web stats

CSBG Archive

31 Days of Comics – A Comic From a Favorite Creator

Our pal Seth Hahne, of GoodOKBad fame, came up with this 31 Days of Comics challenge, one of those things where each day of the month you’re given a different category that you then make a choice of a comic to fill that category. I figured it would be a fun bit to do, so here we are! Click here to see each of the categories so far!

We continue with Day 25, which is A Comic From a Favorite Creator

Read on for my pick and then you can share yours!

Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan, Smartest Boy on Earth is an extremely layered tale of a depressed man (Corrigan) meeting his father late in his life. This story is intermixed with the story of Corrigan’s grandfather (also Jimmy Corrigan) as a boy and HIS relationship with HIS father. All throughout, we also have the fantastical story of Jimmy Corrigan, Smartest Boy on Earth – showing Corrigan as a child. However, we also see Corrigan as a depressed child dealing with his parents divorce, and so we know that the “Smartest Boy” vignettes are just dreams of a sad man who has great trouble dealing with the world as it is.

We see that attitude of Corrigan’s in his everyday life, as well, as Ware shows Corrigan’s Walter Mitty-esque fantasies while in the midst of something as mundane as his father (who he has just met at this point) taking him to a fast food restaurant for dinner…

storyline88a

storyline88b

storyline88c

storyline88d

Notice how the events of his life directly inspire Corrigan’s fantasies, while also revealing his attitudes about life.

The most brilliant aspect of Ware’s book, as is usually the case with Ware’s work, is his amazing design sense – the story of Jimmy Corrigan is really a marvel of design, there are many pages that do not even have text, because Ware designs the pages so well that you don’t NEED text – he’s so detailed and thorough that you feel like you’re inundated with details about these characters without reading a single word.

Is the story depressing?

Yes, in the sense that the actual plot of the book is depressing, but it is done so beautifully that I can’t help but be happy when I read it, no matter how dreary the plot is.

It’s a tour de force performance by one of comics’ greatest creators.

This story won numerous awards and accolades when it was collected into book form, including the Guardian First Book Award, the first comic book to ever be so honored. It’s a well deserved honor.

34 Comments

My favorite creator is probably Alan Moore. I love several of his works, and know what my top two choices are. One of which is an expansive run that I always have trouble picking a best story out of ( a trip to hell or a trip to space, or a psychadelic love trip, or perhaps a trip to Gotham). So I will go with the other:

V for Vendetta

A character who has become iconic. A plea for the importance of freedom and the power of symbols. Beautiful art by David Lloyd. An emotional core in Evey. A beautiful interlude about one woman’s struggle. A great musical piece.

“Did you think to kill me? There is no flesh and blood beneath this cloak. There is only an idea. Ideas are bulletproof.”

I often wonder if it may be the single best graphic novel ever created.

It’s hard to go wrong with the celebrated Binky Brown and the Holy Virgin Mary by Justin Green. One of the very first autobiographical comics, it explores what it’s like to live with OCD. It’s got pathos, and it’s got humor (“Mom, did you throw my underwear in with the girls’?! Can’t they get pregnant like that?!”) But, most importantly, it has a disarming honesty.

Throughout this remarkable work, Green again and again confesses strange thoughts and desires that most of us have, yet have never shared. While undoubtedly cathartic for the author, Binky also allays the fears of his readers, allowing them to feel a little more connected to the rest of mankind and a little less like neurotic weirdoes. It’s both therapy and therapeutic.

Besides that, it’s an historically important, groundbreaking work. It paved the way for the autobiographical black and white boom of the 90s, anticipating it by 20 years. Joe Matt, Chester Brown, Mary Fleener, Denny Eichorn, and a host of others were Green’s descendants. Binky Brown also captures Baby Boomer culture in way very few artworks have. It’s a must read, one of the best comics ever.

Hmmm, not a lot of responses here.

I’ll have to go with Peter David. I wouldn’t say that I follow PAD’s work, but I did find myself coincidentally following a lot of books that he happened to be writing anyway. I followed his entire INCREDIBLE HULK run, dabbled in his early X-FACTOR, and read all of his SPIDER-MAN 2099, YOUNG JUSTICE, and SUPERGIRL. I’ve always liked how he establishes little niches for himself at either Marvel or DC and makes characters interesting when nobody else was able to do anything interesting with them.

