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Your Top Creative Runs part 3

Written by rdrsfn82 on Tuesday, January 18 2011 and posted in Features
Like on the other lists, I'd like to do three entries per day, so this is the final entry of day 1. An odd pairing, we have a Japanese book, a definitive American book, and a indie book that took a long time to come out. But was a fairly short run.

160. 8 points - Lone Wolf and Cub (Kazuo Koike & Goseki Kojima)lonewolf-cub

If people were to step away from the American superhero comic book industry for just a little while, they'd find that one of the most important and influential works in the medium is Lone Wolf and Cub, the long-running manga series about stern-faced ronin Ogami Itto. Okami Itto travels Tokugawa Japan with his son Daigoro righting wrongs, helping the helpless, and all the while seeking bloody revenge on the Yagyu clan, the murder of his wife. Itto is one of the greatest "grim-faced avenger" characters in any medium (or maybe more accurately, every medium–the book has been adapted to films, television, and even a video game), and although the story has its roots in Japan's past, the storytelling may look familiar to superhero fans, since Kojima's figure drawing and page layouts are decidedly Western-influenced.

159. 8 points Sgt. Rock (Kanigher/Kubert)
Joe Kubert is one of the best artists of all time and if you disagree you can kiss my ass. With that out of the way, Sgt. Rock was created back in 1959 by Robert Kanigher in the book GI Combat, an anthology book set in WWII. There were a couple of early versions of the character to use the name, the final one being the leader of Easy Company in issue #81 of Our Army At War, a group of badass soldiers with various special skills. Easy Company and Sgt. Rock became a fixture of the book and continued to star for decades. While other characters like Enemy Ace were created and had prominent roles, the next 20 years were mostly about Rock and Easy Company. In 1977 with issue #302, the name was officially changed to Sgt Rock. There were also various one-shots, digests (precursors to the modern OGN), and whatnot by the same team. The book ran until 1988, where it ended with issue #422. Kubert continued to work with the character off and on in various stories over the year, most notably in Wednesday Comics in 2009 where he did the art on a story that his son, Adam, wrote.

158. 8 points - Black Hole (Charles Burns)blackhole

What if there was an STD that turned you into one of the Morlocks from the X-Men? That's the central theme of this series. Charles Burns wrote and did the art, creating trippy, interesting designs and unique layouts that tell as much of the story as any of the words. A book that fully utilizes the medium, it's something that wouldn't work as well in a book and wouldn't have the room to tell its story as a movie. Published over 10 years from 1995-2005, the book's original publisher, Kitchen Sink, actually went out of business and threatened to end up with the book never being completed. Luckily, Fantagraphics republished the first four issues that Kitchen Sink released and then was able to release the rest of the book as well.


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