Every now and then, people like to discuss who the current "big name" writers are in comics. Peronsally, I think there are only five writers that could fall under that banner: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Jeph Loeb (sad but true), and Brian Bendis, with Millar probably being the biggest from a sales standpoint.
These are the only writers that can sell something on their name alone and put out material on a regular, monthly basis, something that excludes other "big name" writers, like Joss Whedon or Kevin Smith, from making the cut.
Why do I think Mark Millar is the biggest? In the Direct Market (yes, I'm a sales numbers guy), Civil War was the best selling event of the decade and Kick Ass is one of the highest selling creator owned books that does not originate in another media, such as the Buffy comic.
To continue with the theme of All Star Writers, I've made up a list of All Star titles I would buy using the five writers with some of my favourite artists:
- All Star Nightwing by Bendis and JG Jones
- All Star Superman by Millar and Bryan Hitch
- All Star Justice League by Loeb and John Romita Jr.
- All Star Legion of Superheroes by Morrison and Marc Silvestri
- All Star Aquaman by Johns and Ethan Van Sciver
What, Um..."Gentleman's" Magazine Did Greg Land Trace The Images for Doctor Doom From?
Because, oddly enough, he draws my of favorite Dr. Dooms. Of course, everything else about his art is horrible. I have the third oversized hardcover for Ultimate Fantastic Four, which collects Millar's solo run, but, unfortunately, I can't ever read it again because Land drew the whole thing, making it damn near impossible to look past the 'o-faces'.
Comics Should Not Be Collectible
Every time Marvel's solicits come out, I keep seeing more and more and more variant covers and it drives me insane. They also have variant covers for trades now. Why? Because comics are "collectible", an idea that should have died out in the 90's.
Now, do I blame Marvel? No, I blame the idiots, because that's what they are, that spend more than cover price on a comic that has a different cover. It won't hold its value and comics are overpriced as it is, so spending money for a different cover, which in no way affects the contents inside, seems insane to me. Sure, stuff like Action Comics #1 and Amazing Fantasy #15 will always be worth something, but the vast, vast, vast majority of comics never will be.
That said, I do approve the way publishers, like Radical Comics, and I believe Avatar as well (I know they are doing it with Warren Ellis's Ignition City), offer each cover separately from Diamond so, if you want one over the other, you actually have a choice in the matter.
Who Is Left But The "Fanboys"?
A common tactic used by people on the internet when dealing with a creator whose Marvel or DC work they don't like is to call them a "fanboy", implying that they are a bad writer. What they fail to realize is that's pretty much the only people left who want to write for Marvel and DC.
Why else would Kevin Smith, Brad Meltzer and Joss Whedon write for them? Mark Millar is a current Hollywood success and people like Johns, Bendis and Morrison could make more money elsewhere if they wanted to. The reason why they continue to write comics for Marvel and DC is because they love the characters and medium. I mean, instead of writing Fantastic Four, Wolverine, and 1985, Millar could have been writing three more creator owned books that Hollywood may have bought the rights to before the series were even finished.
God Squad & The Renegades
I demand a God Squad & The Renegades team up book! I'd accept a mini, I'm not a greedy man, but would I love an ongoing. One of the things I loved about the early Incredible Hercules stories were the fantastic teams that formed around him. The Renegades, from World War Hulk, and God Squad, from Secret Invasion, are some of my favorite teams in comics, despite their incredibly short life spans. Marvel needs to find a way to get both of these squads back together for one big mash up.
2009 Eisner Awards
The 2009 Eisner Award nominations were released this week so I figured I'd go over them real quick. I'm dividing it up by book, not category though since I haven't read every book on the list.
Nominated for: Best Continuing Series, Best Writer (J. Michael Straczynski) and Best Penciller/Inker Team (Oliver Coipel and Mark Morales)
Nice to see Thor get a bunch of noms. Of course, this is just a reminder that I really need to get the second volume since this was one of my favorite ongoings from back when I was still reading singles. Put the TPB out faster Marvel! Don't make me buy the HC!
Nominated for: Best New Series, Best Writer (Matt Wagner), Best Penciller/Inker Team (Amy Reeder Hadley and Richard Friend), Best Cover Artist (Amy Reeder Hadley)
My favorite new book from 2008, even though I only read three issues. Simply stunning. Amy Reeder Hadley is also becoming one my favorite artists. Her art is just fantastic. I hope the series wins everything it is nominated for. I can't recommend this book enough.
Omega the Unknown
Nominated for: Best Limited Series and Best Lettering (Faryl Dalrymple)
Nominated for: Best Continuing Series
Lock & and Key
Nominated for: Best Limited Series and Best Writer (Joe Hill)
A bunch of series that I need and want to read. With the number of volumes, I don't even have a clue as to where to get started with Usagi Yojimbo. I was originally going to get Omega in singles, but decided to wait for the trade. Looked like a interesting series and from what I've heard its really good as well.
Invincible Iron Man
Nominated for: Best New Series
Not quite sure why this was nominated. Love Fraction, but this is definitely not his best work. Larocca's art is also less than great here. It's just looked off for the entire series. Of course, the book could have gotten significantly better since I stopped reading it, but it's not obvious based on the previews and reviews I've been reading.
Amulet Book 1: Stonekeeper
Nominated for Best Publication for Kids
I read Amulet after checking out some stuff by Kabuishi after I read the second volume of Flight, an anthology series. When I read it through the first time, I didn't know it was a kids book and was surprised when I read the back cover and found out that it was. Although it's nominated for a kids award, it is definitely an All-Ages kind of read and I definitely recommend at least taking a look at it. Also, it makes a great present or gift for any kids you might know.
My Space Dark Horse Presents
Nominated for: Best Anthology.
Read a couple of things from them on the web and have been considering buying a trade of the collected editions for a while. There's definitely some good stuff to found there.
Yep, Ted's Not Coming Back Now
Reader Challenge - Give Up The Addiction
My challenge for the readers is to stop buying comics for a month. Hell, just for a week. They'll be there when you return. The point of this? You'll find out just how much junk you are actually reading. When I quit reading singles I was amazed at the number of books I simply did not care about and was buying and reading out of habit.
Now, I'm not saying you should do this to buy less and save money, but to stop buying books you are not getting the most out of and using that extra cash to try something new that you may have passed over before or have heard nothing but good things about. Basically, this is an exercise in hopes of getting you to buy something you will end up enjoying a whole lot more; not something you buy 'to keep your run in tact' or out of habit.