Sunday, April 24, 2005

Who Are The Best Genre Writers Out There?

Very early on in the blog, I wrote a bit about which genres people felt were most lacking in comics.

On that same note, I was just wondering about who would be the best writers that we currently have in the medium (as past writers would just be way too hard) FOR those genres?

Discounting, of course, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, Warren Ellis and Grant Morrison, as they would skew the results.

Who is the best romance writer out there?

Who is comic's best comedy writer?

Who writes the best western comics?




I think comic's best comedy writer is currently Kyle Baker. I lurv Keith Giffen, but he needs a scripter to be really awesome, so can I really pick him over the consistently humorous Kyle Baker? I say thee nay! Eric Powell deserves a mention.

Best war writer has to be Garth Ennis, in a cake walk. No one else even comes close, I do not think.

Romance? I dunno....Tom Beland, maybe? Terry Moore, perhaps? J. Torres? Jaime Hernandez? Okay, I will take a leap, and choose Andi Watson. Not many people WRITE just plain ol' romance comics anymore, but Watson is one of the few (and he is quite good at it).

Mystery? Is there a good mystery writer out there? I think Greg addressed this on his old blog before I kidnapped him, and it is true...there are not many writers out there even WRITING mysteries, let alone GOOD ones. I guess I will have to go with Brian Azzarello here, if only because of the dearth of other options. I mean, I was starting to seriously consider Mark Waid for his Ruse stories!!

Crime? This is a close race between Ed Brubaker and Brian Michael Bendis. I think as of right now, Ed Brubaker is the better choice. But Bendis is still showing in the pages of Powers that he can still bring the crime drama.

Horror? Is either Hellboy or Walking Dead truly a HORROR comic? If so, then I would heartily recommend either Mignola or Kirkman, but I do not think that they ARE, so I will have to go with one of the few, true, horror writers out there in the business right now, Steve Niles (Phil Hester deserves a mention).

Adventure? New Frontier made a believer out of me, so I will greatly look forward to any adventure story written by Darwyn Cooke. Honorable mentions to Garth Ennis, Andy Diggle, Ed Brubaker and Brian K. Vaughan.

Fantasy? Kurt Busiek is doing a bang-up job with Conan right now, but I will have to stick with one of my favorites, Bill Willingham, for his work on Fables. Some fantastic fantasy going on in that book.

Western? It is pretty much a matter of choosing between Jeff Mariotte and Chuck Dixon, and for this particular category, I choose Jeff Mariotte. Superheroes? I would choose Dixon, but strictly Westerns, I think Mariotte has the upper hand.

Science Fiction? Copout city here. Orson Scott Card. What, can you think of someone better than him at science fiction?

Agree with my picks?


Think I'm missing a genre?

Think I'm missing out someone who deserves a spot (or at least a mention)?

Let me know!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gail Simone deserves a mention, too. She funny.

4/24/2005 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Lex said...

Get out of my head!

I was seriously thinking that while reading your list.

Kyle Baker on comedy? I completely agree (and I urge everyone to pick up Plastic Man... now!). Garth Ennis on war stories? Yep. Darwyn Cooke on Adventure? I worship the ground he walks on because of New Frontier so that's a definate Yes. And Bill Willingham is exactly who I would pick for fantasy based on Fables.

So, again... Get out of my head!

Who else could be in those catagories? Andy Diggle is doing some good sci-fi on Adam Strange, but it is hard to compete with Orson Scott Card. Brubaker is a good choice for Crime, but I think there are other writers who are equally capable in that genre (although, Brubaker's "Scene of the Crime" is a darn good crime story).

As for other writers who do comedy: while writers like Gail Simone and Dan Slott inject a lot of humor into their writing, the books they write are more adventure than comedy.

4/25/2005 04:48:00 AM  
Blogger Shane Bailey said...

I'd like to see some of your ideas for people outside the industry that could be brought in to do books like these instead of canibalizing the talent that is already here. Not that they aren't good, but I can only read so many Steve Niles comics a month, ya know?

4/25/2005 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger chasdom said...

On Crime Fiction -

I would split this into two sub-categories:

1) Fiction about criminals: David Lapham.
I would give the nod here to David Lapham on Stray Bullets with its gripping and creative use of characters. Daredevil for the past few years has been a crime drama, so I would give Bendis & Maleev (equal partners) runner-up status for that. For other in-print crime dramas worthy of note, there's Bendis's Jinx and Torso (with Andreyko) and Miller's Sin City, but both are old enough to cast doubts on the current abilities of their creators.

