Post by Crimebuster on Dec 18, 2020 15:13:43 GMT -5
7. Stan Lee
I know this is a way out of left field pick, but if you guys haven't read anything by Stan Lee, let me tell you that he's actually a pretty good writer! And not just his scripts for Patsy Walker. If you check out his superhero comic books, like Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, and Avengers, he did some cool work!
Joking aside, I think the effort to (correctly) get his collaborators the credit they were due has led to Stan's work actually being a little underappreciated by the comic community. For me, it's as simple as looking at the difference between his work and the Silver Age Marvel issues scripted by other writers, and it becomes very obvious just how good Stan really was as a scripter. When he was having fun on a comic, nobody made comics more fun.
Post by Paste Pot Paul on Dec 18, 2020 18:25:38 GMT -5
7. Grant Morrison JLA, Doom Patrol, All Star Superman
I found Morrison through Doom Patrol and for some reason I stuck with it. Im not usually a fan of strange and bizarre but in desperate need of some intelligent storytelling I was in. Then in the 90's, almost totally removed from comics I read a couple of JLA issues and was so impressed they were some of the first I sought out when I eventually returned to the fold a decade or so later. I still find them a fun read. All-Star is probably the only Superman story I would HAVE to own. I dont hate the character, I just dont think there is much worth more than cursory attention. All-Star with the excellent art of Frank Quitely crafted a modern homage to the Golden roots of the Man of Steel which reminds me so much of the classic Swan and Klein stories I read as a kid.
Oh yeah he did New X-Men too, maybe the last time the mutants were written well.
It was the year of fire… the year of destruction… the year we took back what was ours. It was the year of rebirth… the year of great sadness… the year of pain… and the year of joy. It was a new age. It was the end of history. It was the year everything changed.
Post by Icctrombone on Dec 18, 2020 21:56:42 GMT -5
7. Gerry Conway Comics resume: Thor 192-238, All star comics , JL Detroit, Superman vs. Spider-man, JLA 151-200’s , death of Gwen, FF 134-152, Created Firelord, Punisher, Firestorm, Powergirl and more.
Gerry Conway is the man who killed Gwen Stacy but he did so much more for comic history. He created the Punisher, Firelord, Firestorm, Powergirl while doing much of his work for the big two. What makes him a personal hero to me is that he went on to do work in television on shows like Law and Order, Perry Mason movies , Matlock and various other projects. Anyway, his run on the Fantastic Four from 134-152 was part of the sweet spot of their history that included Marriage troubles between Reed and Sue and the wedding of Crystal and Pietro. He did a lengthy run on the Justice League of America that lasted from 151-200 and he created the JLA Detroit team when he wrote it from 233 to 255. He had a 4 year run on Thor that introduced Firelord and many solid tales which included the secret Halloween Crossover between the Dc and Marvel characters and even the creators. He revived the JLS solos stories in the pages of All star comics adding Powergirl to the DC roster of heroes. He wrote just about every major book from the top comic companies, too many to mention.
The secret crossover had heroes AND creators ( Thor # 207 and Batman # 237 respectively )
Part of the British Invasion of the 1980s, Grant first came to my intention when he and fellow 2000 AD alumni John Wagner took over the writing on Detective Comics , paired with the late, great Norm Breyfogle on pencils. That combination of writing and art really hooked me. Grant has repeatedly said that Wagner actually left the book after about five issues because the sales were not high enough to be generating any royalties. Because Wager was the bigger name at the time (having been the long-term scripter on Judge Dredd), Grant didn't tell DC that Wagner had left and left his name on the book for fear that DC would sack him if they knew he was writing the book solo.
But eventually he would receive solo credit. And what a wild a crazy ride it was. Grant and Breyfogle's version of Batman is the version I prefer: a human man who is incredibly well-trained and equipped, but still just a man. He can make mistakes, he can be hurt, he tires etc. I am not a huge fan of the unbeatable, unsurpisable, always-prepared modern Batman.
And Grant was responsible for the first major additions to Batman's rogues gallery in over a decade. And not just one character either. He gave us the Ventriloquist & Scarface, Anarky, Mr. Zsasz, Cornelius Stirk, Amygdala, etc.
Also worth checking out is Grant's Elseworlds story The Batman of Arkham, which combines Batman with The Cabinet of Doctor Caligarri, and demonstrating how much the Dark Knight might owe to German expressionism.
