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Mike Mignola's Picks
I'm not a Crime Fiction guy but one day I started to flip through one of the Criminal graphic novels and before I knew it, I was hooked. I couldn't put it down till I finished it and when I did finish it, I ran right out and got the others. I can't single out any one of the Criminal books so I recommend all four. They are all great and the Deluxe Edition format is gorgeous.
Richard is one of the most unique creators in the history of comics and one of a very small handful who have devoted themselves to (and mastered) the horror comic. Collected here are all the stories he did for the legendary Creepy and Eerie magazines. Each -- either in collaboration with another writer or written by Richard himself -- shows his unique mix of beauty, innocence, humor and truly dreadful horror.
For years I wanted to be Bernie Wrightson, and the stories in this collection illustrate why. He is a master of impressionistic light and shadow, dramatic composition and, of course, horror - sometimes mixed with humor, sometimes not. Two of my favorite Wrightson stories lead off this collection: his adaptation of Poe's "The Black Cat" and his truly disturbing collaboration with Bruce Jones, "Jennifer."
I think Jim Woodring is one of the greatest cartoonists of all time. His stories about Frank -- some kind of animal-like creature -- and his pals are very cute, somewhat mystifying and often…troubling. They are really impossible to describe but the question "What if David Lynch had created Krazy Kat?" might give you some idea of what you're in for here.
Steve might be best known now as the co-writer/co-director of the new and pretty amazing Pixar film, Brave, but I will always think of him as a cartoonist. Before his signature creations, Sam and Max were the subjects of a much beloved computer game and a short-lived animated series. They were the stars of the funniest comics I've ever read, all of which are collected here in this very nice looking edition.
These stories look like they were drawn in the early 1900's and they are definitely an affectionate nod to classic ghost and horror stories of that era, but Gary brings to them a truly wonderful manic energy that makes them new and original. Beautifully strange with flashes of very bizarre humor. I don't know of anything else even remotely like them.
There have been Graphic Novel adaptations of Dracula but I've never seen one that captures the Dracula I saw in my head when I first read this novel, so I prefer my Dracula without pictures. This is, quite simply, the book that changed my life. It introduced me to the world of gothic horror and set me on the road to doing the work I do today.
My favorite (and I think some of the best) Hellboy stories are the ones where he's just wandering around the world and runs into trouble. These stories of John the Balladeer, who wanders the backwoods of the Appalachia with his silver-string guitar, battling evil creatures (usually drawn from local folklore), were one of my main influences. One of my stories, "The Crooked Man," is actually set in John's neck of the woods and I did my best to capture the authentic regional feel that Manly did so well.