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Top 50 Comic Book Writers: #2-1

Here are the last two writers that you voted as your favorites of all-time based on over one thousand ballots cast! Click here to see the artists #2-1 on the countdown. Click here to see a master list of all the writers in the top 50!

NOTE: Five notable works per creator

2 Grant Morrison – 4102 points (163 first place votes)

Grant Morrison started his career working on a variety of independent series in England in the early to mid-80s, before he finally found some success working for Marvel UK. His Marvel UK work got him work on 2000 AD, where he debuted the very popular Zenith feature, about a post-modern superhero.

Zenith proved popular enough that Morrison was able to get his pitches heard at DC Comics, and in the late 1980s, Morrison began work on an Animal Man revamp that was so well-received by DC that it was turned into an ongoing series before the mini-series was even released!

Morrison’s acclaimed work on Animal Man led to him doing a revamp on another DC title, Doom Patrol…

Animal Man and Doom Patrol later formed a significant chunk of the initial line of Vertigo comics for DC (Morrison had left both titles by this point, though).

Morrison continued to be a significant contributor to 2000 AD during the early 1990s, helping to get Mark Millar his big break in comics, as well.

Morrison worked on a number of series from the late 1980s into the mid 1990s, including one of his most successful stories ever – the Batman graphic novel, Arkham Asylum (with artist Dave McKean), which had the good fortune to be released during the Bat-mania of the Tim Burton Batman film. Morrison also debuted his acclaimed Vertigo series, The Invisibles, in the 1990s.

In 1996, Morrison’s career took a bit of a turn when he took over DC’s wilting Justice League title. Morrison (with artist Howard Porter) turned the franchise around, making it DC’s biggest-selling superhero comic…

After he finished his JLA run, Morrison had a similarly acclaimed revamp on the X-Men line of comics…

After leaving Marvel in 2004, Morrison returned to DC to work on a variety of acclaimed projects, including We3 and All Star Superman…

Currently, Morrison is getting towards the end of a six-plus-year run directing the Batman line of comics for DC.

1 Alan Moore – 4551 points (183 first place votes)

Like Morrison, Alan Moore got his start in independent comics in England. And like Morrison, Moore first found success at Marvel UK (an acclaimed run on Captain Britain) before moving over to 2000 AD for a number of popular series and also two notable works for Warrior, most famously Moore’s revamp of Marvelman…

Moore’s work on Warrior got him noticed at DC, and soon he was writing Swamp Thing for DC, which was basically the first “Vertigo” comic (years before there WAS a Vertigo).

His success on Swamp Thing led to the groundbreaking mini-series, Watchmen, also for DC…

DC also finished a series Moore also began in Warrior, V for Vendetta…

After leaving DC in the late 1980s, Moore has done work for a variety of different companies, including the notable independent series, From Hell (with Eddie Campbell) and a number of different projects for Image Comics.

In the late 1990s, Jim Lee’s Wildstorm Studios created a whole line of comics for Moore, including such acclaimed series as Top Ten, Promethea, Tom Strong and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen…

Moore is continuing the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series for Top Shelf.

That’s the countdown! I hope you enjoyed it!

155 Comments

Alright! My one and 2 are one and 2!

I was curious to see if GMozz would pull it out, but it wasn’t THAT close, looking at the points totals.

Look at that leap in first place votes! Morrison has 100 more first place votes than the next contender, Stan the Man.

Why I picked these guys:

GMozz: Batman is awesome, All Star Superman is awesome, New XMen is awesome, JLA is awesome, Doom Patrol is amazing, the Filth is great, what I’ve read of Animal Man, Zenith, Invisibles, etc is SO good. Great ideas that tickle my brain and delight me and he’s still producing great work.

Flex Mentallo, just from the first issue, all I have of it, is one of the best comics ever.

WE3 is the GREATEST mini ever. No question. I tear up EVERY time I read it. A combination of anti-military/anti- animal cruelty that’s not jackhammer unsubtle, along with a metaphorical examination of the birth of consciousness. “Bad dog Bad dog” “is run no more” “is armor not we” I’m misting up just thinking about it.

Moore: look at how awesome Warrior was!

LOEG, Swamp Thing, Watchmen, the entire ABC line, including the underrated Tomorrow Stories, 1963, From Hell, Lost Girls. Who wouldn’t want ANY ONE of these on their resume? And as I told Brian, I think Moore’s other great strength is that he gets the best out of his artists. Look at the books listed, and try to think of a better work by that artist. Except for rare cases, you can’t.

V For Vendetta is one of the greatest comics ever, and to me, surpasses Watchmen. The Valerie chapter alone, man. Wow.

That’s all I can say. wow

Thanks for the list, Brian, hope you post a full list with points, if possible. Cuz you haven’t done enough work.

I’ll be posting my top 10s on the master lists later, if anyone cares.

Woo-hoo! As a writer myself, I’m always somewhat surprised when the public at large recognizes great writers. Some of Moore’s most beloved comics (to me) were sweet & poignant (Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow) and funny (Tomorrow Tales, or whatever it was called).

So close!

Of course they’re the top 2 (I only had Moore at three because Ennis took my second spot), but I was hoping Morrison would take it this time.

All of the writers on my list made it except for Christopher Priest. Of those nine, seven made the top 10 and the other two made the top 20.

Yeah, both great and ones I voted.
I actually haven’t read that much later Morrison, only his X-Men, but Zenith-Animal Man-Doom Patrol-Invisibles is such a group of fabness that he’d deserve a high position even if quitting comics right after that.
And Moore is a giant. Even his lesser stuff like Halo Jones or Top Ten would be high points on someone else’s career.

How did Zoids not get into Morrison’s top 5?
Just me?
Fair enough, (though it blew my 11 year old mind at the time.)

Either of these writers could drop their Top 5 works and still garner major support.

The difference between Moore and Morrison with respect to the rest is insane.
Consider that the maximum number of points a writer can have is around 10000 (given that a bit over 1000 voted). They have over 40% of the possible points they could have. That’s incredible.

These were also my one and two scoring one and two (not that that’s a huge psychic achievement, it was a pretty clear choice).

Alan Moore’s been my favourite since the eighties, blowing me away right off the bat with Swamp Thing 53, the double-sized Batman issue. Every Swamp Thing back issue I subsequently picked up was a winner. Then I tried Watchmen, then Miracleman, then V for Vendetta…the guy could do no wrong.

And with his ABC stuff, he was still great, 20 years later. One of my few nostalgic favourites that interests me with his current work as well.

Morrison renewed my love of comics with JLA. Like Moore, I also scrambled for back issues, in this case, his two high-profile superhero runs: Animal Man and Doom Patrol. Loved ‘em. And with stuff like Seven Soldiers and Batman and Robin, he’s still a scribe to watch.

In a nutshell, I agree with these choices. Thanks very much to Brian.

Nooooo! I was hoping Morrison would pull it off. Oh well. They both are phenomenal.

I thought this was obvious. CBR did this a couple of years ago with the same top 2. Although the vote is closer now (as it well ought to be, considering what Moore has or hasn’t done in the last 2 years).

For the record, I didn’t vote for Morrison at all. He’s just not in my top 10. But Moore was my number 1.

Alan Moore and Grant Morrison have produced more great comic books than anyone else, and the great comic books they write are greater than anyone else’s greatest.

I am proud to be in complete agreement with the rest of the comic book reading community. These two have achieved universal recognition as masters of their medium.

Grant Morrison! cause he still believes and exemplifies in his work the potential of superhero comics.

Ballad of Halo Jones, Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, Killing Joke, From Hell, Lost Girls, Promethea, Top Ten…

All high on my list of favorite comics. No writer is better represented among my favorite comics and no writer is represented with such a diverse output. My favorite work of his is Swamp Thing, which I think of as my 6th favorite comic work ever. V for Vendetta probably my second favorite Moore work.

Moore was my #1 vote the last time Brian did this and I gave him the #2 spot this time, though I could just as easily have put him at 1.

Thanks for this Brian. This has been great holiday treat!

You are ALL some pathetic, predictable, drinking the the Kool-Aid, spoon fed, nazi, zombie sheep! Merry Christmas and may God have mercy on your souls! Brain-dead punks.

seriously? Alan Moore is the greatest comic writer EVER? wow.

All through this countdown, everyone has been predicted these guys as the winners. I kept hoping you’d all turn out to be wrong, but sadly, you were’nt.
I’m sorry, I just don’t see what’s so great about them based on the admittedly small amount I’ve read.

Watchmen is decent enough, but it’s not the greatest comic ever. It’s not even close. And I never bought the key premise that Ozymandius could see the end of the world coming years in advance, that his loony squid attack would stop it, or that the end would otherwise be inevitable.
I haven’t read any other Moore, though, so it’s quite possible his other stuff is much better.

As for Morrison, I’ve only read about six issues of X-Men. A couple of issues were pretty good, the others were mediocre. I did like the part with Emma having an affair with Scott in his mind.

There were plenty of great choices on the list, though. My biggest disappointment is that Peter Gillis didn’t show up at all. I never hear him mentioned at all nowadays. Am I the only one who remembers how great his Defenders and Doctor Strange (primarily in Strange Tales) were?

Poor Morrison, he will always be second fiddle to more.
Probably the reason why he is always degrading Moore’s work

I will rank my favorite Moore and Morrison works. Moore wins by 9.9%. I thought Morrison would pull it out.

Swamp Thing
Promethea
League of Extraordinary Gentleman

Batman
All-Star Superman
We3
X-men

What is going on with the rest of Century 1910?

Sorry, I LOVE the work of those two, they are real genius. But let’s say the truth: Stan Lee invented the modern genre, he is the big one.
Morrison and Moore are the biggest mad genius out there. But Lee wrote the Periodic Table of elements.

I know that many people hates him because his personality and popularity, and sadly will start to repect him more when he dies.
But face it, Stan Lee deserves without a doubt the number one spot, as well the King Kirby deserves the same place in the artist ranks.

