Roll on November!

    (This is Chris by the way - I just cant get this comment system to show me as anything other my online user name)

  6. I would just like to say that i really enjoyed tonights meeting, thanks Glyn for organising it! I'm really looking forward more reading and more discussing! (This is Claire btw)

  7. Thanks guys, glad you had fun. I was so impressed by the turn out - I had visions of a flop. Notes on the first session are now up. See you in a month (or at the Science Fiction Bookclub and/or the Horror readings - you're all welcome at both).

  8. I second that enjoyment, as Chris said it's great to be able to chat about comics. Looking forward to next month, it's been a while since I read Maus.

    To add to the suggestions, I think The Ultimates would be a good place to start on superhero comics, as mentioned last night. The first volume of Ex Machina might also be good, but for different reasons.

  9. Hey guys!
    Great night last night. Good relaxed atmosphere, good chat and interesting topics! Do you think the gentleman reading his book will make a regular appearance? All the suggestions sound good, I am pretty much up for reading anything!

    I thought it may be good to discuss or write on here what we have on our shelves waiting to be read, so if anyone has it also, maybe a bit of mid-month review/disscussion could take place on here! Plus it could give us interesting avenues to look down for future official C&CBs reads!

    My long collection of unhappy, unread novels include...
    A study in Scarlet - Conan Doyle, Edginton, Culbard
    Astroboy 1 - Tezuka
    Palestine - Joe Sacco
    AYA book 1 and AYA of Yop City (book 2) - Abouet and Oubrerie (cannot remember if she came up last night but Abouet is a female writer originally from the ivory coast but now resides and writes in France!)
    Alias the cat - Kim Deitch
    Also from hell and the last half of the dark knight strikes again.
    Let me know your thoughts!

  10. I was just thinking while in work today, how the smeg did we get through the suggestion part of the meet without anyone mentioning Watchmen?!

  11. Watchmen. My god. I have no idea.

    (though again, maybe it helps to be familiar with the tropes so that it's more fun recognising their subversion?)

    I've not got much I've been meaning to read. But I've been meaning to get into manga in a big way, and *nearly* picked up the collected Azumanga Daioh from Waterstones, as the anime is adorable. Along with Akira (well, some of it) and Ranma. But I don't really know where to start.

    And maybe Robert Crumb's stuff, Daniel Clowes (though I liked Ghost World) and Love and Rockets.

    @Drew Ian Edginton! I loved his Scarlet Traces series.

  12. ... and if the guy who quietly read in among the group turns up next time, I vote him club mascot.

  13. Damn you lot are going to be a curse on my wallet! :P

    @Joe, You should totally pick up Akira! It's one of the few mangas that I have and was a good starting point for me getting into them this time last year. It has a very cinematic quality to the story and panel narrative, that you just end up finding yourself flying through each of the 6 volumes.

    The only comic in my 'to read' pile is From Hell, which I keep finding utterly daunting every time I look at it sitting there.

    What's everyone reading at the moment then? I'm currently just going through Vol 16 of the complete Judge Dredd Case files. Soooo good that 2000AD have been collecting some of their early stories in this manner!

    More suggestions!
    The Walking Dead, Vol 1 - Robert Kirkman
    The Contract with God Trilogy - Will Eisner
    Fables, Vol 1 - Bill Willingham
    Essex County, Tales From the Farm - Jeff Lemire

    I'm hesitant to list any of the typical superhero stories, as I still can't think of a better introduction to the whole spandex and capes brigade than The Ultimates (although as Joe had mentioned, The Authority could be a good start too).

    There are lots of others I keep thinking of too, but not for any intellectual purpose; just more of a selfish method of "ooo, I wonder what other people think of this character/story/scary doorstop written by Alan Moore?" :P

    Oh, and as for quiet reading guy, if he does show up again, then every good mascot deserves a name! We should also try to attach flyers to his jacket when he's not looking, to try and get some extra advertising!

  14. @Drew
    You should totally finish The Dark Knight Strikes Again, if only just to get the bloody thing out of the way. It also makes for a nice contrast with The Dark Knight Returns, which albeit not fantastic in my eyes, is still a world away from the utter mess of Strikes Back.

  15. Well, thanks a bunch, Chris. :P I'm off to load up an Amazon basket... ('Essex County' sounds great!)

    I agree about Ultimates or The Authority. But if you were to pick a self-contained superhero comic - DC or Marvel - what would you recommend? I'm drawing a blank. Arkham Asylum, I suppose...

    (Unless you went the Elseworlds route...? Red Son etc?)

