Welcome to SBC’s The Panel, a chance for you to put your burning questions – comics-related or otherwise – to a group of comics professionals.

The Panel lives or dies by your contributions; please email them to [email protected] and we’ll add them to the list…

This week’s question is as follows:-

What were your top five (or there about) comic book related highlights of 2006?


Andy Winter:

1. Bryan K Vaughn and Niko Henrichon’s Pride Of Baghdad. Comic creators’ response to the shameful war in Iraq has been underwhelming to say the least, so this emotive allegorical tale about a pride of lions escaping from Baghdad Zoo during the city’s “liberation” was most welcome.

2. Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie being interviewed by Stewart Lee about Lost Girls, as part of London’s ComICA festival in October. A fascinating discussion with a writer whose work I’ve loved for years and an artist I’ve only recently discovered. Stewart Lee wasn’t half bad either.

3. Grant Morrison’s hilarious response to news of Frank Miller’s Batman: Holy Terror project: “Batman vs. Al Qaeda! It might as well be Bin Laden vs. King Kong! Or how about the sinister Al Qaeda mastermind up against a hungry Hannibal Lecter! For all the good it’s likely to do. Cheering on a fictional character as he beats up fictionalized terrorists seems like a decadent indulgence when real terrorists are killing real people in the real world. I’d be so much more impressed if Frank Miller gave up all this graphic novel nonsense, joined the Army and, with a howl of undying hate, rushed headlong onto the front lines with the young soldiers who are actually risking life and limb ‘vs’ Al Qaeda.”

4. Mike Carey writing, well, pretty much everything. He’s the nicest man in comics and now one of the most successful, too.

5. Genius artist Brendan McCarthy returning to comics after a 14 year absence with Solo #12. Quick, someone pay him a huge sum of cash to do a mini-series or something before he legs it back to Hollywood.

Andy Winter is the writer of Hero Killers. Visit him here: http://www.moonfacepress.com, here: http://www.herokillers.com and here: http://www.myspace.com/andywinter1


Baz Renshaw writes:

For me 2006 was a great year for comics, lots of good material.

1. DMZ: Brian Wood is a creator I’ve only recently been introduced to this last year (thanks Haroon, I owe you on that one), and I’ve been eagerly reading his back catalogue, without realising I already had his seminal CHANNEL ZERO. DEMO, SUPERMARKET and LOCAL soon joined it on my shelf. DMZ draws from so many historical sources and while commenting on current Neo Conservative fundamentalism in America, it just reminds us we see the same scenario time and again replaying through history. There’s echoes of Beirut, of Gaza and Baghdad, but for me (and most telling) the parallels of Manhattan under siege with Sarajevo during the Bosnian war. It’s an essential read. Go to www.brianwood.com.

2. THE ESCAPISTS is so cleverly written by Brian K Vaughan, as the narrative snakes in and out of ‘reality’ of the comic creators and the characters within the very comic they’re creating with great art by Philip Bond and Eduardo Barreto . It’s something you could only do with comics, and I just hope the team come back for more after the initial run. I’ve just finished issue 6, and the final page says so much about the possibilities of comics as a medium. Go to www.darkhorse.com

3. HELLBOY: It’s Mignola. I don’t need to say anything more. Got to www.hellboy.com. Also, on related note, meeting the lovely Duncan Fegredo again at the Birmingham Comics Festival and seeing the first issue of HELLBOY: DARKNESS CALLS, not due for publication till April 2007. It’s a hell of a wait.

