Welcome to back to a slightly later than planned SBC’s The Panel, a chance, as always 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 panel@silverbulletcomicbooks.com and we’ll add them to the list…

This week’s question comes from Andrew Yang and is as follows:-

“What five comics/TPB would you choose to take with you if you were stranded on an island alone…?”

Egg Embry:

1) Bone the One Volume Edition [Paperback 1,300+ pages] (The whole fantastic series in one tome)
2) The Witchblade Compendium [Paperback 1,248 pages] (issue 1 to 50 of the series)
3) The Tomb Raider Compendium [Paperback 1,248 pages] (issues 1 to 50 of the series)
4) The Darkness Compendium [Paperback 1,248 pages] (issues something to something… I’m sure it’s a lot)
5) Ultimate Spider-Man Collection [Hardcover 992 pages] (The Barners & Noble edition that collects Ultimate Spider-Man 1 to 39 and the 1/2 issue)

For me it’s not so much the contents between the covers as the size and weight that might be useful on an island. I mean, who knows when you’ll be called upon to bludgeon a puma to death! And with these books, that’s an option! I challenge you to do that with Warren Ellis/Ben Templesmith’s Fell [Floppie 24 Pages]!!! 🙂

Egg Embry is a writer and editor who has had the opportunity to work on projects like ANT and Dead@17. As well, he is a big fan of Warren Ellis/Ben Templesmith’s Fell, but knows that blunt trauma to the head kills more people on CSI than paper cuts so he made his choice based on that bit of trivia.

Mike Bullock:

The books I’d have to have in order to remain sane alone on an island (in no particular order):

1) Midnight Nation by JMS

One of the best stories I think I’ve ever read in graphic format.

2) Owly: The Way Home & Bittersweet Summer by Andy Runto

One of the best stories I’ve ever experienced in any format.

3) Essential Moon Knight By Doug Moench & Bill Sienkiewicz

One of my all time favorite runs on a comic book featuring any character.

4) Elfquest Archives Volume I By Wendy & Richard Pini

One of the best non-superhero comics ever created.

5) Crisis on Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman & George Perez

The crossover story to end all crossover stories. At least for twenty years. 😉

Mike Bullock is a writer, promotion agent and President of Runemaster Studios, Inc. Lions, Tigers & Bears, his first published foray into comic writing, debuts in January 2005 from Image Comics. His other comic credits include editorship on Alias Enterprises’ Imperial Dragons and Dreamwave’s Warlands. Bullock has several other creator-owned comic properties in the pipeline, including Gimoles a book set to debut in the summer of 2005.

Kev F Sutherland:

I have to confess myself a traitor to the cause her. For despite how much I may evangelise comics, however much I might strive to convince kids of the merits of the art form, and however much I might doubt there is nothing that can’t be done in comics, there is one thing that can’t be argued with –

You can’t fit as much in as a straight text book.

If Desert Island Comics would let me take The Bible and the Works Of Shakespeare, I have to say I’d take them in words-only form. And as for an encyclopaedia, or a really big history book, I’d have to feel I’d be getting more per page with a novel.

That said, if I had to take 5 comic collections, they’d be:

– Best of EC Comics Tales From The Crypt / Vault Of Horror
– Best of The Spirit
– Little Nemo
– Best of Asterix The Gaul (but just one volume, just 48 pages? Forget it)
– Best of Tintin (but see above for caveat)

Rather than any one comic I’d take a supply of paper and pens. After all give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and for ever more he’ll be coming back saying “it was that big, you should have seen it”.

Writer and artist on most genres of comic from (currently) The Bash St Kids in The Beano, thru Tarquin Hoylet He Has To Go To The Toilet in Viz, to Star Trek and Dr Strange for Marvel, plus Dr Who, Red Dwarf, Gladiators, Goosebumps and heaps more.

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

I guess we’re assuming that we’re not worrying about the collectable thing? I mean, am I going to obsess about how it’s bagged to protect it from the sea air, possible dunking in the ocean?


Okay, my top 5 Comics/TPB’s on a desert island (this IS a good question and brings home the whole “you don’t need electricity/internet to read a comic” argument).

Stop stalling, right?


1. Batman in the 60s. A great TPB associate edited by Jim Spivey when he worked for DC (and I know him!)

2. Essential Fantastic Four, volume 3. This is when Stan and Jack were in full swing. Inhumans followed by Silver Surfer followed by Galactus. Does it get any more Essential than this?

3. Airtight Garage by Moebius. Just enough weird to shake things up a bit. Also, since JG played fast and loose with various styles therein, it’s a smorgasbord of art!

4. The Great Comic Book Heroes by Jules Feiffer. This is sort of a TPB, right? This is the omnibus of Golden Age books with Feiffer’s nifty comments. I may not agree with Jules on much, but this book is one I’ll cherish.

