Monday, February 14, 2005

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things
When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad
[Repeat all verses]-Rodgers & Hammerstein

Oh. Wait. That's not right at all. Actually, what I meant to do was perpetuate the latest meme-onic madness that Freddy Hembeck started, in the immortal words of George Harrison, "All Those Years Ago" and Meestah Alan David Doane took to a whole new level, and Mike Sterling called everybody out on, namely

Johnny Bacardi style!
And among other things, that means "in no particular order except that in which I thought of them".

1. THRILLER by Robert Loren Fleming and Trevor Von Eeden. Big surprise, huh. Incidentally, the creators are both good people. If I were President of DC, first thing I would do is put out a deluxe trade of the first eight issues, then put both men back to work on a 12-issue follow-up. And buy them cell phones so they could stay in touch this time...!

2. JERRY GRANDENETTI's expressionistic 60s Warren and DC work. Very unappreciated.

3. The comics wall rack at Cave City Drugs in the 60's and 70's.

4. SPIDER-MAN by Steve Ditko and that Lee fella, especially #16, the first one I ever read and one of the funniest comics Lee ever wrote.

5. AMAZING ADVENTURES featuring KILLRAVEN, by DON McGREGOR and CRAIG RUSSELL. As close as we ever got to Wagner in spandex.

6. BAT LASH by Nick Cardy. Too smart for the 60's room.

7. GEMINI BLOOD by Christopher Hinz and Tommy Lee Edwards. Suffered by comparison with the other Helix titles.

8. The MIGHTY ATOM and the PIXIES by God only knows...

9. SUPER-HIP! by Arnold Drake and Bob Oksner in the ADVENTURES of BOB HOPE.

10. WONDER WOMAN by Mike Sekowsky and Dennis O'Neil. I've only read one or two, don't own any, and am DYING to get some. Sekowsky Wonder Woman, that is.

11. The SHADOW by O'Neil and Kaluta. Beautiful mood and period detail, and O'Neil's no-nonsense Shadow dialogue was great. There just weren't enough of them, although successor Frank Robbins was pretty good. When you read #2, listen to Electric Light Orchestra II to get the total David Allen Jones 70's Shadow experience.

12. THE SHADOW by Andrew Helfer and Kyle Baker. Outstanding black comedy, one of the best things DC ever put out in my own humble opinion. I still pause before eating hot dogs, thanks to Helfer and Baker.

13. The spinner rack at Jr. Foods on the corner of Hwy. 259 and the Old
Glasgow-Munfordville Road.

14. THE ROCKETEER by Dave Stevens.

15. MICHAEL WILLIAM KALUTA, one of my absolute favorite artists. Stylish, graceful, classy. Did about a million DC House of... covers in the 70's and 80's. Seemed to be a nice guy when I met him once in 2000.

16. THE PHANTOM STRANGER by Len Wein, Jim Aparo, Arnold Drake and Gerry Talaoc. Wonder whatever happened to Talaoc...?

17. BEOWULF: DRAGON SLAYER by Michael Uslan and Ricardo Villamonte. Another overlooked, but clever and witty, sword and sorcery title that got lost in the shuffle.

18. X-MEN by Roy Thomas and Neal Adams. Kicked my widdle ass when I was about 9 years old.

19. BRAVE and the BOLD 80- Batman and the Creeper vs. the Hellgrammite by Bob Haney and Adams.

20. PAUL GRIST (Kane, Jack Staff)

21. CHASE by D.C. Johnson and J.H. Williams III/Mick Gray.

22. BATMAN FAMILY 17, with the Bob Rozakis/Michael Golden Man-Bat meets the Demon story, plus a typically kickass Kaluta cover.

23. LETTERS PAGES in the Brave & the Bold, Unknown Soldier, and any others that actually printed my letters! There were also Batman Family 20, 70's Captain Marvel 57 and Thriller 12- and that was about it for my letterhack career...

24. JAIME HERNANDEZ. I love his way with an ink line, his always-dead-on black spotting, and he draws some of the sexiest women EVER. "Nuff said.

