META: The Greats

Arthur Spitzer arspitzer at
Thu Apr 20 23:50:35 PDT 2006

Arthur Spitzer's Top Ten Favorite LNH Stories

Okay all of the below is probably rambling gibberish.  I really need to get
some sleep...

Hope the links work.

Okay, here's a top ten list of my favorite LNH stories.  Of course it
probably isn't really my favorite since I'd probably have a list filled with
Jeff McCoskey and Rob Roger stories for my real top ten.  But I decided it
would look better if I had a more diversified list.  I made a rule of
allowing only one issue of a particular writer and one issue of a particular
series on this list.  Still, Jeff McCoskey seemed to manage to snag three
spots anyways.

I'm probably biased towards LNH stuff that was written in 94 to 95 (which
I'd probably consider the Golden Age).  I haven't read every story so it's
certainly possible that I have missed some brilliant gem.  Please be sure to
point it out to me if I have.

A top ten list is a fluid sort of thing.  If I did this a week or month
later it's certainly possible that it would look quite a bit different.  The
toughest story to pick was for number ten.  Lots of LNH stories could have
been number Ten.  Particle Man #10 might have made the cut if it weren't for
the fact that an issue of Particle Man was already on the list.  So too with
Marc Singer's Savior of the Net #17 which was great stuff.  Issues of Tales
of the LNH, Swordmaster, Decibel Dude that were great just slightly missed
out.  I thought about doing U-Force Annual #1 which had stories from Paul
Hardy, Badger, Tick, and Mongoose.  I also thought about the LNH Special
where Pocket Man and Organic Lass got married that Martin Phipps and the
Saint co-wrote.  An issue of Limp Asparagus Man with the Union of Useless
also just missed the cut.  The issue of Aneas and Ferris where Aneas met his
evil twin Achilles.  And there was always the temptation to cram another
Jeff McCoskey story on the list.

Picking number ten was really tough.  And if I had it to do all over again I
might possibly pick a different issue.  But here it goes:

10. Misfits #5

>>From Jennifer Whitson's quirky at times silly and grim series about a group
of girls surviving life in the LNH and the darkest depths of Hell.  This one
was one of the grimmer episodes involving a group of sidekicks that get the
bad type of food poisoning and Paytan sitting on top of the LNHQ remembering
her past.  Of course you should probably read all the issues that came
before this plus this Kiwi Kommando Crossover.

9.  Writer's Block Woman #7

Writer's Block Woman decides to get married to CAW the giant orange MST3K
spouting robot in order to get her Green Card.  Do I really need to say
more?  Jaelle did a lot of great stuff after this like the rest of the WBW
issues that came after this and the Bad-Timing Boy stuff in LNHCP (as well
as the whole Culinary Disasters crossover), but this will probably always be
my favorite Writer's Block Woman story.  And the drunken author breaking the
Fourth Wall during the wedding was probably the best use of the Fourth Wall

8.  Saviors of the Net #8

Of course I'm incredibly biased in picking this one since most of the
characters that appear in this issue were ones that I created.  But still,
this is a Damn Good Story.  The fight scene between the Retcon RACCoon and
the Saviors was certainly at least one of the top ten clever fight scenes in
an LNH story.  Steven Howard gives a bunch of throwaway characters some
depth right before he kills them.  And he also created a very interesting
villain by the name of Arthur E L Presence.

7.  Continuity Champ #19

I always kind of disliked Continuity Champ (the character not the series).
He was arrogant, pompous, nearly omnipotent, a republican, and he always
seemed to be right.  The Ultimate Ninja was a lot more loveable than this
character.  I was always rooting for Ret.Conan in the whole Judak love
triangle.  Which was why this issue was great, Continuity Champ makes some
vow about how he's not going to use his powers for a day and then for the
rest of the day (completely powered down) gets his ass kicked by a bunch of
two-bit lame villains like Vapid Veterinarian and Thread Bear.  What more
can you ask for?  If only Drizzt had made the whole series like this.

