Comics Roundtable — Favorite Comics of All Time

Have you ever wondered what your favorite creators loved? What books or artists or stories drove their passion for the industry? Well, wonder no longer! We reached out to the industry and asked one simple question:

What is your favorite all-time comic?

No other rules. Our respondents were free to interpret that however they chose. Some opted for a single issue. Others opted for a series. Others chose to highlight an arc. The one commonality is that their answers signify their all-time favorite work. Thanks to all the creators and industry contributors who participated. Enjoy!


Aaron Conley (Sabertooth Swordsman, Rocket Raccoon and Groot, G.I. Joe)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
“This comic completely made me the person and artist I am today. My life would be seriously different if it wasn’t for this comic. I have a reprint that sits next to my desk and I still get pumped ever time I look at it.”

Ande Parks (Capote in Kansas, Green Hornet, The Lone Ranger)
Detective Comics #442
“The first thing that came to mind was Manhunter, by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson. The oldest comic I own that I know was purchased off the rack is Detective Comics #442. It’s a giant issue, packed with some really cool Golden Age reprints. It opens with one of the best jobs Alex Toth ever drew and ends with chapter six (the penultimate chapter) of the Manhunter serial. Archie and Walt were kind of aping Will Eisner, doing these super-effective, standalone eight page chapters that were leading to a big payoff. I was so captivated by their storytelling. The visuals are dense and organic, with a splash of Walt’s modern flair. Archie was a master, of course. The stories are tight as hell… nothing wasted. There were only seven chapters of the Manhunter story. Something like 60 pages in all. Every bit of it is glorious. Seek it out. If you can find it, the black and white reprint collection is my favorite version.”

Ariela Kristantina (Deep State, InSEXts)
Captain Kid (キャプテンキッド) by Hiroshi Uno
“I’ll choose one which is probably one of the first comics encouraging me to be a comic artist. It has over the top comedy, action, and corny romance all at once. One of the very first manga I read which made me want to be a comic artist even more.”

B. Clay Moore (Battle Hymn, Hawaiian Dick)
Watchmen
“I’ve got a standard list of about ten top comics, but I’m not sure anything will top the impact of this one. It holds up remarkably well, still.”

Brent Schoonover (Mr. Murder is Dead, Howling Commandos of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
DC: The New Frontier
“The perfect artist doing his perfect project. It just made me smile from the minute I opened it untilI the last page. It was accessible to new readers yet so much fun if you know your history. It’s just the perfect superhero comic to me. The art is flawless. Mandatory reread ever other year for me.”

Chris Pitzer (Publisher of AdHouse Books)
Love & Rockets
“Quality. Longevity. Discovery at the right age. Los Bros. It has everything, been every size, and is still going strong.”

Damon Gentry (Eerie, Sabertooth Swordsman)
The Amazing Screw-On Head
“Pure punchy comedy and flawless Mignola art. All killer no filler! Memorable characters and impressive world-building in 30 tight pages that still breathe. Leaves me wanting more forever!”

Daniel Warren Johnson (Space-Mullet!, Extremity, Ghost Fleet)
Grendel Tales: Devils and Deaths
“Incredible story that has some of the most emotive and powerful art I’ve ever seen.”

David Mandel (Showrunner on VEEP, Producer of Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Chris Claremont’s X-Men
“Re-reading takes me back. Pure nostalgia. It was like the perfect kids’ soap opera. Saving the world mixed with personal crisis and softball.”

David Price (EOC Host)
Born Again (Daredevil #227-231)
“I was a pretty regular Daredevil reader, but Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli telling the story of Matt Murdock being brought down due to the carelessness of one of his oldest and closest friends has stuck with me every since I bought the Daredevil #227 off the newsstand rack. A story about a man who had everything taken from him by an enemy who had the means, only to claw his way back to something resembling a life was something I hadn’t seen to this extreme in American superhero comic books, nevertheless a ‘Big Two’ publisher. Miller’s return to a character would have been a big enough deal, but what he put Matt Murdock through was heartbreaking and gut wrenching. And Mazzucchelli’s art paired with it beautifully. You felt every punch, gasped at every surprise. This is a story that needs to be witnessed for yourself, not retold third hand. There are many stories that I’d consider favorites. But Born Again is the one that none have been able to top.”

Declan Shalvey (Savage Town, Injection, Moon Knight)
Heartland
“I knew them Dillon and Ennis from Preacher, but that story hit home in a big way, and opened my eyes about the type of stories that can be done in comics. No superheroes, no monsters, no magic, just a story about going home, facing your past, and family drama.”

