Look, 2016, you’re a heartless son of a b*tch that came in like a lamb, and then torched the place after gutting it with a nuclear-powered chainsaw. During your 365-day murder spree, you had the absolute nerve to take from us a veritable bushel of innovate creators and artists who still had their unique, invigorating light to share with the world, including David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Alan Rickman, Florence Henderson, Alan Thicke, and the f###ing Heat Miser! And then, you had the absolute NERVE to take from us Princess-f###ing- Leia, followed by her devastated mother, Debbie Reynolds. That…is…
ENOUGH, 2016, you callous ####-face!!!!!!!
But you won’t listen. You’re not going to stop; the death of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds proves you’ll be swinging your star-killing scythe up until the clock strikes 12am on New Year’s Day.
Well, I’ll tell you what, 2016: you BETTER keep your hands off my favorite comic book creators. I’m barely contending with the great losses to stage and screen, but if you cut into the architects of my favorite comic heroes, I will tear off your “6” and beat the sh*t out of your remaining “201” until your cracked and staggering “2” struggles to file a PFA before my next assault.
Anyway, comic books are MY LIFE, and the stories crafted by some of my favorite writers have made me the moderately subversive, accidental intellectual that I am today. So, lay off the comic creators, ass-hat, and specifically these fine fellows so they can keep me properly entertained, without interruption, for ANOTHER 365 days!
1. Grant Morrison
Yes, he confused the hell out of you during FINAL CRISIS, but when he’s not writing chaos in the midst of a corkscrewing editor snafu, he’s writing incredibly smart (sometimes too smart), high concept books that will seriously indent wrinkles into your unusually smooth brain. If we ever want him to return to Justice League, or take another crack at infusing the spiritualism of a pervading, life-creating energy into the pages of Animal Man, I suggest we put him in a cell and keep him on 24-hour death watch starting at 12 am on December 31st.
2. Mark Waid
He wrote consecutive, definitive Flash stories, provided one hell of a take on Captain America, and wrapped up a run on Daredevil that redefined maturity in comic writing. Now, he’s writing The Avengers, which is headed up by the newly resourceful and assertive Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
The man’s on a roll, and we need him to call an ambulance the SECOND he loses feeling in any of the following locations: left arm, shoulder, chest, and jaw.
3. Steve Orlando
His career’s really just beginning, but the work he did on DC’s Midnighter screams intellectual veteran. This guy taps hard science fiction aficionado Warren Ellis and a little bit of Mark Millar when he writes the heart-mashing action scenes overlaid with personality-filled dialog amidst the constant threat of abstract technology.
And now, Orlando’s taking on the Justice League of America. Let’s make sure he stays off the ladder, and chews his food 579 times before swallowing.
4. Warren Ellis
Have you ever read Planetary, a love letter to science fiction, comic books, and pulp magazines? How about Transmetropolitan, which followed the adventures of a disillusioned, belligerent journalist who came down from the mountain, literally, and judged the hell out of an irresponsible, technology-dependent, morally porous society?? How about his excruciating, domineering take on superheroes in Stormwatch and continuing in The Authority??
As smart as Morrison, but with an injection of snark and the application of hard science fact, Ellis’ fiction provides readers with a more discernible tether to our mundane, non-superhero realm that frequently bores us or serves to stymie our once instinctive sense of wonder.
5. Jonathan Hickman
He’s like Warren Ellis-light, but still very engaging. His run on 2.5 Avengers titles (he bailed mid-way through Avengers World), culminating in last year’s Secret Wars, was a refreshingly intelligent take on the classic assemblage which propelled this usual ‘punch-em-up’ team book into a wondrously threaded, multi-layered narrative.
Looking for more heady fare? Then check out East of West and Frontier. It’s spooky, soft-cutting sci-fi that comes in cold and warms you up with plenty of posited fringe theories that play out in cumulative, forthcoming chapters.
6. Kieron Gillen
You need to read Uber, a story set near the end of WWII detailing Germany’s utilization of super-soldiers days before its historically recorded surrender. Suffice it to say, in this world, the Nazi party still flexes its military supremacy effectively. Basically, this is brilliant, thoroughly researched stuff that allows you to immerse yourself and forget about the blistering bed sores clustering on your upper thigh.
He also had an amazing run on Iron Man, which included the revelation of Tony’s true parentage, the discovery of an unexpected sibling, and the transformation of a modular city into a giant super-robot to inflict maximum damage on a collection of Iron Man foes. Holy sh*t, was that ever sweet.
I suggest Gillen stays away from any sort of collected moisture while using anything with a power cord.
7. Jason Aaron
His work on Thor is kick-ass, and his independent exploits, including Scalped, proves he’s all about clever noir tales drenched in hyper-violence.
8. James Roberts
Who? James Roberts. Look, if you never read IDW’s Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, you need to go back and scrounge up the single issues or pick up the collected trades. If you’re not picking up the next chapter of this series, The Lost Light, I suggest you add it, like, NOW. Why? Because Roberts mines the boundless wit of Justice League written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, and applies it to a dysfunctional crew of Autobots led by an erratic Rodimus Prime who’s ably aided, but never abetted, by his overly serious, infuriatingly officious second-in-command, Ultra Magnus.
Seriously, this is laugh-out-loud stuff. Get on the ship, like, now.
These cats are OFF LIMITS, 2016. Step back and don’t make any sudden moves or the dogs of my disdain will tear through your unfashionable skinny jeans and carry you more quickly into the irretrievable canals of my forever inebriated memory.