Best Comic Book Writer of All Time

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Ben "cA" Risa
Who in your opinion is the best of all time?

-Pr-
Stan Lee.

JakeTheBank
/thread

Bouboumaster
Matt Fraction

Ben "cA" Risa
Remember, it's best, not greatest. Stan Lee was great in a time before comics had become a literary medium.

Ben "cA" Risa
Who else voted for Grant Morrison? big grin

-Pr-
If you want to talk about dialogue, scientific accuracy and the like, sure, you could use plenty of other writers.

If you asked me, though, what writer i'd like to sit down with and ask tons of questions, it's Stan Lee. Not just because he created my favourite character (he did), but he was the gamechanger.

I actually want to be a comic book writer one day, and my absolute number one rule when I sit down to write a script is: These are people first, and heroes/villains second. Stan Lee is the reason for that.

His imagination when coming up with new characters, not to mention twisting timeless themes in to longevity, makes him, imo, the best comic book writer.

He is to writers what Superman is to superheroes, to me.

Galan007
Gaiman is certainly up there.

abhilegend
Grant Morrison.

JakeTheBank
Originally posted by Bouboumaster
Matt Fraction

lol

Admittedly, his Iron Man stuff was great and I even like his F4/FF stuff, but his Thor run was whack.

JakeTheBank
Originally posted by -Pr-
If you want to talk about dialogue, scientific accuracy and the like, sure, you could use plenty of other writers.

If you asked me, though, what writer i'd like to sit down with and ask tons of questions, it's Stan Lee. Not just because he created my favourite character (he did), but he was the gamechanger.

I actually want to be a comic book writer one day, and my absolute number one rule when I sit down to write a script is: These are people first, and heroes/villains second. Stan Lee is the reason for that.

His imagination when coming up with new characters, not to mention twisting timeless themes in to longevity, makes him, imo, the best comic book writer.

He is to writers what Superman is to superheroes, to me.

This.

Stan Lee blew up the genre and added pathos and humanization to it more so than the others who came before him. He was more interested about the people behind the masks and costumes and made them infinitely more relatable than they had been before. If you were to remove any of the other above names from the genre, you'd be missing out on some great works of art. But if you removed Stan Lee, the entire genre would be radically different to the point where it wouldn't even be recognizable.

-Pr-
thumb up

Yup.

Also, Fraction's X-Men run was absolute shite.

manorastroman
c'mon, don't be so static. compare comics to any other medium. do you think that alexander pope is the best writer of all time? do you believe that the marx brothers are the best comedians of all time? that elvis is the best rock n roller of all time? that orson welles is the best filmmaker of all time?

all brilliant, all trailblazers, all since surpassed. stan lee is not the best comic book writer of all time.

Endless Mike
Maybe not, but a lot of his stuff was really good.

-Pr-
Originally posted by manorastroman
c'mon, don't be so static. compare comics to any other medium. do you think that alexander pope is the best writer of all time? do you believe that the marx brothers are the best comedians of all time? that elvis is the best rock n roller of all time? that orson welles is the best filmmaker of all time?

all brilliant, all trailblazers, all since surpassed. stan lee is not the best comic book writer of all time.

It's personal preference, that's all.

Digi
Lots of confusion. Need to set what you mean by best...

Best for their era?
Best from a subjective, personal standpoint?
Best in terms of influence and affect on the industry?

There are likely more ways to define it. Those are a few obvious ones. Stan likely takes the last, and handily. The others, especially the second, will vary person to person. Mine would be Ellis.

Omega Vision
From what I understand, Stan Lee's actual contributions to developing early Marvel characters and storylines, while very important, have been overstated, and much more credit than is usually given is owed to Jack Kirby, who was his partner while they created the Marvel Universe.

I even heard once (this is probably apocryphal) that Jack Kirby created the characters, the designs, and the actual storylines, while Stan Lee was just the guy who came up with the basic plots and the filled the dialogue balloons.

curryman
For me its Morrison, but it's almost impossible to choose just one.

I loved Simonsen's X-Factor and Thor.

