For eight and a half years this blog has explored every element of the comic book and its champions.
As it has finally lost its pace, declaring that I've said it all, here is the final entry.
(there'll be new links to favourites on 15 June 2003)
I want to close on a personal note, happy that I've pursued an exhaustive and authorative approach to the subject.
I would sign off with a note on my own favourites but that is complicated by the fact that I fall in line behind adulation of the usual culprits like Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore or, if you cleave to the mainstream, Grant Morrison
My favourite penciller is Gene Colan, and that's without loving everything he does, including later Daredevil work. His early DD is what made the first impression on me as a fan and I was fortunate enough to be a fan while still an eleven year old boy. I kept all my Marvels, including the western and war comics my dad let me buy when I was younger. It was when Nana sent her customary Christmas parcel with everyone's gift inside unlabelled so you all had to work out which was yours.
That fateful year my haul included some second-hand copies of the Arms of Doctor Octopus and O Bitter Victory! and that was it for me. Spider-Man and Thor stories made a Marvelite of me. But I bought DC black-and-white reprints and so had an early apprenticeship in Batman. Along with mystery and macabre tales of notorious anonymity.
Denny O'Neil makes a fine editor. There are many editors who are scribes themselves; often creative talents with their own healthy output. O'Neil had done years of accomplished Batman and Brave and the Bold stories (and parallel tales of note at Green Lantern/Green Arrow) before he oversaw such Bat-classics as Knightfall, which was running over the many Batbooks coming out each month. Consider the challenges, and yet it's seamless and superb.
I don't know about the ever-expanding levels of editor that seem required of the modern comics corporation and I don't know who Axel Alonso is, but Joe Quesada and Jim Lee are wunderkind. Their skill as pencillers would be enough to give them access to Comic Creator Olympus alone.
I was particularly enamoured of inkers at one stage and the two who had an influence on me as a fan were the Filipino artists, Rudy D Nebres and Alfredo Alcala.
I have enthusiastically followed runs on certain books and some of the more notable and idiosyncratic moves include The Badger, a psychopath who thinks he's a superhero and has multiple personalities. I followed Norbert Sykes through his First years, and stepped back to trace his Capital origins.
I have always loved Jonah Hex as a character and have enjoyed both the early Michael Fleischer run and current work by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti (not so keen on the ones where Hex fights demons or battles in future space)
I'm merrily working my way through the Garth Ennis canon, having started on Preacher and hanging around for the many takes on the Punisher
There's too much to recommend, and little point in rehashing the plaudits for the kind of graphic novel that readers and fans already hold sacred. One mini-series that jumps out for me is Sebastian O, a story that presages the steampunk movement and captures the Wildean decadence of its protagonist brilliantly. I'd also suggest you check out the artwork of John Bolton, whose cover designs are the equal of your Frazettas and Corbens.
My tastes are eclectic and I'll enjoy a rampaging Hulk as much as a cerebral Sandman.