Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Comics Should Be Good Best Comics Of 2005 - Best Moment

It's the Final Installment of what we, the esteemed bloggers at Comics Should Be Good, consider the best of 2005 (well, some of us - the others can go jump in a lake!). This time, it's the Best Moment. What is a moment? It's probably not a single issue, but perhaps several pages in an issue. Perhaps it is a single issue. Only our bloggers know for sure!

So, without any more ado, the choices:

Greg Hatcher:
Believe it or not, I'm going to say the bit in Infinite Crisis when the Golden Age Superman is bitching about the current DC characters and their world, specifically when he says it's "joyless." Because I literally read that and burst out with, "Finally! Somebody SAID it!"

Now if only somebody would FIX it.

Brad Curran:
The end of Charles Burns' Black Hole. Despite the fact that some of the plot's unresolved, I found the final sequence to be incredibly moving. Honorable mention to Manhattan Guardian #4, for being my favorite Morrison cliffhanger of the year, even if it won't be resolved until next year.

Bill Reed:
You're joking, right? Moment? Gah. This category is my archnemesis. Hence, I shall cheat and name the Best Single Issue. Frankly, Best Issue is always important to me anyway, and because I am so damn awesome I am going to tell you my pick for my fantasy category. After much deliberation, I managed to narrow it down to Seven Soldiers #0, Fell #1, and All-Star Superman #1, and I'ma go with Seven Soldiers. It had the best blend of great story and art. Also, it was thicker. And it had better lettering.
Seven Soldiers 1
Seven Soldiers 2
Seven Soldiers 3
[Oh dear. As they once said on Seinfeld, that's not going to be good for anybody.]

Mark Ludy:
[Editor's note: MarkAndrew didn't submit a "best moment." He did, however, have a bunch to say about other stuff, so I put it in. 'Cause I'm swell.]
Lynda Barry's first real graphic novel One! Hundred! Demons! izzout in paperback ...

DC FINALLY follows Marvel's footsteps and gives us inexpensive reprints a la Marvel's "Essential" series ... (And Gosh. Damn. Showcase: Jonah Hex was some good comics.)

But I gotta put my masculinity aside and go t' bat for Dark Horse Comics not-all-that-cute but pants-wettingly funny Little Lulu reprint series.

I've read Crumb.

I've read Shelton.

I've read 'bout half of Kurtzman's Mad.

I've read Not Brand Ecch, and I've read Ambush Bug, and I've read that issue of Captain America where Rob Liefeld draws Cap with tremendous knockers.

And I swear to y'all, hand on heart, that John Stanley and Irving Tripp do visual humor better than ANY of those dudes.

And I SWEAR I'll have a longer post on this with images and everything.

Y'know.

Eventually.

But, fer now, take my word for it. If you don't die a little bit inside from reading comics starring a pre-adolescent girl and NOT some brightly colored power fantasies wrestling in spandex (Ooh, that sounds DIRTY),

Check 'em out.

Pirate Comic of the Year

ARRRRRRRRR! But do I ever love pirate comics! I loves 'em more than rum and parrots and VD laden tavern wenches and finding fresh bread in me bung hole after months at sea. (But not more than all four together.)

And, with the release of Pirates of the Caribbean and renewed attention paid to Alan Moore's story of a magical, wonderful, fairyland where virtually ALL comics are pirate comics ...

There's been a plethora of 'em this year.

No new issues of the transcendentally beautiful Scurvy Dogs, but the first Image issue of Sea of Red was as merry (Read: terrifying) a yarn as I've read in this yeaaaAAAAR!

Back issue Comics find of the Year

Reptiaurus. Nothing I've dug outta the back issue bins has tickled my fancy more'n this sad, lonely tale of a fuckoff big monster in love.

Here's a cover.

Runner-up props to various issues of Captain America between #250 and #300. Almost all of these came from the quarter bin, and all of 'em were really solid. Great stuff from John Byrne, Roger Stern, J. Marc DeMatteis, and some others.

Brian Cronin:
I actually think one of the PROBLEMS of modern comics is the over-reliance upon the idea of a "moment," as comics will meander for an issue until - BAM - a great moment which is supposed to make the whole lackluster issue seem important, because hey, at least we got a cool "moment."

However, there are still plenty of writers who avoid that (Morrison being one of them, natch). Morrison, though, tends to spread his moments out, and tries not to make one single moment be THAT much bigger than the others, so I do not think I can pick out a specific Morrison moment as the best of the year.

Therefore, I am going with the end of JLA: Classified #7, by Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire, where Guy and Fire lose Tora once again.

Really gripping stuff, there, and it did not come out of nowhere, either.

Appreciated that.

Greg Burgas
I was going to show my fellow bloggers where they were wrong again, but I can't. Here it is, with a few pages edited out:
JLA 1
JLA 2
JLA 3
JLA 4
JLA 5
JLA 6

'Nuff said.

