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Episode 1713 Talkback - Top 5 Reads While Stranded on a Desert Island

Imagine that you're about to be marooned on a remote desert island for days, weeks, or longer. Which comics (series, runs, collections, etc.; anything goes!) would you want to have with you to pass the time? We Geeks reveal what we'd throw into the lifeboat in this episode. Comics Ahoy! (2:03:37)

Listen here.

Comments

  • LeeNovaLeeNova Posts: 6
    Another excellent episode. I thought the comment by @Adam_Murdough regarding the preferred lighter tone of books that you would want to read when on a desert island was a particularly useful way to view such selections. And thanks to @ShaneKelly for the Bloom County pick, which led to me including a favorite comic strip.

    My Top 5 Reads While Stranded on a Desert Island:

    5. JSA (Geoff Johns)
    4. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes
    3. All-Star Superman
    2. The Adventures of Tintin
    1. Starman (James Robinson)

    Honorable Mentions: Legion Reboot (pure nostalgia), Daredevil: Born Again, Batman: Long Halloween, Fables, Preacher, Bone, Box Office Poison...and so many more.
  • i_am_scifii_am_scifi Posts: 550
    @LeeNova Thanks for bringing up Fables! Totally slipped my mind.
  • Only halfway through, but wanted to tell @wildpigcomics that he could, indeed, have the Frank Miller Batman collection he desires (if he doesn't have it already), with the added bonus of an earlier -- publication-wise -- Batman Christmas story that was illustrated by Miller, with the 1990 edition of the Complete Frank Miller Batman. It's a beautiful (faux?) leather bound edition with Year One, the Christmas tale, and Dark Knight, altogether for the Batman aficionado. I got it when it was published and it is a cherished piece in my comic collection.

    image

    I'll be back with my own top 5, soonish.

    chris
  • CalibanCaliban Posts: 1,355
    Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing
    Strontium Dog
    My Favourite thing is Monsters
    The Ballad of Halo Jones
    Calvin and Hobbes
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,965
    edited October 26
    Todd is a friend of mine, so I have to point out his last name is pronounced with a long A (de-ZAY-go, not de-ZAH-go). But I'm sure he'd be very happy to know his work made the list.

    Only halfway through, but wanted to tell @wildpigcomics that he could, indeed, have the Frank Miller Batman collection he desires (if he doesn't have it already), with the added bonus of an earlier -- publication-wise -- Batman Christmas story that was illustrated by Miller, with the 1990 edition of the Complete Frank Miller Batman. It's a beautiful (faux?) leather bound edition with Year One, the Christmas tale, and Dark Knight, altogether for the Batman aficionado. I got it when it was published and it is a cherished piece in my comic collection.

    image

    I'll be back with my own top 5, soonish.

    chris

    I kept looking at this at the Waldenbooks when it came out (the only bookstore in town at the time), but I never bought it. Too pricey for me back then. I bought five paperback novels instead.
  • i_am_scifii_am_scifi Posts: 550
    I'll put a quarter in the jar, @nweathington. ;)
  • mwhitt80mwhitt80 Posts: 3,750
    @i_am_scifi

    Ian what did you think of Pluto by Uraswa? I just got the 20th Century Boys Perfect Edition vol 1 in my dcbs and it's next on my list

    I 100% agree with you that Wally West is the flash, but Kyle Rayner as green lantern? He's the guy you have to call when Gnort is busy.
  • nweathingtonnweathington Posts: 5,965
    edited October 27
    My top 5:

    5) Batman: The Brave and the Bold — The Bronze Age Omnibus (vol. 1 & 2) — My favorite ongoing comic when I was a kid. Not only do you get the best work of Jim Aparo’s career, but you also get some other great artists (Nick Cardy, Neal Adams, Mike Sekowsky, etc.) from before he took over the book. Lots of fun reads in a continuity essentially all its own, great artwork (outside of a couple of duds), and a high nostalgia factor for me.

    4) The Tick: The Complete Ben Edlund — Let’s face it, only the Ben Edlund stuff is worth your time, but, boy, is it worth your time! I figure I'll need some laughs while stuck on a deserted island. Page-wise, this is the shortest read of my picks, but it's highly re-readable.

    3) Cerebus (the complete run—or at least through “Jaka’s Story”) — With this one you get volume (300 issues’ worth), humor, pathos, and drama, along with brilliant storytelling and artwork. And if you bring the original issues instead of the phone book editions, you'll also get some of the most interesting letters’ pages you’ll ever read (bonus reading time!).

    2) Starman — Decent length, great stories, great artwork, and a nice emotional range in tone for variety’s sake.

    1) The Complete Alex Toth Library — Okay, this is a major cheat, because it doesn’t actually exist, but I sure wish it did! Besides tons of great stories, there’d be lots of variety, from superheroes to mystery, humor, and straight-up adventure. Plus, I could spend days and days just poring over the artwork itself—handy for those times when I get burnt out on reading the stories for the 100th time!