2) Police Procedurals/Detective/Mystery: Paul Grist.
For its unique and engrossing view on law enforcement, I would go with Paul Grist's Kane, even though it's on hiatus. Brubaker hasn't written a good crime comic in a couple of years, but most of his older work (Scene of the Crime, The Fall, etc.) is enough to give him runner-up status. Like most popular creators, Brubaker would probably be better if he wasn't writing so many titles. I'm not going to go with Powers here, as police procedural is merely the template for the far more entertaining aspects of the series.

Hm, I feel like I'm missing something. Any other suggestions in this genre?

4/25/2005 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Shaenon said...

Roger Langridge is the best humor everything.

4/25/2005 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

I was definitely considering Langridge, Shaenon, and heck, I probably should have given him a mention along with Powell.

4/25/2005 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

Interesting topic, Shane.

I'll be sure to try that out at one point.

4/25/2005 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said... are absolutely right in that I blew it by not mentioning Lapham.

Grist, though...I really enjoy Grist, but I do not think he is any better at the police procedures style than Brubaker (Gotham Central), Bendis (Powers, whose latest arc really went back to police procedure for the first time in awhile, and it really worked), or even Rucka (Gotham Central).

I mean, he's really good at it, no doubt, and I probably should have mentioned him as WELL, but I still think Brubaker's Scene of the Crime (one of the great Vertigo releases of the past few years) and Gotham Central work would outstrip Kane.

Then again, I could be biased, as I love the art on Kane so much that I may be subconsciously denigrating the writing...hehe.

4/25/2005 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Johnny B said...

Romance? I'd say that based on 100%, Paul Pope deserves mention.

4/25/2005 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger tim said...

Good choices all.

I'm really excited to read Azzarello's upcoming western, "Loveless". What are the westerns that Jeff Mariotte and Chuck Dixon have written?

4/25/2005 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

100% WAS romantic, wasn't it?

And tim, Jeff Mariotte is the writer of the Desperadoes series of comics.

Dixon has written a few different westerns in the past (and he always managed to sneak some western stuff into his superhero comics), and he is soon going to be doing a lot more of them.

I liked Azzarello's El Diablo western enough that I considered mentioning him.

4/25/2005 07:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting choices, Brian.
I'll throw in a few of my picks.
Comedy? I'm going to say Grant Morrison. I can't be the only one who found the Filth to be funny.
I'm sure there are better writers for War comics than Garth Ennis. I'll say Robert Kanigher. There are some good old Sgt. Rock issues that I think are better than anything Ennis has written, but I'm not an Ennis fan at all.
And I'm going to pick another oldie for horror comics too: Michael Fleischer.
I would agree with Lapham for crime.
Adventure I really don't know who to pick. Have you ever read a series called the Black Hood published by !mpact Comics in the early 90's? It was fun and accessible. It was written by a guy named Mark Wheatley and drawn by Rick Burchett. Good stuff.
Romance, I'll stick with Adrian Tomine. I've heard of his stuff for years but only picked it up recently. It's good!
As for Westerns, I didn't even know they still published Western Comics anymore.

4/25/2005 10:00:00 PM  
Anonymous plok said...

Maybe this is a bit overspecialized, but the best writer of a shameless movie tie-in comic made for kids was Evan Dorkin, when he was on Bill and Ted's Excellent Comic Book. There may be better writers for kids, and better humour writers, and even better humour writers for kids, but I still think making this thing not shitty was an amazing accomplishment. An extremely lighthearted, optimistic, and socially-responsible comic book, that by rights should've been a soul-dead suckfest only aimed at separating kids from their divorced parents' guilt money. Always felt he deserved a lot of credit for this.

4/25/2005 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

No, Anonymous, part of the rules had to be that they were current writers!

That way, people couldn't say, like, "This guy I read in 1955, he was AWEsome!"

And also, no Morrison!

Or else I'd pick Morrison for, like, everything...hehe.

The rules are to protect you all from me!!

4/26/2005 02:48:00 AM  
Blogger Stony said...

Put me down for Priest as best comedy writer.
Yes, I've read your Plastic Man... yes it's very nice...
But there have been moments... and many moments at that... During Priest's run on Black Panther, that have had me in tears. Tears, I say, of laughter.
-The Devil's Pants
-Ross's monologue on the Avengers
-Cage and the Crew get their groove on
-Hulk disenfranchised/Hulk dissed
-The Galactus Protocols
-The pebble-eyed Panther riding on top of a flying steam locomotive while wearing Loki's helmet (you have to see it)

It's just sad to see such a great comic (the other kind, the funny kind) talent wasted on such humourless characters like Captain America and Falcon

And then there's Don Rosa...

4/26/2005 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Chad said...

Donna Barr wrote some damn fine historical romance in Desert Peach.

Los Bros Hernandez write textured fiction, but Jaime writes pretty cool romance stuff in Locas.

Remember the Helix line? Who wrote Time Breakers? That was some pretty cool sci-fi there.

4/26/2005 01:28:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home