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Christian

Geniuses

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I'm not sure I'd go so far as to rank Dave Sim as a genius, although he's incredibly intelligent.

Who do you think are the geniuses of the comic world?

I mean, real literal geniuses.

If you really think Garth Ennis writes great comics, but you can see why he wouldn't rank as a literal genius, don't include him.

 

Grant Morrison is without a doubt a genius.

I'd conclude that Alan Moore is.

I'm trying to think who else in comics I would conclude was a true genius....

I'm leaning towards Chris Ware, Dave Louapre, Daniel Clowes, and Harvey Pekar....

I can't really think of anyone else I would classify as a true genius.

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Grant Morrison, Alan Moore.

 

Garth Ennis isnt really a genius, because he tends to reuse his original ideas, yeah he has SOME good stories but he's nowhere near Genius. a decent writer..Maybe.

 

Peter David- Not only can he do comedy books and do them very well, He can also write very dramatic deep stories along with great characterization. His humor tends to flow smoothly and doesnt feel forced or rushed.

 

Ed Brubaker - Tho he tends to work well with Gritty street level type stories.

 

Kurt Busiek - This man is known as the King of Continuity for a reason.

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Clowes, yes. His ideas and art are the work of superior intellect.

 

Robert Crumb deserves strong consideration.

 

I also love the work of Dave Collier. Very thoughtful and compelling in an everyman sort of way.

 

ditto on Moore and Morrison

 

How about Gaiman? Great storyteller. Well researched. Well read on the classics. Genius?

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You decide! : )

I was thinking of him....He's got an interesting and elaborate worldview, but he seems too normal to be a true genius. HA!

I'd say he's put out works of staggering genius, certainly.

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Isn't Carl Barks the guy who created Scrooge McDuck?

That's the guy. He's not as famous as, say, Eisner, but among aficionados he's generally thought to be the finest cartoonist ever.

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Genius != "has written some good comics".

 

 

The three or four I was thinking of were Kirby, Eisner, Sim, and Moore. Morrison's a possibility, and I can see JasonT's point about Barks, although I'm not personally familiar enough with his work to comment. On reflection, I'd consider Moebius too, and possibly (but probably not) Crumb.

 

Most of the other guys mentioned here so far - they're good, and some of them are very good, but geniuses? I don't see it.

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The usual suspects are more than taken care of here, so let's add some unsual ones:

 

Winsor McCay: experimented with panel layouts and angles long before Eisner

 

Alberto Breccia: experimented a lot with black-and-white comics; great use of shadows and lighting; master of atmosphere

 

Hugo Pratt: nothing revolutionary about Mr Pratt, art-wise, but Corto Maltese is a damn great creation by a master storyteller who was well read and well travelled

 

Quino: his 'Mafalda' strips are the apex of political cartoons, I tell you

 

 

Carl Barks, a genius indeed... I dare anyone tell me Uncle Scrooge isn't the greatest comic book character in history!

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Harvey Pekar....

 

I'm not aware of any definition of genius that could possibly include Harvey Pekar. Could you elaborate?

 

As for geniuses... Moore's the only one I can think of. And possibly Morrison, although The Invisibles is the only work of his that I think could feasibly be called a work of genius. There's no disputing that he's exceptionally intelligent and gifted, though.

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And possibly Morrison, although The Invisibles is the only work of his that I think could feasibly be called a work of genius. There's no disputing that he's exceptionally intelligent and gifted, though.

 

There's a big difference between "exceptionally intelligent and gifted" and "genius", though. I'd rate Morrison as the best writer currently working in mainstream comics, and one of the best in the history of the medium, but I'm still not sure that's enough to label him as an actual genius. As you say, The Invisibles is probably the only piece of his work which comes close to qualifying.

 

Interesting that you (and most people here) are only considering writers, mind.