Post by thwhtguardian on Dec 19, 2020 6:06:41 GMT -5
And on the sixth day I give you
Rucka is one of those writers that does just about every genre he tries his hand at from noir in books like Whiteout and Stumptown, war stories like in Weird War Tales, and he excels at not only doing fun, action packed superhero books but he has a way of making them seem grounded with out losing any of their awe.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
7. Darko Macan Darko Macan is a name that’s probably familiar to most readers of comics in America, as he scripted some pretty damn good, critically praised stories, like the excellent Grendel Tales, Devils and Deaths and its follow-up, Devil’s Choices (both featuring art by the sadly deceased Edvin Biuković) and the Captain America 3-part mini-series Dead Men Running (again with art by another fellow Croat, Danijel Žeželj), as well as the Tarzan/Carson of Venus story for Dark Horse (which I wrote about in last year’s 12 days) and many others. But probably my favorite story by Macan is the YA serial Svebor i Plamena, which originally ran in a popular magazine aimed at high schoolers for about ten years, beginning in 1994. In 2007, it was collected in a handsome hardcover volume.
It tells the story of two teenagers, Svebor and Sanja, who are thrust together by the realities of mid-1990s Croatia: Svebor’s mother takes in the family of her childhood friend, Sanja’s mother, who have lost their home as a result of the war, while her husband, who was fighting with the Croatian army, is being held in a Serbian prison camp. Even though Svebor’s father is working abroad, it’s a tight squeeze in their apartment, as Svebor has a little brother, while Sanja has a little sister. In the first installment, Svebor and Sanja initially hate each other, but after experiencing a bit of an adventure together, decide to call a truce. Sanja also gets the nickname ‘Plamena’ – derived from the word for flame, a reference to her red hair but also her personality. The series covers all of the themes you’d expect in a YA series (like the perils of drugs and alcohol, parents getting a divorce, teen romance, etc.), but also stuff that was more specific to Croatia at the time, like a father with PTSD or the difficulties in making an honest living in the immediate post-war economy. Macan deals with all of this in a really intelligent and original way, with absolutely no preaching. What makes the series so compelling, and why I’m writing about it, is that the charaterization is so damn good. Macan really creates believable characters that readers care about.
(The art, by the way, was initially done by Goran Sudžuka, while later Matija Pisačić took over once the latter started getting more work in the US; the format also switched from b&w to color.) As noted, the episodes were published in installments in a magazine over roughly a decade, so there is a sliding timescale – some of the wartime themes of the early earlier episodes were no longer as relevant by the time it concluded in the early ‘00s – when things that didn’t exist ten years earlier, like cell phones became widespread. It’s a testament to Macan’s craft, though, that you really don’t notice this when you read the story all together like a graphic novel.
Grendel: Devil & Deaths is a modern masterpiece. I liked his Soldier X run.
Post by M. W. Gallaher on Dec 20, 2020 21:52:50 GMT -5
7. Neil Gaiman
In November 1988, I was on a business trip in San Francisco, and I'd brought with me several of my week's comic book purchases. In a bar, waiting for the start of my Underground San Francisco tour, I read Sandman #1 and was blown away by Neil Gaiman's mythological overwrite of DC's Sandman. This was when new in-continuity takes on familiar characters and concepts was a refreshing and exciting thing, and none had ever been so radical and so enticing as this one. Being in on the ground floor of this one was a real joy, and I rode the Sandman train happily to the end. Intelligent, complex, broad in range, grand in scope, human, godly, fantastic, heroic, Gaiman pushed so many buttons and worked so much magic that I was instantly a devotee. Yes, he would go on to let me down with disappointments like both of his major Marvel projects, especially the cloyingly precious 1602, but...Sandman, Death, and the Secret Origin of Poison Ivy...that's the stuff! Here's hoping the upcoming live action Sandman tv series is as good as it is in my dreams!
Post by Slam_Bradley on Dec 21, 2020 11:34:57 GMT -5
Random (late) thoughts on day six.
Pat Mills - I need to read more British comics. And I absolutely need to read Charley's War. I'm a bad nerd.
Jean-Michel Charlier - At least this name I know. Blueberry is another one of those books I need to read. It just always seems hard to know where to start.
Garth Ennis - I think this was the first time we saw Ennis. It wasn't the last.
Frank Miller - I had Miller on my long list. I think that it would have been because of his work with Mazzuchelli (Batman: Year One, and Daredevil). Just wasn't quite enough to put him into my top 12.
Neil Gaiman - We shall see Neil again.
Darko Macan - I vaguely remember the story he did in Hellblazer. And I know I read that Tarzan book. So there's that.
Stan Lee - I'm both surprised and not surprised that this is the first we are seeing of Stan. I will say that I find his SA work to be the most consistently readable of anyone working for DC or Marvel.
Grant Morrison - I think this is the first time we're seeing Morrison. I actually really like a lot of his work, for all that I think he's a complete douche. About half of Animal Man is brilliant. Flex Mentallo is brilliant and Doom Patrol is great. But an awful lot of his stuff I just don't care about at all.
Gerry Conway - Conway is interesting. When he's good, he's good. When he's hacking out volumes of stuff (and he admits he hacked out volumes of stuff) he's awful. I did like his run on Amazing Spider-Man. And I love Atari Force. But the volume of utter crap he did makes it hard to remember the good stuff.
Alan Grant - I think I've mostly just read his work on Batman, which was generally pretty good.
