Thursday, 18 June 2009

Parlour Game

Here's some summer holiday fun. List your top ten graphic novels, excluding those either written or drawn by Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller and Mike Mignola.

The purpose of this exercise is to take out the "big boys" and to see what's left.

My list looks like this:

Zenith by Morrison & Yeowell
Scarlet Traces by Edginton & D’Israeli
Bad Company by Milligan & Ewins
Killing Time by Smith & Weston
Slaine The King by Mills & Fabry
Marshal Law: Fear & Loathing by Mills & O’Neil
Button Man by Wagner and Ransom
War Stories by Ennis & Various
Judge Dredd Origins by Wagner & Ezquerra
Dare by Morrison & Hughes

You can see from the above that I have a very strong prejudice in favour of British comics or at least British-created comics. I used to read a lot of American stuff but I don't feel the love of it has stayed with me into adulthood as it has with the British strips.

I do keep trying - most recently it's been with Ed Brubaker's Catwoman run. As with a lot of DC stuff these days I felt it was sort of okay, but no better than that. Nice art though.

2 comments:

Garbled Communications said...

I've found I like quite a lot of American published material still, but most of the time when I look the writer up on wikipedia it turns out he was born in Britain. It's not xenophobia either, there are US writers I admire a lot, but few seem to top our talent.

As for the top 10 graphic novels idea, these are my suggestions.

1) Animal Man - Morrison's most humane and touching writing, and one which plays around with some fantastic ideas.
2) Planetary - The best thing Warren Ellis has ever written, it's a shame it came to an end so soon.
3) The Walking Dead - The whole series is excellent, it's pretty much the only horror comic that has genuinely shocked and disturbed me.
4) Zenith - Morrison again, during his early period before the ego took over!
5) Fables - Because for once it's so refreshing to read a non-cynical, witty and genuinely heart warming graphic novel
6) Y The Last Man - Started off brilliantly, lagged in the middle, and then had a fantastic ending. It would rate higher if not for that middle section.
7) Hellblazer Dangerous Habits - Ennis' best work with the character, that stops him from being the sulky bastard of Delano's run, and makes him fun again.
8) Doom Patrol - Especially the early part of the run, before it became just a little too insane.
9) Human Target - An incredibly stylish noir comic that shows Peter Milligan's still got the goods. Again, it's a shame it was cancelled so early on.
10) Transmetropolitan - Some times Ellis doesn't allow his ideas to breathe, but there are so many fascinating chapters to this I shouldn't really complain.

clergyman said...

Really interesting list, Mr Garbled!

I am quite an admirer of Fables too - it's the ultimate Shrek meets Sandman fusion. It didn't make my list but may have crept into a top 20.

Animal Man and (particularly) Doom Patrol are similarly creditable. I remember someone lending me them back in the day (eg. you!) and they were pretty good at the time.

I guess the British-domination of US comic writing is due in part to Moore and Gaiman happening to be from these shores. Many of the other UK writers aren't noticeably better than their US couterparts, but the accent probably helps when getting jobs.

Oh and I notice no Scarlet Traces! If you haven't tried it yet I recommend the War of the Worlds e-comic as an easy way in:

http://www.darkhorse.com/Features/eComics/883/H-G-Wells-The-War-of-the-Worlds