In 2019 Shelfdust asked over a hundred comic book critics, podcasters, vloggers and commentators to pick their personal, subjective favourite ‘first’ comic book issues of all time. From their choices we counted down the top fifty entries, which you can find here! But we’re not leaving it there. Now the list is over and we know which comics made the list, we’ve invited critic and podcaster Matt Lune to host a weekly show right here on Shelfdust! Each week Matt will be sitting down with a different comic critic to look at every comic which charted into the top fifty, one issue at a time.

This week brings us the perfect comic for 2020, and one which ended up in 31st place: Crowded #1 by Christopher Sebela, Ted Brandt & Ro Stein, Triona Farrell and Cardinal Rae.

The first issue of Crowded – about a crowdfunding app which allows people to hire assassins to take out people they don’t like – runs on cheap coffee and cigarettes, with a wiry, spiky energy which propels its mismatched characters into a gonzo world filled with high adrenaline and constant paranoia. It’s the comic of the time, in many respects, with the nervous tics thrust into the story by Sebela matched and ramped up into cartoonish – yet empathetic – form by the artistic team. Alex Lu returns to the podcast to talk all about it!

You can listen to the episode:

Come back next week….. as Matt will be talking to a J. A. Micheline about Astro City #1!


Alexander Lu is an Editor for The Beat, and the new soul of modern-day New York City. He can be found on twitter here!

Matt Lune is a critic and podcaster who has written for publications including PanelXPanel, The MNT and Multiversity. You can find him on Twitter here!


This podcast is made possible thanks to the Shelfdust Patreon page! To find out more, head to our Patreon page here!