Tuesday, August 4, 2009

2009: A BANNER YEAR?

Jumping off a point made by my colleague (the delightful) Phil Southern, that this year is gonna be remembered as one of those banner years like 1986 or 1982 or some other year that was great, but I’d have trouble pinpointing...

Anyway, in an attempt to spur discussion and some pos-sit-tiv-it-ee in general, tell us what you’ve liked this year, why you’ve liked it and what you’re looking forward to, in the comments section below!

16 comments:

Dustin Harbin said...

WELL, while I'm not even halfway through Asterios Polyp, I'm pretty sure it's going to be up there with some of the best graphic novels EVER, this year or any other. But besides that the first thing that springs to mind is Naoki Urasawa's PLUTO, which has just been pure pleasure to read, every single page. Totally has reinvigorated my enthusiasm for manga.

illtiki said...

I have to agree. Asterios works on SO many levels. It's a sheer masterpiece of the medium that far surpasses anything else. I too like Pluto as well. I think Darwyn Cookes Parker was pretty good too. There are some great comics on the horizon. I think it's shaping out to be a great year for comics.
peace,
Herc

Andy Mansell said...

George Sprott
Asterios Polyp
Parker
Wednesday Comics
Muppet Show
Seaguy II
A Drifting Life

and the reprints keep coming....

The Complete Doug Wright
Dick Tracy starts the 40s!!!
Peanuts continues classic 70's run
Prince Valiant back in print
Melvin the Monster
Kirby's Losers
Little Lulu in COLOR!!!
Complete Jack Survives

AND most of the books on this list have come out in just the second half of the year...

Anyone want to cover Jan thru June?

Anonymous said...

After missing our first convention in five years, Donna and I are looking forward to Heroes Con 2010!!

Chris & Donna Galvan in Michigan

Neil said...

It was the 10th anniversary of The Goon, so that was pretty cool.

Phil Southern said...

I (once again) echo Andy's sentiments: "Seaguy II" is some of Morrison's best work; thoroughly thought out, the seamless marriage of writer and artist, Cameron Stewart, and superbly structured while remaining spontaneous and surprising! It is my favorite book so far this year!

Darwyn Cooke's "Parker" has been a pleasure, serving as a true adaption of Westlake's work that was missing from earlier (and both quite good) filmic adaptions. Lee Marvin's "Point Blank" was to caught up in late 60's "Summer of Love" stylization and 1999's Payback smacked of studio tinkering.

I'm slowly digesting "Asterios Polyp". It could be the far and away winner for the year, depending on the ending. My fear is that the aspects that make it nuanced, thoughtful and an overall work of genius in my initial reading will make it seem overly mannered; technique and style over substance--kind of like a Steely Dan record. I'm not saying it's going to be so, I'll have to wait and see!

Of the more popular books out there, Mignola's "Hellboy" family of titles are having a banner year: BPRD has been above reproach, with legendary artist Guy Davis thrilling us with each issue, and "Witchfinder", whose second issue is out today, looking quite promising.

John Byrne's IDW work has been exciting and entertaining me since the first of the year. His "Star Trek: Crew" has been fun and engaging, while his straight-from-the-pencils Angel (the Vampire) in WWI story was just plain cool.

League of Extraordinary Gentleman: Century's first (and only issue so far) was good, we'll need to get some subsequent issues to see if it is a "V for Vendetta" (ie: awesome) or a "Promethea" (ie: boring).

Marvel has had some real standouts this year, with Brubaker's Captain America and Incognito regularly offering compelling stories. Fraction and Larocca's "Invincible Iron Man", Abnett and Lanning's "Nova" and 2/3 of this year's "Amazing Spider-Man" have all been classic comics in the "Mighty Marvel Tradition"!

DC has had a little less traction with me in '09. "Wednesday Comics" has been great, I love it, it is my favorite regular title out there, but it underlies the problem with most of their output this year. DC has great characters, better than anyone out there. When you get the right guys on a DC title, there is nothing better, from anybody. Witness Cooke's "New Frontier", Johns and Kollins' "Flash" from the late '90s, Byrne's relaunch of "Superman" from the 80s, Englehart and Rogers' Batman in the 70s and Adams and O'Neill on Batman in the 60s and anything Archie Goodwin ever wrote or edited for the company!

DC then tells overly encumbered, nigh incomprehensible, depressing, dark, dank and inconsequential stories with those characters. Not only do characters seem to serve the respective writers of the titles (which Marvel is very guilty of, as well) leading to, at best, inconsistent characterizations, and at worst, flat out nonsensery.

Marvel has this problem as well, but it has the above-mentioned stand-out oasis(es) of fun and quality, which I enjoy in isolation of New/Mighty/Dark/Young Avengers, X-Men and, well, about anything else they put out.

