Lists are things we can all argue about!

The SyFy channel is celebrating 25 years of being in existence, and they’re hitting us with a bunch of “nerd culture” Top 25 lists. I thought I’d check out some of the comics-related ones, just for fun, as lists are guaranteed to angry up the blood! Unfortunately, their lists aren’t ranked, as they just list their 25 best, so we can’t argue about that, but we can question the inclusion of some of the things! So let’s check them out!

The 25 Best Comics Stories of the Last 25 Years. All-Star Superman, DC: The New Frontier, Kingdom Come, Planetary, and the Winter Soldier storyline are probably slam dunks, but the rest are open to dissension. “Annihilation” and “Annihilation: Conquest” is a nice, under-the-radar pick (although, with the Guardians’ unexpected prominence, perhaps not so much anymore), but it’s a really good story. I’m still not on board with Asterios Polyp, but it’s nice that SyFy isn’t just doing mainstream superhero stuff. I haven’t re-read Grant Morrison’s Batman work, but sure. “The Court of Owls” is trash and is one instance (not the only one!) of people being dazzled by something shiny. The Long Halloween is overrated and should only be remembered for Tim Sale’s art. I’ve never read “The Death of Oracle” in Birds of Prey, so I can’t comment. Christopher Priest’s Black Panther started strong and petered out, and is probably only on this list because Black Panther has some cool cachet these days (the write-up almost admits as much). “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” from Deadpool is another surprising choice – I wouldn’t have included it, but it’s a pretty good story, although not as fun as the earlier Deadpool stories in that series. Fraction’s and Aja’s Hawkeye run is another trendy pick, one that has some stellar issues but seemed like a lot of sound and fury (this pick is for the first arc, but the entire series is basically one arc, so …). I haven’t read the reboot of Harbinger, so I can’t comment. Hellboy in Hell is a weird pick, because why not all of Hellboy? I haven’t read that specific series yet, but I’m sure it’s as good as any other random Hellboy story, so I’m fine with it. “Planet Hulk” is another solid choice, helped by, once again, its current cachet with the new Thor movie coming out that looks like it lifted plot elements from this story. “Until the End of the World” from Preacher is fine, even though all of Preacher is overrated. I haven’t read the Sinestro Corps War, but I can’t believe it belongs here. I heard good things about Kieron Gillen’s and Salvador Larocca’s Darth Vader, but it’s not on this list if Star Wars hadn’t been rebooted. The Vision is one of the best books Marvel has put out in the past few years, so sure. The death of the Ultimate Spider-Man … meh. I still haven’t read Usagi Yojimbo, but putting a story – “Grasscutter” – from the series on this list doesn’t bother me. X-Factor #87 is one of those issues that’s perfectly fine, but has taken on a veneer of brilliance over the years that far outstrips its merits. It’s a good issue, certainly, but “might be the best single issue of an X-Men comic, ever”? Really? And Y: The Last Man is really, really overrated, so any story from it wouldn’t be on my list.

Notable oversights: The Candlemaker story and the finale from Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol. Most of Morrison’s DP falls outside the 25-year window, but the final few issues don’t, and they’re brilliant.

Anything from Hitman. Garth Ennis’s true masterpiece, Hitman never gets the attention it deserves.

Anything from John Ostrander’s The Spectre, James Robinson’s Starman, Grant Morrison’s JLA or X-Men.

Anything from Image. That’s weird.

Anything from B.P.R.D. I know they covered Hellboy, but B.P.R.D. is phenomenal, too.

There’s a lot more, but those are the big ones that I thought of. Moving on!

25 Comic Crossovers We Love. Well, I think all comics crossovers are pretty stinky, so I don’t care too much about this list. “Age of Apocalypse” was pretty cool, I guess. “Death of the Family” is hot garbage, at least the main part from Batman. Flashpoint was okay, especially compared to the other crossover of 2011, Fear Itself (which they don’t list, thank goodness). Infinite Crisis was junk. Other than that, these are all pretty blah.

Notable oversights: None, really. Crossovers stink.