Fabian Nicieza (Cable, Deadpool, Thunderbolts)
Avengers #161
“This issue by Jim Shooter, George Perez and Pablo Marcos came as an unexpected, dramatic smack in the face during what had already been an incredibly tense storyline about the Vision and Wonder Man and served as the bridge to one of the greatest Ultron stories ever.”

Felix Lu (Artists Rep and owner of Felix Comic Art)
Watchmen
“Above all, an ode to the comics medium. A work that was designed to maximize the unique strengths of comics storytelling. You could read it a hundred times and still discover new things. WATCHMEN stands alone.”

Gabriel Hardman (Invisible Republic, The Belfry, Kinski)
Black Hole
“It’s a dark trip into a fully realized, horrific world that’s also totally relatable. I bought every issue as it came out — about once a year over a decade and it was an enormous treat whenever it would show up on the shelves.”

Gisele Lagace (Menage-a-3, Jem and the Holograms, Archie)
Maison Ikkoku
“Maison Ikkoku is a seinen (manga marketed primarily to adult males) that ran in Big Comic Spirits in the ’80s. I love it ’cause it’s funny, heartfelt, well written, and it grows on you like some of the best HBO series. By the end of the series, you cry not only ’cause of the well-crafted story, but also ’cause you know the series ended. A wonderful journey from start to finish. A masterpiece.”

Greg Smallwood (Dream Thief, Moon Knight)
The Rocketeer
“Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer inspired me as a fan and it continues to inspire me as a creator.”

Ibrahim Moustafa (High Crimes, Savage Things)
Scalped
“SCALPED, for sure! Every page is masterfully drawn, & the story is such a beautiful examination of people and circumstance. Flawless to me.”

Jason Wood (EOC Host)
Watchmen
“I know it’s the clichéd answer, but for me it’s the comic that lifted me out of mainstream superhero comics and forever expanded my horizons. There’s a reason why Alan Moore is considered the G.O.A.T. by many [myself included] and this book is the best of his phenomenal career. I rarely re-read comics but this is a work I’ve revisited a half dozen times, and am always amazed at the new aspects I discover with each new reading.”

Jeff Johnson (Wonder Man, Way of the Rat)
Amazing Spider-Man #230
“It’s my all-time favorite issue. It was inspiring to me as an artist and as a person.”

Joe Mulvey (Scam, Mummy’s Always Right)
Kraven’s Last Hunt (Web of Spider-Man #31-32, Amazing Spider-Man #293-294, Spectacular Spider-Man #131-132)
“When I read it, it hit me more than Dark Knight. It just became THAT book that expanded my thought on the medium.”

John Livesay (Legion of Super-Heroes, Infinity, Dirk Gently)
Amazing Spider-Man #250-251
“For my favorite issue, this is a cop out, but I’ve got to go with Amazing Spider-Man #250 & 251. I could check out those two every day and not be sick of them. #250 had John Romita JR. and #251 had Ron Frenz pencils. Both guys great in their own right, but the magic came with Klaus Janson doing inks and or finishes on both issues! The GRIT that Klaus could throw down on the art board with that ink, even with being only 11 years old at the time, I could tell how awesome it was!” And the Roger Stern stories didn’t hurt either.”

Julian Lytle (Ants, Heavy Metal)
X-Men #1
“I think it’s the best representation of what a superhero comic is. The art is beautiful from all parties – it’s cool, dynamic, flows well to tell the story and the colors pops. The character designs are iconic and say everything you could want about the characters. The writing is good because while there is a bad guy (magneto) he’s also empathetic you understand his anger and the reasons why he’s doing what he is and he’s an amazing foe because he’s so powerful -MAGNETIC POWERS!! You never get lost with who everyone is and they all have a point and tell you who they are. it’s the Thriller of comics for a reason.”

Kelly Williams (Eerie, You Are Not Alone)
Swamp Thing #1
“It introduced me not only to Wrightson but it opened the door for me to want to be an artist. It also set me on a trail of being obsessed with horror comics. Plus there’s just the fact that Wrightson was amazing.”

Kevin Mellon (Gearhead, Suicide Sisters, Archer)
The Puma Blues
“It challenged my brain at the time i found it in the early 90s and still does to this day. Both visually and intellectually. I keep going back to it over and over and it’s meaning changes as I get older in new and interesting ways. I see new things in the art and feel new/different things when I read it.”

