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Summer Knights: My Favorite Comic Book Guys

By Geeky Gem

We here at All Geek like our comics, which at times can cause a debate over the best writers, artists and story arcs. However, there is one thing we do agree on, and that is comic books on a whole are a great way to spend some time. This got me thinking, just who do I spend my time reading? It would appear just looking at my loans from the library this past year that I have already started picking my comics by certain people. That brings me to this article and the list of the writers I enjoy the most in no real order.

Frank Miller

Frank Miller is a comic book artist, writer and movie director. He is best known for his dark, film-noire comic book stories and graphic novels Ronin, Daredevil: Born Again, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns along with Sin City and 300. The latter two both being turned into movies and reaching even more fans all over the world. I like Miller’s style; it’s just so rich and reaches the dark side of any subject matter he looks into. When you look at 300 and then watch the movie his pages are right there on the screen, which always look fantastic.

Jeph Loeb

Joseph “Jeph” Loeb III is a film and television writer, producer and award winning comic book writer. Loeb was a producer/writer on the TV series Smallville and Lost.  He was also the writer for the films Commando and Teen Wolf he was also a writer and Co-Executive Producer on the show Heroes from its premiere in 2006 to November 2008. In 2010, Loeb became Head of Television for Marvel in charge of drama, comedy and animation.

Loeb is a four-time Eisner Award winner and five time Wizard Fan Award winner, Loeb’s comic book work  on many major characters, including Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Hulk, Captain America, Cable, Iron Man, Daredevil, Supergirl, The Avengers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Many of these works he has done with artist Tim Sale.  I like Jeph’s style as well, I can really get lost in one of story’s it’s that easy.  Some of the work he has done is that good I just couldn’t put it down.

Alan Moore

Now Alan Moore penned one of my all time favorite Batman graphic novels so to me it was a crime to leave him off the list. The graphic novel in question is The Killing Joke if you didn’t know. Alan Oswald Moore is a writer primarily known for his work in comic books, a medium where he has produced a number of critically acclaimed and popular series, including Watchman, V for Vendetta and From Hell. He is frequently described as the best graphic novel writer in history, he has also been described as “one of the most important British writers of the last fifty years”. He has occasionally used such pseudonyms as Curt Vile, Jill de Ray, and Translucia Baboon.

Alan Moore was picked up by DC Comics and became the one of the first comic writers living in Britain to do prominent work in America; he worked on big name characters such as Batman in which he wrote the Killing Joke and Superman in which he wrote Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? The Killing Joke was one of the first Batman graphic novels I read and it will stay with me forever because it was frankly fantastic. I have since read more of Moore’s work and I just can’t get over how much he brings to the characters he writes for.

 

Mike Mignola

Many people may know that I have a bit of thing for Hellboy and that I think he totally rocks. The gentleman I’m about to tell you about now created Hellboy. Michael Joseph “Mike” Mignola again as are the rest of the people on this list is a comic book artist and writer who as I mentioned created the comic book series Hellboy for Dark Horse Comics. He has worked for animation projects such as Atlantis: The Lost Empire and the adaptation of his one shot comic book The Amazing Screw-On Head.

Up until 1994 Mignola had only ever illustrated the work of others. In 1994 he illustrated his own work, his first Hellboy story, The Seed of Destruction, which was scripted by John Byrne, and published by Dark  Horse Comics, followed by further stories, with associated merchandise. The Hellboy story Wolves of St. August and later stories were scripted by Mignola, though other writers and artists have also worked on the character. All major story arcs were drawn by Mike Mignola, but in 2007 artist Duncan Fegredo took over drawing, with Mignola remaining on as writer and cover artist. He also writes the spin-off BPRD with John Arcudi which is drawn by Guy Davis with Mignola as cover artist. The 2008 one -shot In the Chapel of Moloch was the first Hellboy comic he provided the script and art for since The Island in 2005. The reason I like Mignola so much was that he took the risk in creating Hellboy and running with it. All comic book writers take risks with their characters and its one thing I admire about them. Hellboy is just so rich and deep with elements of darkness. It’s a great read.

Robert Kirkman

If you know me at all, and I hope some of you do by now. Then you’ll know not only do I like things that go bump in the night but I like zombies. A little too much some people may say but I can’t help it. There is just something about the end of the world being bought on by the reanimated corpses’ of the dead that I find fascinating.  That being said, it seems only right that I tell you little about the man who is in the zombie spot light right now.

Robert Kirkman is a comic book writer best known for his work on The Waking Dead and Invincible which are published by Image Comics. He is also known for his work on Ultimate X-Men and Marvel Zombies which he did for Marvel Comics. He has also collaborated with Image Comics co-founder Todd McFarlane on the series Haunt. He is one of the five partners of Image Comics, and the only one of the five who was not one of its co-founders.

Although The Walking Dead has zombies in, they are not the main focus of the comic it is all about the characters. It’s about how they cope with trying to live day to day in a world no overrun with the dead. I have touched n this subject in other articles about The Waking Dead which can be found on the site.

