Tuesday, March 08, 2005

A "cheers" to Larry Young, followed by Sean Reaching Out

Holy cow. I don't know how he found it, but Mighty Larry Young has seen this humble endeavor and throws a shout-out my way on the AiT / Planet Lar site. You might know good Mr. Young from his publishing company, a great San Francisco institution responsible for the release of such titles as Hench (a personal favorite), the justly acclaimed Brian Wood / Becky Cloonan collaboration on Demo, and the recently released Couriers 03: The Ballad of Johnny Funwrecker (for which I did an advance review on Millarworld which is now, sadly, disappeared) and Proof of Concept, the latter being a particularly magnanimous effort to create a name for several starting-out artists. It's all fine work, to be sure, and I send a cheerful tip o' the hat to Mr. Young.

And now, Sean Reaches Out:

I don't know about y'all, but I tend to categorize web-based, comics-related efforts really quickly: (1) This guy is way too into mainstream super-hero comics, (2) this guy is way too contemptuous of mainstream super-hero comics, or (3) this guy has something to say that I must listen to.

I bet you can guess which part I want to play.

So, in the interest of letting you know right here, up front, whether I'm going to speak to your tastes or not, I thought it might be wise to do a quick review of my current reading list. Personally, I pride myself on being an excellent audience, and if I can find some passion and dedication mixed in with some talent and creativity, I don't give a shit where a book comes from as long as I know where I can get more. So, hopefully, you'll see something here that you can identify with, and you'll come on back to The Zealot's Lore and see the new stuff that's keeping me excited about comics. Here we go.

Marvel: From the fine folks at Marvel, I regularly pick up (though most of these are on my trade-list these days):

  • Astonishing X-Men - Fine characterization of classic characters, and some fun, crazy plotting. What more could I ask of an X-Men book?
  • Captain America - Because I'll follow Brubaker nearly anywhere.
  • Daredevil - Bendis' best characterization of a man, I think.
  • Fantastic Four - Waid's Unthinkable/Authoritative Action/Hereafter trilogy being my favorite superhero story in memory.
  • The Incredible Hulk - Now that PAD's back, natch.
  • Iron Man - Because Ellis is at his best writing science fiction.
  • Powers - Loved this series ever since an especially memorable death scene in Vol. 4.
  • The Pulse - If only because Alias was Bendis' best characterization of a woman.
  • Punisher MAX - Because when Ennis really lets loose, it's the best wild ride in comics.
  • Runaways - Because Vaughan is a masterful plotter and does (I think) his most charming work on this title.
  • She-Hulk - Because Dan Slott should be writing every Marvel super-hero book; the guy's got the industry-best lock on super-heroic goofiness matched with geniune drama.
  • Spellbinders - 'Cause I'll follow Lucifer's Mike Carey to literally any book.
  • Spiderman/Human Torch - Dan Slott, of course.
  • Supreme Power - Don't miss The Authority anymore, do I?
  • All the Ultimate titles - I wait for the trade on all a'these, since they're pretty much written that way, but they're almost always refreshing fun.
  • Wolverine - 'Cause who doesn't want to see Wolvierine vs. A Shark vs. The FF vs. The X-Men vs. Everyone Else?

DC: (oh, Christ, look out, this post is about to get LONG):

  • Adam Strange - Fine intergalactic action from master action writer Andy Diggle and gorgeous art from Pascal Ferry and colorist Dave McCaig.
  • Authority: Revolution - Brubaker, like I said.
  • Catwoman: When In Rome - Because I've enjoyed all of Jeph Loeb's Batman stories and because Tim Sale is one of the five best artists in the industry.
  • Detective Comics - Because I'll follow David "Stray Bullets" Lapham to hell and back. This may not be his very best work, but this is the best writer in comics today.
  • Fables - Probably the most fertile concept of any title in publication, and Willingham has shown improvement with every single arc.
  • Gotham Central - It's baffling this series doesn't sell like hotcakes, because there's something in it for every single reader I can think of.
  • Hard Time - Please come back soon, last bastion of good prison drama.
  • Hellblazer - Again, Mike Carey. Not sure what I think of this run overall, but I know Carey's got some real chops when it comes to the uber-arc, so I trust it's going somewhere.
  • Human Target - R.I.P., oh you wonderful book. Sleazy and sleek, this was the best creepy action book on the market.
  • Losers - Again, Diggle writes really stellar action, and Jock is a perfect artistic match.
  • Lucifer - The best epic book on the market, period. And because somehow Mike Carey has made philosophical debate into a tense, high-stakes contest for the fate of the universe. I thought philosophy was boring wankery, but Carey's proven me wrong.
  • Planetary - Christ, is there any reason NOT to be reading this? Ellis' career best, in my opinion, and unbelievably gorgeous artwork from John Cassaday and Laura Martin.
  • Plastic Man - Because Kyle Baker might just be the best working cartoonist. This book (when it's at its best) is jam-fucking-packed with visual humor. On a bit of a down-turn lately, but I'm sure it's gonna pick up.
  • Sleeper Season II - See, this title is the reason that I'll follow Brubaker anywhere. Superlative super-noir that deserves (and will, I promise, receive) an entire post of its own.
  • Solo - 'Cause who doesn't want to see the industry's best artists turned loose on whatever material they want?

Good lord, this post is way the hell too long already. I'll be back tomorrow to talk about the books I love from all the other publishers (and boy, that list has been growing, thanks to the slew of wonderful material coming from Ait/Planet Lar, Image, Dark Horse, El Capitan, and more).

And after that? I've got some serious comic-pimping up my sleeve, so keep reading and see if you can nab some free comics. You have my word, they'll be good comics, too, not just newspaper clippings of Family Circus.

Unless that's what y'all want. Why don't ya leave me a comment or two and let me know? I live to serve.

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