This was probably my favourite single issue of the year ! My favourite artists had new stories featuring characters I love ! Another favourite artist had a brand new story full of the psychedelic stylings for which he is known and loved ! Other writers I like had cool stories ! And to top it all off, an artist I had not heard of previously gave me a story which was fun, funny and had innovative layouts ! What more could a comic book evangelist asked for ???
Here are the stories contained in the best single issue of any comic this year:
Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot by Geoff Darrow ! I bought the oversized two issue series way back in the day, and have loved these characters ever since. Once again Geoff Darrow brings us insanely detailed backgrounds, a dash of 1950s sci-fi sensibilities and a soupçon of humour. A most welcome return from these two characters and their co-creator !!
Speaking of great characters and creators, Kabuki and David Mack are respectively my favourite character of all time and my favourite artist/writer of all time (a position he holds in a three-way tie with Dave Gibbons and Alan Davis). So of course I was salivating in joy before I even made it to the page featuring the first Kabuki story in about ten years ! My joy only grew as I read the story, and by the end I was already figuring out just where I had stored all my old Kabuki comics so I could read them all again for the 157th time ! This story was pure perfection.
Another story I eagerly awaited was the new offering The Dream Gang from British superstar Brendan McCarthy. I was first exposed to his work in the Revolver serial Rogan Gosh, and have marvelled at his blend of surrealism and colour for years since. The Dream Gang had everything I expected from Brendan and more: ordinary characters interacting with the extraordinary, anthropomorphised ideas, a non-traditional superhero, and plenty of surrealist weirdness. This is a candy coloured extravaganza of ideas which warranted a second, third and fourth read through !
The writing team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray once again proved their ability to tell a great story in any genre in their story Wrestling With Demons, in which a father must literally fight demons in an arena in order to free his daughter from the evil clutches of an evil clutcher.
The final story was a delightful surprise ! Damon Gentry and Aaron Conley’s Sabertooth Swordsman was not a title I was aware of, and after reading this amazing silent story featuring the titular hero fighting his way through a number of enemies I have been on a hunt for more from this team. Luckily for me, there are plenty !! It was this page which sold me – I love the pseudo-Egyptian “Pacman” ghosts chasing our hero !