My top choice for this year's event is arguably the clearest example of the difference between "favorite" and "best," because if we were talking "best" I never would've chosen
1. Bob Haney
Yeah, you heard me. There's no denying that the Bobster was responsible for some of the cheesiest, corniest, most nonsensical comics of the Silver Age. But he was also responsible for co-creating some of that eras most unique characters including Metamorpho, Eclipso, Mera, the Donna Troy version of Wonder Girl, and DC's greatest super-hero... B'wana Beast! Seriously, though, Haney was at the typewriter for my favorite run of comics ever: The Brave and the Bold #79-157. It was this series that cured me of being strictly a Marvel zombie and led me to begin collecting DC in earnest. This is "my" Batman, not the campy caped crusader of the Batmania days or the unbeatable psychotic of the '90s but a flawed and fallible champion of justice, in essence a 1970s TV private eye in super-hero drag. Not every story was a winner but at least Bob was in there trying, offering far more than the mindless punch-em-ups most team-up titles feature and in the process crafting some of the best stories ever of Deadman, The Metal Men, and others. So, no apologies for this one. I'm proud to be a Haney booster.
If ever there was a KING of B-Movie comic books then Doug wears the crown. Warren horror, Planet of the Apes, Werewolf by Night, Godzilla, Shogun Warriors, Cops, Lords of the Ultra Realm, Master of Kung Fu, Aztec Ace. Add in his wonderfully pulpy goodness for Batman/Detective comics run and you have plenty of reading ahead. It seems everywhere I turned in my youth, there was Moench. And I am grateful, for he provides entertaining comic book reading in every story he produces.
Gimme a home on the ol' prairie where I can sit in my rockin' chair reading my favorite old comic books of yesteryear!
On the twelfth day of Christmas, Santa brought to me the works of Ed Brubaker...
Works that garnered Brubaker favorite status: The Fall, Sleeper, Point Blank, Hawkman #27, Batman, Gotham Central, Catwoman, Scene of the Crime, Prez: Smells Like Teen Spirit, Books of Doom, Captain America, Daredevil, Marvels Project, Criminal, Immortal Iron Fist, and many more too recent for inclusion
What I like about Brubaker's work: Brubaker writes stories I want to read. In all the years since I first read a Brubaker story, since I discovered him in The Fall in 2001, I have only been disappointed once, and that was a title that I believe he was wholly unsuited for his sensibilities and a property that has been beaten to dead horse status and almost impossible to do anything productive with any more (X-Men), and while it ultimately failed in my estimation, there was still interesting things in it and a noble effort. Brubaker excels at telling stories that put its characters through their paces, whether heroic (Captain America, Batman, et. al.), tragic (any of his noir protagonists), or shades of gray (Catwoman, Holden Carver, et. al), and in so doing makes the readers care about those characters and takes those readers on one hell of an "E ticket" ride along the way. He also fosters long term partnerships with artists that creates a chemistry that adds a lot to their stories. Writers in comics are a lot like screenwriters in movies in that they are dependent on others to execute their vision and a great script can still result in a bad movie or comic if the collaborators responsible for executing it do not deliver. Finding collaborators in synch with the writer's vision is crucial in producing a final product that lets the writer's work shine (part of the reason I prefer cartoonists as in that case the writer and artist are always in synch). Brubaker fosters those kinds of relationships with collaborators that allow his scripts to become great comics that deliver in spades to the readers.
Single Title I would recommend if unfamiliar with Brubaker's work: The Fall #1-I bought this book because of Jason Lutes on art after reading Berlin, it introduced me to Brubaker as a writer whose name to look for and soon found at DC...
If you have read The Sandman, then my choice needs no explanation. If you haven't read The Sandman, the stop being a fool to yourself and a burden to others and go read it.
If you have ever had the privilege of hearing Neil speak, then you know that he has a wicked sense of humour and does not take himself too seriously. I am fortunate that both Neil and his wife Amanda Palmer are very fond of Australia and have toured here frequently.
