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Thread: Top 10 Comics First Read in 2016

  1. #1
    Not a praying man Melville's Avatar
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    Top 10 Comics First Read in 2016

    I planned to read more novels and philosophy this year. But instead I'm again reading almost nothing but comics. Here's everything that I've really liked so far (in addition to the ongoing books I'm currently following, particularly Stray Bullets, Lazarus, and Deadly Class):

    1. The Cage (Martin Vaughn-James)
    2. Tekkonkinkreet (Matsumoto)
    3. The Push Man and Other Stories (Tatsumi)
    4. A Child's Life and Other Stories (Phoebe Gloeckner) - I read this around the same time as seeing the Diary of a Teenage Girl movie. Gloeckner's work got badly Sundanced.
    5. Killing and Dying (Adrian Tomine)
    6. Big Kids (DeForge)
    7. Raw Vol 2 #1 (various) - Man, were these old art comics irony laden. The original story that became Black Hole is especially notable for being so much more ironic than the eventual graphic novel.
    8. Daddy's Girl (Debbie Drechsler)
    9. The Collector (Toppi)
    10. Black River (Josh Simmons)

    11. Demon (Jason Shiga) - I only read one issue, but it was buckets of fun.
    12. Fade Out (Brubaker & Phillips)
    13. The Humans (Keenan Marshall Keller & Tom Neely)
    14. some stories from Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories (Harvey Kurtzman and various) - Toth's art kills. I'm reading some of his slightly earlier stuff now, and it's slick as hell, but it lacks the brilliant sense of design from these stories with Kurtzman and his later Warren stuff
    Last edited by Melville; 03-30-2016 at 04:52 PM.
    I am impatient of all misery in others that is not mad. Thou should'st go mad, blacksmith; say, why dost thou not go mad? How can'st thou endure without being mad? Do the heavens yet hate thee, that thou can'st not go mad?

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  2. #2
    Not a praying man Melville's Avatar
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    Nobody else reading comics these days? Some more great comics I'd add to the previous post (in roughly the order I read them in):

    The Girl from HOPPERS (Jamie Hernandez)

    Fran (Jim Woodring) - I wish Woodring would go back to color. The brightly painted colors of his best Frank comics accentuate the dichotomies in his style much better than the B&W pen and ink.

    more of Deadly Class - The writing hasn't really lived up to the potential of the early issues, but I love the art

    more of Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses - Continues to be fun. Lacks the emotional resonance of Killers.

    Weirdworld (Jason Aaron and Mike del Mundo) - Brilliant gonzo storytelling.

    Hellboy in Hell (Mignola) - Quite the understatedly apocalyptic ending.

    The Vision (Tom King et al) - About half way through, I'm loving the controlled tension, and it's an interesting twist on typical explorations of humanity and conformity

    Planetary Vol 3 (Ellis and Cassaday) - The grand sci-fi in this batch of stories worked better for me than the rest of the series

    Criminal Special Edition and 10th Anniversary Special Edition (Brubaker and Phillips) - Nice meta mix of pathos and pulp.

    ACME Novelty Library #1 (Chris Ware) - One of the few issues that have never been collected. As brilliant as I expected.


    My favorites of the bunch are ACME and Weirdworld.
    I am impatient of all misery in others that is not mad. Thou should'st go mad, blacksmith; say, why dost thou not go mad? How can'st thou endure without being mad? Do the heavens yet hate thee, that thou can'st not go mad?

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  3. #3
    Bark! Go away Russ's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Melville (view post)
    Fran (Jim Woodring) - I wish Woodring would go back to color. The brightly painted colors of his best Frank comics accentuate the dichotomies in his style much better than the B&W pen and ink.
    I can see one preferring his color stories (as I used to), but I'm not sure what the "dichotomies in his style" even refers to. His B&W work is some of the finest stuff out there (not only Fran, but also the preceding volumes in that series, Weathercraft, and Congress of the Animals). My point is, while discussing the merits of his B&W vs. his color works is not exactly comparing apples and oranges, I don't see how it can be denied that both are sublime in their own way. I think a designation of the superiority of one over the other is simply a matter of preference. If I'm wrong, I welcome your discourse.
    Last edited by Russ; 09-17-2016 at 03:41 AM.

  4. #4
    Venusian Rubbed Moscow sevenarts's Avatar
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    Really happy to see some love for The Cage (a longtime favorite that's one of the most unique works in comics, probably because Vaughn-James didn't really come from comics), Vision (Tom King is someone to watch bigtime, between this and Batman), and Stray Bullets.

