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  1. #1
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    Default 25 Greatest Comics, CBR Edition: ROLLING LIST

    The List, Updated as Changes are Voted:

    PEANUTS, Charles Schulz
    FROM HELL, Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
    FANTASTIC FOUR, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
    THE DUCK STORIES of Carl Barks
    KRAZY KAT, George Herriman
    THIMBLE THEATRE, E.C. Segar
    LITTLE LULU, John Stanley and Irving Tripp
    LIL' ABNER, Al Capp
    HELLBOY, by Mike Mignola and others
    LONE WOLF AND CUB, Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima
    LITTLE NEMO IN SLUMBERLAND, Winsor McKay
    WATCHMEN, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
    ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY, Chris Ware
    LOVE & ROCKETS, Los Bros Hernandez
    SANDMAN, Neil Gaiman and Various
    ZAP, Robert Crumb, Spain Rodriguez, et al
    CALVIN AND HOBBES, Bill Watterson
    MAUS, Art Spiegelman
    TERRY AND THE PIRATES, Milton Caniff
    THE SPIRIT, Will Eisner, Various
    POGO, Walt Kelly
    PLASTIC MAN, Jack Cole
    AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, Steve Ditko and Stan Lee
    PROMETHEA, Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III
    EIGHTBALL, Daniel Clowes


    (The Original Discussion Thread is here: http://forums.comicbookresources.com...d.php?t=152611. Please add suggestions and votes to that thread...)

    The Rules:

    We start with my list. If you disagree with a choice, or would like to see another comic on the top 25, you propose your choice, with a defense of the material, and eliminate one on the list with a critique.

    The community then decides which stays and which goes, in an informal rolling poll, as we go. Cronin and I can change the list as the thread progresses, and the list is entirely decided by community reaction to defense of submitted titles.

    For example, if you think that HOUSE OF MYSTERY (the 1970's DC horror anthology) deserves to rank rather than ZAP, you would write a proposal explaining gwhy HOUSE OF MYSTERY is great, and then, write a critique explaining why ZAP is not-so-great. Then, as other people submit and eliminate other titles, they will agree or disagree with your proposal.

    1. You must have read a title to eliminate it.

    2. This is the GREATEST, not "favorite", or "most influential". Just as a standard...

    3. Try to be as specific as possible in narrowing down your choices.

    4. You must DEFEND your choices. The better an argument you make, and the more articulate and detailed you can be, the better the list will end up being!

    5. An addition (or deletion) will be made when FIVE people vote for (or against) it. If something you approve of is deleted, or something you diasgree with i added, you are still free to argue for or against. But you will have to out-vote the intial FIVE. Easy enough!

    (More rules may be added as we go along- it's all going to be very fluid and we'll learn as we roll...)

    This discussion will be moderated by Cronin, Ed Cunard, and myself. Cronin or I can change the list when there is a seemingly communal decision.

    So take it away, CBR Assembled!

    NOVEMBER 2011 Chris Nowlin Rule Additions:

    I'll adjust and clarify the rules slightly.

    1) The slate is wiped clean as of this post.
    2) Once a substantiated nomination has been cast you can vote in that comics favor or against it. A total score of +5 will add it to the list.
    4) Once a substantiated denomination has been cast, you can vote to approve of the removal or to support the comic. A total score of -5 removes the comic from the list.
    5) Review the thread to see what excellent nominations look like (Lone Ranger, Ray R, thehod, Jeffrey Kramer etc. have made outstanding contributions)
    6) If swayed by eloquent arguments or further (re)reading, changing of votes is welcome.
    Last edited by Kid Omega; 11-07-2011 at 07:38 AM.

  2. #2
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    Runners up:

    THE TOP OF THE POPS:

    BONE, By Jeff Smith
    USAGI YOJIMBO, By Stan Sakai
    PREACHER, by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
    HELLBOY, by Mike Mignola
    ASTERIX by Goscinny
    DAREDEVIL by Frank Miller
    UNCANNY X-MEN by Claremont and Byrne
    BLAZING COMBAT edited by Archie Goodwin
    UNDERSTANDING COMICS by Scott McCloud
    MAD, edited by Harvey Kurtzman
    SWAMP THING by Alan Moore and others
    ALL STAR SUPERMAN by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

    Honorable Mentions:

    ADOLF, Osamu Tezuka
    DC: The New Frontier
    Flex Mentallo
    Flash Gordon
    Dark Knight Returns
    ZORRO by Alex Toth
    Golden Age Captain Marvel
    The Far Side
    Prince Valiant
    Dick Tracy
    Invisibles
    TINTIN by Herge (http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Tin...0438551&sr=1-6)
    Last edited by Kid Omega; 11-07-2011 at 07:39 AM.