I enjoy everything Morrison writes, but batman, to bad that is all he writes now.

“I’m sorry, I just don’t see what’s so great about them based on the admittedly small amount I’ve read.”

Every writer has great works and okay works. And every writer has works that work for some people, but not for others. Reading a single comic of Moore or Morrison will clearly tell you nothing. And you clearly won’t see what’s so great about them.

Morrison’s X-Men I have zero interest in ever finishing, and while I love Watchmen, I don’t think it’s the greatest superhero work every and it’s certainly not my favorite Moore work. So those my be the wrong samples for you.

If you disliked Watchmen, V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Supreme, Promethea, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow, D.R. & Quinch, the Ballad of Halo Jones, From Hell, Top Ten, Lost Girls, and Swamp Thing, then maybe Moore is not for you.

I’ll leave it to Morrison fans to give you a similar list. (We3 and Arkham Asylum are my favorite examples of his work)

In my book, Moore will always rank #1.

Okay, so my prediction for the next three slots is Mantlo, Gruenwald and McGregor, and then… Wait. Wha-? Countdown’s finished? Craaaaaaaaaaaaap.

On a more serious note: Brian, thanks for all of the work you put into this list. It was both interesting and great fun.

Moore’s Swamp Thing is quite possibly my favorite comic of all time!

Great countdown, Brian! That means you can get back to that Top 50 X-men thing, right?

…RIGHT!?

Favorites:

Moore:

“This is Information”
The first ten-or-so issues of Promethea
V for Vendetta

Morrison:

WE3
Seven Soldiers
Flex Mentallo

I heartily approve of both sets of top twos!

Moore and Morrison are indeed the best two comics writers ever. The smartest. The most innovative. The most daring. And Morrison may be more innovative by a touch, but Moore’s so much more consistent. And without Moore there would have been no Morrison, at least not nearly the Morrison we know.

And Kirby is definitely king of artists, no question. I was shocked to see Quitely so high, but I like him and can’t complain.

Good on us, comics voters! There were some surprises along the way, but in the end we got the top spots right!

All is sane in the universe!

Brian, I love that, if you were only going to showcase five works (via images), for Morrison you made a point to include “Animal Man” and “Doom Patrol.” Even after so many other great things, these two remain high points of his career.

I’m surprised you didn’t mention Moore’s revamp of Superme, a clearly one dimensional character that Alan turned into a mulit-complex love for DC silver age of continuity!

Overall, great list. Can’t wait to see the artists tomorrow!

I was wrong on Gaiman in the #2 spot, but I called #1 for Moore.

It’s funny how folk complain about how the older legends of comic writing are unrepresented. As an example, take Mark Gruenwald. He can’t be one of the greatest writers: he’s dead. There are others carrying on his legacy, and it does matter, what writers are contributing to the form currently. If you want to make this a list of all time greatest, then you should bemoan the lack of inclusion of Gardner Fox, Bob Kane, Siegal & Shuster and the rest who founded the darn industry.
If you’re an older comic fan, don’t bitch about your lack of understanding of why Morrison & Moore get slot 2 & 1 when you admit you’ve barely read any of their works. They are brilliant creators! It’s why they rank so high. Go out and buy the trades.
If you’re a younger fan, you should have more respect for some of the old-timers who were slaving away over there draft boards at a time when the comic industry didn’t pay so well, and was looked down upon as a trash medium, suitable for naught but delinquent prepubescents. It was in such a reality tunnel that Byrne drew his X-Men, Gerber wrote his Defenders, and Colan drew his Doctor Strange.
It was Miller, Moore, Gaiman, Morrison, Millar, etc… that brought an enlightenment to the industry, allowing it to continue it’s existence despite the increasing alternative demands upon the fan bases attention.

Not surprising, but well deserved! Those were my personal top two so I’m happy :)

I am damn glad that Alan Moore has won. The man really is comics number one writer, and I suspect he will be for a long time to come. He’s not only a genius, but a genius that has sustained unbeliavable high quality over his entire career. He is also very versatile. Those three qualities: genius, regularity, and versatility, cause him to be head and shoulders above all other pretenders.

Morrison… well, he can be damn good, but he is more hit-and-miss with me, and I suspect I am not as enamorated of him as many people in this board. ALL-STAR SUPERMAN was amazing work, but I don’t like his Batman that much, for instance. I do like BATMAN AND ROBIN with Dick Grayson and Damian fighting bizarre criminals, but everything Morrison has done with Bruce Wayne always seemed slightly off to me. I also was disappointed in FINAL CRISIS.

Still, Morrison probably deserves second place for ambition, if nothing else.

Agreed on these as top 2, but I’d have swapped their positions. Grant’s innovations are equal to Alan’s and then some.

Not even a mention of The Invisibles? I see it as Morrison’s magnum opus.

Whoops, strike that. Invisibles was mentioned. My fault.

“As an example, take Mark Gruenwald. He can’t be one of the greatest writers: he’s dead.”

What!!!!???? I am in tears from laughing. This apparently means that people like Jack Kirby and Will Eisner are still alive then. Phenomenal.

Two notable works for Warrior?
I feel that ‘The Bojeffries saga’ is being criminally overlooked once again…

The Crazed Spruce

December 22, 2010 at 5:16 pm

I personally had Moore at #2 and Morrison at #4, but I can’t really argue with where they placed. They’re both great writers with phenomenal bodies of work that are almost consistently entertaining. (Except for “Seven Soldiers”. I’m sorry, but while I did enjoy some of the stories, and I do appreciate the unique approaches to superhero comics that Morrison was going for, I found it to be overwrought, overwritten, and overrated. That actually knocked him down a couple of slots.)

Y’know, this is the first time that all ten of my picks made the final cut in a list like this. Probably gonna be the last time, too….

The top spots are well deserved. My only complaint is that Kirby and Stan’s spots should be swapped, though. I’ll take Darkseid, Mister Miracle, Big Barda, Kamandi, the Demon, etc. etc. etc. over Stripperella and Ravage 2099 any day.

We all know Dan Slott deserved to be in the top 2. Maybe next year Dan…

I’ve noticed a couple comments here that have essentially argued that if someone doesn’t particularly care for Moore or Morrison based on only a small sample size of their respective work, that somehow their distaste for them may be considered slightly invalid, because, more or less, they haven’t given their other works a chance.

I understand the point, but seriously, please think about the implication. If someone really doesn’t like one or two works by either Moore or Morrison (or anyone else for that matter), why in the world would that reader be compelled to try out even more material? At a certain point, it would get to be borderline masochistic.

It’s sort of like saying “Gee, I really can’t stand anything about Folgers coffee or Maxwell House coffee or Starbucks coffee or Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. But, boy howdy, I sure should give Seattle’s Best a try!” You know, maybe that person just doesn’t like coffee.

I liked Ravage 2099.

Akaky Akakievich Bashmachkin

December 22, 2010 at 5:36 pm

@die-yng
“Poor Morrison, he will always be second fiddle to more.
Probably the reason why he is always degrading Moore’s work”

Huh? When did this happen?

“I liked Ravage 2099.”

Me too.

ookerdookers,

If your small sample contains lesser work, it’s not indicative of the average quality of a writer’s skill. I thought Brain K. Vaughan wasn’t all that good because I really disliked his first Swamp Thing story and didn’t think much of some minor X-Men comics. Fast forward a few years, and I own all the Y the Last Man & Runaways trades.

Morrison is the best writer currently working in mainstream comics. He’s the most ambitious, and he has a excellent grasp of how to use the form. Best of all, he challenges readers, leading to a more rewarding experience. Sure, he has the occasional misfire (some of his Batman & JLA), but he hits far more often and much deeper than most writers working in the industry.

If comics were rock, Stan Lee would be Elvis and Alan Moore would be the Beatles. (Morrison would probably be the Velvet Underground + Lou Reed solo) He reinvented the super-hero narrative, and everyone else tried to copy him.

Robert Kanigher got one of my votes, but I’m not surprised he didn’t make the list. It was the DC War Comics that made me a life-long fanboy, but that was in the long far ago away times.

But I seriously thought Bob Haney would have made the list. When I first discovered that people talked about comic books on the internet, they were all talking about Bob Haney. I felt at home. Brave and Bold was often the one comic book from my weekly stack that I could count on to never let me down. I know that I first discovered Wildcat, The Vigilante and The Demon in the pages of Brave and Bold.

Because Bob Haney!

Loghlin, I like your music analogy. Although maybe Morrison would be Zappa and the Mothers and Ellis would be the VU?

Hey Everyone that is complaining!

This is a list of favorites, not the best/most Influential/greatest ideas/first to do [whatever] or anything else!

i don’t like Alan Moore as much as any of my top 10 despite the fact that he has more writing talent than almost anyone else. i didn’t vote for Stan Lee despite him being one of the touchstones of the industry. i enjoy both these men’s writing, but not as much as others.

Complaining to me/anyone else about leaving them off our lists is STUPID as you are arguing that my personal tastes should conform more to your & your view of the world. Please stop.

Dusty; Wacky Wally; KANIOLE; joe bloke; etc, i’ll say it again. This is a list of people’s favorites, not a ranking of who is recognized for any other reason [talent, longevity, style, breadth, etc]. This is what got the votes for FAVORITE!

i don’t agree with it either, but this simply reflects the taste of people today.
DFTBA

Travis,

Sure! My Zappa knowledge isn’t what I want it to be, but I can see a connection there, what with the merger of weirdness, brilliance, and a love of older forms of the arts they practice.

Ellis as VU? Hmm… “The Black Angel’s Death Song”/ Hellstorm, “Venus in Furs”/ Desolation Jones, “Rock & Roll”/ Authority, “Heroin”/ Simon Spector, and of course “Ocean”/ Ocean. That could work.

“We all know Dan Slott deserved to be in the top 2. Maybe next year Dan…”

HA HA HA HA!

I <3 U, but… nah.