    Best non-ongoings I've read this year:


    1. Megg & Mogg In Amsterdam and Other Stories (Simon Hanselmann)
    2. Steve Englehart's Avengers run
    3. The Eternals (Jack Kirby)
    4. Nod Away (Joshua Cotter)
    5. Sandman Mystery Theatre (Matt Wagner, Steven Seagle, Guy Davis, etc.)

    6. Wonder Woman: Earth One (Grant Morrison & Yanick Paquette)
    7. Steve Gerber's Man-Thing
    8. Steve Gerber's Defenders
    9. Frontier #11: BDSM (Eleanor Davis)
    10. Prophet Earth War (Brandon Graham, Simon Roy, etc.)

    11. Black River (Josh Simmons)
    12. Roy Thomas' Avengers run
    13. Ganges #5 (Kevin Huizenga)
    14. House of Penance (Peter Tomasi & Ian Betram)
    15. Silver Surfer: Parable (Stan Lee & Moebius)

    16. The Shadow: Hitler's Astrologer (Denny O'Neil & Michael Kaluta)
    17. Patience (Dan Clowes)
    18. Silver Surfer: The Ultimate Cosmic Experience (Stan Lee & Jack Kirby)
    19. Frontier #5 (Sam Alden)
    20. Devil Dinosaur (Jack Kirby)


    Best new ongoings from 2016:
    Black Monday Murders (Jonathan Hickman & Tomm Coker)
    Mirror (Emma Rios & Hwei Lim)
    Black Panther (Ta-Nehisi Coates & Brian Stelfreeze)
    Black Widow (Mark Waid & Chris Samnee)
    Batman (Tom King & David Finch)
    Dept. H (Matt Kindt)

  5. #5
    Venusian Rubbed Moscow sevenarts's Avatar
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    Oh those 2 Criminal special editions were brilliant too, especially the 10th anniversary one. I hope they keep doing these, and keep putting them out in that beautiful magazine format.

    Argh and I somehow forgot Big Kids too. That was really great and maybe even DeForge's best thing yet. What an incredibly effective, affecting metaphor.
    Last edited by sevenarts; 09-18-2016 at 02:51 AM.

  6. #6
    Not a praying man Melville's Avatar
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    Delayed response...

    Quote Quoting Russ (view post)
    I can see one preferring his color stories (as I used to), but I'm not sure what the "dichotomies in his style" even refers to. His B&W work is some of the finest stuff out there (not only Fran, but also the preceding volumes in that series, Weathercraft, and Congress of the Animals). My point is, while discussing the merits of his B&W vs. his color works is not exactly comparing apples and oranges, I don't see how it can be denied that both are sublime in their own way. I think a designation of the superiority of one over the other is simply a matter of preference. If I'm wrong, I welcome your discourse.
    By "dichotomies in his style" I mean the contrasts between the friendly, cartoony artwork and the inexplicable, grotesque occurrences. The candy colored painting brought that aspect to the forefront. The B&W work seems to have more of a medieval print thing going on, making the events feel more fitting, less of a surreal upheaval. But that's not to say it isn't a matter of preference.

    Quote Quoting sevenarts (view post)
    Oh those 2 Criminal special editions were brilliant too, especially the 10th anniversary one. I hope they keep doing these, and keep putting them out in that beautiful magazine format.

    Argh and I somehow forgot Big Kids too. That was really great and maybe even DeForge's best thing yet. What an incredibly effective, affecting metaphor.
    I should have got the print versions of the Criminal books. I missed out on the special format by reading them on comixology.

    First Year Healthy is definitely my favorite of DeForge's longer stories. So simple and perfect.

    Quote Quoting sevenarts (view post)
    Really happy to see some love for The Cage (a longtime favorite that's one of the most unique works in comics, probably because Vaughn-James didn't really come from comics), Vision (Tom King is someone to watch bigtime, between this and Batman), and Stray Bullets.
    Have you read King's The Sheriff of Baghdad? I've heard good things.
    I am impatient of all misery in others that is not mad. Thou should'st go mad, blacksmith; say, why dost thou not go mad? How can'st thou endure without being mad? Do the heavens yet hate thee, that thou can'st not go mad?

    lists and reviews

  7. #7
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Hey, I'll join in the fun.