This is also one of those mult-author collaboration issues, which are one of
the great things about a shared universe like the LNH.  Rene 'Dog-Boy'
Villareal, Specter, and Jeff McCoskey wrote part of this issue.  Jeff
McCoskey wrote my favorite part involving the Champs battle with the Time
Whino (yeah another character I created... and believe me I would have loved
to put LNHCP #21 with the Chuggernaut on this list if could)

6.  Dvandom Force Annual #1

Another Big Multi-Author Collaboration Issue. Steve Hutchison, Rob Rogers,
Jamas Enright, Mike Escutia, Saxon George Brenton, Jeff McCoskey, Specter,
and of course Dave Van Domelen all wrote a piece of this baby.  It was a bit
hard picking which issue of Dvandom Force (and Constellation) I was going to
put on this list -- and to be fair there are quite a bit of issues that Dave
wrote that were better than this one, but unfortunately a lot of the good
stuff that Dave wrote happened to be part of various arcs or crossovers.  I
think my favorite Dave written thing might be the Patrol/Constellation
crossover.  And the climax of Robot Invasion was really good too.  But
picking one part of an arc is like cutting off a stem of a rose.  The stem
doesn't look great by itself.  I had the temptation to pick the Myk-El issue
where the Secret Dvanders exhume his corpse, but ultimately I decided on
this issue.

This is a great issue dealing with the Sig.Lad funeral with great writing
from all involved.  Of course you'll probably have to read a bunch of the
previous issues of Dvandom Force to get something out of this (You can start
with Constellation #13 and work from there).

5.  Easily-Discovered Man #25

Okay.  Christ.  One issue of EDM?  Just one issue?  How can I possibly pick
just one issue?

But anyway...

Of course if you go by quantity, EDM is probably the most consistently funny
LNH series ever.  If we do ever have a Hall of Fame Raccies I'd certainly
put some money down on Rob Rogers snagging a bunch of awards.

But picking one issue is very hard.  1-25 are all extremely funny (after 25
the series kind of went downhill and became only really, really funny --
alas Rob Rogers isn't God).  But I guess I'll pick issue 25 that he co-wrote
with Jaelle.

Now you'd probably think that having two of the funnier LNH writers co-write
an issue together that the final product would be a horrible mess that their
Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere type humor would cancel each
other out leaving only a dismal failure of a story.  A LNH Fanboy Dream
turned Nightmare.  But strangely enough this issue is actually really funny.
(Okay.  I'm probably the only one who thought that.)

EDM and EDM lite go on a date with Writer's Block Woman and Mouse and meet
up with Waffle Queen and The Appallingly Tasteless Man.  Jocularity ensues.
This issue shows Rob and Jaelle at their best.  Maybe one day they'll
team-up again.

4.  Legion of Occult Heroes #4

While Paul Hardy's LOH was bleak and grim what made it a great series was
that it was also very, very funny.  This, however, wasn't one of the funny

This is bleak.  Probably the bleakest LNH story ever.  This is the 'End of
all LNH stories' story.  The one where LNH'rs get a glimmer of the fate that
awaits every single thing.  The death the LNH sees isn't the heroic kind,
but the kind that consumes everything even Universes.  Even Ideas.

>>From the opening scene involving a rotting piece of Cheesecake to every
other scene this is a beautifully written story.  The LOH along with
Particle Man and Occultism Kid go to the LOHers Universe in an attempt to
save.  But there's nothing to save.  All they can do is watch with horror
the last will and testament of a dying universe.

Technically this is probably part 4 of a 4 part series and you should
probably read the issues that came before this to get the full impact of
this story, but even alone by itself this is some powerful stuff.

This could have easily been #1 as are the stories that follow.

3.  LNH Triple Play #3

Hmm.  Is LNH Triple Play #3 better than LOH #4?  Is LNH-TP #3 even the best
issue of LNH-TP?  Damn these top ten lists are tough buggers.

I probably do enjoy the LNH TP issue where HHW fights the evil HHW more, but
since that was part of a crossover I'll go with this.  Every issue of LNH
Triple Play was great (even if every other issue was a part of a crossover).

