Beauology 101: Admiration Society

by Beau Smith

Beau SmithAs I check out many and various comic book blogs, news sites and forums, I’ve noticed that a majority of them seem to be filled with negative and snarky comments about comic books and those who create as well as publish them.

Not playing the “Old Guy Card”, but I remember that in printed letter columns, there was respect, dignity and constructive criticism. I miss that. I’ve also noticed that the only time that anyone ever says anything really nice about people is after they’re dead. I think we need to celebrate people before they croak as well.

This week’s Beauology 101 column is my “Admiration Society” column. I want to take the time to share with you, my friends, what I admire in comic books. I hope this will be the first of many Admiration Societies.

Consider the share started.

“I Admire:”

** The professionalism and work ethic of Chuck Dixon, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray. These guys are always ahead of schedule with exciting , compelling stories and treat peers and readers with respect.

** The longevity of Archie Comics.

** The “Story So Far” pages in the front of Marvel Comics.

** TwoMorrows Publishing for continuing to teach the history of comic books, past and present, as well as comic book creators with their fine publications.

** The diversity of Boom Studios.

** Jim Shooter’s new blog that pulls the curtain back on his very interesting and historic career, past and present. Plus before I got into the business he always answered my letters and treated me nice.

** The fact that Rich Johnston has never written anything bad about me at Bleeding Cool.

** Comic book writers who don’t shove their personal politics, left or right, into their work-for-hire comics.

** The wonderful friendship that Bob Wayne has given me for 25 years.

Beau with Lora Innes

** Erik Larsen, Stan Sakai, Terry Moore and Lora Innes’s stamina.

** Darwyn Cooke.

** Billy Tucci’s energy.

** Todd McFarlane’s Homer Simpson like accent.

** Gabriel Hardman’s sense of lighting and mood with his incredible art.

** Mike Mignola’s attitude towards creating comic books.

** Brian Michael Bendis taking the high road when a lot of other creators wouldn’t.

** Dark Horse Comics for doing wonderful Gold Key Archives.

Beau with Joe Kubert

** The lessons of being a professional that Adam & Andy Kubert learned from their dad, Joe.

** Joe Kubert.

** Gail Simone’s respect for non-A-List characters.

** and I miss my friend Dwayne McDuffie.

** DC Comics for publishing Showcase Presents.

** Marvel Comics for publishing Marvel Comics Essentials.

** The aggressive and innovative marketing , promotions and publishing of IDW Publishing.

** The art of Ed McGuinness, Scot Eaton, Chris Sprouse, Ron Frenz, Jorge Zaffino, and Steve Epting.

** The joy which Phil Jimenez feels for comic books.

Billy Tucci, Dean Mullaney & Beau

** Everything I’ve learned from Dean Mullaney.

** And I miss my friend Dave Stevens.

Stan Lee & Chris Ryall

** Chris Ryall’s ability to never sleep and stay plugged into the Matrix.

** Neil Gaiman’s manners and the fact he never wanted my name taken off the ANGELA trade paperback that had our stories.

** Peter David’s ability to articulate his stories and opinions.

** Steve Niles passion for comic books of all kinds.

** Frank Cho’s art and sense of humor.

** The wit of Paul Storrie.

** Tim Bradstreet’s taste in films.

** The height of Thom Zahler.

** The work of Jim McLauchlin and Hero Initiative.

** The modesty and art of John Romita, Sr.

** The art of Noel Sickles, J. Scott Campbell, Don Heck, Ross Andru, Irv Novick, Chris Bachalo, Chris Burnham, Butch Guice and Leinil Yu.

Beau with Gary Kwapisz

** Level headed thinking, dry wit and art of Gary Kwapisz.

** The friendship and loyalty of Flint Henry, Chuck Dixon, Ted Adams, Chris Ryall, Mark Schultz, Enrique Villagran, Brad Gorby, Mitch Byrd, Bobby Hickey, and Dean Mullaney.