    I have too many alternates to list here—mainly rejected because they just weren’t long enough, or were too depressing, or just weren’t quite consistent enough to make the list.
  • Mark_EngblomMark_Engblom Posts: 305
    edited October 27
    Fantastic episode, guys! You've confirmed, yet again, why the Top Five episodes are my CGS favorites! The wide-ranging topics coupled with your obvious passion and enthusiasm for the featured comics really helps re-ignite my own excitement toward my life-long hobby. A special shout out to Murd for his eloquent summation of "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?". To this day, I feel the loss of that unique version of the Superman mythos, but it was lessened somewhat by Moore and Swan's stirring elegy.

    As for my own Top Five Stranded Reads, here they are:

    5. The GEORGE PEREZ WONDER WOMAN run: Although most of the post-Crisis attention was centered on John Byrne's Superman reboot, I believe the reimagining of Wonder Woman by George Perez (with an early assist from Len Wein) was a much more successful update. Not only was it a long overdue purging of the wonkier Marston elements (i.e. the Invisible Plane), but it also fully embraced Greek Mythology in a way that previous versions never quite got right. For the first time in my experience, Diana had a dynamic, fully-formed personality that lit up the page...and a supporting cast that I really enjoyed getting to know. Even traditional cast members were reimagined in interesting, even bold new ways...such as Steve Trevor not being a romantic interest (as well as a much older man). Plus, WW's frequent visits to Themyscira might make my own stay on the island that much more bearable by imaging it populated with fetching woman warriors.

    image

    4. The LEE-KIRBY THOR run (Thor #126-177): Yes, Lee and Kirby's Thor collaboration goes all the way back to Journey Into Mystery #83, but it took them several years of experimentation and false starts for them to truly get into the swing of the character and build the emerging architecture of his mythos. Right around the Journey Into Mystery #120 mark, things really starting falling into place, so by the time issue #126 rolled around, THOR was finally named the title character. I know the Lee-Kirby FF run gets the lion's share of accolades, but pound for pound, this run of Thor had just as many exciting new characters, concepts, and cosmic goings-on as their fabled FF stint. The Greek pantheon, Ego, the High Evolutionary, Hela, Tales of Asgard, Mangog, Odin's headgear, Thor's soliloquies, viking boats in space, Asgard, the origin of Galactus, and so much more. Yeah, it loses some luster with the mediocre inks of Vince Colletta, but even with that distraction, the grandeur of Kirby at the peak of his powers still shines through.

    image

    3. STARMAN: Like so many of you guys, I have nothing but praise for James Robinson's singular achievement. A true and coherent epic that you really feel has a beginning, middle, and end...an absolute rarity within the modern structures of never-ending continuity. Adding to my joy were the letters pages hosted by Robinson himself, who brought a level of friendly and honest intimacy I've never experienced on a letters page. Especially in the first few years, he would share collector stories, recommend books or albums, or just talk at length about characters new and old. I really felt like I got in on the ground floor of something really special and took the journey all the way through. So, yes, it's a grand story that few comic book series can equal...but at the same time, it remains a fondly remembered personal experience that only someone who read issues #0 through #81 (and the misc. annuals, specials, and minis) as they came out could have.

    image

    2. KINGDOM COME: I was stunned none of you guys mentioned this, or even had it as an alternate! This epic work truly IS one of the books I re-read every couple of years, and would easily be a source of entertainment on a desert island...or anywhere else for that matter. Although MARVELS set the table for highly realistic depictions of superheroes and meditative explorations of their role in the world, I see Kingdom Come as the ultimate expression of what Alex Ross started a few years earlier with Kurt Busiek. Here, Ross and writer Mark Waid explored the profound concepts of aging, alienation, responsibility, legacy and the stewardship of power, all against the backdrop of a terrifying superhero Götterdämmerung. A startling, sobering, and heartbreaking exploration of Superman and his squabbling, wildly dysfunctional metaphorical "offspring".

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    1. WATCHMEN: Okay, once again, nobody chose THE BIG KAHUNA of re-reads? Unless I missed someone mentioning it during the episode, I'm flabbergasted nobody grabbed this eternal masterwork by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons for their desert island stay! I hardly have to say anything about it, other than the fact that I've read it again and again ever since I bought the original twelve issues as they were published. I've since purchased several different collections (my favorite being the Absolute edition, as well as Elliot S. Maggin's excellent novelization), but every time I read it, I see something new....or glean some narrative or philosophical insight I'd never considered before. It's truly the Gift that Keeps on Giving, and something I could never imagine being without on my proverbial desert island.

    image

    Honorable Mentions: The aforementioned Lee-Kirby FF run, the John Byrne FF run, Fables, Cooke's New Frontier, the Alan Moore/Rick Veitch Swamp Thing runs, Wolfman & Colan's Tomb of Dracula, Geoff Johns' JSA, the Sinestro Corps War, and the Kree-Skrull War!


