Hello all, sorry its so long between postings. WAY too long. I’ve had a lot going on. Maintaining a relationship, going to Austin, TX for an awesome vacation, being forced to move back home to Nashville, AR with my parents, an endless and continuing four year job hunt, and seeing more films. But enough about that, its time for me to get back to this.
A new year is upon us and in 2014 I promise to be more active on here. Nothing will distract me. Except starting up my own production company. But enough about that. Let’s do some lists!
2013 lists! LISTS! Yeah I’m not that excited but hey, I became a co-host of a live comic book podcast, the What Are You Reading Comic Book Show, with The Silver Surfer on the highly entertaining, Rant Entertainment Radio. We do a live call in show every Sunday with the recordings to be found on BlogTalkRadio and on Podbean.
We just gave out our top five favorite books. So here I am to go over them again but along with my other five favorites. Next to my true love of film, I think I love comic books best. So true believers, please Santa don’t let Stan Lee sue me over that, its my top 10 favorite comic books of 2013!
10. The Manhattan Projets; Image Comics; 2012-Present
Writer: Jonathan Hickman; Artist: Nick Pitarra
The Manhattan Project was not what it seems. For it was truly a front for more esoteric ideas. Joseph Oppenheimer is really a killer with multiple personalities that kills and devours twin brother Robert, FDR is saved by being melded together with A.I., Harry Daghlian is a walking radiated skeleton, and Albert Einstein is trying to open an inter-dimensional he created. Hot damn I love this book.
So who else could be capable of writing captivating, interesting, weird, strange science fiction in the form of a comic book? Oh Jonathan Hickman. Hickman is a favorite at Image but I really didn’t notice who he was until his fantastic, if a bit overlong, run on Fantastic Four. Its probably my favorite Fantastic Four run in a while, next to Mark Waid. He has such interesting ideas and can pull them off and make them seem interesting on any aspect. Of course the ideas wouldn’t be as nearly as entertaining without Nick Pitarra’s art which is really good. Not some the usual stuff you see but it works for the book and makes sure is memorable. I also must give praise to colorist Jordie Bellaire who makes it help visually stand out. The use of color in this book is wonderful and my eyes have a field day when looking at this fun.
9. Wonder Woman; DC Comics; 2011-Present
Writer: Brian Azzarello; Artist: Cliff Chang
Wonder Woman is badass. Wonder Woman is badass and I will no one say otherwise. DC’s New 52 is just all kinds of fucked except for few books, Wonder Woman is one them books. Such a great action adventure title, its really out there and weird too. Just something all kinds of cool. This is book has the best action and battle sequences of any comic on the stands today. When it goes all out, man does it ever. The stories are entertaining to read as well. Wonder Woman has always been great, this helps prove why.
Brian Azzarello wouldn’t be the first person I bring to mind as to writing Wonder Woman, but he makes it work. I been digging this run every since the first issue. Azzarello never seemed to quite work on the superhero stuff he’s done before but hey, guess that time has proven to help him and know what to do when it comes to Wonder Woman. Also man Cliff Chang’s art is fantastic. I love how he draws the action. He excels at that. His non action art is very good as well but holy shit again, he draws great action and battles. The fights are just so fun to look at. This is one the few remaining creatives teams on the same book since the beginning of the New 52, and this one has proven to work greatly.
8. The Shadow; Dynamite Comics; 2011-Present
Writer: Various; Artist: Various
I really enjoy me some pulp stories and man I love The Shadow. Yes my introduction was the Alec Baldwin film but, screw it, I actually dig that film. It made me read stories featuring The Shadow and I am so glad that I did. Dynamite has many pulp things going on but I read them and man nothing can compare to The Shadow, and lucky me its actually a really damn good book.
The various creative teams make to keep up a sense of fun with writers like Garth Ennis, Victor Gischler, and Chris Roberson and artists like Aaron Campbell, Jack Herbert, Giovanni Timpano, and Alex Ross on the covers. I’m excited to read each issue. It makes me excited for the future of The Shadow. I think its one the best books out there that no one is really taking notice of, though they should.