As always, your comments are appreciated. They will be ignored, but they are appreciated! Ah, I'm just funnin' with y'all. Speak and ye shall be heard!

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

I'll second (or third) Ice's vanishing back to hell, although I'm pretty biased - knowing it was the last appearance of "my" Justice League added a lot of extratextual emotional heft to the storyline. Of course, the more I re-read it, the moment that gets me the most is that last panel of Bwa-hahaing, with Max and Beetle and Sue all laughing it up.

Being the loose-continuity advocate I am, that's where those characters still are for me - offstage and enjoying retirement in a placid comic book limbo instead of having their corpses burned on an altar to Dan Didio's sales charts. There's no comparison for me as to which story "counts" more - drivel like Countdown or Infinite Crisis (it's joyless, eh, Geoff? Gee, I wonder who the fuck wrote it to be joyless? Maybe the guys who had Max Lord pop Blue Beetle in the head?) doesn't even rate by comparison.

1/08/2006 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Reed said...

Yeah, that Classified moment was good.

You win this one, Burgas! But I'll be back!!!!

1/08/2006 11:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Brian Mac said...

What? Nobody picked "I'm the goddamn Batman"? I'm disappointed. It may not have been the best moment in comics this year, but it was almost certainly the most-quoted, and that should count for something.

1/09/2006 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Brad Curran said...

"What? Nobody picked "I'm the goddamn Batman"? I'm disappointed. It may not have been the best moment in comics this year, but it was almost certainly the most-quoted, and that should count for something."

When a quote is so beaten in to the ground that I use it in a post, I think it's lost any claim to anything. Besides, I'm not sure if anyone here read/enjoyed ASSBAR or ASBARTBW or whatever acronym you want to use for it, and I'm pretty sure we narrowed our choices down to fit that criteria, at least.

1/09/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Brad Curran said...

"(it's joyless, eh, Geoff? Gee, I wonder who the fuck wrote it to be joyless? Maybe the guys who had Max Lord pop Blue Beetle in the head?)"

I found that element of Johns' criticism of the modern DCU to be pretty odd, too. At the very least, I think there's some humor to be found in the fact that the guy who writes the lion's share of modern DCU comics has Earth 2 Superman bitching about how modern DCU comics suck in his big crossover event. Or at least that's what I gather he's doing from the reviews I've read. I'm not reading IC unless I'm paid to, and Cronin's inflexible about not putting me on salary just to make fun of it when so many people will do it for free.

1/09/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Eli said...

"it's joyless, eh, Geoff? Gee, I wonder who the fuck wrote it to be joyless? Maybe the guys who had Max Lord pop Blue Beetle in the head?"

I think the best defense to that is that this last year, the instructions were to go out in one big orgy of joylessness before things got fixed, just like COIE was going out in one big orgy of complex continuity before things got fixed.

1/09/2006 04:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Iron Lungfish said...

So says Mark Waid, Eli, but right after that interview happened somebody else I can't remember (Didio? Rucka?) said it either wasn't going down that way or it wasn't that clear cut.

Even if Waid has it right, it was pretty irritating to see characters I knew and liked getting sacrificed to the "orgy of joylessness" part.

1/09/2006 05:07:00 PM  
Blogger MarkAndrew said...

Cronin sez

"However, there are still plenty of writers who avoid that (Morrison being one of them, natch). Morrison, though, tends to spread his moments out, and tries not to make one single moment be THAT much bigger than the others, so I do not think I can pick out a specific Morrison moment as the best of the year."

I dunno.

I see Morrison as a Moment-to-moment writer, rather than a Cohesive-Plot writer, like Brubaker or other plot-driven writers.

Morrison's stuff is ALL cool moments, more united by subtext an' metaphor than by plot.

(Which isn't a critisicm, at least from me. Plot = boring.)

Brad Curran Sez
The end of Charles Burns' Black Hole. Despite the fact that some of the plot's unresolved, I found the final sequence to be incredibly moving."

Yeah, for not being, like, an actual E-N-D-I-N-G as more of a transitional period between, like, the stuff in the comic and further adventures we have to make up in our heads, this was really moving.

Just two pages of...stars.

(And I DID forget to list "Black Hole" under reprint collection. Lemme correct this now.)

BlACK HOLE!!!! YAY!!!

1/09/2006 05:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Eli said...

"Even if Waid has it right, it was pretty irritating to see characters I knew and liked getting sacrificed to the "orgy of joylessness" part."

I think that orgies of joylessness are self-evidently bad ideas(because of the joylessness!), which is part of why I chose the phrase. It doesn't make IC good, it just explains why Johns is so guilty of what he criticizes.

1/09/2006 07:42:00 PM  

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