4. THE GREAT GAME: Ian Edginton and D’Israeli have teamed up to create some of the most beautiful comics I’ve ever read. KINGDOM OF THE WICKED is a masterpiece; LEVIATHAN is a small sliver of genius that deserves ten times the page count it was given in 2000AD, as shown by the recently released collection. But the highlight for me has been their WAR OF THE WORLDS trilogy. Beginning with SCARLET TRACES, the sequel to Well’s book, the creators established a darkening British Empire using left over Martian technology to sustain its stranglehold on Earth. Then, midway through developing the sequel to that, they were asked by Dark Horse to adapt WAR OF THE WORLDS itself for a webcomic, which has recently been collected in glorious hardcover. Once again some stunning imagery and Ian Edginton adapts the text well, but it is merely a taster of what is to come in THE GREAT GAME. Set some years after the events of SCARLET TRACES, the British Empire have invaded Mars and have been fighting a brutal and pointless war. A journalist travels there to uncover the grim truth of a government not above killing its own soldiers to win the battle and the inevitable counter invasion. Much like LEVIATHAN, THE GREAT GAME is near perfect for a Wells fan like me. The only failings of these projects though are their short length; I’m not talking about decompressed storytelling but a more satisfactory resolution to the plots and themes which are introduced.

THE GREAT GAME certainly features what I believe to be some of the greatest art of D’Israeli’s career. I can’t wait to see their new series in 2000AD in 2007, called STICKLEBACK. Go to www.darkhorse.com for WOTW and www.2000adonline.com for LEVIATHAN.

5. Getting to email John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra about the ORIGINS storyline in 2000AD for REDEYE 6 and getting to see art months in advance of publication. Tell you, that was sweet.

Writer, artist, editor and Liverpudlian Barry Renshaw is behind the ENGINE COMICS line of publications and a founder of the ACCENT UK collective, makers of among other things, REDEYE MAGAZINE, a quarterly for the UK comics scene.


Pat Sullivan:

1] Dc starting the showcase line. Even more cheap black and white reprints for me to enjoy. The beauty of the showcases is that in most instances i have not read most of the comics that are being reprinted. a joy to see some classic creators at work.

2] Jack kirby’s eternals available in a hardcover. Joy beyond joy. Combined with the reprints of his modern day cap run they just serve to remind just what good fun comics can be. (A tip of the hat goes to Godland from image).

Pat is the diamond’s UK representative and good fella to boot, of course that doesn’t mean kick him.


James E. Lyle (a.k.a. Doodle):

Have to be honest here (I usually try to be, unless it’s going to hurt someone’s feelings), very few BIG comics events have lived up to any of my expectations this year.

However the small victories have been sweet and I’ll talk about those.

1. DC SHOWCASE reprint collections! A breath of sweet air to this old time fan (and many of my friends as well).

2. So you want to be a Superhero? Stan Lee’s “reality” show for Sci-Fi Channel could have been a fiasco, but actually came off as touching, in spite of the corny flavor in early episodes.

3. Heroes. It’s embarrassing that a TV series is doing a better job of with telling the stories of Superheroes than the big comic book publishers! Come on DC and Marvel, get a clue!

4. Comic Conventions. I have to mention the great efforts being made by the conventions here in the US. Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC was again a great show (in spite of a few hiccups along the way), and MegaCon in Orlando, FL continues to strive toward a similar level of quality. I should also mention the return of the small local show, Greenville (SC) ComicCon was a return to the intimate shows of the 80s, but sadly turned out to be Dave Cockrum’s last show.

5. My induction into the NCS. Okay, this one is just a personal note. I got into the National Cartoonists Society! Since I’ve been working toward this goal since I was 14, it means a lot to me to be included in this group. If you’re a cartoonist and don’t know about them, http://www.reuben.org/
will get you there. No pressure, though.

James E. Lyle is a cartoonist and illustrator, including co-creating titles Escape to the Stars, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. and DoorMan, plus work on Fright Night, Cynicalman Sells Out, and the accurately-spelt Wiindows. More recently Lyle worked on Turok, the “missing” Paul Gulacy T.h.u.n.d.e.r. Agents, and DRASTIK #1.


Mike Collins:

Silver Surfer Trailer- don’t care if the movie turns out to be utter bobbins, I just got to see John Buscema artwork brought to life!

Superman Returns- some issues with pacing and the moping over Lois aside, I Believed A Man Can Fly again. When the music started up I was in geek heaven.

Edginton and D’Isreali’s War of The Worlds/Scarlet Traces/Great Game. Bloody marvellous stuff, comics at once modern, old fashioned and timeless. Two creators at the top of their game.

Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark’s Daredevil. Sheer magic.

Darwyn Cooke draws the Spirit.

Mike Collins is currently artist on ‘American Gothic’ for 2000AD, and producing a crime fiction graphic novel for Westwind in Norway, as well as providing regular illustrations for Future Publications and Doctor Who Monthly.


Terry Hooper:

Hmmmm. MY top five comic related events of 2006? I have to say that my first has to be meeting all the folk at the Bristol Convention in May. That was fun talking to artists and creators –and we got Roy Thomas over!!

Reverso Crisis On Infinite Earths…..oops…Infinite Crisis was a major event in my comic year as DC finally showed its appalling lack of interest in what we comic buyers/fans thought and destroyed the DC universe again….is that destruction #564? Who cares now?

I’m desperately trying to find a good point here….well, there was Garth Ennis and Colin Wilson’s great series for Wildstorm, Battler Britain. All my favourite 1940s/1950s British black and white war films in a colour comic! Great stuff.

Far better than the disastrously awful ALBION [I prayed for amnesia but ,no!].

The, uh, New Avengers title sank further down my popularity scale…Fantastic Four was a good read. Marvel DID retain some credibility with its “House of M” house clearance but I think we’re seeing all that unravel with Civil War: some interesting stories therein but I think the characterisation shows newer writers and editors just DO NOT know the characters they are dealing with. Mr Fantastic, Reed Richards, as a fascist? Willing to stand by as the US government rounds up heroes who won’t register?

An idea. Make these people read FF, Avengers, Iron Man,etc.,from issue #1 on -maybe they’ll get the point!

Great fun was Last Planet Standing and the other spin offs. These really were fun and Tom Defalco deserves a medal!

Love & Rockets by Los Bros Hernandez was a sheer joy and the only title that jumped off the shelves in my eyes. Fritz, Luba, etc ., under Beto Hernandez’s artistic hand got better. There -a positive note!

All-in-all,though,2006 wasn’t a great year for comics that I saw…related items? The Superman movie? Nope. Games? Don’t touch them. Chinese and Indian comics provided me with my year’s highlights -Nagraj, Parmanu, Zero Heroes they worked. And rediscovering my old 1960s Marvels and DCs.

2006 comics…..no thanks….let’s just clear that year from the comic calendar and hope 2007 is better!

Writer, artist and freelance editor as well as Small Press publisher. Has toyed with writing for magazines, TV and radio outside comics. Drew and wrote for Marvel UK, London Editions [Manchester],Blue Comet Press, Fleetway/IPC as well as for Fantagraphics imprints Monster and Eros Comics where he wrote the best selling Two Hot Girls On A Hot Summer’s Night [!]. Has also worked in Europe, India comics and, more recently has been putting together projects for Chinese comic publishers. Published Zine Zone International between 1983-1995 and Comic Bits since 1999. Recognised as a talent spotter and got several well known artists their breaks into comics. Comic historian to boot and currently working on The Who’s Who of British Diamond, Golden & Silver Ages Comics.


Bart Thompson:

This year has gone by so fast and I’ve been working so much that 2006 has been nothing but an amazing blur. My list is not the definitive list by far, just the best of what I can think of at the moment.

So… getting into what we were brought here for… My 2006 List:

1. V for Vendetta – Of the three main comic movies (Superman Returns bored me to tears and though X-Men: The Last Stand was fun, there wasn’t much re-watch value), V took the crown for story, visuals, action, acting, cinematography… whatever you wanted, V had it.

2. www.comicspace.com – It’s only two weeks old at the time of writing this and it has been beneficial in countless ways. While I still keep Myspace around for promotion to the masses, Comicspace is the best place to network.

3. Approbation publishing over 24 issues – This was more of a personal milestone to see how many comics I could publish and I was able to get over 24 comics in print this year. The highlights of the bunch for me being the first few issues of the Amour and Evil Inside titles. Check them out at www.ApprobationComics.com

4. Heroes – My favorite TV show of the year (yes, it kicked LOST to the curb). Sure it seems a lot like JMS’s Rising Stars and Supreme Power, but if he’s not complaining then neither am I.