Not even close.

Stan Lee? Alan Moore? Gardner Fox? Frank Miller? Chris Claremont? Grant Morrison? Geoff Johns? Walt Simonson? Will Eisner? Paul Dini? Roy Thomas? Steve Englehart? Scott McCloud? Kurt Busiek? Geez… I could do this all day!

Still, I appreciate the thought! ;-)

I hereby declare this comment thread the “Hey, Ravage 2099 wasn’t that bad” thread.

I like it! Yeah, I was thinking VU more for Ellis due to more of Ellis’s stuff having that seamy, dirty undertone to it. Now I have to dig out my VU stuff and my Ellis stuff and “mix” them.

Zappa/Morrison for weirdness/brilliance/love of old forms/mixing up the old and the new to brilliant effect. More recent Morrison seems to have an optimism that I don’t know that Zappa ever had, but yeah, virtuosos in their fields who also divide the audience as well.

Of course, how do we fit in that brilliant Eno line about hardly anyone buying the VU stuff when it came out, but everyone who did started a band? (We’ve had this conversation somewhere here, either a Bill Reed post or a Chad Nevett post…)

@Mutt “Robert Kanigher got one of my votes,”

You are not alone. Moore was my number #1, but Kanigher placed in my top 10 as well. And of course so did Morrison.

I’ve liked most things by Moore and Morrison. From Moore I didn’t care for Killing Joke. From Morrison, I don’t particularly go crazy about Flex Mentallo.

But Dan, I love those Ren and Stimpy issues SO MUCH!

No, really.

Please don’t bang my mom.

:)

“If your small sample contains lesser work, it’s not indicative of the average quality of a writer’s skill.”

So…. that person who doesn’t like anything about the taste of coffee – maybe they don’t like it because they haven’t tried beans that were roasted by master craftsmen? The writer’s skill? This is not about appreciation, this is about preference. Those are two distinctly different things. Why are they being conflated?

Sometimes it’s not a matter of Animal Man versus Doom Patrol versus New X-Men, or Watchmen versus V For Vendetta versus Miracleman. Sometimes it’s about the overall flavor of Morrison or Moore that shines through in their writing, regardless of the title. To some people, that overall flavor is unpleasant.

“If comics were rock, Stan Lee would be Elvis and Alan Moore would be the Beatles. (Morrison would probably be the Velvet Underground + Lou Reed solo) He reinvented the super-hero narrative, and everyone else tried to copy him.”

And ya know something? You’re music analogy is quite apt, because I can dig Elvis, but I can’t stand the Beatles, and really can’t stand Lou Reed. On the same token, I wouldn’t presume to suggest that you try listening to Deicide because the Cannibal Corpse albums weren’t doing anything for you.

Morrison is like a band that started underground and became so commercial that you forget he was ever anything other than mainstream. Maybe R.E.M. or U2.

Too many bloody Brits in the Top 5…

Travis,

“Of course, how do we fit in that brilliant Eno line about hardly anyone buying the VU stuff when it came out, but everyone who did started a band?”

Well, there’s that Gerard Way guy…

An observation about Moore (he was my #1)…

Just consider all the “Greatest Ever XXXX Story” labels that could at least arguably be given to Moore:

Greatest Joker story – Killing Joke
Greatest retcon – Anatomy Lesson
Greatest Superman story – For the Man Who Has Everything
Greatest “end of continuity” story – Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
Greatest political parable – V for Vendetta
Greatest “superhero as God” story – Miracleman
Greatest fight – Miracleman #15
Greatest superhero story – Watchmen
Greatest DCU run – Swamp Thing
Greatest homage to the silver age – Supreme Story of the Year
Greatest cop story – Top Ten
Greatest historical fiction comic – From Hell
Greatest sex scene – Swamp Thing #34
Greatest literary character story – League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
And I’m sure there are more…

For anyone that hasn’t read it, my favorite underappreciated Moore comic: Wildstorm Spotlight #1, a solo story about Majestic at the end of time, when the universe is nearing it’s death. Great great comic that few people know about it. I think it was reprinted in the Alan Moore Wildstorm stories trade that came out a few years back.

So who would be the Kinks, the band that’s nearly equal to the Beatles but never got the attention they truly deserved? Peter David, maybe?

The Velvet Underground and Zappa have always been worshipped by critics and hipsters, but they never seemed so great to me (the Velvet Underground does have some great songs, though), so equating them with Morrison and Ellis seems perfect to me, though not for the reasons you guys intended.

I knew these two would win these positions. I very much disagree with the results. I don’t think either of these writers live up to their legends. (That’s not meant as an insult. I’m merely saying that both writers now have a reputation that even they cannot live up to. I’ve read plenty of stuff by both of them that I thought was sub-par, uninteresting, or just plain too self-indulgent.) My personal picks for the number one and two as far as writers is Roy Thomas and Don McGregor. The former took the foundations of Lee and Kirby’s work and made it into a complete universe, while the latter was writing stories in the 70′s that easily rival the best of Morrison and Moore, and did it decades before either of them.

But then, I find lists like this to be way too subjective to be of any real use, other than as a point of discussion.

Moore : The Beatles :: Morrison : Kraftwerk

The only good comics they’ve made in their careers:
Morrison: Final Crisis and JLA
Moore: Watchmen

Damn straight. I don’t even know if I voted for Moore as number one this time (I think mine might have been Ellis), but Alan deserves to dine out on his accomplishments from the first half of the 80s alone. The fact that he’s created so many great things just adds to it.

If Morrison is Kraftwerk, then Gerard Way is Daft Punk, right?

Could Los Bros be the Kinks, with the brother thing? Maybe not.

A few interesting bits of math…

Each voter was responsible for 55 points on each list. With a little over 1,000 voters, that equates to a little over 55,000 total points available for each list.

On the writer’s list, we saw 41,632 points show up in the rankings, which is about 75% of the total possible (meaning 25% of the total points/votes went to writers that didn’t make the top 50).

On the artists list, we only saw 30,583 points show up in the rankings, which is about 55% of the total possible (meaning 45% of the total points/votes went to artists that didn’t make the top 50).

So, as has been hypothesized, people voted for a far wider range of artists than writers, This, of course, is partially because there are simply more artists out there, but also because people generally come to easier agreements on what makes a good comic story than they do on what counts as good comic art.

When combining the two lists, here are the top 10 comic creators (by point totals):

1. Alan Moore – 4,551 points
2. Grant Morrison – 4,102 points
3. Jack Kirby – 2,919 points
4. Frank Miller – 2,525 points
5. Neil Gaiman – 2,395 points
6. Warren Ellis – 2,338 points
7. Frank Quitely – 2,052 points
8. J.H. Williams III – 1,945 points
9. George Perez – 1,877 points
10. Stan Lee – 1,662 points

Thanks again for doing this Brian, always a blast to have big votes like this. And like others, I’d also be interested in an extended list at some point, whenever you catch back up on sleep.

Based on the number of Morrissey quotes and references in his work, Morrison is (without doubt) the Smiths. Echoes of earlier artists but with his own twist. Often seemingly melancholy but with a wicked sense of humour.

…But Moore is definitely The Beatles.

But does anyone stop him if they’ve heard that one before?

I just don’t get the Grant Morrison Love in. Been an X-Men fan for 20-25 yrs and his work in the early 00′s on New X-Men is som of the absolute worst writing and storytelling I’ve ever read. Also, I’m as we speak finishing Final Crisis…CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN Final Crisis???? His work on Batman is ok, but my goodness, the 2nd best ever??? Don’t get it, never will.

Pursuing the music analogy, maybe its time Alan Moore did his McCartney album? He’s a pretty fair artist,,, no reason why he couldn’t illustrate one of his own stories.

I’m saddened by the fact that Jeff Parker and Joe Casey didn’t make the list.

My first exposure to Jeff Parker was his Star Brand #1 from 2006. What should have been a forgettable one-shot was instead one of the most satisfying comics of the last few years, IMO. His first X-Men: First Class special was one of the best X-Men tales in recent memory (especially the story concerning Marvel Girl and her friendship with Dragon-Man). Having recently read Agents of Atlas (the original mini-series), Mysterius The Unfathomable and Underground I totally believe that he is one of the most original voices in comics today.

And there’s no disputing the fact that Casey’s has written some of the most unique comic book series of the last decade.

Moore and Morrison are, of course, totally deserving of their spots. Moore would have deserved a place in the Top 10 for his work on, uh, Top Ten alone, while Morrison is one of the few contemporary writers who’s books are always worth a read, regardless of the publisher, character, or subject matter.

DaveyBoy,

Parker was pretty high up on my list. #5 I think. I was sold on him with his writing on Marvel Adventures: Avengers. Best writer that is currently writing, IMO. No worries, there are definitely other Jeff Parker fans out there.

I had Alan Moore as number 3 behind Mike Mignola and Jason Aaron, which really just means I’ve more recently read the other two because the top three is kind of a trinity rather than an order of merit list. Grant Morrison wasn’t on my list at all, because I’ve actually never read anything he’s done, most likely because I’m not a DC guy and he mostly writes for them. I suppose that’s some kind of cardinal sin, but I’m sure I’ll get around to his work eventually. His public persona turns me off though.

“Sometimes it’s not a matter of Animal Man versus Doom Patrol versus New X-Men, or Watchmen versus V For Vendetta versus Miracleman. Sometimes it’s about the overall flavor of Morrison or Moore that shines through in their writing, regardless of the title. To some people, that overall flavor is unpleasant.”

True, but sometimes it is indeed a matter of which work one has checked. For food analogues, I thought I didn’t like olives, until I found out that I just don’t like bad olives and there are good olives.
Only way to test is to try.
And sometimes there are surprises, that some generally-disliked work might be just the one for you (continuing with analogues, my favorite Frank Zappa albums are Lumpy Gravy and Sheik Yerbouti, while most of his highly-thought-of material is not particularly appealing).

But yeah, it is a possibility that the very qualities which appeal to some are turn-offs for others.