The 25 Greatest New Comics Series of the Past 25 Years. This is weird, because I’m not sure what the criteria is. If they mean “new series” as in “things that had never existed before,” they missed the boat. Check out the list. Astonishing X-Men? I mean, sure, it’s a “new” X-Men comic, but it uses all the old characters. Scott Snyder’s Batman? Not only is it just a Batman comic, it’s a terrible Batman comic. Brubaker’s Captain America? The Marvel Knights Daredevil? Geoff Johns’s Green Lantern? Garth Ennis’s Punisher? None of these are really “new,” except that they had new creative teams. When Roy Thomas took over for Stan Lee, were those “new” series? Anyway, those kind of make this list almost invalid. 100 Bullets isn’t as good as everyone thinks, because most people think of the excellent first few arcs and forget how badly it devolved toward the end. The Authority – yeah, I can buy that (although Ellis’s StormWatch is better). Fables is a perfectly cromulent addition to the list. Hellboy is pretty great. I’ve never read Kick-Ass, and due to my Mark Millar boycott, I probably never will, but it sounds awful. Ms. Marvel is quite good. Planetary is awesome. Preacher is fine, if overrated. Promethea, “considered by many to be Alan Moore’s best modern work,” is wildly overwrought and isn’t particularly close to Moore’s best “modern” work. Runaways is pretty keen. Saga might be the most overrated comic in history. Starman is great. I still haven’t read Strangers in Paradise, but I’ll get around to it. Transmetropolitan is good. Ultimate Spider-Man is fine, but overrated – I mean, it’s basically the 1960s Spider-Man with some tweaks, so how “new” can it really be? The Walking Dead is blah. Wanted is pretty good until the final issue, when it becomes one of the most insulting comics ever and led directly to my Mark Millar boycott. Y the Last Man is crap.

Notable oversights: Stray Bullets, Noble Causes, Rex Mundi, Scalped, Phonogram, Young Avengers, The Sixth Gun, Ex Machina … man, they really missed the boat with this one, trying to honor all these “new” series starring 50+-year-old characters!

The 25 Greatest Comic Writers of the Last 25 Years. Ah, now we come to some subjects that I can rant about – writers and artists! Frankly, I don’t have too big a problem with the writers. Jason Aaron, Ed Brubaker, Kurt Busiek, Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, Neil Gaiman, Jeff Lemire, Mike Mignola, Terry Moore, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka – no real problems with them. I can see why Brian Azzarello, Brian Michael Bendis, Geoff Johns, Gail Simone, Scott Snyder, and Brian K. Vaughan are on the list. I like a good amount of Bendis’s work; Simone has written some excellent comics; Azzarello is overrated but fine; I don’t get the appeal of Geoff “Let’s decapitate someone else!” Johns, but I know a lot of people do; Snyder is the hot name and is a good idea guy even if he doesn’t do endings very well; and Vaughan has written things I like and even more things that other people like. SyFy puts Raina Telgemeier on the list, which is pretty cool – Telgemeier is a huge star among people who don’t read superhero comics, and it’s cool that a lot of mouth-breathing comics junkies don’t know who she is even though she might be the most successful writer on this list. But then we get to the others. Kelly Sue DeConnick? I’ve never been impressed with DeConnick’s writing, but maybe that’s just me. Her husband, I might add, is noticeably lacking from this list, and he’s a far better writer than she is. Jody Houser? Really? One of the best comics writers of the past 25 years? She’s written an average superhero book, Faith, that is notable solely because Faith is a large young woman, and she’s written Mother Panic, which is okay but not really setting the world on fire. Even if both of those comics were brilliant, can her body of work really stand up over some others from the past 25 years? Marjorie Liu? Again, really? I actually like Liu’s writing well enough, but again, she’s never done anything so brilliant that it trumps some of the other writers over the past quarter-century. She’s toiled in the Marvel salt mines, and now she’s writing a creator-owned series, Monstress, which is not bad but special almost completely because of the artwork. Liu is pretty good, but let’s check in on her in a decade or so. Jeph Loeb is popular, but does that make him any good? No, it does not. Loeb excels at writing stories that are completely tailored to allow his artists to draw whatever the hell cool stuff they want, which is why so many artists want to work with him. His books always look great, but they’re like Devil Dogs – they taste really good at first bite, but they’re empty calories. Jimmy Palmiotti is a hell of a nice guy, but he’s a fairly standard writer – he has solid plots, but he rarely does anything that you don’t expect with them. His stories are enjoyable but not terribly memorable. Noelle Stevenson is another writer who seems to be the choice of younger staffers who haven’t read a lot of comics. Nimona is great and Lumberjanes was very good, but she doesn’t have much of a track record, does she? Finally, G. Willow Wilson is another relative newcomer who has one terrific comic (Ms. Marvel), one pretty good graphic novel (Cairo), and one mediocre series (Air) under her belt, but is that enough to put her on this list?