  3. #3
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    DEFENSES, part One:

    PEANUTS, Charles Schulz
    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Peanu...0437941&sr=8-3

    FROM HELL, Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell

    http://www.topshelfcomix.com/catalog...-softcover/226

    FANTASTIC FOUR, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
    http://www.amazon.com/Marvel-Masterw...0438123&sr=1-2
    "I could go on for days about the Lee/Kirby FF. For me, superheroes reached their peak with that stuff. Kirbys art was at it's best, Lee added rich characterizations and a sense if humor and irony that was wholly new to the genre.
    There are a few years there that include the inhumans, galactus, the silver surfer, atlantean invasions, wakanda, the watcher, the black panther, the negative zone... All drawn with mind-boggling imagination and scope, and a truly singular design sense. Kirby was firing on all cylinders; a master at his greatest.
    As for Lee, just take a look at The Thing. With a few strokes of dialogue, he became a tragic figure like none before... Bitter but lovable, prone to fits of rage but still sympathetic, misfigured but funny, brutish but charming... He is an extension of classical tragic hero tropes that should not work, but he does. That is a testament to Lee, who gave him that Bugs Bunny accent and lightened him up without losing the darkness.
    The Lee/Kirby FF absolutely changed superhero comics in a several fundamental ways, and changed them for good. No more staid, boring cookie cutter DC heroes would be the standard after 1962. The FF ripple effect us still being felt.
    It's easy to take those books for granted, but I think they hold up, and the way they raised the bar for energy and imagination in the genre was phenomenal." (Kid O)

    THE DUCK STORIES of Carl Barks:
    (due from Fantagraphics 2012)
    "In my mind there are two major categories that should be under consideration: 1.) Barks' Four Color Donald Duck Stories, starting with "Pirate Gold" in Four Color #9, and leading up to Donald Duck #26 ("Trick or Treat"). It's been argued that Barks' most vibrant and creative output was the books of the late forties, and in that period alone, Barks created such unforgettable duck stories as "Christmas on Bear Mountain" (FC #178) (first appearance of Uncle Scrooge), "The Old Castle's Secret (FC #189), "Lost in the Andes" (or the "Square Egg Story") (FC #223), "Voodoo Hoodoo" (FC #238), and "In Old California" (FC #328). These one-shots are some of the greatest single issue stories ever created for comic books. The other major category is the Uncle Scrooge run, from FC #386 through Uncle Scrooge #72. All of them were at the end of Carl's career, they took Scrooge from a one-dimensional miserly character into an adventurer and explorer, while at the same time investing in Scrooge a series of moral dilemmas where family and honor often came at the expense of a unique treasure. He grew a great heart, fought villains like Magica DeSpell, Glintheart Glomgold, Brutopian dictators and Soapy Slick, as well as the persistent Beagle Boys. Scrooge wasn't just another version of Richie Rich where his wealth defined his character -- instead, his character development came at the expense of his wealth. Barks' other books, including the WDC&S 10-pagers, Gyro stories, and squarebound annuals all deserve recognition, but those two major runs should be considered as the highlights of Barks' career. Personally, I'd go with the Uncle Scrooge run, although I love certain of the Donald Duck Four Colors, particularly "A Christmas for Shacktown.'" (Ray R)

    KRAZY KAT, George Herriman:
    http://www.fantagraphics.com/browse-....html?vmcchk=1
    "Krazy Kat belongs on the list for, among many other valid reasons, George Herriman's brilliant, almost jazz-like improvisations in manipulatating time/space on the printed page. His experimentation in page layout, pacing, visual continuity and other key aspects of graphic storytelling anticipate (and in many cases better) later efforts by Eisner, Steranko, Watterston, Ware, even undergrounders like Griffin and Moscoso. Herriman was a pioneer in every sense of the word, as important to the development of his media as James Joyce and T. S. Eliot were to theirs." (Cei-U)

