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2009.04.14

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I'm kind of a corporate thunderpant lover.

That said, I don't really get why no critics seem to like "Joker" but every fan I talk to who reads it, or just normal people for that matter, seem to think it was pretty excellent.

I might need to read it again, but I didn't see what was so awful about it.

This was a lovely work of obsession, Tucker. My favorite kind of post.

I've only had time to skim parts of it so far, but just wanted to say this is A) a fantastic idea, B) a ridiculous undertaking and C) awesome. I love looking at someone's body of work in macroscale, and this is probably going to introduce me to a bunch of comics I'll really enjoy. So thanks, and kudos.

Bravo, Tucker-- Not only a great idea for a post, but pound for pound a lot of content and value provided here. And I love the quotes that you've incorporated. Looking forward to giving this a thorough read.

Nicely done. Also makes me think I should revisit Loveless someday; I bailed after issue 6 or so.

This will probably take me all day to read, so I'll do some "livecommenting" as I feel like it. First: Red Dragon. I haven't read it, but it's notable for the presence Tony Akins, who is the guy who usually illustrates Jack of Fables these days. He does some pretty good, if mostly non-showy, work there. I met him a while back(http://warren-peace.blogspot.com/2007/06/in-which-i-annoy-and-act-fannish-toward.html), and he's a nice guy. Also, he has some cool art up on his blog: http://tonyakins.blogspot.com/

Okay, that's all. Back to reading.

I dig those Vertigo anthology series; Gangland is pretty cool. The cover of that first issue is an interesting one too, with a sort of flap on the cover that makes it so the left bathroom stall opens to reveal a dead body and blood splattered everywhere. It's pretty gory for a cover.

That is a helluva list on your part, and a rather impressive body of work. I'm getting the occasional trade of 100 Bullets, and was surprised to realize I had a lot of the random Azzarello stuff. I hated Broken City, though, and I thought that was just me.

I may check out the quarter boxes for Deathblow on your word, though, and I've got a grand total of maybe one comic with him ever.

Re: Heart Throbs - Not having read beyond this point, I don't know if you get into this later, but one thing that fascinates me about Azzarello is how much trust he has in his artists. From what I understand, he uses an absolute minimum of direction in his scripts, leaving the details to them to flesh out, which blows my mind, considering how intricate some of the stories are.

Oh, for crying out loud, Tucker, I've got a life to lead; and I already scheduled time to reread 100 Bullets after today's final installment, and you write THIS! I haven't read the entire article yet, but I stopped glancing over it at El Diablo and read your thoughts, and here it is, the comic with both agree on. El Diablo IS awesome.

I love that cover to Flinch #10. Who drew that? I can't read the signature. Looks like "EB". Eduardo Baretto? #2 isn't bad either. Richard Corben!

I've barely read any Hellblazer, but I just discovered that my library has a ton of the trades, so one of these days I'll have to take a pile of them home and just immerse myself in John Constantine. I did read Good Intentions though, I think because I got it in an Ebay auction along with some other books I wanted. I don't remember much of it, but I could barely make heads or tails of it; it just seemed like I was missing something. A lot of Hellblazer seems that way to me, which is why I want to read more of it and try to really get it.

You are dead on about Deathblow, that thing is mental.

It stands up next to Brubaker & Casey's Wildstorm work from ten years ago and thinking about it, the lack of more work like it from the imprint would make anyone yell at Jim Lee.

Isn't Banner supposed to be an "Elseworlds" style story, not part of "true" Marvel continuity? I don't think it's indicated anywhere in the book itself (and didn't Marvel also include it in a collection with some of the regular Hulk series at the time?), but it was part of the "Startling Stories" line, which also had stuff like "The Megalomaniacal Spider-Man", I think. It makes for a sort of odd tone, especially when the evil, cackling Doc Samson shows up and gets repeatedly smashed in the face. But yeah, that bit where Banner gets dropped out of the plane is really effective. Great stuff; Corben rocks.

I feel dumb, because I totally missed the Yojimbo thing in Cage. Pretty enjoyable series though.

Also, Last Man Standing had Christopher Walken, which didn't exactly save it, but did at least add something enjoyable.