Mike Carey has Unwritten and Lucifer.

Ellis has Planetary and Transmetropolitan.

Jeff Lemire is no doubt my favourite up-and-coming writer. Both Animal Man and Sweet-Tooth blew my **** off.

Ben "cA" Risa
Originally posted by Digi
Lots of confusion. Need to set what you mean by best...

Best for their era?
Best from a subjective, personal standpoint?
Best in terms of influence and affect on the industry?

There are likely more ways to define it. Those are a few obvious ones. Stan likely takes the last, and handily. The others, especially the second, will vary person to person. Mine would be Ellis.

Best based on proficiency in writing/storytelling assessed by today's standards.

I was under the impression this was usually assumed when not listing criteria and saying "best of all time" and it seems everyone else understood that clearly enough.

Ben "cA" Risa
Originally posted by curryman
Jeff Lemire is no doubt my favourite up-and-coming writer. Both Animal Man and Sweet-Tooth blew my **** off.

Jeff Lemire's great but I've found him to be a bit more hit or miss then someone like say, Scott Snyder. Animal Man has been unbelievable as has been his creator owned stuff, and most of his other DC stuff been great but his work on Frankenstein was just plain bad imo.

srankmissingnin
I voted Ellis. For me personally he has the best catalog of work to his name, and the stuff he was doing in the early 2000 at Wildstorm with Stormwatch and ultimately Authority was hugely influential on the superhero comic medium. For better of worse Ellis started the "blockbuster widescreen storytelling" that is prevalent in the medium today.

xJLxKing
Most of those Authors had their moments where I thought they were very good. Yet, I feel like Grant Morrison shines a bit better

srankmissingnin
Other than Marvel Boy and All Star Superman I haven't really liked anything Morrison has done that wasn't under the vertigo banner. /shrug

TheGodKiller
Gaiman.

srankmissingnin
Also, BKV should be in the poll.

Endless Mike
I'm the only one who voted for Alan Moore?

His Swamp Thing #50 is probably one of, if not my favorite comic book of all time.

Ben "cA" Risa
Originally posted by srankmissingnin
Other than Marvel Boy and All Star Superman I haven't really liked anything Morrison has done that wasn't under the vertigo banner. /shrug

Have you checked out his Batman run? It's his best work imo and my personal favorite comic book continuing storyline ever.

xJLxKing
Originally posted by srankmissingnin
Other than Marvel Boy and All Star Superman I haven't really liked anything Morrison has done that wasn't under the vertigo banner. /shrug fc?

TheHulk
Damn never hoped to see this.

TheHulk
Stan the man Lee will always be my man! In fact he should be up there, and I'll vote for him damn you!

TheHulk
Originally posted by -Pr-
Stan Lee. thumb up

Quincy
No Brian K Vaughn?

Jedi Sheriff
I always liked Peter David, but of those choices it would be Stan Lee.

Jedi Sheriff
Didn't even realize he wasn't up there, therefore this is stupid.

Ben "cA" Risa
He wasn't included in the poll for good reason, and that is because he was not a very good writer. Co-creating some interesting characters and an interesting setting means little when you cannot tell a particularly interesting story. Try reading some of his older comics, the plots were incredibly simplistic and formulaic and the dialogue was practically infantile. Comics of that time were simply nowhere near the literary medium that they are today.

Digi
Originally posted by Ben "cA" Risa
Best based on proficiency in writing/storytelling assessed by today's standards.

I was under the impression this was usually assumed when not listing criteria and saying "best of all time" and it seems everyone else understood that clearly enough.

Still requires some disambiguation imo. As you put it, "Best based on proficiency in writing/storytelling assessed by today's standards" ...is different than "Who do I personally think is best by today's standards." I'd say Ellis to the latter, but would have to include more than just my own opinion in the former, and would probably get into range and versatility in writing styles, critical reception, etc. Exactitude is your friend.

Also, the numerous posters saying Stan show that they didn't unanimously understand your intent. A few may doggedly stick with him anyway out of reverence or nostalgia, but few would persist in that answer based on your criteria.