Ultimately, PAD defined the Hulk for me (though I got started during Bill Mantlo’s run) and significantly developed his supporting cast and villains. If I’m going to pick a single story, it’d be PAD’s HULK: THE END. It’s largely divorced from his 140+ issue run on the main comic (it has a few nods to some of his earlier stories), but it all comes down to a Hulk versus Banner story. The story effectively summarizes the entire nature of the Hulk/Banner relationship in a very depressing and yet very satisfying way. Even though it’s a story that will never come to pass (everybody except the Hulk is killed in a nuclear war), it’s a great bookend to the whole PAD run.

this one is hard to pick one since i have so many creators whose runs i loved. but have to go really with chris clairmounts run on the xbooks with john. from having jean willing to whack herself due to being corrupted. to the bigotry of god loves man kills. chris knew how to really show how the x-men will do what ever it takes to try and make their dream for mutants live.

If I had to pick a single favorite comics industry professional I’d either go with Stan Lee or Otto Binder or Dan DeCarlo (Lee would probably be #1 hands down if he had retired after Silver Surfer: Parable, but alas…)

From Lee it would be his FF run, though picking a single story or issue would be impossible. While thing was great, especially the first half decade of it.

From Otto Binder I’d go with any of the higher quality stories from his Captain Marvel (and related characters) run. For my money still the best cape book of all time (at least when it was at its best it was).

From Dan DeCarlo easily his Archie work. That was arguably the greatest comic of all time AFAIC.

I’ll go with David Hine on this one andth e fantastically good Strange Embrace. I discovered him on District X, but when I started seeking out his other works, Strange Embrace stood out – great stuff.

Bulletproof Coffin comes close though.

I’ll go with one of my all time favorite creators Neil Gaiman. If he put out an illustrated history of paperclips I’d probably buy it. For the comic for this category I’ll go with my favorite issue from his greatest work, Sandman #31, Three Septembers and a January. It’s the story of Joshua Abraham Norton who came to San Francisco with dreams of getting rich, but things did not go as planned and he wound up about to kill himself when Despair shows up and summons Morpheus to Joshua’s room. Despair makes a wager with Morpheus on whether or not Dreams can keep Joshua out of her realm. Morpheus reluctantly accepts the bet and gives Joshua a dream. Read the book to find out what happens, its good as is the entire Sandman series

My pick is Grant Morrison. While he can be impossibly trippy and a bit on the chaotic side with some of his stories, he does channel this energy very well in his tenure on Doom Patrol. Full of weirdness, honesty and a genuine desire to innovate and have fun while telling some very nice character developments, this series has it all and I absolutely loved the entire thing. The relationship between Cliff Steele and Crazy Jane is perhaps one of the most beautiful that I had ever read, which made me love the comic even more.

This doesn’t have to be your FAVORITE creator, just one of your faves.

I have a lot of fave creators, but I gotta go with Gail Simone. Off the top of my head, I’d go with her two-part arc on Wonder Woman, where Diana faces the Queen of Fables and a personal hell: a movie very loosely based on her life. You laugh at Amazons being instructed to hate all men, but you cringe knowing that could happen in a WW movie.

I just got done reading Building Stories by Ware and was really satisfied with it. I’m caught up with his body of work and am very interested in seeing where he will go next. I also hope he continues to work on the Walt & Skeezix books, which I probably treasure more than anything else in my collection.

I have a lot of favourite comics creators because, like, why wouldn’t I? I thought about featuring Rick Leonardi, because why wouldn’t I? He’s easily in my top ten artists who ever worked for Marvel. Maybe even top five. But he doesn’t have a book out right now, so why not feature someone who does?

I, like many, first encountered Mori in her Vicotrian-era tale of cross-class romance, Emma. It was a nice book with solid art. It was good but not incredible. Emma‘s a nice gateway book for people who like Jane Austin but aren’t sure what to make of comics (or worse, of manga!). When I heard Mori was putting out a new series set in the 19th century Caspian region, I thought: “Sure. Why not. Let’s give this a try.”

