The iFanboy Letter Column – 12/19/2008!

Friday means many things to many people. For some, Friday means you have to spend the next 48 or so hours with your horrible horrible family, begging to go back to the sweet mind numbing sanctum of the corporate office. For others, Friday is the day you make a drunken mistake at the holiday Christmas party.

At iFanboy, Friday means it’s letter column time.

You write. We answer. Very simple.

As always, if you want to have your e-mail read on the any of our shows or answered here, keep them coming –


So is it weird to have a crush on a comic book character? I started really reading comic books as a pre-teen and had an innocent liking (this was pre-puberty — so get your head out of the gutter) for Magik. Then I stopped reading comics until the last few years. Now X-Infernus comes out and, I have to say, I little of that infatuation returned. Do you guys have any comic book crushes?


I’m not ashamed to say that despite the fact that these characters don’t exist and in fact are two dimensional, I too have fallen for a comic book character from time to time. It’s only natural after you spend a while reading about them and their lives, that you find a character that you connect with and get to know over many years. Hopefully it’s simply a crush and not an infatuation or anything unhealthy because, again, these people don’t exist.

My first crush, won’t come as a surprise, since it was a crush on Kitty Pryde of the X-Men. I’m sure I was one of thousands of mindless X-Men fans who fell in love with Kitty. She was a teenager, angsty, feisty and strong-willed. What’s there not to like about Kitty? Now that I think about it, I probably owe my preference for brunettes to Kitty Pryde. That’s kinda weird and I just realized it. Wow. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Kitty Pryde was not only the most relatable of the X-Men back in the day, but she was the one you wanted to fall in love with.

As I got older, my crush on Kitty waned. First she went out with Pete Wisdom (who at the time was kind of a dick, and not nearly as cool as he is now) and that annoyed me. And then she left the X-Men and was out of the comics for a while. Around this time, I was out of college and into indie comics and discovered the world of Blue Monday, by Chynna Clugston, specifically the main character Bleu Finnegan. Bleu was adorable, awkward when it came to boys and had great taste in music and style. Each mini series that was published led me to fall a little harder for Bleu. But it’s been years since a Blue Monday comic has came out (a new series is coming out soon from Oni Press!!), so I found myself having to move on, yet again.

Most recently I found myself falling for Astrid Johnson, the main character in Jamie McKelvie’s Suburban Glamour. Like Bleu, she had a great sense of style and was clearly my kind of girl. I believe I’ve gone on record on a previous podcast that Astrid is the kind of girl I’d want to make a mix tape for in high school, even though she’s a fairy. I can look past that (I think).

So don’t worry friend, you’re not alone. If Josh can have a mancrush on Hawkeye, then we can crush on the women of our comics. It just may not be a good idea to tell lots of people about it, like say on a website. That could be embarrassing. Especially if an actual girl sees it.

Crap. Oh well.

Ron Richards


I find it difficult to stay interested in a book if the artwork is poor, even if the story is good. Likewise, if the artwork is stellar I can tolerate a less than topnotch story arc in hopes that things will improve. How much does the art of a book affect your judgment or desire to continue reading the comic?

Whitney C.

In the 1990s, artists ruled the comic book roost and stories seemed to be, at times, almost an after thought. We saw how well that went.

These days comic book writers are clearly the most heralded part of the comic book team, and for good reason. These are stories that we follow every week. But that’s not to say that the artist isn’t important to the comic book reading experience. No, this is a team effort. Comic books are a melding of words and pictures and if one of those elements is particularly bad then the whole house of cards come tumbling down.

For me personally I can tolerate okay art as long as I am enjoying the story. If there is nothing special about it and it gets the job done, storytelling-wise, fine. The problem comes with what I consider to be truly bad art. I am a very visually minded person, who comes from a family with artists in it, and I have to be able to connect with the art on some level to enjoy the comic book. If I think that the art is truly bad I won’t be able to enjoy the comic book, no matter how good the writing is. Great writing with bad art is like a great movie script being done by terrible actors. The best words in the world coming out of a bad actors mouth are ruined just as much as a great comic book story coming out of an ugly pen.