Originally posted by Endless Mike
I'm the only one who voted for Alan Moore?

He ushered in and popularized the idea of comics as a serious medium. However, he didn't perfect the art (imo, of course).

Digi
I think Morrison is overrated. Not gonna get into it with his backers, because overrated /= bad, and I don't want to imply that. I just don't think he's as good as his reputation.

Gaiman is a close 2nd for me, but he's not as married to the genre as some comic writers. He's a brilliant writer and author, but a lot of his work is in movies, TV, stories, and novels....not comics. Most of the authors in the poll created numerous titles, characters, franchises, etc. or added greatly to them. Take away Sandman and Gaiman wouldn't even be known in comics-only circles.

Ben "cA" Risa
Originally posted by Digi
Still requires some disambiguation imo. As you put it, "Best based on proficiency in writing/storytelling assessed by today's standards" ...is different than "Who do I personally think is best by today's standards."

Not necessarily at all and absolutely not as far as my intended message when I said that is concerned. I feel it goes without saying that what people consider the best in fields such as writing and storytelling is largely a subjective process and that rarely would somebody choose to ignore the subjective areas and focus solely on the objective merits of those disciplines. That is absolutely how I meant it, and how I feel most people would approach this topic, to the point that I feel it isn't worth making the extra effort to specify as much.

People see the word "best", their natural approach is what they personally consider the best, likewise if they see the term "of all time" usually they think of applying a universal standard. Being unnecessarily exact in these matters can be a subtle form of inefficiency.



Not necessarily as the people who mentioned Stan Lee maintained that position after I drew the distinction between "best" and "greatest" and -PR-'s response seemed to indicate that he simply valued certain aspects of his style and methodology, and his imaginative character-building over such things as dialogue and scientific accuracy, in considering him the best.

leonidas
this is a hard question in that each had some great moments, and most had some....not so great moments. i think the best high for me was likely gaiman's sandman and related materials (but he's not a typical comicbook author, and i have read all his novels as well and loved most of them) but it's tough to look at the jla stuff morrison did and NOT say that was equally as good, just different. one was much more traditional. i think if i were to come up with an idea and had to have one author pen it for me, it would be morrison. but then, it would depend on the idea i guess. hrm. tough call.

i do agree with part of what pr said--lee was great, but i also think that by the standards of today, his early stories don't match up. but that's not his fault. he started something that others--over years and years--have had a chance to hone. comparing across eras is always tricky, but if you're mentioning lee, you really should be lumping kirby in there as well imo.

oh, an honourable mention to denny o'neill whose work with neal adams in batman pretty much redefined the character and i think sort of paved the way for miller.

JakeTheBank
Geoff Johns should be mentioned if Bendis is.

Digi
Originally posted by Ben "cA" Risa
Not necessarily at all and absolutely not as far as my intended message when I said that is concerned. I feel it goes without saying that what people consider the best in fields such as writing and storytelling is largely a subjective process and that rarely would somebody choose to ignore the subjective areas and focus solely on the objective merits of those disciplines. That is absolutely how I meant it, and how I feel most people would approach this topic, to the point that I feel it isn't worth making the extra effort to specify as much.

People see the word "best", their natural approach is what they personally consider the best, likewise if they see the term "of all time" usually they think of applying a universal standard. Being unnecessarily exact in these matters can be a subtle form of inefficiency.



Not necessarily as the people who mentioned Stan Lee maintained that position after I drew the distinction between "best" and "greatest" and -PR-'s response seemed to indicate that he simply valued certain aspects of his style and methodology, and his imaginative character-building over such things as dialogue and scientific accuracy, in considering him the best.

Good story. I didn't really want to get into this with you. There was some confusion, and I offered some advice for disambiguation. Take it or leave it in your threads. It's not worth playing "yuh-huh, nuh-uh" over who's right.

kittymeow

-Pr-
Originally posted by Ben "cA" Risa
Not necessarily as the people who mentioned Stan Lee maintained that position after I drew the distinction between "best" and "greatest" and -PR-'s response seemed to indicate that he simply valued certain aspects of his style and methodology, and his imaginative character-building over such things as dialogue and scientific accuracy, in considering him the best.