(This bit is a total sidebar and has nothing really to deal with Neil, but is a cool story that I think deserves to be more widely known. Amanda was touring Australia (without Neil alas) in January-February of this year during the catastrophic bushfires (and was, in fact, the last live music concert I attended before COVID shut everything down). While in Melbourne, she decided that wanted to do something for bushfire relief, so she rounded up some Australian musician friends, cadged some studio time, and recorded a benefit album with all proceeds going to bushfire victims that was assembled and available for download from her website within a week. Now that is a class act.)
But back to Neil. His willingness to send himself up has resulted in him making cameos as himself in all kinds of works, including The Simpsons and, as shown in my page image above, the children's animated series Arthur. He even appears as a major character in The Severed Streets; the second novel in the Shadow Police series by British fantasy author Paul Cornell.
So my Christmas gift to my CBR family is this: a comics story that even the most dedicated Gaiman fan might not have encountered.
In Cherry's Jubilee #2 (1994), underground comics artist Larry Welz teamed up with Marv Wolfman to do an x-rated parody of the X-Men and Teen Titans. In this foreword, Welz describes this as the most unlikely team-up in comics history "at least till the Cherry/Sandman crossover eventuates". I can only assume that this came to Neil's attention somehow, because in 1998 and one-shot called Cherry Deluxe appeared, featuring a story titled "The Innkeeper's Wife", written by Gaiman and illustrated by Welz. While not actually a Sandman story, it is an x-rated fable that would not have been out of place in the "Soft Places " arc in The Sandman.
1. Alan Brennert As per my observation yesterday that my 2019 list predicts my picks this year, my no. 1 should come as no surprise, since three of his stories appeared on that 2019 list (the Batman and Alan Scott GL story from Gotham Knights #10, the Deadman and Kara Zor-El story from Christmas with the Superheroes #2, and the Batman and Catwoman story from Brave & the Bold #197). He’s appeared in this year’s 12 Days several times now, and it’s repeatedly emphasized that his list of credits is pretty short. However, pretty much everything on that list is outstanding and they are all personal favorites. To paraphrase some of the things I noted last year, what I like about Brennert’s writing is that even in short, 8-page back-ups (like the Batman/GL team-up), he’s able to pack in a novel’s worth of story. And with just a little dialogue, he packs an immense emotional punch and gives you food for thought in your own life (as in the Deadman/Supergirl Christmas story).
Brennert has also written two of my favorite Batman stories ever, from Brave & the Bold #182 (featuring Earth-2 Robin) and the aforementioned #197. Both of them deal with love and loss and friendship in such a real, human way, despite the fact that the main characters are all walking around in outlandish costumes. As I’ve stated many times before, Brennert writes such deeply mature stories that are still all ages.
He hardly did any work for Marvel; off the top of my head, his credits there include a story in Star Trek, a Sub-mariner story published just this year, and Daredevil #192. That latter one I had, and even though I haven’t read it since I was a teen, I still remember it quite well – among other things, it involves both Daredevil and reporter Ben Urich confronting their own double standards. It was the first issue after Frank Miller left the title, and damned if Brennert didn’t almost outclass him with that single story. I’m pretty sure it was Slam_Bradley who said somewhere on this forum that he would’ve handed the DC Universe over to Darwyn Cooke and let him do whatever he wanted (something I would’ve supported as well). Similarly, I would give Brennert any or all characters he wants in either universe and let him tell any kind of story he wants. There’s no doubt they would be some of the best comics ever.
Last Edit: Dec 24, 2020 15:03:35 GMT -5 by EdoBosnar
From the get go, I knew this was a no-brainer of a choice. I love the works of Grant Morrison on so many levels. I'm a total Whorrison. Like the Hernandez Bros, I buy Grant Morrison in all forms; comics, trades, hardcovers. He's just one of those writers I share to new comic readers, so I've lent out trades on many occasions. Why I love Grant Morrison? His work fascinates me on so many levels; his philosophy of gods and modern heroes is prominent in all of his superhero work. They laying down of the new mythos for the 21st century. He's a chaos magician who's works charges the mind and make you look at the world differently.
I first discovered Grant's work back on Animal Man and Doom Patrol back in 1988 in junior high. Those two books were so different than most hero comics, it rattled me in a good way. The everyman of comics, the odd side of comics and the heroes that took them on. It was phenomenal. Then in 1989, Morrison releases Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth with Dave McKean. By far my favorite Batman story, the look at just how horrific the inmates are in Arkham, the history of the house, Batman's look at himself and how he isn't that far from the monsters he's caged there. The acclaim it received was well deserved.