    1. Superman: Red Son (Mark Millar & Dave Johnson)
    2. Wonder Woman: Earth One (Grant Morrison & Yanic Paquette)
    3. The Wake (Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy)
    4. Promethea: Vol 1 (Alan Moore & J.H. Williams III)
    5. Batman and Son (Grant Morrison & Andy Kubert)
    6. Creepy Presents: Steve Ditko (Steve Ditko)


    The Wake I'm super-iffy on. Finished it last night, adored the first half and the implications that would carry into the back half, but when explanations and story fusions came at the end, it all felt a bit rushed and overstuffed (Snyder's admitted in interviews that he wanted to spend more time developing his world). Also wasn't too thrilled that the enormo-monster design looked identical to the small-monsters; would've been cool with more variation. Gorgeous artwork.
    Last edited by Dead & Messed Up; 10-22-2016 at 04:03 PM.

  8. #8
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dead & Messed Up (view post)
    Hey, I'll join in the fun.

    1. Superman: Red Son (Mark Millar & Dave Johnson)
    2. Wonder Woman: Earth One (Grant Morrison & Yanic Paquette)
    3. The Wake (Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy)
    4. Promethea: Vol 1 (Alan Moore & J.H. Williams III)
    5. Batman and Son (Grant Morrison & Andy Kubert)
    6. Creepy Presents: Steve Ditko (Steve Ditko)
    Update:

    1. Superman: Red Son (Mark Millar & Dave Johnson)
    2. Wonder Woman: Earth One (Grant Morrison & Yanic Paquette)
    3. Promethea: Vol 1 (Alan Moore & J.H. Williams III)
    4. The Wake (Scott Snyder & Sean Murphy)
    5. Creepy Presents: Steve Ditko (Steve Ditko)
    6. Crossed +100 (Alan Moore & Gabriel Andrade)
    7. Batman and Son (Grant Morrison & Andy Kubert)
    8. Batman: Earth One (1 & 2) (Geoff Johns & Gary Frank)


    Crossed +100 wasn't the slam-dunk I thought it'd be. Moore's future-shock lingo never quite settles in, and it's still Crossed (a series that's never appealed to me with its grotesqueries), but I did like the solution to how Crossed people might become domesticated, daffy as it is, and the despair and gore at the end of the TPD felt impactful for how well Moore otherwise ignored those tropes for much of his limited series.

    Batman: Earth One (1 & 2) is fun in a spot-the-revision sorta way (The Riddler's a murderer now! Killer Croc is misunderstood!), and the almost antagonistic relationship between Bruce and Alfred gives its drama extra snap. The efforts to give the villains new edge feels too stacked though - Cobblepot as a child sex trafficking operator? No, thanks.

    Haven't really disliked anything I've read.

  9. #9
    Not a praying man Melville's Avatar
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    Everything I've liked a lot:

    1. The Cage (Martin Vaughn-James)
    2. Goodnight Punpun Vol 1 (2-in-1 edition, Inio Asano)
    3. ACME Novelty Library #1 (Chris Ware)
    4. Weirdworld Vol 0 (Aaron & del Mundo)
    5. A Girl on the Shore (Inio Asano)
    6. Tekkonkinkreet (Matsumoto)
    7. Panther (Brecht Evens)
    8. Killing and Dying (Adrian Tomine)
    9. The Vision Vol 1 (King & Walta)
    10. Stray Bullets: Sunshine & Roses ongoing (Lapham)
    11. The Push Man and Other Stories (Tatsumi)
    12. Lazarus ongoing (Rucka & Lark)
    13. A Child's Life and Other Stories (Phoebe Gloeckner)
    14. Big Kids (DeForge)
    15. Criminal Special Edition and 10th Anniversary Special Edition (Brubaker & Phillips)
    16. Raw Vol 2 #1 (various)
    17. Hellboy in Hell Vol 2 (Mignola)
    18. Daddy's Girl (Debbie Drechsler)
    19. Deadly Class ongoing (Remender & Craig)
    20. Demon (Jason Shiga) - only read one issue.
    21. The Fade Out (Brubaker & Phillips)
    22. The Girl from Hoppers (Jaime Hernandez)
    23. Planetary Vol 3 (Ellis & Cassaday)
    24. Black River (Josh Simmons)
    25. Fran (Woodring)
    26. The Humans (Keenan Marshall Keller & Tom Neely)
    27. some stories from Corpse on the Imjin! and Other Stories (Harvey Kurtzman and various)
    28. The Collector (Toppi)
    29. The Manhattan Projects Vol 2 (Hickman & Pitarra) - but I lost interest by the end of Vol 3.

    Things I disliked most:
    La Perdida, Daytripper, Batgirl (Cameron Stewart), Top 10 (Moore), and especially Strangers in Paradise Vol 1
    I am impatient of all misery in others that is not mad. Thou should'st go mad, blacksmith; say, why dost thou not go mad? How can'st thou endure without being mad? Do the heavens yet hate thee, that thou can'st not go mad?

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