Bride’s Story is like, Holy Cow. The visual evidence of Mori’s illustrative gifts somehow got turned up a thousandfold. The detail she packs into her pages is just flatout incredible. Here’s a video (from a series) of Mori drawing Amir, the series lead. Turn it up top 720 HD and fullscreen it. You may pee your pants.

http://youtu.be/FrGMo2XPQ0Y

I admit I’m a bit of a Jack Kirby poser… by that I mean, I love Jack, but I really hadn’t read anything until recently. I was the same way with EC Comics. I never read them for the longest time, but even years before I read them, there was an assumed love and understanding (based on influence and what I knew). I finally got to read them outside of contextless images and excerpts.

I think in both cases I was proven right, but I was also overjoyed to find cool stuff I didn’t expect. In EC, it’s Harvey Kurtzman’s cartoony genius (though I am more of a Johnny Craig guy, even though HK is objectively better). With Kirby, it was just how exciting they feel and how, in many ways, they still feel fresh (plus his awesome use of photo collage, though he was just borrowing from Sterenko, who I also need to read),

Anyway, so I read the Fourth World Vol, 1 last year and fell in love. If I need to choose a favourite, it’s probably Mister Miracle, which is so much fun and it has a great energy to it (and some dialogue, like a soldier being proud of his “pointy hat” feels so much like Grant Morrison). It feels both timeless and an exploration of the mood of the time, fighting against victims of the paranoid pill and the motherly oppression of Granny Goodness. I highly recommend getting the Fourth World collection.

I’ll go with Grant Morrison. One of my favorite Morrison stories he’s written is “All-Star Superman” #6, “Funeral in Smallville.” It reveals the identity of the Unknown Superman, and more importantly, it depicts Pa Kent’s death, and Superman’s realization that he can’t save everyone, even the ones he loves most, despite his power. It’s my single favorite issue from the series.

Peter David is a longtime favorite, so I’ll go with him. And while there’s a lot of good stuff to pick from, I’m going to go with “Crazy Eight” from Incredible Hulk 380. Doc Samson evaluates a supervillain to see if she’s mentally competent to be executed for her crimes. David doesn’t shy away from the hard questions, and the denouement is a punch straight to the gut.

Second place goes to too many stories to list. Man knows how to grab me.

I know he’s everywhere now, but Jonathan Hickman’s early Image stuff really stood out to me. I’d have a tough time picking between Pax Romana and Nightly News, but I’d probably go with Nightly News, as they visual style and infographics were just so different from everything else I was reading at the time. Now if he would just finish Feel Better Now already, that would be great…

Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men #196 is a little known gem. It’s a quick little one-shot that really well contextualizes the concept of anti-mutant hate crimes, and features one of the most intense stand-offs I’ve ever read at the climax in which Wolverine and Magneto have to convince Rachel Grey to not kill the kids who attacked the Professor. This is also a huge turning point for Magneto in which he comes to terms with his own past actions and tries to atone for them.

I will give love to one of my favorite artists, Richard Corben.

His Hellboy work the past several years just touches all the right spots.

Way too many to choose from…

I guess I’ll go with Steve Rude’s work on Nexus, since that’s a creator owned property.

It’s just so beautiful.

Really thought there are tons of other choices just as worthy.

@Stefan Robak

I love the Fourth World stuff too, and Mister Miracle is my favorite of the bunch as well.

I should point out though that Kirby was doing the photo collage stuff well before Steranko.

Just sayin’

I’ll go with Walt Simonson’s Thor. I couldn’t even pick a single issue because the run is just littered with greats. The man has a lot of great comics with his credits, but Thor is his best.

DC Special Series #15: Denny O’Neil & Marshall Rogers

Death Strikes at Midnight and Three

Lots of favourite creators, and lots of great comics spring to mind:
Alan Moore: Swamp Thing #53
Frank Miller: Daredevil #181
Chris Claremont: X-Men #137
John Byrne: Fantastic Four #258
Neil Gaiman: Sandman #13
Grant Morrison: JLA #1! (it brought me back to superheroes)

Mr.Miracle is indeed a blast. I also like the Forever People’s encounter with the Justifiers (“Life made me doubt—anti-life made me right!”).
I don’t really have a suggestion for this category though.
Possible alt.list: a comic you love by a creator you don’t usually like.