Grand Dictator for Life of the Classic Comics Christmas
Others have already sung the virtues of today's selection, so instead of covering the same ground again, I'm going to tell the story of my one-and-only in-person encounter with
7. Archie Goodwin
In the summer of 1984, I was at the San Diego ComicCon shopping around my proposal for a comic called "Baer & Bear." Goodwin was, at the time, the editor of Marvel's Epic line so he seemed a logical choice to talk to. Despite the line of people behind me waiting to get his signature on their copies of Eerie, Star Wars, Iron Man, etc., Archie took the time to read through my entire proposal and ask a few obvious questions ("You really drew this with your mouth???") before saying, sadly, "If it were up to me, I'd give you a shot but Jim Shooter would never take a chance on giving someone with no track record his own book." He then recommended several other publishers to talk to and offered to introduce me to those he knew personally. Goodwin had a reputation for being The Nicest Guy in Comics and he certainly proved it that day.
Roger Stern’s legacy would be incomplete without the mentioning of three particular stories. Personal taste may cause one not to like any or all of them but because of the effect they’ve had on such a wide audience, it could be considered borderline negligent not to offer “Cap for President!” featuring Captain America, and the Spider-Man stories “The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man” and “Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut!” One story revolves around a life-changing decision, one is about the story’s ending, and the last is about actions defining much more than conventional heroism. And that’s Roger Stern. There is no element of story where he doesn’t excel.
Roger Stern is the most seamless writer in the business. Action scene, domestic scene, you don’t even have to know what’s going on in the scene, and he’ll hold your interest. I’m not sure how he does it. I think a part of it is knowing his characters intimately. Beyond that. . . . Stern is the one writer I can’t break down. His skills are too diverse. Subject doesn’t seem to matter. Type or style of story doesn’t matter. Failure does not seem to be a part of his DNA.
It’s why Roger Stern regularly ended up at the top of my comic stack.
Last Edit: Dec 26, 2020 11:24:14 GMT -5 by Calamas: Dropped Word
I have to admit I have not read a lot of his work; for example his Deadman. But I did read the famous Matt Baker-illustrated "It Rhymes with Lust" (co-written by Drake); and as a Civil War and Booth theatrical-acting-family buff I naturally sought out Drake's Lincoln story in House of Mystery #51. But I'm listing him here as a favorite writer because of his 1960s Doom Patrol work. He and Bob Haney conceived the team and co-wrote the first couple of stories in My Greatest Adventure (soon retitled Doom Patrol), then it was Drake as solo scripter for the rest of their feature (Haney did great DP story in Brave and the Bold #65; sure the Flash co-starred but it was for all intents and purposes a DP story).
As a kid I never actually bought a DP comic; I never could find one on the stands. So I was dependent on my cousins and my friends for DP issues. This meant I didn't always get to read every issue or every issue in publication order., But I read enough to know this series was different from the other superhero comics I'd been reading (the Superman stuff, Wonder Woman, JLA, FF, Avengers, etc.). As a young reader Drake's DP felt more adult to me. The characters were as troubled as Marvel's but as much as I loved the Marvel angst, I appreciated that Drake showed rather than told. Drake had the characters behave and interact in a way that you knew what their issues were; you didn't need to see their thought bubbles on every page. So whereas in every story Iron Man was bemoaning the fact that he could never love Pepper because of his defective heart, we'd just have to take one look at Robotman (Cliff) in action, with that bulky shell and that metal face, and he's making quips while facing danger, and we know how he felt about being encased in that robotic body.
I also loved Drake's take on gender stereotypes. Rita was the powerhouse, the team strongperson, and used her growing power more than the shrinking power. Drake portrayed her as unabashedly physical and often had her speak of her prowess at football and softball. She scoffed at an early attempt to protect her (compare that to how the Wasp and other Marvel women were treated on their teams at the time). I also loved that Larry would become prone, and in effect would faint, when Negative Man left his body; this was a reversal of the stereotype of what a woman would do (remember Marvel Girl or Sue at that time; they'd often become weak after they "exerted" their powers).
Larry's the one on the ground--helpless
This "gender norm" reversal extends to the villains too; Madame Rouge eventually obtained a power that was not usually given to women in comics; it wasn't a pretty-pose-and-point-power like most women characters had back then. She was like Reed or Plastic Man, she could stretch and not only that but her features became pliable too, so it was a power where she wasn't attractive (unlike most other female villains at that time).
There's more I could say about why Drake is a favorite comic book writer of mine, but for now let me just add that a bit later on he created/introduced one of my favorite Marvel characters.
From her introduction in X-Men #49 Lorna Dane's been one of my favorite Marvel characters. Drake also introduced Alex Summers a few issues later; as an X-Men reader back then I appreciated that he was attempting to expand the X-Men's cast.
Last Edit: Dec 27, 2020 20:01:17 GMT -5 by Farrar: added spoiler tags