If there is such a thing as an LNH style, then Jeff perfected it.  His
writing had a bit of Martin, a bit of Ken, a little Saint, Dave, Hubert, and
a touch of wReam.  But he made it his own.  One of the great things about
Jeff's writing was how he treated other people's stories.  When Jeff wrote
the LNH he wrote it like he was writing a part of some great novel and every
other persons writing was just a part of this great novel.

LNH-TP #3 is kind of a climax of every single soap opera plot line the LNH
had had up to that point.  After surviving Looniverse Adrift, Catalyst Lass
decides she wants to have a Valentine Ball and using her power makes it
happen.  A jealous Innovative Offense Boy attempts to sabotage the Ultimate
Ninja (who happens to be an Evil Alternate Version -- don't ask) date with
Ordinary Lady.  Chaos Follows.  Token Girl wins a drinking contest.

I should point out I'm probably also biased to this issue because it
contained the first reference to my character 'The Slobbering Grue!' with a
reference to a Self-Righteous Preacher fight that I wouldn't write for
several months afterwards.  Which was cool at the time and still is cool.
But I'm sure I'd like it even if there was no reference.

This is a great issue though.  Full of humor and fun.  Damn.  To think there
was a time when Jeff was writing tons of stuff.

2.  Refugees of Net.ropolis #5

Abhay Khosla's Refugees of Net.ropolis was a series that bordered on genius
and gibberish (sometimes both).  This issue was one hell of an issue though.

This one had everything you ask for in an issue.  It was absurd, silly,
deranged, chaotic, and yes poignant.  There was a Mexican bathroom standoff
with Loopy.  There was a King Quake interview with the Psycho Pawn.  But
mostly there was Dr. Medulla.  This was a story about why people turn into
Mad Scientists.  Abhay gets to the heart of the matter about why people are
self destructive, why people go crazy, why people hate the world and want to
lash out at it.  Why it's easier to be a menace than it is to be a loser.
This is an issue that goes beyond being a simple morality tale and reveals a
truth about how the real world works.

All the separate the plot lines could have made this a horrible mess, but
they seem to work together and make the whole issue better.

This was a powerful tale and probably the best Mad Scientist I've ever read.
It's a shame it's no longer in the Archives.  Oh well.  So it goes.

And now...

1.  Particle Man Annual #1

I suppose this could be the most overrated LNH story of all time.  There
have been funnier LNH stories.  And there have been better written ones.
But if there ever came a time when I needed to defend the worth of the LNH
this is the issue I'd probably use to defend it. (Because, hey let's face it
-- it's very funny and very well written!  And if you don't like this story,
there's something terribly wrong with you.)

On the surface this looks like Cyrano de Bergerac as a parody of Golden Age
superheroes with a little Grant Morrison surrealism thrown in for good
measure.  But there's something more beyond that.  This story is about Love.
About taking things for granted.  And about finding the meaning of it all.
Of course there have been tons of stories like that.  What makes this great
are all the little details like Answering Machine Man, the Intangible
legion, resentful benches, the Golfing Gorilla, 'Boy Lad had never sung
before, and about the only song he knew was "Does Your Spearmint Lose Its
Flavor?".', the Book of Phil, and the Green Door.  It's ultimately the
little details that always make or break a story.  That turn a tired cliche
into a breathtaking journey.

The protagonist of this story is Boy Lad and he's desperately in love with a
girl who doesn't know he exists.  And he goes through the whole Cyrano de
Bergerac routine, and there's the dragon and damsel in distress... and well
you should probably read the story yourself.

David R Henry didn't write too many LNH stories although most of what he
wrote was great (except the CD King one) this was his masterpiece.

There were good LNH stories before this one, but this was probably the first
Great One.  This was story that showed the unlimited potential the LNH had.
It showed that the LNH had something great inside it that you can't find
anywhere else.  That the sky wasn't the limit.  This one set the bar high.
And since then there have been stories that have raised the bar even higher.
And the bar will keep on rising.

Okay.  So there it.  I suppose next will be my ten favorite LNH series.

If you don't like this list make your own.  I'd be interested in reading it.

Arthur "You could do worse than reading these" Spitzer

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