Notable oversights: Um, have these people heard of Alan Moore? Also, Matt Fraction. Kieron Gillen. Jay Faerber. Jason Lutes. Jeff Parker. Peter Milligan. Probably some others. And yes, my list skews male and I have issues with more women on the list than I do with men. But it’s just a fact that for years and years, far more men wrote comics than women. Women are writing more comics these days, and that’s great, but my objection to the women on these list is that they haven’t been writing long enough to build up a bibliography that touches some of the men left off of it (except for DeConnick, who I just don’t like). I mean, Kelly Thompson has written more and better comics than Marjorie Liu and Jody Houser, so where is she?

The 25 Greatest Comic Artists of the Last 25 Years. This is a strange list, because it comes with a qualifier: George Pérez and Walt Simonson are not on the list, and SyFy says they know about it, but asks us to “please remember that we’re just talking about seminal works from the last 25 years, and the legendary works we are highlighting only go back to 1992.” That’s weird, because both Pérez and Simonson continue to do amazing work, as SyFy points out, and just because Simonson isn’t drawing Thor doesn’t mean his work on Orion and Ragnarök (to name two great comics from post-1992) aren’t better-looking than almost anything out there. So that qualifier is just stupid. If the artist has gotten worse since 1992 (I would argue that Chaykin, Miller, and Adams have all gotten worse since their heydays), then fine. But Simonson and Pérez haven’t, so put them on the damned list, SyFy! They go on to write that:

We based our criteria on a balance of unique creativity, distinct or influential style, longevity, and impact, as opposed to quantity or how big the profile was of said project(s). Their interior artwork had to be their biggest contribution (even though their cover art may be depicted below or be fondly celebrated) during this era, and it must inspire, evoke emotion, and/or transport the reader to a far-off vivid world and keep the reader dreaming when they close the book.

Okey-dokey. Do the artists they picked measure up?

Mike Allred is fine. He’s quite good. Then … Greg Capullo? Motherfucking really? I mean, Capullo has gotten better since he was desperately trying to draw like Jim Lee 20 years ago, but he’s a fairly standard superhero artist. His work is perfectly fine for superheroes, but it doesn’t really do much else except get you from Point A to Point B. Greg Capullo? Sheesh. Okay, moving on.

John Cassaday is fine. He’s very talented, and Planetary is a gorgeous comic. Then … Becky Cloonan? Again, really? I mean, Cloonan is quite good, but again, she doesn’t do too much that’s unique, either with materials or layouts or styles. I like Cloonan’s art a lot, but best of the past 25 years? I don’t know. Okay, moving on.

Darwyn Cooke. Definitely. Geoff Darrow. Definitely. Then … Steve Dillon? Really? Again, I like Dillon’s art a lot, but it’s meat-and-potatoes to the extreme. If you want someone to tell a story in as “realistic” a way as possible, with no changes in style and barely any in page design, Dillon’s your guy. It’s very nice art, but come on. Okay, moving on.

Francesco Francavilla. Hell yeah. Tony Harris. Shit yeah. Jae Lee. Sure, I guess. He’s not my favorite, but his art is pretty keen. Jim Lee. Yeah, I guess. He’s the epitome of a “superhero artist,” which is a lot harder to do than it looks, and he’s very influential. Plus, when he does feel like stretching himself, he can do lovely, un-Lee-like work, which I wish he’d do more often. I really like Jim Lee’s art, but I’m not completely sure I’d have him on this list. Then … Alex Maleev. Um, I guess, if you like Photoshopped photographs used over and over again. And I actually like Maleev’s art! But that’s a stretch. Okay, moving on.

