Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Jeff's birthday post

For Jeff's birthday (which was yesterday, May 24th) I asked him what topic he would like me to write about. He responded with, "Who are your favorite 3 writers in comics or otherwise right now. Why? Is there any comic writer you can't stand? Why?" Here's the answers to those questions...

My three favorite writers (and we're going to stick in the comic book world because otherwise I'd never come up with an answer) are Neil Gaimen, Gail Simone, and Mark Waid. As to why:

Neil Gaimen

First of all, there's the Sandman, possibly one of the greatest stories ever written in comic book form. Gaimen created a whole new level to the DCU and more - he did it well. He managed to not only write a story that could hold your interest and tweak your imagination, but to write it in such a fashion that it worked on many levels. You could pick up Sandman as a monthly book, a single graphic novel, or as a whole, and everytime it was a good read. Also, everytime you read the series you find something new. Second, there's American Gods, one of my all time favorite books. Gaimen interweaves all sorts of mythology into an outstanding story that gives the reader a glimpse of America from the standpoint of the immortal. I think Gaimen is one of the only writers I've read that manages to bring a spark of insight to whatever he writes.

Gail Simone

I will add that Gail Simone is a consistantly good writer as well as the things I've stated before. That's rare to find in comic books. She writes intriguing characters, fun stories, and never fails to forget a humorous remark even in the darkest of times.

Mark Waid

Ever since Mark Waid made Wally West into a great character I've had a lot of respect for his work. His transformation of the Flash was amazing. Wally became a real hero and Waid has a talent for establishing strong foundations as well as continuity. The other thing I enjoyed with Waid was the love story he gave Wally. Many other writers would have had Wally sleeping with 3 girls at once or some other such nonsense. Instead, Waid gave Wally true love - love that stretched across the bounds of time and space and saved Wally time and time again. I am also enjoying his run on the Legion of Superheroes. It's fun, interesting, and deals with deep issues without it becoming so depressing that you stop reading. Mark Waid is an awesome comic book writer, and I'm always happy to give his work a shot.

As for a writer I can't stand, at the moment that would be Frank Miller. This may come as a suprise to some, especially considering his supposed brilliance, but I really dislike his writing at the moment. I have enjoyed his work in the past, don't get me wrong, but Batman Allstar really bothers me. That is NOT my Batman (or my Robin for that matter). I also don't understand why everything Miller writes is such a angsty, dark mind trip. I mean, look at Alan Moore's work... sure he has a lot of similar themes, but it's not all the same in the emotions he conveys. Take a look at the difference in between From Hell and Top 10 for instance. Moore can try new things. Miller seems to be writing Allstar as if the iconic version of Batman belongs in Sin City. Personally I prefer Batman and the Monster Men and wish Miller would learn to chill out.

Hope that answered your question Jeff (even though I know you've been enjoying Allstar Batman ;) ) and I hope you had a great birthday!

13 Comments:

Anonymous Jeff said...

Thank you so much Cshiana!! Still a little beat up from BD celebrations. In honor of our illegal immigrant brothers and sisters I had tacos and "bucket-o-margaritas". Delicious! If you haven't tried the Bucket yet I highly recommend it. Really liked your choices. Neil Gaiman is one of my picks for top 3 comic writers of all time, along with Alan Moore and Frank Miller. I think it's ashame that a lot of fans today don't appreciate Gaiman's work. They call his writing sophomoric and think that he's a one-trick pony, only good at fairy tales for adults. They also think that if not for the Goth fad he would never have made it big. I still think the guy's great despite his recent Marvel work. Gail Simone is coming on strong and is one of the best looking women in comics. Much prefer her to Devin Grayson. Can't wait to read Secret Six and her JLU cartoon, Double Date starring Black Canary, Green Arrow, Huntress and Question, was an awesome piece of work. Mark Waid is a really great guy. My comic shop guy used to be tight friends with Waid way back when so I've had the honor of meeting him on several occasions over the years at shop signings and got him to sign quite a few of my favorite books. I wish him continued success. For me, my 3 favorites right now are Dan Slott, Darwyn Cooke, and Robert Kirkman. Ones I can't stand--Bendis, Bendis Bendis. The guy had such great potential and he's turned into an ultimate hack.
Thanks agains for this post! Oh, have you ever read Gaiman's Stardust with Charles Vess??

Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

My three favorite writers have to be Alan Moore - for his last Superman story and every thing else he has done. He brings a depth to his work that almost no other writer brings and Gaiman counts him as a mentor.

Stan Lee, while what he actually wrote or created is in heavy question there is no doubt that he changed comics forever by making heroes more real. The early FF is some unbelievable work and his contribution to comics is still being mined today at Marvel.

Third choice is a very hard choice as there are many fantastic writers out there, from Gardner Fox, John Broome, Geoff Johns, Gail Simone, Frank Miller, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, James Robinson and more - but my choice right now would be John Ostrander. The work that makes me think of him is Sucide Squad, Spectre and Grimjack. John had tons of inovative ideas in his series and had some terrific humor in his Suicide Squad run. Also what is best about his work is that he ususally stayed with his series. All 3 that I mentioned he handled from cradle to grave with runs of 60 plus issues at least.

Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

Writer I can't stand - Brian Hack Bendis. Please someone stop him writing New Avengers. I haven't read in since issue six, but everyone I know who still reads it - still hates it. WHY ARE THEY BUYING IT???

Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Jim--that's another reason why I'm lucky I live where I do. John Ostrander gets his comics at my shop too. He has got to be one of the most underrated writers in all of comics. The guys working today, like Geoff Johns and Mark Millar, are all riffing on what Johnny O did way back when. Still can't figure why DC won't trade his Spectre series...

Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Blogger Arielle said...

Happy Birthday, Jeff.

Gail Simone definitely is a cutey - she's got the kind of look that I wish I could pull off. =)

Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

Wow, so much Bedis hate :) I've never touched New Avengers so I wouldn't know.

Jeff - are you talking about 1602? I enjoyed it and even convinced my Dad to give it another shot. He admitted that it was much better to read as a whole than as a single issue. I think people expect something as amazing as Sandman or American Gods every time they read Gaimen because I know a lot of people who were disappointed in Annansi Boys. Gaimen himself said that it was something he wrote for fun because he wanted to explore a certain character. With 1602 I loved the character he spent the most time with - Virgina Dare. Oh, and Capt America was cooler than usual :)

I really like Kirkman's work as well. Invincible and Walking dead are great books.

Jim - is he the guy who wrote Spectre back when it was Jim Corrigan?

Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Anonymous Jim said...

cshiana - Yep - Johnny O. wrote the 60 plus issues of Spectre when he was Jim Corrigan.

Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

Wow, why does that seem like forever ago?

Oh yeah, Jeff... you drank a bucket of margaritas?? Or is that just what the place is called?

Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

Yeah, just remembered, that other question I was asked - yes, I've read Stardust. In fact, I introduced a Gaiman fan to the illustrated version (which was the way I first saw Stardust) because she has only ever read the novel.

Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Cshiana-Jose Cuervo has a new product out called Bucket Of Margaritas, also Bucket of Daquaris. Really good tasting stuff, especially with tacos. So what's your favorite Gaiman story?

Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Arielle---thank you SO much for the birthday wishes!!!

Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Blogger Brainiac6 said...

American Gods - hands down. I love his other stuff but American Gods is what made me change my major and go back to school.

Thursday, May 25, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Interesting. I'll have to borrow my brother's copy of American Gods and give it a read. Too bad Gaiman is working over at Marvel. He really isn't up to his usual game over at the House of Ideas. Eternals could be good, but I'm keeping expectations low.

Thursday, May 25, 2006  

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