Ok, so here we are, the last Wednesday of 2009. Am I here to give a speech about new beginnings and resolutions to be timelier with these things in 2010? No. See, I like you guys and wouldn’t want to lie to you. Truth is, between teaching the felons, writing CAT. 5, and doing the various reviews, interviews, and news here on PFB, there just isn’t enough time in any given week. That and I have to pick and choose when it’s worth fighting for the computer with the wife. She can be quite persuasive…and violent.
Besides, with SEB-standard being an opinion column, it’s not on the same demanding schedule as TPG, Lee’s CPP, or any of the other columns. This is just for when I have something I feel is worth saying. Ideally, you guys will chime in. You can agree or disagree, but either way I hope you add a little something to the conversation.
So, what’s so important that I felt it was worth talking about? As I said in the beginning of this tirade, it’s the end of 2009. 2010 looms over us like a big looming thing. So, I’ve come to share My Top Picks for 2009. Notice I didn’t say “Best Of”. Kevin Maguire pointed out on FACEBOOK that he hates everybody posting a BEST OF when they aren’t really “THE BEST” they are just that poster's favorites. Kevin is my all time favorite artist, and he has a point, so I defer to his wisdom. These books may or may not be “The Best’, but they definitely met and/or exceeded my SEB-standards.
Ok, so without further ado, I give to you:
THE SEB-standard PERSONAL FAVORITE PICKS FOR 2009!!
Let’s start with BOOM! Studios. These guys have had a great year. They put out so many great books. My personal faves? Michael A. Nelson & Emma Rios’ HEXED was a lot of fun. They made the arcane both gorgeous and messy. Michael is doing it again with his new mini, DINGO. Nelson just has this knack for writing street level wizardry.
BOOM! also wowed me on the Superhero scene with IRREDEEMABLE and December saw the launch of its counterpart, INCORRUPTIBLE. The spiraling fall of the ultimate “Superman” type juxtaposed by the enlightenment and redemption of most nefarious villain, Waid delivers high concept with high entertainment. Not an easy task, but these books really shine.
On yet another note, BOOM’s THE ANCHOR, by Phil Hester and Brian Churilla has been the feel good, supernatural, adventure book of the year. Yeah, I didn’t realize that was a category either, but if you want to be the best in a genre, inventing a new one is a good way to go. I can’t name one character in comics more genuine and noble than Clem, aka The Anchor.
Two words: BUCK ROGERS. I am loving this series. So much fun, so much nostalgia meets bright shiny newness. Just give it a QUEEN soundtrack, and I’m in heaven.
Dynamite also impressed me this year with PROJECT SUPERPOWERS volume two. Things are really building to a head here, and it really is NOT just another reactivation of the public domain characters. There are some really cool ideas here.
Really? I love EVERYTHING about RADICAL. If I had to name my faves (and for this column’s theme, I do) for 2009, I’d have to say FVZA, HERCULES: THE KNIVES OF KUSH, and the just released LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME. Radical does books that really don’t seem like anything else out there. There’s an energy to these books that I can’t describe. I like ‘em, yessir, I do.
COWBOYNINJAVIKING. Yeah. The title says it all.
The ATOM EVE & REX SPLODE mini has been really good. I love Rex, I’ll be sorry to see he him die. I know, it’s already happened, but I read INVINCIBLE in trades, so I’m not there yet. I just picked up #11 today.
And yes, I’m still enjoying SAVAGE DRAGON. Erik Larson has been doing this book for over 150 issues now. That alone is worthy of my respect. The fact that it’s still fun is an added bonus. I love that appearance aside, Dragon is basically a down to earth, meat and potatoes kind of guy just happens to live in a rather absurd world. He’s the Universe’s straight-man.
The various Warren Ellis goodness is ALWAYS worth reading. But my favorite this year has been Christos Gage’s ABSOLUTION, which falls neatly in between BOOM!’s IRREDEEMABLE and INCORRUPTIBLE themes, with a super-hero/cop who crosses the line, murdering the otherwise unstoppable criminals. Heavy stuff done very VERY well.
I love MERCY SPARX. C’mon, a demoness who keeps ending up a pawn in the heaven/hell machinations. What’s not to love?
Terry Moore’s ECHO. Top of my reading pile EVERY time it comes out. This book is brilliant. The latest issue centers around a higher math lesson, and I STILL loved it. That’s an endorsement like no other. Read this, you’ll be doing yourself a favor.
Have you checked these guys out yet? $7.99 graphic novels. Lots of fun to read, and usually very nice to look at. WE THE PEOPLE was my favorite. Heck, it’s up for a PFB Award.
Gil and Jen Lawson's tale of a man who is handed awesome power to protect the Earth from total annihilation, but is told that to do so he must sacrifice his young daughter. A great book that appealed to the superhero fan and the father in me. Plus, with art by Zeu Gouveia, it was a no-brainer. I LOVE his art.
Ok, BLACKEST NIGHT, obviously, the best “Event” from either of the big two in several years.
ADVENTURE COMICS. I’ve gotten Conner back AND the REAL Legion of Superheroes.
LEGION OF THREE WORLDS. It fixed Conner, Bart, & the legion. Geoff Johns wrote it, George Perez drew it. Need I say more?
R.E.B.E.L.S. No. Really. This is one of the best books DC is publishing right now. It’s SECRET SIX good. Vril Dox, the leader of the heroes, is a bigger prick than the villains. Talk about fighting fire with fire. One fo the best line-ups in any series, Tony Bedard has outdone himself.
BOOSTER GOLD. ‘Cause I’m me, it’s my list, and Dan Jurgens is writing and drawing his creation. Lately, Booster has had more depth then 95% of comic characters out there. This is just a great book. Just lose the Jaime Reyes back-up, and this is the greatest book ever.
POWER GIRL, because it’s not what everybody thought it would be. It’s better. It’s fun, and I’m actually caring about the character for the first time in…ever! Palmiotti, Gray, and Conner have made P.G. more than just that super-chick with the boob window.
Everything SUPERMAN. Supes is a tough nut to crack. It’s hard to balance that much power and still make you think “uh-oh, will he be OK?” But the NEW KRYPTON and WORLD AGAINST SUPERMAN storylines have kept him on the ropes. Plus, I LOVE Mon-el, and have grown to really like Nightwing & Flamebird. And Sterling Gates’ SUPERGIRL is the best that book/character has been in years.
AVENGERS: INTITIATIVE. The best book Marvel puts out, hands down. No. There is no room for debate on this. End of story.
NEW MUTANTS. It started with a great two issues of NOVA that brought back Warlock (the black and yellow shape shifter, whose mutant power is the ability to care about others, not Adam Warlock) and then culminated in the return of the original line-up and Cypher. All we need now is to bring in Wolfsbane and get her off that ridiculously bad X-FORCE and life will be perfect.
STRANGE. It’s like HEXED in the Marvel Universe. Lovin’ it.
And, weirdly enough, I really liked the NOMAD: GIRL WITHOUT A WORLD mini-series, and I’m quite happy that she’ll be getting a back-up feature in CAPTAIN AMERICA in 2010. Who wouldda thunk it?
So, what were some of your favorites? I wanna hear from you guys. And not just Tiggerpete…though, yes, Pete, your opinion is always appreciated…but c’mon people. Time to explain why you love the books you love. Every fanboy’s mission life, it is! Lemme hear ya!