When someone says ’comic book’, I think Spider-Man – and the best of the series has to be Ultimate Spider-Man, first published in 2000. I know, I know – slightly controversial, but just look at it. It’s got the legendary team of the unbelievably talented artist Mark Bagley (later Stuart Immonen) with the witty and relevant Brian Bendis. In my opinion, you know you’ve got the genuine article when you take away one element, and it’s still incredible: take away the dialogue here, and you’re left with incredibly emotive line drawings, exploding with action and passion; take away the artwork, and you’ve got a funny, punchy script with fantastic character development, making you fall more and more in love with Peter Parker, even if you’re a guy. Tell me – what’s not cool about that?
Lizzie Mary Cullen, Designer/illustrator
I think it would have to be Popeye. I don’t really remember the comics but I do remember the cartoons from the 1950s. I think Popeye had it all. Strength. Good looks? Little pipe. Tattoos and a soft spot for Olive Oyl. But the real genius was the product placement. Spinach. I honestly believed that spinach made you stronger – and, if I’m being really honest, I still do today.
Chris Harrison, Creative director, Harrison & Co
My favourite comic book character was more of a collective – The Bash Street Kids, who, in retrospect, remind me of the more current Channel 4 comedy The Inbetweeners. I grew up reading comics like The Beano and The Dandy, and what I loved about The Bash Street Kids was that the characters always reminded you of your friends at school, their nicknames, or school life itself. With Danny, ’Erbert, Fatty, Plug, Sidney, Smiffy, Spotty, Toots, Wilfred and Cuthbert Cringeworthy, there were always tomfoolery and pranks to be had.
Luke Manning, Creative director, Pencil
Roy of the Rovers – he was a football legend. Crowds soaked up the atmosphere, as the ball soaked up moisture from the waterlogged pitch. Playing alongside former circus juggler Sammy Spangler, Roy was the perfect role model: no sex, drugs, sponsorship deals or agents – just the occasional kidnapping. He was happiest bundling the goalie into the back of the net to put his team Melchester into the next round of the cup, or was it to avoid relegation? With the beautiful game, who needs a comic strip?
Peter Higgins, Creative director, Land Design Studio