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January 26, 2019

FFF Results Post #516: Very, Very Ordinary

On Friday, CR readers were asked to "Name Four Not Particularly Distinguished Comics That Have Stuck In Your Memory Even Though They're Just Not That Good. Explain Why You Remember #4 In The Fifth Slot." This is how they responded.


imageSean Kleefeld

1. Mirror Walker #1
2. Questprobe #3
3. Golden Legacy #8
4. Steelgrip Starkey #2
5. I read Mirror Walker when it came out in 1989. The notion of a cartoon figure walking through the "real" world wasn't totally new, of course, with Who Framed Roger Rabbit? coming out the year before, and the concept of passing through a mirror to get to an alternate reality was lifted from Lewis Carroll. But there were two things that struck me about the book at the time. First, it was written by Marv Wolfman, who had a long history of writing mainstream superhero comics. That he was now doing an indie book that wasn't at all superhero related seemed very strange to me; it had an almost greater sense of walking through a mirror than what was depicted in the story itself. Second, there was only the one issue before Now Comics folded, leaving the story decidedly incomplete. I really started thinking about the economics of comic books -- even indie ones -- as a driving factor in their production, frequently over-powering whatever creative energy might be behind the stories themselves.


imageMarty Yohn

1. Werewolf by Night #1
2. DC Special #5
3. Ragman #2
4. Our Army at War #298
5. I remember liking the story's ending and the way the artwork showed such a gritty, rain-soaked war scene.


imageTom Spurgeon

1. Defenders #17
2. Sunrunners #2
3. Hi And Lois: Is Dinner Ready?
4. Laundry Land #1
5. I'm sure it's a charming comic that had its fans, and Kid Anarchy plays much the same role for me, but this still feels like the right choice.

I'm reasonably certain that reading Laundry Land #1 as a broke-ass graduate student changed the way I bought comics. It made me think about what I was buying and when and for how much. As a result of this comic book, I stopped being an alt-comic completist and started putting back the same amount of money every week into a separate account and have that be the obsessive part of it. I then stopped buying anything day-of. That let me build a little bankroll. About six to eight weeks later, I'd skipped enough weekly books so as to afford myself the regular opportunity to buy every comic I wanted -- just as long as I was willing to wait for them.

A few years later I went to work for a comic company and never bought like a normal person again.


imageOliver Ristau

1. Invaders #17
2. Shazam Nr.1
3 Punisher MAX #4 -- Up is Down and Black is White
4. Incredible Hulk #94
5. I remember Hulk #94 for the same reason I decided to purchase it in the first place: the two pages in it that were drawn by Alex Nino and the cover art by José Ladronn. The rest is of the average quality one is used to by visiting the house of ideas every once in a while, and so I wasn't surprised to meet elements of the story premise being recycled into the third Thor movie -- an idea as inspired and self-cannibalizing as coming up with ideas like Asguardians Of the Galaxy or Spider-Gwen.


imageAndrew Mansell

1. Shazam #10
2. Superman Spectacular #1
3. Thor #302
4. X-Men Annual #7
5. The worst comic I had read up to that point. It began to destroy my super-hero buzz forever with one "pop". Kitty Porn indeed. Ick. But I never forgot it.



Marc Arsenault

1. Purgatory U.S.A. by Ed Brubaker - Cover art by the Hernandez "Bros."
2. Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #6 - Cover art by Jim Steranko
3. Action Comics #454 - Cover art by Bob Oksner
4. Street Music #4 - Cover art by Chester Brown
5. When I started reading comics again after a decade long burn out after my stint at Fantagraphics my most frustrating experience at the comics shop was seeing an awesome cover on a comic and then opening it up to see that the insides where nowhere near the same level. There are many many examples from before that period. These are the ones that came to mind. Number 4 being particularly disappointing.

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