Don't put words in my mouth, please.

Ben "cA" Risa
Well I did say "seemed to indicate"...

-Pr-
Okay.

Golgo13
I think the most versatile writer on this list is Gaiman and Morrison.

Ben "cA" Risa
Originally posted by Digi
Good story. I didn't really want to get into this with you. There was some confusion, and I offered some advice for disambiguation. Take it or leave it in your threads. It's not worth playing "yuh-huh, nuh-uh" over who's right.

kittymeow

Concession accepted. big grin

srankmissingnin
Originally posted by Ben "cA" Risa
Have you checked out his Batman run? It's his best work imo and my personal favorite comic book continuing storyline ever.

Morrison's Batman run was a contrived, convoluted mess.

-Pr-
If I were to break it down like Digi said, I'd probably separate it in to things like scope, dialogue etc.

Scope would be Morrison. No writer in this day and age thinks on the same level he does, or as abstractly, imo. Honourable mentions would be guys like Mack, or Gaiman.

Dialogue? I'd have to go for someone like Whedon. He's what Bendis should be, in that he writes realistic dialogue without sacrificing characterisation. Honourable mentions would be guys like Morrison, Johns and Gillen.

General storytelling? Guys like Byrne, Claremont back in the day, Johns right now, Morrison too. Jason Aaron when he finds a character that suits him, is awesome.

Revamping/referencing: Johns. I don't think any writer alive can take a stupid concept, or an old concept, and give it a new lick of paint and a modernised spin as well as Johns can. His work on GL alone is indicative of that, imo.

Favourite writers right now? Gillen, Hopeless, Aaron, Johns, Simone.

Ben "cA" Risa
Originally posted by srankmissingnin
Morrison's Batman run was a contrived, convoluted mess.

Well not everyone can be a fan I guess...

srankmissingnin
Originally posted by Ben "cA" Risa
Well not everyone can be a fan I guess...

Best thing I can say about Morrison's run is that it never made me drop the title... which is more than I can say for Synder.

I'm sure THAT will piss some people off. evil face

curryman
People are mentioning Whedon when he completely and utterly killed Runaways. He had a good X-Men run and just about everything else he's written has been garbage in my opinion stick out tongue

I'm not seeing any mentions of Remender and while some of his stuff might not be for everyone he's basically one of the two writers that are keeping me in Marvel nowadays.

Originally posted by Ben "cA" Risa
Jeff Lemire's great but I've found him to be a bit more hit or miss then someone like say, Scott Snyder.

When you bring up I'm not really a fan of his Superboy stuff, at all.

Originally posted by srankmissingnin
Best thing I can say about Morrison's run is that it never made me drop the title... which is more than I can say for Synder.

I'm sure THAT will piss some people off. evil face

I'm not familiar with Snyder's stuff really.

Only read Batman (overrated trash imo) and American Vampire (still enjoying this).

I'm surprised you don't like Morrison's New x-men stuff though? As it's basically the only one I've read, outside of the latter New X-Men stuff, where the x-kids felt realistic. Not enough Wolverine feats?

Endless Mike
Originally posted by Ben "cA" Risa
He wasn't included in the poll for good reason, and that is because he was not a very good writer. Co-creating some interesting characters and an interesting setting means little when you cannot tell a particularly interesting story. Try reading some of his older comics, the plots were incredibly simplistic and formulaic and the dialogue was practically infantile. Comics of that time were simply nowhere near the literary medium that they are today.

I'm not sure about that, the original Galactus trilogy (FF #48-50) still holds up well today IMO. It's certainly better than a lot of modern stuff.

Kazenji
For the current ones i'm rather fond of Jason Aaron.

curryman
Originally posted by Kazenji
For the current ones i'm rather fond of Jason Aaron.

Depends on what he's writing imo.

His Ghost Rider and X-Men run have been fairly lackluster. I wouldn't even call them bad but we're discussing the absolutely best comics here. His Punisher run was good but both Rucka and Hurwitz blow him out of the water stick out tongue

Imo Scalped is the only comic that lets him compete here.

