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CSBG Archive

Top 50 Comic Book Writers #20-16

Here are the next five writers that you voted as your favorites of all-time based on over one thousand ballots cast! Click here to see the artists #20-16 on the countdown. Click here to see a master list of all writers listed so far.

NOTE: I’m fill in the five notable works per creator later on Thursday, I figure you folks have waited long enough for the results. I’ll give you one cover each writer, though, just so it’s not totally blank.

20 Roy Thomas – 540 points (8 first place votes)

After a very short stint at DC Comics, Roy Thomas went to work at Marvel in the mid-60s. He would soon become the first writer after Stan Lee to have a significant impact on the Marvel line of comic book titles.

One of his first prominent assignments (and one he is well-remembered for) was writing the Avengers after Lee…

Thomas soon began writing a number of series for Marvel, including a very well-received stint on X-Men with artist Neal Adams…

Thomas brought Robert E. Howard’s Conan character to Marvel, in a hit series (which soon became a bit of a cottage industry for Marvel) starring the barbarian. Thomas also basically created the character of Red Sonja for the series…

Thomas later brought Marvel the Star Wars license, as well! Thomas adapted the film for what became a major hit comic series for Marvel.

Thomas eventually followed Lee as Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, but his time was short-lived and pretty soon he was freelancing again. After years at Marvel, Thomas left the company for DC Comics in 1980.

His first major project for DC was a return to the Golden Age characters that Thomas especially loved, in the series All-Star Squadron…

Thomas’ work with the Earth-2 characters (the Golden Age DC characters) also eventually led to Infinity, Inc…

Thomas returned to Marvel in the late 1980s through the mid-1990s.

Nowadays, Thomas continues to work in comics on top of his work with the brilliant comic book history magazine, Alter Ego (named after the fanzine Thomas worked for and eventually edited in the early 1960s, before he ever began to write comics).

19 Matt Fraction – 699 points (9 first place votes)

Matt Fraction began working on a variety of small-studio comics during the mid-2000s, including a fairly prominent stint writing a 30 Days of Night tie-in mini-series.

His breakout work, though, was 2006’s Casanova, for Image Comics…

Soon afterwards (heck, while Casanova was still running), Fraction began writing for Marvel Comics, where he soon became a star writer.

His first notable work was the Immortal Iron Fist, co-written with Ed Brubaker…

Next, Fraction wrote a brand-new Iron Man series, Invincible Iron Man (now the flagship Iron Man title for Marvel)…

He also began co-writing Uncanny X-Men with Brubaker before taking over the title solo soon after….

Recently, he began writing Thor’s ongoing title, giving him 2 of Marvel’s “Big Three” (Ed Brubaker has the third, Captain America).

18 Greg Rucka – 808 points (16 first place votes)

Noted crime/thriller novelist Greg Rucka’s first comic work came in the late 1990s for Oni Press, the suspenseful Whiteout (drawn by the brilliant Steve Lieber), which recently was adapted into a film…

Rucka followed up Whiteout with another Oni series, this time spotlighting British spies in Queen and Country…

In 1999, Rucka was one of many different writers who was involved in DC’s year-long Batman storyline, “No Man’s Land.” Once it was finished, Rucka was one of the writers asked to stay on regularly. He took over Detective Comics…

During his run on Detective, Rucka spotlighted the Gotham Police Department a lot, so it made sense that he and fellow Bat-scribe, Ed Brubaker, would launch a comic devoted to the Gotham PD. It was called Gotham Central…

and it was highly acclaimed. Rucka had a particular affinity for Detective Renee Montoya.

During Infinite Crisis, Rucka worked on a tie-in to the crossover, where he brought back a character from his Detective run, Sasha Bordeaux. After Infinite Crisis ended, he debuted a new spy comic starring Bordeaux…

Rucka was also one of the four writers of 52, the year-long story following Infinite Crisis. It was during this time that he had Montoya become the new Question.

Story continues below

Recently, Rucka did a critically-acclaimed return to Detective Comics, this time starring the new character Batwoman (with a Question back-up!). Now no longer a DC Comics exclusive, Rucka is working on a number of different projects.

17 Mark Millar – 822 points (11 first place votes)

After doing a number of stories for 2000 A.D., Millar took over Vertigo’s flagship title, Swamp Thing, in 1994 – first with co-writer Grant Morrison and then as a solo gig.

