2014 Top 50 Comic Book Writers #50-41

The countdown begins now!!!

Here are the first ten writers that you voted as your favorites of all-time (out of roughly 1,040 ballots cast, with 10 points for first place votes, 9 points for second place votes, etc.).

NOTE: Don’t be a jerk about creators in the comments section. If you are not a fan of a particular creator, that’s fine, but be respectful about it. No insulting creators or otherwise being a jerk about creators. I’ll be deleting any comments like that and, depending on how jerky the comment was, banning commenters.

50. Daniel Clowes – 199 points (2 first place votes)

For years, Daniel Clowes used his long-running comic book series Eightball to house his trademark offbeat examinations of the human spirit. For most of Eightball's run, individual issues served as parts of stories that would be collected into graphic novels. Perhaps most famous was Eightball #11-18, titled Ghost World, which viewed the life of a disaffected young woman named Enid. It was adapted into an acclaimed film, as was an earlier Eightball story titled Art School Confidential.

In this excerpt from Ghost World, Enid and her friends discover that detachment is not always what it is cracked up to be...

Clowes' ability to cut to the heart of any matter and make nearly any character worth giving a crap about is striking.

49. James Robinson - 202 points (1 first place vote)

James Robinson has done a lot of great work in comics over the years, from the excellent Golden Age mini-series to his underrated Firearm series for Ultraverse to his compelling current series at Image with J. Bone, The Saviors. However, he is still best known for his sweeping, nearly decade-long run on Starman, starring his creation, Jack Knight.

While Jack is nominally the star of Starman, the REAL star is the city Jack and his father, Ted (the Golden Age Starman), live in - Opal City. Throughout the series, a message writer James Robinson gets across is an appreciation for the classics, and Opal City is a whole city that is BUILT around that notion - that the classic stories need a city, too, and that's what Opal City. This leads to the Shade, a classic villain who Robinson re frames as an almost immortal man who just wants to enjoy his time in Opal City, the city he loves. The Shade even ended up getting his own series!

There is a family of cops in Opal City, the O'Dares, who also play a major role in the series, including former crooked cop Matt O'Dare who is pushed into heroism by the spirit of his ancestor. Starman was one of the most cultured superhero comics - you'd have stuff like thugs debating the works of Stephen Sondheim!!

In fact, that'll be our sample. From #14, a spotlight on the O'Dares...

48. Kieron Gillen - 213 points (3 first place votes)

After making a name for himself on the creator-owned series Phonogram, with artist Jamie McKelvie, Kieron Gillen began to bring his particular sense of style over to Marvel Comics, most notably in a run on Journey Into Mystery where Loki has been reborn as a pre-teen after sacrificing himself during Siege. Stuck in a land where everyone knows him (and hates him) for the evil he did as an adult but can not bring themselves to get rid of him as a pre-teen (the fact that his brother, Thor, insisted that he stick around certainly helped). While apparently not evil like his older self was, Loki still has all of the skills he had in his past life, including a strong ability to con people.

Gillen introduced a few notable supporting cast members, including Ikol, a magpie who is the representation of Loki's former evil life and Leah, a handmaiden of Hela, who was ordered to help Loki.

Gillen's stories were marked by both clever plots and clever dialogue, not to mention really heartfelt ideas of the very notion of whether someone truly CAN be redeemed. This is exemplified beautifully in an issue drawn by Mitch and Bettie Breitweiser (Gillen has had a lot of artists work with him on this series) where Loki is given a litter of hel-wolves (prodigy of his servent, the Hel-Wolf, who apparently impregnated Garm, guardian of Hel). He is able to find homes for all but one of the wolves, who appears to be just plain evil. Told to get rid of the wolf, the parallels between the wolf and Loki are not hard to see...

After a forward-thinking run on Young Avengers (with McKelvie), Gillen and McKelvie are back at their creator-owned roots with the enthralling Wicked + Divine.

Go to the next page for #47-44...

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