I am not a harasser of women or men! I'm not a pedophile. I've never sexually misconducted myself or anyone else. I've also never pretended to be a person of a different race or nationality, given myself work, and pretended it was diversity... There are no scandals waiting to come out about me. So-- congratulations. You have chosen who to be a fan of wisely. (This time.)
Anyway, I was thinking: I've been making comics professionally for about 13/14 years. I find it helpful and even fun to look back at my old work. I like seeing the mistakes as well as the accomplishments. I try to view it as objectively as possible. In doing this, I've realized that I have a kind of mental ranking of my comics. I think some are better than others. It's never been a fully formed ranking. There's never been a #1 spot. But I got to thinking, if I had to rank them, what would be number one? So I'm going to give it a shot right now.
Here it is.
The Top 15 Best Single Comic Issues I've Worked On (According to me, with maybe some quick thoughts on each issue.)
(This list will not include my PAKLIS issues because I am most proud of them and they would take the top five spots. So it's all pre-Paklis issues)
This issue opens on a sci-fi scene that took me back to my days working on Star Wars and I always liked it's weird vibe. The rest of the issue has kind of a slow build until The Avengers must scramble to deal with a threat from another universe and the birth of the most dangerous hero on Earth.
I have an idea in my head of what the ideal superhero team book should look like. Characters should have a certain visual appeal. It should be colorful and dynamic. In the few Avengers issues I did along with my work on Infinity, I feel I got closest to those ideals. I felt good about my drawings and Justin Ponsor's colors were perfect.
Infinity Gauntlet #5
The Nova family has their final battle with Thanos for control of the infinity stones and the power to save their world.
Everything came together exactly how I wanted it to in this final issue of Infinity Gauntlet. My only regret is that I wish I had had more room to let it breath and give a sense of resolution. But on the other hand... I like it as it is. It's loaded with action and ideas, from the family forming a Voltron like robot to the giant Godzilla sized insect.
Star Wars Tales #23: Shadows and Light
This story follows three Jedi as they hunt down the last of the dark side creatures known as Terentateks. What they find lurking in their own hearts proves more dangerous than any prey they're after.
As my first full issue for a comic publisher, this issue holds a special place in my heart. I tried very hard on this. I put a lot of thought into depicting the universe as a mix of The Tales of the Jedi comics and The Knights of the Old Republic games. It was also my first chance at putting my stamp on to the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #15
This was one of two Star Wars issues where I relied heavily on a clear line style, in the vein of Geof Darrow and I think it has a really pleasing look.
S.H.I.E.L.D. vol 2 #1
This first issue of the second volume of S.H.I.E.L.D. brought the series back with a lot of answers to questions left from the first volume. We learn more about the mysterious Forever Man, Michelangelo, and how he's been pulling strings throughout history.
I feel I kept a level of quality throughout S.H.I.E.L.D. and there are scenes in every issue that I'm really proud of. So it's very hard to single out issues as being better than others. I could have also chosen issue 5, 6, or volume 2 #2.
S.H.I.E.L.D. vol 2 #3
This issue is pretty pure. Almost entirely silent, it's about a giant robot trashing a city while Da Vinci, Tesla, and a small but heavily armed military try to stop him. It's got huge action and detailed city destruction.
I worked from an outline rather than a full script on this. I was happy to be given some freedom to basically make a Godzilla comic. I thought dialog would be added and was surprised they let it go mostly without words. I think it works.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #8
Zayne and his friends become stowaways on their own ship, piloted by an unknown thief. This issue opens on a fun action sequence that goes from flying over a forest up into a massive space battle above.
This issue was a lot of fun to work on. From the action sequences, to the space battles, and even to the smaller moments, there was so much to sink my teeth into.
Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything #1
It's hard to single out an issue from this five part series. But if you were to get just one, might as well start at the start. Bebop and Rocksteady Destroy Everything is a wild time travel adventure in the vein of Bill & Ted and Back to the Future, except with characters who revel in mayhem.
