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Five For Friday #42—Desert Island Gag, Minus the Gag
posted August 12, 2005

In Celebration of CR Reader Marc Mason's 100th Column at Movie Poop Shoot, Name Five Comics Works You'd Take With You Onto a Desert Island

Marc Mason

1. Transmetropolitan
2. Concrete
3. Hitman
4. New Warriors
5. The Trouble With Girls

Tom Spurgeon

1. Barnaby
2. Fantastic Four #1-102
3. Thimble Theatre
4. Little Orphan Annie
5. Carl Barks Library

I went for entertainment, volume and comfort.

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Andrew Mansell

1. Comics Revue -- 1-230
2. Missing Years -- 1-50
3. Thimble Theater
4. Prince Valiant
5. Wash Tubbs & Captain Easy


Marc Bryant

Baron & Rude's Nexus
Barks' Uncle Scrooge
Fantastic Four 1-102
Gerber's Howard the Duck


Alan David Doane

5. THE COMPLETE CRUMB COMICS. The older (and wiser) I get, the more I appreciate Crumb's skill as an artist, and more importantly, his fearless reportage about his own life and the world around him. Few artists have so completely, evocatively and fearlessly chronicled the era in which they lived, and how they lived in it, and I would want to have the Fantagraphics series with me on my desert island because it's literally every comic Crumb has ever done. You'll note that few creators in the history of comics could easily compile such a project, but Crumb's visionary retaining of all rights to his work have, no doubt, made the legal end of such a massive undertaking as easy as pie.

4. THE COMPLETE PEANUTS. If I'm limited to five series, you can bet that the previous entry and this one are my way of making sure that I have a ton of reading material to wile away the long days and nights with. THE COMPLETE PEANUTS will, by the time it's over (around my 50th birthday, egad!), collect a half-century of some of the very best comics ever created, by one of the artform's sublime masters. The Seth-designed hardcovers will look great on the shelves in my hut, too, in-between my coconut-shell bookends.

3. STREET ANGEL. Yeah, it's only five issues and a trade paperback, but STREET ANGEL is among the most inventive entertaining comics I've read in the past couple of decades; I literally despair at the thought of never being able to read them again, so, I'm bringing them along to the island. Yar!

2. ACME NOVELTY LIBRARY. One thing I will need as the years "ware" on is a challenge; Chris Ware's unique, literary series will provide me with a number of them. The work itself is challenging, requiring close attention in order to fully immerse oneself inside the worlds he creates. But even more challenging will be my years-long effort to build all the paper toys that are a part of almost every issue of ACME. Hopefully there'll be some Elmer's Glue on the island, or at least an old horse I can render down in order to make my delicate, ephemeral playthings.

1. EIGHTBALL. Issue #22 of this series, featuring the story "Ice Haven," is widely regarded (in my house anyway) as the finest single issue of any comic book ever produced. Epic in scope, filled with flawed, endearing and human characters, and encompassing a mystery that re-engages me fully every time I read it, the issue (or the recent Pantheon hardcover) is absolutely indispensible to anyone who wants to experience the greatest joys comics can contain. But the rest of the series holds wonders, as well, from the Ghost World stories to the snarky short pieces about Christians, the secret gayness of sports and Jim Belushi (!), to such landmark serials as "David Boring" and "Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron." One of the very best comic book series ever created, I absolutely would be lost without a complete set of EIGHTBALLS to keep me company, there on the island.

Oh, happy anniversary, Marc!


Warren Craghead

1. All the Peanuts paperbacks I could find.
2. Love and Rockets
3. Jimbo and any other Panter I could grab.
4. Bacchus
5. The whole run of silver-age Flash


Benjamin Bayliss

I have 2 requirements, stuff that's jam-packed full of stuff and it has lots of pages (in case the TP runs out...)

From Hell Alan Moore
Acme Novelty Library Chris Ware
Complete Comico Grendel Matt Wagner (hey, If I'm imagining getting stranded on a deserted island, I can also take an imaginary book, right?)
Bone: One Volume Edition Jeff Smith
Maus Vol. 1 & 2 Art Spiegelman


Rob Schamberger

Fantastic Four 1-102
Acme Novelty Library
The first 39 issues of the post-Five Year Gap Legion of Superheroes


Fred Hembeck

1. Little Lulu by John Stanley and Irving Tripp (and all the Stanley written Tubby issues, too)
2. Dennis the Menace by Fred Toole and Al Wiseman, from 1953 until approximately 1965, all the regular issues but especially the giant-sized travel, holiday, and other specially themed issues
3. Amazing Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
4. Fantastic Four by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
5. That early seventies oversized, full color hardcover from Nostalgia Press reprinting a nice selection of EC Horror Comics