As Jackdaw53 points out, Alan Moore is a published comic artist – And Morrison began his career as a writer/artist.

http://lambiek.net/artists/m/moore.htm
http://lambiek.net/artists/m/morrison_grant.htm

Which means that if Brian ever did a ‘Favourite writer/artists” list (as some have requested), they’d both have legitimate reason to appear on it.

And props to Travis for the Mozzer ref!

I forgot what we were talking about with that. I guess I thought that joke wasn’t funny any more.

Man, I only got one more Morrisey ref, but thinking about what you were saying with GMozz making the Smiths refs got me thinking about that Final Crisis tie in, where Lois Lane is sick and can’t be woken up.

You know, (Superman’s) Girlfriend in a Coma.

And Moore did apparently just recently write and draw a strip for his Dodgem Logic magazine. Not sure what issue, but I really need to get that mag.

I think Dean probably has the right Morrison musical analogy with the “forgot they used to be alternative, now they’re mainstream guys”.

Thanks to Third Man for the math stuff. Saved me from doing it. (ah, I’m a number geek, so I probably will anyway).

It depends on what Morrison or Moore you try. If you read Morrison’s JLA/WildCATS, you’ll wonder what the hell’s up. I can’t think of an equivalent for Moore, maybe the Vigilante issues? I think both writers have been varied enough with their works that trying just one or two works and saying, I don’t like them at all, is giving up too easily. And given that many libraries have works by these 2, it’s not too hard to sample a fair amount of their stuff.

I mean, to say you don’t like Moore or Morrison (or any writer or artist) based on just a small sample of their work is like saying that you don’t like superhero comics because you didn’t like anything that Valiant put out (for example).

And AS, I only dreamt I lived in a drum.

Sigh….Mary, you sadden me.

You can’t just dismiss writers like Alan Moore and Grant Morrison after sampling such a small amount of their work. To call them the best writers on the field is an understatement, these men are revolutionaries. They brought in concepts and character work in comics that took the medium to the next level.

Don’t believe me? Read books like we3, Supreme, All-Star Superman, Swamp Thing and Doom Patrol. Trust me, you’ll be doing yourself a favor.

I’m a big fan of guys like Peter David, Gillis and Fraction. But the thing is, they happened because Moore and Morrison made it possible.

Hey, Mary’s old school, and there’s nothing wrong with that. While I certainly think Moore and Morrison are ultra super awesome, I certainly respect that Mary’s not a fan. I think she likes Marvel more, too, which works against liking Moore and Morrison a bit (Moore did UK stuff early on, with the Captain Britain stuff, and Morrison did XMen, the FF1234, Marvel Boy, and…)

I’d say to try the DCUniverse Stories of Alan Moore book for a nice sampling of his in-universe stories, and All Star Superman and WE3 for Morrison, with the caveat that WE3 has a lot of graphic violence. Maybe a volume or 2 of JLA for Morrison for non-Quitely art. That stuff might be of more interest to Mary.

To stretch the musical analogy to breaking point, Jack Kirby = Bob Dylan…?
Writer/artist Vs singer/songwriter, each defined and redefined genres.
One went electric, the other went cosmic.

Merry Xmas Brian! :)

onion, now you’re just trying to kiss up to the big man! for shame, sir! Actually, you might be right, though.

Speaking of Onion and Bob Dylan, Brian, did you see the Onion headline this year (they just featured it on the main page the other day again) about Bob?

I believe it was:

Music fans outraged as Dylan goes electronica

And in the local paper, the end of the year review of local shows namechecked the Dylan show from Nov. 17, but the reviewer said “so what if I couldn’t understand most of what the man was wheezing about?”

Okay Travis, I see your point.

onion3000,

Dylan goes electric = Kirby’s DC work, and Blonde On Blonde = New Gods.

Dylan had that period in which he became a Born Again Christian and put out most of his worst albums. Kirby did the Secret City Saga.

Dylan comes back with Time Out of Mind. People start realizing Kirby’s ’70s stuff was good.

Yeah, that could work.

I had Morrison at 4 and Moore at 2.

They are both great but Neil Gaiman is better than either.

Grant Morrison is basically a rip-off of Alan Moore.
So that’s Moore in BOTH #1 and #2 spots. Much deserved.

@Mary Warner- Peter David is most certainly not the Kinks. He’s the Barenaked Ladies. Quirky and awful.

Moore and Morrison, why am I not surprised? This is why polls do not make good examinations of quality- people vote on what they like (or remember they like). In my opinion both are too inconsistent- great ideas half the time, gibberish the rest. The best, most consistent writer? Kurt Busiek, followed by Peter David. But hey, just my opinion.

This is why polls do not make good examinations of quality- people vote on what they like (or remember they like).

Wait, wait…people voted for who they liked on a poll of who their favorites were?

My mind is blown here!!!

@ramboratrat–Very wrong! If Morrison’s ripping off anybody, at least in this stage of his career, it’s Jack Kirby.

Worthy 2 and 1; I’d rather Morrison have won, but that’s not to say I could make a good argument for it.

Mary, you owe it to yourself to try more of Moore and Morrison’s work.

If the Cold War paranoia of WATCHMEN isn’t to your tastes (and between you and me, I never liked the Cthullu-Pussy squid either, the movie ending makes a lot more sense), I’d advise you to try MIRACLEMAN. It’s hard to find, but well worth it. I think it’s a more personal, more grounded, more organic, more emotional story than WATCHMEN. And if you like the Marvel style, it’s a story that at its heart is about a middle-aged middle-class guy and his wife.

A good introduction to Grant Morrison would be ANIMAL MAN. I always had a soft spot for it. It’s less frenetic, less agressively self-aware, less cryptic than his later work. And I know a lot of people don’t agree with me, they see Morrison as this champion of crazy-ass optimism in comics, but I always detected something artificial in Morrison’s optimism. Even in ALL-STAR SUPERMAN. It’s like he’s just playing at being idealistic. But not in ANIMAL MAN, there is a real heart in ANIMAL MAN. I always thought Morrison genuinely empathized with his protagonist, middle-class schlub Buddy Baker.

I’m blown away by the amount of bile being spewed in response to this countdown. Your favorite writer or artist isn’t in the top 50? You don’t think so-and-so is great? Big deal. That some of you can’t make an argument other than “This list sucks. You don’t know what’s good” is depressing. It’s like reading a youtube comment board. I can’t imagine the thought process of someone who feels the need to just shout “I don’t like this!!!” without anything else to offer.

I”m glad Moore and Kirby won over the overrated Morrison and Quitely.

Philip – the arguments are easy to come up with. For example, if they did this list again in 10 years, Quitely would not be in the top 20, and Williams III would not be in the top 40. Whereas, Neal Adams and Kirby will always make the list. These fan lists are always weighted towards stuff that is hot at the moment. For example, 10 years ago, on the heels of his DD pencils, Quesada would probably be in the top 10 instead of Quitely

10 years ago Morrison had just done Marvel Boy (bfd). Now, becasue everyone is giddy over his Bat-stuff, he’s “#2 writer in the entire history of comic books”

keil – Morrison was ranked 2 when Brian did this list 4 years ago. It’s not like ranking Ryan Howard in a top 100 baseball players of all time. Morrison’s been a favorite of people for over 20 years. As for Williams and Quitely, I see no reason to think they’re flash in the pan artists. I love Neal Adams, but if you look at his body of work (at least mainstream) it’s comparatively small to most artists. I don’t see why it’s out of line to rank artists who’ve done more over him. And considering it’s a FAVORITES list, no one should be getting hurt that people like certain artists more than other.

There’s very few placements on these lists that seem unreasonable. There’s nothing comparable to say someone ranking The Hangover over The Godfather on a movies list.

I discovered Moore in 1986 and have been an avid fan ever since. I avidly searched out and picked up everything that he wrote and was more often than not blown away. He short “one off’s” were equally innovative and awe inspiring as his bigger work. One particular favorite was a stroy he wrote for Green Lantern annual #3. Moore actually ruined comics for me at the time because no body was even coming close to writing what Moore did. he was that much better than the best writers of comics.
After he finished Watchmen and left DC I didn’t expect much from him but in the late 90′s he completely reinvented himself on Image titles like Supreme and then the ABC universe. It wasn’t the same as his early 80′s stuff but was still great in it’s own way. His early 80′s stuff took the superhero genera to it’s ultimate conclusion with stories like Miracleman and then the Watchmen, but on ABC he was writing just plain, cool superhero comics. But they are really strong (no pun intended). Tom Strong is a wonderful naive take on the whole superman concept. He is part Superman, and part Doc Savage. In his earlier work Moore was often dark, in his new work was light and hopeful. Tom Strong doesn’t want to destroy his enemies, he wants to and does reform his adversaries.
Reading his ABC stuff I get the feeling that Moore wants to create a revolution equal to the Image revolution of the early 90′s, flooding the market with numerous great titles and rival the sales of the big 2. And great they were. They were all really wonderful and innovative in there own way. Tom Strong, Promethea, Top Ten, and to a much lesser extent Tomorrow Stories. The fact that the revolution didn’t happen, it feels like Moore lost interest in comics all together. I’m really sorry to because they are great and I morn there not coming out anymore. I love them all and are all great in there own way. 2 that are really dear to me were Top Ten and Terra Obscura. Terra Obscura satisfies my super hero sweet tooth and Top Ten is fascinating, touching and laugh out loud funny. I’ve never seen anything like it, and don’t expect to again.

I don’t know about that, Keil.

I think I liked Grant Morrison more when he was the guy that had written ANIMAL MAN and DOOM PATROL and JLA, than the guy he is now. So, if you did this poll 10 years ago, I’d be much more enthusiastic about ranking Morrison higher.