Mike Mignola. Hell yeah. Frank Miller. This is a tough one, because his 1990s work is so good, and his 2000s work is … not. I would probably leave him on, but he’s gone downhill a lot since his artistic peak. Michael Avon Oeming is next. That’s another tough one. He’s quite good, but I’m not sure about “Top 25” good. I’ll allow it. Then … Sara Pichelli. Really? Here’s another choice that seems to be made by people who haven’t read a lot of comics. Pichelli is quite a good artist, but she hasn’t really done anything that makes you go, “Holy crap, that’s amazing.” She’s a good storyteller, she has a good fluid line, but she’s just kind of a standard superhero artist. Again, not as easy as you might think, but she really hasn’t stretched herself all that much. Okay, moving on.

Paul Pope. Shit yeah. Frank Quitely. Definitely. Eduardo Risso. He’s the only reason the second half of 100 Bullets is tolerable, so yeah. John Romita Jr. Sure, but I find it hilarious that he makes the list but not Pérez and Simonson, when you could argue most of Romita’s “seminal” work came before 1992. Tim Sale. He’s the only reason a lot of Jeph Loeb’s work is tolerable, so yeah. Then .. Fiona Staples. Really? She gets here on the strength of Saga, and her work on that book does make it slightly less overrated, but again, that’s all anyone can point to when they’re putting her on the list. Her work on DV8 and Mystery Society is quite good, too, but this feels like another “recency bias” pick. Okay, moving on.

Jill Thompson. Shit yeah. Chris Ware. Ugh, Chris Ware. Ware annoys the shit out of me. And finally, Skottie Young. I probably wouldn’t put him on the list, but I don’t really have a problem with it.

Notable oversights: Jamie McKelvie and Juan Ferreyra are two of the most exciting and interesting artists working today. How about J. H. Williams III, whose work was cited as a big reason why Promethea was on the other list? Norm Breyfogle did some boundary-stretching Batman work post-1992. Simonson and Pérez (I can put them on lists even if SyFy won’t). Bryan Talbot. David Mazzuchelli (even if Asterios Polyp is overrated, artistically it’s amazing). Dave McKean. Juanjo Guarnido. Juan José Ryp. Mike Huddleston. Kevin O’Neill. Guillem March. Jiro Taniguchi and Naoki Urasawa, if you want to get into manga. Shit, Steve Mannion. Jason Yungbluth. James Stokoe. If you want to pick recent women, Emma Rios and Meredith McClaren are amazing, better than Pichelli or even Cloonan. Sheesh, Sophie Campbell is superb! I don’t know – there are a lot of artists that it seems could make this list. But that’s just me.

Anyway, lists are fun to argue about, because they’re so subjective but come across as so objective. The lists at SyFy – even the ones that aren’t comics-related – are fun to check out, and I could go through far more of them, seeing as we’re a pop culture blog in general. But that’s a lot to do, so I’ll just stick to these. Rant away in the comments, everyone!

36 Comments

          1. Greg Burgas

            Edo: Yeah, I think Monkeyman and O’Brien and possibly a few Gumby stories (not sure exactly when he did those) are the only things he’s done in the past 25 years. I doubt if that’s enough for this list.

  1. Comics stories: Yeah on GMozz’s Bat run (on that note, I liked Court of Owls better when GMozz did it as the Black Glove. BURN!)

    I remember the first arc of the rebooted Harbinger being pretty good, but I dunno if it’s top 25 of the last 25 years.

    Ahem. Have they heard of a little book called Sandman? IIRC, Brief Lives on would qualify for this list, and if Brief Lives isn’t better than a lot of these books, I’ll eat my hat! (Note: I do not own a hat.)

    Damn, no Image?

    I also of course would include some Cerebus (probably Going Home/Fall and the River/Form and Void), but that’s me.

    Can’t think of anything else right off, but I’m sure there are better stories than a good 5-10 of those slots.