Then in the 90s, Morrison hits his stride. Over on the Vertigo label, he creates The Invisibles, where his theories of chaos magic, Crowley, weird government theories mixed with a team of subversives to show the real happenings of the world were right in my wheelhouse as a late teen and early 20s student. Basically it's a manifesto on how to be an Invisibles. Not a great seller but a cult hit. At the same time, he was given the keys to the DC kingdom and relaunching the Justice League with JLA. A new philosophy of the team for the late 20th Century into the 21st. Thinkers before punchers; working on the problems of the world critically before throwing the first punch. A huge hit. Morrison creates Aztek (short lived series but light years ahead), Kill Your Boyfriend at Vertigo.
The 2000s brings The Filth at Vertigo and his reimagining of Batman. Taking a bunch of those silly Silver Age issues and making a serious story, the run of Batman is utterly brilliant. Turning Son of the Demon into actual canon and creating Damien Wayne, the child of Batman and Talia Al Ghul, into one of the best incarnation of Robin. "Killing" off Batman to bring Dick Grayson in as the new Batman with Damien as Robin, the relaunch of a newer series was critically acclaimed.
He re-invents himself with each project. Spins a new take on each character. And has the best way of looking at heroes; great reverence with giving more than most writers do. He's a spaghetti on the wall writer; if it sticks it's good and beyond arguable.
“Superhero science has taught me this: Entire universes fit comfortably inside our skulls. Not just one or two but endless universes can be packed into that dark, wet, and bony hollow without breaking it open from the inside. The space in our heads will stretch to accommodate them all. The real doorway to the fifth dimension was always right here. Inside. That infinite interior space contains all the divine, the alien, and the unworldly we’ll ever need.”~ Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human
Post by coke & comics on Dec 24, 2020 9:22:49 GMT -5
On the twelfth day of Christmas, I give you twelve works of the great Alan Moore.
V: Did you think to kill me? There's no flesh and blood within this cloak to kill. There's only an idea. Ideas are bulletproof. --"Vindication", V for Vendetta #9, DC, 1989
Jason Woodrue: He should have let me finish. He should have listened. Then I'd have been able to explain the most important thing of all to him. I'd have been able to explain that you can't kill a vegetable by shooting it through the head. --"The Anatomy Lesson", The Saga of the Swamp Thing #21, DC, 1984
Dr. Gull: The greater part of London's story is not writ in words. It is instead a literature of stone, of place-names and associations. Where faint echoes answer back from off the distant ruined walls of bloody history. Turn right down Greenwood Road as far as Albion Drive, then stop. Albion Drive. 'Twould seem auspicious in that we aspire to probe the ventricles of London, England's heart. Regard the London fields here in the slums of Hackney. Once green pasture, 'til the prosperous merchants moved here after London's fire; built suburbs that could not contain the overspill from the East End. Now all that's left's this dismal patch of grass, grazed bare by sheep; a yellowed waste in summer's heat; a quagmire if it rains. Yet Hackney was once "Hakon's Ea", a settlement where Saxons lived and worshipped heroes, deified as gods. Like Hengest's father, Ivalde Svigdur, murderer of Mani, the Teutonic lunar deity. Imagine, Netley: Here were goblets raised to the man who killed the moon. All gone: Now Hackney Brook churns underground from Crouch Hill's buckled spine to join the crawling River Lea, yet there's a mystery here... a resonance... ---"From Hell chapter 4: What Doth the Lord Require of Thee?", Taboo #5, Spiderbaby, 1988
Daniel Dreiberg: Nowadays, when I observe some specimen of Carine noctua, I try to look past the fine grey down on the toes, to see beyond the white spots arranged in neat lines, like a firework display across its brow. Instead, I try to see the bird whose image the Greeks carved into their coins, sitting patiently at the ear of the Goddess Pallas Athene, silently sharing her immortal wisdom. Perhaps, instead of measuring the feathered tufts surmounting its ears, we should speculate on what those ears may have heard. Perhaps when considering the manner in which it grips its branch, with two toes in front and the reversible outer toe clutching from behind, we should allow ourselves to pause for a moment, and acknowledge that these same claws must once have drawn blood from the shoulder of Pallas. --"A Brother to Dragons", Watchmen #7, DC, 1987