    THIMBLE THEATRE, E.C. Segar:
    http://www.fantagraphics.com/browse-...me-down-3.html
    "Thimble Theater is a perfect mix of romance, adventure, slapstick, and character comedy. Does it hold up today? Absolutely. The illustration, while having dated elements at first, eventually evolved into such a distinctive style, that no one has drawn like it before or since- the bizarre people with their wonky limbs and strange, depression-era seaside clothes. Segar created a world so entirely his own, and so distinct, that even today, if we see a POPEYE character, it's immediately recognizable, even if we don't realize it. We take his bizarre design style for granted. But as bizarre as it was, it never got in the way of ckear, perfectly composed storytelling, and a damn near perfect sense of visual pacing. (The man knew how to time a gag as well as anyone in comics, ever.)
    The POPEYE stories, at their best, were rollicking, unpredictable adventures, peppered with weird creatures and mad villains, and characters so rich that they absolutely take on a life of their own. And the wordplay! The way each of his characters talked was so wonderful and lyrical and distinctive- and all rooted firmly in character. And the characters were always far more than just one-dimensional, one-joke cut-outs. They all had the kind of wide and unpredictable emotional reactions that the best writers can hit the reader with. Their quirks were subtle and often heart-wrenching- for example, tough-guy Popeye has an enormous soft-spot for poor children, and every so often, his ridiculous generosity will come through in amazing and hilarious ways (I'm trying not to discuss actual events or plot points- i want the world of Popeye to be as fresh as possible for those that haven't read it yet.)
    These strips were an almost perfect synthesis of so many things, all wrapped up in these strange and beautiful drawings. The magic of the Jeep.... the eeriness of the Sea Hag... the drama of kidnapped princesses... the mystery of lost islands on the high seas.... the love of Popeye for Swee' Pea.... the hilarious, deadpan and emotionless treachery of Wimpy.... the hard sarcasm of Poopdeck Pappy. And tying it all together, a toothless, one-eyed rough-house of a sailor with a heart as big as anything. What other fiction ever gave us such an unlikely hero with such an off-beat (and fully-realized!) supporting cast?
    POPEYE is the kind of great storytelling that can ONLY be done in comics. The strange creatures and the caricatured designs and the exotic locales. Drawn together with exquisite cohesion by Segar's effortless pen, everything clicked together in a way that few strips with such broad ambition ever do. Everything meshed together seamlessly- all the characters, all the genre, all the language, all the moods. THIMBLE THEATER could be hilarious, exotic, heart-tugging, and cruel, all in the same strip!
    And underneath it all was an amazing sense of LOVE. Popeye's love for Olive and Swee' Pea, Pappy's love for (no spoilers), Wimpy's love for himself, the artist's love for the world and characters, and a general love of adventure and fantasy. And above all, an optimism that there was a bigger, better, more amazing world than the bleak real-world times of the Depression. POPEYE is filled with a simple generosity and optimismm that seems almost naive if it wasn't so damn sincere.
    Between the amazing illustration, the sublime writing and characterization, the serpentine and rollicking plots, the incredible word-play and dialogue, and the overall theme of goodness and selflessness in a crazy world, POPEYE is absolutely one of the greatest comics ever drawn, and certainly one that holds up today.
    Maybe now more than ever!" (Kid O)

    LITTLE LULU, John Stanley and Irving Tripp:
    http://www.amazon.com/Giant-Size-Lit...0438427&sr=1-1
    "Nobody puts Lulu in a corner.
    I have only read Lulu by today's standards. Read my first one just a few years ago long after I'd read things like Maus, Watchmen and Love & Rockets.
    It was not cornball in the 50s and it ain't today. It holds up very, very well. I can only imagine that people are buying the Dark Horse reprints because they are actually enjoying the stories and for no other reason.
    It's frickin' hilarious. It's sentimental, funny and a little anarchic.
    Little Lulu represents everything that a good humour strip can be . It's got everything in it - a complicated love storyline (Lulu and Tubby and the Tracy & Hepburn of comics). The Tubby as the "Spider' stories are always highlights, along with the trippy stories Lulu tells Alvin.
    15 years ago, I would have laughed at the notion of having Little Lulu books on my bookshelf.
    It looks like Lulu got the last laugh, once again." (Lone Ranger)
    Last edited by Kid Omega; 11-04-2011 at 01:28 PM.

