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Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

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Old 03-28-22, 12:27 PM
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Choices so far by day

Frank Miller
Neil Gaiman, Jack Kirby
Moebius, Jacques Tardi
Carl Barks, Paul Pope
any Buscema, Hernandez, Kubert, or Romita
Alan Moore, Grant Morrison
Berkeley Breathed, Bill Watterson
Neal Adams, David Mazzuchelli
Art Adams, Mike Allred, John Byrne, Paul Chadwick, Geoff Darrow, Dave Gibbons, Mike Mignola, Walt Simonson
Gerry Conway, Paul Dini, Steve Gerber, Russ Heath, Denny O’Neil, Roy Thomas, Bruce Timm, Marv Wolfman
Darwyn Cooke, George Perez
Warren Ellis, Jeff Lemire
Brian Azzarello, Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Bolland, Brian K Vaughan, Bryan Talbot
Alan Brennert, Milton Caniff, Alan Davis, Al Gordon, Alan Grant, Alan Kupperberg, Charles Schulz
Ross Andru, Steve Ditko, Gil Kane, Todd McFarlane
Ed Brubaker, Jack Davis, Garth Ennis, Frank Frazetta
Chris Claremont, Richard Corben, Keith Giffen, Brandon Graham, Geoff Johns, Dave McKean, Dave Stevens, Al Williamson
Bill Sienkiewicz, Wally Wood, Bernie Wrightson
Daniel Clowes, Katsuhiro Otomo, Gary Panter, Chris Ware
Simon Bisley, Jonathan Hickman, Stan Lee, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Rick Remender, Matt Wagner
Hal Foster, George Herriman, Walt Kelly, Gary Larson, Alex Raymond
Kurt Busiek, Matt Kindt, David Latham, Bob Layton, Jim Lee, Jimmy Palmiotti, Joe Quesada, Jim Shooter, Tim Truman, Mark Waid, Barry Windsor-Smith
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Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Old 05-10-22, 11:50 PM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Day Forty Choices

Modern Age
1985-present

Not sure I agree that we should still consider nearly 40 years one Age, but whatever.

Usual disclaimers apply: we covered many modern creators already, any manageable list will leave out dozens of worthy list possibilities, and please use wildcards to include and discuss any on your top ten that haven’t been mentioned.

Booster Gold and Doomsday creator Dan Jurgens has written and drawn a ton of great DC stories.
Kerry Gammill had a nice little career drawing for mostly the big two before moving into film and TV work.
Ron Frenz co-created Spider-Girl and the New Warriors, and seems to have drawn mostly Superman and Spider-Man.
Ivan Reis has worked for many companies since the late 90s, but is probably best known for his DC stuff like Blackest Night and Bendis’ Superman.
Olivier Coipel’s beautiful art has appeared mostly in Marvel’s events and Thor, and DC’s Legion.
Tom King seems to be love him or hate him writer. I’ve loved the couple things I’ve read so far, with several others in my stacks.
Tom Taylor is writing two of DC’s best ongoings right now, Nightwing and Son of Kal-El, and apparently his Injustice and The Deep have or are coming to TV.
Donny Cates has had a lot of success writing for Marvel, and I love his Crossover.
Canadian Chip Zdarsky should have been in the previous slate perhaps. As an artist he won an Eisner for Sex Criminals, and more recently he seemingly writes every other book on the stands, alternating with Cullen Bunn
Joëlle Jones had done a lot of cool art before, but is now probably best known for Lady Killer. She’s a cover artist master as well, and did some neat Batman and Catwoman stories.

Last edited by Trevor; 05-11-22 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 05-11-22, 12:29 AM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Dan Jurgens is a very good writer and a very good artist. Top 30 for me.

Kerry Gammill - man I WISH that he had gotten a longer run on Power Man and Iron Fist (Mary Jo Duffy agrees with me on that one). Everything I've seen from him is great. I just haven't seen enough to push him higher than Top 40.

