It occurred to me randomly the other day that most of the all-time greatest comic book people (U.S.-based, anyway) have first names that start with the same letter. I started jotting down some names, and the list kept getting longer and longer, to the point where it became obvious that there couldn't possibly be another letter of the alphabet that has more all-time greats whose name starts with that letter. Your mileage may vary, but I doubt that any of the other 25 letters would have as impressive a roster of Hall of Famers.
Okay, so take a shot at it, and I'll post my own list of the all-time-greats-whose-name-starts-with-the-letter [?] once the guessing slows down.
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"S" is a good one. These aren't all A-listers, but that's sometimes a debate. I hope I don't repeat any:
Supergirl (Kara Zor-El)
Streaky the Super-Cat
Superboy (Clark Kent)
Superboy (Jonathan Kent II)
Superwoman (Lana Lang)
Savage Dragon (Image)
Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
Spider-Man (Miles Morales)
Spider-Girl (Anya Corazon)
Spider-Girl (May Parker)
Spider-Woman I (Jessica Drew)
Spider-Woman IV (Spider-Gwen)
Sargon the Sorcerer
Spider, The (pulps)
Solar, Man of the Atom
Spectre, The (Jim Corrigan)
Shade the Changing Man
Steel (John Henry Irons)
Steel (Hank Heywood)
Stardust (herald of Galactus)
Starro the Conqueror
Starr, Karen (Power Girl)
Son of Vulcan
Sandman (Kirby, DC)
Sandman (Gaiman, DC)
Sun Girl ('50s Atlas)
Shanna the She-Devil
Smasher (Izzy what's her name)
Sister Grimm (Runaways)
Streak the Wonder Dog
Sons of the Tiger
Sentry #459 (Kree robot)
Skurge the Executioner
Stone, Victor (Cyborg)
Storm, Johnny (Human Torch)
St. Coud, Silver
That's an awesome list, Captain, but I guess I must have been too ambiguous. I meant real-life comic book creators -- the guys and gals who write, draw or otherwise are involved in the creation of comic books. For comic book *characters* I think I'd probably agree with you that "S" is a pretty clear winner, assuming we change the rules to just be the first letter of the character's name, not his/her actual first name (in other words, Spider-Man and Superman wouldn't really count as a character's first name).
So I'll restate: There's a letter of the alphabet that, to me anyway, is the first letter in the first name of a lot more famous, Hall of Fame comic book creators than any other.
I guess "J." Starting with Joe and Jerry.
Of course, Jack. And then Jim and John, of which there are many, maybe not all HoF but many well known creators nonetheless.
And the “J”s would of course include Julie.
Yep, it's J. Here's the list I came up with, in no particular order, of just the all-time greats:
Other worthies but maybe not quite as luminary as those above include the likes of:
Just ponder what EC alone would've been like without their J-Squad!
I can't imagine there's any other letter of the alphabet with such representation on the list of comic book titans!
A couple of others just off the top of my head. Joe Sinnott. John Broome.
And he deserves some recognition for the sheer number of stories: Joe Gill.
Not a huge body of comic book work per se but Jeffrey Catherine Jones (Jeff Jones). Certainly influential.
There have to be others.
Now what letter is second? Oh, no, I went and asked it (I really don’t have a guess).
I had Joe Sinnott on my list, too, but forgot to type him in. But John Broome!!! Aaauuggghhhh! How could I have forgotten him? Oh man, for a Silver Ager like me to forget Broome! Thanks for the save, Dave!
And yeah, like Jeff Jones, there were a bunch of other J's that I didn't include because they didn't really qualify as all-time-greats, as we loosely define the term. Joe Gill, though, just for his sheer productivity, needs to be on the list, too.
As for what letter would be in second place? My first guess would be "B," but I haven't really researched it yet.
Other Js include Jack Oleck, Jay Gavin (Werner Roth), Jay Scott Pike, Jack Miller, Jim Lawrence, John Warner, Jose Delbo, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, John Wagner, John Ridgway, John Bolton, June Brigman, Jose Ortiz, José Muñoz, Jordi Bernet and Jeff Lemire.
Newspaper strip Js include Jim Holdaway, John McLusky, Jim Edgar, John Dixon, John Prentice, Jim Raymond, Jimmy Hatlo and Jack Williamson (Beyond Mars).
Ok, so with the B's, you'd start off with the obvious biggies like Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Bill Everett, Bob Kanigher, Bernie Krigstein, Bernie Wrightson, Bob Fujitani, Bill Sienkiewicz, and then some not-quite-all-time-greats like Bob McLeod and Bob Layton and Bill Willingham and Bill Mantlo. Hmmmm, maybe B *isn't* the second-most popular initial for Hall of Fame creator first names. But I dunno what would be?
One complication is how to classify the Bills (William) and Bobs (Robert) and Dicks (Richard). A lot of the Bs can fit elsewhere.
Because I was curious I went to the Will Eisner Hall of Fame and started there. It certainly is a comic book Hall of Fame, but it does include some folks more noted for comic strips as well as a few creators who work in a language other than English. But by and large it reflects the American comic book industry. Also as a Hall of Fame its bias is long established creators. But it is a starting place.
Using it as a starting place I think after “J” it’s a close race between “M” and “R.” “R” probably pulls ahead if you include Dick Ayers, Dick Giordano, Dick Sprang, Bob Kane, Bob Kanigher, and Bob Montana.
After M and R it’s a toss up among A, B, C, D, G, S, and W (again, where do the Bills belong?). And H isn’t far behind.
What does everyone think?
(Actually I made lists but I’d rather see what we can come up with, especially including younger creators.)
I think you're right about the letter "R" if we include given names and not the names by which somebody was best known. What do we do about pen names, though? Would Gil Kane go under the G's or the E's (for Eli Katz)?
So other Hall of Fame-worthy R's besides the ones already mentioned would include Roy Thomas, Robert Crumb, Roy Krenkel, Richard Corben, Richard E. Hughes, Roger Stern, Russ Manning, Ross Andru and Reed Crandall.