A quick publishing note the normal posts that I would do on Monday and Tuesday will be skipped as I will be out of town and will not have an opportunity to do "What I’m Getting Wednesday" or "Best to Worst". Gwen and Lee have kindly stepped in to do post those days and then after that we should be back to a more normal schedule.
The Best Comics Series of 2008 was Scalped.
The best artist of the year is Amy Reeder Hadley.
It might be because I never saw her work before, but her work is pretty. I know that almost sounds like feint praise, but that’s what it is.
The Best Mini-Series of the Year was Locke & Key.
This was a very difficult decision because I think we have had so many great mini-series this year, but many overlap the years and some are not yet concluded, so Locke & Key gets the final nod. Joe Hill has given us a family in crisis that is real as your friend’s family and put them in a horror situation that is both supernatural and all too real as there are sick and twisted people in this world. I’m very happy that we will have another chapter of this family’s story coming out in 2009.
Other Top Series – In No Particular Order
Action Comics – (DC) This book under Geoff Johns and Gary Frank was DC’s best in continuity DCU book.
Proof – (Image) The creators have so much fun on this book that it is infectious. A series that wins my heart each and every issue and a book that I will gladly recommend to any comic or non-comic fan.
Echo – (Abstract Studios) Terry Moore’s magus opus. You can tell as you are reading this book that the entire story from beginning to end is already completed and Terry is just sharing it with us an issue at a time. All the characters are so real and they are just caught up in an unreal situation.
Madam Xanadu – (DC / Vertigo) The great art is matched by great stories from Matt Wagner. I also love how they weave in the regular DCU and Vertigo so deftly.
Daredevil – (Marvel) All of a sudden I think Brubaker has hit his stride with this book. Between the arc he did with Rucka and the Lady Bullseye story Brubaker has surpassed Bendis on this book and is setting his sights on Frank Miller. Michael Lark and Stephan Gaurdiano as the main artistic team are doing a great job on this title.
Catwoman – (DC) I truly miss this book. Writer Will Pfeifer with art by David Lopez and Alvaro Lopez were a terrific team and made each issue special and produced it in a timely fashion.
Batman – (DC) Love it or hate it, this was a series everyone was talking about. Personally I have enjoyed Grant’s take on Bruce Wayne and look forward to more stories from him on Bruce Wayne in the future.
JSA – (DC) The build up for the Kingdom Come story line felt like it took way too long, but the pay off has been worth and I’m anxiously looking forward to the conclusion.
Other series of note Ghost Rider (Marvel), Nightwing (DC), Superman/Batman (DC), House of Mystery (DC/Vertigo), Invincible (Image), Thor (Marvel) and Secret Six (DC).
Other Great Mini-Series or One Shots
I Kill Giants (Image) – This book is an outstanding series. The artwork reminds me a little of Calvin and Hobbes, the story is so touching as we watch Barbara deal with the real world horrors of watching her mother die of cancer. We also see Barbara fighting against giants and impossibly large titans in a world of her own making (or so I think).
The Twelve – (Marvel) The best updating of lame golden age characters ever done. JMS makes us feel and understand the time lost nature of people frozen in time and revived sixty years later and what they feel like in a world that has past them by. The fantastic art by Chris Weston is a perfect match as he evokes a feeling of yesteryear and today at the same time.
Dominion – (Boom) A terrific series that shows us what true heroism is all about and gave us a great invasion story.
Next Issue Project #1 (Fantastic Comics #24 ) – (Image) A one shot that gave us the next issue of a golden age comic, a very cool concept and a lot of fun.
BPRD – (Dark Horse) A series of mini-series. The Mignolverse is such a great place to lose yourself in and the impending doom that has been hinted at for years is getting closer and closer
DC / Wildstorm Dreamwar (DC/Wildstorm) – Fantastic art by Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott with an inventive story that gave us a reason for an old fashion super hero fight.
All Star Superman – (DC) I have sung the praises of this series and can’t wait for the Absolute Edition. A seminal run by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly and frankly the best Superman story ever told.
Helen Killer – (Arcana) What a fun book, that took a historical figure and took some historically accurate facts and turned it into a great adventure.
Dead She Said – (IDW) Steve Niles and Bernie Wrightson doing pencil and inks, it was a joy to behold.
Other great mini-series, Batman Gotham After Midnight (DC), Final Crisis(DC), Sparks (Catastrophic Comics), City of Dust (Radical), Universal War One (Marvel), Abe Sapien The Drowning (Dark Horse), Final Crisis Legion of Three Worlds (DC), Guerillas (Image), The Roberts (Image), Necronomicon (Boom), Crawl Space: xxXombies(Image), and Hercules Thracian Wars (Radical).
To end on a positive note, my favorite Publisher this year has to be Radical Comics for producing Hercules, Caliber, Freedom Formula and City of Dust. Each series has been done with high production values and an eye towards quality.