I’ve never really read Grant Morrison. I read Arkham Asylum in the 80′s and was completely lost. Whatever he was trying to do went right over my head. And then I read his Shining Knight issue of the Seven Soldiers but found it really uninteresting. I’d like to find out what all the hype is about Morrison’s but his output is so large I’m a little lost as to which I should read. Can someone recommend a Morrison run that I can read that would be assessable and show off some of his genius?

I find his Animal Man and JLA is very accessible.

Like Rene, I’d recommend Animal Man as a good introduction to Grant Morrison. Nicely reprinted in three TPBs, and shows what he is about while still being accessible. And yes, touching.

And to be honest, had this poll been 10 years ago, I too would have placed Morrison higher on my list than I did now. Though I was a bit peeved when he sold out and went to do JLA after Zenith, pre-Vertigo and Vertigo stuff.

Would have been my top two if I would have found this list earlier.

Moore is the deserved winner. He’s managed to touch on everything in his career but he has also managed to tell finely crafted stories that tower over comics and other media.

Morrisson is my second for various reasons but when compared to Moore there is one thing lacking, mostly with his characters; relatability and a sense of warmth and poignancy. Everything I have read of his (a great deal) is very cold and his characters are detached to the point they have no emotional resonance. WE3 is probably the most I have cared for his characters, All star Superman had some depth to this degree also. Yet All Star still suffered from the fact that modern comics characters, particularly Morrison’s, have to be ‘cool’, witty to the point of annoying and be ready with a ‘God damned awesome’ comeback or slice of banter.

This, for me, is the reason he’s number two. Still he has ideas and concepts that are barely rivalled.

@ Thomas Morrison:

There are really three distinct versions of Grant Morrison:

1. Morrison, the Vertigo Guy: This guy wrote ANIMAL MAN and DOOM PATROL in the ’80s. He created THE INVISIBLES and THE FILTH in the ’90s. He is currently working on SEA GUY with Cameron Stewart.

2. Morrison, the heir to Kirby and Starlin: This guy has been working on a complex, often meta-textual saga that involves the entire DC Universe both in and out of continuity. His work started with JLA and really got started with the DC: ONE MILLION cross-over. However, it requires all of SEVEN SOLDIERS, ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, BATMAN R.I.P. (and its related material) and FINAL CRISIS to fully understand. The most recent chapter wrapped up in BATMAN & ROBIN and RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE.

3. Morrison, the work-for-hire guy: This is where I would put his Marvel work, the parts of his Batman run that don’t fit into his larger DC epic, his Wildstorm work and other odds & ends. This stuff can be brilliant, or half-baked, or simply tossed off. Morrison lacks Alan Moore’s ability to deliver a brilliant piece of short fiction. For example, Morrison will never do an obscure 16 page story that totally causes you to reconsider (say) Polar Boy or Firestar. That is why he is #2.

If you like Moore, then your best bet is sticking to the first version of the God of All Comics.

phil – I don’t know if you are deliberately being closed to a different point of view – or if you are just wanting to get the last word, like everyone else on the internet. But if you don’t think a list like this, done in the 90′s, would not have had artists like Liefeld and McFarlane in the top 10, then you are being unrealistic. In 10 years, Quitely might still be highly regarded, but in 10 years Kirby WILL be highly regarded – that is the point.

besides, that was just one argument, among many. There are plenty of other reasons why creators like Quitely and Alex Ross (or even Jim Lee, Geoff Johns, and Morrison) may not merit their high rankings. While your argument against Neal Adams shows a lack of knowledge about his body of work

I can see, and I have clearly acknowledged, that these lists contain creators that are more popular at the moment. And I don’t mind that – fan lists are always that way. I don’t know why that bothers you and others, who seem to think these lists are infallible

To Warren Newsom – With respect to your right to an opinion I agree that Thomas and McGregger are pretty cool, but they can hardly be compared to Alan Moore. Thomas almost made my list primarily for his work on the Avengers. he was so inventive and basically created the whole of the Avengers mythos, including their greatest villains like Ultron and the Grimm Reaper. But as fun and inventive as that run was there was as many off moments as there were on moments and that’s just speaking about my favorite work of his. I couldn’t get through his Sub Mariner run for example, and that was done with his Avengers co-creator Buscema.
Alan Moore has been as inventive, wrote larger more ambitious work and has been much more consistently great than Thomas ever was.
So while yes Thomas has done some really cool stuff you can hardly compare him to Moore never mind say that he is a better writer.

I’ll also recommend Animal Man & JLA, as well as Doom Patrol vol. 1. If you can make it past the weirdness, there’s a lot of heart and brains there.

If you come across the issue of Marvel Double Shot with Nick Fury & Man-Thing on the cover (maybe issue 2), there’s a great little Fury story by Morrison.

I liked Marvel Boy, which featured exquisite art by J.G. Jones. It’s a bit complex at times, but, I found, a satisfying modern super-hero story.

The best Morrison mini might be We3, the story of a dog, cat, & rabbit who have been converted into weapons. It’s a heartrending story with some of Frank Quitely’s best art.

I think Shooter is conspicuously missing from the list of greatest writers. He has done some really great, innovative and revitalizing stuff consistently over his career, from his start writing Legion to his his stint on the Avengers to his latest works at Valiant. Sure he was a jerk to work for but his writing over his entire career has been consistently high quality stuff.
What would he have produced if he didn’t become Editor and Chief of Marvel and continued writing?

Can someone recommend a Morrison run that I can read that would be assessable and show off some of his genius?

I heartily recommend his JLA. It got me back into superhero comics during that post-Image era where all the Marvel comics were directionless and were being poorly photoshopped by Comicraft.

Animal Man is highly raved about but I find it way too smug, self-satisfied, pretentious and pleased with itself over a gimmick. It’s okay for that breaking the fourth wall novelty but I think it’s highly overrated. I still think you should judge for yourself though.

Dunno, in Animal Man beside that fourth wall breaking there is exploration of themes about the issue of heroism and morals regarding e.g. vegetarianism or animal rights (though these themes were explored more on post-Morrison issues, but grounded on Morrison, and they are themes for the most part unexplored even now), and on individual issues, turning Looney Tunes into a religious parable is surely one of the great points of comics ever, and that issue about Red Death has told me more about inner workings of DCU than any other story ever.
And the last issue of his run was perfectly smug and pretentious, not way too.

i love Animal Man & recommend it to lots of people. T, what do you mean smug? i’m totally lost by that comment, so i would love to hear more about that. Also, did you ever read Morrison’s Doom Patrol? You may have said something about it other places, but i either missed it or have forgotten.

Also, i love Morrison’s JLA & would recommend it as a more straight forward read than Animal Man.

Anyway, would love to hear your comments on this. Thanks!
DFTBA

What about comparing Morrison to the Who, who, like the Beatles were part of the English invasion but went on to become huge mega stars in the 70′s with highly ambitious works like Tommy.

“Animal Man is highly raved about but I find it way too smug, self-satisfied, pretentious and pleased with itself over a gimmick. It’s okay for that breaking the fourth wall novelty but I think it’s highly overrated. I still think you should judge for yourself though.”

I had this exact conversation with someone years ago, who recommended Animal Man to me. He was giddy about the fourth wall stuff, and I pointed out that at the exact same time Morrison was doing Animal Man, John Byrne was obliterating the fourth wall on She-Hulk, and that differences in how each creator went about it could not have been more different. To me, the meta stuff on She-Hulk seemed so effortless and relaxed – a “take it or leave it, it’s not exactly integral to the story” attitude.

Whereas with Animal Man the meta-textual shtick was so integral because it WAS the story. It’s essentially impossible to enjoy it on a more basic level, because the self awareness bit became the sole focus of the run. Because of that, it felt like, to me, that it had this important agenda and needed to prove how deep it was. It struck me as constantly contriving ways to incorporate motifs and having an overall sense of inflated self importance.

Here was Morrison doing this slow burn towards the larger meta-textual story, and at the same time Byrne took a sledgehammer to the fourth wall from the get-go, literally the cover of the first issue. For me, it was no comparison, because it felt like Morrison was trying to play this drawn-out game with me, and Byrne was saying, “I don’t have time for games.” I guess I liked the direct approach better. I don’t know if I would have seen Animal Man that way had it not been for the chance to see it against Sensational She-Hulk at the time.

Note: I am posting this on both writer and artist “Master” list plus the winners pages for both. 

I myself have been agitated by both these list. As noted previously more so on the writers side then the artist. Perhaps that is do to the history of this medium being an appreciated visual storytelling medium, but one that until late was never seriously considered a literary art form (although in terms of visual fine arts, outside of Crumb, there has not been much fuss in the fine arts world either).

I digress, I want to underscore before I fly off the handle, Brian is right. Each of these cartoonist are worthy of our respect. As a lifelong cartoonist, student of the craft and fan I can’t stress enough how much hard work, intelligence, talent and grit it takes to even approach cartooning, let alone be on these lists. Very few art forms, literary and storytelling mediums are as complex and tough.  And don’t get me started on pay, longevity, quality of life and copy rights. When I teach about comics, I use these men’s work to show how to do it, even those I am about to wish lower on the list or even off the list. I also use examples of many others, including (gasp) women. Many of whom diserve more consideration here (I need to check out Jill Thompson). That said, if I know their work well, that’s one thing. But I confess, many I do not know well enough. And people throwing out names I am unfamiliar with helps. It means I get to go read more comics. Yippee!

If this list was compiled in a different time, it would reflect those times. If it was created in Belgium, Argentina or Japan then it would reflection that. So it is somewhat acceptable that there are an overrepresentation of what is consumed here. But I am disturbed by the idea that what is our favorite is not, in my judgment, what is the best. Anyway, I am also frustrated by unclear lack of knowledge on both the historical greats in comics and the contemporary greats outside of the superhero genres. This implies popularity and commerce, not quality, influence, genius and expertise run armpit here at CBR and CSBG, among it’s readers. And I believe that this is not, because of the bloggers. I read The Comics Journal, but often need to not take my comics so seriously. I wish there was a better bridge between the two worlds. And this list proves despite some efforts, that CBR is not it. I love great old comics, great superhero comics, great comics in other genre and great comics that take their artistic approach and literary approach more intellectually then some.