Enough complaining! Check out some of our favorites from this banner year of comics, and tell us about yours! Just tell Shawn to shut up about "Executive Assistant Iris"!

Phil Southern said...

should i just have made that a post?

d. morris said...

Man it has been a great year for comics. Any year where we get to hear there's a complete Nancy coming soon should be a banner year. Haven't gotten to read Asterios Polyp yet but that's on my to buy list.

However, I have read Kim Dong Hwa's The Color of Earth which is probably my favorite comic that I've read this year. Definitely have loved reading Pluto (wait until you guys see the end of the story) and Twentieth Century Boys as they get legal releases here in the states. I've continued to enjoy the dark humor offered in Dark Horse's reprints of Gantz. It's been a really good past few years for Asian comics.

American comics wise, I really, really enjoyed the previously mentioned League vol. III #1 and Seaguy II. I've really been digging Batman and Robin but I'm not sure I'll enjoy it as much when Phillip Tan comes onto the book.

Alterantive comics wise, I really enjoyed Ojingogo, though I think that came out last year. Looking forward to reading Multiforce whenever I can get my hands on that book. And of course, still looking forward to reading Asterios Polyp.

Rich Barrett said...

I don't have too much to add to what's here already. In fact I'm still marveling over Phil's comment above.

Asterios Polyp is probably the hands down book of the year.

20th Century Boys is my favorite Urasawa book right now (though admittedly I've still only read vol 1 of Pluto).

I haven't gotten The Hunter yet but I'm sure that will be up there for me.

Ditto for the ending of 100 Bullets when I get around to it.

Love Wednesday Comics despite it's flaws.

The second Umbrella Academy series was just as good as the first.

Muppet Show, yes.

Batman and Robin. Is it wrong that I'm enjoying this a little more than Seaguy?

Phil Southern said...

I hope you are marveling in surprise of my ability not to misspell to many words, and not what you feel are awful comic picks.

Daniel Von Egidy said...

Asterios was amazing a second slower re-read in the near future will probably be even better. Im about to start The Hunter and the second Pluto book the first one being very satisfying. It's a very cinematic book and not the American comics version of cinematic which just means wide panels but in pacing. Brilliant, flawless pacing. I think Wednesday Comics has been very well covered by people smarter than me so imma just say I like and move on.

But you know what has been a freakin surprise? X-Men Forever. That book works much better than it has any right too. Its fun and silly and takes me a while to read, and people are getting there eyes poked out every issue and it comes out every two weeks so the turn around and ramp up in quality is immediate. It just works and I don't know why. There's more stuff but I can break that into other posts.

Brian L. Martin said...

I agree with most everyone above that Wednesday Comics is currently the high point of every week. I would also throw Marvel's Thor 600 and Amazing Spider-Man 600 in there with the year's best. That was some serious bang for your buck!

Brian said...

Well the year isn't over yet, but I'm not sure I'd label this a year above any others. This industry is like any other in entertainment it will always have its highs and lows.

But not looking to focus on the lows here are the things I have on my best of list (so far) of 2009.

1)A renewed interest in all-ages or comics for kids.
2) The continued rise of Boom Studios
3) Marvel's Icon line
4) Green Lantern's continues to be a big deal at DC (and now WB).
5) Iron Man's continued rebirth after Civil War (in comics and movies).
6) Heroes Con 2009 (and other fine events for comics)
7) The return of worthwhile "backmatter" in comics from publishers and creators.
8-10) we'll see what the next 5 months bring. :)

Andy Mansell said...

Regarding the remainder of the year, I think this sums things up pretty well!!

http://www.comicsreporter.com/index.php/cr_sunday_feature_a_potentially_astounding_fall_2009_in_the_works/

Shawn Reynolds said...

This sure has been a great year for comics. I love Muppet Show. It is my favorite book right now! And I've really been digging the superhero books. Green Lantern, Batman and Robin, Detective, Amazing Spider-Man, Deadpool, X-Men Forever are all fun and/or entertaining books. Asterios Polyp was AMAZING. There is just so much going on in that book. Wow. I whole-heartily enjoy all the Boom! Kids books (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Cars). I just read Mouse Guard Winter 1152 and man can David Petersen draw! And despite all the criticism Wednesday Comics gets I love reading it on Thursday morning with my coffee. I still haven't read Parker yet, but I intend too and just by flipping through the art I know it will quickly be added to my top books of 09.

Trevor Curtis said...

Best things about comics this year so far:
1) I started getting pulls at Heroes
2)Hearing how much Wizard Chicago sucked
3)Scalped and Fables still rocking
4) Starstruck reissues
5)Archived Bloom County volumes coming soon.