Millar did a bunch of different comics throughout the rest of the 1990s, including acclaimed work on 2000 AD and the Superman Adventures (the comic book adaptation of the Superman animated series).

Millar’s career got a big boost when he followed Warren Ellis on The Authority…

After the Authority, Millar came to Marvel where he was one of the creators of the Ultimate universe, writing Ultimate X-Men and his hugely successful Ultimates series…

Eventually, Millar brought his skills to the regular Marvel universe, with the tremendously popular crossover Civil War…

More recently, while working on Fantastic Four and more Ultimate work, Millar has been doing creator-owned work for Marvel’s Icon imprint, including the popular series Kick-Ass, which was adapted into a movie in 2010…

16 Kurt Busiek – 834 points (11 first place votes)

Kurt Busiek first began writing professional comics in the 1980s. Besides a stint on Power Man and Iron Fist, though, most of his work for Marvel and DC were not regular gigs. He had a short-lived series at Eclipse called Liberty Project. Busiek worked for Marvel in other capacities, though, including writing the solicitation text for Marvel.

His fortunes began to change in 1994, when he wrote Marvels with artist Alex Ross…

The series was a smash success, and Busiek soon got another regular gig for Marvel writing Night Thrasher. He also wrote a new Shadowhawk series for Image Comics, around the same time that he launched his creator-owned series, Astro City…

Soon after Astro City debuted, Busiek began work on the acclaimed Marvel series, Untold Tales of Spider-Man…

During the time when Marvel “lost” four of their major superhero titles (Captain America, Avengers, Fantastic Four and Iron Man) to outside studios, Busiek gave the Marvel Universe a shot in the arm with his Thunderbols series with artist Mark Bagley…

When the superheroes returned to Marvel, Busiek was given two of the books, Iron Man and Avengers…

His run on Avengers with artist George Perez (and then later Alan Davis and Kieron Dwyer) was very successful.

Busiek wrote the hugely-popular Marvel/DC crossover series, JLA/Avengers.

He soon took over JLA for DC.

He has written a LOT of comics since then – Conan for Dark Horse, Arrowsmith for Wildstorm, Power Company and Superman for DC. He wrote the year-long series Trinity for DC.

Currently, he continues to write Astro City, recently finished a mini-series for Boom! and he soon will be doing a major project for Dynamite Comics based on the works of Jack Kirby


Roy Thomas was my #7 and Millar my #4. I was sure they would show up anytime, but was also sure Thomas would be among the top 10.

Busiek was my #1. I’ve lost my hope for my #2, Paul Levitz. Oh well.

Thank you thank you thank you gods for not letting Millar on the top 10.

And yay, Kurt Busiek!

wow, it looks like some really great writers won’t be cracking the top 50…

Has Bendis placed yet?

I had Millar, Thomas and Busiek on my list. Never much of a fan of Rucka but Fraction deserves to be high. He would be in my top 15. What’s horrifying about all this is that people listed Geoff Johns higher than these five.

Like many writers who came to prominence in the ’60s & ’70s, Roy Thomas was a game-changer. He shaped Marvel’s history into a cohesive whole, making the fictional world feel more real. I’m not a huge continuity person, but that still impresses me. He also had great runs on Avengers, Conan, and other titles.

Millar has written some highly entertaining comics. Of his work, I liked Ultimates, Superman: Red Son, and the first 5 issues of Wanted the most.

Fraction almost made my list based on Casanova alone. It’s one of the most innovative comics to come out in recent times, it’s a lot of fun, and volume 2 has a stunning ending. Immortal Iron Fist, The Order, his Thor one-shots, and Invincible Iron Man are also enjoyable.

Greg Rucka had me hooked with Whiteout, then his No Man’s Land stories and his run on Detective Comics. I liked what little I’ve read of Queen & Country, and wish he was going to continue writing Batwoman.

Between Marvels, Avengers, Astro City, and Untold Tales of Spider-Man, Kurt Busiek was one of my favorite writers in the ’90s. I thought his Superman run was underrated, and Astro City remains one of the very few comics I still buy in singles.

I’m a fan of MIllar, Rucka and Fraction, but there’s no way they deserve to be this high.

It’s such a shame that so many comics internet people have so little perspective on the big picture.

It will be an absolute travesty when Bendis places in the top then. I’m a fan of his too, but his range and characterization ability is so very limited compared to so many other writers.