** The art, Tweets and opened minded musical tastes of Mike Deodato.

** Ed Brubaker’s stellar work on Captain America.

** The fact that Dan Slott makes sure there is still some “funny” in Funny Books.

Beau with Terry Moore

** The Texas wit and wisdom of Terry Moore.

** Marvel Comics intestinal fortitude in being the only major publisher that has yet to hire me as a writer. They were my first love and have given me 50 years of Blue Balls

** The fact that I haven’t given up yet on writing for Marvel Comics and if I have to use crutches to walk, thick glasses to read, and little blue pills to remain manly, I will never give up my goal to write the characters I didn’t create, but love just the same.

** Stan Lee for being my influence for writing and marketing yourself.

** Frank Tieri for not being from West Virginia. Have you heard this guy talk?

Tim & Ben Truman with Beau

** Tim Truman for believing in me and getting me into the comic book business.

** Gary Groth for hiring and paying me for my first published comic book related work. (A $14.00 check I never cashed)

Beau with Eduardo Barreto

** Eduardo Barreto for his art, his genius, work ethic, bravery and friendship.

** J.C. Vaughn for always having my back.

** Bo Hampton for spelling his name wrong.

Beau with Dan Brereton

** Dan Brereton for understanding The Black Terror that Chuck Dixon and I created at Eclipse and for making the character come to life..

** Sergio Cariello for acting like he could understand my accent.

** Graham Nolan for not rooming with me at conventions and singing Jimmy Buffet songs after too many beers.

** KC Carlson for sharing my passion for old Archie Comics.

** Gail Simone for not letting DC Comics forget Lady Blackhawk.

** Everyone who ever bought and read my run on Guy Gardner.

** Roger Ash for transcribing my Beauology 101 columns from my cave wall.

B’Wana Beast

** DC Comics for letting me write B’Wana Beast and Wildcat.

** Mike Baron, Walt Simonson, Robert Kanigher, Murray Boltinoff, and Ernie Colon for helping me learn the craft of comic book writing with their time and kindness.

** Sherill Anthony for being the first to believe that I had a place in comics.

Your admiring amigo,

Beau Smith

The Flying Fist Ranch


We'd love to hear from you, feel free to add to the discussion!

  1. Jimmy Palmiotti Says:

    what a great list…mainly because I am on it.


  2. Tim Kretzer Says:

    I’m not a pro .. I’m not a con, either 🙂 .. and from my perspective as a long time fan of comic books this is a great column that I hope to see continued. Anything that will help get the men and women who are the creators — past, present & future — out among us fans so we can see them and learn more about the great folks they are, especially from a personal point of view like Beau’s in this column, is just a great, great idea all around.

  3. The Week in IDW « RyallTime Blog Says:

    […] made the Appreciation list of “the Last Real Man in Comics,” Beau Smith, in his column for Westfield […]

  4. Scott E. Hileman Says:

    Damn! I feel like the Susan Lucci of comicbook fandom!

  5. Sam Kujava Says:

    That was a heckava long list, Beau, but I agree
    with everything, and admire everyone, on it!
    It’s nice to be reminded that there still is so much
    good about this comic book industry…it’s the talented people who bring their love, and their “A”
    game to it!

  6. CB Gorby Says:

    I’ve always admired the strength , character and nobility – not to leave out the humor , common sense and good nature of Stephen Scott ” Beau ” Smith .
    Jack Kirby’s ability to take the most inane concept and make it COOL !!
    Joe Kubert’s knack making at single brush stroke an exclamation of genius .
    Dave Stevens and Greg Theakston for bringing Bettie Page to my attention .
    Mark Schultz for being the ” new ” Al Williamson .
    Richard Corben for making 3D Computer Generated comics before there was such a thing .
    Stan Lee for making comics cool , fun and then doing it again in the moving pictures house .
    Terry Beatty and Mark Heike for being two of the greatest inkers in comics .
    Bill Black for keeping the Golden Age alive and AFFORDABLE !!

  7. Beau Smith Says:

    Your comments mean a lot to me, guys. Thank you. I hope more folks share what they like about the funny book business to everyone.

    Beau Smith
    The Flying Fist Ranch

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