Dan Boyd

5. Bone
4. Hellboy
3. Sin City
2. Peanuts
1. Calvin and Hobbes


Rob Vollmar

1. Lone Wolf and Cub - Koike and Kojima
2. Walt & Skeezix HC - Frank King
3. Alec: The King Canute Crowd - Eddie Campbell
4. From Hell - Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
5. The Complete THB saga - Paul Pope


Brian Moore

The Cartoon History of the Universe, Larry Gonick
Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, Hayao Miyazaki
Little Nemo in Slumberland, Winsor McCay
Corto Maltese in Siberia, Hugo Pratt
Dungeon, Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim


Jim Kingman

This one was just too hard. I mean, I'm prone to taking up to two hundred comics on a road trip, so imagine what I would make available to me on a desert island. Anyway, Tom, following your criteria (entertainment, volume, and comfort), here goes:

Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth #1-59
Adventure Comics #418-452
Green Lantern #1-89
Justice League of America #64-115
The Complete Peanuts


Dan Morris

Doom Patrol #19-61 by Grant Morrison and Richard Case
Love and Rockets (Both volumes) by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez
Concrete by Paul Chadwick
From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
Ed the Happy Clown by Chester Brown


Peter MacDonald

Uncanny X-Men 94-143
Howard the Duck


David Puck

The Harvey Spirit #1
The Story of Jesus Classics Illustrated Special Edition #129
Fantastic Giants V2 #24
Superboy V1 #68
The Dell Giant Beatles Life Story


Adam Hines

Complete runs of

4. Chago Armada's SALOMON


Tim Davis

1. The entire "Marvel Essentials" run. Hey, if several folks consider Fantastic Four #'s 1-102 as a single book, then I guess I'll settle for one measly Marvel title.
2. The Russ Cochran Complete E.C. Library. I bought these on a subscription basis direct from Russ in the 70's for the then whopping price of $450.00 for the complete set. I WILL NOT leave these behind.
3. Watchmen. I reread this at least once a year and still find things that I've missed.
4. Collected Sandman.
5. Eisner's Spirit.


Sean T. Collins

Whatever's been bound together in one volume counts as one comic for my list.

1. The Dark Knight Returns
2. Jimmy Corrigan
3. Palomar
4. The Diary of a Teenage Girl
5. Watchmen


Chance Fiveash

1. Complete LITTLE LULU by Stanley
2. Complete THIMBLE THEATRE by Segar
3. Complete WASH TUBBS & CAPT. EASY by Crane
4. Complete SUGAR & SPIKE by Mayer
5. Complete DICK TRACY by Gould


Kurt Busiek

Maybe I'm in an odd mood tonight, but --

1. The Complete Steve Canyon.
Ten years ago, I'd have gone with TERRY, but as I grow older, I think CANYON has more of an adult-picaresque feel, instead of the very well done but nonetheless more youthful, gosh-wow feel of TERRY. I also thought about cutting it off at, say, 1962, but where's the advantage in that? Maybe it went downhill, but it's not like I won't have time to read, and I've never read all of the later years.
2. The Complete Gasoline Alley.
Again, thought about making it the complete Frank King GA, but what, there's a storage problem on the desert island? I'll take it all. Besides, even if I hate all that stuff with Rover, I may need kindling or something...
3. The Complete On Stage.
I'll be whiling away plenty of time, reading this all in order for once.
4. The Complete Cary Bates Superman.
Lots of short stories instead of long continuities, but well-crafted stuff, and most of it ably illustrated by Curt Swan.
5. Usagi Yojimbo.
Another engaging picaresque, with lots of scope.


Johnny Bacardi

1. The Spirit 1,2 (Harvey) by that Eisner fella
I never get tired of reading the stories in these two collections.
2. Starstruck by Elaine Lee and Mike Kaluta (Marvel/Epic, Heavy Metal, Dark Horse)
Complicated and clever enough to keep me occupied.
3. Essential Killraven TPB (Marvel)
Never fail to get a charge from rereading these.
4. Complete Freak Brothers Vol. 1 (Rip Off Press)
I think I'll need some laughs, and the Bros.' adventures will certainly do just that.
5. The Shadow 9-19 (DC) by Andy Helfer and Kyle Baker
A masterpiece of black comedy.

Of course, ask me again tomorrow and I'm liable to cite five different ones -- a lotta comics I love aren't on this list!


Joshua Leto

1. Cerebus
2. Concrete
3. Watchmen
4. Spirit
5. Groo