Friday, July 1, 2011

30 Day Comics Challenge Days 28-30

Fell behind, but I'm doing a quick catch-up on the last three.

Day 28 - Favorite Comic Publisher.

This was a really hard one for me. I tend to love books and creators, but seldom a publisher's entire line. I suppose I could go with a publisher that is basically publishing a single book that I love, like Cartoon Books or Paradise Valley Comics or Plastic Farm Press, but that seemed like cheating. Picking Vertigo also seemed like cheating, since Vertigo is not really a publisher, but rather a specific line produced by a larger publisher.

I finally decided to choose a publisher based on their unique place in history. My choice is EC Comics.

EC revolutionized horror in comics. They also pioneered other genres. And then, when they were pressured to shut down their horror comics during the "Seduction of the Innocent" panic, they didn't just get even... They got Mad.

I didn't discover the EC horror comics until later in life, but I grew up with Mad. Spy vs. Spy, fold-ins, snappy answers to stupid questions. Awesome stuff that helped shape my sense of humor and taught me that you can find something to laugh at in just about anything.

Day 29 - A comic you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.

In 1986, I didn't know my history. Or rather, I knew a ton about certain periods of history that I was interested in. But the history of the Vietnam War wasn't part of my experience. My dad was a Vietnam-era army veteran, but he spent his time serving in Korea and never saw combat. I had no perspective on this period of history, so when I started hearing people singing the praises of Marvel's Vietnam War comic, I figured it wasn't something I'd be all that into.

Turns out, The 'Nam was a pretty awesome book, and I ended up following it regularly for most of its run. There were some flaws: a rotating cast (due to an well-intentioned idea of running the book in "real time"), and some silly crossovers toward the end. But overall, it was a great series with some of the best depictions of war that have appeared in comics.

Day 30 - Your favorite run or series of all time.

Another really difficult choice, of course. I'm going to go with Alan Moore here, and while all of his work that I've read has been pretty awesome, I'm going to pick V For Vendetta.

It's a complete story, something that Miracleman isn't, as much as I loved Miracleman. And for me it gets the nod over Watchmen because I feel that V For Vendetta's dystopia is a more more real and immediate one than that of Watchmen. Watchmen is in many ways a comic book about comic books. V seems more ambitious to me, while still holding a better focus. I also love Evey Hammond (who is the true main character of V For Vendetta), and I can't say that I related to any of the characters in Watchmen the way I related to Evey.

V For Vendetta is just brilliant stuff from the twisted plot, to the political allegory, down to cultural references and the poetic style of the language.

From My Creations

These last three are difficult to answer in the context of my own comics.

Favorite Publisher

Well, I have my own comic company. It's Dandelion Studios. I think it's pretty cool and getting better all the time.

A Comic You Thought You Wouldn’t Like, But Ended Up Loving

Well, it isn't that I didn't like the idea, it's just that I had no idea how GOOD it could be. For 24-Hour Comic Day in 2005, Gynn did a 24-page quarter-sized minicomic called I believe. It was about what cats believe in. I figured, hey, people like cats, maybe they'll like our comic.

It ended up being published in the 2005 24-Hour Comic Anthology. And over the years we've sold more copies of this little photocopied minicomic than all our other comics put together. That is definitely what I call exceeding expectations.

Favorite Run Or Series Of All Time

It's a bit unfair on my artists and co-writers to choose, but if you were to really press me on this one, it would be the comic that I've described as "near and dear to my heart".

That comic is called Stone. It started with a very simplistic idea (I wanted to write about a woman warrior who actually LOOKED like she could actually beat you up, as opposed to looking like, you know, a bikini model). It grew to be a lot more than that. We're one issue in with a second just about scripted, so it's got a way to go, but I think by the time it's done it will be pretty awesome.

But like I said, it's near and dear to my heart.

This has been a lot of fun. I've enjoyed all of the insights into the world of comics that everyone else has shared, and I hope you've gotten a bit of insight into how I look at comics.

The 30 Day Comic Challenge Page on Facebook is here. Here is the complete list of daily topics:

30 Day Comic Challenge
Day 01 - Your first comic book.
Day 02 - Your favorite character.
Day 03 - A comic that is underrated.
Day 04 - Your guilty pleasure comic or character.
Day 05 - Comic character you feel you are most like (or wish you were).
Day 06 - Most annoying character.
Day 07 - Favorite comic couple.
Day 08 - Best series being published right now.
Day 09 - Most touching comic book/comic book scene.
Day 10 - Dream versus match.
Day 11 - Favorite comic book cartoon series.
Day 12 - A comic everyone should read.
Day 13 - A book you’ve read more than five times.
Day 14 – Most awesome single comic book image
Day 15 - A Picture from the comic you’re reading right now.
Day 16 - Funniest comic book/comic book scene.
Day 17 - Most useless Villain.
Day 18 - Favorite B-list character.
Day 19 - Comic book city/universe you wish you lived in.
Day 20 - Favorite super power or skill.
Day 21 - Favorite writer.
Day 22 - A series that you liked but stopped reading
Day 23 - Your favorite artist.
Day 24 - Dream character team up.
Day 25 - A book you plan on reading.
Day 26 - A comic you wish they would make into a movie.
Day 27 - Favorite comic book movie.
Day 28 - Favorite comic publisher.
Day 29 - A comic you thought you wouldn’t like, but ended up loving.
Day 30 - Your favorite run or series of all time.

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