Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Reasons Patrick loves comics

Since I admire my boyfriend's comic sensibilities, I thought I would post the things he loves about comics. He couldn't quite get to one hundred because he didn't want to list anything that fell into the "Like" category. Here it is:

74(?!?)*Things I love About Comics
By Patrick Markfort

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures The first comic book I ever bought was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #3, and this was the first series I “collected.” Beginning with the fifth issue, it began spinning out of the television show to form it’s own complex continuity, with major characters who appeared only in this series or for the first time in this series. I’d love to see someone bring this back into print.

2. First Comics’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collections Oversized, Color reprints of the original Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird series. I used to get these for Christmas. I especially loved the “Return of the Shredder” story.

3. Memories of good comics at Media Play (of all places) I don’t know why, but for some reason the local Media Play used to have the most diverse array of comics ever to sit on a shelf in St. Cloud, MN. I was too young and unknowledgeable at the time to appreciate all of the European Comics, Horror Manga, and Miracleman Reprints(!) that once lined those shelves, but many of the images affected me greatly and I can still recall them vividly. Lots of nudity and frightening, erotic images, especially as I had only been exposed to mostly Marvel and DC at the time

4. Looking through Previews with David The overwhelming amount of crap can sometimes leave me slightly depressed, but I get over it by the time the next issue is released and genuinely look forward to this monthly ritual.

5. Looking up the new comics list with David

6. Talking about comics with David

7. Making lists about comics

8. Supergirl

9. Marvel Essentials A great way to read a lot of really good comics for really cheap. They look like crap a lot of the time, but given the price I can’t really complain. I’m glad they’ve moved on to the 70’s stuff, as that seems ideal for the format.

10. Refusing to call DC’s B&W reprint series by whatever name they’ve come up with and instead referring to them as “DC Essentials” Seriously, really looking forward to these. One day I’ll have a full book case full of only the Marvel and DC B&W reprints. Sadly, I’m not exaggerating.

11. Really good comic book movies Spider-Man, X-Men, Sin City, American Splendor

12. Great comic book movies Ghost World, Crumb

13. Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World’s Greatest Comics (or whatever the hell the subtitle was) This was the first book about comics I ever read, and much of my knowledge of comics history began here. I haven’t revisited this book in years, but I suspect it would hold up pretty well against my memory of it. Oh, and some nice reprints in the back, including my first exposure the classic Fantastic Four #51.

14. Great books about comics Gerard Jones’ Geeks, Gangsters, and the Men of Tomorrow, Jordan Raphael and Tom Spurgeon’s Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book, Dan Raeburn’s Chris Ware.

15. Comics Bloggers Alan David Done, Neilalien, Sean Collins, Tom Spurgeon, Fanboy Rampage, Egon, Jog, etc.

16. The Comics Journal Essential, and better now than ever under the stewardship of former blogger Dirk Deppey

17. Comic Art Magazine M. Todd Hignite’s wonderful magazine has gorgeous production values and is a nice companion to the more text-heavy Journal. Their “In The Studio” feature is my favorite.

18. Pantheon This forward thinking book publisher has fast become one of the most reliable sources for excellent graphic novels, featuring beautifully produced works by Chris Ware, Art Spiegleman, Dan Clowes, Marjane Satrapi, and others.

19. Fantagraphics The Best Comic Book Publisher. Period.

20. Stan Lee’s dialogue Excelsior!

21. Stan Lee’s and Jack Kirby’s Fantastic Four Possibly the best comic book ever. Well, my favorite anyway. The whole run is good, but Once Joe Sinnott comes on as inker, it’s gold.

22. Tom DeFalco and Paul Ryan’s Fantastic Four This was the first superhero comic book I collected, and I was lucky enough to jump on with DeFalco’s and Ryan’s first issue. I wouldn’t go so far as to call these great comics, in fact much of the run was pretty lousy and they seemed to lose steam towards the end, but for the most part it was a nice, solid effort (with no fill-ins!) that introduced some fun concepts. Lyja, where are you???

23. Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World” comic books (including Jimmy Olsen) The King’s Magnum Opus

24. Recent reprints of Jack Kirby’s 1970’s Marvel comics Why didn’t anyone ever tell me how good Kirby’s 70’s work on Captain America and Black Panther was? In fact, why was I lead to believe that it sucked? More please!

25. Stan Lee’s and Steve Ditko’s Amazing Spider-Man

26. Stan Lee’s and John Romita’s Amazing Spider-Man Especially the very early issues of the run. Romita’s first story, with the reveal of Green Goblin, is probably my favorite Spidey yarn of all time.

27. Brian Michael Bendis The reason I still read so damn many Marvel Comics. Not as gifted as some of the other writers on this list, but frequently capable of some pretty amazing work, particularly when it comes to creating a sense of mood, and manipulation of pace through dialogue and panel configuration. My favorite is Ultimate Spider-Man.

28. Alan Moore The Best Writer in Comics Ever. From Hell is my favorite graphic novel, and it’s just one of Moore’s masterpieces. I admire the man’s skill as an artist as well as his personal integrity. I wish more comics writers had half of Moore’s wit and intelligence.

29. Grant Morrison A great, great, writer. Always interesting to watch what he’s up to, and he’s been on a roll lately. His New X-Men was so much better than it had to be. I read Invisibles at just the right time in my life, when I was prepared to be shown just how versatile and daring the comics medium could (and should) be.

