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Leiber’s Eleven

So Steve Leiber created “Leiber’s Eleven”, the eleven comics you’d most like to see in libraries (because libraries are the gateway to reading). It took me about five minutes to compile a list, another twenty to weed it down to eleven, and then another half hour to organize it in a 1-11 manner (and even then I’m not happy with how it shook out).Here it is, my 11 most recommended comics.

1 – The Complete Bone (Cartoon Books): Bone will be one of the first comics I read to my kids. It’s pure, it’s innocent, and it’s awesome.

2 – True Story: Swear To God (AIT/PlanetLar): This is the first comic that my wife actually read with me, and really enjoyed. It will always have a place in my heart because I was able to share my passion with her.

3 – Watchmen (DC Comics): So good it’s almost a cliche. Moore was light years ahead of everyone else with this, and 15 years later, you can still read it without cringing from hokey dialogue.

4 – Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? (Image): Powers made me remember why I loved comics so much in the first place, and this story is absolutely perfect.

5 – Re-Inventing Comics (Perennial): A lot of people will cite Understanding Comics, which is good, but this one goes one better and tries to look at the way comics will change in the future. I loved it even more.

6 – Kingdom Come (DC): I remember reading Alan Moore’s proposal for “Twilight of the Superheroes” back in about ’96. When I read Kingdom Come, I thought that his story had been pretty much nailed. Alex Ross was at his best for this post-apocalyptic look at superheroes.

7 – Marvels (Marvel): Did you ever want to believe that a boy could whip around a city on a web? Alex Ross (this time with Kurt Busiek) managed to make Peter Parker come to life years before Sam Rami got his hands on Toby Maguire.

8 – Top Ten Book 1 (WildStorm): Imagine NYPD Blue set in a superhero universe full of the mad ideas of Alan Moore. That’s Top 10.

9 – New X-Men Volume 1 (Marvel): If pot is a gateway drug, then New X-Men is a gateway comic, Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly’s big ideas and bigger drawings in this collection have brought a couple of my friends back into comics.

10 – 100 Bullets Volume 1 (Vertigo): I can’t think of a better comic to prove that comics aren’t just for kids.

11 – Flight: Volume 1 (Image): It’s only been out two days, and already I think it’s a modern classic.

Of course every single one of these comics is in stock at my favourite comic store…Comics and More (new site coming in 1 week).

Those are my 11 faves, what are yours? Only have a few? That’s cool, post them in the comments, and I’ll discuss them here next week.

By Brian Garside

Brian is a digital experience expert, and part time internet superhero. He focuses on digital first design, digital strategies, content management, website usability, and user experience. He was part of the team behind BalanceDo, the co-founder of All New Comics, and the chief strategist at NorthIQ.

2 replies on “Leiber’s Eleven”

Dude, here’s my 11 – in no real order.

1) The Killing Joke (DC): My first foray back into DC during my teens. A great story that depicts Batman’s struggle between himself and the Joker. Alan Moore appears a few more times on this list.

2) Cosmic Odyssey (DC): A four issue series with the dynamic duo of Starlin and Mignola. Again in my teens i was blown away with Mignola’s art in this series.

3) The Silver Surfer (Marvel, Dec.1988): A two issue special written by Stan Lee and art by Moebius. A big fan of Moebius’ futuristic yet humanistic/organic style along with one of my personal fav characters a great combo.

4) The Invisibles: Say you want a revolution (DC/Vertigo): Grant Morrison’s “matrix”. A couple of reads later and i think i understand the story, maybe.

5) Maus (Pantheon Books): Art Spiegelman’s tale of WW2 Nazi atrocities and how one man (mouse) survives. 1992 Pulizer winner.

6) Batman-Grendel: Devil’s Riddle (DC/Comico): A crossover and first (only?) meeting between the two. Matt Wagner did both issues.

7) Watchman (DC): What can i say? it’s required reading in some universities in the states. i had a watchman watch but i lost it in a mosh-pit at a jane’s addiction concert when i was in grade 10.

8) V for Vendetta (DC/Vertigo): 3rd Alan Moore pick. i’m a sucker for characters fighting for identity and freedom in a totalitarian society.

9) Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot (Legend/Dark Horse): Frank Miller and Geof Darrow creation. For the time the format (restaurant menu i call it) was nuts and seeing Darrow’s art for the first time blew my mind.

10) Red Rocket 7 (Dark Horse): A 7 part(ha ha) series about an alien music artist traversing through the evolution of pop music. Allred is a guy i like but own very little of his stuff.

11) Powers: Who Killed Retro Girl? (Image): Same reasons as you

Discuss….

That’s an impressive listing from the Woo Tang Man. Killing Joke is a friggin’ amazing book, I hope some day DC will gather it up with some extra stuff in a nice hardcover package. It’s only 64 pages, but they’re all amazing.

I never “got” Invisibles. Morrison said that he had all of the Matrix ideas in it, but I never caught on to them.

Grendel: Devil by the Deed was one of my favourite graphic novels in the 80’s, and it really influenced my art style (even my Chronicology logo head has a very “Wagnerian” style to it). Matt Wagner was using the cool “Bruce Timm animated style” years before Timm ever laid pen to paper for Batman the Animated Series.

As good as Big Guy was…Darrow and Miller on “Hard Boiled” before it was even better! Damn, I forgot all about that book…same with Martha Washington Goes to War by Frank Miller and Dave (Watchmen) Gibbons.

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