Friday, December 28, 2007

Best Comics of 2007.

2008 is almost here, so I figure it's time to make with the


Now, let me preface this as I always do...This is by no means a list which claims to be the absolute best of the past year, will brook no dissension, et cetera. There are many, many fine, outstanding, revelatory comics and graphic novels that I've read volumes about on other comics blogs- you know, the ones that get linked to by Dirk Deppey- that I simply have not read due to not being on a particular comp list and/or lack of funds and/or not knowing anybody that has a copy I could borrow. So this is a highly personal, idiosyncratic list which is by no means complete, but is the best I can do under the circumstances. I shall continue what has become my annual tradition, namely citing 10 best plus 2. Just because. Rather than divide my nominations into graphic novels, limited series, ongoings, etc., creating sets and subsets and making this more of a chore than it needs to be, I'll just lump 'em all together and let God sort 'em out, m'kay?

Maestro, if you please:

ABRAXAS AND THE EARTHMAN (Rick Veitch, King Hell): As imaginative and clever in 2007 as it was in 1981.

BLACK METAL V1 (Rick Spears, Chuck B.B.; Oni Press): Left-field surprise which I found completely enjoyable.

COURTNEY CRUMRIN AND THE FIRE THIEF's TALE (Ted Naifeh, Oni Press): It's been too long since Naifeh revisited Courtney, fortunately it didn't disappoint.

CRIMINAL (Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips; Marvel/Icon): Brubaker and Phillips continue to make excellence look easy.

FABLES (Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham, Steven Leialoha, various; DC/Vertigo): Fables has had an exceptionally solid year, with the current ongoing storyline ranking among the best in the series yet. How many series, 70-plus issues in, can make that claim?

THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST (Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker, David Aja, various; Marvel): Good old-fashioned pulpy fun and martial arts action, with a high-quality blend of backup artists.

JLA/HITMAN (Garth Ennis, John McCrea; DC): Like I said the other day- this was the best series DC put out in, well, let's just say a long time. I liked Ennis' Superman more here than in the entire Morrison run of All-Star Superman, and as much as Supes' previous appearance in the Hitman world, unsurprisingly. Isn't it funny (strange, and ha-ha) how hardassed cynic Ennis can write one of the most upfront and heroic characters in modern fiction so well? A textbook display of how to have superhero characters interact and relate to each other, as well as a bittersweet valentine to those of us who loved Tommy Monaghan back in the day. I hope they collect this in one volume soon, I just might buy it again.

KANE VOL. 6: PARTNERS (Paul Grist, Image): While I'm sure many of you have already read the stories re-presented here, I hadn't, and to me this represents Paul Grist at the top of his game, which is saying something to me.

THE LAST SANE COWBOY AND OTHER STORIES (Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, AiT/PlanetLar): Absolutely inspired surrealist lunacy, the likes of which you just don't see all that often.

NAT TURNER: REVOLUTION BOOK 2 (Kyle Baker): Unforgettable conclusion to this historical saga, with some of Baker's best, and most committed, art in at least a decade.

SCOTT PILGRIM VOL. 4: SCOTT PILGRIM GETS IT TOGETHER (Bryan Lee O'Malley; Oni): Still clever, fresh and fun.

SHAZAM VS. THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL (Jeff Smith, DC): It takes a certain kind of writer and artist to capture the openhearted, benign vibe of the best Captain Marvel comics of the 40's, and DC was fortunate to find both in one person in Smith. Faltered a bit when Smith tried to shoehorn in commentary on current politics, but it never broke stride.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Catwoman, Dr. Strange: The Oath, Dr. Thirteen: Architecture and Morality, NextWave: Agents of H.A.T.E., Delphine #2, Meat Cake, All-Star Superman, Hawaiian Dick #1, Love and Rockets Vol.2, Powers, Jack Staff, Will Eisner's The Spirit, Superf*ckers, Hellboy: Darkness Calls, Batman #'s 667-669, Omega the Unknown #'s 1-3, The Brave and the Bold, Re-Gifters, 100 Bullets, Daredevil, Casanova, the short backing features by Colleen Coover and Jeff Parker in X-Men: First Class.

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