As I said before, these days it’s all about the writer, but there are still some artists who are a draw for me, people who will cause me to pick up a book if they are drawing it. Guys like Gary Frank, Kevin Maguire, Adam Hughes, Frank Quitely, Alan Davis, and John Cassaday are names that will draw to a comic book just as much as Alan Moore, Ed Brubaker, Geoff Johns and Brian Michael Bendis do.

Conor Kilpatrick

How many books is too many for you? Me, I like to read less books but read them slowly, absorb them, savor them, re-read them and completely soak them in. Sometimes just a single issue can keep entertained for hours. But sometimes I miss out on some of things that are going on (cross-over stuff for instance) that someone with a thick stack will get to enjoy. Personally I like 1 to 3 books a week and on empty weeks I’ll buy a trade sometimes. Do you have an ideal stack size?

Jason from NB, Canada

It’s a simple but pertinent question really. It’s made all the more important because of rising prices, and of course, increased economic fears. But for each and every person, it’s different. Depending on how much free time you have, or disposable income, or even storage space. Me, I’m a pretty busy guy, so when I have a ton of comics to read, I feel more beholden to them, and it becomes more like work. Of course, it actually is work for me, so I might not be an ideal case study.

There was a time, before the podcast became popular, when the deadline for the Pick of the Week review was sometime after Wednesday. In those days, I would leisurely read my comics over the course of several days, usually 6-12 books, or something along those lines. I’d read some Wednesday night, and a couple before bed, and one or two at a time for the next couple of days. I really liked that. It let me enjoy myself reading comics. On the other hand, the day before Thanksgiving, I had 17 books, and I had to read them all by the late afternoon. And even if you don’t have a comic book review to write, I tend to think that when you get to 14, 15, 16 books a week, unless you have nothing else going on, it’s going to feel like a bit of a chore, and you’re probably buying a lot of those books because you feel like you have to, in order to not miss out on something. Instead, people should be buying books that make them happy. They should be buying books they look forward to, and have been waiting for.

I was recently reminded of the time, probably 9-10 years ago, there was an Avengers crossover, called “Live Kree or Die,” and I had to buy an issue of Quicksilver in order to get the next part of the story, and I was just so annoyed at that, and still am. It was a false way to inflate my stack and make me buy a title I wasn’t interested in. When you’re buying a bunch of comics like that, because you feel you need to, it’s never as much fun for me. Conor recently talked about giving his pull list a good pruning, and I think it’s good for all of us to do that every once in a while. I try to do it on an ongoing basis. Given the perfect situation though, I’d love to do 6-8 fantastic books a week. Then throw in a trade or two every couple of weeks, and I’ll be happy. I don’t tend to re-read my issues at all. I like to enjoy them, and move on to the next thing. But with a little break from the relentless onslaught of new material, I might actually have time to do that. But then again, I might just play some video games.

Josh Flanagan



  1. Having a crush on a fictional character really isn’t that much different than having a crush on a celebrity.  They’re both unobtainable.  Id’ estimate Ron’s chances of hooking up with Kitty Pride and his chances of hooking up with Anne Hathway to be roughly equlivalent.

  2. I had a man crush on Cyclops when the cartoon was on.  Then one time I saw my friends copies of those Marvel cards where the X-men were at the beach…I instantly fell in love with Rogue after that

  3. I’ve always thought that being a little bit in love with a fictional character is inseparable from the process of reading.  I know it’s not that way for everybody but it’s a perfectly time honored way of relating to stories.  

    (And it doesn’t hurt if the character is drawn totally hot all the time, like Hal Jordan.  I’m just saying.)

  4. The love of my life is a fictional character.  Her name is Amy Gardner.  And she is perfect

    As forc comics…gotta go with Zatanna.  

  5. Was "Live Kree or Die" really that long ago? I remember having to buy the same Quicksilver issue for that, but dealing with it because I was developing a comic-crush on Ms. Marvel (or Warbird, as I think she was called back then).

