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A Month of Writing Stars – Dave Gibbons

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 famous artist not so well known for his writing!

Enjoy!

Gibbons broke into comics not just drawing, but doing some writing, as well. In fact, in the very first issue of 2000 A.D., Gibbons writes and draws at least one story.

But more or less, Gibbons became known as an artist, primarily, and that is what he was brought over to the United States by DC to do – draw.

After working with Alan Moore on a few projects, most notably a little project called Watchmen, Gibbons’ great creativity as a writer was ALSO given notice by DC Comics, with an acclaimed three-issue mini-series starring Batman and Superman, with great art by Steve Rude.

Soon, Gibbons was hired to do the (at the time, rather notable) crossover between Batman and Predator.

The triumph of Gibbons’ work is his brilliant storytelling work, as he weaves plot and characterization particularly well, due in part either to his background as a great artist or his history with the great writer, Alan Moore.

In either event, a Gibbons story, no matter if it is a story of Batman fighting the Predator, is often quite dense with an engaging plot and interesting characters.

That was the case for his (too short!) run on Captain America.

His best work as a writer is easily his original graphic novel for Vertigo, The Originals, which uses the future to basically just tell a story of mods and punks. It is extremely well-crafted.

When working in the midst of an editorial mandate, Gibbons’ skills are a bit less useful, but he still managed to do a strong run on Green Lantern Corps (Geoff Johns often co-wrote).

The best issues were the ones that stood apart from any crossover.

I’d love to see some new written work from Gibbons (heck, I’d love new art work from him, too!).

10 Comments

Batman Vs Predator was one of the first TPB I bought – I waitied every month at my local shop to get it. I even got issue #1 signed by Dave Gibbons – I must have been about 10 at the time!

I love Batman Vs Predator!
I got the trade years ago, what a great story. I had no idea it was Gibbons.

Now that I think about it, Gibbons writing, Kubert on art, Suydam on covers.
That’s a damn fine line-up for a book.

Not mentioning Lobo/The Mask when telling about John Arcudi is bad enough, but no mention either of Aliens:Salvation, drawn by Mignola is really disappointing Mr. Cronin.

Don’t forget his short in BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE. One of the most memorable stories for me, helped by his great visual sense as an artist (the Black and White Bandit!).

Tom Fitzpatrick

January 20, 2009 at 7:45 am

I remember World’s Finest. Beautifully drawn by Rude, a fun-filled story full of spot-on characterization by Gibbons.

Whatever happened to the DUDE? He did two new issues of Nexus: Space Opera last year, and then nothing else since.

Dave Gibbons is a bit hit and miss for me, but when he’s on form (like Batman vs Predator and the Rogue Trooper revamp) he’s gold.

Really a Batman vs Predator had now business being as good as it was. All of the follow-ups have been more the standard you’d expect (ie crap)

Great choice. I think Dave Gibbons is a very under rated writer.

That said a point of accuracy Dave Gibbons certainly draw a strip in issue 1 of 2000ad, Harlem Heroes, which was actually written by the great Pat Mills. He didn’t write anything to my knowledge until much much later. In fact I think his first writing was the re-imagined Rogue Trooper in the 600s. Which as it happens I’ve just reread and have to say its fantastic, much better than the original.

To make it up to you all here’s a link to a picture of Dave Gibbons dressed as ‘The Big E’ the superhero editor of the short lived UK comic ‘Tornado’ (scroll down a little it is there)

http://www.thefifthbranch.com/gorilladaze/?p=140

Gibbons on GL Corps was ok, but the series really picked up with that fill-in arc by Keith Champagne, any chance of a feature on him this month?

“World’s Finest” was amazing. Steve Rude drew probably my favorite Superman. The plot was tight and fun. There a half dozen nice moments per issue. Great, great comics…

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