Faust: The breasts of the goddess are all nourishment... not just physical, but emotional. Spiritual. They make life possible. They sustain it. The milk of the star goddess Nuit runs across the skies, forming our galaxy. You are Inanna. You are Ishtar and Diana, many-breasted deity of the Ephesans. The girdle next... The... the girdle is the magical weapon of the seventh sphere, the sphere of Venus. The sphere of emotion, and love, and... Oh. Oh god. Promethea: God, Mr. Faust? Faust: Yes. Or at least, God considered as the most exalted feminine principle. This sacred receptacle is its sign. The vessel between the woman's thighs is the cup's highest aspect. The chalice. The grail of divine compassion. It takes in. It receives. The holy grail is female. Remember that. It's the essence of female. Promethea: The holy grail. Ahh. Then this is what all those Arthurian knights were seeking, riding off on their quests... Faust: ... with their lances held high. Yes. It's obvious when you think about it. Can you blame them? That sacred cup... brimming with the wine of stars. With the deep-pressed vintage of the soul. --"Sex, Stars, & Serpents", Promethea #10, DC, 1999
Dorothy: Truth is, he looked good but her weren't real bright. I couldn't even start a proper fight with him, and when he grabbed my tits, it's like he forgot they were fixed to me. See, what it is, I wanted to be doin' it with somebody who had real thoughts and feelin's just like I did, but sometimes I'd hold him an' there wasn't nothin' there. I might as well have humped a ragdoll, or somethin' you stick out in the field to scare the birds. I didn't come but once or twice. He'd sigh, and all I heard was, wind between the corn. When I told him that I didn't want to see him anymore, that's when he started sayin' how he loved me, and I felt like I was sorta mean, but there weren't nothin' else for it. I told him that I couldn't see him 'cos he didn't have no thoughts an' no imagination... --"Chapter 14: The Straw Man", Lost Girls, Top Shelf, 2006
King Peacock: Baldur? The Teutonic god of beauty? So... Ha ha ha! S-so this is the death of Baldur you're investigating? Synaesthesia: Well, yeah, John, what's so goddamned funny? Thunor: Listen you --- punk, don't you threaten my -- Dad! King Peacock: I'm sorry. I don't mean to laugh. It's just... Well, gods are eternally recurring symbols, Syn. They're stories. The death of Baldur's been going on since before time... and it will happen again tomorrow. Thunor: Arrnngk! Micro-Maid: Ouch. Thunor: ...Wurrrghh... Smax: And this time, I'd stay down, okay? Syn: Wait a minute. Excuse me, Mr. Woden, but has your son, Baldur... has he ever been murdered before? Woden: Baldur? Oh, aye. He's always getting murdered. It's a constant worry to his mother and myself. Baldur: Nay, Father. Worry not. For I am in truth only a little winded. Give me but a moment and I shall be fine. Syn: Oh Jesus... King Peacock: Actually, Baldur's more a Teutonic antecedent of Jesus, but you're in the right ballpark. Baldur: Truly, you guys are the greatest! Now, who amongst thee wants a hug? Woden: Baldur is resurrected! Let us hold a mighty celebration! Micro-Maid: This dart's changed back to mistletoe. Freya: Yes! Let's celebrate! We can play that game where everyone throws things! Woden: Aye! The "throwing things" game! It worketh for me! Lokk: Excuse me, honey-lips, but could I borrow that mistletoe for a second? --"Mythdemeanors", Top 10 #7, DC, 2000
Dr. Brunhauer: She wasn't anyone special. She wasn't that brave, or that clever, or that strong. She was just somebody who felt cramped by the confines of her life. She was just somebody who had to get out. And she did it! She went out past Vega and out past Moulquet and Lambard! She saw places that aren't even there anymore! And do you know what she said? Her most famous quotation? Ms. Kopek: "Anybody could have done it." --"The Ballad of Halo Jones book 2: Prologue", 2000 AD Prog 405, IPC, 1985