    1. Greg Burgas

      I wonder if they didn’t look at series that started before 1992 but didn’t finish until after. That seems weird, but maybe? They do cite Gaiman and Sandman in the “best writers” section, so why not some of the latter-half Sandman stuff?

  2. Writers: I agree with them having Kelly Sue Deconnick on and not having Fraction on. Whenever I read the first volume of Pretty Deadly, I thought it was better than any of the 3 series Fraction was doing that year (Hawkeye, Satellite Sam, and Sex Criminals, iirc). However, that is surprising to me that they left him off, as he has been a critical darling in the last few years.

    And yeah, if part of the reason they’re including some of the writers is to get more female representation on there, our pal Kelly has certainly compiled a fine CV of books that matches what’s on this list.

    I do think that my list would include a lot of dudes, almost to the point of it being an entire sausage fest, though, so….

    I’ll have to find that women in comics post from the old place that had such a great amount of female creators, because I’d need to offset the sausage.

    1. Greg Burgas

      I disagree with you about Pretty Deadly, although it wasn’t a bad comic. Probably the best thing by DeConnick I’ve read, but that’s not saying much.

      I like a lot of female comics creators, but a lot of them are relatively new, so that’s the issue. Do they have a large body of work that can be considered “classic”? As you know, Moen, Meconis, and Bellwood are three of my favorite people in comics, but none of them have such a vast bibliography that they exceed the veterans. Maybe in ten years, but not today. So the presence of some of the women on the list makes no sense to me, unfortunately.

  3. Artists: Perez did an decent run on Avengers post-Heroes Reborn, but I guess since it’s pre-Bendis Avengers it doesn’t count. And Simonson’s Orion art was used again and again by Klaus Janson in those DC “How to Pencil/How to Ink” books from a while back. Because it is awesome.

    Eh, I like Capullo. I think his art has a nice cartooniness to it. I don’t know that he’d make my top 25, or even top 100, but I can see him being other people’s fave.

    I’d say what I’ve seen of Cloonan’s art is that it reflects the manga influence that has permeated comics in the last 25 years, so I have no qualms about her being on a list like this.

    Steve Dillon — yeah, his characters emote well, but he’s got a lot of blank backgrounds, iirc. There’s a reason, too, that he wasn’t doing the covers to Preacher.

    Jim Lee — that story in Flinch 1. That’s the shit!

    Maleev without Hollingsworth would be blah. That’s one where I could point to the colorist being the secret sauce that makes the whole thing work. (Note, I need to review some Maleev drawn comics soon….)

    I didn’t hate Pichelli’s art at all. I saw it in the Spidey treasury a year or so back, where they originally were going to do the large size collection of 5 issues of the Spidey series, but Nick Bradshaw only did the first 3 issues, so they had to stick in the first 2 issues of the latest Bendis/Pichelli Miles Morales Spider-Man book. Comparing her art, which often lacks background detail, with the intricate work of Bradshaw really showed that her art is good but not (ahem) spectacular.

    I like a certain amount of JRJR, but I think anyone that would put his stuff on a list like this would probably pick earlier stuff and not the more blocky stuff that his art became by about ’98 or so.

    I can appreciate Chris Ware, but it’s too much of what I’d call “homework comics”. Stuff that you might appreciate aesthetically and elevates the medium, but is a chore to actually read. (Another column in the brewing in my mind hole!)

    JHW3, yes. Sophie Campbell, of course. First artist I ever contacted to ask if a page of art was available (the “everybody shows up” page at the end of an issue of Glory, I forget what though). Ferreyra, Ryp, yep. Stokoe, sure.

    I’d also, of course, stick Dave Sim and Gerhard on this list, because damn! Probably others too, but I can’t think right now.

    But I might just have a bunch of columns percolating now….