  4. #4
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    Defenses, Part Two:

    LIL' ABNER, Al Capp:
    http://www.amazon.com/Lil-Abner-HC-A...0438455&sr=1-1
    "Li'l Abner took the events of the times and stuck them through the parody lens of the residents of Dogpatch, USA. For example, Frank Sinatra scared many when he first came on the scene due to his popularity among teenage girls (causing excitement that led to screaming and fainting, etc).
    Al Capp saw a very scrawny young man who the girls went gaga over, and turned his title character into that very type... The formerly muscular farm boy was now a weakling crooner that got accidently kidnapped when a teenaged girl tried to rip off a piece of his sleeve...
    Li'l Abner brought forth many things still used in the American Culture. Sadie Hawkins Dance (the boys are asked to the dance by the girls) came from the strip.
    I would argue that Li'l Abner is the most important comic strip of all time, and thus, belongs on the list." (LtMarvel)

    HELLBOY, by Mike Mignola and others
    http://www.amazon.com/Hellboy-Librar...0680551&sr=8-8
    (more to come)

    "... another reason that it deserves to be included on the list is for the way Mignola so handily weaves adaptations of various myths and legends of so many diverse cultures into his stories.
    A lot of writers just throw out mythological names for their characters and do what they want with out them, but Mignola shows a sort of reverence for the stories he uses and even though he bends the characters to the will of his stories he respects their origins and goes out of his way to include many of the elements from the original myths so that the characters truly feel authentic. He knows that in many cases his take on the various characters such as Baba Jaga,Koschei The Deathless or the Penanggalan may in fact be some of his readers first and in some cases only exposure to them so he tries give an experience that truly represents the myths they come from while at the same time telling his own original stories.
    It's a delicate balancing act and one he performs flawlessly. He blends characters from myths into the tapestry of his story and at the same time offers education on myths from cultures we may never have encountered any other way and in doing so he adds a layer to his stories that few other comics have." (thwhtGuardian)

    "Rarely, in any medium, have I seen a writer strike that balance of respect and knowledge of their source material with chaotically joyful inventiveness. He covers more cultural landscapes than nearly any comic I can think of, magic and old stories are at once culturally specific and universal. Jane Yolen (a too little-known fantasy writer, who was writing Harry Potter before Harry Potter existed) wrote one of my favorite introductions to one of the trades, where she compares Hellboy to the "eucatastrophic" hero of Tolkien's description-- the everyman hero, perpetually caught on the brink of making the ultimate sacrifice.
    In an age of Tolkien knock-offs and literary slim-pickings, Hellboy is some of the best-written fantasy of the past several decades. Not to mention the way he brings Lovecraftian stories and pulp fiction alive with a whole new kind of relevance." (greenthings)

    "I think mr. Mike Mignola didn't think too much of himself as either an artist or writer when starting out,
    so he focused on having his stuff revolve around significantly bearing both as conveying enticement and mood and luster and most of all the promise of story,
    as by composition and depiction and silhouette because of itself his drawing style would be but essential and very bare, leaving room for such wide open.
    Like he allowed himself to be putting his stuff to work, visually or graphically, conveniently.
    After taking on art duties for a decade for the big two both as any company willing, by doing art features or covers,
    he landed bigger jobs like delivering the art to various comics, limited series (Hulk, Defenders, Superman, Batman, X-Men, Chronicles of Corum, X-Force, Bram Stoker's Dracula by Coppola both as a number of graphic novels (Dr Doom & Doc Strange, Gotham By Gaslight, Ironwolf, Wolverine: the Jungle Saga, Aliens: Salvation),
    translating his essentialness or functionality into making his art pages be to work, as also by means of panelling with diverse pacing and finding ways toward conveying storytelling intricately and imaginatively (with nifty lettering- or striking "sound effect" captions - such as "tlot tlot tlot" for a running horse or a helicopter going "whupwhupwhup"),
    until he made both as wrote a LOTDK-story fully by himself, leading up to creating the vast and wonderful world of Hellboy, the BPRD, Lobster Johnson or Lord Baltimore and the Amazing Screw-On head.
    And for storytelling, BOTH graphically as imaginatively, Hellboy would stand for intricate and rich wonderment, quite maximally..." (Kees_L)