That brings us to the end of this list I hope you had a good time looking at just some of the guys that keep me reading comics.

The Walking Dead: Part 2

The Television Show

By Geeky Gem

Last time I talked to about The Walking Dead, I regaled you with the tale of how good the comics are. Now I shall share with you my thoughts on the AMC show based on the afore mentioned comics.

 

When I first heard that some fantastic folk in America had decided to turn Robert Kirkman’s epic comic into a show, I squealed like only a geek can, I was so excited. I waited for months as filming started, and promos appeared all over the place. I read everything I could; I was totally up to date with the comic at the time so that was all good. 

Then casting began. I won’t lie to you, most of the cast are people I have not heard about. There were a handful of cast members that I did know, for example Andrew Lincoln who was cast as Rick was an excellent pick. He brings Rick to life, and really shows how deep source martial is.

As for crew, the show was created by Frank Darabont, best known for such great films as The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. He joined the wave of film makers coming back to television. A trend that also saw Alan Ball bringing us True Blood, and Stephen Spielberg, Falling Skies and Terra Nova.

 

Now this is where I would usually tell you how much the comic is like the show. Well, in this case, I can’t do that. The show is very different from the comic, in more ways than one, to tell you them all would take me forever. I will say just a few things on it. For example there are some characters in the show that are not in comic, the show goes a different way to the comic, so what you really need to know is that you kind of have to view them as two different things and they stand alone.

 However the show can really get to the heart of the human condition just as much as the comic can and at the end of the day that is what this show is all about. Kirkman’s work has translated so well to the screen that I don’t miss an episode and with the casting of one of the most evil villains in comic book history just been revealed, (The Governor for those who haven’t heard) I know I will carry on watching this fantastic show. Each week I hate the fact I have to wait a week to watch another and that’s what a good show should do. The mid season cliff hanger for season two was brilliant. Now the show is back for the second half of season two and it just keeps getting better. There is just something about this show that keeps me coming back each week. Even with my knowledge of the comics, this doesn’t stop me because as I said, it is very different from the comics. I think that’s why I like it so much. If you haven’t seen it, it really is a much see show, come on jump on the band wagon and see what all the fuss is about.

The Walking Dead

The Comics

By Geeky Gem

 

Oh The Walking Dead, how much do I love this comic? It is brilliant, now I know there is a television show as well, but in this article, I want to share my thoughts on the comic, and then I will move onto the show at another point in time. Well, The Walking Dead is a monthly black and white comic book series that chronicles the travels of Rick Grimes, his family and the survivors of a zombie apocalypse.

The Walking Dead was first issued in 2003 by publisher Image Comics, the comic was created by Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore, who was later replaced by Charlie Adlard.

When Rick Grimes, a Kentucky police officer is shot in the line of duty, he awakes from a coma to a whole new world. The town, in fact the world, has been overrun with walking corpses. When Rick safely exists the hospital, he makes straight for Atlanta in order to find his wife and son. Can you blame him, I am sure anyone of us would have done the same. 

In most stories like this Rick wouldn’t find his family for a long time, or in fact not at all. However in this story, he does find find his family, and will stop at nothing to make sure they survive and stay together. On their journey to find somewhere safe to live, they encounter a number of other survivors, they form a group as each person they meet seems to have something they need. As the group grows you can imaging not all of them make it, with characters’ frequently being killed off in some rather gruesome ways. They don’t all get killed by zombies, which is a welcome change, as a zombie induced death would get on your nerves after a while.

Robert Kirkman has written some amazing characters into this fantastic piece of work. There is of course Rick, who I mentioned was a police officer, there is Glenn a boy he meets in Atlanta and is the go getter of the group, Dale who’s kind of the father figure but is also pretty handy with a gun and my favorite character is Michonne, she is fantastic. Her entrance scene is brilliant she walks in with two zombies in tow and a big sword. 

Now besides the characters I have mentioned above, there are a whole lot more but I don’t want to mention some of them as they give away big plots and will ruin the story if you haven’t read them. Instead I will tell you a little more about the art work, Tony Moore did a brilliant job on the first 7 issues of this comic and he continued to do the cover art right up to issue 24, now the sad thing about this is that Kirkman and Moore are no longer speaking, and are currently going to court over the matter of the comic. This however sad it is, cannot over shadow what is a brilliantly illustrated piece of work. Adlard was more than a capable artist to take over from Moore and I have had the joy of seeing him in person at a Comic Expo I attended last year with Kirkie Chick and BlitzEvo. He was really good, and the panel he was on was really fun, and he was excited by his work and even appears in the first season of the show as a zombie. Anyway his work is brilliant it’s amazing what he can do with black and white.

If you are fans of the show but have yet to read these fantastic comics, you really should, you are missing out. If you have read this and are watching the show then you might want to check out the new novel called Rise of the Governor, which gives a much more detailed pre story to one of the most evil villains in comic history. If you have done all this, then I have no more to teach you, and I hope you continue to enjoy The Walking Dead as much as I do. 

 

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