Ron Frenz - SO CLOSE. His runs on Spider-Man and Spider-Girl were just fantastic. Everything he does is great. He may be best known for his really long run on Thor, and then the entire run of Thunderstrike. He's definitely in my Top 20.

But my list remains unchanged...

John Romita Sr
John Buscema

Neal Adams
Gerry Conway
LEN WEIN
Marv Wolfman
George Perez
Gil Kane
Stan Lee

Joe Sinnott

Cut from the list, but still great...
John Byrne
Sal Buscema
John Romita Jr.


In my Top 20, but never on my Top 10 list (aka Honorable Mentions)...
Steve Ditko
Jim Aparo
Denny O'Neil
Roy Thomas
Ross Andru
RON FRENZ

Old 05-11-22, 06:57 AM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Should have probably mentioned this earlier, but the last two slates will be underground, and then humor. So everyone’s list should be complete unless your final choices fit one of those two categories.
Old 05-12-22, 09:12 AM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Dan Jurgens did some fun work in the 80s/90s. Good writer. Solid. Dependable to tell a complete story. But not quite in my Top 20 or 25. But kudos for creating Booster Gold (although really it was the JLI that popularized him, the solo title never really landed in the mid 80s).
Old 05-12-22, 10:02 PM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Day Forty Response and Wrap—Up

I put most of my commentary in the initial post. Lots of great art and fine writers. Given enough time, I can see one of those writers, or Jones, making my list someday.

And yes, lots of great creators not mentioned, but I should have shouted out John Ostrander and William Messner-Loebs.

My list remains at 9.
Frank Miller
Jack Kirby
Carl Barks
Alan Moore
Mike Mignola
Jeff Lemire
Bernie Wrightson
Matt Wagner
Will Eisner
Old 05-12-22, 10:06 PM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Day Forty-One Choices

Penultimate slate! Only a humor day follows this one, so please remember to shout out your wildcards if needed.

Underground

Spain Rodriquez created Trashman, and I’ve been putting off reading his Che for way too long.
Peter Bagge is best known for Neat Stuff and Hate, but actually has a bunch of mainstream work. There have been a few series at DC and Dark Horse, and some stories in Marvel’s Strange Tales mini.
Chester Brown is an interesting guy. Lots of unfinished projects, extremely varied works, and creative drawing styles and tools.
Howard Cruse was the first editor of Gay Comix, created Barefootz, and had a graphic novel published by DC.
Kim Deitch is hugely respected and has won a ton of awards, but I have sadly remained completely ignorant of his work.
Eisner Hall of Famer Trina Robbins was the first woman to draw Wonder Woman, designed Vampirella’s costume, and wrote and drew one of the Marvel Star Comics. But much more important are her activism on behalf of female cartoonists and her underground work.
Art Spiegelman edited Raw for a time, has a lot of work in The New Yorker, and co-created the Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages, but will always be best known for Maus.
Hunt Emerson is yet another of these creators with Biblical work.
Are you having fun yet with Bill Griffith? Zippy has been appearing since 1971!
You may know Clio Award winner Victor Moscoso for his advertising or psychedelic rock posters, but he also contributed to almost every issue of Zap.
Daniel Clowes got mainstream love and a film out of Ghost World, but is probably best known for Eightball.
S. Clay Wilson is considered one of the major figures in underground comix and is another who appeared in Zap from issue 2 onward.
Harvey Pekar helped bring autobiographical comics more into the limelight, with his great American Splendor and David Letterman appearances. He is one of many in this list that worked with and owes a lot to Robert Crumb.
Old 05-12-22, 11:48 PM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Looks like this is probably my finalized list...

John Romita Sr
John Buscema

Neal Adams
Gerry Conway
Len Wein
Marv Wolfman
George Perez
Gil Kane
Stan Lee

Joe Sinnott

Cut from the Top 10 list, but still great...
John Byrne
Sal Buscema
John Romita Jr.