7. Morning Glories; Image Comics; 2010-Present
Writer: Nick Spencer; Artist: Joe Eisma
I love me a good mystery. Probably while noir is my favorite genre. I just love being wind and dined with a story, red herrings, twists, turns, suspects, its all great. Well this isn’t a noir book but its a damn great mystery adventure. Morning Glories Academy is a highly prestigious prep school with some dark secrets behind it. We have here our cast of characters. The smart, beautiful one, the popular mean cheerleader, the nerdy guy, rich, entitled jerk, the gifted foreign student, and the emo kid. All with interesting backstories and origins, they are wonderful to read. The faculty of the school itself are great to read.
Nick Spencer must have watched a lot of LOST because that’s what I most think about reading this. We get people in a mysterious location, we open on a weird incident going down so we flashback to the events leading up to it, we get flashbacks to the lives of people here, and mysteries that lead to more questions than answers. I’m not simply just making comparisons here, I’m explaining why I love the book. Spencer really hooks you in with the opening pages and slowly fleshes out the characters exceptionally well to where you are invested. Even Ike, fucking Ike. Also Joe Eisma’s art helps a lot too. He draws people really well. The expressions on characters faces are just so damn good and well done. I haven’t checked out much of Eisma’s other works but I’m really interested after being hooked on this book. This has become a fast favorite of mine. I really enjoy it and can’t wait to read more of it.
6. The Superior Foes of Spider-Man; Marvel Comics; 2013-Present
Writer: Nick Spencer; Artist: Steve Lieber
My winner for the best debuting new comic book of this year is the Superior Foes of Spider-Man. This is the funniest comic book out on the stand right now. D-list villain Boomerang begins the new Sinister Six, with the new lady Beatle, Speed Force, Overdrive, and team’s bottom bitch, Shocker. Yes there are five of them. That’s the charm of this book. These are the laughing stock of Marvel villains but their chemistry together is fantastic. also very, very funny. Each issue has a moment I have to put down so I can stop and laugh and laugh.
Nick Spencer’s writing is just wonderful here and has really shown why he’s one the best writers comic have to offer with this and the previously mentioned book below and other works such as the relaunched Ultimate X-Men, Iron Man 2.0, and Action Comics. He’s on fire here and its just a fun read. But I say its truly artist Steve Lieber’s art that helps the book stand out. He draws such an energetic book here. He draws such nice panels with lots of action, some funny segments, simplistic drawings as someone’s fantasy, fun point of views, dream sequences, and just a lot of cool things going on. Seriously, please read this book. Its one the best things Marvel is doing right now.
5. Batman; DC Comics; 2011-Present
Writer: Scott Snyder; Artist: Greg Capullo
Being one the more consistent titles of the DC’s New 52, Batman is a standout. Scott Snyder’s way of bringing elements of Bat-past and seamlessly weaving them into his current tales is outstanding as is his own writing. Along with artist Greg Capullo who I never thought would be on my list of absolute best Batman artists. Its incredible really. He has such energy in his art here and pulls off great action sequences.
Having planted themselves greatly with a new villain and story with The Court of Owls, they had greatness even more with Death of the Family but Zero Year is showing why they are great. I wasn’t blown away and even considered dropping the title for the remainder but Batman #24 is one the best single issues I ever see. Just fantastic. The stories are just incredible, with Snyder having a sense of some fun and seriousness why weaving together a great tale you’ll want to read over and over again. I seriously just love this book and hope they stay on for as long as they can.
4. Chew; Image Comics; 2009-Present
Writer: John Layman; Artist: Rob Guillory
In a company full of consistently great titles, Chew stand among Image’s line as its best book. Well at least my personal favorite. Te adventures of Tony Chu continues to thrill and excite me issue after issue, absurd panel after absurd panel, and gunshot after gunshot. the weird, out there concept and design of the book is great. If you haven’t heard about the book, here’s the gist of it. FDA agent Tony Chu solves crimes by receiving psychic impression from food, he can tell you how it was grown and what the process was, and he can use it on biting people and solve crimes that way. He also live sin a world with a ban on chicken after a horrible bird flu outbreak, his partner as half a cyborg face, there’s Russian vampires, people obsessed with sex lives of baseball players, oh and the importance of family.
