Though perhaps not as gritty and detailed as Goseki Kojima's work in Lone Wolf, Samurai Executioner and Path of the Assasin, Kazuo Kamimura's style is none the less amazingly beautiful in its own right. The way he contrasts sensuality and visceral violence on the page with out jarring the reader is really just mind boggling; it shouldn't work at all or at the very least it should feel exploitative but it does work and it never feels cheap. I'd post some images to illustrate that point...but they're definitely not safe for work so I'll let everyone do their own googling.
Hard to tell how I'll like it from just a few online images but the samples I was able to find look interesting. I'll definitely try the first volume at least. Now to find out which format is the best - I see the 4 Dark Horse volumes seem to be the only English versions available but there's a French "intégrale" (complete one-volume collection) that sports slightly greater dimensions, which I usually prefer in comics for the artwork - though I must admit that the small-format LoneWolf and Samurai Executioner volumes don<t bother me, for some reason. Decisions, decisions ...
I read them through the Dark Horse collections and thought they were great, very similar in quality to their collections of Lone Wolf.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
Post by M. W. Gallaher on Dec 23, 2020 17:15:13 GMT -5
6. Bob Haney
It was a Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsenthat enticed me into reading comics, but it was Bob Haney, with Jim Aparo illustrating, who hooked me for real with Brave & Bold #100 and #101 on onward. Haney's stories almost always could stand alone, making them perfect for new readers like me--heck, once I became an initiate into the DC Universe, I could see that Bob Haney stories could downright punish readers who were too hung up on continuity and established lore, but I kept reading and enjoying. I noticed his name attached to several favorites, like Teen Titans and Metamorpho, so he was one of the first writers I learned to trust in. Sure, I didn't care for World's Finest, but even there Haney could surprise me with his out of left field twists, like Batman's brother, the confounding Super-Sons, co-starring "Gold of the Metal Men", all things that kept me buying, even if the Superman/Batman team-up wasn't quite my thing. And how can I not recognize the man who co-starred the B&B creative team with Batman and Sgt. Rock?
Peter David, to me, is synonymous with innovation. Not at first of course. He had to get his foot in the door. But even then he was different. An early work called “The Death of Jean DeWolff” was more serious in tone than was Spider-Man’s norm. Different but firmly in touch with what was expected from the comics of the day. It is this same trait that allowed him to stay on the Incredible Hulk for an unbelievable twelve years. And yet the Hulk served David as David served the Hulk. You could not last twelve years in the Modern Age without being innovative. A self-feeding cycle of creativity.
This next showed up at DC with The Atlantis Chronicles. Presented as the origin of Atlantis--which in the broadest of strokes it was--it actually told of the rise and fall of civilizations, civil wars, and the high drama of royalty. From that point David would alternate between creative exploration while keeping in touch with the expected and forging a completely new path. Young Justice was his spin on super teams. Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell) was unlike anything else. X-Factor had its own identity while remaining an X-Book. Supergirl was an attempt at a unique superhero within the DCU. Fallen Angel was the result of not being allowed to take Supergirl to its full potential. But I’m glad for Fallen Angel. It may be his best, and that’s including the high art he achieved in Captain Marvel. It takes exceptional talent to simultaneously be innovative and accessible.
It’s why Peter David regularly ended up at the top of my comic stack.
Last Edit: Jan 1, 2021 22:09:33 GMT -5 by Calamas: Incorrect autocorrect
Post by Prince Hal on Dec 30, 2020 15:00:56 GMT -5
6. Denny O’Neil Batman GL/GA Beware the Creeper Bat Lash Sword of Sorcery The Shadow The Question
Although he wasn’t technically the re-imaginer of Batman as the creature of the night, it is his stories in that vein that have become the standard-bearers of that style. Think “Secret of the Waiting Graves,” “Night of the Reaper,” The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge,” and “Half an Evil” for starters.
I loved his movie tributes in Batman stories to “Citizen Kane” and “Key Largo.” (Detectives 397 and 414). And I know there were others. Oh, yeah, “Freaks,” too (Detective 410).
Then there was his perfect rendition of the Shadow in all its pulpy, sadistic splendor, and his heartfelt, cynical, film noir on paper, The Question. It makes an excellent companion piece to Watchmen, which was out at the same time, in theme and attitude, but was not as much of a headline-grabber.
I loved his offbeat stories about offbeat characters, too: the Creeper, Bat Lash, and Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. They were series that were cut abruptly, and probably didn’t stand much of a chance to begin with, but you’d never know it from the enthusiasm and skill O’Neil brought to them.
And love it or hate it, the GL/GA team-ups were all that and a flowery headband when they hit the stands. What looks dated today is less O’Neil’s fault than the way society has changed. The tattered shreds of idealism still fluttered raggedly in the breeze back in the early 70s, and outspoken comic book heroes, unless they were doing a jingoistic number, were not all the rage. He was young, he was passionate; he hadn’t quite grown the scaly skin of an old bastard just yet.
I still remember that in one of his text pieces (can’t recall which book it was now), he said he was so tired it felt like a pair of Jackie Gleasons were sitting on his eyelids.
I’ve never forgotten him for that line, either.
Last Edit: Dec 30, 2020 15:01:12 GMT -5 by Prince Hal
"The rarer action is In virtue than in vengeance." -- The Tempest, 5.1
Why he's a favorite writer of mine: I've heard so much about his war stories and one of these days I'll get around to reading those, but for now this is why I'm an RK fan:
1960s Wonder Woman
1960s Metal Men - Sure, this series included the obligatory superhero "strongmen"--Gold, Lead and Iron--but they were almost besides the point. What made this series stand out for me was the focus on the Tina-Doc and Tin-Nameless relationships; these were the heart and soul of the book. Also loved the sniping between Tina and Mercury
Rose and the Thorn (back-up feature that began in Lois Lane #105, a reworking of a character he created back in the 1940s)
Private Diary of Mary Robin, R.N. (ongoing feature in Young Love, drawn by John Romita Sr.) - This is a series I came to as an adult a few years ago when I bought the "Young Love" Showcase volume for the Romita art -- and was surprised by how much I enjoyed the RK stories! They were like mini- TV shows.
Ellis would get a higher ranking from me if this were "best" instead of "favourite" and would probably rank higher even in this list if some of the series I like best of his hadn't been left unfinished - in particular, Doktor Sleepless and Desolation Jones. Also, I haven't read his most acclaimed long series, Transmetropolitan.
In his "Big 2" work, I often get the feeling that writing those comics comes so easily to Ellis that he can turn them out with the flick of a wrist: they frequently come across as a little facile and shallow to me, as though he weren't really that interested in what he was doing, but clever and accomplished enpugh to make his comcis of that ilk superior to everyone else's anyway (though I was impressed with his Moon Knight series a couple years ago). Even some of his independent work isn't free at times from a similar feeling that he isn't putting a lot of himself into it - but again, his talent and ability are at such a high level, you don't really mind.
I'm curious to see whether his recent well-publicised personal problems will lead to some more introspective work in the future.
Last Edit: Dec 31, 2020 18:52:25 GMT -5 by berkley