Joker: You see, it doesn't matter if you catch me and send me back to the asylum... Gordon's been driven mad. I've proved my point. I've demonstrated there's no difference between me and everyone else! All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day, once. Am I right? I know I am. I cam tell. You had a bad day and everything changed. Why else would you dress up like a flying rat? You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else... only you won't admit it! You have to keep pretending that life makes sense, that there's some point to all this struggling! God, you make me want to puke. I mean, what is it with you? What made you what you are? Girlfriend killed by the mob, maybe? Brother carved up by some mugger? Something like that, I bet. Something like that... Something like that happened to me, you know. I... I'm not exactly sure what it was. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it be multiple choice! Ha ha ha! But my point is... my point is, I went crazy. When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was, I went crazy as a coot! I admit it! Why can't you? I mean, you're not unintelligent! You must see the reality of the situation. Do you know many times we've come close to World War Three over a flock of geese on a computer screen? Do you know what triggered the last World War? An argument over how many telegraph poles Germany owed its war debt creditors! Telegraph poles! Ha ha ha ha ha! It's all a joke! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for... it's all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can't you see the funny side? Why aren't you laughing? Batman: Because I've heard it before... and it wasn't funny the first time. Joker: Aaaaaaaa! Unnf. Batman: Incidentally, I spoke to Commissioner Gordon before I came in here. He's fine. Despite all your sick, vicious little games, he's as sane as he ever was. So maybe ordinary people don't always crack. Joker: Gaaak Batman: Maybe there isn't any need to crawl under a rock with all the other slimey things when trouble hits... Maybe it was just you, all the time. --Batman: The Killing Joke, DC, 1988
Status Crew soldier: Allow me to introduce you to the Fury, "Captain". The Fury is a cybiote, an unstoppable amalgam of flesh and metal. It kills superheroes. --"A Crooked World", Marvel Superheroes #387, Marvel UK, 1982
Tomar Re: And it was then that Bolphunga the Unrelenting finally... well, relented, I suppose. Clambering hurriedly into his cosmocruiser, he careened off into the void, a pitiful blob of wailing terror. As his craft burst free of the upper atmosphere, he looked back once... Looked back at the carpet of forest that covered a continent, looked back at the design carved into that forest... Looked back... And saw the Green Lantern known as Mogo... And that, Arisia, is why Mogo doesn't socialize. --"Mogo Doesn't Socialize", Green Lantern #188, DC, 1985
Quinch: It must have worked because by the time we pulled into 1968 these really inferior characters had managed to get as far as the moon. Neil Armstrong: One small step... Quinch: The banana peel was my idea. I guess they edited it out of the film. The planet's surface still wasn't exactly right so we zipped ahead to 1991 and knocked a chunk off of America by using a seismic cannon on the San Andreas fault. By the time we got back to our own era, 3017 by the chimps' reckoning, they were out in space and had encountered their first real, actual people. It was embarrassing. They went on holovision and looked all awestruck and recited D.R.'s interstellar brotherhood speech. Nobody knew where to look. So, of course there had to be a full civic reception at the League of Disadvantaged Planets' charity hall, for these mindless life-forms. Dean Fusk and his family always talked about how much they contributed to the League, so, like, we knew they'd be there. Me and D.R. got a seat right behind the Dean, his wife and kid, staring at the back of his fat, blue Centravian neck. Then they finally got to the bit in the ceremony where they projected up a holo-pic of the newcomers' planet, like they always do. When the audience saw how me and D.R. had fixed up the geography, everybody was, like, utterly wiped out. The shape of the continents in the Northern Hemisphere now spelled out "Dean Fusk is embezzling canteen fund" in Centravian... while the Southern Hemisphere read, "And Mrs. Fusk is a convicted shoplifter and their horribly ugly son Mark is a known snitch." Naturally, the League of Planets ordered that this Earth place be atomized right away... --"D.R. and Quinch Have Fun on Earth", 2000 AD Prog 217, IPC, 1983
Also recommended: Marvelman, Superman, Omega Men, 1963, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Tom Strong, Tomorrow Stories
There is no other writer who would have made it so hard to pick only 12 works from.
When the strip ran, I was too young to appreciate its depth. It wasn’t until I read it as an adult that I could appreciate it (and I do appreciate the art, but this is a topic about writers, after all).