  4. Edo Bosnar

    I don’t share your disdain for crossovers, they can be good or bad, depending on the creative team, and I really enjoyed, say, JLA/Avengers. So on the subject of notable oversights, there’s one that’s just screamingly obvious to me: Batman and Captain America – that is simply the best crossover ever in the history of crossovers. A thoroughly enjoyable story that hits all the right notes, nails the voices and characters of both Bats and Cap, with gorgeous art. Byrne was firing on all cylinders when he did that one.
    Which leads me to oversights in the best stories; even though I haven’t read most of them (in fact, it’s easier to list the ones I did: New Frontier and the somewhat overrated but still enjoyable All Star Superman), I think there’s a few Elseworlds entries that I would definitely include, most notably Byrne’s Generations (I and II, III not so much).
    I think another oversight in the best stories list is The Rabbi’s Cat, with it’s writer/artist, Joann Sfar, unfairly excluded from the writer and/or artist lists.
    And yeah, I share your bewilderment at the absence of Alan Moore in the best writers list. And the omission of Perez and Simonson from the best artists list with that lame excuse. Simonson in particular is an artist who produced fantastic art from his first professional job sometime in the early ’70s and he’s never stopped since.
    I’m also going to get a bit local-patriotic here and express some disappointment at the lack of any of that crop of Croatian artists who’ve done stellar work on the American market over the past 2 decades, Sudzuka, Talajic, the late Edvin Biukovic, Sejic…
    And I have to point out the exclusion of John Byrne (as you can tell, I’m a bit of a fan of his work). He produced quite a bit of high-quality art in the period under consideration, and I don’t buy the whole “his work deteriorated” crap – his art in the stories I mentioned above is top-notch, as was his work in, say, X-men: Hidden Years and Marvel: The Lost Generation, whatever you think of the stories, and in his more recent IDW series, esp. the Star Trek minis.

    1. Greg Burgas

      Edo: I haven’t read the Batman/Captain America crossover, but I know it’s well regarded, so yeah, it’s weird that it’s not on the list.

      More good artists, especially Biukovic and Sejic (I like the other two, but not as much as those two). I know it’s tough to narrow the list down to 25, but when you’re picking a few who just don’t seem to belong, it makes it even harder! 🙂

      I don’t love latter-day Byrne as much as you do, and I think he’s probably not on the list because so much of his fame rests on pre-1992 work, but you’re certainly right that his work hasn’t gotten worse at all, and he’s done some good stuff since 1992. I just think that the absolutely classic work he did prior to 1992 overshadows his work since, at least that’s the one reason I can think of for not including him.

  5. M-Wolverine

    Writers: Yeah, I think it’s my age, but Batman with Morrison was overrated, and I like a lot of his work, and post Morrison is just awful. I think you have to be young to think these are the great Bat stories. (What they’ve done to the Joker is criminal). I mean, I have a fondness for stories from the 80’s-90’s, and can recognize Dark Knight Returns as great, but I don’t think we were believing Death in the Family was art. And Death of Ultimate Spider-Man? All that did was confirm I didn’t need to collect any Ultimate universe stories anymore. Hitman was vastly underrated, though.

    Crossovers are bad because they’re too frequent, and bad. They weren’t always. Because they were rare, and done better. Give me Secret Wars over, uh, Secret Wars, any day. Though JLA-Avengers was pretty good in the “they actually came back and did this thing” aspect. And oh, Perez hasn’t done any good art over the last 25 years, but this was one of the top 25?!?!?

    But it’s not consistent; different writers of lists I suppose. Black Panther one of the best comics, but not one of the best NEW comics? I mean, that was actually new. He had comics before, but not for a long time. Batman defies all logic and description since he’s had comics longer than anyone. Though I really think there’s an article on “How Wanted convinced me to never buy Millar again.” I’ve met him; he seems like a nice guy, but he’s got something inside of him that’s either really dark and cynical, or really cheap and shallow that he just knows how to play to (and just play) the audience.

    I think you get with both the writing and the artists Wire (formerly Blastr formerly etc.) and it’s desperate need to promote diversity in any way it can, whether credible or not. A list of 25 people to watch, or has us excited, or many different ways to give some attention to some good young non-white/male talent is a good thing. But to list people as greatest, it just makes you come off as agenda driven rather than quality driven. They’d probably make a list of the 25 greatest Presidents in American history and find a way to put at least 4 women on it, just because.