Busiek was my #10. 6 more of mine not appeared yet…

Busiek didn’t crack the Top 10! I’m shocked!

Still these guys alone are a reason to re-read back issues!

Fraction/Rucka/Millar, there’s three of mine I believe.

Fraction should be on this list for Casanova alone. Throw in Immortal Iron Fist, Invincible Iron Man, and those awesome Thor one-shots(and one of my favorite Spidey issues ever in Sensational Spider-man Annual #1), and I have no qualms with him being so high.

Rucka got my vote mainly for Gotham Central, which I think is easily one of the best DC series of the past decade. Checkmate is great too, and I rather enjoyed Batwoman(even if he gets overshadowed by JH Williams III, which reminds me that he hasn’t shown up on the Top 50 Artists yet). I really need to get around to reading Queen and Country one of these days!

Millar got my vote because sometimes, I think he’s just really on. His Authority took them a logical direction, with the heroes imposing their will on the political scheme of the world. The Ultimates is like an evolution of that run, filled with more interesting characters and sub-plots(the “Is Thor crazy!?” sub-plot was brilliantly done). Unfortunately, I don’t like most of his recent work. It seems like a combination of shock value and trying to make it appeal to the inevitable-Hollywood-production. Can’t hate on the guy, even if he sounds like a douche when he does interviews, but I stick to his older work nowadays.

None of mine! I had a few at the bottom of the list and I expect most will show up later on. Sweet list so far though.

Millar was my #4 because, with Bendis (#3), he brought me back to super-heroes comics with the Ultimate line. In the early 2000´s they were on fire with Ultimate Spider-man, Ultimate X-Men , Ultimates and Daredevil. I re-read tehir runs on those titles all the time and enjoy them more and more.

[…] here: Top 50 Comic Book Writers #20-16   Tags: first-place Posted in: […]

I am not going to bash Millar, but I do not understand anyone who had him as their number 1.

Kurt Busiek to me can range from awe-inspiring and life-changing (ASTRO CITY, MARVELS, SECRET IDENTITY) to simply entertaining (most of his other Marvel/DC work). So I have no problem with his ranking. #16 is good, when you average these two extremes. If counting ASTRO CITY only, I’d put him in the Top 10.

Roy Thomas is the writer most responsible for creating what we know as the Marvel Universe, after Stan Lee. So yeah, he absolutely deserves to be ranked here, and probably should be higher. For good or for ill, everyone doing ensemble cast superhero comics is following Thomas’s groundbreaking work in Avengers. Not to mention Conan (though I’m not very much of a fan of the character).

Fraction and Rucka are very solid writers. Judging only their superhero work (I am ashamed to admit I didn’t read their non-Marvel/DC work yet), I think Matt Fraction is the better writer, even though his X-Men run is seriously harmed by Greg Land. Rucka’s GOTHAM CENTRAL is pure genius, but occasionaly his writing can devolve into blah when he concentrates too much into a couple of his favorite characters.

Mark Millar, I dunno. I loved ULTIMATES and WANTED. But right now I’m seriously tired of him. It’s hard for me to read him without getting annoyed at his pursuit of ultimate badassed coolness. A poster once described Millar’s writing as too much testosterone, and too little estrogen. Too many hard edges, not enough softness. All shock, no subtlety. in short, the perfect writer for angry teenage boys.

Wow, surprised to see Fraction so high. Not trying to be a hater but his Marvel work has been pretty disappointing so far (his runs on X-men and Iron Man in particular have just been….I guess boring’s the right word). Immortal Iron Fist was absolutely killer, but it’s hard to know how much of that was Fraction and how much was Brubaker.

I find the point jumps interesting. Fraction has a lot more points than Thomas and then from Fraction to Rucka there’s another huge jump. I imagine the top 3 will end up having at least 3 times as many points as Busiek who already has almost 8 times more points than 50th place.

Another thought about the list is that the person with the most first place votes is Rucka with 16 and there’s no one above 12. The average number of first place votes for the entire list is over 20, so that means we’re going to start seeing a huge jump in “first place votes” for the writers. I think Moore,Miller and Morrison will combine to over 300 first place votes.

@mizike: I agree completely with you. I’ve read a lot of Fraction’s work and Iron Fist is his best work to me (I like Casanova, but I don’t think that it’s as awe-inspiring as most people say it is).