Khary Randolph (Mosaic, Tech Jacket, Starborn)
Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.
“It’s fun and stupid and beautiful and ridiculous. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a comic book.”

Mahmud Asrar (Totally Awesome Hulk, All-New All-Different Avengers, Wolverine and the X-Men)
The Dark Phoenix Saga (X-Men #129-137)
“This one probably was the arc that made me a lifelong comic fan. I was totally invested all the way. And the art inspired me to no end. I’ve come to the enjoy other stories or art more over the years, of course, but this made its mark for me.”

Marc Laming (Planet Hulk, King’s Watch, Ninjak)
Cerebus
“Cerebus was the book that grew up with me and Jaka’s Story is a masterpiece.”

Mark McKenna (Countdown, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Exiles)
Avengers
“My favorite series when I was a collector. I have issues #1-150 minus Issues 4 and 24.”

Matthew Allison (Cankor, Calamity of Challenge)
Frank
“Jim Woodring’s Frank stories are the most phantasmagorical comics I’ve ever experienced. There are no other artists doing what Woodring does.”

Mark Morales (Infinity, Spider-Man, Thor)
Daredevil #181
“My favorite comic of all time is probably Daredevil #181. I was lucky enough to pick up one of Frank Miller’s early Daredevil issues as a kid and I was amazed with what he did with the character. Before that I’d pick up the random Daredevil issue, mostly for the great art by Gil Kane or Gene Colan, but he was never a favorite character. In a very short time, Miller, aided by the finishes of the amazing, amazing Klaus Janson, gave Daredevil, his villains (especially Bullseye and the Kingpin) and his supporting characters a depth that they never had before. And he created one of the best characters from the 1980’s in Elektra. Daredevil #181 was the culmination of all the storylines Miller had explored during his run. And it didn’t disappoint. Amazing fight scenes, great art, a shocking death and a even more shocking ending.”

Matthew Southworth (Stumptown, Exile to Babylon)
Doctor Strange #64
“When my copy of Dr. Strange #64 arrived, I was mystified. The cover featured Strange in a peculiar posture, almost crudely rendered. And upon reading the issue, that peculiar confusion turned to outright anger. “This guy can’t even DRAW,” I said, cursing the name of this unknown hack Tony Salmons, who’d obviously never learned how comic books were made. I read it again, even more irritated the second time that my 60 cents had been wasted. Every year I’d take a look at this aggravating issue #64, reread it, disturbed by the artwork, its rushed quality, its violent, unconsidered brushwork, its clumsy figures, in hopes that I’d warm to it. I did not. “Tony Salmons…screw that guy,” I thought. I had a peculiar animosity toward the guy who’d drawn this book since I’d paid for it without seeing it first. After years of this, I found that this Tony Salmons guy, who I’d claimed “couldn’t even draw” not only COULD draw, he could draw better than most everyone else making comics–then and now. That story led me down a path of examining comic book art with a much wider lens, to look for personality instead of polish, to look at line as a communication of emotion instead of just a communication of form. It’s one of THE important steps to my understanding art.”

Michael Walsh (Avengers, Jughead: The Hunger, Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra)
Hellboy
“Hellboy really altered the way I drew comic books when I first started reading it and still is a shining example of a creator making a comic that they just love to draw, which is everyone’s goal, really. Also, you get to see Mignola evolve the way he writes and draws throughout the run. It’s a lesson in simplification and elegance and at this point has become the comic version of poetry.”

Mike DeCarlo (Atari Force, Green Lantern, The Simpsons)
Fantastic Four
“As a kid in the ’60’s, my favorite comic was Lee and Kirby’s Fantastic Four. Great art and writing, excellent characters, and ground breaking themes.”

Nathan Stockman (Spidey, Reyn)
Hitman
“The perfect mix of great story and art. It had some of my favorite moments in comics: Batman puking on Tommy, the Superman issue and Six-pack vs the Demons.”

Nick Bradshaw (Guardians of the Galaxy, Spidey, Wolverine)
Rom: Space Knight
“That series was so much fun for me growing up. I got rid of 18 long boxes of comics last year as I felt they were just collecting dust and someone else would love ’em. But man I kept my ratty, well read Rom comics…great stuff!”