5. Ultimate Spidey/ End of an Era – The team of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley are coming to an end. It was a great run of 110 issues. *plays taps*

Bart Thompson is the founder of Approbation Comics and creator/writer of Vampires Unlimited, ChiSai, Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies, and MiKayla. He is the writer/co-creator of Blood, Shells, & Roses & Lethal Instinct volume 2: Starchild both coming soon from Arcana Studio!


Lee Barnett:

1) The re-emergence of genuine enthusiasm for comic books… from comic bookprofessionals.

I can’t recall a time when so many people I’ve met in the industry are so enthusiastic about making comic books. Not that there’s not always been some people, but it seems to me that we went through a period the past five years or so of some people being incredibly ‘up’ about comics, with more than a few regarding it just as “yeah, ok”. Not now though – the past few months have appeared to me to mark a renaissance of eagerness and fervour by creators, and – it has to be said – publishers. Also, I can’t ever recall so many people going into the new year looking forward too 2007, rather than just wishing the dying year do just that: piss off and die.

2) Sensible critiques of comic books and series – Rather than the “I hate this” and nitpicking that seemed to accompany less than favourable reviews of things like IDENTITY CRISIS, I became more aware than ever in 2006 of serious and constructive criticism from, among others, Johanna Draper Carlton and Paul O’Brien. I’m not sure why, even though both were must reads before, both of them really seemed to have taken it up anotch in quality in 2006.

Three completely self-serving and selfish things to end with.

3) The Kryptonite Factor
The most fun I’d had in months to do with comics, this panel put on by me and Adrian “Just1Page” Brown allowed me to take the piss out of some of my closest friends in comics. What more excuse does it need to be here?

4) Bristol’s Comic Expo #1
Without doubt, the best and most professional of the comics conventions put on in the UK the past ten years, Comic Expo was pure fun from start to finish. I had an especial reason for enjoying it this year, about which more in a moment, but it seemed that everyone who went came back enthused about comics. The seventh Hypotheticals was a riot to be involved with, and as always my thanks to Dave Gibbons for the fantastic job. All the panel deserve our thanks, and the audience seemed louder in their appreciation than ever.

5) Bristol’s Comic Expo #2 and “Finland! Finland! Finland!”
This deserves its own “highpoint”, since it was the first time I’d taken my son Philip to a comics expo/convention/show/festival (* delete according to choice). He had a whale of a time, and it was a joy to see the comics industry through his eyes for a change. Thanks to everyone who made him not only welcome, but feel like he was part of something special. And of course, with encouragement from Bevis Musson and Tony Lee among others, he pitchedto Bob Wayne, an event that apparently had to be seen to be believed. I say “apparently” since I wasn’t actually there at the time it happened… but
Bob’s reaction when I caught up with him in the bar spoke volumes. That pitch turned into a parody comic entitled “Finland! Finland! Finland” drawn by Bevis, and it’s downloadable from
http://www.hypotheticals.co.uk/finland.pdf. (Hey, if I can’t pimp my son’s work…)

Lee Barnett is a writer, and funny one at that – he created Hypotheticals with Dave Gibbons which is ace and always a highlight at the UK’s Bristol Expo.


Tony Lee:

Well, I’m going to give ten, five as Tony Lee, the writer – and five as Tony Lee the fan.

So… as the fan…

1) COMPANY WIDE SERIALS.

I’ve been enjoying these immensely this year. First there was INFINITE CRISIS, then 52, and then CIVIL WAR – I’ve always been a fan of the ‘Every superhero in the world has to save the universe’ type of tales, and I’ve always been a sucker for a good crossover. And of course it doesn’t hurt that they’re written by some of the best writers in the business.

2) THE BALLPARK SCENE IN SUPERMAN RETURNS.

I had tears in my eyes as I watched this in the cinema. And the whole place was cheering. First time I’ve seen that in a multiplex in a long, long time.

3) PHONOGRAM.