I would note, my friend and former classmate Kelly Thompson’s blog here at CBR attempts to diversify the readership here, and she is not alone in this concern, otherwise she would not have been asked to join. 

In my male feminist opinion, one of the reason’s women are not represented here and I am not presenting a strong argument in favor of a particular one (Wendy Pini!), is because, while women have been making comics since the late 1800′s, they have always have opportunities stacked against them to reach greatness. This reality and the 1962-1990′s male centered market has diminished their collective longevity and growth despite some exemplary female cartoonist. This is changing and it is my hope when my daughter is an adult they will be right there in the fray of this type of discussion. An aesthetic and subject mater collective consciousness shift will need to occur. In comics education circles an effort has been afoot for over a decade to push for opportunities for female cartoonist. While occasionally I feel my toes being stepped on, I welcome it. Our industry will die without efforts like these, and our art has suffered without it.

So on with my fighting over names on this list (sorry if I have mentioned some of this before)…gotta geek now!

On the artist list I count 2 artist (Mazzucchelli, Jamie Hernandez) who I would consider to fall in that artsy side of comics. Obviously both have done SciFi/Superhero work. I had both of them on my list. I did not have Berto on my list, but was glad to see he made it as a writer.

It is often inferred or assumed the men and women who work outside of sups comics simply can’t draw or design comics well. This is simple nonsense from a historical and contemporary perspective. First off most genre’s where either created or improved by Jack Kirby…which is why he is King and No. 1. So in other words, once upon a time a cartoonist, was not pidgin-hold by a singular genre like Superheroes. This practice is returning, thank goodness. But the king is dead and the new King’s of comics are Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes. I can understand arguments about their comics being the antithesis of superhero comics and just as limited due to that. But it is my impression most people working in the field believe they are the best working today, even if most readers don’t. Some would argue Crumb, as well. I would suggest he has ascended beyond comics and has just transcends other new important work, with Genesis after being outpaced by Clowes and Ware. Same goes for Spiegleman. It is not just Clowes and Ware’s writing. I am appalled at Clowes place on the writers list and can not understand Ware’s absence. Both men should have been top 5. However, it is thier mastery of visual storytelling, craftsmanship, page design, illustrative technique, inking, lettering, coloring and drawing skills that make them deserving of the same position on the artist list, top 5. Of course they are absent.

There are others besides Ware, Clowes who should of minimally appeared on these lists and are from the more artsy and literary world of contemporary comic books. Crumb should have made the artist list and Spiegalman the writers list. Who else on the  artist list has been compared with Goya? Who else has won a Pulitzer? Oh yeah, NONE! While the rest of the world slowly opens their arms to comics after discriminating against them. Nationally covering a few outstanding cartoonist. These are the names that surface, Clowes, Ware, Crumb, Spiegleman, James Sturm, and Kurtzman for their comics. Siegel, Shuster, Bob Kane, Lee, Kirby, Ditko, Miller, Eisner, Gaiman and Moore as much due to films based of their comics as the source material., Oh ,and Todd McFarlane, because he bought a baseball. All 17 deserve a place in the top 20 of at least one of these lists, even McFarlin. Well perhaps not Sturm. However, a strong argument could be made for top 100. Only 8 of 16 made it at all. I am hypocritical of course, in that I think I only had 3 of the 17 on my list.

Sure, if you kill off Superman or Captain America for  a few months, it brakes a headline, or if Batwomen comes out of the closet. But this did not bring Rucha or Williams III notoriety. In their case I support strongly their presence on these list for their bodies of work and influence in propelling the medium forward.

The only other national story I can think of that poked it’s head out and into the big wide world was  the tragic murder of Steve Perry, which shed a much needed light on the day to day challenges most cartoonist live, as the destitute creators of comics which help broadly shape our culture. But his life story would not warrant a presence on this list.

Now, my number one Jim Woodring did not make it. However, given the competition, I am not alarmed by his absence. Just because I think Frank is the greatest comic ever made, does not make it so. Few people in comics are influenced and driven by his presence in the comics community. I was introduced to him by James Sturm at a Jack Davis lecture. James and I may love Jim’s work, and in my case even love it more then Jack Davis’s. I can love it more then James work. However, I can admit that James through his teaching is more influential then Jim and Jack Davis through his comics is far more influential, even on my work, then James (my former teacher) and Jim (my favorite cartoonist). So there are plenty of artsy or literary personal favorite cartoonist I would have loved to have seen make it (Adrian Tomine,  Seth, Jessica Abel, Robynn Chapman, Ben Towle, Max Clotfelter, Jason, Jordan Carine, David Cooper, Bernetti, Steven Weismann and Joe Sacco ). For everyone of these there are others in this corner of comics I don’t personally value as much, but are equally valued by others and share the same stature. None however even Jim, can compete with Jack Davis.

Because prior to 1969, let alone 1980, 1993, 2000, or 2010 there was Kirby, EC Comics and Jack Cole. Jack Davis and Frezetta where my favorites from EC, but an argument could be made for any of them to brake the top 25 artists. But for the sake of my bias, I would add Davis, Frazetta and the non-EC cartoonist Cole to represent what most Artsy, Literary and Popular corners of comics consider to be the bar they are attempting to reach, the mid 20th Century cartooning.

Now I had accepted this list would be American centrist. However given the influence, quality and popularity, I second the frustration with absence of a minimally broader international cartoonist and Manga in general. Of those the biggest omission is Hergé. He should have made top 5 on the artist list along with Clowes, Ware, Kirby and Crumb. Moebius presence does not cut it…and hello Akira!

Ok, so this sounds like I am a superhero hater. This is not the case. I have been reading Superhero comics almost daily since I was 4. I had Chris Claremont, Bill Sienkiewicz, Alan Davis, Darwyn Cooke, John Byrne and Bryan Hitch on my lists (in addition to some already mentioned). I support the presence of others that made it. I am baffled by the omission of Mark Shultz. I wish Mark Silvestri made it, he is my favorite of the Image founders, or the creators of DP7 my all-time favorite superhero series, but like Woodring, do they actually deserve it?

As mentioned, I have been surprised by the few I was not aware of, like Stuart Immonen. I wrote a scathing critique of his sample page, but I admit I am unfamilure and one page can not make or brake a cartoonist.

(Sorry about this next one Brian and Frank) Nevertheless, I am familiar enough with Frank Quitely strongly object to his place behind Kirby. When he replaced Hitch on the Authority I mark that as point similar to when Larson took over Amazing Spider-Man. I stopped buying them. I have since understood Larson’s competence outside his drawing style. I have gotten over my objection to Quitely’s style, but not enough to put him above 30-31 artist I have been trying to bump up or simply put on the list of 100. Certainly not number 2. It just happen’s I am retracing one of his books over the holiday, so if I change, I will let you all know.

I look forward to checking out others suggestions. I would hope we all will.

@Mary and really most people that talk about Watchmen whether they love it or hate it

Watchmen is decent enough, but it’s not the greatest comic ever. It’s not even close. And I never bought the key premise that Ozymandius could see the end of the world coming years in advance, that his loony squid attack would stop it, or that the end would otherwise be inevitable.
I haven’t read any other Moore, though, so it’s quite possible his other stuff is much better.

I would respectfully ask that you read Watchmen again. It’s not my personal “greatest comic ever” but it finds itself in very good company and I couldn’t fault anyone who did put it at the top. When it comes to comics utilizing superheros I would say its the best by far. It works with genre fiction in a way that I can only compare to postmodern writers like Thomas Pynchon. That said, I think that the majority of people that both praise and criticize it haven’t really read it. I say this because most people still seem to think that the protagonists of Watchmen are the superheros themselves and almost all conversations about the story revolve around them. They aren’t the main characters of Watchmen, if they are anything they’re a Greek chorus. Watchmen is about the poverty of philosophy in guiding human affairs. The masks are more fleshed out than a lot of their peers, but they remain archetypes. However, these archetypes are less about the iconic sentiments that DC uses to sell Alex Ross books, but for the major philosophies that have driven American thought and foreign policy in the 20th Century. Rorschach is Objectivism (I’ve heard some good arguments that he’s actually a Kantian but I will still maintain that he’s driven by Rand’s philosophy) Dr. Manhattan is Materialist Determinism, Silk Spectre is Feminism, Ozymandias is Neoliberalism, Night Owl is Existentialism, and Comedian is Absurdism. All of them believe they understand the meaning of reality, and all of them bicker and fight with each other over their visions, but none of them can actually manage to bring their beliefs into concordance with their own lives. Despite this fact they still believe that they are the most qualified to steer peoples lives.

On the other hand, you have the actual protagonists of Watchmen: the people on the street. A news vendor and an inner city youth who share nothing in common besides a name, the two cops who seem to hate their jobs but work them anyway because somebody has to, the psychologist who is suffering a crisis of faith, the two lesbians stuck in an abusive and self loathing relationship. Their lives seem mundane and unimportant to lots of readers, especially on the first read through, and yet when the shit hits the fan these disparate people who have no reason to do so, other than a shared humanity, come together to comfort each other in the face of Armageddon while the costumed philosophers bicker with each other over how to build utopia in a monolithic palace in Antarctica. I have found nothing more profound and heartfelt in mainstream comics before or since this moment.

