Every day this month I'm going to feature a current comic book writing "star," someone who I think is a very good writer.
I'm mostly going to try to keep from the biggest names as much as possible, because, really, do I need to talk more about the awesomeness of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Warren Ellis?
Here is the archive of previously featured writers.
Today we look at the unannounced second part of our two-part feature on writers named Hickman!
Troy Hickman is mostly known for his cool Image mini-series called Common Grounds, about a coffee shop that superheroes go to on their down time. If you had to pick one other comic to be the comparison point for Common Grounds, it would definitely be Kurt Busiek's Astro City. The heroes and villains of Common Grounds are familiar archetypes except, of course, when they are on their down time, at which point they have all sorts of different personalities and problems.
The comic is also notable in how non-cynical the whole thing is, which is really a trademark of Hickman's work. His work is some of the "nicest" comic book work you will see.
That doesn't mean his work does not have some punch, because it does, it just is done in an old school style of optimism being the main goal.
If you're interested in Common Grounds at all, do note that for the Image series (I believe it specifically was a Top Cow comic), what they did was take Hickman's original mini-comics and have them re-drawn. And when they had them re-drawn, they did not mess around. The original 2004 Common Ground series was drawn by (each issue had two stories in them) artists such as George Pérez, Mike Oeming, Chris Bachalo, Sam Kieth, Angel Medina, Carlos Pacheco, and Ethan Van Sciver contributed a back-up story each issue while Dan Jurgens did the main story for each issue. How impressive is THAT for your first major comic book work?
Common Grounds was nominated for an Eisner Award.
Since then, I've looked for Hickman wherever I could find him, and he's done some fine fill-in work on various titles.
His next big break was last year, also at Top Cow, when he contributed to Pilot Season with a series called Twilight Guardian, about a middle-aged woman (in "our" universe) who suddenly decides she will dress up like a superhero and fight crime.
And again, remember. this is a guy who is NOT cynical, so the comic goes in ways you would not expect. It's a real fun read, and it was one of the two winners last year (which means it will eventually gets its own series).
I'm pleased, as I dig reading Hickman's work, so it's nice to know there's more of it coming!