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Author Topic: Matt 'the other' Wagner  (Read 1801 times)

Colin YNWA

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Matt 'the other' Wagner
« on: 18 March, 2014, 06:25:31 am »
I've just finished reading the 40 issue ongoing series of Grendel from Comico back in the day and was going to simply sing its praises over at the 'What I've been reading' thread. Thinking on though having finished it I couldn't help dwelling on how Matt Wagner has a lot of fans on the board (I think) and how he deserves a go at getting a thread dedicated to his work.

Grendel was quite, quite brilliant. When Wagner started the series he hit upon a wonderful way to sustain it beyond the original incarnation of the character. Its one that's been done a lot since but I'm not sure how much before hand? Grendel became an entity that possessed different people, the devil incarnate. Thus this ongoing was in fact a series of ongoing mini-series. It starts with a quite stunning examination of hate, anger and desperation with Christine Sparr hunting her missing son and springs to boundless other ideas examining similar themes from there.

The format enabled the inspired Matt Wagner to really take the shackles off and run rampant with experimentation. As with 2000ad not all of it worked, the vast majority does, but even when it doesn't you're glad you've read it and had the chance to judge. Its really is a fantastic examination in what a comic can do with a core concept, some flexible, open themes and the ambition of a young creative mind not willing to settle for the norm.

Oh and its a bloody engaging exciting read to.

So yeah that's just Grendel. Alongside his work on Mage a glorious autobiography of sorts and some of the best mainstream superhero work out there when he's delved that way I have now decided that Matt Wagner has joined that other Wagner in my top five comic writers of all time. He truly deserves to sit alongside the greats (in no order) John Wagner, Grant Morrison, John Smith and Jack Kirby as the best creators I have ever read and when you think about some of the astonishing talent not in that list (I might start a favourite writers thread since I had some thoughts on this after finishing Grendel - and we love lists don't we!) that is no mean claim.

So yeah if anyone fancies lets all sit down, flex our fingers and type in praise of one of comics greats. Arguably the most under-rated of them all Matt Wagner.

The Adventurer

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #1 on: 18 March, 2014, 06:48:17 am »
I'm primarily aware of Matt Wagner via Mage, of what I've read of it I liked it a lot. Though I hear its incomplete, and the final chapter long delayed.

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Colin YNWA

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #2 on: 18 March, 2014, 07:06:26 am »
I'm primarily aware of Matt Wagner via Mage, of what I've read of it I liked it a lot. Though I hear its incomplete, and the final chapter long delayed.

Its made of three stories 'Hero Discovered' and 'Hero Defined' are both out and complete and quite superb on their own. He has always planned a third arc 'Hero Denied' and while that's not out yet it doesn't really affect how the other two work. Rather its just great to know we can expect more.

All that said he's made a LOT of mumbling lately about how its the next thing he's going to work on. So fingers crossed not to far off.

I, Cosh

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #3 on: 18 March, 2014, 01:36:11 pm »
I remember this being on Comics Should be Good's "Comics you should read" feature and I've been thinking about picking up some of the Grendel omnibi for a while. I've only ever read the War Child mini and I quite enjoyed that at the time, although I'm guessing some of the earlier stuff is going to be significantly different in tone.
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Colin YNWA

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #4 on: 18 March, 2014, 02:16:04 pm »
To be honest there are some wonderful difference in tone in the series itself. I have the first and last omnibi (I'll trust your spelling on that one, it'll be no surprise that I never know the plural for omnibus!) as they cover material not in the series I have.

They are done in chronological order of events in series time. So new material reflecting back old events in the series are in Book 1 which will make for a very interesting read. While I normally don't like to do this as you never know what one person will like however much of a cross-over in taste you think you have (I still adore those Human Target stories you sold me!) I can't honest recommend much with more hope than any of the omnibus volumes as they represent great value and the material is just first rate. Omnibus 2 for example collects the materials at the start of the series I've just read and while the art might take some getting used to... I personally came to really appreciate it but it might be worth looking before you buy as it is... interesting... that would be as good a place to start as any.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #5 on: 18 February, 2015, 09:55:04 pm »
Okay so I can't sucker you mooks into Matt Wagner conversation then huh - well never let it be said I'm a man to take a hint. I'm not that's for damned sure and so if you take the low road and refuse to worship at the altar of the other Wagner I'll take the high road and witter on regardless*

Matt Wagner is writing The Spirit. I had a little sticky nerd wee I'm so excited.

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/02/18/matt-wagner-write-will-eisners-spirit-dynamite/


*Hey just be grateful I didn't post this on two threads AND give it a thread of its own!

