Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Top 12 Comic Writers I Just Don't get anymore

You know how in sports, they say someone is on a hot streak, and you can never tell why, because he/she's just been playing the same as always? But then, a few years go by, and the athlete is past his or her prime, and THEN you see what it is they were talking about? Well, my own experiences in comics have been like that, where I used to be really into a given writer, and then, poof! Done. And so, here's my list of the top dozen or so who I just can't be bothered to care about anymore.

12) Peter David

Probably because as a kid I was a HUGE Star Trek fan that I really became hooked on David's writing style, moreso in prose than comics strictly, but he did a lot of comics I liked for a good long time. However, moreso than most, I've found an increasing bitterness creeping into his output the last few years, as characters who could be funny and sarcastic are now bitter and sarcastic. And where once his use of pop-culture as a prop was fairly seemless and benign, it sticks out like a sore thumb. The real question I have now is: was he always like this and I didn't notice, or is this new?

11) Joss Whedon

At the risk of pissing off a great number of people on the internet, I'm going to admit that I've never been the biggest Whedonite. Buffy and Angel were good TV and all that, but Firefly never really caught on with me (partly because when it was airing in Canada it was airing at the same time as Farscape...and that wasn't a real choice for me. In fact, it still isn't). That said, his comic work has been rather...repetitive. To the point where what seemed fresh on screen now appears to be calcified gimmickry in print. Perhaps with time he'll improve, and move on beyond some of his more glaring stylistic tics. That's more than can be said for most of the people on this list.

10) Robert Kirkman

I enjoyed start. But after the first year, I just couldn't shake the feeling that I was reading a story by a guy pretty much my age just recycling a bunch of the same comics, TV, books and movies I've already seen with no real variation. And after that, I just stopped caring what he did.

9) Dan Slott

Oh, you only think I'm crossing him off of the list for being the architect of "Brand New Day". But no, that isn't the reason, that was just the final nail in the coffin. Slott stopped being funny and his output started taking on some rather bizarre and dark overtones in his second volume of She-Hulk, and (in my eyes) his first few issues of Avengers: the Initiative, where he was almost blatantly stealing concepts left and right from older military movies (Including but not limited to: Platoon, Basic, Starship Troopers, and the Dirty Dozen). So yeah, he's lost nearly all respect in my eyes.

8) Chris Claremont
Claremont did do some brilliant and groundbreaking work with the X-Men in the late 70s and early 80s...and has coasted on that ever since. Next.

7) Brad Metzler

He's an odd case: I actually don't think he would be as negatively viewed in the eyes of many fans if he could A) Pace himself properly for the medium of comicbooks and B) incorporate the whole of a given character's continuity instead of just chucking out parts he doesn't want to deal with. However, he's shown no inclination to do either of these things, so I've got no interest in his work.

6) J. Michael Straczynski

I loved Babylon 5 as a teenager. It's just a real pity he's never stopped recycling those stories and re-using them in all his other work.

5) Jeph Loeb

Jeph Loeb Fact: Jeph Loeb has never found an idea, good or bad, that he wasn't capable of running into the ground.

4) Paul Jenkins

Sally Floyd's MYSPACE Speech. NEXT.

3) Judd Winick

Judd Winick thinks he knows how to write social commentary, he doesn't. Someone please tell him this. If you do and he listens, I will buy you a coke.

2) Mark Millar

You know how I said Peter David's pop-culture references stick out like a sore thumb now? Well, they've ALWAYS stood out with Millar. This, combined with his obsession to somehow become "cool" and his self-congratulating self-promotion, makes him seem to be a real dick. Oh, and his writing is some of the least coherent dribble featuring unlikable characters around.

1) Frank Miller

Thinks that the entire universe should be run on the logic of an tough-guy fantasy world.


Phil Watts, Jr. said...

Thank you for putting together this necessary list of writers who need to get their minds right or get out. I tend to steer clear of any book with any of those names on it because of how far they've fallen off. In the cases of Millar and Winick, they never really were 'on' as far as I'm concerned. In fact, if I had the time, I would walk up to Winick and tell him off myself.

MrCynical said...

thanks Phil.