Nick Brokenshire (Amelia Cole, The Once and Future Queen)
Love And Rockets: New Stories 4
“Okay, I’m going to choose The Love Bunglers, from Love And Rockets New Stories 4. The special thing about the Maggie and Hopey stories in Love And Rockets (aside from the art) is that the whole series takes place in real time. It started in 1982 and although in the beginning it was a weird mixture of kitsch sci-fi and punk-rock, the book swiftly evolved into a far more realist story. The fact that it’s in real time has a profound effect on the reader’s experience. Essentially you are experiencing moments of the women’s lives as they run in parallel to your own. I feel that, more than most comics, this is a series that needs to be read from the beginning in order to tap into that passing of time. That’s where the magic lies… Which leads to The Love Bunglers. The events in that comic have its roots in stories that started thirty years ago. I’ve known these people for thirty years. These are my friends. I know them intimately. When I read what happened to Ray in Part 5 and how it has affected Maggie’s life, I just knelt on the floor and wept. It was like being punched in the gut. The subtlety of storytelling is sublime. Jaime has literally created real people whom I care for more than some REAL people! Amazing.”

Paolo Belfiore (Artists Rep and owner of Cadence Comic Art)
The Professor’s Daughter
“Proof you can have beautiful art and be whimsical.”

Rob Liefeld (X-Force, Youngblood, Brigade, Prophet)
Uncanny X-Men #141
“Rocked my world as a kid and continues to rock me now!”

Russ Braun (The Boys, Sixpack and Dogwelder, Where Monsters Dwell)
Batman: Year One (Batman #404-407)
“Miller and Mazzucchelli at the height of their powers, a near perfect display of storytelling, and a smart, unique take on a character we’ve all known for our entire lives. The artwork is just a masterpiece of mood, lighting and expression. I still refer back to it for inspiration.”

Ryan Lee (Archer & Armstrong, Unity)
Scalped #60
“The perfect emotional ending to a masterwork. My favorite series of all time.”

Ryan Stegman (Superior Spider-Man, Uncanny Avengers, Wolverine)
Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing
“This is by far the most enjoyable comic series I’ve ever read. I re-read it a lot.”

Sanford Greene (Runaways, Power Man & Iron Fist)
Avengers Annual #10
“It made me want to draw comics, it scared and amazed me all at the same time. I never saw art like that up to that point.”

Shawn Pryor (Kentucky Kaiju, Cash and Carrie)
Crisis on Infinite Earths #12
“I wasn’t a DC reader at the time, but there was something about the cover that made me want it. George Perez was working all his magic. Look at all these heroes! Multiple Earths? Anti-Monitor? What kind of madness was this all about? I had to find out. The comic was so dope that I saved up my money and piecemealed the limited series via back issue bins at random comic shops and read the whole mini series ear to ear every single day.”

Skottie Young (I Hate Fairyland, The Oz Books, Rocket & Groot)
I Kill Giants
“One of the first comics to make me cry. A beautiful book about dealing with and facing pain and heartache.”

Tom Fowler (Mysterius, Quantum & Woody, Ricky and Morty)
Cosmic Odyssey
“This was my intro to the “modern” DCU, and that comics could be BIG, WEIRD, FUNNY, and VICIOUS all in one package.”

Tom King (Batman, Sheriff of Babylon, The Vision)
Marvel Two-in-One Annual #7
“My favorite comic of all time is Marvel Two-In-One Annual #7. Every hero takes on the Champion. Every hero falls. Then comes The Thing. He says he’s too ugly to quit and he doesn’t. And he wins. That’s the best of comics to me, the idea that being a hero means however hard they hit you, you always have a little left, just enough.”

Tom Lyle (Punisher, Robin, Spider-Man)
Red Nails (Savage Tales #1-3)
“A Conan story by Robert E. Howard and adapted by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith. Very influential on my career.”

Tom Morgan (Excalibur, Iron Man, Captain America)
Tales of Suspense
“I just loved the era and the fantastic Gene Colan artwork. That’s why when I got to draw my favorite character, Iron Man, as a regular book I was head over heels!”

Vince Bonavoglia (EOC Host)
Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth #9
“Bloodthirsty anthropomorphic bats? Sentient plagues? Murderous midgets (that pull hair)? C’mon, son!”


What’s YOUR favorite comic of all time? We want to hear from you. Hit us up on Facebook (facebook.com/11oclockcomics) or on Twitter (@JayBWood).

  • Mark Dunne

    Great read! Nice to see the EOC net spreading further, you got some sweet replies for this piece.