  16. Amazon? Amazon?! At least pretend you're going to get them in store :P

  17. @Glyn
    Can you really blame us if ordering from... erm... 'Waterstones South America'... is cheaper than getting them in store? Like half the price cheaper in the case of We3 for example :P

    I love the feeling of wandering about physical book shops and browsing, but at the end of the day I have a limited income and I want to get more comic for my quid (especially when there's so many that I'm after).
    If it helps, then I'll bring my 'Waterstones South America' orders into the store and pretend I'm getting them from there - just don't be surprised to find me in the corner talking to myself and play acting the shopping experience. I wouldn't be able to do it with you lot working there clearly, as that would be TOO weird... although the one girl who served me when I bought the final volume of Scott Pilgrim was very nice and accepting about my overt geekiness/weirdness. Poor girl only commented about the cover looking slightly different from the rest on the shelf, only to find herself on the receiving end of me blathering on about differences between the Oni Press and 4th Estate editions. Damn my completest nature in needing all the trades to look the same!

    I absolutely love Red Son, and while I agree that it is a nice throwaway introduction to a lot of the aspects of Superman, it has a LOT of winks and nudges to people who already know a lot of the basic info about him. I also picked up True Brit after reading it, and my word what a let down that was.

    I can't really think of any good introductory titles into the mainstream DC universe, which would probably explain why I've never really delved into it as much as Marvel. Marvel's Ultimate universe (that started back in 2000) did exactly what it was supposed to with me; brought in a new hardcore Marvel reader. It's also no surprise that they've pretty much finished and rebooted the Ultimate universe now. With it being 10 years old, it stopped being as easy and accessible to new readers to get into (such as with the Ultimate Spider-Man, X-Men, & Fantastic Four titles), and so the new imprint of 'Ultimate Comics' is born.

    The Authority are what really got me into DC's Wildstorm imprint (RIP), but I do have to say that even the first issue had me going "Stormwatch?! Who the smeg are Stormwatch? I thought this was issue 1? Why are they talking like I should know about these things already?!" Which then lead me to track down the 5 collected Stormwatch trades, which being Warren Ellis' run on the book tied up nicely with the start of The Authority.

    ...My god I ramble and need a life!

  18. Just thought I'd give people a heads up about this in case they hadn't heard about it. For anyone who is a fan of The Walking Dead comic series, the tv series adaptation is going to be starting from this Friday 5th at 10pm on FX :)

  19. Me and my girlfriend watched it last night and it was awesome. True to the novels with added plot to beef it up!!!! Well worth a watch even if you havn't read it!!

  20. And http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phLVlvMKVi8 is a set of alternate titles for The Walking Dead. Which I reallyreally wish were the real ones.

  21. |Hi guys,
    |again a really good evening! I was just looking around online for the league of extrodinary gentlemen companion book that you all suggested (I still cant find it so if anyone can post the author that would be great!) when I saw this...
    Not sure what has happened to vol 2?! We have to wait until April for this one!!

  22. It was indeed another good evening, though it's two weeks gone now!

    @Drew: I'm hoping that LXG Century title is only the second in the series, and Amazon have made a mess of their labelling! Suspect it will be rather full-on, given that Moore turned 16 in 1969.

    Something that I forgot to bring up at the last meeting was the subject of web comics. I'd be interested to know if anyone else is a regular reader...

  23. In other news:


    Pleased to say I've gotten through a lot of these, and there may be some good starting points for superhero books for us...

  24. Hi, all. Are we on for the 20th?

  25. Ummm, 13th surely? Did we not go for the 13th, as it wasn't then encroaching on the Xmas lead-up week?

  26. Can I read a calendar? Can I buggery. Thanks, Ben. :)

    So it was League: 1916 and... Halo Jones, was it?

  27. Phew! In that case, yes, see you all there!

    I've done some non-taxing homework and read up on the entire League series to get my hand in. I'll be plumbing the depths of my memory on Halo Jones though, as I've not been able to get a copy.

  28. Is anyone still up for grabbing something to eat after the meet on Monday?

  29. Count me in! I'm more than happy to get some noodles or something after.

  30. Ah!! Well remembered! I am also up for food after! Especially as my girlfriend will be in Disneyland and my fridge freezer has given in so I am living on take outs! Sounds grand! See you all Monday!

  31. Not only did i miss the last one because i was away, i now have to miss tonights one as i found out i'm working until 7pm! Nooooooo! And i was all ready to give my opinion on Halo Jones...this is rather unfair :(

  32. Groovy, thanks for updating, Glyn :) !

    Hope everyone's had a nice Crimbo and a potentially nice New Year. 17th Jan still good for the next meet? Sushi to follow?

  33. Hey, all! Sushi would be great - what could be more seasonal?

  34. Just read this "Best of 2010" list. A lot of it is only available as individual comics at the moment but some cool looking stuff to keep an eye on maybe? http://www.comicsalliance.com/2010/12/21/best-comics-2010-graphic-novels/

  35. Keep meaning to bring this in with me. Not only is it one of the few comic-related items I have with me in Liverpool, but also it's plain awesome. http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/paul+gravett/graphic+novels/3363644/

    This is my source of most of my "must read" lists. It has 30 essential comics and then a chapter with two per comic. Each chapter is a major theme: growing up, war, superheroes, sex, horror, humour, and it then suggests upwards of 20 other major works worth looking at in that theme.

    I'll try to remember it next month, but in any case its a brilliantly useful reading guide.