Paulie's Pick for today, Giant-Size Defenders, is one of two Marvel Giant-Size series that made my shortlist but were sadly cut from the final list. For what it's worth, I add my endorsement to yours.
5. 'Mazing Man
12 issues, 1986
'Mazing Man was an oddity, no matter how you slice it. It was a generally bright and optimistic comic, in the era when "grim 'n gritty" was taking over. Moreover, while the cartoony art and silly protagonist might make you think this was a kiddie book, it's actually fairly adult. As in, dealing with issues and themes that concern grown-ups. Stuff about marriage and families and getting older and coping with change...it was like a really smart tv sitcom on paper. And always very, very funny, thanks both to Bob Rozakis' witty scripts and Stephen DeStefano's kinetic art.
I forgot about those. Always thought they were on newsstands. Did DC advertise them for mailorder too? The company really didn't know what it had there; they had no idea how to sell some of Kirby's best work.Well DC had In the Days of the Mob and Spirit World but I don't know if they were ever on the newstand. I bought mine thru the mail from DC.
I tend to split superhero comics fans into "People who like Krypto" and "People who don't like Krypto."
Basically, if you miss the wonder of a dog flying around in a little Superman cape, you're in the wrong hobby.
Random thoughts on Day Eight
Kurt shows excellent taste to start off the day.
The Spirit: The New Adventures is one of those books that I keep meaning to read...and never get around too.
In Re Skreemer: (you can tell I'm at the office). I actually don't care for Peter Milligan at all. I find his work largely unreadable. That said, Skreemer was on my extended list for this exercise. It really is an excellent book and was one of the best of the "Suggested for Mature Readers" mini's that helped the evolution to Vertigo.
I've read Concrete sporadically in various trades I've picked up over the years. Another one of those books I should probably spend more time with.
Desparadoes was also on my extended list.
Dan Bailey shows rare good taste.
Once upon a time that GL/GA reprint series might have made my list. But, honestly, the last time I re-read that series I wondered what I'd been thinking. For me it hasn't aged well at all.
Very happy to see all the love for 'Maze.
More catching up!
5. Legion Lost #1-12 (May 2000-April 2001)
Legion fans talk about "their" Legion. Well, despite having read a smattering of the Giffen 5YL stuff when I was younger, Legion Lost was my first real foray 1,000 years into the future. I picked it up randomly based on the strength of the writers' original Resurrection Man series, and I was not disappointed.
In 12 issues, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning made me love these characters... and then they broke my heart. I had no notions of the plot of these comics, which is generally a rare thing for me since I'm constantly reading reviews and synopses and interviews. The various twists and reveals of Lost are well-crafted and dramatically executed, and on rereading, there's a lot of craft in foreshadowing.
The Legion Worlds mini that followed Lost has tons of great art, and their run on Legion proper is great too, but it'll be a long time before I forget what it was like being lost on the other side of the universe with the scared and lonely Legionnaires.
All-Star Western, Casanova, Criminal, Daredevil, Dark Horse Presents, Funnies, Hellboy/BPRD, King City, Orc Stain, Snarked, Unwritten, Usagi Yojimbo
Yet a third vote for...
5. Tales of the Zombie (10 issue and an annual, cancelled series, Marvel/Curtis 1973)
A few things I need to admit before doing this write-up:
1. I'm embarrassed to admit this is the first and only Steve Gerber work I've read as of this moment.
2. I'm equally embarrassed to admit I first started reading the series three weeks ago, when I pulled out every qualifying series in my collection for this contest in order to speed-read through them and see if there was anything I'd been missing out on. I fell in love with this series on the very first page I read (issue #3) and knew I needed to see more. It's actually the only series I read specifically for the 12 Days assignment this year that actually ended up making the list.
3. As a result of all this, I'm still only halfway through the series! It took a while for the remaining issues to arrive from Lonestar, and I'm still making my way through them! Still, I've read enough to know this is a keeper.
So my thoughts:
Upon my first run-in with Tales of the Zombie, what took hold of me immediately, even more than the stunning artwork and grim premise, was Steve Gerber's eloquent internal second person narration that truly made ME feel like the Zombie. His descriptions of the protagonist (Simon Garth -- murdered businessman reincarnated as the walking dead via voodoo curse)'s inability to experience the various sensations he witnesses and still instinctively expects to feel, become a launching point for larger reflections upon the meaninglessness of his existence and how closely it parallels the emotional numbness he felt as a corporate tycoon in his previous life. Add to that the newfound cosmic connection he feels to his daughter, even while she meant little to him in life, some outstanding panel arrangements that accentuate the emotional depth of Gerber's words via purposeful dramatic pacing, and you have a veritable feast of a comic that I can't get enough of.
Last edited by shaxper; 12-21-2012 at 08:43 PM.
8. Boys Ranch 1-6. Jack Kirby, Mort Meskin, Joe Simon probably did something... and lots of ?s. Harvey comics, 1951.
Hey, my first doubleup. I been doubleupped, but I ain't never doubleupped 'till now.
I think that it's the setting that makes these stories work so well. Most Western comics start with a fairly predictable plot. The Masked Avenger rides for Justice. A dude is on the lam after being framed. The Sheriff protects his city from the monthly influx of outlaws. Boys Ranch, by contrast, is about (are your ready!)... boys - and a girl - on a ranch.
Which means that, without a monthly plot map, the stories could end up being about anything. Polar Bear talked about Mother Delilah above, but let's just think for a sec; about how strange a plot this was for a Western - And that ain't nothin' compared to the far-out fantasy of Wabash's "true" campfire stories about talking gophers. Colin Smith makes the case for Boys Ranch as capital A ART here, and I can't disagree too gosh-darn much The combination of character based drama with a set-up that can serve for any number of different stories - and you could tell that Simon and Kirby had plans stretching far beyond the six issues that they were allotted - makes this my favorite short-run Kirby project... And, sure, one of the greatest comics ever.
I only wish it would be reprinted cheaply so that more folks could read it.
MarkAndrew at Comics Should Be Good
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