Fungus

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #6 on: 18 February, 2015, 10:08:30 pm »
Should be fantastic. No artist announced, so who would do this justice...? What's Dave Gibbons up to ? :)

And Grendel. A great series. Have read a few collected things but back in the early days it ran for a spell with a lot of political content and incorporating text-heavy blocks and small panels. Sounds dull, but read like a dream. Changed his style around so much, and to great effect.

Hawkmumbler

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #7 on: 18 February, 2015, 10:19:14 pm »
Still need to nab them Grendel omnibuses. But I looove Matt's The Shadow material and his crossover with the aforementioned thief was superb. I'm down for his take on The Spirit as well.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #8 on: 18 February, 2015, 10:28:05 pm »
Yeah. Grendel. So much good stuff, the restless reinvention, the genuine attempts to push at the edges of the medium. Maybe it doesn't hold up so well now — I haven't read much of it since the original publication, but this was a genuinely brilliant series at the time.

Cheers

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Bolt-01

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #9 on: 19 February, 2015, 02:01:03 pm »
I'm a massive Wagner fan, so the Spirit could well be a good run- his work with Seagle on the '30's Sandman Mystery Theatre was a cracking little read.

Think that Grendel should be left alone now- the recent mining of Hunter Rose really dilutes the character IMO (though I've not managed to read the shadow crossover yet, I've got a download waiting for me) and I'd really like to see him get back to the Matchstick saga.

Proteus4

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #10 on: 20 February, 2015, 05:59:21 am »
I remember this being on Comics Should be Good's "Comics you should read" feature and I've been thinking about picking up some of the Grendel omnibi for a while. I've only ever read the War Child mini and I quite enjoyed that at the time, although I'm guessing some of the earlier stuff is going to be significantly different in tone.

The plural of omnibus is omnibuses

The Latin word Omnibus is already a dative plural, It is derived from omnis. In English it is an adjective used as a noun. It follows that the plural of the anglicised form adheres to the rules of English and not Latin.

Grendel sounds cool - I'm away to see if I can get one cheap on eBay.
Dave :)
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Colin YNWA

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #11 on: 20 February, 2015, 06:29:02 am »
.

Think that Grendel should be left alone now- the recent mining of Hunter Rose really dilutes the character IMO (though I've not managed to read the shadow crossover yet, I've got a download waiting for me)

I read the omnibus (thanks to Proteus 4 for the plural info) which dealt with all the Hunter Rose material (apart form the crossovers) and while there were bits that felt like it was digging too deep by and large it really worked. The Batman crossover makes it way slowly up my read pile and The Shadow one I'll pick up when the collection is out in July (I think it is) so I can talk to them.

Yeah the only downside of The Spirit stuff is it might push a return to Mage back. He said a year or so ago that was next on his list after he'd done The Shadow stuff.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #12 on: 14 August, 2015, 08:24:39 pm »
Just as Grendel this thread will rise in new and different incarnations.

Just finished Grendel Omnibus and its by far the weakest of the 4 (though I've only actually read volume 1 - the contents of volumes 2 and 3 I've read in the original comics). The tale of Grendal Prime feels a little more straight forward that some of the other work. That said its still bloody brilliant. War Child is on the surface a great Sci-Fi adventure, full of character and consequence, there certainly a little more too it but it requires more digging out I found.

Greg Rucka's novella after this is pretty weak until the end. It felt like fairly rudimentally written action adventure. The books strongest part is alas its shortest Devil Quest. Written and drawn by Wagner its really very good and gets close to some of the power and experimentation of the earlier stuff. Over all this was both disappointing but also very revealing. Weak Wagner is still very good comics.

Now to the crossovers when next this thread will rise...

Hawkmumbler

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #13 on: 14 August, 2015, 08:39:23 pm »
As you can probably tell by my change of avatar, i've not long since finished the first omnibus collecting the entire Hunter Rose saga. And chuffing good comics it is as well. A superb noir tale handsomly crafted and illustrated by Wagner, with gorgeous and ripe visuals and a fantastic amount and intruige and depth of character and story arc.

Colin, I can not vouch for the Batman crossovers though they do LOOK amazing, but the Shadow mini was phenomenal last I read. An all round great mystery title.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Matt 'the other' Wagner
« Reply #14 on: 14 July, 2017, 10:01:47 pm »
Well with Mage coming back I thught I'd dust this off. as I think I might use it to splash my nerd delight at the new Mage series rather than get the Comic Book Day Megathread all sticky.