Since September 16, 2015 I have been writing for doomrocket.com to the sum of fifty reviews and three interviews. They continue to print my criticism and my comics. Here are a dozen of the best graphic novels and first issues I have covered in the last twelve months and a few other sundries.
Trades and standalone books. I believe it is the editor-in-chief Jarrod Jones who writes all of the headlines, but that would mean he writes all of the headlines, and they publish several articles a day and he’s just a man, right?
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
2016 was the year I got into Archie Comics beyond a vague appreciation for the art, and it is because of absolutely banana sandwich comics like this one and Chip Zdarsky’s Jughead. First issue was cute but swiftly became some straight up True Detective shit. Tons of Satan.
Godzilla In Hell
This comic is a series of reveries set in hell and the echoes of the past that commingle as a shared nightmare of Gustave Doré and Lisa Frank. There is no clumsiness here, this is tokusatsu in the mind’s eye.
This comic was punk as fuck. A little girl finds the secret world within all of us because fascists have horrible labor laws. Very Studio Ghibli but. Not. For. Kids.
Despite the cult image status this book projects, like Dali explaining psychology, it is really just a book about people who are emotionally messed up following bad ideas way, way too far down the path. So, relatable.
This comic right here. What if the Fantastic Four were contagious? Beautiful, incredibly smart, written by the publisher of Image.
Is this a graphic novel? I’m not entirely sure. Slice is from Stēla, a comics app for smart phones. The way it is told as a single panel per “page” that you scroll down through. The story itself is cuh-lassic slasher film pizza boy faire. Super cool.
When I wasn’t covering freshly translated graphic novels from Europe, I was typically writing about either progressive titles or horror titles because that crossover event shit just isn’t me. A couple of these I wrote about again for the Observation Deck and what they heck there are links for those articles, too.
A princess who is willing to break bones as well as hearts is called on by epic circumstances to make queenly decisions. Super cute look with somber backing.
Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Shakespearean dialog, Silver Age action, modern day politics and problems. A monumental book.
House of Penance
A mega-twisted take on the real-life madness that caused the Winchester Mystery House to be built. Gruesome, intense, romantic.
What if Spider-Man was a Muslim girl from New Jersey? More importantly, what kind of fan fiction would she write? This is the perfect balance of power and responsibility, a series so good I had to steal it for myself.
The guerrilla politics of wellbeing in a world without antibiotics or morals. Karen Berger’s first post-Vertigo editing project is the pudding (re: where the proof is).
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
The sharpest, funniest, nerdiest slice of girl power heaven to grace the pages of Marvel maybe in the history of ever. Hilarious, punching, quipping, being sweet, getting tough, I love it and I can’t get enough.
This is a thing that happened. I got to talk at length with the man about his process, the many, many, many different projects he’s worked on over the years, real geek stuff. It was a pleasure.
My picks from the DRYIR:
Best Single Issues: Island #3, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 2 #1
Best Mini-Series: The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage, She-Hulk
Best Artists: Adrian Alphona (Ms. Marvel), Jill Thompson (Beasts of Burden)
Best Writers: Noelle Stevenson (Nimona), Philippe Thirault (Balkans Arena)
Best Ongoing Series: 8House