As to your specific complaints: Veit didn’t see the end coming before anybody else. He was a neoliberal elitist, and like many at the time believed that MAD would not hold (and while it was a concern in 1986, it gained some real credibility after FOIA revealed how many times we came a phone call away from nuclear war with the USSR). He was also clearly influenced by the policy paper written by Ossterman’s partner that appears in the appendix to the Watchmaker chapter. I’m glad you don’t think that Veit’s plan would work, because the book makes it abundantly clear that it won’t; and that, far from being necessary, was in fact a self fulfilling prophecy. I won’t elaborate because one of the joys of Watchmen is discovering all the details and subtleties on subsequent read throughs (I’m on my seventh or eighth and I’m still finding new information each time) but I’ll say that you should pay careful attention to the Black Freighter story and Veit’s conversation with Dr. Manhattan at the end of the book for the most obvious example. Now, as to the idea that the squid is ridiculous, I would agree, but I’d also recommend that you look at some of the ideas that were being bandied about by the people behind the Strategic Missile Defense system or STAR WARS in the 80′s and to a conspiracy theory that gained traction in the early 80′s called Project Blue Beam. They are no less fanciful and some of them actually got lots of black budget money allocated to them in the 80′s and through to the present day. In any case it makes sense for Moore’s analog to a Bilderberg keynote speaker to develop such a plan even if Moore also maintains that the plan is little more than another atomic bomb,

One of the reasons that Watchmen gets held up to the standard of “literature” is because the story isn’t actually contained in the plot but in the interactions between the plot, characters, form, and history. If you focus on the plot alone it is terribly disappointing, but the actual story is incredibly complex, challenging, and rewarding.

Mary, since I know your tastes tend to side with 70s comics, I think you should try Moore’s Top Ten. It’s probably the least outre thing he’s done in decades.

As for Morrison, well, All Star Superman is one of his most accessible, and most successful, works. It’s the bee’s knees.

The little I’ve read of Ware, Clowes, Sturm and others like them only served to make me more of a fan than ever of “genre” fiction.

You know how the Anti-Life Equation goes? loneliness + alienation + fear, etc. It reminds me of a Chris Ware comic. That’s an idea for a story. Darkseid uses Chris Ware’s comics to depress the shit out of everybody.

Having said that, I will also say that I think Moore is TERRIBLY overrated. I already raised my concerns over the cult of personality that the British Comic Writers have cultivated, and while I would still hold Moore above the rest I think he’s fallen into the same trap. Nothing he has written outside of Watchmen comes anywhere near reaching the depth and heart of that book. V For Vendetta is self indulgent wankery. Supreme is unreadable. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is very enjoyable and sometimes thought provoking but more often uses references to literature as a crutch (it seems to be Moore’s favorite crutch). Lost Girls is interesting when taken as a whole, but is too cerebral and lacks heart considering the subject matter. Miracle Man… had some amazing art.

I still need to read Promethea, and I can’t imagine that a collaboration between Moore and JHWIII could be disappointing so I’m looking forward to it. Likewise I thought From Hell was a very great work. But overall I think Moore has been resting on his laurels since 1986 and every time I hear him talk all I can think of is Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place even when I agree with what he’s saying.

As for Morrison. He needs to drop this Batman stint he’s been on and finish up Seaguy because as much as it’s still him going to the Flex Mentallo well again he was at least maturing a bit with that series. As fun as Batman and Robin was, it’s definitely been some huge steps back for him creatively.

@Rene: Ware could probably use some prozac (ANL #18 was soul wrenching) but I’ve found his work to also be incredibly cathartic and sympathetic to the human condition. Clowes? I used to like him and I still like some stuff out of Eightball and David Boring but his overwhelming misanthropy is definitely a turn off for me these days.

Mary:
“So who would be the Kinks, the band that’s nearly equal to the Beatles but never got the attention they truly deserved? Peter David, maybe?”

As a long time Kinks fan from way back, I have to say no, and restrain myself from saying HELL, NO!
Gerber or Englehart, maybe.
Peter David is ELO or Blur or something.

So, who is the Rolling Stones?

Why hasn’t Burgas spoken up in all of this? I need to know which writer is Marillion — and please, for thoroughness, I will also need to know which one is Gabriel-era Genesis.

Recommendation to anyone looking for good Moore work that they may not have discovered: Top Ten. You don’t need to know anything about anything, other than a basic familiarity with the tropes of superheroes. It’s awesome, it’s fun, and it’s awesome.

That’s a pretty intriguing thought about Watchmen, Julian.

Rene: That would be awesome. That ACME Novelty Library is some powerful shit. Hillarious consept. I am just sick of the opression in the medium an division, designed to keep the medium down.

I don’t remember precisely how I voted, but I started with a list of my favorites and it went something like this. I only wish there were more diversity on the list, especially women.

1) Jim Woodring
2) Jamie Hernandez
3) Chris Ware
4) Daniel Clowes
5) Alan Davis
6) Darwyn Cooke
7) Adrian Tomine
8) Jack Davis
9) Hergé
10) J H Williams III
11) John Byrne
12) Jason
13) Frank Frazetta
14) David Mazzucchelli
15) Alan Moore
16) Chris Sprouse
17) Bill Sienkiewicz
18) Bryan Hitch
19) Mark Gruenwald
20) Chris Claremont
21) Mark Silvestri
22) Jack Kirby
23) Frank Miller
24) Paul Ryan
25) Mark Shultz
26) Jack Cole

Julian – Moore is over rated compared to what? You may have some points about his work not being perfect but when compared to the rest of superhero comics or any comics for that matter Moore is just really bright, energetic and thrilling to read.

Your points about the Watchmen are interesting but I think you are reading WAY too much into it. If it ‘s fun for you go ahead, I could be completely wrong but I can’t imagine Moore going that much in depth when he wrote it. It’s a character study of different types of vigilantes. You can ascribe those philosophies to it if you want but I don’t think Moore had that in mind when he wrote it. I think he was just writing really cool superhero comics.

Also the Watchmen has it’s flaws too. It’s way too dense. Maybe flaw is too harsh a word for it considering that It may be necessary to be so dense in order to say what he needs to say but it’s still much more involved reading than is normal for comics and looses some of it’s freshness an vitality for it. And I think something like Miracleman is better for not being so dense. So it is not the intellectual master work that Watchmen is but it’s powerful and thrilling and better for it. About V, it was written at 2 different times in Moore’s career and has it’s warts. It is just the nature of how the story was published. It would have been great if Moore could have finished it before he moved over to DC and the Swamp Thing thus keeping it’s vitality and flow, but that’s just the way things worked out. After coming back to it after years of not touching it made it difficult to finish it in a smooth and integral way. It is flawed as a whole but the parts, especially the early chapters, are just some of the most thrilling work ever written in the comics medium. Nothing really compares to it.

So to say Moore is over rated may be true, but over rated compared to what. There ain’t really anything else out there that compares favorably to his work. In the heros genera or out of it.

@Thomas Morrison

Your points about the Watchmen are interesting but I think you are reading WAY too much into it. If it ‘s fun for you go ahead, I could be completely wrong but I can’t imagine Moore going that much in depth when he wrote it. It’s a character study of different types of vigilantes. You can ascribe those philosophies to it if you want but I don’t think Moore had that in mind when he wrote it. I think he was just writing really cool superhero comics.

Also the Watchmen has it’s flaws too. It’s way too dense.

I figured somebody was going to accuse me of reading too much into Watchmen, but I didn’t think they would have such a sense of irony.

About V, it was written at 2 different times in Moore’s career and has it’s warts. It is just the nature of how the story was published. It would have been great if Moore could have finished it before he moved over to DC

That still wouldn’t save it from being a maudlin and self-indulgent piece of uppercrust radical wish fulfillment. The Valarie chapter is its saving grace in what is otherwise a heartless bully pulpit of a George Orwell pastiche.

So to say Moore is over rated may be true, but over rated compared to what. There ain’t really anything else out there that compares favorably to his work. In the heros genera or out of it.

Writers off the top of my head who do one or more of Moore’s main conceits better than he does:
Kim Deitch
Kevin Huizinga
Charles Burns
Jeff Smith
Jason
Katsuhiro Otomo

In the strictly superhero genre, yeah he’s probably the best, but Paul Pope (THB! beats most of Moore’s work) and Karl Kerschl’s contributions to Wednesday Comics give his work a run for its money and Morrison can when he can dial his own maudlin self indulgence back a bit.

@Ben Cohen:

Wait, I was supposed to vote for the best writers/artists and not my favorites? Crap. Okay, everyone start over we’ve been doing it wrong! Apparently it’s not about what we enjoy reading, it’s about who is the best. Just because you like something doesn’t mean it’s good, come on people!

Moore = The Beatles
Ellis = Stones
Morrison = Led Zepplin
Gaiman = Pink Floyd
Robinson = The Who
Ennis = Frank Zappa
Bendis = Eagles
Kirby = Bob Dylan
Stan Lee = Sam Phillips

Kanigher = Jefferson Airplane
Haney = The Monkees

Julian – You make some interesting points. I really loved Karl Kerschl’s Flash from Wednesdays comics. It was a wonderfully ingenious work although I haven’t seen any of his other work to know if this is a lone incident or part of a larger body of work.
I’m sorry to not have read Paul Popes THB! but now I will put it at the top of my to read list.
I love Kim Deitch, and Charles Burns work. They are beautiful as heck but they just don’t have the same intellectual cleverness Moore’s stuff has. Another creator I find infinity intellectually ingenuous is Art Spiegleman’s work. It is unfortunate that he is only known for his Maus which, while it is a fine work, doesn’t show off his ingenious creative mind. An example of this would be his “Two Fisted Painters”, an insert for Raw magazine, where he uses the pulp fiction genera to display and play with the idea of the four color printing process.
Gaiman has also done a few works which were pretty ingenious like his Books of Magic and his Miracleman issues.
About the Watchmen, if you enjoy breaking it down, that’s cool, but I just don’t think that it was intended to be read so deeply. Also it is often the case that great works can be dissected to find ingenious universal truths, as many have read very deeply into the movie of the Matrix. Weather it was meant to be read into so deeply or not the truths are there for those who wish to see them.
And I will still defend V for Vendetta. Your comments about it are true, but just as the characters of the Watchmen are flawed, V may be equally flawed which may be no small coincidence considering it WAS it’s antecedent, but that doesn’t take away the brilliance of the early chapters. I can’t help feeling that your comments are like those who say the Watchmen is just about a dysfunctional government or a group of crazy people dressing up in costumes. The WAY it is put together and HOW it all relates to each other is just so exhilarating and inspiring to see! Sure it’s concepts are naive, but like most young rock bands, it has more life and energy than almost anything else out there.
And when you said that Moore is over rated you failed to mention his ABC work. While not the intellectual monument that the Watchmen was, they are some of the best superhero work out there. Moore has just been consistently on the top of the field over the whole of his career. That’s no small feat.