5. The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics and The Smithsonian Collection of Comic Book Comics. (Okay this is two. But they’re a matched set, so give me a break).

That’s it in a nutshell. Sure a copy of Watchmen would be nice, but I could get by without it.

Let’s face it, I just looked up at the bookshelf and wrote down what struck my fancy today. Hopefully I won’t be marooned anytime soon. Just in case though, maybe I should wrap these volumes in thick plastic and put them in a zinc lined chest and could duct tape the whole mess to my back!

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.

Bart Thompson:

I take it all food, drink, and bathroom needs are taken care of? Actually I’d shoot for a bookshelf of encyclopaedias, a dictionary, and a thesaurus to use the alone time to learn more and write new works. But… since this is a fictional and temporary thing… hmmm…

I’d shoot for the thickest books I could think of, so off the top of my head I’d go for:

Ultimate Spider-Man (Barns & Nobles edition collecting the first 3 hardcovers)
The megasized Walking Dead ultimate edition collection
Some combo edition of the complete Ultimates series
A book that combines Understanding Comics and the two following books in the series
A combo book that has all the issues of Dogwitch in them, along with the Scribbler and Indigo Vertigo.

That should satisfy my downtime. Most of the time I’d use exploring the island and having as much beach fun as possible. I know I’ll have a WHOLE lot of work to catch up on when I get back. Not to mention a lot of socializing from being secluded for so long.

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 coming soon from Arcana Studio and the scripter of the first arch of Lethal Instinct through Alias while the full time writer of the following volumes (Lethal Instinct volume 2: Starchild coming soon!!!)!

Vince Moore:

Well, I’m going to cheat a little by assuming that I could have complete runs of a title, for reasons that will become obvious based on my choices.

And so my top five Desert Island picks are:

1) Cerebus, because I admire Dave Sim for his achievement and even for his insanity. This is a perfect book to spend time reading and analyzing.

2) Transmetropolitan, because I love Spider and the biting humor and satire will be essential during my stay on the island.

3) Preacher, because it’s the perfect counterbalance to Transmet, the anger at organized religion and the growth the characters will keep my mind off my own troubles.

4) The Fantastic Four, the Lee/Kirby run, because I would need that sense of wonder mixed with the common day sensibility to make it through the days and hopefully to inspire me to improve my lot on the island.

5) Black Panther, Christopher Priest’s series, because it’s just that damn good.

The perfect comic book.

Now, hopefully I wouldn’t be stuck on the island forever, but with these books,

I could survive for a while.

Vince Moore is the editor for DarkStorm Studios, a comics company started by Kevin Grevioux of Underworld fame.

Fredrik Strömberg:

If I ended up on an island alone, I would probably not bring any comics at all, but OK, if I did I would bring some that would repay me for multiple rereading. Preferably, I would bring along books that I am not quite sure I have understood yet, so with the risk of showing myself as a total ignorant, here goes:

Krazy Kat by George Herriman. Preferably one of the old editions with material from the whole stretch, or even better the complete, not yet published Fantagraphics edition in one gigantic bound volume. I haven’t got a clue why I love this comic above most others, and would love to find out once and for all.

Jimmy Corrigan the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware. This book I would like to reread many times, with a new angle of analysis each time. If only my shelves with unread material didn’t grow so damn quickly…

Epileptic by David B. What can I say; I was blown away by this book, and consider it the best thing to come out of the European comics culture in many years. I would love to reread it over and over again.

Buddha by Osamu Tezuka. OK, this is not one but eight volumes, but still. I have in the last ten years or so read loads of manga in my profession as comics historian and have mostly been entertained, but only rarely touched. Buddha is one of the exceptions, and one of the best comics stories to come from Japan.

Cerebus by Dave Sim. OK, OK, another multi volume choice. I know its cheating, but to tell you the truth, I haven’t actually finished Cerebus yet. Somewhere along the way Sim kind of lost me, and even though I kept buying the books, I still haven’t read them all. And I’ve got a nagging feeling it would be worth the effort.

Well, there’s a comics library I could defend to the bitter end against raging cannibals. Maybe I would bring comics to a desert island anyway.

Fredrik Strömberg is a writer of such comic history books as The Comics Go to Hell: A Visual History of the Devil in Comics. Which is pretty cool!

Gary Spencer Millidge:

Not knowing how long I’d be stuck on the proverbial island, the five books I would choose would have to strike a balance between quality and quantity, so I’d have plenty to read, and that it would all be worth multiple re-readings.

Even so, it’s pretty difficult to choose.