    Artist wise I mentioned Perez on JLA-Avengers (his Avengers run was great too), because man all those characters, and some imagery that probably makes a top 25 shot list. But I’m more interested in not those who have just gotten worse (Miller), but those who have done new things that I guess are good, but inferior to their previous style. The JRJR question. His current work is fine. But his older work was really great. Amazing Spider-Man and so forth. And the only reason I can see for the change is to stop being compared to his old man. I guess he has less of the “Kuberts problem.” But a Sienkewicz evolution it wasn’t.

    1. Greg Burgas

      M-Wolverine (how ’bout that John O’Korn?!?!?): I love your analogy to the presidents. That was pretty funny.

      I guess it’s been long enough that I probably should write an article about Mark Millar and my boycott of his work (the only comics creator I boycott simply because of a position he took, and not because I just don’t like the work). I’ll get around to it!

      I do think Romita’s evolution was organic, although obviously not as radical as Sienkiewicz’s. You can see him begin to turn into what he is today as far back as ’83 or so, when he was still very much like his father. I do agree that he’s gone a bit too far toward sketchiness, but he was in a sweet zone for about 15-17 years, which is not bad at all.

      1. M-Wolverine

        It’s funny how small the Internet has made the world. Just as I was thinking that night games at Iowa should be outlawed because there’s something strange that goes on there during them, THAT happened, and I immediately thought you’d be happy.

        And yes, it’s just interesting. Not one I necessarily disagree with. (The ending of Wanted was offensively awful). I actually admire it, because there are too many creators I had problems with that I kept reading. I have way more Bendis comics than I should. But the truly interesting part of it is what you said – it’s not “I don’t like his writing/art” it’s position based.

        And I don’t think JRJR is bad by any stretch. Though I think his boxy style HAS gotten a bit more sketchy than when he first started it back around Daredevil and Punisher War Zone era. And I do prefer his cleaner lines work. It definitely wasn’t overnight; some of the later early work started morphing that way. But it was a drastic change over time, while still looking like “him.”

        1. Greg Burgas

          M-Wolverine: Gah, that game. Took years off my life. And I’m an Eagles fan, so there was another last-play game yesterday! (Although I couldn’t watch the end of that one, because I was too pissed off and I used up my supply of heart medication on the Penn State game! I’m glad they won, though.)

          Yeah, it was a … not exactly fun game, but not a bad viewing experience. I think it will help them when they go to the Horseshoe later this season. And I don’t like that Michigan seems to have found an offense. They need to get a pummeling in a few weeks! 🙂

          1. M-Wolverine

            Well, you’ve got the night game in your back pocket, but that high powered offense will have to find a way to punch it in before the last play, because Iowa’s defense isn’t ours.

        2. Greg Burgas

          I’m worried about the game, but it’s at home, so that lessens it a little. If it were on the road like last year, I’d be really worried. I think this game was good because Penn State learned some things (I hope), and they really dominated the game, so if they can do the same things against Michigan and still score touchdowns, I feel pretty good about our defense against the Wolverine offense, but not as much as I did before this past weekend! 🙂

          1. Greg Burgas

            M-Wolverine: Bwah-ha-ha! That’s a funny gif. Yeah, I don’t know why some people were so excited about Purdue – I mean, they’re a bit better than they’ve been, but still … they’re Purdue. Drew Brees isn’t walking through the door, man!

            Barkley only got a lot of work this past week. He’s been out for most of the second half against Akron and Georgia State, and they didn’t need him too much against Pittsburgh. I’ll start to worry if he really has to work hard against Indiana and Northwestern, but right now, I think it will be fine. And, as you note, he probably is part robot!

          2. M-Wolverine

            Because people see scores and don’t really look at teams. Purdue stayed close to Louisville, who has a good quarterback, and….may not actually be a good team. And then beat up Missouri, who was good a few years ago, but this year is trying to tell Rutgers “here, hold my beer.”

            Yes, the schedule shouldn’t be too rough on Barkley going into that one. Especially since they gave Penn State a bye before the game for the 45th straight time. If they can’t win this year, when will they? It’ll be coming off going against our defense, and still being alive enough to do the same to Ohio State the following week. That wasn’t doing anyone any favors.