With Iron Man and Thor, it almost seems as if he’s challenging Bendis for the title of “King of Decompressed Comics”. Even though they’re well written, the pace is glacial.

Oh, and there was also that 8-page story in “Who Won’t Wield the Shield” that was the first time in my life that I got angry reading a comic.

I thought Busiek would have rated higher, but top 20 is still good. He’s the only one out of these 5 I had on my list.

Busiek was my #2 after Moore. I think he has done more to help comics evolve in the last 20 years than anyone. With his Marvels and Astro City he took the realistic approach Moore and Miller created in the 80’s and took it to the next step. But Busiek wasn’t dark. He has a love of the heroes and shows it in his work. With Astro City #1 he shows us Superman in a completely new humanistic light but one that makes perfect sense. With out Busiek there would be no Brubaker (which ironically probably placed higher) . In a way you might say that he is the father of the comics of 2000.

Phew! I was not sure Roy Thomas was going to make it. Leaving him out would’ve been a crying shame.

I think of twelve more on the list that are a lock, but am ready to be surprised a bit by the next round.

The Crazed Spruce

December 16, 2010 at 11:18 am

Roy Thomas and Greg Rucka were tied for 11th on my list. Mark Miller finished just off of my list. Not very familiar with Matt Fraction’s work, definitely not enough to count him among my favourites.

Kurt Busiek, on the other hand, was #8 on my list. Geoff Johns should take lessons from him on how to honour the comics you read as a kid without tearing down everything that came after.

"O" the Humanatee!

December 16, 2010 at 11:49 am

@Thomas Morrison: Why do you say “Without Busiek there would be no Brubaker”? My first exposure to Brubaker was “Scene of the Crime,” which is very very far from a Busiek-style book.

Greg gets 16 first place votes. Thats awesome! He was 4th on my list, but really he was number 1 for North American writers for me. I just couldn’t get him higher than 3 guys from overseas (originally).

I haven’t read Brubaker’s “Scene of the Crime” or any of his earlier stuff. When I said that Brubaker owes a debt to Busiek I was talking about Brubaker (and Epting’s) Captain America. When I first saw it I immediately thought of Marvels because of the realism that they brought to that book. Brubaker recreates the super hero genera with Cap v. 5 by putting drama over action and firmly placing the heroes in the real world. Weather Brubaker was influenced by Busiek or not, Marvels did create an audience for this kind of work, for Marvel Knights and all other realistic portrayals of heroes that we have seen in this decade. It took the industry 10 years to begin to digest and use what Busiek and Ross created but with Cap v. 5 I believe that we are finally seeing the fruit.
So let’s hear it for Brubaker and Epting’s masterful work, but let’s not forget the masters who paved the way, in this case Busiek and Ross!

I’m only familiar with Fraction on X-Men. He seems competent enough (better than a lot of X-Men writers), but not really great. I don’t much like what little Millar I’ve read (but I’ve read very little).
Roy Thomas is the great one. I’m shocked to see him this low, I would’ve thought he had a good chance of making #1. He’s one of the inventers of modern super-heroes. You could even make a good case for ranking him above Stan on his contributions to the field.

Roy Thomas is the great one. I’m shocked to see him this low, I would’ve thought he had a good chance of making #1. He’s one of the inventers of modern super-heroes. You could even make a good case for ranking him above Stan on his contributions to the field.

I think a reason Roy Thomas didn’t rank higher is because his work probably isn’t as familiar to younger readers as Stan Lee’s. I would guess that a younger reader who decides to buy Marvel Masterworks or whatever is more likely to buy Spider-Man and Fantastic Four (and Stan Lee is credited as the writer for the 100+ issues of both) than the Avengers (the book Roy is most associated with, which he didn’t take over until issue 30something).

That being said, I do think Roy greatly deserves to be ranked on this list.

Is Casanova really that good? I’ve tried to read it several times and found it more entertaining for the art than the story. Iron Fist was fantastic but the rest of his Marvel work has ranged from bad to serviceable. I therefore think Fraction’s a bit high on this list.

Both Fraction and Rucka have the problem that they have no single defining run or series that is universally accepted as “really good.” Casanova isn’t high profile enough and Gotham Central is also a niche book as compared to other big 2 superhero stuff.