    LONE WOLF AND CUB, Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima
    http://www.amazon.com/Lone-Wolf-Cub-...0438589&sr=1-1

    LITTLE NEMO IN SLUMBERLAND, Winsor McKay
    http://www.onfulfillment.com/SundayPressBooks/

    WATCHMEN, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
    http://www.amazon.com/Alan-Moore-WAT...0438746&sr=1-2

    ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY, Chris Ware
    http://www.drawnandquarterly.com/sho...a3dff7dd568fe0
    "Is there any comic out there from any time that so expertly uses and plays with and experiments with form? From the graphic novel collections that win awards to the individual issues, each feels like a new masterpiece. From simple gag strips that evolve into emotional epics to emotional epics that devolve into simple gag strips, there seems nothing Ware cannot do with this book. Any single issue or story can leave you laughing and crying. I dare anyone to find someone working today with a greater mastery of form." (Joe Rice)

    LOVE & ROCKETS, Los Bros Hernandez
    http://www.fantagraphics.com/index.p...=76&Itemid=135

    SANDMAN, Neil Gaiman and Various
    http://www.amazon.com/Sandman-Vol-Pr...0438854&sr=1-1
    "SANDMAN didn't start out at its very best, but it was still pretty great. The episode with Dr. Destiny in the diner, that's as chilling as anything in Moore's SWAMP THING. The first story with Morpheus in Hell, also incredible. By issue 8, you've got the introduction of Death, and one of the best single-issue stories in the history of comics. That's a pretty darn good start overall, if you ask me.
    If you think Sandman is all cynicism, and doesn't have anything to say about love, I think you need to reread the last Hob Gadling issue, toward the end of the run, after Morpheus' death.
    Sandman says a lot about lots of things. Death. Denial. Stories and myth and imagination. Duty, responsibility, destiny and fate. Family. Man's place in the cosmos. These are not light topics.
    Spin-offs are a result of influence. And spin-offs as good as LUCIFER? You don't get that from being influenced by Geoff Johns' GREEN LANTERN, that's for sure." (JWK)

    ZAP, Robert Crumb, Spain Rodriguez, et al
    (no collection available)

    CALVIN AND HOBBES, Bill Watterson
    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Calvi...0438935&sr=1-1

    MAUS, Art Spiegelman
    http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Maus-...0438962&sr=1-2

    TERRY AND THE PIRATES, Milton Caniff
    http://www.libraryofamericancomics.c...g/series/1016/
    "I'm not convinced that you can divorce a work from its influence. It's particularly hard in the case of Terry as it and Caniff's influence is so overarching in what followed. While Al Capp & Lil Abner were looking at the world through a lens of parody, Caniff through Terry showed America the world that was going to come. He placed the Sino-Japanese conflict front and center (to the extent allowed by the syndicate) and prepared the U.S. and the world for the conflict to come in Asia. Additionally, nobody at the time and very few people for years afterword created stronger, better realized female characters than Caniff in Terry. Burma, Normandie Drake, April Kane and "The Dragon Lady" make up for a myriad of misogynist sins that occured on the comic page at the time." (Ray R)

    "Caniff was an amazing artist and his influence on both strip and comic book artists cannot be underestimated. As an adventure artist, probably only Alex Raymond can rival Caniff in his influence. Caniff (along with Noel Sickles) took the cinematic approach to strips that Roy Crane had pioneered and perfected it. However, his work moved beyond the then cinematic, and transcended it, as can be seen by his enormous influence on Orson Welles and Federico Fellini.
    Art and influence alone aren't enough (see Flash Gordon). However, as a writer and as a written work, Terry holds up as one of the great adventure strips. Caniff's research was second to none (and in that I include the incredible Carl Barks). Where he truly excelled, though, is in creating female characters, the strength of which have not been duplicated. Normandie Drake, Burma, April Kane and The Dragon Lady were all fully realized, strong and viable characters in an era when most female characters existed simply as plot devices. It is still unusual to find female characters in comics that are as well realized as those Caniff introduced in the 1930s.
    Terry takes you in to a world of dangerous jungles and desparate men. Double-dealing women and daunting heroes. It's a world that doesn't exist any more. But I wish that it did." (Slam Bradley)
    Last edited by Kid Omega; 11-08-2011 at 12:35 PM.