    Keep those Top Five episodes coming, guys!
  • DARDAR Posts: 967
    Always love the top 5 shows. So is Ian a made man or just a friend of the family? ;)

    Off the top of my head and I don't have the history of comic reading like others. I've discovered many these later in life

    5. The Complete Far Side by Gary Larson
    4. Marvel Team Up 1972-1985(?)
    3. The Bronze Age Batman Brave and the Bold Team Ups
    2. Geoff Johns-Green Lantern run
    1. Fables-Bill Willingham
  • i_am_scifii_am_scifi Posts: 550
    DAR said:

    Always love the top 5 shows. So is Ian a made man or just a friend of the family? ;)

    Off the top of my head and I don't have the history of comic reading like others. I've discovered many these later in life

    5. The Complete Far Side by Gary Larson
    4. Marvel Team Up 1972-1985(?)
    3. The Bronze Age Batman Brave and the Bold Team Ups
    2. Geoff Johns-Green Lantern run
    1. Fables-Bill Willingham

    Friend of the family at the moment, I get invited to barbecues though!
  • ChrisMurrinChrisMurrin Posts: 149
    Hmm...tough call, of course. I think right now, my choices would be:

    Usagi Yojimbo, all of it - Partially because I've only ready about 1/3 of it so far.
    The Frank Miller Daredevil Omnibuses - Because while Born Again is my favorite, I'm greedy.
    FF Masterworks v6
    The Bwa-ha-ha Justice League International Omnibus v1
    Iron Man, the Michelinie/JRjr/Layton run - Can't live without shellhead
  • Bruce_RBruce_R Posts: 6
    I just figured out how to get “Alexa” to play podcasts (of which I haven’t listened to too much since I’m not on the road too much anymore) and was happy to hear this topic. Still listening and so I haven’t really had much of a chance to figure out my own list, but was happy to hear Ian’s #5 choice of Monster. Really loved those books!
  • Bruce_RBruce_R Posts: 6
    And I said Monster, but it was 20th Century Boys, wasn’t it? Both good series though...
  • Aaargh! Been meaning to write up one of my long posts, but just haven't found the time. So, here are the 5 I would want with me on a desert island, with little in the way of explication.

    In no particular order:

    1. Love & Rockets by Los Bros Hernandez
    This may be my all-time favorite, long-form series. Unlike almost every other comic book series, this one has real change, with evolving characters that have aged. And it is all beautifully illustrated. If you've not read this series, you need to check it out, now!

    2. Lone Wolf & Cub by Koike & Kojima
    THIS may be my all-time favorite, long-form series. With a simple premise -- Ogami Itto is an assassin for hire, who has his young boy, Daigoro, in tow -- the creators manage to, somehow, keep things from becoming stale, through the nearly 8700 pages, and the ending is as satisfying a conclusion as I've read in a story. The art is breathtaking, and with 28 volumes, this, like L&R above, would provide ample reading, while I watched the waves roll in.

    3. From Hell by Alan Moore & Eddie Campbell
    Moore is my favorite comic creator, and this is my favorite book of his. Not unlike many of his works, including Watchmen, From hell rewards multiple readings, with new connections and ideas to discover every time. The moody artwork from Campbell perfectly complements the story being told, and, though a gloomy tale, the luster of Moore's prose and characterizations coupled with the gorgeous grittiness of Campbell's art never fails to engage me.

    4. Moebius Library from Epic Comics
    I haven't quite completed this collection, but I have a fair number of these oversized books, from back in the day, including not only the original Moebius works such as Arzach and Upon a Star, but also the Lt. Blueberry and Young Blueberry volumes. These books comprise one of the jewels in my collection, and who wouldn't want to just sit and gaze at the beauty of Moebius's linework, while the sun warmed you.

    5. Sandman by Neil Gaiman, et al.
    Long my favorite comic series, Sandman still entertains and engages me, whenever I go back to re-read it, every couple of years. I started with issue #8, found the earlier issues in bargain bins, kept with it through #75, and bought all the initial hardcover collections, while also amassing many of the statuary that was marketed to fans like me. I love this series, and I think I need to go and read it again, soon.

    HONORABLE MENTIONS:

    Strikeforce: Morituri
    Vietnam Journal
    G.I. Joe by Larry Hama
    Swamp Thing, Miracleman, V for Vendetta, 2000AD by Alan Moore
    my Scott Morse collection --- all of it! Even his Elektra series (I guess)
    Queen & Country


    -chris

    **guess I managed to be a bit of my wordy-b*tch self**
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