In my Top 20, but never on my Top 10 list...
Steve Ditko
Jim Aparo
Denny O'Neil
Roy Thomas
Ross Andru
Ron Frenz

Frank Giacoia
Old 05-13-22, 02:15 PM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

You mention R Crumb, but has he actually been listed as a choice?
Old 05-13-22, 03:39 PM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

I only know Art Spiegelman from Maus which is one of the best pieces of 20th century literature, graphic or otherwise. Powerful and exquisitely rendered. While I wouldn't put him in my top creators, I would place Maus in my top comics.

Did we ever do Alex Ross? I must have missed it. Marvels, Kingdome Come, Justice, the oversized DC treasury books... he's gonna edge out Stan Sakai, but barely.

My Top Ten:
John Byrne
Garth Ennis
Neil Gaiman
Jack Kirby
Frank Miller
Alan Moore
Grant Morrison
George Perez
Alex Ross
Jim Starlin


Honorable Mentions:
Kurt Busiek
Chris Claremont

Darwyn Cooke
Peter David

Geoff Johns
Keith Giffen
Stan Lee
Stan Sakai
Jim Shooter
Mark Waid
Old 05-13-22, 06:28 PM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Originally Posted by majorjoe23 View Post
You mention R Crumb, but has he actually been listed as a choice?
Yep, we had him a week or two back.
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Old 05-13-22, 10:33 PM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

I have lost track of the names and where we're at.
Maybe it's time to just wing it and try to make my list and hope someone else doesn't trigger me to remember a name that I feel guilty for not including.

Kevin Maguire: the third of my Top 3. Loved JLI like not much else. Even though I'm done with singles, I'll still pick something up if I see his name on the cover (along with only Giffen and Hughes). A very unique artist with an exceptional gift for varied facial expressions that add so much to their stories.

Dan Jurgens: Wrote and drew some of my favorite stories of my favorite super-hero: Superman.

Alex Ross: A tricky inclusion for me because his work is so unique, it almost doesn't seem like comic books. But there is no denying that so many of his (especially DC) renderings are iconic. And Kingdom Come is probably my favorite comic book story.

John Ostrander: Has done a lot of great work (many I haven't read yet), but Suicide Squad holds a special place for me. Truly unique for its time and had a number of surprising moments for me (especially the moment when one villain decided to be a hero-- and was immediately shredded by gunfire).

Mark Gruenwald: Probably an odd choice as I loved him most as the editor of the Avengers titles, where I got my start in comics. But his Cap No More run on Captain America was mind-blowing to my young brain. I loved his Squadron Supreme limited series so much, I wrote him a long fan letter detailing my favorite parts of every issue, and he sent me a copy of the Squadron Supreme Graphic Novel and asked me for my thoughts on that too. I also really, really liked his New Universe book DP7. And I devoured the Handbook of the Marvel Universe titles he played a large role in. He was the first person in the title credits I became a fan of. If his name was anywhere in them, I bought them. It's hard to imagine he's been gone so long now, but I smile every time I see a sign in Oshkosh (WI) in the summer months when the LCBS and library hold their comic creation contest named in his honor.

My final (until it's not) list:
Keith Giffen
Adam Hughes
Kevin Maguire
Mark Waid
Mark Gruenwald
Alex Ross
Bob Layton
Peter David
John Byrne
Dan Jurgens


Just missed the cut:
George Perez
John Ostrander
Peter Bagge
Geoff Johns
Stuart Immonen
Gary Larson

Garth Ennis

The top six are locks, but the bottom few could shift; some even flipping with "just missed", depending on the day. I'm sure I missed some-- and others as teams could strengthen many (J.M DeMatteis not on the list seems criminal when paired with Giffen/Maguire/Hughes; Ennis AND Dillon, Bright AND Layton, Mahnke AND Nyguen are also formidable together)...

This was a great thread, Trevor. Thanks for starting and running it. Really brought back some great memories...
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Old 05-14-22, 12:29 AM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Very heavy on 80s/90s DC but I love it... I'm a little surprised no Wolfman given the rest, though actually the most surprising one is probably Gruenwald because I can't think of a single memorable DC run of his (obviously his Marvel stuff was great, Squadron Supreme was ahead of it's time).