  5. #5
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    Defenses, Part Three:

    THE SPIRIT, Will Eisner, Various
    http://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Archive...0439047&sr=1-3
    "Not only is it groundbreaking from an artistic point of view (those title pages!), but the blend of noirish action, sexual innuendo and humour were unlike anything seen in comics at that time – and it would be decades before any comics came close to the Spirit. Denny Colt is the perfect everyman hero – he takes his bumps and bruises, he flirts with the women (although normally it’s vice versa) and he pokes fun at his boss.
    This is a strip like no other – it is pure entertainment and it pushed the envelope of ‘comic book storytelling’. Eisner’s characters are often both realistic and caricatures at the same time. These stories are fun, exciting and compelling. The men are men and the dames are dames. It all works beautifully. There’s a reason these stories have been reprinted time and time again.
    People will often complain about the non-Eisner years, and I’ll admit that the strip was at its best in the post-war era, but even those weaker stories were heads and shoulders above most of what was being published in the early 40s." (Lone Ranger)

    POGO, Walt Kelly:
    (due from Fantagraphics 2012)
    "Walt Kelly is one of the singular and seminal influences in comics history. Pogo was and remains unique - a funny animal strip that provided social commentary and satire, and worked on so, so many levels. It's pretty much universally recognized as one of the all time great strips, and Kelly as one of the all time great cartoonists. It's also probably the most important influence on DOONESBERRY and BONE and one of the primary influences (along with KRAZY KAT and PEANUTS) on CALVIN AND HOBBES." (JWK)

    PLASTIC MAN, Jack Cole:
    http://www.amazon.com/Plastic-Archiv...0439184&sr=1-6
    "The use of color in Cole's PLASTIC MAN was absolutely groundbreaking. Indeed, I think one can argue he was the first comic book artist (as opposed to some strips, like NEMO) to use color as a storytelling tool, as opposed to simply a way to catch the eye. Some uses are obvious - his working Plas' telltale color scheme into the various objects Plas transformed himself into - but others are not. He used color as an adjunct to shading and to create mood more than any other comic book artist of the time. In fact, I think one can argue that nobody in American comics did a better job of using color as a storytelling tool until WATCHMEN." (JWK)

    AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, Steve Ditko and Stan Lee
    http://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Spider...0439230&sr=1-3
    "I'd even like it to be Stan Lee's Spider-Man, as I love the Romita years as well, but maybe having the same artist is key to the defining concept. It was argued that the FF represent '60s Marvel well enough, and I find that untrue. Ditko has as much imagination (and borderline insanity) as Kirby. Why does Spidey have a great rogues gallery over ALL other characters? No supervillains in the Marvel Universe (except one character per title) have been anything but jokes, while Ditko's seemed villainous. And the FF were exploring new worlds, but Spidey was becoming the model of the modern superhero: because his life sucked. He was motivated not by an initial strength of character, but by guilt over how he selfishly used his powers (a practice he continued selling pics to the Daily Bugle); he became obsessed with responsibility, forgetting responsibilities to his own life, his friends, girlfriends, and very sick aunt (who 40 years later, seems chippier than ever). Ditko's art was rocky at first, but by issue 12 he was every bit as dynamic as one could wish. Spiderman's sillouette was instantly recognizable because of the great Ditko poses. A simple character with a simple theme. He learned that "With great power comes great responsibility", and spent his life trying to figure out what that meant. He, moreso than any, represents the Marvel superhero." (Chris Nowlin)
    "Spider-Man did several things that were considered revolutionary at the time and colored the way we've looked at comics for 40 years:
    1. The Everyman Super-Hero: Lee and Ditko made you believe that you could be given the power by fate to be a hero. Steve Rogers represented a specific kind of everyman (the soldier) for the Greatest Generation, but Spider-Man was the Baby Boomer everyman; a regular teenaged schlub...not too smart, not too strong, not too well-loved by his peers. The situations he found himself in were the situations you find yourself in on a regular basis. Getting good grades. Asking out the girl you like. Trying to pay the rent. Compare to Bruce Wayne or Hal Jordan, with their impossibly cool jobs.
    A further emphasis on teenaged. Spider-Man was the first real empowerment fantasy for American comics' main audience. Until then, teenagers were just sidekicks, or flashbacks of recognizable heroes. Spider-Man was the first hero to make being young and confused central to the character concept.
    2. It's okay to be human: Spider-Man was the first human super-hero. Captain America, Green Lantern, Batman and the Flash were technically human, but impossibly morally. Spider-Man became a hero because he did something wrong, and quit very early in his career.
    Spider-Man introduced the idea that it was okay to screw up, that even heroes have real problems like unrequited love, crappy jobs and late term papers. It moved the American comic away from fantasy and good v. evil battles and toward character development and relationships between normal people. Supporting characters became important not as props between battles, crime-fighting aids or victims, but as foils for the hero. (Harry Osborne, Betty Brant, Gwen Stacy. Peter even had his own bully, Flash Thompson! The secret identity stopped being a formality or something to be discovered, and the challenges in everyday life became a fundamental conflict for the character to overcome. It was as hard or harder being Peter Parker as it was Spider-Man.
    This "Marvel Style" (the flawed, human alter ego) became more prominent as the decade wore on, and today is perhaps the defining characteristic of Marvel vis a vis the Distinguished Competition.
    3. Iconic Impact: Lee and Ditko created a character that struck a chord with America and becme an icon far outside comic readers. More non-readers know who Spider-Man is than any other super-hero (excepting Batman or Superman), and I think this was largely true before the movies.
    Not only did Ditko create the iconic Spider-Man costume, they created Doc Ock, the Green Goblin, Kraven the Hunter, the Vulture, the Sandman, Mysterio, the Lizard and Electro...in 20 issues. Between issues 40 and 50, John Romita created the Rhino and Kingpin." (moebius)

    PROMETHEA, Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III
    http://www.amazon.com/Promethea-Book...0439263&sr=1-1
    "Perhaps Alan Moore's most personal work, PROMETHEA represents a literary and visual masterpiece. At the start, it looked like just another superhero book, albeit a very clever one, obviously inspired by some of the basic archetypes (Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, in particular), but it quickly developed into something much more, something unique among comics. This extended discourse on metaphor, myth, mysticism and the power of words stands alone; there is literally nothing else like it. Perhaps the closest comparison is with Gaiman's SANDMAN, but while SANDMAN draws on the magical and the legendary for inspiration, PROMETHEA is actually about the nature of magic and legend - and, Moore argues - reality. Even if you don't buy Moore's view of things - I certainly don't - he presents the view in a breathtaking manner. Moore is at the top of his game here, and this is where Williams first demonstrates the chops of a first-rate, mature artist. The writing and art work together to a degree rarely matched in collaborative works, equalled only by other masterworks like LONE WOLF AND CUB or Lee/Kirby's FANTASTIC FOUR." (JWK)
    "For me, this book was the culmination of what Moore and Gibbons started in Watchmen; the complete marriage of image and text, with an understanding of the form that few other works approached. It wasn't the story or the art that made it great; it was how the writer and the artist understood the medium and used it to their total advantage. I only remember the bare essentials of the story, but some of those pages are still seared in my memory because I was in such awe of the genius on display. " (Tom)

    EIGHTBALL, Daniel Clowes
    http://www.fantagraphics.com/browse-...inting-15.html
    Last edited by Kid Omega; 11-08-2011 at 12:35 PM.

  6. #6
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    This list is BS for the simple that comic books, comic strips and political cartoons are all different animals. That's not even getting into genre differences.

    For comic books Amazing Spiderman by Lee/Romita Sr. should in the top 10. My defense. Read Issues 42-50.

  7. #7
    Julie Barnes thespianphryne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prismablue View Post
    This list is BS for the simple that comic books, comic strips and political cartoons are all different animals. That's not even getting into genre differences.

    For comic books Amazing Spiderman by Lee/Romita Sr. should in the top 10. My defense. Read Issues 42-50.
    Discussion thread is here: http://forums.comicbookresources.com...d.php?t=152611

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