I should try to find that Tangled Web issue; I think it's one of the few that I don't have. That was a nice little series while it lasted, with some good stories by people like Paul Pope, Darwyn Cooke, and Ted McKeever.

Re: Gotham Knights - That sounds like another one to check out, if only to see the art. Jim Mahfood seems like a bizarre choice to draw Batman at all, much less in an Azzarello story. Unless you're going for something along the lines of that Neil Gaiman/Simon Bisley story that was in one of the Black and White anthologies. I bet it's interesting to see him stretch.

Now this is an amazing post!

I need to re-read Batman: Broken City sometime, but your take on it seems pretty apt. I recall it never seeming to gel, with Batman being driven by a kid going through something similar to his bloody-pearls origin, but what it all led to, I don't know. Maybe the Joker was somehow behind it all or something? And yeah, the constant monologue can get old, but that's kind of what Batman stories do ever since Dark Knight. Hey, there's always the cool Risso art.

Man, reading you talk about Superman: For Tomorrow actually makes me want to read it, if only because it actually sounds like something kind of interesting done with the character and the idea of superheroes. I don't know if I ever will, but if I do, I've got you to thank for it.

I need to find that Jordi Bernet Solo; I think it might be the only issue that I don't have. I'm not sure why. That's all I have to say about that one.

I haven't returned to Loveless since I stopped getting it somewhere around the tenth issue, but I should definitely return to it sometime. I think it suffered from trying to remember plot and character details from month to month; the collections probably read much more smoothly. I remember liking it for exactly the reasons you mention in the first volume: the violence that sticks with you, and the attitude of just trying to survive in a violent world. Good stuff; too bad it got cut short. Sorry, I guess I'm responsible.

Jesus Christ, Tucker, how the hell do you find the time to write these things?
Great post, this, and nice to see I agree with you on most of it. I wish Azarello was more popular than he appears to be sometimes, whilst I don't like everything he writes, at least you can be guaranteed it'll be interesting.
I also wish DC would collect the Vertigo minis and Flinch stuff that haven't been collected. I know the Gangland collection didn't sell particularly well, but there's some great stories in there, and enough art from the likes of Jim Lee & Frank Quitely to sell a good few books, I'm sure.

Which is the Vertigo series drawn by a five year old? Young Liars?

Okay, finally finished. Damn, that's a lot of readin'. You're awesome for doing this, Tucker, and I hope you don't mind me clogging up the comments.

By the way, did you see the Gotham Knight DVD? I actually thought Azzarello's segment was one of the weaker parts, even if it did have a nicely elliptical ending.

Well written despite the fact that I seem to be on the opposite side of the arguement to you on a lot of these comics. Maybe a 100 Bullets retrospective like this might be on the cards?

Didn't Batman say that "This is the operating table... and I'm the surgeon" line to the Mutant leader in DKR?

I think Matthew J. Brady just taught me something about commitment.

oops...that was me, Nina, posting the above. Forgot to put my name in.....

Pretty good. But next time try to include more curse words and less awesomely obsessive content.

(Also, you are a bastard because I dropped an extra $50 today, mostly on Azz/Corben books that I didn't already own. Thank you for making me own more comics. My wife thanks you too.)

I didn't even know that Typepad had pages for comments. Wow.

errol: Yeah, it's from DKR.

Nice to see someone else digs Azzarello's "Deathblow."

I don't find the "Ashes to Ashes" story that concludes Azz's "Hellblazer" run quite as unnecessary, but I also get a weird thrill out of how Stanley Manor is a parody of Bruce Wayne.

Good lord, Tucker. I doubt I'll ever read the entire post, much less the books...but that Green Lantern comic sounds hysterical.

Did you ever read that Eliot S. Maggin Superman novel from the 70s? That's one of the more appealing takes on Lex Luthor I've seen (not necessarily incredibly high praise, but there it is.)

You do make some of the John Constantine stories sound appealing...though you also caused me to look deep into my soul and realize that somewhere along the line I came to the conlusion that Constantine is an idiotic character, and I really don't want to read anything else about him ever.

"here are Osama bin Laden cyborgs crossed with dinosaurs"
That's a hard image to get out of one's head.

I'd forgotten about that For Tomorrow comixology column. It's still pretty great.