Sorry Mary, but I have to agree with the people who say you haven’t read enough or Moore and Morrison to disagree that much. New X-Men is for me one of Morrison’s lesser works. I think Watchmen is one of the top 3 graphic novels, but if it’s not to your tastes don’t write off Moore. Nothing else he has written is like it (barring some stylistic tics in The Killing Joke).

I’d recommend Animal Man #5: The Coyote Gospel and The Anatomy Lesson as ideal samplers for each writer.

Dan Slott

Not even close.

Stan Lee? Alan Moore? Gardner Fox? Frank Miller? Chris Claremont? Grant Morrison? Geoff Johns? Walt Simonson? Will Eisner? Paul Dini? Roy Thomas? Steve Englehart? Scott McCloud? Kurt Busiek? Geez… I could do this all day!

Dan – You’e better than at least half of those guys.

Mary Warner:

Mary Warner

So who would be the Kinks, the band that’s nearly equal to the Beatles but never got the attention they truly deserved?

Blatantly Peter Milligan

@stealthwise

I would recommend From Hell by Moore – it is pretty amazing. Although, it is very dark – the first 4 issues or so were some of the darkest comics I have read. But I would rank From Hell has Moore’s best work other than Watchmen

Maybe I should clarify that I’m not dismissing Moore and Morrison completely. I only meant to say that I don’t get the extreme praise for them, judging by the few examples I’ve read. But I was always aware that I haven’t read enough to fully judge them. After all, my favourite writers have all written some bad stories (some of them very bad). And as I said, Watchmen is still pretty good, even if it’s not as great as most people say, and the Morrison X-Men issues I’ve read have had some good and bad stories.
At the moment I don’t have any plans to seek out books by either of these writers, but I have no objections to reading more if I do come across them. (And I’ve long been wanting to at least see the movie of V For Vendetta, though I still haven’t got around to it.)

@Thomas Morrison

I love Kim Deitch, and Charles Burns work. They are beautiful as heck but they just don’t have the same intellectual cleverness Moore’s stuff has.

I think Charles Burns can write human emotion much better so that makes genre bending work more powerful even if its not as obviously clever. Deitch definitely does much more interesting things with appropriated work and history. Most people know that Victorian England was a repressive and misogynistic empire, how many people know that Mickey Mouse and Felix the Cat were born out of blackface vaudeville acts?

Speaking of RAW magazine, did you ever read the stuff Alan Moore wrote for it? Kind of funny to see him next to Chris Ware’s Superman/Grandfather story and Kim Deitch’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams stories.

About the Watchmen, if you enjoy breaking it down, that’s cool, but I just don’t think that it was intended to be read so deeply.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKj-6aSVTQQ&feature=fvw
Start watching at the 2:30 mark. He’s not as explicit about it as you might want, but these things were clearly on his mind when he was writing Watchmen.

And I will still defend V for Vendetta. Your comments about it are true, but just as the characters of the Watchmen are flawed, V may be equally flawed which may be no small coincidence considering it WAS it’s antecedent, but that doesn’t take away the brilliance of the early chapters.

Maybe, but having read it cover to cover twice now and coming back and reading scenes intermintantly it strikes me as a much more superficial work lacking in humanity, except for the Valerie chapter which I happily admit moves me to tears every time I read it.

And when you said that Moore is over rated you failed to mention his ABC work. While not the intellectual monument that the Watchmen was, they are some of the best superhero work out there. Moore has just been consistently on the top of the field over the whole of his career. That’s no small feat.

Outside of LOEG, I haven’t read much of his ABC work. I tried Top Ten and couldn’t find enough in it to keep my interest. I still haven’t tried Tom Strong. I’m very eager to get my hands on Promethea

GarBut (if you’re still reading): These kinds of threads exhaust me. Hence the lack of commenting. As Marillion is my favorite band and Grant Morrison is my favorite comic book writer, I’d equate them! It works fairly well, too – very nice use of words, occasionally pretentious – for both good and bad, and some forays into more mainstream stuff that isn’t as well regarded as the weirder stuff. There you go!

I think Jack Norris had it right, The Kinks are definitely Steve Gerber. Never got the acclaim they deserved but often outclassed their peers despite their obscurity. It’s good to be amongst fellow Kinks fans.

Thanks, Julian.

The Mutt suggested:
“Bendis = Eagles”

That doesn’t really work for me, as my problems with some of Bendis’s work aside (the thing with him and “big action” that I’ve gone on about so many times before), I actually like a lot of his work, and don’t consider him to flat out suck donkey balls.

Thanks, Julian.

The Mutt suggested Bendis being the Eagles. The main problem with that is that I’ve enjoyed some of Bendis’ work (in spite of my oft-mentioned problems with the way he handles “big action”) and don’t think that he just flat-out sucks.

Julien I think Project Bluebeam may be alive and quite well, but that’s another story. There’s a lot of suggestion that in just under two years a climax might occur, watch the skies – - -

Curt: Hilarious. Marry Christmas.

My top 1, 2 and 3 are the same as CSBG’s top 1, 2 and 3. I think this is the only medium that could ever happen in. But comic fans are just especially smart, I guess. :-)

Julian – I just love the diversity of the Warrior Magazine chapters of V. I find the mental dexterity and ingenuity of the young, pre Swamp Thing Moore very thrilling. With each new chapter he is telling the narative from a new angle and in a new way, like the TV station chapter where the show is most of the dialog and some how connects to the story in strange and interesting ways. I feel bad for those who only saw the movie and didn’t read the book because of all this cool stuff that they missed.
But among his early work, it’s hard for me to choose a favorite favorite (V, Miracleman, Swamp Thing). I usually cop out and pick early Swamp Thing because they are more cohesive and complete stories. But it has to be said that Moore was extremely lucky to get the incredibly talented artist that he ended up working with. They were all gems in their own way. One even made this list (Alan Davis on Miracleman).

About ABC, there are 3 main titles, Promethea, Tom Strong and Top Ten, and like I said before, they aren’t the intellectual master work the Watchmen is, but they are all very ingenious in their own way.
Tom Strong is pretty strait super hero stuff but very well told with very inventive protagonists and resolutions. Often it is derivative of works like golden age Captain Marvel, but they feel very fresh and interesting. I really love issues 11 and 12 where Tom Strong meets the heroes of the Nedor universe (Tom Strange, Black Terror) and issue 13 where he goes to “the Tower at Times end”.
Promethea is actually Moore putting his ideas about the occult down in a narrative form. for example Moore has Promethea explore the Kabalistic tree of life, the Tarot, or Tantra. The story does get a little weighed down at times by the material (I skipped the tarot issue) but is usually fun and interesting.
Top Ten is really inventive. It’s looks pretty serious on first glance but as you get into it you begin to realize that it’s all tong in cheek. There are so many funny moments in this series like when a 30 foot high, drunk Godzilla comes to get his juvenile delinquent son out of jail and ends up puking all over the street. Or when Odin threatens Rognarok for the death of his son and officer Smax says to him, “Listen pops, you end the universe and I’m running you in!”
And just when you think you understand what to expect, Moore springs a really touching moment on you. It’s a really wonderful series and I hope you give it another chance before discounting it.
I liked the all of the ABC line and would recommend them to any comics enthusiast.

I’d actually like to put a good word in for some of the so-called “second-tier” ABC books.
If your impression of Moore is just of a cranky old grump, a lot of these remind you that he does in fact have a sense of humour.
Jack B. Quick in particular is flat-out hilarious, especially the one with the wheelbarrow “robots” that “try to take over the world.”

Morrison’s work on X-Men was pure garbage.

Oh, look. A little troll. How goddamn adorable.

Moore’s moments of humour in non-humour books, like King Solomon in Promethea and Rorsharch’s one-liners against the dwarf mob bos are great and show he has a great sense of humour. Personally though, with the exception of Jack B Quick, Greyshirt and National Flashlight Battery Inspection Day I find his straight-out humour work falls completely flat. DR and Quinch, Cobweb, The Last American and Splash Branigan do nothing for me.

@keil: oh yeah, From Hell is another brilliant one. I’ve read it less than the other Moore works due to its size and sheer immense grandeur, but yeah, I quite enjoy it as well. That’s the thing about Moore’s catalogue, I could list all of my favourites and then realize that I’ve left at least one or two things off of it on any given day, simply because there is so much.

I agree with Moore @ #1, but Stan Lee should have gotten #2.

[...] Top 50 Comic Book Writers: #2-1 (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com) [...]

My #1 and #2, except reversed. I feel that Moore has really lost his touch recently, doing very little stuff, and what he does do is getting utterly disturbing, and not in a good way like some of his early work. Meanwhile, Morrison is still producing things I love on a regular basis. I’m crazy enough to intrinsically “get” everything he does.

Also, Morrison uses the serialized nature of the medium better most of the time, creating more sweeping epics that bring together tons of details that build up over years.

There is no truth or justice in this world… Grant Morrison is the comic-book Buddha, a creator and inspirer. While Alan Moore is more like the comic-book Charles Manson… a destroyer and depressor. A charismatic figure for sure, but not the type of man that you should follow.

[...] (CNN) — Su acercamiento único a los superhéroes, como es analizado en su libro Supergods, se ha convertido en uno de los más comentados entre los escritores de cómics en la actualidad (en 2006 y 2010, fue elegido en segundo lugar sólo por detrás del escritor de Watchmen y V for Vendetta, Alan Moore, por los lectores de Comic Book Resources). [...]

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