“What’s your single, all-time favorite comic book?”
Mike Zapcic, AMC’s television show “Comic Book Men” and Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, Red Bank, N.J.
Avengers #151, Marvel, 1976. The Avengers choose a new roster, look back at their history, and the return of the long-dead WONDER MAN!
Ted Alexander, manager, Midtown Comics’ Downtown location, 64 Fulton St., corner of Gold St., Manhattan
G.I. Joe #21 is my favorite comic book of all time. I can remember exactly where I was when I was reading it for the first time. After reading that issue, I never looked at another comic the same way. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s the issue where my favorite character, Snake Eyes, must rescue Scarlett from a Cobra compound. It’s the first time he confronts Storm Shadow and the scene where it is revealed that Storm Shadow has an identical tattoo to Snake Eyes’ still stands out for me. The issue also had no text, making it the first “silent issue.” It’s the first comic I looked at as art rather than a comic book. (Marvel, 1984.)
Mitch Cutler, St. Mark’s Comics, 11 St. Marks Place, Manhattan
Superman Annual #11, DC, 1985. “For the Man Who Has Everything.” Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons create the greatest single issue story EVER for the Man of Steel. It’s Superman’s birthday and Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman arrive at the Fortress of Solitude to celebrate, only to discover he’s already opened a gift … that will give him his heart’s desire. Moore demonstrates his complete mastery of — and deep love for — these characters with an unparalleled script. If you love Superman, FIND THIS STORY! If you don’t love Superman, find this story … and you will.
Kat O’Neill, general manager, JHU Comic Books, 32 East 32nd St., between Madison & Park, Manhattan
I can’t say I have one all-time favorite. There are many titles that I love for different reasons. So I’ll go with my favorite book that I’ve read recently, which is “My Friend Dahmer” by Derf. Derf actually attended high school with Jeffrey Dahmer, and this graphic novel depicts his viewpoint of who Jeffrey Dahmer was during those years. It’s disturbing, which is to be expected given the subject, but incredibly fascinating and well written. (Abrams ComicArts, 2012.)
Jimmy Chen, Manager at Montasy Comics and Montasy Comics Chapter 2, in Queens and Manhattan
Amazing Spider-Man #121, 1973. Death of Gwen Stacy. First-love breakup is hard enough without watching her die in front of you.
Aimee LoSecco, assistant manager, JHU Comic Books, 32 East 32nd St., between Madison & Park, Manhattan
Kool-Aid Gets Fired. It’s a mini-comic by Tim Piotrowski and it is exactly what the title says: the Kool-Aid Man gets fired and falls on hard times, does some things for money that soap won’t wash away, has an illegitimate son by another food icon. … I won’t give it all away, but this book is one of my go-to recommendations for an all-out, pee-your-pants read. If you don’t like it, you either didn’t grow up in the US or have zero sense of humor. (www.timpaulillustrations.com, 2010)
Dimitrios Fragiskatos, manager, Midtown Comics’ Grand Central location, 459 Lexington Ave., corner of 45th St., Manhattan
Stormwatch #44, Image, 1997. I love this comic because it’s about every comic. It’s the origin of Jenny Sparks. Jenny Sparks is a member of the superteam known as Stormwatch and the spirit of the century. What this means is she embodies the defining attributes of the 1900s, which is mainly electricity. She was born on Jan. 1, 1900 and (spoiler alert) dies on Dec. 31, 1999. In this issue, she tells the team trainer, Battalion, her life story, and the style in which it is drawn reflects the art style of the time. For example, her debut in the 1930s is drawn in the vein of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Superman. Her crime noir phase is a tribute to Will Eisner (known for the Spirit) and her 80s adventure is drawn with a very Watchmen-like motif. Credit to the amazing art of Tom Raney and the storytelling styling of Warren Ellis.
A version of this story first appeared in the New York Post’s Parallel Worlds blog.