Ostrander and Mandrake's Spectre run feels underappreciated, did they ever do an omnibus release? Unfortunately all my original comics got water damaged.

If I were picking a DC only list (sans Vertigo and vertigo like stuff) I'd probably have the same list but add on James Robinson, Wolfman, Wieringo, and probably Abnett and Lanning (as a team). Shoot maybe Morrison as well. And Chris Sprouse. Darnit I can't even pare it down to a top 10 for just one company in one era!

Last edited by fujishig; 05-14-22 at 12:36 AM.
Old 05-15-22, 05:43 AM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Day Forty-One Response and Wrap—Up

Most of these I have a little exposure to from an issue here and there of Zap. I think I have one of Wilson’s Lovecraft books, and I love Maus of course. Have a couple issues of the old Vortex Yummy Fur, but haven’t read them yet. Pretty sure I saw Stuck Rubber Baby by Cruse at my local shop the other day, will have to go back for that one.

I’ve read a few Pekar books and imagine I’ll end up reading a lot more.

My list remains at 9 as we head into the last slate. My forum name on some sites is TrevorPlop, and I use covers of it as my profile picture sometimes, so that may have hinted that I’d have at least one choice on the soon-to-come final slate of this experiment, humor.
Frank Miller
Jack Kirby
Carl Barks
Alan Moore
Mike Mignola
Jeff Lemire
Bernie Wrightson
Matt Wagner
Will Eisner
Old 05-16-22, 04:29 PM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Very heavy on 80s/90s DC but I love it... I'm a little surprised no Wolfman given the rest, though actually the most surprising one is probably Gruenwald because I can't think of a single memorable DC run of his (obviously his Marvel stuff was great, Squadron Supreme was ahead of it's time).
)
Ostrander and Mandrake's Spectre run feels underappreciated, did they ever do an omnibus release? Unfortunately all my original comics got water damaged.

If I were picking a DC only list (sans Vertigo and vertigo like stuff) I'd probably have the same list but add on James Robinson, Wolfman, Wieringo, and probably Abnett and Lanning (as a team). Shoot maybe Morrison as well. And Chris Sprouse. Darnit I can't even pare it down to a top 10 for just one company in one era!
Well, my comics heyday was from about 1985-2000, so your note that it's heavy on 80s/90s DC is spot-on (although I was a Marvel Zombie and the Avengers books in the beginning, JLI, Lobo, Suicide Squad, Superman, and Legion 5YL hooked me hard).
Teen Titans/New Titans was not a factor for me; totally missed it, so Wolfman wasn't top of mind.
As noted, Gruenwald would be a surprise to most, but I really did love his "Cap No More" arc in Captain America, Squadron Supreme, DP7-- and the Official Handbook, which exposed me to SO MUCH Marvel. And I feel he had a good hand/direction on the Avengers titles he edited because they seemed so cohesive with each other.

And Wieringo and Sprouse would be in my Top 25, most likely. Robinson did some great stuff, but I'd have to tap my brain harder to connect it to what I loved (JSA, I think, especially?). If I understood Morrison's stuff more, he'd be there too.

There are some great modern creators as well, but I read mostly via borrowed TPs now (multiple creators, usually-- or long stretches between reads-- so I don't get that feeling I did when I read singles as "runs")-- and nothing connects with me the way those '80s and '90s books did.
Old 05-16-22, 05:07 PM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

To me James Robinson did the Elseworlds series The Golden Age, which was basically a JSA elseworlds and which I loved, and eventually most of it got brought into the JSA revival that Johns, he, and Goyer did. But his masterpiece is definitely Jack Knight Starman. That and the Legion reboot (since 5YL was kinda meandering after the whole Earth is destroyed thing) were probably the best things to come out of Zero Hour. Well, that and melting down Fate's helmet to make a knife to give to a "look at me, I'm an edgy 90s character" mercenary.

