True North Country Comics presents the top 10 go-to comic book and graphic novel list from Michael Cho.
Michael is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and now divides his time between freelancing on illustration assignments and drawing comics. His distinctive artistic style has provided him with many widely recognized nominations and awards. In 2014, Creative Blog named Shoplifter by Michael as the best graphic novel of the year. Michael’s cover art can be seen on a plethora of titles including Batman, Batwoman, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Superman, and many, many more.
Here’s a list of Michael’s “go to” graphic novels and comics (in no particular order).
And according to Michael: “My main criteria here was not necessarily the ‘best’ but the ‘most re-read’ books in my collection. I love many other books, but some are way to ‘heavy’ to re-read often.”
1. Batman Year One by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli
“This is a no brainer. The first time I was asked to draw a Batman story for DC, I turned it down. When I was asked why, I told them that Mazzucchelli had drawn the perfect Batman and I would just be doing a pale imitation.”
2. The Push Man and Other Stories by Yoshihiro Tatsumi
“Yoshihiro Tatsumi is hugely influential to me. I was honoured to meet him on two separate occasions and I was grateful to get the opportunity to tell him how much his work meant to me and how beautiful and honest it was. These stories are staggeringly powerful.”
3. The Fourth World by Jack Kirby
“I don’t know how to categorize this series of books by Kirby: New Gods, The Forever People, Mister Miracle and Jimmy Olsen (!), but they remain the ultimate story from the ultimate superhero comic creator. The ending of Himon makes me cry every time.”
4. The Amazing Spider-Man #1 to #38 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
“I read these as a young kid, collected in various paperbacks and reprints and they remain the perfect super-hero comic run. Ditko’s Spider-Man is the best Spider-Man to me. They crackle with the energy of the best punk records – that DIY, lighting in a bottle, make-it-up-you-go spirit.”
5. Eightball #1 to #23 by Daniel Clowes
“Dan Clowes is another huge influence. I read these in my 20’s and they left an indelible mark. Through the course of this run, you can see his breathtaking evolution into a world class fiction writer.”
6. Love And Rockets #1 to #21 by The Hernandez brothers
“I cut it off arbitrarily at #21 but Love and Rockets is gold all throughout the various runs. The Hernandez brothers were creating art that stood the test of time.”
7. Buzz Sawyer by Roy Crane
“Technically this is a newspaper strip, but I love Roy Crane. Some people prefer Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy, but I love the kraft-tint goodness of Buzz Sawyer. The first 6 years show an adventure strip pioneer working at the height of his powers. It’s perfect.”
8. Tales of Asgard by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
“There’s thousands of other great Kirby comics (for real) and I could probably pick any of them, but this run of backup stories in Thor is a personal favourite.”
9. Frontline Combat by Harvey Kurtzman and Two Fisted Tales by William Gaines and Harvey Kurtzman
“My favourite “war” comic bar-none. Authentic and pre-comic code censorship. A good war story is by definition an anti-war story, and these are great war stories.”
10. Captain America The Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting and Mike Perkins
“Brubaker, Epting and Perkins run on Captain America is what brought me back for good to super-hero comics. When I heard they resurrected Bucky I thought it was the worst idea ever. Then I read the series and I’ll be damned if they didn’t create some of the most exciting Captain America stories ever.”
You can discover more about Michael on Twitter at @michael_cho, on Instagram at @michael_cho_art and online at www.michaelcho.