I hate you, Kieron Gillen.

4) NEXTWAVE.

I love you, Warren Ellis.

5) HEROES. I’m seriously loving that TV Show. And then again, I am the mainstream fanboy, so – so be it 😉

And, as Tony Lee the writer…

1) SAN DIEGO / NYC 2006.

I love conventions. But there’s something totally magical about the SDCC. It’s a week or so where the industry comes together, feuds are mainly put aside, and you can sit in a bar with a publisher and talk about how the Mets are doing rather than throwing pitch after pitch. And of course seeing old friends and having a total blast.

This year’s San Diego was a great one for me, as for the first time ever I was in a position where I could wander up and speak to any publisher without having to spend half an hour explaining who I was. Added to that, I had some great meetings over the week, and indeed the three days following in NYC which followed this, with another chance to hang out at the Marvel Bullpen (and I never get bored of that) and a signing with celebrity chums Mike Oeming and Neil Kleid (and a last minute Chuck Satterlee) followed by a beer in a NYC bar with some of Marvel editorial. Brilliant.

2) WRITING DOCTOR WHO.

Granted, it was a 3-part adaptation, but I got to write ‘TIME LORD’ Since I was a child I’ve loved this series. It’s the first TV memory I have. And I’m now canon in the Doctor Whoniverse.

And in May, Mike Collins (the artist) gave me a page of the art. It’s on my wall.

3) STARSHIP TROOPERS.

After years of hanging around, my trilogy finally came to light in 2006. Two books done, book 3 started. And an ongoing around the corner. I’ve worked with some of the best people in the business here, including Sam Hart, Neil Edwards, Shanth Enjetti and Chris Dibari.

4) MY UPCOMINGS.

This was the year I got some solid work for 2007 done. From the Graphic Novel ROBIN HOOD – OUTLAWS PRIDE to the adaptation of RAVENS GATE, to the upcoming DASHING TALES – FOR YOUNG CHAPS with partner in crime Dan Boultwood and the epic Arthurian Trilogy with AndyB that starts with STONEBLADE in 2007 – last year was a year of planning ahead in a purely Graphic Novel market. And I think I’m reaping the rewards in spades.

5) AMAZING FANTASY.

I only had one Marvel comic in 2006, and it wasn’t what you would call ‘A-List’, but there’s something incredible about having a Marvel release. And I don’t just mean the cheque that arrives with Spiderman on it.

The AMAZING FANTASY story also came out in the TALES OF THE NEW UNIVERSE Graphic Novel, which also was a highlight in a related kind of way. Not only did I work with Len Kirk, who I’ve wanted to work with for a while now, but I also had a great editorial team in Mark Paniccia and Nate Cosby who taught me how Americans really speak…

Tony Lee is a writer from the UK who has written for X-MEN, DOCTOR WHO and STARSHIP TROOPERS amongst others. He can be found at http://www.tonylee.co.uk.


Gary Spencer Millidge:

I make no apologies for making this a very personal selection of comic-related events from 2006.

Napoli Comicon, Italy.

Hanging out with Karen Berger, David Lloyd and Jaime Delano at a comic festival held in a castle in the shadow of Vesuvius. Fantastic.

Magasin Général by Loisel & Tripp

A gorgeous new series of books from the Casterman stable, with two albums published in 2006. Unfortunately only available in French at the moment.

Alan Moore & Melinda Gebbie at ComICA event, London.

An extremely rare public appearance by the bard of Northampton, with his fiancée and emceed by the witty Stuart Lee to launch the long, long awaited LOST GIRLS. A very enjoyable evening.

Quai des Bulles festival in St. Malo, France.

Like the celebrated Angouleme festival, but more intimate, cleaner, at a warmer time of year and with lots of hotels and Restaurants. And just a short flight out of Stansted, too. Recommended.

Strangehaven in French

Thanks to Editions Akileos, all three of my Strangehaven books have been published in French during the past 12 months, in a beautiful oversized format with new covers. I could burst with pride.