My problem with Roy Thomas’s placing is the reverse problem many others have had with the high placing of people like Jason Aaron and Jonathan Hickman. Just like people disliked those last two for not doing enough work to qualify for the list, I feel like Thomas places high for doing SO MUCH work and creating so many characters. Roy Thomas always struck me as a lesser Stan Lee. To this day I consciously segregate classic Marvel elements and characters into Lee/Kirby/Ditko concepts and Thomas concepts. From the time I was a kid I noticed there were some Marvel concepts and characters that would bore me to tears and others I couldn’t get enough of. I realized when I got older that the ones that bored me to tears usually had a Roy Thomas origin.

Maybe I just keep reading the wrong Roy Thomas stories but they never really rise above “pretty decent” for me.

Busiek made my list, and I agree that he’s basically what I wish Johns was. I mean don’t get me wrong – Johns’ work on JSA was fucking killer and I love his work with The Rogues, but he’s turned boring and forced in recent years. Too obvious.

Thomas didn’t make my list but he definitely deserves high placement for reasons stated by others.

Never read Casanova, which I hear is stellar, but Fraction’s superhero work doesn’t generally do it for me. His X-Men is weak, he’s generally decompressed as Hell, and he’s just struck me as pretty bland. I did like the Thor one-shots a few years ago, and Iron Fist was killer – that epilogue issue to the tournament arc was one of the best single issues in ages, though props must also go to the artist there.

Millar…meh. Ultimates was of course sweet though.

I had Roy Thomas as my number six. He had a wonderful run on Avengers that really defined the book, and I did like much of Conan.
It’s funny though how dated some of his Avengers work can feel now, at times even moreso than Stan Lee. Thomas filled his writing with then-current cultural references that felt forced at the time and must seem pretty silly to more-recent readers (the stunning visual feast that Neal Adams created when Antman explored inside the Vision was cheapened by that lame Crosby, Stills and Nash quip, to me at least).
I’d say I’m disappointed that he didn’t place higher, but frankly am relieved that he at least made the top twenty.

I think he’s somewhat iconic in another sense, in that he seems to have been the first superfan who came up to make it big, setting the stage for a lot of similar stories (though most unfortunately proved to have less ability).

I don’t mean to bash Stan Lee, but I think he benefited enormously from working wih Kirby and Ditko. Their work was far more explosive and (at least in his colaborations with Kirby) far more “solar” than Roy Thomas’s work.

But I think Thomas was far more literary, mature, had a tighter pacing (Stan Lee usually had his stories concluding suddenly, and sometimes just fizzling out), had a greater grasp on continuity, and much better grasp on science and logic. He was much more grounded, and I’d say moodier, almost melancholic, a “lunar” writer if you’d like.

I like them both, but Thomas was easier for me to get into, and I daresay the “Marvel House Style” owes a lot more to Thomas than to Lee, even though the characters were mostly pre-Thomas.

About Roy Thomas, being a big Avengers fan, Roy deserves credit for creating most of the Avengers mythos. he created the Vision, Yellow Jacket, Grim Reaper, the Squadron Supreme for starters. Him and John Buscema had one of the best runs on the book.
On the other hand, a lot of the stuff he created was just OK. For example I just re-read the Young All-Stars. While the concept is really intriguing, the writing is, well, boring. So yes he has contributed a lot to the Marvel U and comics, but I don’t think he falls in the same class as Moore or Busiek in terms of writing ability.

Seeing Busiek two points above Millar makes me very, very glad that I got Busiek into my top ten. :)

“I daresay the “Marvel House Style” owes a lot more to Thomas than to Lee, even though the characters were mostly pre-Thomas.”

I’d agree with that – Although I think it’s more that Roy’s (brilliant) “Everything is all connected” approach to comic writing is easier for folks to copy than Stan’s post-modern, humorously self-aware, “I am a caricature of a writer writing a story” thing.

For cute coincidences nobody is likely to care about, I’ll note that both my #1 picks (Busiek and Buscema) placed #16 on their respective lists.

Marvel, marvel, marvel… as a DC leaner, I think Roy Thomas really earned his spot by creating the Zoo Crew… and I suppose there was all that Marvel stuff, and the JSA / All Star stuff, but come on… Captain Carrot and his AMAZING Zoo Crew!!!! There was no need for any other reason to be in the top 20. :)

I find Stan Lee a bit of a slough to actually read, but I still kinda like the guy and I could almost see voting for him just based on all of the foundational characters he co-created. I’d rather sit down with the average Thomas penned-issue, but if history could only keep one guy’s body of work, it’s gotta be Lee’s.

