Don't get excited if you think I'm going to add to Gwen's realm of game playing. That's not my thing. No, I'm just a new voice in this already voiciferous bunch. Some of you may have noticed me chiming in on comments from time to time, sans nickname. As I'll mostly be writing about comics related topics, I'll limit my background info here to a list of my top comics reads, with a little as to why on each. I'm mostly a followers of authors rather than artists, so that's really the core of each of these selections, unless otherwise noted. In most of my selections, if the art doesn't distract or detract from the flow of the story, that's good enough for me.
1. Sandman by Neil Gaiman. It's not the first book I read, but it's the first I ever read that felt like literature. Some of the other things below I'd read first, but this took it to a whole different level. The cultural references, the depth of the plotting and the scope of the vision. Even the little side stories that didn't have any bearing on the overall story were so well told that they could have their own spots on this list, though that would make it even longer than it already is.
2. Fables by Bill Willingham. A lot like Sandman in the literary quality of the writing. Similar, too, in the size of the cast, but without the single central character to tie it all together, though Snow White and Bigbe come pretty close. Better still, this one's still going strong.
9. Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman. The only autobiographical tale you'll find in here. Here the art made it easy to tell the ethnicities of the different characters, but it was the story that carried the day. Of course, when your source material is your family's own story, the drama isn't hard to find, but conveying it so well is not easy. The banality of evil hidden in funny animal art. Well deserved in its recognition as a landmark.
11. The Uncanny X-Men by Chris Claremont. Not the more recent stuff. The stuff back in the '70s. I got on board late with this one too, but it was still going strong at 122 when I started and kept going until Claremont left. I've tried to get back on board with the X-Men at various times since, but it hasn't been the same. Convoluted mess comes to mind. Anyway, Claremont took a second rate, little read superhero team and turned them into the most popular Marvel team out there. It's still riding on the coat tails of those glory years.
15. Xenozoic Tales by Mark Schultz. This book didn't have a long enough run to really explore its topic, but I rank it highly nonetheless. It had reprintings as Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, too, that I believe were in color, as the original was black and white. A post apocolyptic story of humans and dinosaurs co-existing, though nowhere near in harmony. No fossil fuels in this one, which I suppose might be a harbinger of things to come. Excellent character development and the shapings of a world that could have been explored for years.
All right. That's 20. I could go on, and I do give honorable mention to The New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, Proof by Alex Grecian and Riley Rossmo, Atomic Robo by Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener, Invincible by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman, Scalped by Jason Aaron, and Animal Man by Grant Morrison. Most of these are too new to move up higher yet, while The New Teen Titans and Animal Man were just victims of an arbitrary number.