I have never felt so immersed in a strip as I was with Charley’s War. Charley Bourne is “real” to me. His supporting cast is “real” to me. I learnt about WWI at school, and I appreciate not everything in Charley’s War is necessarily authentic, but it touched me in a way no other strip has. Whether an NCO was killed in action, or an officer was executed for ‘cowardice’, I really felt the emotion of it all. I’ve never read any behind-the-scenes anecdotes pertaining to the strip, but Pat Mills either did a hell of a lot of research, spoke to people active during WWI or it’s just a talented writer. I bought the strip again recently (Rebellion released another volume in late 2018). It is the best war strip ever.
I did read some war strips (as a kid and adult). War was, well, I don’t know if “glorified” is the right word, but it was gung-ho. There was none of the horror. Charley’s War did so much well, that you may as well just add some positive adjectives to my post.
And that’s that. Or is it? No, I’m not voting for him just on one strip.
He played a significant part in Judge Dredd’s evolution.
ABC Warriors and Sláine are bloody awesome!
The man’s body of work is impressive. The majority of it has probably stood the test of time. And while I can’t name any specific individuals, I would imagine some might have been influenced by Pat Mills.
On the totality of his work, and the impression it has made on me (both entertainment-wise and in a profound sense), Mr Mills is my number 1 pick.
Last Edit: Dec 24, 2020 9:36:32 GMT -5 by driver1980
Post by thwhtguardian on Dec 24, 2020 9:43:18 GMT -5
On the last day of Classic Comics Christmas I give unto thee...
Busiek reigns supreme on my list because like Moench and Edinton he's a writer who can do just about every genre imaginable and he gets the top spot in particular because I have never, ever read a bad issue written by him. Sure, there are stories I like better than others but every single issue is guaranteed to be enjoyable at the very least. From superhero books like Avengers and one of the best runs on Superman ever told to fantasy books like Arrowsmith and Conan to glorious sci-fi books like Shockrockets and everything in between. I do have a favorite though: Astro City.
Like I said, everything Busiek touches is gold and nearly every moment is perfect but Astro City still sits head and shoulders above everything else. The best part is that it's all so varried; there are the big epics, like the Confessor story and the Tarnished Angel. There are the one-shots, like the Samaritan and Beautie specials. There’s even the short story, “The Nearness of You,” showing what it’s like to lose a loved one to a space-time disruption in a cosmic crossover. I can name so many favorite Astro City characters. There are the homage characters, like Samaritan, the supernatural characters, like the Hanged Man, and the ones that are delightfully unique, like the Bouncing Beatnik. . Astro City has everything and does everything. It tells us what it’s like to be a by-stander as the world’s heroes go into action. And it tells us what it’s like to be a hero who only wants a good night’s sleep. It is the best of the best.
Harvey Kurtzman I almost wondered if Kurtzman made the cut here as "the individual who composes the captions and fills the dialogue balloons in a comic book", since, in some ways, that was the last thing he considered when creating a story. His humor had a distinct tone, rhythm, and way of executing a joke, from MAD, through Humbug, Jungle Book, Annie Fannie, etc. His war stories did as well, leading to often tragic, but sometimes reaffirming, endings. Everything closely observed and carefully staged for maximum impact.
Probably more than most comic writers, Kurtzman is less known for any characters he created than for popularizing a way of looking at the world. Cynical and self-aware, but not snarky. The joke was more important than showing off. In comics, it's never quite been matched—whether called Plop! or Arrgh! or Mad House or Not Brand Ecch, we always know what it's trying to be but isn't.
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, a hero gave to me '70s horror and also Shang-Chi...
1. Doug Moench Primarily selected for...well...everything: Batman, Shang-Chi, Planet of the Apes, Marvel b/w mags, Warren b/w mags, and so very much more!
You rock, brutalis! I very much expected to be alone on this one.
Look, if you love the black and white comic mags of the 1970's--if you see them for the game-changers they were, the opportunity to play outside the lines of the comics code and the targeted adolescent demographic--then Doug Moench is a GOD. By the mid 1970s, his backlog of freelance material resulted in his having stories published nearly each month in the Warren and Skywald mags while he was working eighteen hour days to write for nearly every Marvel black and white mag while he was also taking creative control of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu, Werewolf by Night, Moon Knight, and co-controlling Deathlok.
