This week’s question:

We all have people whom we follow around from book to book because we really like their work.  For this question, what are your five favorite comic book writers?

Paul clears his throat, “This one took me a long time to figure out, since I was trying to determine if I should approach this as “of all time” or “currently.”  I decided to go with “currently,” because some of my all time favorite comic writers just don’t put out enough regular work (like Jeff Smith or Frank Miller) for me to say I’m enjoying anything they currently produce.”

  1. Geoff Johns: It’s still a struggle for me not to buy Brightest Day.  I love me some Geoff Johns and, despite some faults lately (his recent Flash work and the aforementioned Brightest Day, not to mention the end of Blackest Night), the guy produces some really great stuff, with great character moments and stellar action.  He’s really shaped almost every corner of the DC universe with his work on Green Lantern, and he’s turned that character into an essential.
  2. Paul Dini: Despite the fact that he seems to have a lot of fill in issues on Streets of Gotham, which pisses me off to no end, that’s really more DC’s fault for not informing their fans of changes in the books (like they are with JMS’s Superman).  But Dini, who produced some excellently written tales in the animated DC universe he worked on with Bruce Timm, is a stellar comic writer in his own right.  Ever since starting on Detective Comics after Infinite Crisis, his pairing with Dustin Nguyen is definitely going to be remembered for a long time – longer, I’d imagine, than anything Grant Morrison is doing with the book.  His stories are dark and edgy, and have brought human characteristics to Bruce years ago that other writers are just beginning to explore.  No better Batman writer currently on a Batbook…period.
  3. Fabian Nicieza: Of course, Fabian Nicieza isn’t writing a Batman book.  But his Red Robin stuff (and the one-shots he did featuring the rest of the Bat family) have all been great, and shows that he’s a writer who just gets it.  I’ve never seen anything quite as brilliant as his recent decision to have Tim Drake buy the movie theater where Bruce Wayne’s parents were shot to use as a base of operations.  I mean – it’s so obvious, I’m shocked no one has done it before, but it’s just too awesome for words.
  4. Ron Marz: We love Ron Marz at Funnybooks, but I’ve been a fan of the guy for quite some time.  I mean, we are talking about the guy who created Kyle Rayner, you know?  But not only that, he’s done something for the Top Cow universe that hasn’t been done since Paul Jenkins failed to do it in the early 2000’s – make it a cohesive universe.  Not just a cohesive universe, but a damn interesting one.  I love his work on Magdalena, Witchblade, and Velocity, and I think he’s doing some great stuff on the big event book Artifacts.  He’s the reason Top Cow is getting so much mainstream attention and, due to that attention, they’re turning into quite an excellent publisher in their own right, with the recent launch of many new titles and the revitalization of Minotaur Press.
  5. Ed Brubaker: He may have screwed up the resurrection of Steve Rogers something awful, but Brubaker is still a solid talent, and produces some of the best earthbound tales out there.  And maybe that was the problem with Captain America: Reborn – it brought in too much sci-fi, and lost the human aspect.  But Brubaker produces Incognito, one of my favorite series right now.  And his pre-Reborn work on Captain America made me read a title I hadn’t read in years.  I didn’t dig his initial run on Secret Avengers, but I do hear the second storyline is much better…may have to pick it up.”
Tomb of Dracula, by Marv Wolfman

Aron stops taking body shots long enough to respond,

  1. Brian Michael Bendis: Loved his work on ALIAS and THE PULSE.  I’m crazy for his NEW AVENGERS and his run on DAREDEVIL was 8 different kinds of awesome.
  2. Marv Wolfman: TOMB OF DRACULA. ‘Nuff said.
  3. Mark Waid: KINGDOM COME. IRREDEEMABLE.  INCORRUPTIBLE. Remind me to tell you about the time some fans mistook me for him at a comic convention.
  4. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning: The writing team counts! I’ve read all their Marvel space books. I’ll follow these guys anywhere, including their IDW Infestation books!
  5. Jonathan Hickman: I am so digging Hickman’s books. His work on S.H.I.E.L.D., FANTASTIC FOUR, and SECRET WARRIORS reminds us what’s so cool about the Marvel Universe.”

Wayne puts away his smart phone,

  1. Robert Kirkman:  This guy is just consistently good for me.  He hasn’t hit a homerun everytime, but I know when I pick up his book I’m going to see strong characters that change from the beginning of the series to the end.  I know that there will be twists and turns along the way, and I know that even though I know when they are coming I won’t know what they are.
  2. Mark Waid:  This guy just knows how to tell a Superhero story.  He is a great pinch hitter to jump into any existing title and run with what is there.  He has also shown a nack for creating or reimaging his own worlds as well.  Currently after a slightly slump Irreemable is backon my list of favorite books each month and Incorruptable never left it.
  3. Ron Marz:  He created Kyle Rayner and wrote what to me are the best Green Lantern stories ever published.  His work on Witchblade has turned what I used to see as a cheescake character into a truly deep character.  While I haven’t enjoyed every book by him, I have enjoyed a high enough percentage for him to make this list.
  4. Brian Micheal Bendis:  Oh this is a love hate relationship here.  I love his decompressed story telling style and I think he did truely amazing work when he created the Ultimate line.  The early issues of New Avengers are a shining example of what is good about comics.  He gets so fixated on his pet characters though and they are never characters that I like.  He makes them interesting, but it is like he feels the need to take the most minor of characters and make them a star.
  5. Dan Jurgens:  Yes I know he isn’t really doing anything right now that I am reading, but this is the man that killed Superman.  He created Booster Gold and brought him back into prominance.  I may be the only person in the world who did, but I even loved Superman vs Aliens back in teh 90s.  His Valiant stuff was great, his Marvel stuff was great, and his DC stuff has been groundbreaking.  In the end it was Doomsday and Booster Gold that pushed Dan Jurgens above Geoff Johns to get this spot on my list.”
Fabian Nicieza writers Red Robin from DC Comics

Tim looks thoroughly confused, “Writers, huh?  Ok…

  1. Fabian Nicieza: Sometimes you get the feeling that a writer has only read the wiki article about a character he’s writing.  For Nicieza, he is a super fan of Tim Drake, and has been for quite some time.  The last issue of Red Robin, issue 17 was incredible fan service without feeling hokey, and without it seeming like the scenes had no significant lasting value.  I would follow him and Marcus To if they decided to do a 2D man comic.
  2. J. Michael Straczynski: His run on Thor is probably my favorite stories about the God of Thunder.  What he was doing with Wonder Woman is awesome.  Sure, Superman wasn’t the greatest, but I feel like it’s probably very difficult to write the walking boy scout.
  3. Brian Michael Bendis: Simply put, it’s difficult to actually make me laugh out loud while reading a comic book.  His work on the New Avengers has done that.  Sure, there are some bad apples, but I don’t buy them.  I leave that for Paul.
  4. Robert Kirkman: This one is simply about his run on Invincible, at least as far as I’ve gotten through, which is the first 25 issues or so.  His storytelling feels both natural and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
  5. Christos Gage: Loved his work on Avengers Initiatve and am just now getting in to what he’s doing on Avengers Academy.  I think in our interview we said that he has a way of taking a character out of the blue and making them interesting.”

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