The Forever People seems like the comic most in need of a comeback. Yes, to many it’s just “super-hippies”, but I think of it about being about youth in general Not in the same way Teen Titans is, but about bringing good values and fighting old societal ills like our disgusting hunger for resources (Mantis, the energy vampire) and religious fanaticism (Glorious Godfrey) Heck, they literally come together to be more than the sum of their parts (the Infinite Man( It feels like such a great premise, but out of all of the Fourth World books, it’s the one people seem least interested in tackling.

I also think the first appearance of Glorious Godfrey belongs in a museum.

@Stefan Robak,

There is no such thing as a Kirby poser! It doesn’t matter if you’ve been into him for years or days, the important thing is that you’ve discovered his work and seen its excellence.

My pick is Bill sienkiewicz. I thought of going with Elektra Assassin or Stray Toasters, but his best work might be Voodoo Child: The Illustrated Legend of Jimi Hendrix. His fully-painted, psychedelic art is gorgeous, and incorporates photographs and stills better than any I’ve ever seen. Even if you don’t like Hendrix (philistine!), VC works as a showcase for Sienkiewicz.

The_Fourth_Man – you picked my favourite Neil Gaiman comic by a mile.

dhole – you picked my favourite Swamp Thing issue.

You guys have pretty much covered the greats. Just for the sake of picking someone who isn’t mentioned here… how about Garth Ennis? Everyone knows “Preacher” and “Hitman” and “The Punisher” and his other big works, so I’ll try to pick something not so huge. I’m tempted to go with the “The Pro” (the idea of a superpowered hooker is kind of the most simple, genius thing ever), but I think I’ll say the first storyline of “Crossed”.

I’ve mentioned it in comments on here before, but it still blows me away that he could write a story so horrifying, vile, and offensive that still features meaningful, emotional depictions of humanity. The non-relationship implied between our two “protagonists”, the devastating (and disturbing) loss of the female lead’s child, and the serial killer who is absolutely shocked and mortified when the rest of the group condemns what he’s done (because he honestly had no idea it was wrong) are all moments that stick with me.

Also, looking back, I realize this would have been the perfect choice for “Comic You Love That You’ll Never Read Again”. It’s such a great piece of work, but God, it’s just SO soul-crushing.

Ennis’ Crossed has been by far the best Crossed. I’m looking forward to him coming back to it.

I’m pretty high on Doug Mahnke, so I’d go with his work on JLA. There was some fantastic art in Trial By Fire. It’s been so frustrating trying to find him now that he’s off GL, even if I was kind of glad to see him move on from GL.

I will go with Exiles by Judd Winnick, Jim Calafiore, and Mike McKone. Specifically volume 2 of their run on the series, “A World Apart.” I read this as a kid and this series was the most awesome thing ever. It was a series where the creators basically got to make 6 new characters but still play in the Marvel Sandbox as they explored alternate dimensions. Marvel has relaunched Exiles a bunch of times, but why not just give Judd Winnick a second go? This is definitely the best superhero work in Winnick’s career.

Stranger Danger

February 1, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Frank Miller – Daredevil #191
Larry Hama – G.I. JOE #21

The only two comics I need in life.

Andi Watson’s Little Star immediately popped into my head. As a father of young children, I enjoy it even more than when I first bought it.

JSA: Classified – Power Girl. Disappointing ending as it just basically led into Infinite Crisis, but I salivated like a waterfall when I saw Geoff Johns AND Amanda Conner on the cover.

It’d be easy to go with some “superstar” like Frank Miller, and I certainly hold a special place in my heart for the whole JLI era creative team, but if we’re naming one name, I’ll jump on Adam’s pick and mention Peter David again. There’s very little he’s written I don’t enjoy. To add onto many of those titles named, he wrote a great Spider-man in his early years, made Aquaman interesting, and have pretty much everyone trying to copy him whenever they try and make him interesting again, and wrote the best Star Trek comics ever (having written novels he obviously knew how to handle the genre).

If we have to name a comic to go with the creator more off-beat than David’s seminal Hulk work I’d say his hardcover Star Trek graphic novel is one of the best Star Trek stories in any format.

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives