Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Second Printing's Weekly(ish) Question (#5 in a series)

Not necessarily the best, but who's your favorite all-time writer and artist (or writer/artist). Sub-question: what's your favorite work they've done?
(feel free to contribute your answers in the comments)

Matt Wagner hands down. He alone is responsible for me staying in comics. In the late '90s I wasn't reading either of the Big Two and was only picking up a handful of indies. Then Mage: Hero Defined came out and the whole series blew me away. I went back and picked up the first series and it was sort of everything I needed: magic based in reality, angst, a glowing baseball bat. For a while it was the only book I collected. While there have been a great number writers and artists that I respect and whose work I love, Matt Wagner will always be my answer to this question.

Big Mike
Favorite writer... I guess it has to be Grant Morrison. His run on New X-Men is why I started reading comics again... but I would be lying if I said I didn't have a hardcore soft spot for Denny O'Neil... yes, I realize that's not a very cool thing to say.

Favorite artist is Mike Mignola. He's a guy that draws for the story. If more artists drew for the story instead of trying to make sure we can see the outline of Batman's asscrack, super-hero comics would be a hell of a lot more readable.


All time favorite writer?

Mind you, this is more out of gratitude than anything.

Larry Hama, the man was a true universe builder. Never mind the fact that he pretty much single-handedly created the G.I. Joe mythology but once a year, due to the rollout of new figures and toys, he had to introduce new characters and storylines while wrapping up existing ones.

He wasn't the greatest storyteller but the man was a giant when it came to world-creating.

As far as my favorite work of his? Has to be G.I. Joe #34, "Shakedown." I learned what honor amongst men truly meant in that

As far as my fave FAVORITE writer goes? Grant Morrison because even when he misses he does it spectacularly.

My favorite Morrison? JLA #6 & 7. The JLA vs. an invasion from heaven. It's just so "Grant!" Superman moves the moon using his newfound powers while the current Flash and former Teen Titan, Wally West acts as us, the reader, channeling the astonishment of seeing the heroes he grew up with going all-out. Great comics!

Writer: Keith Giffen - The most resonant comic book experience I've ever had was with the "Giffen-era" Justice League. While it was far from a solo effort on Giffen's part, with some spectacular artistic talents in Maguire, Templeton, Hughes and Sears, and two incredibly talented (and funny) writers in J.M. DeMatteis and Gerard Jones, the common link was Giffen. That era of the JL presented something that every team book strives for, but rarely ever achieves: family. Just as deconstructive of the superhero genre as Watchmen, just differently so - we see the team in their off-time, all their interpersonal quibbles, and the way their battles with "the bad guys" (in various shades of gray) affect them, and not just the fighting. That other Giffen-influenced series from Annihilation to Common Foe to Hero Squared have all have been to some degree or another damn awesome, I'm almost always ready to follow Giffen to whatever title he finds himself plugging away on. Few other writers have been able to so consistently entertain me with their ideas and their execution thereof.

Artist: Mike Parobeck - I don't know of another single artist who could produce such simplistic-looking artwork, so precisely and so effortlessly. Dozens upon dozens of other artists have come along working their hand at the "Animated" style of comic-booking, attempting to emulate the design work of Paul Dini and Bruce Timm's Batman/Superman cartoon series, but it was Parobeck who nailed it, did so not in their style, but his own. If you look at his work on the Impact series "The Fly" or "El Diablo", you can see the work of an artist who had complete control over every single image he drew, and in its simplicity was utter beauty. Parobeck died from diabetes related complications in 1996 at the age of 31. Like other phenomenal talents Seth Fisher and Mike Weiringo, he left us far too soon, before he created his masterwork, but then everything he laid pencil to is worth a read. While his Batman: The Animated Series will no doubt stand highest as his greatest contribution, his vibrant but short-lived Justice Society of America is my favourite.


ticknart said...

My favorite comic artist is also Mike Parobeck for the reasons Graig mentioned and because he brought a sense of fun (or real emotion) to every single image. I think The Fly is the best example of the emotion he brought because that was a hero who had fun.

And he's probably my favorite because one of the first comics I ever picked up was an issue of the Justice Society mini-series from '91 and the Elongated Man mini in 1992. He nailed all these characters I was fascinated with (and still am).

For my favorite writer, today, I'm going with Gerard Jones for the masterful work he did on Green Lantern: Mosaic. He's done a lot of other work that I liked, including his work with the Justice League. But Mosaic is a masterpiece study of of one man trying to learn who he is and what his place in the universe is. I keep on hoping he'll come back and get to write something that personal again.

ChrisM said...

Mark Waid has never let me down..His Flash run was awesome, Empire, and his Legion runs were all readable if not enjoyable. Even his more off-the-mainstream books...like Hunter/Killer w/ Silvestri aren't too bad. His editorial influence to the Boom! Universe can be seen amongst many of those books.

I echo many of the other favorites- Grant Morrison's stuff isn't always perfect but you can count on some good stuff from him.

Similarly, I think that not everything Warren Ellis does is perfect but when its good, its REALLY good. Always enjoyed Planetary but think his current run on Astonishing X-Men is pretty entertaining.

Aritistically..George Perez never disappoints me. and I will read anything that Kevin Maguire or Michael Golden will draw.