Sunday, December 20, 2009

Only 11 more days left in 2009, and I still haven't read Asterios Polyp

Damn it, it's the second half of December already, huh? This is the time of year when people who write things feel compelled to write about those things in terms of the calendar year, and make lists of which of those things were better than the rest of those things.

For me, that means comics, and this is usually a semi-annoying time of year for me, when I feel I better set aside my Showcase Presents and Essential collection long enough to get to Asterios Polyp and The Book of Genesis Illustrated and Go Go Monster and Driven By Lemons and all those comics I've either heard a lot about all year but haven't got around to reading yet, or just look super-awesome (I don't know if Go Go Monster will end up being in my top ten or anything, but wow, is that a gorgeously designed book. It's a book I kind of just want to have around the house to look at every once in a while).

Anyway, my superiors at came up with a kind of fun way to address the end of the year of comics. They've set up five different tournaments, which pits creators, covers and books against each other, college basketball style. Readers/posters can vote for their favorites in each round, until Newsarama declares a favorite.

The categories are writer, artist, cover, limited series/original graphic novel and ongoing series. Here's a link to the ongoing post; there are links to all the others there as well, and even if you don't want to play along, it's probably worth scanning the results and comments for the snapshot of mainstream super-comics fandom in 2009 it offers.

Regarding the criteria, this is explained at the site, but the way Newsarama went about picking the 16 contenders in each category was by having 11 of the site and Blog@'s contributors select their 20 favorite in each category. Then, math was done. Like, the top selection each person suggested was worth 20 points, the twentieth worth one point, and like that. I'm sure a calculator was involved. (An abacus, at the very least).

I was one of those 11, so I thought I'd share mine here, if only because I went to the trouble of making up the lists, and I generally post every stray thought I have about comics on here. I should note that these are "favorite," not "best," which is a pretty different thing (She's All That and Empire Records are among my favorite movies, for example, but I'd have a pretty hard time arguing that they're among two of the best films ever made). And I didn't agonize over them too much—like, I put Roger Langridge above Jeff Parker, but I'm not 100% positive that I liked Langridge's Muppet Show comic 5% more than Parker's books this year. I may have just thought of Langridge first, and figured a 5% margin of error in my affection for a particular comic book writer was close enough.

I should also note I didn't include an ongoing, because I realized while trying to put these together that I don't actually read 20 ongoing series. (It's not me, it's comics' fault for not being more awesome).

And, obviously this applies to stuff published during calendar year 2009...for limited series, if started in '08 but finished in '09, it counted. And if it was republished material, I also counted it (Nancy and King City, for example).

So, lists!


1.) Grant Morrison (Batman, Batman and Robin, Seaguy: The Slaves of Mickey Eye, Final Crisis)

2.) Chris Onstad (Achewood)

3.) Adam Warren (Empowered)

4.) Fred Van Lente (Incredible Hercules, Comic Book Comics)

5.) Roger Langridge (The Muppet Show)

6.) Jeff Parker (Agents of Atlas, Underground, Age of The Sentry)

7.) Fred Chao (Johnny Hiro Vol. 1)

8.) Naoki Urasawa (Pluto)

9.) Kyle Baker (Special Forces, “Hawkman” from Wednesday Comics)

10.) James Kochalka (American Elf, Johny Boo Vol. 3)

11.) Lamar Abrams (Remake)

12.) Paul Tobin (Marvel Adventures Avengers, Marvel Adventures Spider-Man, Age of The Sentry, etc.)

13.) Art Baltazar (Tiny Titans)

14.) Larry Marder (Beanworld)

15.) Hitoshi Shioya (Dinosaur Hour)

16.) Brian Azzarello ("Batman" from Wednesday Comics)

17.) C. Tyler (You'll Never Know: A Good and Decent Man)

18.) Kim Dong Hwa (The Color of Earth, ...Water, ...Heaven)

19.) Kevin Cannon (Far Arden)

20.) Neil Gaiman ("Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?" from Batman and Detective Comics)


1.) J. H. Williams III (Detective Comics)

2.) Paul Pope (“Strange Adventures" from Wednesday Comics)

3.) Darwyn Cooke (Jonah Hex #50, Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter)

4.) Marcos Martin (Amazing Spider-Man)

5.) Mike Allred (“Metamorpho” from Wednesday Comics)

6.) Frank Quitely (Batman and Robin)

7.) Kelley Jones (Batman: Gotham After Midnight, Batman: Unseen)

8.) Adam Warren (Empowered)

9.) Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (“Metal Men” from Wednesday Comics, Batman Confidential #26-#28)

10.) Guillem March (Gotham City Sirens, etc.)

11.) Sara Pichelli (Runaways)

12.) Art Baltazar (Tiny Titans)

13.) J. Bone (Super Friends #18)

14.) Brandon Graham (King City)

15.) Hellen Jo (Jin & Jam #1)

16.) Kevin Maguire ("Metal Men" from Doom Patrol)

17.) Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo)

18.) Jeff Smith (Rasl, Little Mouse Gets Ready)

19.) Dave Sim (Glamourpuss)

20.) George Perez (Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds)


1.) Amazing Spider-Man #590 (Wolverine Art Appreciation Variant)

2.) Super Friends #12

3.) Scott Pilgrim Vol. 5: Vs. The Universe (For the shininess as much as the image/design)

4.) Prison Pit Book 1

5.) Comic Book Comics #4

6.) Strange Tales #1

7.) Amazing Spider-Man #592 (Wolverine Art Appreciation variant)

8.) Exiles #1 (Wolverine Art Appreciation variant)

9.) Supermen!: The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes

10.) John Stanley Library: Nancy Vol. 1

11.) Super Friends #11

12.) Thor #601 (The ipod one)

13.) Invincible Iron Man #21

14.) Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #54 (Skottie Young's been knocking these all out of the park, actually)

15.) Batman and Robin #1 (The Quitely version, obviously—his covers for this series have all been pretty striking, with a great use of color)

16.) Last Days of Animal Man #1

17.) Skrull Kill Krew #5

18.) King City #2

19.) All Hail Megatron #1 (the one with the jets, that is)

20.) Underground #3


1.) Final Crisis: Superman Beyond

2.) Wednesday Comics

3.) Jin and Jam #1

4.) Adventures in Cartooning

5.) Remake

6.) Far Arden

7.) Age of The Sentry

8.) The Bun Field

9.) Batman: Unseen

10.) Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter

11.) Red Snow

12.) Marvel’s 70th Anniversary Special one-shots

13.) Trinity

14.) Black Cat Crossing

15.) A Drifting Life

16.) Johnny Hiro

17.) Sulk

18.) Strange Tales

19.) 365 Samurai and a Few Bowls of Rice

20.) The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book


Unknown said...

Fuck. All covers from Pope look amazing. The guy ain´t still getting the credit deserved.

tomorrowboy 2.9 said...

All hail megatron was 2008

LurkerWithout said...

Empire Records is 1million% better than Citizen Kane. I have graphs that prove it.

Damn the man! Save the Empire!

Tony said...

Man, I could not get into Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader. It seemed like the exact moment when Neil Gaiman disappeared up his own ass.

Hdefined said...

If you're going to list Naoki Urasawa, it ought to be for 20th Century Boys. As well done as Pluto is, it's nothing compared to 20CB, although perhaps that's only evident after reading more of the series.