10 Comics that “stuck” August 4, 2009 – Posted in: Blog – Tags: Alan Moore, Amazing Spider-Man, Bernie Wrightson, daredevil, dave gibbons, David Mazzucchelli, Frank Miller, gene colan, John Romita Jr, Klaus Janson, Lynn Varley, Marv Wolfman, Neil Gaiman, sandman, swamp thing, The Dark Knight Returns, The Weird, Tom Palmer, tomb of dracula, watchmen
That’s STUCK, not suck. 🙂
10 Comics that’ll never leave me.
This list is based on a facebook posting I read from the great Neil Vokes. I figured I’d roll it over and my head and give you my own list. (Neil’s was 15, I’ll keep mine to 10)
In no particular order:
1) The Dark Knight Returns – This mini-series (along with The Watchmen) really changed comic books forever. Not that comics were ever just for children, but with this series Frank Miller took an iconic character and really cranked up the maturity. The media took notice and the rest is history. I can remember the first time I opened the pages of book one like it was yesterday. Not only was the content unlike anything I’d seen before, the format of the book was as well. Thick card stock cover, heavy slick paper, and the colors, oh those wonderful colors! Thank you Lynn Varley!
2) The Watchmen – Yep, as I mentioned above – these two series changed everything. Where The Dark Knight got most of the mainstream press, it was The Watchmen that was the critics’ darling – and rightly so. Where The Dark Knight could be compared to a high-style action flick, Moore’s Watchmen is a thinking person’s tale. I was only 14 when they came out and Dark Knight blew me away then…it was some time later that I picked up Watchmen. Probably a good thing. At 14 most of it would have sailed right over me. Heck, I could likely read it three more times now and find something new each and every time.
3) Tomb of Dracula – This may seem a bit of a cheat, as it’s an entire 70 issue series, but without doubt this is one of comic’s greatest achievements. 70 issues with virtually the same writer, penciler and inker. Unheard of! It was this continuity of talent which held the series together. You can sit down and read the entire series and it reads as one giant tale. At the same time, you can pick up any one issue, and get a great quick read. That’s not easy! Here’s to the giant talents of Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan , and Tom Palmer.
4) Swamp Thing #1-10 – Does comic book artwork get any better? Every single page of these ten issues is a masterpiece. Has there ever been a better drawn werewolf than the creature in issue #4? You like Batman’s big flowing cape and big pointy ears? Thank Bernie – he did it first in the classic cross-over issue #7. And bar none, the most iconic image of Swamp Thing EVER has got to be the cover to #9.
5) Daredevil #163 – This story really resonated with me. It really instilled in me what being a “hero” is really all about. It wasn’t about beating up the bad guys. It wasn’t about good triumphing over evil. It was really about doing what’s right – even in the face of certain failure.
6) Daredevil #33 – To be honest I don’t remember the story much more than it was DD battling the Beetle. But there’s a splash page of DD in this book that etched itself in my memory. When I finally stopped staring at it, I immediately had to turn to the front of the book to see who the artist was. Gene Colan. ‘Nuff said.
7) Daredevil – Born Again (#227-233) – What can I really say that hasn’t already been said about this masterpiece? If you haven’t read it, why not? Seriously. Buy it, read it, and pass it to a friend.
8) The Weird – This little know mini-series from DC was published in 1988. Written by Jim Starlin and penciled by Bernie Wrightson (yep, him again!), this series has really stuck with me. I think it has a combination of stunning artwork (obviously), but the story is more than a simple super-hero tale. There’s some nice sentimental moments in there. You can find this four issue series in the bargain bins, or eBay for next to nothing. Well worth picking up and reading.
9) Sandman – Neil Gaiman’s epic series is another title that makes this list not so much for any one particular issue or artist, or even Gaiman’s terrific ability to spin a yarn. It’s here because it introduced me, and I’m certain many others, to non-superhero comics. There’s an entire world of comics out there that don’t feature men in tights. Imagine that! This is just one of them, and boy-oh-boy is it good stuff!
10) Amazing Spider-Man #229-232 – JRJR…always a favorite of mine, but with these few issues of Spidey, I don’t know what it was, but if you ask just about anyone who grew up reading comics in the 80’s, they’ll tell you that these are special. Juggernaut, Cobra & Mr. Hyde…wow…makes me want to read them again right now.
There are countless others. I’d LOVE to hear your top 10! It’s a great way for us all to discover comic gem’s we may have missed!