1. FROM HELL (Moore/Campbell) is a no brainer. 600 pages of the best comics ever produced.
2. PALOMAR (G. Hernandez) likewise, a huge collection of some of the finest graphic fiction ever.
3. THE COMPLETE CALVIN & HOBBES (Watterson) for light relief, assuming the two-volume slipcase set counts as one.
4. JIMMY CORRIGAN (Ware) if only for its complexity, subtlety and colour.
5. KRAZY KAT 1925-34 hardcover (Herriman) or preferably, the second yet-to-be published compendium of colour Sundays.

That means I leave behind the COMPLETE BONE (Jeff Smith), BLACK HOLE
(Burns), CAGES (McKean) and the CEREBUS phone books (although if the middle period is repackaged into a single volume at some point, I’d switch this for Jimmy Corrigan book).

And once I’d exhausted the entertainment possibilities of these wonderful volumes, I would attempt to lash them together in the shape of a small raft and try to sail my way home, back to the rest of beloved books.

Gary Spencer Millidge (creator of Strangehaven, whose long-awaited issue 19 is still unscheduled at time of press). www.millidge.com

Terry Hooper:

What five TPB/comics would I take to a desert island? That’s too restrictive but….


Er, Can I swap for Essential or DC Comics Presents books?

I’d go for AVENGERS vol.1, Fantastic Four vol.1, Green Arrow vol.1…that’s four but I guess I’d be more interested in surviving than reading comics!

I can create any number of comic books featuring any super hero or other characters in my mind if I needed to so, unless I was stranded for, say, a week and needed, erm, paper for another function [!],five books would not last very long and get boring pretty quick.

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.

Stephen Holland:

Dave Sim’s Cerebus – the fictional “Complete Cerebus”, that is. (Going to need a bigger raft).

Eddie Campbell’s The Fate of the Artist (somewhat fittingly, if you’ve read it – and I’m going to be re-reading it a lot!).

Love & Rockets: Locas h/c (the big Jamie Hernandez collection – going to have to be a lot of buoyancy on that raft).

Love & Rockets: Palomar h/c (the big Gilbert Hernandez collection – going to be the only time I’ll find to read or re-read any of these, might as well make them the biggies).

Fred The Clown by Roger Langridge (because I surely, surely can’t fare worse than Fred on the island. Can I?!)

Hello again, who are you?

I’ll try to pay closer attention again now!

Stephen Holland runs Page 45, a comic shop in Nottingham UK, with Tom Rosin and Caroline Makin. He’s sorry he’s been away. He’s been on a desert island, and the service was rubbish.

Tony Lee:

There’s always a problem when you get one of these kinds of questions – and that’s the age-old one of ‘do I go for sounding highbrow, or should I tell the truth?’

I mean, sure, I could go on about Blankets, and Maus and suchlike – but would I really be lying to myself and my sick, depraved love of spandex superheroes?

So, without further adieu, my five TPB’s…

In no order –


I know, it’s a popular, nay, expected one – but it’s one that shaped my comic life. Although my brothers kept me updated with Marvel from a very early age, I got ‘into’ comics through the Star Trek comics that DC were doing when I was 14/15, and this was in 1985 – exactly the point when Crisis was about to start. I remember seeing the adverts and wondering what it was all about, I remember buying them at the time, but it wasn’t until the TPB came out a few years ago that I truly understood the whole relevance of the change. Of course, the fact that the book is so compressed you’re getting more than 12 issues – more like 20 issues for the price of 12 – makes it worth while in any book.


As I said earlier, I was brought up on Marvel thanks to my brothers, both 12, 13 odd years older than me. So, when I was five, six years old (in the mid seventies), they were in their late teens and moving away from comics. But I remember getting a big box full of tattered old sixties Marvel Iron Man and Thor comics when I was about 8 years old, and I read every one of them voraciously. I grew up on the Invaders, SHIELD, Fantastic Four and X-men. This book by Busiek and Ross was a dream for me – it went back to the golden age. It didn’t try to explain how the characters were alive fifty years later without aging – it just did it. And the research that Busiek had to put into it was incredible. In fact, I read it again last night, and it still stands the test.


I don’t think I really have to explain this one – it’s Batman. I think this was the first time I ever saw a mainstream hero in the British press – there was a massive hoo-har in the UK over him having a female Robin – but I think it worked brilliantly. There was a great animated Batman story in one of the later series where three kids tell their tales of how they met Batman – and one of the styles is this. It’s a seminal work and as such must be taken. Just don’t take DK2. Dear god that was bad.


In length alone it deserves it’s place on my list – you could stay holed up on an island for years with this and Crisis and still need a few more months to finish.

I think I liked this book mainly due to the internal religious conflict that the main protagonist (an auto-biographical Craig Thompson), but the sheer raw emotion that spills from literally every panel as you read brings you closer to the characters with every page turn. And anyone who has suffered the pangs of ‘your first love’ will understand this story oh, too well.