Gary Spencer Millidge has been self-publishing his comic book series Strangehaven for over 10 years and has a couple of writing projects due in 2007. www.millidge.com


Mark Poulton:

For me, the top 5 comic highlights of 2006 were dominated by the big 2. Here’s what I got:

1. Civil War – Civil War dominated comic shops like no other series. There were so many big moments: Spider-Man unmasking, Thor cloned, Punisher returns to the Marvel U. This is what event comics should be like.

2. 52 – I am amazed DC hasn’t missed a week. Originally, there were some storylines I wasn’t into, but we are a little past the halfway point and I’m loving it.

3. Onslaught Reborn – Rob Liefeld is back in a big way! It’s some of his best artwork yet and fans are flocking back to it by evidence of the issue #1 sell out.

4. Iron Spidey – Spider-Man is my favorite character and initially I hated this costume… but after awhile it grew on me. It was a nice change-up for a short while and made for some fun comics.

5. Richard Donner writing Action Comics! This is huge. I can’t believe there wasn’t more of a tie in with the Donner cut of Superman II coming out on dvd around the same time though. It just screamed cross promotion!

Mark Poulton is the Writer/Co-creator – Koni Waves from Arcana Studio http://www.koniwaves.com.


Donna Barr:

As a writer and artist, I have to ask…. is ANYBODY’s highlights other than their own?

I can list my own highlights because they’re what matters to me.

And anybody who writes and draws in this industry and says otherwise is LYING.

So there.

1. I got four books ready for the Eisners.

2. I found out my work has so much peer respect I want to go hide so my blushing doesn’t blind anybody.

3. Doing comics in a rural area on DSL began to work.

4. Josh invented Comicspace.com

5. I went to work for Yaoi Press (YaoiPress.com). Look out, Manga….

Donna Barr has books and original art at www.stinz.com, webcomics at www.moderntales.com, www.girlamatic.com, and has POD at www.booksurge.com Nothing she won’t try, at least once…including writing a column for SBC at this link!


Ken L Jones:

1. Having Uncle Tickle see print

2. Having Uncle Tickle get mentioned in Superman Returns

3. The ultra cool Blade TV series on the Spike channel.

4. Having the ability to get the great Trina Robbins back in print online for a new generation to see.

5. Renewing my friendship with Phil Yeh “the godfather of the graphic novel” and being privy to the creation of his latest graphic novel.


Kevin Jones:

1. Getting Kang the Conqueror and Dragon Man action figures in the mail (yes I’m a nerd)

2. Kitty Pride’s ass in X-Men’s III The Last Stand (a work of art)

3. Getting in print officially the first time when Uncle Tickle came out.

4. Getting the MTV Spiderman complete series for $8.00 on DVD.

5. Getting a The Leader figure whose head didn’t look like a nut sack finally (what a great day that was) and Baron Strucker was pretty cool too.

Ken L Jones has been kicking around in the world of popular culture for over twenty years. He has worked on movies, TV, and most especially in the comic book field. Besides his own creator owned creations such as Hero Man, The Conscience, and Chuck Morris, the Karate Kat he has done comic book work for the Walt Disney Company and Harvey Comics too.

Since his youngest son Kevin could barely talk he has been assisting him with his comic book writing and now they are officially comic books first and only father and son writing team. Besides doing Uncle Tickle for Portent Comics they are writing a variety of books for the Atomic Pop Art company and have their own company Aggressive Comics which produces e-Books at Drive Thru Comics which feature not only their own titles past and present but also showcases the work of many famous comic book creators too.


Jesse Leon McCann:

1. Of course, my #1 would have to be the publishing of my latest mini-series, KRYPTO THE SUPERDOG from DC, It’s been a very gratifying experience, with an excellent art team.

2. The increasingly fine comics blog reporting, such as THE BEAT, COMICS REPORTER, COMICS SHOULD BE GOOD, and many others.

