Micron 08 fine-point pen and Sharpie marker
Micron 08 fine-point pen and Sharpie marker
While looking for a poem in our archives this week, we recalled a scan of a bee that we never got around to using as a photo reference. The poem received an edit and the bee enjoyed an evening in the spotlight after all this time.
Spirit tigers rock. Yes, it’s true: the dramatic storyline and sumptuously dark artwork make this story a real standout in DC’s anthology series, Weird War Tales. But what really sold us on this one? Spirit tigers! They bring to mind the mystical tiger spirit that watched over Kull the Conqueror and gave him increased power. Tiger goddess? Sign us up!
Weird War Tales #24 featured a second story, which we have in our sprawling archives of vintage Alex Niño comics here: The Last Battle.
- from Weird War Tales #24; DC Comics,
Cover art by Luis Dominguez. The Invisible Enemy: script by Jack Oleck, art by Ernie Chan as Ernie Chua. The Last Battle: script by Jack Oleck, art by Alex Niño. 32 pgs. Cover price $0.20.
This black and white drawing, created with fine-point pen and Sharpie marker, presents a dancer admiring her freshly drawn body paints.
Since we posted Our Top Ten Favorite Single Issues in October, 2011, our fan-blogging obsessions brought many more printed treasures to our attention. One by one, we added them to Mars Will Send No More until today’s post can link you to every one of them for in-depth exploration.
Well, nine out of ten at least. Close enough for this summer! Qualifications for inclusion on this list are simple: The issue cannot be from a series already covered in our original Top Ten, and it must be brain-stunningly awesome. Six of them are black and white books, and we had only read three of them before we started this site in 2011. Allow us to present, in no particular order, Ten More of Our All-Time Favorite Single Issues. Click their titles to learn more about each one!
Armadillo Comics #2 by Jim Franklin; 1971, Rip Off Press
Man from Utopia #0 by Rick Griffin; 1972
Lone Wolf & Cub #28; First Publishing
Devil Dinosaur #1 by Jack Kirby; Marvel, 1978
Cartoon History of the Universe #1 by Larry Gonick; 1978, Rip Off Press
Anarchy Comics #1; 1978, Last Gasp
Silver Surfer #1; Marvel, 1968
Super Villain Classics #1; Marvel, 1983
World Around Us #15: Prehistoric Animals; Gilberton, 1959
Psychotic Adventures #2. Last Gasp, 1974.
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This is the one we need to scan for the archives. You can sometimes find it in stock at MyComicShop, but Last Gasp seems to have run out of copies of both this and the first issue. That’s a shame, because it is one of the most intense, over-the-top comic book stories ever put on paper. Until we get it updated, you can see some short stories from issues one and three.
Runner up: Spectacular Spider-man #21; Marvel, 2003.
Our original Top Ten had a runner up, so let’s sneak one in here, too!
We don’t have scans of it but you can buy it cheap. The current plot description in MyComicShop is totally wrong, so let us set the record straight. This issue came at the end of Paul Jenkins’ enjoyable run on Spider-man. In this issue, Jenkins gives us a warm and personal evening with some of Marvel’s flagship superheroes playing a game of poker. The Kingpin of Crime shows up with a massive pile of cash asking to get dealt in, and tensions escalate. Rich with humor and lacking a single fist fight, this issue exemplifies the depth of character Jenkins brought to his Spidey stories.
But what about…?
Several noteworthy series have not made it into our Top 20 single issues. This includes works like DMZ, Clan Apis, Frank, 100 Bullets, and Sin City, where the entire series as a work of art outweighs any single issue. We will rectify this with future lists!
Frank Miller: The Comics Journal Library Vol. 2; 2003
Edited by Milo George
This wonderfully over-sized tome contains rare and classic Frank Miller art, covers, and page layouts to illustrate six interviews and an essay. Gary Groth takes three of the interviews, and Kim Thompson has one. Its 130 lavish pages give you candid moments with Miller the artist at important phases in his career from 1981 to 2003.
The final interview explores Miller’s response to the attacks on the World Trade Center. His stark, simple images speak powerfully in his two-page contribution to 9-11: Artists Respond Vol. 1. Groth doesn’t seem to get the point right away, but excels at giving Miller an opportunity to speak his mind. What begins with an inquiry into an abandoned project about the life of Jesus of Nazareth turns to a discussion of comics as war-time propaganda. Miller expresses ideas which we now know became the book Holy Terror.
Miller and Groth discuss the two things you never want to talk about at a party: religion and politics. In other interviews in this book, they sometimes disagree. This makes for spirited discussions and an outstanding read.
Miller also talks about his anti-censorship work, characters he created or left his mark on, and the nuts and bolts of actually producing ground-breaking work. In one of our favorite anecdotes, he recalls how he and Lynn Varley collaborated with their printer to create a new process for handling the nearly all-black pages in Ronin. Here we get a sense of Miller as an inventor on the cutting edge of comic book art production.
The images below are not the complete interview, which spans twelve pages. But, they give you a taste of the art and ideas within. We love huge books, great conversations, and Frank Miller’s art. This book handsomely delivers all three.