  6. Current man crush: Iron Fist and Hal Jordan

  7.  i have a crush on ultimate mary jane…which is wierd, because when i started reading the book she was slightly older than me and now im way older than her…i dont know if i should feel wierd bout having a thing for a 16 or 17 years old comic book charcater at 21, when i first started crushing on her when i was 13

  8. Somebdy with more Web savy than me should link to Sonia’s "Top Ten Most Shaggable Men In Comics article for the sake of our friend Docalright.

    Ad for me  I engyoyed Whedon’s Agent Brand immensly, and I have a soft spot for Case Weaver from the Escapists and Agent 355 from Y.

  9. Sometime tomorrow morning, in my lab, I am going to find a way to merge these comments with the comments from Sonia’s massage piece to see if I can go into the Weirdest Possible Area. Warning to nearby midwesterners: this may or may not open up some kind of nude portal.

    I’m a little down right now because the books I’ve read this week had a huge outbreak of Quicksilver Buying Syndrome. Tie-ins and crossovers, I can live with and even enjoy, but I have this creeping sense of a backslide to some bad old days. If I described today’s Marvel to the Marvel that was putting out Alias, what would they say about it?

  10. @Jimski: If you do that this site is gonna need a ‘Are you Over 18?’ option before the page loads 🙂

    Crush on a character….well I’ve had several when I was a little kid. Probably Harley Quinn is the best of what I can remember. Not because she was a blonde, just because I liked how energetic she was and it also helps that Bruce Timm could draw the sexiest women on the planet.

  11. My man crush is Robin – Tim’s legal age, right? Oh, and Catman, of course.  ;o)

    As for an ideal number of books, I’m happier with just five or six great books so I’ve been dropping the ones that regularly fail to blow my socks off – I’m looking at you, Wolverine Origins and Young X-Men!

  12. @Jimski  To be fair, doesn’t the "furries" conversation on your ‘Twilight’ post also belong in the mix?

  13. I have a crush on Gwyneth Paltrow for sure, and Cate Blanchett. Comics characters? Kate Spencer.

    And you should try re-reading your comics sometimes. It’s really fun!

  14. I totally agree w/Whitney C. The first and most important part of me buying anything is the ART(does it look good?). It lays the groundwork for me enjoying the ish(or arc). Dark Reign was a perfect example. I flipped through this tittle at my LCS because the premise intrigued me, but when I saw some of the pages I just said BLAAAH, this is not for me!

    That said, Hulk is probably comic porn and the story is not that engaging or cerebral but DAMMN! Those Ed Mcguinness spreads of Thor vs. Hulk and those Arthur Adams pages are just so goood.

    Like a comic "Value MeaL" so tasty to the eyes!

    Comic Crush :Madureira’s Valkyrie (eyes lingered too long on those pages)

    Writers are a strong second


  15. Meltzer’s Hawkgirl.

  16. Hawkgirl is a good pick.  

  17. Comic book crushes? I would probably say Kitty Pryde is ubiquitous amongst fanboys. I did, when I was around 10 and the cartoon was on, had a big crush on Jubilee. And much like Ron, has lead to a life-long infauation with dark-haired girls, and Asian girls in particular. I actually was never big on any other X-Woman. While I think at times Jean and Emma have been drawn alluringly, it was never more than: "Oh, this artist’s draws an attractive woman."

    In my return to comics, I haven’t really gotten a crush or anything on characters per se. I would say, probably Agent 355 from Y – The Last Man comes closest, being a female character I was emotionally invested in. Then I would probably say Barbara Gordon. But that might be because I used to watch reruns off the Batman TV show incessantly on WPIX 11 back in the day.

    That said, I will say I have had crushes on TV characters far more easily: Jadzia Dax, Sarah Jane Smith, Donna Noble…

    I generally buy between 7-13 books a week. And over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed i keep putting off reading a lot of books. And I think this is a direct result of reordering my comic reading from "Best/Most looked forward to" last to "best" at the start. So, I’ve been looking into chopping down my pull list drastically. So my ideal stack may be dwindling before I can comment.