Don’t know exactly when Cronin posted this up on Wednesday, but if I’d seen it before I went to my LCS to see Roy Thomas (he was signing his latest Conan mini for Dark Horse and basically holding court), I’d have mentioned it to him. Sorry I missed it. I’m sure he would have asked me to pass along thanks for the acknowledgement and appreciation.

Roy Thomas’ greatest strength was also his greatest weakness.

His love and reverence for what came before made him the perfect guy to essentially take over from Stan Lee at Marvel.

But when he went to DC, it became a slog through years of stuff that had been forgotten and should have stayed that way.

I’m a Rucka-voter! He is one of only two writers of superhero comics whose work I can *always* read without having to brace myself for the female characters being written as stupid, characterless, or just there for the convenience of the male characters’ stories. He’s a terrific writer, as well, but it’s a huge relief to be able to pick up a comic and know I’m going to enjoy it. Gail Simone is the other writer, and John Ostrander comes close but doesn’t quite make it.

Busiek is my second vote to show up (Wolfman was my #7, Busiek #9), but my other 8 guys are all still coming. Anyone that hasn’t read Marvels, well, you’re really just denying yourself a sensational comic reading experience.

Thomas is a guy that I haven’t read a ton of–I suspect I’ve actually read more of his DC work than Marvel–but I knew he’d be up here and I certainly won’t argue with it. And it’s nice to see at least one other pre-Claremont X-Men writer (besides Stan Lee) crack the top 20.

Rucka and Fraction are two guys that I haven’t read a ton of, but neither has ever struck me as better than average. I’ve never disliked either of their works, but have never been dazzled by any of it either. Well, actually, I was dazzled by both Gotham Central and Batwoman: Elegy, but I’m giving more credit to Brubaker and WIlliams III, respectively, in those cases. But, I predicted both guys would make the top 25, so no surprise.

Millar… well, I too, loved Ultimates, and his Ultimate X-Men work, and I at least enjoyed Red Son, Superman Adventures, and Wanted. On the other hand, I thought Enemy of the State was bad, and I honestly thought Old Man Logan was in a tie (with All-Star Batman & Robin) for single worst comic story I’ve ever read. And I’ve come to a conclusion about Millar and how to decipher whether his stuff will be good: If he’s creating his own continuity or alternate continuity (Ultimate stuff, Red Son, Wanted, Kick-Ass, etc.), he’s good and even sometimes great, because he’s a capable and creative writer whose best trait is his need to immediately put daring and jarring stamps on his work, then play with it. On the other hand, when he’s dealing with established continuities (all of his Marvel U work), his best trait immediately becomes his worst trait, because he doesn’t respect What Has Come Before. So that’s my theory.

Anyways, we know what the top 15 will be at this point, just the order is up in the air. My two big goals for the list are 1) for Claremont to rank ahead of Bendis and Johns (but I’m pretty doubtful), and 2) for Alan Moore to be #1 (still like the odds on that one).

Time for my eulogy for ten great writers that won’t be getting their due (at least not here): Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, Len Wein, Mike Grell, Howard Chaykin, Jeff Smith, Dave Sim, Matt Wagner, Gerry Conway, and Jim Shooter. Better luck next time guys. (Grell, Chaykin, Smith, and Wagner are all guys that I suspect were hurt by half their fans voting for them as writers, and half voting for them as artists, thus meaning they made neither list. I’m happy this didn’t happen to Walt Simonson.)

A final observation: Frank Miller, Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Walt Simonson, John Byrne, and (maybe) Mike Mignola will be the only guys on both lists; is everyone okay with calling these guys, by default, the six greatest/favorite writer/artists?

Enrique, about first place votes, not all of them are up for graps since some of them have been given to creators who won’t show up on the top 50 (by now I have given up hope of seeing either my #1 artist or writer to show up).
But I’m sure we’ll see a notable increase of those.

Millar over Rucka? you make me sad internets.

In the Busiek section it says: “During the time when Marvel “lost” four of their major superhero titles (Captain America, Avengers, Fantastic Four and Iron Man) to outside studios.”
Having very large gaps in readership over the past 10-15 years, can anyone explain what that was all about? Thanks, P.