25. FLAMING CARROT by Bob Burden. Ut!

26. Lettering by IRA SCHNAPP on those old 50's-60's DC comics covers and house ads. Go here for some great examples, but beware- the fella who posted them must have scanned them all at about 1850 dpi, so they can take forever and a day to load...

27. HOWARD VICTOR CHAYKIN- Especially Ironwolf, Times Squared, his Solomon Kane take with Roy Thomas, and, of course, American:Flagg!.

28. COMICS STARRING FAFHRD and the GRAY MOUSER- DC had Sword of Sorcery, Marvel put out a Mignola-pencilled Chaykin-scripted miniseries in the 80s. There should be more.

29. JACK KIRBY's FANTASTIC FOUR. With great dialogue and story assists from Stan. Favorite from my youth: #32, "Calamity on the Campus!", in which evil alchemist Diablo brings Dragon Man to life, and all hell breaks loose at Reed's alma mater.

30. JACK KIRBY'S MISTER MIRACLE. I liked all the Fourth World books, but this was my first and still my favorite. Sure, the characters are silly and the dialogue was, to be charitable, odd- but those comics had an intensity and energy that was downright exciting to read. And it's VerMAN Vundabar, not VerMIN.

31. JACK KIRBY. Period.

32. STEVE DITKO's Dr. Strange. Three stories in particular always come to mind: the one with the two extradimensional sisters; the one in which he battles in his ectoplasmic form with other spirits over an airplane, as he flees from Baron Mordo, and the first Tiboro issue. Ditko was giving us hallucinations without drugs.

33. ALEX TOTH. The master. Oddly enough, one of the first stories featuring his work that made an impression on me was the "Death Flies The Haunted Skies" story in Detective Comics, which he doesn't look back on all that fondly. Bravo For Adventure is great, too.

34. WARLOCK by Jim Starlin.

35. NICK FURY, AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D. by Steranko

36. DC SPECIAL SERIES #16, the Death of Jonah Hex, by Mike Flesher and Russ Heath. I had this comic in my original collection, let it go, and it's so scarce that I can't find it anyplace, eBay, you name it, for under $10. Feh.

37. HAMMER LOCKE by Tom Joyner, K.S. Wilson, and Chris Sprouse. I know, I know, I keep saying I'll do an overview of this series, and I actually have one about two paragraphs long in draft status. Keep watching the skies.

38. The spinner rack at the Ben Franklin five and dime store, featuring all the best Gold Key and later DC comics.

39. ZOT! by Scott McCloud

40. THE FABULOUS FURRY FREAK BROTHERS by Gilbert Shelton and Dave Sheridan, read for the first time in 1976 while stoned in my friend Dave's basement room. Thought I was gonna die laughing. Literally.

41. STARSTRUCK by Elaine Lee and Mike Kaluta. An incredibly witty and densely populated saga that is sadly nowhere near complete. I wish Lee and Kaluta could get back to it someday.

42. THE WHOLE FRIGGING COMICS BLOGOSPHEREIVERSE. Of course, I have my favorites, but I love 'em all. Mostly. And you know who you are.

43. CAP'N QUICK and a FOOZLE by Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers. Another clever series that was over way too soon.

44. SWAMP THING by Wein and Berni(e) Wrightson, later by Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben.

45. THE CHECKERED DEMON by S.Clay Wilson. Sick, but funny.

46. Waiting for the Haxby News guy to deliver new comics to the drug stores and convenience stores in the 70's.

47. COMIC BOOK ARTIST magazine, volume 1. I've only read 1 issue of vol. 2, and it was fine, but I got a huge kick out of the first series.

48. PROMETHEA by Moore, Williams III and Gray.

49. PAUL POPE comics, especially 100%.

50. PREACHER by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.

51. HELLBOY by Mike Mignola. Accept no substitutes.

52. THE NEVERMEN by Phil Amara and Guy Davis.

53. Borrowing my friends' copies of Wizard and Toyfare so I wouldn't have to buy 'em myself.

54. The WORST issue of THE MONSTER TIMES, #30, in which Joe Kane introduced me to the likes of Brother Power, The Geek and Dell's Dracula.