All right; well obviously I'm no Matthew Brady. But it is an awfully fun post to skim through, even for someone who's not much of an Azzarello fan.

I am glad some people remember Deathblow.

Damn, Brady, it's taken me almost as long to read all your comments as it did Stone's post!

(I kid- peace on you)

Wow, thank you to everybody who gave some kind words, I'm really glad that this found an audience. I don't think I can hit all this stuff--and all your names, we got some superstars up in here-- but I've read them all and I'm really flattered that you took a look. Couple of things jumping out:

Matt Brady: That was amazing. Thank you for doing that. I've got to look at all your comments again and answer them, but I might just email you. I don't know what you do doing the day that gives you that kind of freedom, but I'm glad you do it.

Chris: I can't tell you how much my expectations of Joker might have been set in advance--it came at the tail end of what I thought were some of Azzarello's best work, 100 was killing it at the time, and, considering how long it was supposedly in production, I may have just wanted more than was available. I think Joker is probably tough to focus on as a character. More power to you for digging it. I know you well enough to believe that you've got your reasons, I'm sure they're solid ones.

Johnny B & Matt: Definitely give Loveless a chance if you have the time. Zezelj is amazing in the book, and Matt, you'll find that in the collections all that "who is that guy again" stuff just falls away. Those comics were hurt pretty badly by serialization. Both you guys like 100, I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised. Those last three issues, the coda ones--wow. They're something else.

Jim Kingman: Hell yes! I'm glad we've come to terms. Next step: i need you to start cursing.

To everybody who mentioned not reading Deathblow: oh god, you're in for a treat. I'm sure it's in the beater bin. Seth nailed it--Wildcats 3.0, Deathblow...wildstorm can get it right sometimes.

David Tobin--I hear rumors of a 100 bullets retrospective somewhere a little more classy, with somebody at the wheel who is a lot bit smarter. Keep an eye on Journalista and the Beat, i'm sure they'll link to this guy or girl. (It's a guy.) I might do something myself down the line, but I'm to in love with the series to say much right now beyond "I'm gonna miss these guys."

TimCallahan: Hell yeah! You're going to love Corben's Doc Samson. He's hilarious.

Noah, god loves you and so do i. Now c'mere and give me a kiss. I'm not going to start reading old Wonder Woman's either, so all's fair.

does anybody know anything about that Quitely drawn elementals special?

I have been looking everywhere for a hard copy but i can find anything about it

jesus, how long have you been writting this? anyways I loved this idea and thanks for a lot of introductions.

Devan-The Quitely thing--I think one of those weird Canadian based online stores had one when I was looking around, but I couldn't tell you the website. I know the shipping charges for that place were ridiculous though, so unless you're local, it's probably not worth it.

Nathan--thanks! I wrote it last tuesday.

Great post about one of the more compelling writers today.

I echo the love for the wackiness of Deathblow. A question, though - have any of you guys read Miller & Darrow's Hard Boiled? I read it recently and thought it had some of the same graphic wackiness as Deathblow, plus killer robot children. Wonder if it was an influence on Azzarello?

For all the knock on Miller's current work, he sure blazed a lot of trails.

I hate to pick nits because this is a damn impressive post, but Werther Dell'Edera's drawing Ian Rankin's graphic novel for the Vertigo Crime Line, not Azzarello's. Victor Santos is the artist on Azzarello's book, Filthy Rich.

Marc-I've never read Hard Boiled, although I've always meant to. Thanks for the heads up, I'll definitely check it out.

Ian-that's not picking nits at all, that's a straight up failure on my end--I'm roading it right now, but when I can get to actual computer time, I'll fix it. Thanks for the correction.

Great post.

I'm a little surprised you mention Keyser Soze with respect to Stanley Manor in HELLBLAZER but don't mention Batman. "S.W. Manor" is clearly a play on Batman, from the not-especially-subtle allusion in his name (Stately Wayne Manor) to his wealth and penchant for fetish-wear to his childhood trauma backstory. "Ashes and Dust" is essentially John Constantine versus Evil Batman.

. . . and someone else already pointed that out. That's what I get for not reading the whole thread.

its a very very very very very very very very very very very very very very good story for me so that when i were you you have too read it until it is alraedy finish...................................

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