In the Busiek section it says: “During the time when Marvel “lost” four of their major superhero titles (Captain America, Avengers, Fantastic Four and Iron Man) to outside studios.”
Having very large gaps in readership over the past 10-15 years, can anyone explain what that was all about? Thanks, P.

Marvel farmed out those four titles to two separate studios run by former Marvel artists who later co-founded Image Comics. Avengers and Captain America were produced by Rob Liefeld’s studio and Fantastic Four and Iron Man was produced by Jim Lee’s studio. The books were re-launched, Ultimate Comics-style (brand-new continuity).

After a year or so of this, they returned to Marvel. But for a year, Marvel had a universe missing most of its major superheroes.

Some quick notes –

I can’t believe how low Busiek came in! He was my #2! I don’t see many writers that were better or more critically acclaimed than him. You have Moore, and Gamian, Milller, Stan Lee….and who? Who else has created a masterpiece that compares with Marvels, not to mention his consistently great Astro City for the last 15 years. And lets REALLY not mention his revitalizing the Avengers after the Marvel implosion of 1996 (Pete Woodhouse…Check it out on Wikipedia). Ah never mind…

I forgot to mention – Roy Thomas created one of my all time favorite single issues (or in this case 2 issues) Avengers #57 and #58! Although I have to say that Big John Buscema had a lot to do with it’s greatness. These 2 issues are just stunning, emotionally, and visually. They are just stunning from cover to cover. The kind of books that I look at over and over again just for the shear joy of it!

To Third man – What! You are saying that Moench won’t make it?!? My heart is breaking. But I understand. Not all his works are great, but I just love his Master of Kung Fu run! All 100 issues (give or take an issue).

Although he didn’t make my list Shooter is another favorite of mine for his Avengers run. The Korvak/Michael saga is one of the first comics that I remember ever owning and still love it to this day.

Let’s not forget that Roy Thomas was also the first guy to write a Star Wars comic. He wrote, like, the first ten issues of the series before Goodwin took over. Though, they aren’t really considered very good comics. They even introduced that big green bunny many fans seem to hate. But considering how many SW comics are out there, it’s sort of significant he was the first writer, isn’t it?

Sure, Ethan, I’ll edit in a mention of his Star Wars work!

I will be sad too if Moench and Shooter don’t appear. Moench just for Master of Kung Fu and Moon Knight.

How do you NOT mention Rucka’s Wonder Woman run?

how can a man who creates such boring drivel as Busiek, be anyone’s #1, It boggles the mind.

In 10 years, doing this same list, Matt Fraction will be top ten. He just doesn’t have the resume yet.

I remember Roy Thomas more for “winning” the Tin Ear Award in an old book I love that Kitchen Sink put out about 20 years ago, the World’s Worst Comics Awards. 2 issues. If you find it, get it. They quote a Thomas comic I have (All Star Squadron Ann2, iirc) where FDR is going on about Fire and Fear… It’s very dumb, and they were right to spotlight it. I also think of him more as anal retentive about continuity, that EVERYTHING has to fit together, which leads to your Geoff Johns, Busieks, etc. Not that I dislike that all per se…

I loved Casanova, but I’m not familiar enough with other Fraction stuff.

Rucka is pretty good overall, but not a personal fave.

Millar I wouldn’t have voted for unless I liked him a LOT more. I’m not sure with the stuff I do like how entwined Millar and Morrison are. Apparently, the end of Red Son was a Morrison thing (and it shows), and certain other cool stuff he did was with GMozz (Swamp Thing, Flash). His stuff (say, at Marvel) without GMozz is ok but nothing that blows me away.

Busiek. I’m surprised he wasn’t high enough on my list. Probably in my top 20. I LOVE Untold Tales, Marvels is good, Astro City great. There’s a lot of blah stuff too, though. Liberty Project was pretty good, though. How much of that did About Comics end up collecting?

And Third Man showing some love for my #3 writer, Dave Sim. Cool.

“Marvel farmed out those four titles to two separate studios run by former Marvel artists who later co-founded Image Comics. Avengers and Captain America were produced by Rob Liefeld’s studio and Fantastic Four and Iron Man was produced by Jim Lee’s studio. The books were re-launched, Ultimate Comics-style (brand-new continuity).”
– Thanks for replying to my question, Brian (plus anyone else who gave info).

After surfing the Interweb myself, I found this contemporary link from 1996 announcing the Marvel ‘farming out':

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