Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Top Five Desert Island Series

This won’t really be mini-comic related (until the end that is), but I wanted to answer a colleague’s request. So, I’ll hope you’ll indulge me until tomorrow. To celebrate his 100th column, Marc Mason has listed his Desert Island Comics over at Movie Poop Shoot. Look around the blogosphere and you’ll see some other bloggers doing the same in honor of Marc’s 100th column. Marc, congratulations; here are my own Top Five Desert Island Comics in alphabetical order.

Acme Novelty Library by Chris Ware
Repeated readings of these comics have unearthed little details that I must have glossed over the first time. With the complete series, you get Quimby, Jimmy Corrigan and other stories. Not the most uplifting stuff out there, I know, but they'd certainly help me pass an afternoon or two on the beach.

Darevevil Issue 1 to present
I knew I would pick one long running comics series for this list, I just didn’t know it would be Daredevil. There are some awful stretches of comics in this run, I’m sure, but I’ve probably only read half of them. But I’ve read all of Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, Batman and the other usual suspects. Besides in the DD run, there are the wonderful and gritty Frank Miller comics and, I know you’ll laugh, the Bendis/Maleev comics that I’ve enjoyed a great deal. There is the lengthy string of team-up issues with the Black Widow that took place somewhere around the century mark and the Born Again issues. I can do without Daredevil: Man Without Fear though, just give me the original series, warts and all. That should keep me busy for a long time.

Love & Rockets by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez
This is a bit of a cheat really. Since I’ve read Palomar and Locas, I think of these as two distinct series. But I've still got all of the old magazine sized issues, so that would make for great reading. Since this is a game, I get to have the Love & Rockets issues from the current volume as well...

Starman by James Robinson and Tony Harris (and others later on)
Starman is my favorite super hero series and one of my favorite series of anything. It’s not a monumental or groundbreaking book, by any means. But it gets to the heart of what makes a super hero. Starman is first about the Knight family and second about Starman. It’s about what holds a family together and what drives a family apart. I liked Jack Knight a great deal as a character. I like the attention that James Robinson paid to the things that made Jack’s life so interesting. His love of old viewmaster reels, old LPs, old shirts and prints, and old cocktail shakers made Jack human; he wasn’t super human, but he was a hero, however reluctant. His love of the past was a way to connect him with his own family and his father’s past. Once he got past his initial revulsion of being Starman, he was able to appreciate where his father and his brother (very briefly) were before he went there himself.

Uncle Scrooge by Carl Barks
The original run of the Scrooge McDuck characters by Carl Barks has remained a favorite of mine since before I knew who Carl Barks was. As a kid I bought tons of Barks reprint comics without ever realizing why I liked his stories the best. Barks was a great storyteller and he knew how to make the art pop. His characters felt more alive and the stories themselves were more involving than those done by other Duck artists of the time.

Now, to bring this back to mini-comics, Five Desert Island Mini-Comic series:

Obviously King Cat Comics by John Porcellino
There are a bunch of his early issues that I haven't read, so that would be fun.
Supermonster by Kevin Huizenga I noticed that Graeme included these over on Fanboy Rampage.
Dirty Plotte by Julie Doucet. These were reprinted by Drawn & Quarterly thankfully.
Jennifer Daydreamer's complete set of mini-comics
Happy Town by Justin Madson

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd want to get Yummy Fur in there somewhere. It started out as a mini, so maybe one could cheat it in there.

-Steve Lieber

Shawn Hoke said...

I actually thought about Yummy Fur yesterday when I was putting the finishing touches on my Comic World News column. At the end of a review of the D&Q Showcase Three, I mentioned how much I was enjoying the new Ed the Happy Clown comics from D&Q. Then I thought, that started as a mini.

These are pretty cool, because Brown provides tons of notes at the end about making the original mini-comics. Steve's right, Yummy Fur should be in there.