The Artists & Titles that Saved American Comics of the 90's from Suffocating in Stapled Shit

Marvel went bankrupt in the 90's, after Ron Perelman saw the economic bubble of the speculative market as his ticket to cash in on greed and stupidity before it finally popped. When it did, Perelman walked away with millions, and left Marvel as just one more bankrupt publisher trying to find something of worth amid the smoking rubble of the comic industry. Eventually Joe Quesada, the artist turned Editor-in-Chief, turned things around by seeking out indie cartoonists like Brian Michael Bendis, updating art styles and focussing on writing the most entertaining comics they could. But the 90's was a decade most Marvel fans try to forget.

Then there was Image. The company was made up of: a few twenty-something adolescents of varying talent, seeking the royalties and creative ownership they couldn't find at Marvel or DC; one scummy, hypocritical asshole with the cunning to turn his limited talents and derivative characters into a miniature merchandising empire; one very talented artist who also had the brains to cut his ties with Image once it had served his purposes; and one borderline retarded douchebag named Rob Liefeld, who is living proof that there is a god who favors obnoxious morons, a terrible artist who created nothing except lame Batman/Spiderman rip-offs like Deadpool, Cable, Supreme, and Prophet, and hires writers to turn those shitty ideas into something readable.

Fortunately, some small press publishers still believed that crafting the best comics possible was the way to go. Fantagraphics, Pantheon and Drawn & Quarterly were responsible for publishing some of the greatest comics of the decade... and in a couple cases, of all time.

It took Charles Burns over a decade to complete his magnum opus, Black Hole, a total of 360 pages; yet the consistency of the style is perfect from start to finish.

The Complete Eightball #1-18 collects all 454 pages of Dan Clowes' masterpiece, which again, took a decade to complete.

The Frank Book is Jim Woodring's 380-page collection of Unifactor stories, dating from their inception in the late 80's & early 90's to the turn of the century; again, over a decade.

Those pagecounts sound low compared to mainstream titles, in which artists -- pencillers -- crank out 12 issues and 275-pages a year. But Burns, Clowes, and Woodring do far more than pencil an issue; they write it, pencil it, ink it, color it -- often fully painted color, with Woodring and Clowes -- hand-letter every bit of text, including indicia and ads, as well as handling the colored cover art.
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28 books · 1 voter · list created June 10th, 2016 by ΞιsNιnΞ RΞχ~ΚαrnιFΞχ (votes) .
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