I wrote this series with Ben Bates. I even drew a good portion of this issue along with Ben. I was excited to work with a lot of different artists on this series. I wanted to get a different artist for each time period. It took a lot of communication and coordination. It was a lot of fun and I think it shows in the work.
Uncanny X-Men #14
An underground replication of Victorian-era London full of Mr. Sinister Clones is the setting for this unusual X-Men issue. This issue functions as a stand alone issue and gives you a top to bottom tour of this unusual setting all while giving you the story of two men, the evil Mr. Sinister as he prepares for war, and his rebellious clone looking to take down this society.
I went all out on this issue. I got to take my time, get all the reference I wanted, and it was a total experiment. I used only pencil, which has become something I do a lot now, and I rendered it in grey, which was a precursor to me coloring. There is a lot put into this issue.
S.H.I.E.L.D. vol 2 #5
I'm taking a risk by including this issue. It's kind of still in production. I haven't seen a final product, so I don't know for sure how it'll turn out. That said, this issue is wild. It functions as three action packed issues in one with the stories occasionally syncing up. The logistics of orchestrating this issue was so fun. It's experimental. It's loaded with panels.
Infinity Gauntlet #2
Eve Bakian reunites with her family and the Nova family is born.
This issue is one of the nicest looking comics I've ever made. My goal was to color all 5 of the Infinity Gauntlet issues, but I only managed to do the first 2 issues and just parts of the others.
Edge of Spider-Verse #3
A stand alone issue that re-imagines Spider-Man as someone much like the real Spider-Man except without the connections to people that Peter Parker has. This has left him with a huge blind spot as he tracks a mysterious cyborg that is terrorizing the city.
I pored a lot into this issue. I wrote, drew, and colored it. I wanted to created a completely different sci-fi world that was futuristic with a retro 1960's style. I wanted there to be a sense of stories that had already happened. I included trading card layouts for a fun way to convey story. If anything, I tried to put too many ideas into this issue. I wish I had had more time to consider all of it better, but I still love the ambition.
Infinity Gauntlet #1
This issue introduces the Bakian family, who are just barely surviving in a post apocalyptic world ravaged by giant insects. Less than halfway into the issue the story explodes into an exciting and deadly action sequence that leads the eldest daughter, Anwen, to discovering an Infinity Stone, and it ends with the dramatic return of her superhero mom.
In many ways this is the best issue I did at Marvel. From writing to drawing and coloring, everything felt like it was working. In this series I tried to create what I wanted out of an action superhero comic. This first issue hits very close to what I wanted it to be.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Villains Micro Series #7-- BEBOP & ROCKSTEADY
Bebop and Rocksteady go from down and out dum dums to the most powerful dum dums around, and in their first chance to prove themselves they couldn't really screw it up much worse. Many people die, buildings come down, and it's all pretty funny.
I co-wrote this issue with Ben Bates and unlike the rest of my writing experiences before Paklis, I was really able to spend a lot of time on this story. We got to re-imagine/refine these characters and figure out how they work. Ben and I worked closely throughout and I even drew some backgrounds and colored almost half the issue. In the end, I feel we made the exact comic we wanted to make.
The first issue of S.H.I.E.L.D. is huge. It sets up an epic vision spanning all of history. It boldly moves away from the stable of Marvel characters to create a new area of the Marvel universe. This issue does a lot of things I think a good first issue of this genera should do.
I did a lot of experimenting in this issue. I was drawing at different sizes and approaching scenes with different styles. I was going with whatever felt right. I even started inking my layouts, just to keep things moving and fresh. It was liberating.
So there you have it. If you have any opinions on these issues and the order of my list then shout them at your screen right now. Just shout your opinions right now. I'll hear you. And, tonight, I'll respond in your dreams. That's right. This is how the internet works now. You're crazy!
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