And another 5YL fan, love it! I really wish they could revitalize both the Legion and Titans (and JSA) but they rely so much on nostalgia that just isn't there after multiple reboots upon reboots, I fear.
Old 05-17-22, 09:10 AM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Day Forty-Two Choices

Well, here we are, our final slate. After today, we should all have a top ten list, even if you had to use one or more wildcards.

Could have gone for hundreds of days with 10+ creators to discuss and consider. 100 comic fans with top 10 lists might have 800 different creators. But decided to end this exercise before it completely wore out it’s welcome. Some might say it did so 40 days ago…..

Anyway, when it appeared that I was going to need 42 slates to comfortably cover the basics, it seemed perfect to end this on a Douglas Adams reference and close things out with humor. Thanks to Dizzy D for steering me there!

Usual disclaimers that we have discussed a lot of humor creators already, and many of the below are not humor only, and many great candidates will not be listed until you make it so.

Funny Books

Joe Kelly co-created Ben 10, has done a lot of ‘serious’ comic writing, but I imagine is best known for his more comedic Deadpool writing.
Sergio Aragonés has perhaps drawn more than any human ever. I can’t do him justice with a tiny blurb. Pretty much every issue of Mad has his work, Groo is wonderful, and he has so much other work too. His Poster Plague story directly led to the reason I’m in this hobby, Plop. It pains me to have him as my number 11, and if I made my list tomorrow I’d likely drop Moore or Miller for him.
Bob Burden is best known for creating and drawing Flaming Carrot off and on since 1979. Mystery Men, a part of that comic, was made into a pretty fun movie; and he and Art Adams made some wonderful Gumby.
Bob Haney co-created characters such as Metamorpho, the Teen Titans, Eclipso, and Cain. He wrote a lot of stories over the decades, not necessarily meant as comedy, but he epitomized the saying, “comics should be ridiculous”.
Evan Dorkin would make my list of funniest comic creators just for Milk and Cheese, but he has a ton of other good stuff too. Between his work and Scott Saavedra, I bought a ton of Slave Labor Graphics books back in the day.
Ty Templeton’s 1980s Stig’s Inferno will always be a favorite of mine, but he’s been doing steady work in comics ever since. The last Marvel comic I read had some Ty cartoons in the back and they were the best part of the issue. Looks like all of Stig’s Inferno is available for free on his website. He’s fighting cancer right now, ugh.
Kyle Baker worked hard to get into comics, interning at Marvel doing all sorts of odd jobs that led to steady work at both big two. He has worked a lot in cartoons and TV, and I think most probably consider that ~2005 Plastic Man run to be his crowning moment.
Skottie Young is building an amazing resume. Just his Oz work and years of constant covers would be enough to make me mention him, but he has so many other titles that he has created or worked on.
Allie Brosh has a popular webcomic, and keeps popping up on most best lists I’ve been googling. Have her book on order now.
Mark Russell is likely too ‘new’ and not quite enough output to be considered anyone’s top 10, but I just wanted to shout him out. His DC work has gotten great reviews, and I love the couple recent Ahoy books I’ve sampled of his.

So close out your top ten and let us know what comics make you laugh please.
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Old 05-18-22, 07:51 AM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Joe Kelly had one of the most dismal runs on JLA, after following amazing work by Grant Morrison and Mark Waid. And Deadpool is little more than Deathstroke meets Ambush Bug IMO, two superior characters.

Sergio Aragones is a force to himself. More familiar with his Mad work than Groo.

Here's a wildcard with John Kovalic, whose Dork Tower was one of my absolute favorite comics of all time. Smart, hilarious, and wonderful.
Old 05-18-22, 10:23 AM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

I wouldn't exactly list Bob Haney's work as funny. His run on The Brave and the Bold was fantastic. I love his work.

Not Top 20, but I do love his work.

So this is definitely my final, locked list for the game...