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I believe it's a lot more difficult to pick a comic book artist that could be considered genius, they may be very technically proficient or have a distinctive style but for the most part they still work from the ideas given to them by a writer, the themes on the page originate in the writers head. BOCTAOE

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Well that's vaguely true (I'd still argue that it mischaracterises the working relationship between writer and artist in most comics, even those produced from full script, but that's a discussion we've had before), but the same is true of comic writers - after all, most of 'em do little real creative work, instead just keeping franchises ticking over by recycling decades-old story ideas. It's only the tiny minority of writers who transcend that who could even be considered as possible geniuses (and even most of them don't come close) - same goes for artists. I'd certainly argue that the artists I mentioned all fall far, far outside the category you're describing, for a start.

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I think literary geniuses is a silly term to use for comics: a masterpiece of comics doesn\t necessarily have to be a great work of literature (I'd call Bone one of the greatest comics ever, and a work of genius, but not necessarily a literary work of genius). but, as far as geniuses of the comic world go:

 

Alan Moore

Neil Gaiman

Jeff Smith

Carl Barks

Robert Crumb

Hugo Pratt

Jean "Moebius" Giraud

Dave McKean (Cages might be a pretentious wankfest for some, but it's a work of genius to me)

Will Eisner

George Herriman (Krazy Kat!)

Dan Clowes

Frank Miller (he might be a loose cannon now, but Dark Knight Returns, early Sin City, Elektra Assassin and other earlier works earn him this status, in my opinion)

Miyazaki (so he's better known for his movies. Nausicaa is one of the best comics ever made)

 

I still don't like Chris Ware. but I can understand why some would want to place him in a list of geniuses of comics.

 

and I'm sure I'm missing a lot of other favourites (especially European ones). hmpf.

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I think literary geniuses is a silly term to use for comics

 

Interesting, since you're the first one to use it in this thread. :cool:

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I think literary geniuses is a silly term to use for comics

 

Interesting, since you're the first one to use it in this thread. :cool:

 

whoops. completely misread Christian's first post where he spoke of "literal genius". :icon_redface: :icon_redface: :icon_redface: :icon_redface:

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I believe it's a lot more difficult to pick a comic book artist that could be considered genius, they may be very technically proficient or have a distinctive style but for the most part they still work from the ideas given to them by a writer, the themes on the page originate in the writers head. BOCTAOE

 

Agreed. Also, it's difficult to gauge an artist's contribution to the comic unless you've read the original script.

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Agreed. Also, it's difficult to gauge an artist's contribution to the comic unless you've read the original script.

 

Nonsense. You can gauge an artist's contribution to the comic by looking at it. You won't know exactly which elements were suggested by the writer and which came solely from the artist, but exactly the same thing is true in reverse. Why assume, as a default, that everything on the page must have been suggested by the writer, when a comparison of almost any available comic script with the finished pages suggests that this isn't the case? Besides which, most of the artists who've been mentioned in this thread have done most of their work either as writer/artists or Marvel-style, so those comments don't apply to them.

 

Even today, based on the script extracts which I've seen online and in books, it seems to be pretty rare for even a full-script writer to actually suggest page/panel layout in anything like the sort of exact detail you seem to be assuming here. Alan Moore is a massive exception to this rule, and since it's mainly his scripts which a lot of people are likely to be familiar with (what with his script-writing style being quite famous, and all), it's easy to see why so many people make this mistake. But it is a mistake.

 

I'd be very interested in what any of the artists (except Sethos, who's already posted) who occasionally visit this forum think of this particular discussion.

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what discussion?

 

One person writes the comic the other draws it, the writer has ideas the artist interprets them on the page. No one but you Mark went into the depth of 'panel by panel' break downs or any of that.

 

And as far as i cant tell (without pedant googling) the only artists mentioned in the thread have been writer/artists.

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the only artists mentioned in the thread have been writer/artists.

 

That's just what I said. So your and James' "we can't tell how good they are because we don't know how many of their great ideas might have been suggested by the writer" doesn't apply here at all.

 

the writer has ideas the artist interprets them on the page.

 

Read a few of the dozens of comic scripts lying around the internet (or, even better, check out a book on the subject - there've been some good ones) and you'll see quite how off-the-mark that assumption is. At best, it's a wildly misrepresentative over-simplification.

 

No one but you Mark went into the depth of 'panel by panel' break downs or any of that.

 

But that's exactly the sort of thing which indicates whether or not an artist is any good! How can you think about the subject without considering stuff like that?

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