Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Gail Simone (Barbara Gordon trilogy II)

[I'm not real happy with the writing in this entry. Better to get it posted than revise it endlessly, though. For more info see the Wikipedia entry on Gail Simone, or her blog.]

When folks find out I am a comic collector inevitably one question they have (if they are interested enough to have a question) is "who is your favorite comics writer?" Thinking of writers from the golden age to the current day, right now I'd pick Gail Simone.

This is partly because she is responsible for the scene in Birds of Prey #85 discussed yesterday. If you remove this scene from consideration Gail is in the top picks, but the top spot goes to Otto Binder. Binder was responsible for many of the stories put out by the publisher Fawcett (think Captain Marvel. The SHAZAM one.) The quality level he maintained is amazing, especially given the sheer quantity of material.

There are reasons beyond the one scene to follow Gail Simone, though. For instance, she demonstrated a facility with comedy (which is a VERY VERY difficult thing) on the title Deadpool. One of the outstanding aspects of her work on Birds of Prey (and I think of BOP as her 'main' title, although she works on several) is the attention given to the relationships between the characters. Comic book writing is often treated as a lesser art, even by the writers themselves. Gail doesn't do this, a main reason her work is highly reccomended. It is unusual to find a writer who understands her characters to the extent that Gail does.

The scene described in the last post well demonstrates many of the qualities of her work. Barbara Gordon reacts in what feels to me like a very genuine manner (and true to her established characterization) to her leg movement. Likewise for her friends, family, and colleagues.

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