  18. Comics crushes:

    Historically, Jesse Custer, David Qin, Scott Summers.

    Since I’ve been reading X-Factor, it’s all about Jamie Madrox.

  19. I think my first crush was Starfire back when Perez was drawing her.  Now…maybe Emma Frost or Ms Marvel.  Always liked Black Canary too.  Maybe that Liberty Meadows girl even though I’ve never read that.

    As for art I can pretty much stand anything as long as I can follow the story.  Even if the art is beautiful I get agitated when I can’t follow what’s going on.  Being able to tell the different characters apart is a big factor for me.

  20. Why can’t the Pick of the Week be "announced" Thursday or Friday? The ifanboy trinity should get to enjoy their books. Comic book reading as a chore? That’s just wrong.

  21. oh yeah I have a huge crush on Madrox.  Instant orgy! Whoo hoo!  And in the DCU I’m definitely for Nightwing

  22. I was just thinking bout the "how long does everyone take to read their books?"  I sometimes have anywhere from 13-21 books a week and depending on how many I usually read 2-3 a day so that they last me the entire week.  But I know some people like the trinity that decide to read all of them within hours of getting them.


  23. I like lamp!

  24. Bachalo’s Death.  Definitely.  Looked for potential girlfriends that seemed to match the look and fashion of Death.  Didn’t work too well.

  25. 355 takes the cake from Y, I mean there is a woman that can take care of you.  Also I can agree with Whitney C. it’s hard for me to get through a story when the art isn’t great.  Its more like a balancing act the worser the story becomes the better the art needs to be.

     Charlie Adlar from ‘The Walking Dead’ for instance is not my favorite kind of artist, especially in his earlier work.  But since Kirkman has created such a dichotomy of characters despite the art I coud never put the book down. 

  26. I always really like Black Canary and from marvel its all about Elektra

  27. It wouldn’t break my heart if the POTW didn’t post until Friday. It could benefit from the additional scrutiny.

    Ms. Marvel owns me. It’s remarkable: I never thought a one-piece could look that good and Hal Jordan makes me question myself. I know I’m not alone.  

  28. my comic crushes:

    1. Donna Troy
    2. Helena Bertinelli Huntress
    3. Young Avengers Hawkeye (sorry josh)
    4. Mia Dearden Speedy, the HIV doesnt bother me

  29. "Dizzy Cordova" & I second Paul’s nomination of Amy Gardner’s perfection. Woof.

  30. jenny Sparks… s’all I’m sayin’…

  31. I’ve had a long time crush on Catwoman.  Not so much the dark skin short hair one from Frank Miller’s Year One but the one that is more pale with luscious long hair.  I never understood how that worked that they were in the same continuity.  I guess she has that disease that Micheal Jackson has that makes her more white looking?

  32. @robby – pedophilia?

  33. @smeeeeee

    Yeah, Mia is totally boss. is that weird i have a mother daughter thing going on there?


  34. @greendart

    LOL i thought the same thing but the mother would go on my SILF list (at least they arent blood related). this is crushes, ppl i would like to get to know and date.  

  35. @eyun – i’m with you on that


    @horatio – ba hahahahahahahahaaaa

  36. I hate using the word "crush" because i think that sounds creepy on a fictional character, but for me it’s always been Catwoman. Shes possibly my most favorite comic book character and shes definitely the kind of classy lady this guy wants to spend time with (ignoring the whole Frank Miller prostitute thing)

  37. linda danvers holding that skateboard on the cover of supergirl #1

  38. It’s always been the George Perez Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) for me. 

  39. @nate- yea donna troy is my #1 girl. esp when she was wonder girl back in teeb titans.

  40. Songbird from Thunderbolts for me definitely, and Abigail Cable.  Come to think of it maybe I just have a thing for girls with stripes in their hair.  

  41. Rachel Grey, for at least fifteen years, now.