55. The 1970's SUB-MARINER by Bill Everett, in which he gave us the sexiest Venus and cutest Namorita ever.

56. MAJOR BUMMER by John Arcudi, Doug Mahnke and Tom Nguyen.

57. HELLSTORM by Warren Ellis and Leo Manco.

58. MONKEYMAN and O'BRIEN by Arthur Adams. I can't believe he's let this languish and become forgotten over the years.


60. Ellen Forney's Wonder Woman story in the first BIZARRO COMICS.

61. MANHUNTER by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson.

62. THE SPIRIT by the late great Will Eisner

63. FLEX MENTALLO by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Still the best explanation I can give for continuing to read comics after I've theoretically grown up.

64. HOT STUFF comics from Harvey. Including Stumbo the Giant. The L'il Devil Kid ROCKS!

65. THE AVENGERS by Thomas and John Buscema. There have been many fine Avengers series since, but this one still is the best, as far as I'm concerned.

66. RED ROCKET 7 by Mike Allred. Just for mentioning Mott The Hoople and T.Rex.

67. The Bouncing Ball of DOOM! (Strange Tales 131)

68. THE SPECTRE, a character I've liked in almost every incarnation he's ever had. Except as Hal Jordan.

69. OMAHA THE CAT DANCER by Reed Waller and Kate Worley. No unicorns.

70. URSULA by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba. Ideal for Valentine's Day.

71. SKELETON KEY by Andi Watson.


73. PECULIA by Richard Sala.

74. DAVID MAZZUCHELLI. Don't see his art nearly enough.

75. FRANK ROBBINS, especially on the Shadow and those 70's Batman stories. I didn't appreciate his Caniff-esque style nearly enough when it mattered.

76. BRUCE TIMM and all his followers.

77. SCARY GODMOTHER by Jill Thompson.

78. JOHN CONSTANTINE. Will always be cooler than Keanu.


80. Speaking of which, the MAD MOD.

81. GIANT-MAN and the Wonderful WASP in TALES TO ASTONISH. Childhood favorites.

82. TOP SHELF COMIX, who are putting out some excellent titles. Same can be said for


84. ONI PRESS, and


86. "Still only 25¢!".

87. BUNNY BALL. One of my first loves. Sigh. She was so yvoorg.

88. Finding out about a character or title you've never heard of, but sounds cool as hell. See "The Life and Loves of Lisa St. Claire", the post earlier today.

89. The first comics store I ever saw, off Broadway in Louisville. It wasn't there very long.


91. THE SILVER SURFER by Stan Lee and John Buscema.

92. DOOM PATROL by Grant Morrison and Richard Case. Special mention to the last six or so issues, done by Rachel Pollack and Ted McKeever.

93. SANDMAN: THE KINDLY ONES by Neil Gaiman and Marc Hempel. Way to finish an epic, fellas.

94. The fabled Marvel collection of a fellow named (I think) DOUG LINDSEY, about 8 years my senior, who I would see once in a great while when I went with my father on his sales route. Don't know what happened to the guy, or his comics, but he had complete runs of every Marvel book, and that includes romance and westerns, through 1972 or so. I still get a chill thinking about that collection.

95. Oh, all right, THE COMICS JOURNAL. I don't read it much these days, can't afford it, but I was a regular buyer from 1978 till 1996 or so, and it shaped my tastes and writing style immeasurably.

96. ADAM WARREN art, especially on Dirty Pair.


98. JUNGLE ACTION- The Black Panther by Don McGregor and Billy Graham

99. CONAN by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith.

100. TEX ARCANA by John Findlay. Originally ran in Heavy Metal, one of the best gol-durn supernatural Western comedies I've ever read. Needs to be collected.

Wow, that's 100 already! I'm sure I've left out a ton of stuff that I'll think of later, and if I don't mention you, please don't take offense! Perhaps one of these days I'll get the time to whip out the ol' Photoshop and do a visual 100 Things. Don't hold your breath. Anyway, I'll try to link up more of these entries in the next day or so.

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