30. Joss Whedon’s and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men Not as groundbreaking or innovative as Morrison’s X-Men, but it really doesn’t have to be. Great, straightforward superhero comics, brilliantly drawn. Whedon and Cassaday make it look easy. There should be a lot more mainstream comics that at least try to be this good.

31. Love and Rockets

32. Chris Ware

33. Lynda Barry

34. The Complete Peanuts

35. Kramer’s Ergot

36. Manga and it’s young fans

37. James Kochalka One of the most unique and refreshing personalities in comics. His American Elf deserves a place in the cannon.

38. Frank Quitely Probably the best artist working in the “mainstream.”

39. Wally Wood’s art on Daredevil Lovely.

40. Wizardworld Chicago convention

41. John Stanley’s and Irving Tripp’s Little Lulu

42. Savage Dragon The Ultimate Superhero Comic Book

43. Freak Force A really great Savage Dragon spin-off that hardly anybody read. Jerks.

44. Michael Kupperman Kupperman ALWAYS makes me laugh. That’s not an exaggeration…..he’s one of those artists whose work I just always find humorous. Snake N’ Bacon is the funniest book of any type I own, and I can’t wait for “Tales Designed to Thrizzle.”

45. Kevin Huizenga His new series Or Else has yet to live up the promise of his Kramer’s Ergot contribution, but he’s got to be doing something right it that’s the worst thing I can say about it.

46. Bipolar Not your father’s Hernandez Brothers? Nah, these guys are doing their own thing, and they’re doing it with an astonishing amount of craft and ingenuity. Great, great stuff.

47. 1970’s Marvel Comics Thanks again, Marvel Essentials.

48. Herb Trimpe’s Incredible Hulk Thanks again, Marvel Essentials.

49. Phoebe Gloekner’s Diary of a Teenage Girl

50. The idea of Porter being excited by comics

51. Writing Comics

52. Watching David make comics

53. Discovering great comics via unexpected sources Like Rhonda recommending Lynda Barry, or an animation class in college where I found out about……..

54. Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo in Slumberland Can someone please bring these back into print?

55. George Herriman’s Krazy Kat Sunday pages So far ahead of it’s time I’m still not sure the world is ready for them, but I’m glad Fantagraphics is releasing these so I can show everyone how ahead of the curve I was in 20 years.

56. Robert Crumb I’m really just starting to dig into his work. What an amazing talent.

57. E.C. Segar’s Popeye (Thimble Theater) One of the best comic strips I’ve ever read, unfortunately I’ve read very little of it. I hope hope hope someone brings this back into print. Speaking of out of print…….

58. The Smithsonian Book of Comics (Strips) This massive tome has got to be the greatest anthology of comic strips every produced. A FANTASTIC book. Thank you, St. Cloud Public Library!

59. Harvey and Eisner Awards

60. Indy Magazine A great, probably under appreciated online magazine

61. Ordering Comics online Fun!

62. Matt Brinkman’s Teratoid Heights

63. Jeffrey Brown’s Clumsy

64. Dan Clowes Eight ball #22 and #23

65. Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim The future of comics is now.

66. Kim Deitch I wasn’t taken with his work at first, but a feature in Comic Art (see above) convinced me to give him a second look. Now, I’m loving The Stuff of Dreams. I know, I know, what was I thinking?

67. Marvel Universe Series 1 trading cards Here’s where it all started. If not for these, I may have become a healthy and well adjusted young man. Close one.

68. Paul Hornschemeier I put off reading Mother, Come Home for waaaaay too long. Haunting and brilliant. More please.

69. Katsuhiro Otomo’s Domuu I guess this is probably my favorite manga.

70. Stan Lee’s and Jack Kirby’s Tales of Asgard I really like all of their Thor work, but all the cool kids single out Tales of Asgard.

71. Jack Cole’s Plastic Man Superhero Comics peaked really early, didn’t they?

72. The Mighty Mutanimals A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures spin-off! Cool!

73. David Heatley I really love his storytelling sensibilities, and can’t wait to read more of his stuff. One of the most exciting new talents out there right now, I think.

74. Great comic book stores like Chicago’s Quimby’s and Minneapolis’ Big Brain Comics

* I’ll try to come up with more later to make it 100, but I’m probably getting into things I just LIKE about comics at this point. Ah, well.

And to go one step further on showcasing my beau, I'm listing his top ten comics of 2004. It is halfway through 2005, so we're going to see new, exciting lists before we know it.

10. Rabbithead ~ Rebecca Dart (Alternative Comics)

9. Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life ~ Bryan Lee O'Malley (Oni Press)

8. We3 ~ Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (DC/Vertigo)

7. McSweeney's #13 ~ Chris Ware (Editor) (McSweeney's)

6. Krazy & Ignatz: A Kat a'Lilt with Song: 1931-1932 ~ George Herriman (Fantagraphics)

5. Astonishing X-Men ~ Joss Whedon and Jon Cassaday (Marvel)

4. New X-Men ~ Grant Morrison and various artists (Marvel)

3. Eightball #23 ~ Dan Clowes (Fantagraphics)

2. American Elf ~ James Kochalka (Top Shelf)

1. The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 and 1953-1954 ~ Charles Schulz (Fantagraphics)

That's it for Pat for now. I'll feature more of his stuff on here in the future!

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