I realize it might get me flamed here, but I’ll put in a vote for some of Gaiman’s Sandman stuff. “Ramadan,” for example, was excellent (although a single issue). The short story collection about the Inn Between Worlds (or whatever it was called) was also very good, as was “A Game of You.”
Alan Moore is by a huge margin the best writer I have encountered in comic books (as opposed to comic strips, where I think Watterson probably gets the nod). This is based primarily on Watchmen, a comic which I find it impossible to praise too much; but also a little bit on Supreme and the superb one-off Superman book, “What Ever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” It’s nice to know that I can still look forward to reading Swamp Thing and various other works of his.
After that, it’s all a notch down, but there’s some good stuff. Frank Miller, Claremont, Denny O’Neil, Rumiko Takahashi for manga, and whoever wrote “Sanctuary.” I haven’t read a broad enough range of comics to be able to come up with any really idiosyncratic choices. Oh, whoever wrote “Justice League International” in the post-Crisis years (circa 1987) was a hoot. And I’ll throw in a word for Herge, whose writing wasn’t “deep” in the sense of Moore, but who could weave an adventure plot like nobody’s business. Check out especially “Tintin in Tibet,” the “Destination Moon/Explorers on the Moon” two-parter, and the “Seven Crystal Balls/Prisoners of the Sun” two-parter.
I’d vote for Gaiman’s Sandman work as well. I’d also like to plug Rick Veitch’s run on Swamp Thing, which I thought was really terrific. Too bad DC jobbed him on the issue of Jesus appearing in issue 88 and he immediately quit. One consequence of which was that Niel Gaiman and, I believe, Jaime Delano also withdrew from taking over Swamp Thing which would have followed Vietch’s run. Rumor has it that DC is thinking of including that lost issue in a future collection.
Oh yeah, the first 20 issues of ElfQuest by Richard and Windy Pini, Dave Sim’s Cerebus: High Society and Miyazaki’s Nausicaa are all fantastic.
Gordon, have you ever read Blade of the Immortal? Just curious because in my eyes it doesn’t get much better. Don’t get me wrong, I love the living bejesus out of the Watchmen, and Hellboy is my favorite comic but man, BotI is just outstanding.
Alan Moore, easily. He’s one of the few writers that I wish to be inside his brain for a day. I selected V For Vendetta, mostly because I figured every one else would select Watchmen.
But he can easily earn any best writer kudos for things like Watchmen, V For Vendetta, From Hell, Top 10, WildC.A.T.s, League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volumes I and II, Miracleman, Swamp Thing, Tom Strong, etc. etc. etc.
Adding in Lone Wolf & Cub to that list was tough also, though. While I was reading the new DH reprints, it was easily my favorite series at the time.
I’ve only read the first three trades of BOTI, you reminded me that I need to get back into them.
Of the current reads, my favorites seem to go back and forth between either Greg Rucka’s “Queen & Country” or Micah Ian Wright’s “StormWatch: Team Achilles.”
Gordon, have you ever read Blade of the Immortal? Just curious because in my eyes it doesn’t get much better. Don’t get me wrong, I love the living bejesus out of the Watchmen, and Hellboy is my favorite comic but man, BotI is just outstanding.[/quote]
Never even heard of it. I’ll have to check that out, thanks for the recommendation.
Well, of course art and writing are two different matters. Like Watchmen, Gibbon does a decent job, but I doubt anyone would mistake that for great comic art.
For artists, I’d probably go with Frank Miller, Jack Kirby, Herge, but again my knowledge is pretty spotty. I have a friend who’s a huge fan of Steve Rude (Nexus) and Walt Simonson. For panel layouts and compositions, I’d go with Miller. He did some absolutely transcendent stuff in Dark Knight (i.e. the Superman/American Flag sequence, or the flashbacks of Batman’s parents’ murder), and I like his robust draftmanship. He has declined but I really liked some of the art in his recent “300.”
In a completely different vein, I also really like Aragones’ work on Groo the Wanderer… A lot like MAD’s Jack Davis or Hieronymous Bosch, one of those artists who just crams the frame with tiny little things.
I’m gona have to go with Spider-Man’s ‘Coming Home’ by Straczynski.
Always been a huge Spider-Fan, and the plot of his powers possibly being from a completely different origin (which is still going on but unrevealed) and the unstoppable monster forcing Peter to almost kill himself trying to stop him was just great. Never seen Spider-Man so resolved to defeat, or so close to killing an enemy.
I’d have to nominate Grant Morrison’s run on Animal Man. (But wow, did the comic go downhill by the end, after he was long gone.)
Mignola is one of those artists I just don’t “get.” His style works okay for Hellboy and stuff like that, but when he draws mainstream comics (such as that miniseries that brought back the Spectre a few years ago) his stuff rivals the crayon drawings of my 6.5-month-old son.
I’m more a fan of highly detailed, realistic art, than stylistic. Perez, Jiminez, Guice, Land, etc… Those are the guys whose work I enjoy.