I have no idea. You see, there are too many. I have shelves of graphic novels. Do I pick the Judas Contract? What about the excellent Kingdom Come? Arkham Asylum? 1602? Any of the Sandman, Preacher, Hellblazer collected trades? Watchmen or the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Batman Year One? One of the Transmetropolitan trades, or maybe The Invisibles or WE3? Fables, Neil Kleid’s excellent Brownsville, POWERS – Who killed Retro Girl, the soon to be released Nextwave? Ultimates? The Ballad of Halo Jones? Charley’s War? Untold tales from the New Universe? Starship Troopers? The Longbow Hunters? All of these I would gladly take with me. But you know? I’ll swerve off track for my REAL fifth book –


The funniest comic strip you will EVER read. Collected in three books so far. Just pick the first and start reading. Tatsuya Ishida really is a diseased genius.

From blankets to Sinfest. God, what a variety!

Tony Lee – Man or Myth? He climbs trees in early hours of the morning and also writes comics. Currently for Markosia – the best selling, Starship Troopers and he is also working on his version of Robin Hood (which I am looking forward to very much)

Donna Barr:

You mean, “which drawn books, whether in magazine, serial, or collected novel or series form, would you choose to take with you if you … etc.”

All of Carla Speed McNeil’s Finder. All of my own books, including the Black Manuscripts. All of Colin Upton’s Buddha on the Road. All of Roberta Gregory’s Naughty Bits. Everything by Rolf Koenig.

IS there anything else?

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!

Kev Clark:

Good question! I had to sit and ponder this one for a while, and I
STILL can’t really say that these are my final choices, but since there’s a deadline for this panel, I’d have to say:

1) The Dark Knight Returns. I’m a Batman freak, and it’s one of the best Batman stories of all time.
2) Preacher Volume 7: Salvation. Preacher was an utter classic and another favourite of mine and this is probably the best volume of the trade paperbacks, in my opinion.
3) Sandman Volume 7: Brief Lives. I loved the whole Sandman saga, but always get a kick out of any story that featured Delirium.
4) Kingdom Come. Always entertaining, and pretty pretty pictures. Can’t get enough of the imagery in this book
5) Detective Comics #700. The only single comic on my list, it’s a thoroughly enjoyable tale. Gives me a buzz every time I read it.

Of course, if someone were to tell me there’s a five part “How to survive on a desert island” series out there, I’ll have to revise my answers again.

Kev Clark is the owner of www.Fireballcomics.com

Peter David:

Four of them would be Dave Sim “Cerebus” trade paperbacks, and the fifth would be “Incredible Hulk #400.”

Why? Because the Cerebus books are the thickest trades I can think of. I can use the paper for toilet paper and possibly also for sustenance: Plenty of fiber, plus since they’re black and white they don’t have dyes from color. Why “Hulk #400?” Because the cover was printed with this diamond-like shiny foil that could easily be used to reflect sunlight and signal passing airplanes.

PAD, writer of many great comics including Fallen Angel, Supergirl, Hulk and more… (also my dad’s favourite Star Trek writer)

Pat Sullivan:

At the moment the books i look forward to the most and desire like no others are dc’s showcase editions and marvel’s essential editions.

I think it would have to be showcase superman and the forthcoming (Hey I know i am going to like it) showcase Batman, with a smattering of essential Spider-man and essential fantastic four (I would have to bling pick the actually edition). And for a bit of a change maybe the bone complete edition.

Pat Sullivan is the man at Diamond UK. Nuff Said.

Jamie Warr:

1) V for Vendetta
2) Maus I & II
3) Aliens vs Predator
4) The Walking Dead
5) Elite

Jamie Warr is the creator and writer of Cowboy Jack from Portent Comics, check it out at http://www.portentcomics.com!

Jesse Leon McCann:

I’m gonna go with:

Dark Knight Returns
Grendel: Devil’s Legacy
Big Book of Urban Legends
Marvel Masterworks: Fantastic Four vol. 1

I was going to list with some things I haven’t read yet, but I figured, better safe than sorry!

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..

Hey all – Welcome back to the panel after another long gap – we need your questions to continue this baby, so if you like what you’re reading and think you have a good question for these guys then email me!!

I wanted to thank all the panellists this week, it’s a great turn out and some great answers. Also welcome back to a few familiar faces including Peter David, Stephan Holland and Fredrik Strömberg.

What would I take with me I hear you cry?

Well… most of my answers are above – Dark Knight Returns for definite, something with Superman in it – probably Birthright as I really liked it. Invincible Vol 1 would be in there, and probably two of my own, Rob & Ducky as they still make me laugh and remind what I can do if I put my mind to it… some sort of inspiration to try and get off the dessert island!

Next time on the Panel we had a special Markosia themed panel – all the panellists are working for the UK based Publisher and they will answering some of the best Panel questions of yester-year.


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?
– James

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