John Layman and Rob Guillory are such a fantastic team and they weave so many things going on together so well. There is so much crazy going on in this book, its best to read it like twice or hell three times. Layman’s writing is just great, he has a sense of fun and bats hit absurdity that’s just so fascinating to read. Guillory’s art is worth notice. He draws proportional people but draws them often with rubber bones in any position or exaggerated and its just great eye candy. Chew is one the most out there books on the market and it should be celebrated for that.
3. Hawkeye; Marvel Comics; 2012-Present
Writer: Matt Fraction; Artist: David Aja
“Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye became the greatest sharp-shooter known to man. He then joined The Avengers. This is what he does when he’s not being an Avenger.” That’s in the opening of each issue of Hawkeye and that really is all you need to know to have a great time reading this book. Clint Barton has always been a good character to me but this book makes him GREAT. Its such a fun book to read seeing his off-duty adventures along with Kate Bishop AKA Hawkeye. Their relationship is great and doesn’t have a will they/won’t they to it that I’m glad for. They call each other Hawkeye out of mutual respect and it shows. Their interactions are just pure joy to read. It has a pretty damn good supporting cast with Pizza Dog, he had his own issue, bro, and Grills. Who doesn’t love Grills? Will that’s actually answered in one the issues this year.
Matt Fraction’s writing has been pretty consistently good for me but the art and coloring of David Aja and Matt Hollingsworth (also special issues done by Francesco Francavilla) respectively make the book visually stand out. Its works for this type of book. Bit of a muted pallet but it works. I can’t help but want to follow the adventures of Hawkeye every month.
2. Saga; Image Comics; 2012-Present
Writer: Brian K. Vaughn; Artist: Fiona Staples
Chew is my personal favorite book and Chew but no mistake, Saga is THE best book at Image. Holy goddamn hell, this book is 50 shades of amazing. A great epic sci-fi space opera fantasy that just is balls-out insane, but yet is fully focused and centered on its main story. The story being two lovers from different species fleeing both sides after giving birth to their child while in the middle of a galactic war. Other fun characters include a ghost babysitter, robot prince with a TV for a head that often displays porn, and a bounty hunter with a cat who can tell when people are lying. Are you starting to see why I really love this book a lot? Its awesome!
Brian K. Vaughn had been away from comics for a while and has returned big time with artist Fiona Staples to tell this story. Vaughn is someone whose name says instant-buy to me. He’s one the absolute best out here in the medium. Also I thank this book for making me discover Fiona Staples. I only really read one her other works which was a Jonah Hex one shot back in 2011 with Jimmy Palmiotti. I now wanna check out more her work, she’s a fantastic artist. She’s the right fit for this book. I’m hooked every time I read the latest issue. Saga is hands down the best indy book out there. If it wasn’t for the number one title, this would be top dog.
1. Daredevil; Marvel Comics; 2011-Present
Writer: Mark Waid; Artist: Chris Samnee
This is THE book. The comic’s comic. The comic that reminds me of my love of comics. A comic that is great. He’s the Man Without Fear. The Crimson Avenger of Hell’s Kitchen. The…well I kinda ran out of steam there but I think I’ve said enough to say, Daredevil is 2013’s best comic book. Mark Waid and Chris Samnee have consistently made great after great after great stories for all twelve months this year and its been a damn delight to read. Ever since this run of Daredevil has began back in 2011 its been one the best books on the shelf in the years its ran. Few books can keep up such a consistent quality and tone over the span of a couple years but Waid, Samnee, and the various artists that have worked on this book have found a way. I dunno how they did it, but I’m glad they found it.
It is amazing what Mark Waid is able to weave fun one-and-done stories, with an underlining narrative arc going on. Chris Samnee’s art is fun and energetic. It’s so much fun to look at. He makes this exciting to look at as you read Waid’s words. Daredevil leaped above its competition by bounds by giving us such fantastic great stories month after month.
2013 has been a very good year for comics and most exciting as well. Various results all across the board and just fantastic to pay attention to. I highly enjoyed it and hope the fun continues on to 2014!
Also Catwoman is the worst book of the year! Why not Red Hood and the Outlaws like I’ve said many times last year over social media? Well I didn’t read it because it sucks.