Thursday, 31 January 2008

Favourite comic series

Rol likes lists. So do Paul Rainey (surely the facial model for the exuberantly happy New Frontier J'onn J'onzz figure) and fans of classical composers apparently, so following the list of favourite covers, here's a list of my favourite comic series, in no particular order.

Now, the first two series are holdovers from my childhood but the others are comics I've embraced as an adult.

1. The X-Men. As a young kid, I had some weird early favourite artists: at one time or another, I recall Dick Dillin, Jim Aparo and Sal Buscema all being favourites but they were blown clear out of the water when I saw John Byrne's pencils for the first time, on the X-Men strip in Rampage. This was a reprinting of the "Mesmero-turns-the-X-Men-into-carnies" issue and I fell hard and fast in love with the X-Men series. I lost interest when Byrne left (the series went into quick freefall until the arrival of Paul Smith years later) but came back during Romita Jr's first run, staying until just after the Age of Apocalypse. The original Claremont years were great, especially the first run with Cockrum, then Byrne, Smith, Romita Jr and Lee. It's gutted and lost beyond all hope now (although Astonishing X-Men has come the closest to recapturing that former glory) but the complete run I have from Giant Size X-Men to around #310 or so (including Classic X-Men reprint issues) remains one of my nostalgic faves.

2. The New Teen Titans. This was the only DC title I regulalrly bought, outside of the also-superb Giffen/Levitz Legion of Superheroes. Wolfman and Perez forged some of the best characterised superhero stories ever, with Who Is Donna Troy being an early modern classic. Some of the stuff that followed was ok but the series never regained the initial spark: another complete run in my collection (including reprinted editions).

3. Bridging the gap between childhood heroes and newer fare, Justice League International. Great stories, great charcters, great art (my first exposure to Maguire, Hughes and i think Sprouse), great laughs. Comprising JLA/I, JLE and all the spinoffs, this is yet another complete set: actually all of the followng series are complete sets, so I'll stop saying that.

4. Starman. Far better and more focussed than Gaiman's Sandman, here is a true mature, adult series without any need for gratuitous profanity, sex or violence 9all of which have their place). Fatherhood, duty, honour, loss, triumph and the complete career of a hero, Starman remains a true classic: I'd get the new omnibus editions but don't know how many tie-in issues they'll be including, and i have them all...

5. A Distant Soil. Great art, complex stories and distinct characters but this is so sporadically produced, it leaves a burning craving for the final few issues. Dave got me into this and I now have FOUR versions of the series! (I'm a completeist, sue me...)

6. Preacher. If you're gonna go extreme, then this series is the one to have. A modern day Western set between ultimate good and evil, this is one of Vertigo's best ever series.

7. While I'd be hard pressed to pick an all-time favourite series, it'd kill me to lose my Rocketeer issues. Charming, action packed and beautifully illustrated (especially the painted collection), you can't ask for more in a comic. Dave Stevens, what an artist...

8. Bone. Sucking you in with its humour and warmth before whisking you away on a grand adventure, this is a great series, ending with one of comics' simplest but most powerful funerals. Would have loved to have seen the planned animated cartoon but Smith rightfully cut the chord rather than put up with the intended musical numbers.

9. Leave It To Chance. Another fun all ages title, lovely artwork and fun stories make this an overlooked but rewarding gem.

These are probably my fave all round titles: I buy some well written current series in trades for the writing (Walking Dead, Ex Machina, Y: The Last Man, Fables, etc) but usually buy stuff for the art, so no doubt coming soon will be---my list of favourite comic artists....

3 comments:

Tone said...

No number 10? Not much of a top ten list is it. And following Bone with the word 'sucking' is never a good idea...

I still love classic Claremont X-Men, Bone and Starman are fair reads, but the only one guaranteed to make my list would be JLI. The only DCU title I ever purchased regularly. With money.

Hmmm... you know what's coming next don'tcha?

Rol Hirst said...

Hmm... wonder who'll be Number One in your next list?

Nige Lowrey said...

Well, depends what order I list 'em...:)