In addition to the interview with Scott Snyder the latest episode of the CBR podcast “3 Chicks Review Comics” has me and Kelly (finally due the flu) doing our best of 2012. Below is my list which I discuss in more depth on the podcast. The disclaimer used on the show around what constitutes best - it’s definitely got some personal tastes in it - is the same as on the ‘cast. There were a lot of great comics this year and I encourage you to not only try some of the comics on this list but on others list as well. There’s some categories not covered here so give the show a listen and leave us comments!
Best Single Issue
Dex Parios and the best comic car chase, ever!
Stumptown #4 By Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth
Runners-up: Saga #1, Hawkeye #1, Batman #12,
This mini got me hooked on the entire series which I’m back reading now. Amazing art by Harren.
B.P.R.D: Hell on Earth - The Long Death by Mike Mignola, John Arcuda, James Harren and Dave Stewart
Runner-up: Vertigo’s The New Deadwardians by Dan Abnett and I.N.J Culbard
Best New Ongoing Series
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, Image
Original compelling characters, incredible world building, gorgeous art and smart dialogue.
Runner-up: Hawkeye by Matt Fraction and David Aja, Marvel
Best Ongoing Series/Major Publisher
Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, DC Comics
Batman is more vital than he has been in years under Snyder’s hand and Capullo gets better each and every issue.
Best Ongoing Series/Independent
Rachel Rising by Terry Moore, Abstract Studios
A horror story punctuated by small, lovely character moments and head swerving, “did that just happen?” moments.
Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dexter Soy, Marvel
She may not be the first Captain Marvel, or even the first female Captain Marvel but Carol Danvers is a great Captain Marvel. An incredibly confident debut by DeConnick.
Runner-Up: Glory by Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell, Image
Best Digital Comic
Smallville Season 11 by Bryan Q. Miller, Cat Staggs, Pere Perez, Chris Cross, Mark Deering, DC Comics
The best and most accessible Superman comic that DC has put out this year.
Building Stories by Chris Ware, Pantheon Books
Mesmerizing, compelling storytelling that overcomes the sadness of its characters’ lives with the sheer brilliance of its format.
Best YA Graphic Novel
Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks, First Second
The intense wonder-awfulness of entering high school presented with humor and insight through the eyes of a smart young woman who is also dealing with an unusual family. Oh and there’s a ghost, too.
Runner-up: Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Best Non-Fiction Graphic Novel
Marbles by Ellen Forney, Gotham Books
Forney, a comics artist, tells of her personal struggle with bi-polar disorder and how it affected her career and life. Forney doesn’t just tell you about her highs and lows; her art helps you sense what her experiences were like.While there are some searingly painful moments, this is also very funny.
Runner-up: My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
Best Ongoing Webcomic
Go read it. Start at the beginning.
Runner-Up: JL8 by Yale Stewart
Batman, Inc., Volume 1 by Morrison, Paquette, Stewart, Burnham, DC Comics
Some of the best (and not so best) of recent Morrison’s Batman in one book. From the wonderful Bat/Cat adventure in Japan to the thrilling reentry of Cass Cain to Stephanie Brown’s fighting off the female pop top 10. There’s some clunkers here including, sadly, the Oracle ghost in the machine story but still well worth rereading and enjoying. Some nice extras as well including costume designs.
Best New Character
Black Orchid re-created by Jeff Lemire and Mikel Janin
I liked the way that Lemire and Janin introduced her as smart and efficient punching machine and added in bits about her personality and past piece by piece. A good template for introducing new versions of older characters.
Batgirl #6 by Adam Hughes
I’m obviously partial but the lovely dynamics between Batgirl and Batman on this cover say so much about the way Batman and Batgirl interact. It’s subtle and smart and pretty.
Have you read Saga? Please do.
Here’s what I said on the Beat about him:
Not only because he writes a good Batman comic, not only because his American Vampire is scary and good, not only because he made Swamp Thing into a solid mid-tier hit (which absolutely no one expected), not only because after the mostly incredibly craptastic handling of Superman by DC since the relaunch I’m looking forward to reading his Superman book and not only because he “encouraged” DC to have Becky Cloonan draw Batman #12 thus breaking down glass ceiling over seven decades old, but also because he’s remarkably good with fans, supportive of his fellow writers and in a year where I’ve seen so many creators act like asshats on social media he hasn’t and, in fact, he actually listens to criticism. Snyder has a passion for comics backed by talent and that’s always a good thing.
So please go and give the podcast a listen. And tell me what were some your bests this year?