Entertainment Weekly's 'Summer Must List' begins (unsurprisingly) with Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth from Superman Returns, but a little farther down the list at #60 comes comic book scribe Robert Kirkman. Though he is only 26, Kirkman is an excellent choice for this list of up and coming movers and shakers -- the third graphic novel collection of his The Walking Dead series from Image was the best-selling direct market graphic novel in May, and Invincible (also from Image) is one of the most fascinating contemporary comic book series -- an intriguing look at generational conflict with a superhero twist that has been optioned by Paramount (see 'Paramount Options 'Invincible'). In addition to his Image series Kirkman is currently working on a number of projects for Marvel.
Also on the list this year is Larry Young, founder of AiT/Planet Lar comics--a remarkable feat for an independent comic book publisher in any year. But Young deserves this honor because he publishes fascinating comic book series like Demo, Black Heart Billy, The Couriers and Black Diamond -- books that major comic publishers wouldn't touch, but which are always entertaining and never obscure. We may not realize but we are living through an age when the range of American comic book publishing is nearly as wide as it ever was and there are great books all over the spectrum from superhero series like Wanted to illustrated reportage like Joe Sacco's War's End. In the midst of this enormous range of titles from superhero teams to sexually explicit confessionals, Larry Young has developed a niche that is his alone -- no mean feat.