As I am sure most comic bloggers would tell you, I found it quite tricky to create a top ten list of comics I read in 2013. There were many more comics I wanted to talk about, along with creators I wanted to highlight, stories about comics I enjoyed and those “after the last minute” memory flashes which had me yelling “Oh NO ! I forgot to add title xyz to my list !” I also found I had a lot more to say about the comics I did remember to add to the list that what I expected to be one blog post quickly turned into four posts.
So, to uphold my expectation to have a concise and easily digested list of comics published I feel deserve attention, I present this final look back at the year that was 2013. For those who want details about the comics listed below and my reasons for choosing them, please see the previous posts on this topic available thru the links below.
5. The Best of Milligan & McCarthy
4. Butcher Baker, Righteous Maker
3. The Comic Book History of Comics
2. The Deep: The Vanishing Island
1. The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Ship That Sank Twice
8. Suicide Risk
4. Archer & Armstrong
3. The Adventures of Augusta Wind
2. The Unwritten
1. Young Avengers
So this post does not end up like a TV sitcoms clip show, here are the other comics, creators and events I enjoyed immensely in 2013 (take it as read the creators of the comics I have already mentioned are on the lists.
More comics I enjoyed: Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril (it’s always great to see a new Tom strong story, and this one had all the elements I love about this “universe”), the David Mack and Brian Michael Bendis’ DareDevil: End of Days miniseries (Mack and Bill Sienkiewicz produce comic panels which deserve to be framed), Uber (Kieron Gillen’s story of Nazi super-soldiers is horrific but so very well told), Superior Spider-Man (watching Doc Ock trying to be a hero using the methods of a villain is incredibly entertaining), Larfleeze (Giffen at his humour/cosmic storytelling best), Hawkeye (especially when Kate Bishop is in the spotlight), The Indestructible Hulk (Bruce Banner makes peace with being the Hulk and amazing stories ensue) and It ! Girl and the Atomics (Mike Norton again, this time renewing our acquaintance with Mike Allred’s groovy super heroine).
Favourite creator: Gilbert Hernandez. In 2013 Beto had a staggering 5 comics/OGNs released, from additions to his Palomar mythology to showing us the life of a man from birth to death in Julio’s Day. I have been a fan of Beto’s since I discovered Love & Rockets vol 1 #22 at the local record shop in the late 80s (L&R also celebrated it’s 30th anniversary in 2013 and there were a number of great books published to celebrate this) and was overjoyed that this incredible artist produced so much thought-provoking, heart-warming and pure man-it-is-so-good-to-be-reading-this-stuff work. I will be posting blogs which dive into the work of Beto in a few weeks, such is the strength of my admiration for the man. Until then, enjoy Tom Spurgeon’s interview with Gilbert Hernandez.
Other creators whose work I enjoyed: Nicola Scott (another year of beautiful line work and great character designs from the best Aussie artist working in mainstream comics !!), Mike Allred (who brought his pop sensibilities to FF and gave us the best design of Ant-Man ever), Art & Franco (in comics and their hilarious Aw Yeah! Podcast) , Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips (Fatale is incredible and I have just started Sleeper which brings back the enigmatic TAO from Alan Moore’s run on WildCATs – cool !) and Francesco Francavilla (Buy his pulp love letter Black Beetle book and drool over his concept art for the as yet unpublished Batman 1972 !!).
Favourite comics moment: My favourite comics moment happened off-panel, and wasn’t in any comic I read ! My favourite comics moment occurred during the Supanova convention in Perth. My 4-year old son – at his second comics convention – was asking Chris Claremont to sign some comics for him, and wanted to tell “Mr Claremont” how much he loved everyone’s favourite Canadian mutant Wolverine. Jamie is not shy, and happily pantomimed Wolverine popping his claws, telling Mr Claremont “Wolverine says ‘I’m the best at what I do ! And SHING ! BAM ! he pops out his claws”. Not only did it entertain Mr Claremont hop end, it made this comics-loving geek dad immensely proud indeed ! A full account of the exchange can be found here.
That’s it for me and 2013, an incredible year of great comics, fun interactions with my favourite creators and the first steps in my becoming a regular comics blogger. But that’s enough of me, how about you ? What comics amazed you ? What creators inspired you and made you think ? I am keen to find out, so tell me in the comments section below.