3. The fact that CIVIL WAR is too good a series for its delays to ruin it.

4. Eric Shanower’s OZ books released in one big collection.

5. ABSOLUTE SANDMAN began.

Jesse Leon McCann is a New York Times Best-selling Author. He’s currently writing KRYPTO, THE SUPERDOG for DC Comics, as well as LOONEY TOONS and CARTOON NETWORK BLOCK PARTY; editing the fifth SIMPSONS TV Episode Guide, and writing BART SIMPSON stories for Bongo Comics.


Paul Cornell:

Here we go. Unapologetically superheroes all the way. Apart from right at the end. I’m not including Manga here: different playing field. Still. Unfortunately. Discuss. Anyhow -!

1: 52. It’s not the continuity (it’s definitely not), or the mysteries, it’s following several small stories, on a serial basis, through one big unified universe. I always loved it in early Marvel when Iron Man would fly off from an Avengers issue with only an asterix and a ‘see Iron Man #852 for why he’s in such a mood’. It suggested a magical world beyond this comic. 52 lives there. It’s learnt loads from shows like Lost: one can play a drama just on the emotional beats. It’s the most modern comic around, and yet it’s got an island of mad scientists. Mainstream commentators have checked in for the Batwoman and stayed for the sense of story and universe. I don’t care how it ends, it’s perfect already. Which is why I haven’t listed Civil War here: that’s a movie of which we haven’t yet seen the ending. But so far I’ve loved it, and I’d anticipate it being my number one next year.

2: The work of Gail Simone. The Atom may be the finest ongoing superhero title out there right now, with all its many lovely quirks serving the story. Probably the only title to make me laugh out loud. (And one of the many titles this year that could effortlessly be a modern US TV series.) Plus Birds of Prey has been fabulous too. This year, ‘Simone’ on the cover has been a guarantee of freshness and delight and tons of great lines, across many titles, in what’s been her best year.

3: Legion of Super Heroes. I’m a long time Legion fan, and the current version is one of the best. Like a high quality teen show with an infinite budget. Characters pop in, we get who they are in two lines, and remember them when they’re back in two issues. A sense of fun and serious intent at the same time. And the characters answer the letters page!

4: Exiles. Tony Bedard is a vastly under-rated writer, but it’s with some surprise that I work out that this is the ongoing Marvel title I reach for most quickly. (I should also mention how great Uncanny is right now, and how New Avengers and Black Panther have also been delightful in their different ways.) The nature of this title demands discipline and continuous invention from a writer. It’s the toughest assignment, and Bedard (and literally *all* those before him) even seems to be enjoying it. It feels like My Pet Title, which I think must be true for everyone who buys it. Though not many folk would nostalgically associate it with their courtship and marriage.

5: Battler Britton. I love war comics, particularly those that realise that you don’t have to mess with the genre of ‘war story’ in order to demonstrate that war is a very nasty thing that we should all abhor, yadda yadda. This could have been a British war comics in-joke (‘for you the war is over, Tommy!’), but it’s well researched, and depicts a genuine experience which my father’s generation went through, and the nature of which still doesn’t feel adequately communicated in pop media, astonishingly, to those that followed.

Oh, and if you like Star Wars, Rob Williams’ Rebellion was just the real, right stuff, with many splash pages of huge space battles and characters just right.

That was six, wasn’t it? Sorry.

Paul Cornell is a writer for Doctor Who, books, comics and TV show. “Father’s Day” was a personal highlight for me, one of Paul’s episodes. He has also written episodes of the new Robin Hood series on BBC 1 and currently writes ‘Wisdom’ for Marvel.


Another comic book year has gone by – SBC’s The Panel is now back and this year it should be a lot more regular… its been a funny year comic book wise I think with my main highlight being Superman Returns, as you all know I am a Superman whore. But this year has brought some good books, some bad books and personally I have done some of my best work this year with my own small press titles.

2007 promises to be an exciting one, so next time on the panel we will asking our panellists just what are looking forward to this year!!

James.


The views and opinions expressed on the panel are solely those of the panellist who has written them. They do not reflect the views or opinions of silver bullet comic books or myself. Freedom of speech is great, isn’t it?


Have the Panel gotten it right?
Have your say on the hot topics of the day at the Panelology message board.