And nearly ALL of it was brilliant.
Correct me if I'm wrong on this one, but most of the big names that top this list--your Alan Moores and Neil Gamains--generally wrote for one or two properties at a time. They could labor and debate over every line and panel. Moench, on the other hand, wrote like a demon possessed, churning out far more output than any of his contemporaries, leaping into established properties on a moment's notice, and making it all distinctly his own.
From the rich supporting cast, multiple plot lines, and complex characterizations of the soap opera era of Batman and 'Tec in the early 1980s, to the vast/expansive imagination of Planet of the Apes that took us far outside of the boundaries of the established movie franchise, to the savage wit and depravity of Gabriel Devil Hunter, to some of the most unforgettable stand-alone horror tales of the 1970s, Moench was unstoppable. How he did it while writing eighteen hours a day and barely sleeping is utterly beyond me.
Seriously, though, Haney was at the typewriter for my favorite run of comics ever: The Brave and the Bold #79-157. It was this series that cured me of being strictly a Marvel zombie and led me to begin collecting DC in earnest. This is "my" Batman, not the campy caped crusader of the Batmania days or the unbeatable psychotic of the '90s but a flawed and fallible champion of justice, in essence a 1970s TV private eye in super-hero drag. Not every story was a winner but at least Bob was in there trying, offering far more than the mindless punch-em-ups most team-up titles feature and in the process crafting some of the best stories ever of Deadman, The Metal Men, and others. So, no apologies for this one. I'm proud to be a Haney booster.
There were definitely two Bob Haneys. All of my favorite (original) Teen Titans stories were Haney scripts, and the Brave and the Bold stories were often even better!
Last Edit: Dec 24, 2020 10:57:37 GMT -5 by shaxper
Post by Slam_Bradley on Dec 24, 2020 11:05:06 GMT -5
#1 - Neil Gaiman (Sandman...duh!)
I suspect anyone who has been paying attention would know that Gaiman would be my #1 choice (and probably that Moore would be a close number 2). Sandman is, hands down, my favorite comic of all time. And I truly do consider it to be the greatest achievement in comics. The combination of long arcs with stand-alone stories to create a comprehensive whole. The use of stories to make us understand the power of stories and how they effect us and the world around us. With Sandman he truly changed the face of who read comic books. And for a while he absolutely was the Punk Rock God of comics.
I like a lot of other comics that he's done besides Sandman. Books of Magic was a great introduction to the weird side of the DCU at a time when you could still explore the dark corners. I think his Riddler story from the Secret Origins Special is absolutely brilliant and his Swamp Thing short story Jack in the Green deserves much wider exposure. DC truly blew it when they censored Rick Veitch and drove Gaiman away from doing an extended run on Swamp Thing.
It just so happens that Gaiman is one of my favorite prose authors, but that didn't factor in here. And he comes across as a pretty darn likeable guy. I love that he frequently haunts airport bookstores and surreptitiously signs copies of his books that are on the racks there.
Post by Roquefort Raider on Dec 24, 2020 12:14:14 GMT -5
#1. René Goscinny
All I said earlier about Jean-Michel Charlier applies to Goscinny... times two.
Co-creator of Astérix, best writer of Lucky Luke, absolutely hilarious writer of Les Dingodossiers, editor-in-chied of Pilote, prose writer whose Le Petit Nicolas was a reason I gave that name to my first born, friend of Harvey Kurtzman, Will Eisner, John Severin, Goscinny was an amazing Renaissance man who could not only write comics suitable for kids and adults, but for adults of high culture as well. His jokes about classical studies in Astérix had my dad crying with laughter, and as a kid I was impressed by how adults could not only speak a dead language, but make jokes using it.
Gone way, way, way too soon, Goscinny was a wonderful man as well. I am impressed by how he kept publishing Druillet's early work in Pilote, even if he claimed that he, himself, didn't understand it at all; he had the humility to recognize that great things could exist even if they were not up his alley. How many careers did he further thanks to that attitude?
A keen observer of human nature and society, Goscinny had a deep sense of the absurd. And unlike the type of stand-up potty humour that can also make me laugh out loud, Goscinny's humourous work always left me feeling a little smarter for having read it.
Heck, Goscinny even has his own statue in Paris!!!