And I guess someone has to bring up Ennis...

Kazenji
Originally posted by curryman

His Ghost Rider have been fairly lackluster.


To hell with you

no expression

roughrider
Stan Lee's stuff might be dated to read now, but no writer ever changed the industry like he did (though he had lots of assistance from the king, Jack Kirby.)

Kazenji
Jack Kirby hardly gets mentioned these days when Stan Lee gets brought up, Its always he created all these characters....pretty sure he had from other people.

curryman
Originally posted by Kazenji
To hell with you

no expression

Eh, nevermind stick out tongue

I was thinking of road to damnation and Ennis wrote that one.

Though I liked Trail of Tears (Ennis) and the Daniel Ketch mini better than I liked Vicious Cycle and Heaven's on fire smile

Kazenji
Aaron didn't even have anything to do with Vicious Cycle, That was Daniel Way he basically started off that Ghost Rider run and then Jason Aaron took over around issue #20.

Digi
Originally posted by Ben "cA" Risa
Concession accepted. big grin

Because everything on the internet is a competition. Keep trolling...

roll eyes (sarcastic)

Digi
Originally posted by Ben "cA" Risa
Concession accepted. big grin

Because everything on the internet is a competition, and my original post clearly wasn't trying to just help out. Keep trolling...

roll eyes (sarcastic)

Ben "cA" Risa
Anybody else think Brian Azzarello's a little underrated? His Wonder Woman has been right up there with Batman, Batman Incorporated, Action Comics, Swamp Thing and Animal Man as the best of DC's The New 52 and is also imo by far the best stuff there's ever been on her character, and 100 Bullets was amazing.

curryman
Originally posted by Ben "cA" Risa
Anybody else think Brian Azzarello's a little underrated? His Wonder Woman has been right up there with Batman, Batman Incorporated, Action Comics, Swamp Thing and Animal Man as the best of DC's The New 52 and is also imo by far the best stuff there's ever been on her character, and 100 Bullets was amazing.

I liked his action comics, Animal Man and 100 bullets.

All I've checked out by him so far, that and some of the isues he did in Hellblazer.

srankmissingnin
Originally posted by curryman
I'm not familiar with Snyder's stuff really.

Only read Batman (overrated trash imo) and American Vampire (still enjoying this).

I'm surprised you don't like Morrison's New x-men stuff though? As it's basically the only one I've read, outside of the latter New X-Men stuff, where the x-kids felt realistic. Not enough Wolverine feats?

I don't care about feats, Wonder Woman hasn't done much of anything impressive in her New 52 solo title, but the writing and characterization (and art) make it one of DC's best books on the shelf form month to month. Morrison's run on New X-Men was disjointed, plagued by less than stellar fill in artists, terrible pacing, a truly awful twist (even before the retcon). I'm also not a fan of leather clad "realistic" X-Men. There was some great character moments, but on the whole it left me flat.

I thought Synder's run on Detective was up there as one of the greatest Batman stories of all time... his run on Batman in the New 52 is a joke. What makes it worse is critics and fans are hang off his nuts lapping at his dick for nourishment like he is a mother possum. The reveal at the end of Night of the Owls was just terrible story telling. The most hackneyed, cliched example of comic book writing I've ever seen... yet if you surf the internet people were pretending like that sophomoric nonsense was the greatest thing they've ever read. Long lost evil brother, even now I can barely joke down the bile. I'm sure a competent writer will come on the title eventually and retcon it... maybe then I'll pick the book up again.

JakeTheBank
I remember Liefeld's twitter war with Synder.

Haven't laughed as hard as I did then for a while.

srankmissingnin
Originally posted by JakeTheBank
I remember Liefeld's twitter war with Synder.

Haven't laughed as hard as I did then for a while.

Yeah that was classic. laughing

HueyFreeman
Originally posted by srankmissingnin
I don't care about feats, Wonder Woman hasn't done much of anything impressive in her New 52 solo title, but the writing and characterization (and art) make it one of DC's best books on the shelf form month to month. Morrison's run on New X-Men was disjointed, plagued by less than stellar fill in artists, terrible pacing, a truly awful twist (even before the retcon). I'm also not a fan of leather clad "realistic" X-Men. There was some great character moments, but on the whole it left me flat.

I thought Synder's run on Detective was up there as one of the greatest Batman stories of all time... his run on Batman in the New 52 is a joke. What makes it worse is critics and fans are hang off his nuts lapping at his dick for nourishment like he is a mother possum. The reveal at the end of Night of the Owls was just terrible story telling. The most hackneyed, cliched example of comic book writing I've ever seen... yet if you surf the internet people were pretending like that sophomoric nonsense was the greatest thing they've ever read. Long lost evil brother, even now I can barely joke down the bile. I'm sure a competent writer will come on the title eventually and retcon it... maybe then I'll pick the book up again. Lol I blocked that twist out of my mind until you brought it up again. I remember when that issue came out and everywhere you turned you saw 10/10 rankings. I remember thinking "Am I missing something, this is some soap opera bullshit"

-Pr-
Originally posted by Ben "cA" Risa
Anybody else think Brian Azzarello's a little underrated? His Wonder Woman has been right up there with Batman, Batman Incorporated, Action Comics, Swamp Thing and Animal Man as the best of DC's The New 52 and is also imo by far the best stuff there's ever been on her character, and 100 Bullets was amazing.

So far, most Wonder Woman fans I've come across haven't been huge fans of the new 52 stuff.

Azzarello is a solid writer though.

JakeTheBank
Originally posted by -Pr-
So far, most Wonder WOman fans I've come across haven't been huge fans of the new 52 stuff.

Azzarello is a solid writer though.

It's a great run he's had so far in terms of quality, but I haven't enjoyed it as much as say Perez', Rucka's, or Simone's run. Her retooled origin just doesn't sit well with me, but I can acknowledge the good writing.

HueyFreeman
Originally posted by JakeTheBank
It's a great run he's had so far in terms of quality, but I haven't enjoyed it as much as say Perez', Rucka's, or Simone's run. Her retooled origin just doesn't sit well with me, but I can acknowledge the good writing. I like it. The origin is very "greek mythology like" .

-Pr-
Originally posted by JakeTheBank
It's a great run he's had so far in terms of quality, but I haven't enjoyed it as much as say Perez', Rucka's, or Simone's run. Her retooled origin just doesn't sit well with me, but I can acknowledge the good writing.

Originally posted by HueyFreeman
I like it. The origin is very "greek mythology like" .

I've read some of it (not all of it mind you). I have liked it quite a bit, but then again I'm a sucker for mythology done well.

quanchi112
Jim Starlin. Hands down.

JakeTheBank
lol

-Pr-
laughing out loud

quanchi112
Originally posted by JakeTheBank
lol Infinity Gauntlet.

roughrider
Originally posted by quanchi112
Infinity Gauntlet.

I bought that really because it was George Perez's return to Marvel for that one. When he stopped after 3 1/2 issues, I was less interested. Starlin front loaded the crisis so early in that; the IG could kill half the universe so easily, so it was a simple matter of reversing it eventually.

Can you name just one writer, as best all time? Here is my list of the most 'influential', all time:

Stan Lee
Alan Moore
Frank Miller
Jim Starlin
Roy Thomas
Neil Gamian

Chris Claremont has a special distinction, for being the 'most important' writer of his book ever - X-Men became the long running phenomenon it is because of him.

Great writers of the 1970's - Roy Thomas, Jim Starlin, Don McGregor (the three most influential writers for Grant Morrison), Doug Moench, Archie Goodwin, Dennis O'Neil.

Great writers of the 1980's - Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Chris Claremont, J.M. Dematteis, Peter David.

Great writers of the 1990's - Frank Miller, Neil Gamian, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, Peter David, Mark Waid, Kurt Busiek.

Great writers of the 2000's - Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Garth Ennis, Brian Azzarello, Mark Millar, Jeph Loeb (fist half of the decade only.)

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