Sunday, March 25, 2012

Jonathon Hickman

If I didn't know better, I'd think Jonathon Hickman was British, but he's not. He was born in the States, but he writes comics like a Brit. That doesn't mean his characters are all running around speaking with Cockney accents and chasing down fish and chips. You see, comic writers, really good comic writers from the last 25 or so years have had a high propensity for British citizenship. Don't ask me why those guys seem to dominate the literary scene in comics, they just do. That's all besides the point though. Hickman has quietly become a force of nature in comics and is a ray of shining light that promises that the medium is not yet dead.

To be honest, his best work appears in the form of the monthly Fantastic Four and FF (Future Foundation). It is incredibly complex in scope and the depth of detail is staggering. It's nice to see a top talent on a flagship title, but these are not the books that peak my interest. What does whet my appetite is his Image Comics creator owned work. They usually seem less developed than his Marvel work, but they have soul and touch on much more sophisticated topics than super heroes (nothing at all wrong with that topic though). Most impressive to me, is the fact that Hickman came up under the Image banner and parlayed that into much more lucrative work for Marvel, but he didn't abandon Image like some other creators have when success came knocking (cough-Bendis! cough-Fraction!) He has a bunch of projects in the pipeline and they have found a home at the creator friendly Image. Image has been knocking it out of the park lately with new projects from Brian K Vaughn, Scott Snyder, Ed Brubaker and host of others. I applaud the man for doing what is right for the comic community. Independent comics are good for the market. Diversity of publishers is good for the market. Following your creative instincts in lieu of chasing a buck is good for the market.

If you wanted to pick a creator to mold your comic career after, I would chose this guy. He belongs to a small group of writers that excite me when I merely see they are doing a new project. I know I can count on him to deliver at certain level. If it doesn't register with me it certainly was not because his heart wasn't in a project. Do yourself a favor and check this cat out. I recommend Nightly News, Red Mass For Mars and Pax Romana.You might even swear the guy was British after you read him.

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