  6. Peter

    Eh, SyFy did a good job of provoking discussion at least! Definitely a lot of commendable stuff in each list, but there are a few glaring stinkers in there and also a few glaring omissions.

    1. Geoff Johns is hugely influential, but his stuff is really not too good. Jeph Loeb is far worse. Mark Waid should have been listed in their places.
    2. Black Hole by Charles Burns started in 1995. I guess maybe not everyone thinks it’s as good as The Sinestro Corps War, though?
    3. Matt. Kindt. I like Jeff Lemire fine, but Kindt’s had a very similar career and I find his writing to be a lot more consistent and inventive.
    4. Peter Milligan deserves a spot on the “best writers” list, but even barring that, “X-Statix” should have gotten a spot on the “best new series” list. What a great comic.
    5. JH Williams III is one of those rare comic artists whose work I’d purchase even if Jeph Loeb and Mark Millar cowrote the scripts. No offense to Sara Pichelli, but she’s not at the same level.

    Also, how was “Seven Soldiers” not the #1 (or #2; I know Age of Apocalypse is well-regarded) crossover of not just the last 25 years, but of all time?

    Bottom line: wow, there are a lot of great artists and comics out there.

    1. Greg Burgas

      Peter: Yeah, they obviously know about more indie stuff, so Black Hole’s omission is odd. I didn’t love it, but it made me think a lot more than a lot of comics, which is never a bad thing.

      Shit, I spaced on Kindt. Yeah, he’s amazing.

      Milligan always seems to be a bit too weird for some people, but even so, putting Allred on the artist list makes me think they knew all about X-Statix, so where is it?

      Seven Soldiers is a good example of a crossover, and I actually like Final Crisis (I’m a Morrison fan, so sue me). Maybe because SS didn’t actually cross over into any other titles but stuck to its little universe?

  7. I certainly don’t know everything about anything but I feel like I noticed some glaring ommisions here. No mention of Bone? Nothing about Atomic Robo anywhere? Not even for Best New Series? I Kill Giants? (It’s going to be a movie, ya know!) Scott Pilgrim? And speaking of, no-one has been more influential on the current new gen of artists than Bryan Lee O’Malley. Was Chris Bachalo mentioned? He’s pretty unique, stylish and influential. And still working! Ditto Stuart Immonen.

    And I know it’s only fresh and new, but Giant Days is absolutely one of the best new comics of the last 25 years. I hope it lives forever.

    1. Greg Burgas

      Caanan: I thought of O’Malley after I finished this post, but his omission is very surprising, just because Scott Pilgrim is so hip it makes my teeth hurt. Those are all very good choices, and again, their criteria for “new series” makes no sense if you’re just going to use old characters in rebooted series.

  8. Jeff Nettleton

    I have trouble taking seriously lists from a channel that can’t spell. 🙂

    I’m ambivalent to most of these choices as experience says most of the people who compiled them have never read a single on of the comics involved and they probably googled most of this. Or am I too cynical?

    My only major quibble is that Starman, Astro-City and James Robinson should be better represented. Starman and Astro-City are two of the best series to come about in the last 25 years; wholly original, yet harken back to classic tales. Quite an amazing feat. Robinson burnt out; but, for much of those 25 years, he was on fire, with the highly under-rated Firearm (one of the more readable Ultraverse titles), Grendel: Four Demons, One Hell, Golden Age, Starman, Shade, Leave it to Chance, The Vigilante mini, 67 Seconds….. Okay, some of that might fall a bit before the 25 years; but, not most of it.

    1. Greg Burgas

      Jeff: At least Starman gets a mention! I’m not sure why Astro City isn’t on the list. Busiek is there, and while he’s very good at doing corporate superheroes, AC is his masterpiece, so if he’s on the list as a writer, why isn’t his best work on there too?

  9. Eric van Schaik

    Here are my 2 cents:

    When it comes to artists I really miss Stuart Immonen
    When it comes to new comics series I miss Nextwave

    I totally agree with missing Jason Lutes. Jar of Fools is fantastic.

    Personally I like Daredevil by Waid/Samnee over Bendis/Maleev.

    I likes the first Unity crossover and the Shadowline saga but both of them were before 1992.

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