Ah , the restructuring at DC continues, and it’s hit at a couple of my peeps , downsizing DC mainstay Joan Hilty this week (creator of the comic strip BITTER GIRL, if you didn’t get the reference in the title).
Joan and I worked together a few times, and made some great comics while we did, so I’d like to give her a proper send -off with a quick Top Seven list. Here now, the Top Seven books Joan Hilty edited while at the home of the Bat and the Cape.
- Everything about this run of the Flash was delightful. The creative team, the covers, the plots, the whole feel of it all. When it ALL feels right, you know there’s a hand on the wheel, steering.
- a daring, fun run of creativity. Joan does the thankless job of editing an anthology with lovely results every damn time. The line up of talent was stunning. Go find ‘em and read em.
4. Steve Gerber’s Hard Time
- unquestionably the best of the DC FOCUS books, and Gerber’s last GREAT series. I thank the lucky stars that we all got a chance to join in.
5. Blue Beetle
-The Silver Age Blue Beetle was beloved by JUST enough people to ensure he’d never succeed in his own series. This series proved you can re-invent for the modern reader and make it work. Hilty goes stepping into the shoes of Julie Schwartz quite well. (For other fun re-launch Joan comics, see OMAC PROJECT and MANHUNTER)
3. Birds of Prey
-one of the best runs of the series since Dixon and Land started it all. Joan presided over its re-birth as one of DC’s most fun books after a bit of a lull. Simone and Benes certainly helped. Great team, all around.
2. Batman Adventures, (and related series).
-People seemed to like this world of stories, so I include them. I can’t gush too much about the whole enterprise without seeming like a ego-maniac as I wrote about a quarter of ‘em, but let’s point out how wonderful ALL the issues were, not just the ones I grubbed my hands all over. Dig those crazy Gotham Girls! And how beautiful were those BATMAN STRIKES covers?
1. LOONEY TUNES
- For years, this was my hands down favorite DC comic, I kid you not. It was funny, witty, beautifully on-model and in the spirit of the original Termite Terrace, no matter who the writer or artist was. One of the unsung GREAT DC series that no one read, and making it this consistently good when it was that far under the radar is the proof that Ms. Hilty knew how to do her job.
Along with Looney Tunes, Joan did fantastic work keeping other “toon books” the best they could possibly be for years. Anyone with an appreciation for this almost lost craft should check out Joan’s high water runs on Krypto the Superdog, Scooby Doo, and Powerpuff Girls.
This unexpectedly terrific sequel to the original masterpiece deserves a special mention just for Joan coaxing the legendary Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez into a graphic novel’s worth of new artwork. Anyone who hires the bizarrely-underused greatest storyteller of a generation gets my thanks.
Way to go, Joan. You have much to be proud of for your years at DC, and your contribution to comics and art is assured. See you ’round the funny books.
Ty the Guy OUT!
Here now, your comic book moment of zen