John Romita Sr
John Buscema

Neal Adams
Gerry Conway
Len Wein
Marv Wolfman
George Perez
Gil Kane
Stan Lee

Joe Sinnott

Cut from the Top 10 list, but still great...
John Byrne
Sal Buscema
John Romita Jr.


In my Top 20, but never on my Top 10 list...
Steve Ditko
Jim Aparo
Denny O'Neil
Roy Thomas
Ross Andru
Ron Frenz

Frank Giacoia
Old 05-18-22, 03:41 PM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
To me James Robinson did the Elseworlds series The Golden Age, which was basically a JSA elseworlds and which I loved, and eventually most of it got brought into the JSA revival that Johns, he, and Goyer did. But his masterpiece is definitely Jack Knight Starman. That and the Legion reboot (since 5YL was kinda meandering after the whole Earth is destroyed thing) were probably the best things to come out of Zero Hour. Well, that and melting down Fate's helmet to make a knife to give to a "look at me, I'm an edgy 90s character" mercenary.

And another 5YL fan, love it! I really wish they could revitalize both the Legion and Titans (and JSA) but they rely so much on nostalgia that just isn't there after multiple reboots upon reboots, I fear.
Like I said would happen when I posted my "final list": someone would put another name in my head. Can't say Robinson would make Top Ten, but Golden Age, JSA, and Starman put him in the "just missed" category.

I'd love a new Legion 5YL-style book, but I agree there's no way it could work now. That was a beautifully messy "perfect storm" of a main plotter/penciler/creator (who was secure/surly enough to quit fairly frequently before coming back days later) taking on a book while editors came and went too quickly to stop what he was doing, (very new) massive-fan scripters, an inker and colorist who were all tasked with coming up with something/one new and justify their ideas. --And the fact that the Superman office made them remove the very basis of their existence (Superboy) and all references to him and many other aspects of the Superman titles. Instead of giving up, they leaned into it and blew-up their whole history and timeline less than a year into the run. And instead of just having another reboot, they used the history (one of the best parts of the team) as they created a new future.

I can't speak to the Titans (never read in their heyday and never was a fan of what I did read [except when Maguire did Team Titans for a short while]), but it would be great to see a new JSA-- with the feel of the Robinson/Goyer/Johns-era JSA. I didn't know the characters or their history when I started reading, but it just felt "right".
Old 05-19-22, 03:49 PM
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Re: Play a game with me, who are your top comic creators?

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
Frank Brunner did beautiful work at Marvel in the 70s on mostly Doctor Strange and Howard the Duck. Has a few bits of other notable work at various companies but has apparently been mostly working in the film industry since the 90s. Had a couple Marvel stories pop up in 2010. Not a ton of info easy to find on his life and career decisions, will have to seek out interviews or stories about him. Anyone know more?
I'd recommend the book
Eyes of Light: Drawings of Frank Brunner Eyes of Light: Drawings of Frank Brunner
. I met Brunner at a con a few years back, nice guy.

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
Day Thirty-Eight Response and Wrap—Up

I wish I had met Len Wein (and Bernie Wrightson). Their 1970s Swamp Thing is one of the main reasons I’m here today. Still one of the best ten issue runs in comic history.
I got to meet Wrightson. I never met Wein, but on a semi-related note, I did met Herb Trimpe a few years before he passed.

Anywho,

My (final?) list:


Paul Dini
Steve Gerber
Sam Kieth
Erik Larsen
Bryan Lee O'Malley
Akira Toriyama
Evan Dorkin
Skottie Young


Not in the game (yet):


Chynna Clugston Flores
Adam Warren

Eric Powell

Peter Laird
Kevin Eastman
Jim Lawson
Dan Berger
Steve Murphy

honorable mentions:

Osamu Tezuka
Jack Kirby
Stan Lee
Alan Moore
Grant Morrison
Neil Gaiman
Mike Allred
Dave Sim
Peter Bagge
Daniel Clowes
Sergio Aragonés
Kyle Baker

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