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A Month of Writing Stars – Paul Tobin

Every day this month I’m going to feature a current comic book writing “star,” someone who I think is a very good writer.

I’m mostly going to try to keep from the biggest names as much as possible, because, really, do I need to talk more about the awesomeness of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Warren Ellis?

Here is the archive of previously featured writers.

Today we look at a good Marvel all-ages writer who was featured in this week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed!


Paul Tobin did some comic book work in the early 90s, but it was really 2005 that he really got back into the industry with the neat Oni comedy title, Banana Sunday (under the pen name, Root Nobit), which was drawn by Colleen Coover, who was featured in the Month of Art Stars (click here to see the piece on Coover). Tobin and Coover have a passing familiarity with each other.

Writer Jeff Parker (who is not going to be featured in the Month of Writing Stars because it just seems too obvious – I mean, do I really need to tell people about how cool Jeff Parker is?) encouraged Tobin to try to get gigs at Marvel, and eventually Tobin began getting Marvel Adventures stories, and he has proven to be quite adept at writing titles for Marvel’s All Ages line.

What impresses me most about Tobin is the way he seems to write every issue of Marvel Adventures in the same way that he writes an issue of Banana Sunday. Plenty of writers seem to take an entirely different approach when they’re working with their own characters than when they’re dealing with superheroes, in the sense that they seem to give their characters a heck of a lot more thought. Tobin never seems to do that – his superheroes seem to be just as fleshed out as his own creations, and I really admire that.

Besides that, most of his work tends to be charming, done-in-one tales that work in fun and action seamlessly into intriguing ideas.

A good example of this is his latest issue of Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four, with artist David Hahn, which is done totally silent, yet feels absolutely filled with story (and a fun one at that).

He also uses the whole reserve of characters available to him nicely, like having Baron Mordo and Moondragon show up in an FF tale!

He’s a great writer and I can’t wait until he makes the journey that both Parker and Van Lente did from just the All-Ages titles into more and more work at Marvel!


Re Jeff Parker: I think a guy like Jeff Parker could easily fly under someone’s radar name-wise. Not only does he have a relatively common sounding name (though there’s probably a lot of people with the name of Frank Miller or Alan Moore out in the world, too) but he’s done a lot of all ages stuff that some people, myself included, generally steer clear of. And some of the titles he’s worked on have more name recognition than he does. I’ve read some of the Big Books and I’ve heard of Agents of Atlas on this blog but I didn’t really know what stuff Jeff Parker did until I wiki’ed him. But perhaps that’s just me.

Tobin and Parker’s books include some of the titles I most look forward to each month when my comics arrive!

I think Jeff Parker should definitely get a feature during your month of “Writing Stars,” though. There’s a big difference between someone being as cool as Jeff Parker is, and actually being widely known/read.

Another strong choice.

This month is full of winners.

I liked the couple issues of Banana Sunday that I got, but I got them mostly because of Colleen Coover’s art, which I liked on Small Favors for (ahem) other reasons. But the book is funny.

I’m sure I’ve read other stuff of Tobin’s, as I do read the digests of Marvel Adventures, but I’m not sure what stuff of his I’ve read.

Great to see Paul Tobin getting some love. I become more of a fan of his with everything I read, and I too look forward to him doing more stuff at Marvel beyond just the all ages stuff. I’m really looking forward to Models, Inc.

Oh, he’s writing Models Inc? I thought that sounded kinda amusing, and if Tobin’s writing it it will probably be decent. Gonna wait for the trade then.

I mean, do I really need to tell people about how cool Jeff Parker is?

Erm, yes, please!

Although the name rings a distant bell, I have no idea who he is and what he’s done…

[…] A Month of Writing Stars – Paul Tobin […]

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